Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This 'N That

No great wisdom to share today.
I'm tired and a bit out of sorts.
Yesterday I woke up with a silent
migraine. Ever heard of that?
I was having them about a year ago
and went to a neurologist because I
was losing my balance and my eyes were acting up.
He said it was migraines without the pain.
Who knew!
Anyway, as I stood up out of bed yesterday,
I promptly crashed into the dresser.
So much for being quiet!
The spinning head effect lasted for about an hour
and then faded away leaving me weary.
I am thankful for the lack of pain with
these. I am of the opinion that it is a
combination of stress and hormones that
cause these. Do you know anything about them
that may help me to avoid them?

By the time we needed to leave for bowling
I felt safe to drive so off we went. Dear Mrs. Rabe
promised Miss Paula
a picture of me since I was happily taking pictures and posting
of others this past week. The headache is very visible
on my strained face in those photos on Mrs. Rabe's blog.
And, yes, I do need to lose weight and am working on that!
Also, you may wish to know that my hair was still wet and
oh...I hate having my picture taken! Enough said!

As I type my precous kitty, Tidbit, is at my left hand. She is
purring contentedly. I tried to take a picture of her
but when she is relaxed apparently her eyes look
evil in least that is my take on the look
she showed off for me. Then she had the nerve to
run away. Hmmm...Now I know how to keep her off the desk - tee-hee!
Let me see what old photo I can dig up of her. She is a very
nice kitty. Nothing better! I'll just have to show
you how she looked this morning. She is very pretty...
wish it showed in pictures.

We just recieved the news that we will need to be out of the building that we
use for church by the end of November. We knew that we had been
blessed to stay as long as we have since the building has been
for sale quite a while. We will get the final word on
the 9th of November and then have until the end of the month.
There is another property we visited this week that would be
great...but it needs to be completely remodeled. Hmmm...
That takes money and time. We need to seriously pray about that.
Those of us who went to look absolutely can see the potential in this place
and we love the small village location. I guess we need to
let go and let God work if it is to be for our congregation because
at this point it is definitely beyond us.

See, I have nothing profound...but love chatting. I think it
will be interesting to read back over this in a year and see what
the Lord has done in these situations..well, not the cat...or the bowling (I bowled a 164!)
but about the headaches and the
church situation.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I have a secret collection. It is not the kind of secret that no one knows exists...they just don't know how much I love them. It is my figurines. The first figurine I received was a gift from a special lady named Jenny. Other than my own mother, no one had a bigger influence in my mothering and homemaking skills than Jenny. As a young girl of 10 - 12 I would spend quite a bit of time at Jenny's home helping her to care for her four boys when her husband was working out of town. I also was the official babysitter for their family. I observed Jenny with her boys and watched as she made her home a special place and then as I got my first home I patterned many things after her. Between Jenny and Mom I really should be domestic Goddess. It is not their fault that I still struggle with keeping focused on the daily routines. There are just so many great things to be involved with, and out doing. I really do try... and I love, love, love to decorate and redecorate my home. This blue and white lady is the figurine I received more than twenty-five years ago and it has moved with us from home to home throughout the years.

Later, when my own children were small I sold Avon for a few years. I worked my way up to President's Club where each year I earned a Mrs. Albee figurine. I must confess that I continued selling longer than I really wanted to because I loved these pretty ladies.

For hosting a successful Home Interiors Party many years ago I earned this cute duo.

I know they are not valuable monetarily but I just enjoy the simple beauty and the feminine charm they bring to a room. Wouldn't it be fun to dress in a gown like that for an evening on the town? I guess I really just enjoy the harkening back to a sweeter and more innocent time. Then, too, the memories of friendship that are associated with these are so special. I often remember the gift of her time and teaching that Jenny shared with me and attempt to pass that on to young ladies in my life. Thanks for indulging my stroll back memory lane.

Bowling with Friends

Here we go with long awaited pictures of Bob and Phyllis...bowling! Let me tell you, I have so much fun with these two people!
I am sorry the pics are so dark...If you click on them you'll see more detail.

Phyllis was a moving target! I had a hard time getting good pictures of her. She had an awesome score last Tuesday, when these pictures were taken -- 167!!!! The bowling alley has started keeping our averages and so far...Phyllis has everyone else beat.

And now for Bob...

When he isn't having to leave to fight a barn fire...ahem!...we have a wonderful time. Bob likes to give backhanded encouragements...and I love to give them right back. He is a good bowler and makes it so much fun to show up.

Sometimes we bowl for practice until the kids in our group are tired and then bowl for the competition. Both Bob and Phyllis are great sports and I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know Mrs. Rabe's parents better. They also happen to be Miss Paula's in-laws. Small world!
I have to show my Chelsea. She is a good little bowler who skunked me in our first game last Tuesday.

There you are, Miss Paula! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Pottery Experience and Home Decor

We are studying ancient history this year so I wanted the kids to do something "hands on" that would help them to remember our lessons. I found a great new pottery shop that lets you come in and make something of your own design or to paint a previously fired piece.

Chelsea chose to paint an existing piece while the boys were assigned to make a mask from clay. It is so interesting to see how the same clay becomes such different things...oh, I could launch into a sermon here about how people are created so differently and about our Creator...Who shaped us...but I won't!

Jen, the owner of Jen's Pottery Den was wonderful. She had books for the boys to look at for ideas and spent time gathering materials for their use in molding and shaping the masks.

Here you can see Jonathan's mask as it is in process.

I thought Chelsea's design was quite interesting. She learned how to "swirl" the paint into the inside of the pitcher so that it is sealed all the way and is actually able to be used if we so choose.

For now, Chelsea's pitcher is living up on my kitchen hutch since the colors go so nicely with the country decor. I imagine one day, this will be headed with my dear girl as she sets up her own home.
We were at a furniture store yesterday with my mother-in-law who was in need of a dining room table. While we were there Chelsea was planning what she would one day like in a home of her own. I was delighted and saddened at the same know? Just hard to believe that time has gone this quickly and my baby is twelve. I am thrilled at her interests in homemaking and decorating, though. Hmmm... wonder where she got that?!?
Ohhhh...speaking of decorating and such! I finally got paint for my bathroom. It is the only room in the house that was not painted since we moved in...except Jonathan's...and I have been searching for just the right color for a while.
I have taken some before pictures. I'll post more later but for now here is one sneak peek.
Just know that this is just a face lift, for now, not a total re-do (which I so much desire). This was the reason we had not painted until now. I wanted to do the whole thing but time and money are not allowing that at this moment... so paint will have to help it look better. We are dealing with that powder blue tile, blue linoleum and blue one piece shower/tub. Shudder! The counter top is that horrible fake marble stuff! Oh dear, I got started on this and that is not what this post was even about...reminds me of being on the phone with an old friend and the conversation just kind of meanders...

Anyhoooooo...Chelsea has many ideas for a home of her own and I am excited for her...she'll get to experience that in about 40 years! Ha!
Back to the pottery, the boys are currently painting their masks which came back to us white after being fired. Mikey's broke at the jaw so we are going to attempt to wire it and make it cool. Maybe, I'll remember to show you the finished product. No guarantees. I'm experiencing the effects of scattered brain cells these days, as this post so neatly demonstrates!

Continuing Ed

Once a year my company requires compliance education to be completed. This is in addition to much required continuing ed. Tomorrow morning is it. I do not look forward to it but recognize it as a valuable and necessary thing to accomplish. So tomorrow (Saturday) morning will find me sitting in an office watching a video that has basically the same information I have watched for the last 12 years. If you happen to be a client reading this... I do this for you...for without the completion of this...I do not have the ability to serve you.

I love my clients. I love it when someone is ready to retire and is able to do what we have set out to do because of disciplined saving and planning. I love it when they tell a friend about me and the phone rings with a new client to help on their way to financial freedom and independence. I love it when I can help a widow find her way through new territory after the loss of her husband. I love it when a client finds her way out of magnificent debt and I can cheer her along the way. There is great joy in getting a young person started in a savings plan instead of a debt plan that is so common. I love finding money that people don't even know they have lost in their budget.

This is why I will make myself get up and drive 35 minutes to an office and watch the video another year.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Where... in the World... Are You?

I am in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania!
Where, in the world, are you?
Please post just a quick response...please?

The Body of Christ

I am often amazed at the differences among the body of Christ. We read the same Bible and yet come up with so many differing conclusions. How can the same words speak so differently to so many? I believe that this partially goes back to our personality and "makeup". God created us to think and come to conclusions therefore we have the ability to reach different conclusions.
There are some basics that cannot be argued, however, they are so black and white that they are foundational. Jesus is the Son of God...No man comes to the Father but by Him...The taking of innocent life is murder...Fellowship with other believers is important...and more! These things, and more, are spelled out. The ten commandments are not wishy washy. They were carved in stone!
I find myself saddened by the competition and finger pointing, (although, I am guilty of it too) that goes on between individual bodies of believers. Do you not think that often times we settle on a church because the others in that church are similar in their thought processes, personalities and likes and dislikes in worship. This does not make every other church automatically "bad". We must first look at where they stand on foundational issues then decide if the preferential issues are the way we want to worship. Such things as hymns vs. praise choruses. The Bible refers to both (Colossians 3:16). I love both. Not everyone does and that is fine with me as long as they don't attack my Christianity because of it. We have a dear lady who comes to our church occasionally. She cannot bring herself to come every week because we use an overhead projector and she does not like that we sing "off the wall". She loves our service and the people there. She is as sweet as she can be but singing off the wall is just too much for her. Cute!
Others prefer churches where they can kneel to pray. There is nothing wrong with that. How about defining modesty? One church feels that to be modest women must be in dresses a certain number of inches below the knee while another teaches another form of modesty. Is either of these wrong? I think, again, this comes back to preference...unless...either of these viewpoints believe that this stand is what saves them. At that point it becomes a "works" salvation violating the foundational principle of salvation through Christ alone. Get my drift?
Do I dare print this post? Is it terribly controversial? I do not wish to offend, just to get us thinking about how we see others in the family of God. Some of us have more maturity, others of us are new babes in Him. How Satan would love to get in and destroy, meddle and defeat us. He wants to make our differences seem like mountains and separate and keep us fighting amongst ourselves so that we are distracted from being out there telling others about our Saviour. If the unsaved can use us as an excuse for not wanting to step inside a church...
I pray that the Lord would be at work in my heart to keep my desire for Him and His Word first in my life. That somehow my life would be the kind that would make others hungry to know more about my Saviour. That I would be discerning not judgemental. Oh, this is hard for me. I am very opinionated person. But, when I am tempted to judge, I must seek out the truth as to whether this is a matter that offends the foundational truths or simply a matter of interpretation or preference. My goal should be to become more and more like HIM every day...wherever that leads me.
...Just some of the thoughts swirling around in this brain today.
Oh, I hope that if you are reading this you will not judge me too harshly.
Blessings on your day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weight Loss

If you know me, you know that I have gained and lost and then gained back weight over the last 12 years. The last three have been the most difficult because of other health issues. I ended up having three surgeries in less than two years with doctors orders to hold the exercise due to some heart rhythm irregularities. Now I am finally told that I can exercise again! Yeah...and yuck! You know what I mean? I absolutely hate to sweat! I am a woman who loves her central air and comfort!

Terri, over at Lakewood Manor, has begun a journey that I am joining with her in. She is diligently attempting to take off some weight. That blog is here. In order to do this she has announced her intentions and is posting ideas and looking for more ideas. I will be following along with Terri and we will see how it goes.

I absolutely loved my time at Curves, before all the health issues popped up. I was losing weight and inches. I felt more energized. I just hesitate to start back because it is hard on the joints and because Warren's doctor really wants him to get a treadmill. I hate to spend money on both. Perhaps I will attempt to use the treadmill and some exercise videos...but hear me now...if they don't work, I am going back to Curves!

My most asked question of myself these days, when I really want to eat that extra something is, " Do I want to eat that more than I want to be thin and healthy?"
Sometimes I do...and if that is the case at this point I go ahead. Many times I really don't so some habits are being broken.

Anyone want to join Terri and myself?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

God's Creation is Beautiful

Some sweet pictures of "our stream" in Potter County.

I have seen this stream raging, swollen and over its banks. Yet, on this day, it is so serene.

To sit by the stream or lie in the hammock and listen to the birds sing, watch the sun filter and dance through the leaves...just incredible!

This water is soooooo cold...all of the time! But that doesn't keep our children out!

Thanks for visiting today. Have a wonderful day...wherever you are...whatever your circumstances...knowing that God does all things well.

Praying for California

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Our friends in California are suffering terribly today.
Please grant them protection from the dangers of
the smoke and fire.
Please be with those who must go toward the
flames to protect life and property.
Surround those that are fearful in your love
and give them your peace.
I would ask that you would be with Ashleigh now
as her little one is due. That your timing
and protection would be with them.
Please be with the Pastors and churches in the
area that they would be able to reach out
in ministry at this time of great distress.
May this be a time that people would see Your
awesome power in your creation and turn to you.
Lord, Please bring beauty from these ashes.
In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Mom's Tea

Last evening found me at Mrs. Rabe's home (Creekside Cottage). It is beautiful all decorated up for fall. I wish you could all see it. She had these two pumpkins each with one of her house numbers carved in them beside the driveway...candles lit to display the welcome her guests. The teacups and the scones screamed welcome. The guests were welcomed to enjoy any of the several seating areas prepared throughout the home...we all enjoyed each other's company in the living room, chatting away. Oh, I plead with you, Mrs. Rabe to post some lovely pictures of that chandelier and some of your other lovelies. It was so nice! Thanks for being the great hostess you are. It is much appreciated!

While I am on this subject I must compliment Mrs. Rabe's daughters on their hospitality and helpfulness. Linsy and Emily are young women who see things that need to be done and truly serve. Several times I think I saw Emily refilling cookie plates and "fluffing" the table. I was blessed by the time spent with them last evening, as well. Thanks Linsy, for showing me the 11 puppies. They are so precious!

I woke this morning with a Christmas song in my head. I know it is early but I am directing the 4-6th grade choir at Co-op and the 7-up girl's ensemble. This means that we are working on Christmas music and when I least expect it one of those songs comes to me. So...this morning it was...Ring the Bells! Ring the Bells! Let the Whole world know...Christ was born in Bethlehem...many years ago! There are 38 4-6th graders and they really enjoy this song. I wish you could hear them bellowing these words. I used that word on purpose because that is exactly what some of the boys do...they bellow! We will be working on that as soon as they have the words memorized. But their enthusiasm is fun! Their second song is an arrangement of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Too cute! Now, as long as we can get all of the details pulled together in the next 4 weeks or so....
The 7-up girls are singing a Puerto Rican Folk Hymn called Come to Set us Free. It is really fun and the girls are getting it now. Thirteen beautiful girls and thier voices. No bellowing here. I am hoping to find a little more "bellow" for them to share so that they will be heard and enjoyed. It will come. They are also singing a great arrangement of Joyful, Joyful to the World. This is such a neat arrangement of Joy to the World and Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee. Some of the words to Joyful, Joyful have been modified for Christmas.
So, anyway, this morning my creative juices were flowing as I thought of new ways to get the 4-6th graders loving this class. So far the parent feedback is good. The boys are singing these songs at home during the week...that makes my week! Even better, the boys that are excited are some of the least music loving boys in the class...according to them. So, Praise God, it would seem that they are getting it.
I love our Co-op! It is so vital to have the community of other families to share our experiences with. After the Tea last evening I came back to my home with two other Moms whose daughters had stayed here to hang out with Chelsea and we enjoyed more fellowship for a while. We talked with the girls about the things that they are exposed to in their music and games and even TV. It was a very valuable time. So natural. A captured moment. I pray that the friendships made now will be examples of the kinds of relationships these girls seek in life. It would be even better if these friendships were lifelong...but only the Lord knows how that will go.

Well, I have rambled long enough. Have a truly blessed day and rejoice that
HE Came to Set us Free! If you don't have a clue what I am writing about...the Freedom that comes from the me. I'll share what HE has done in my life and why I am so grateful!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Poor, Poor Ears

My Chelsea has been looking forward to a concert for a couple of weeks now. We bought a new top for her to wear to this concert! This was a big deal. Chelsea, her friend, Kara and I went to see Jump 5 in the their last PA concert. The group is breaking up.

I can enjoy Jump 5... recorded. I can control the volume. There were many things to irritate during the evening last night. I hesitate to share all of them. But here are the highlights:

1. Jump 5 did a couple of songs in the the beginning of the show and then the Disney infomercial began.

2. Pure NRG (the group to follow in Jump 5's dance shoes) is good but has now signed with Disney so I find myself being concerned about the clarity of their message and for those kids well being in the long run. It hasn't worked out so well for Brittany...

3. The next "talent" was atrocious. I will not even say her name. There was a woman behind us screaming to bring back Pure NRG and get her off the stage.

4. This was followed by at least 4 other segments of ok to really bad performances. All of which were pushing Disney Radio and asking for votes there.

5. Finally, 9pm on a Sunday the next day...Jump 5 came out to perform their concert. As a parent I felt like a hostage. Both girls sat dejectedly through the maze of poor performances then lit up like Christmas trees as it was time for Jump 5. What could I do? We stayed.

6. Jump 5 is truly entertaining and they can dance. They are able to be relatively enjoyed by parents...if you could hear them. The music was so loud that you could not enjoy their singing...probably intentional as it is hard to hold a tune when you are completely out of breath from all of the flips and such. My ear drums are still itching from all of the vibrations.

7. The girls then stood in line for more than a half hour to get pictures and autographs with Pure NRG and Jump 5. They are sweet kids and I know I am sounding really old but even Chelsea complained about the loudness keeping her from hearing the songs. Chelsea plans to post some pictures on Its about Friends at some point today. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about the evening.

8. We rolled into our home about 11:40 after dropping Kara off. Poor girl has to catch a bus this morning. At least Chelsea can sleep in a little.

9. Have you been to one of these concerts lately? Is this the new "norm" ? Oh, I sound like my parents used to sound...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Tree Came Down!

Today's big project was to cut down a tree in our yard that had broken during a storm and was now a bit lopsided. We have a deadline because Warren's Mom is having multiple trees taken down professionally - thank goodness! - in the next month or so and we want to have the stump of this tree ground up at the same time.

It sounded like a simple idea. Cut down a tree. Not so hard...unless...the tree is heaviest on the side that is closest to the house and even the best placed "notch" apparently wasn't enough to keep it from trying to fall on the house.

O.K. picture this. Our 6'4", 250 pound oldest son, Jonathan, had literally tied rope around himself and was holding the tree upright...because it was leaning toward our dining room window.

Now, here is where my strange brain goes into effect. Hmmm...I wonder if that went into the house right there if there is any way that we could then just go ahead and expand out into the addition!!! "NO! You must not think that way", I tell myself... but then find myself surveying the ground for an outline of how far out I would like this extension to go. I know, this was really bad so I began to pray that God would spare us from our stupidity and allow us to somehow get that tree pulled out and that it would fall in the front yard as planned.

Warren pulled the van into the yard and attempted to tie the rope, the same rope that had so recently been around Jonathan, to the van. Oops! Nowhere to put it. The wind kept gusting and I was really getting nervous now. So...the next attempt was to get Warren's mother's pickup truck from next door.

Here is the problem that I am seeing with that. Warren's Mom (Georgia) is in the hospital at this point. I am wondering how we will explain to her that while she was on her sick bed we borrowed her truck and smashed it with a tree. See the dilemma?

Well, there was no time to call and ask. That tree could fall at any time so over to her house Warren ran. He grabbed her keys and brought the truck over into the yard, where he proceeded to tie the rope...same the truck bumper all the while giving me, (yes, I am going to be driving the truck as Warren continues cutting with the chain saw), instructions about how to pull gently so that the rope wouldn't break. I got a quick tutorial on rear wheel drive!

Into the truck I go...made more interesting by the fact that I had our Chihuahua, Chloe, on my lap...she thinks we are going to pick up Mikey at work and is thrilled...tail wagging, thrilled...and I would have to pull into the road at just the right moment to get this chore accomplished. I am wondering if Warren is paying attention to any oncoming traffic as he is cutting and about to tell me to pull into the road. So my eyes are darting from rear view mirror, (Warren and tree), to road on left to road on right, (We are on a corner), pushing Chloe down on my lap so I feel somewhat in control and starting the whole watching process all over again. Warren gives me the yell to take off...So I did!

Broke the Rope!

Oh, this was bad. Now I have yanked on the tree making it even more unstable and it is attached to NOTHING to attempt to stabilize it.

Warren decided that this was calling for a chain. So off he goes to find a chain. Then he needed little doo-dads to go with the chain. Not in the same place as the chain. Here I stand staring at the tree.

Trying to be positive I notice that not only will this tree take out the dining room window and wall but given the expected trajectory should demolish our riding mower as well. I hate that mower. It stinks, doesn't steer well and is a dinosaur. Hubby thinks we cannot do better...they don't make them like this any more. lol So, the tree falling is beginning to look...not so bad.

I snap out of it again as I realize that if that tree falls, I will have to call the insurance agent and I can imagine the conversation going something like this:

Me: Hi Frann! It's Becky. How are you?

Frann: Oh, Hi Becky, what can I do for you?

Me: Well, we have this tree that fell into the side of our house and...

Frann: That was a wicked storm last night, we've had a lot of calls...

Me: Actually it wasn't the storm. This is how it happened....

So, then I was thinking that I really didn't want to make that kind of a call and began praying again that God would really protect us from our stupidity.

At this point, Warren is kneeling on the ground under the tree and I think that perhaps that is not the best place for him to be working on his chain. I say so. He calmly replies that if the tree falls now it is going onto the house. Oh, ok, feeling much better now.

Finally, the chain is attached to the truck and I am in the cab. The chihuahua is in the house and having had a dry run at this I am feeling... shaky! It just keeps running through my head that I am pulling a tree down in my direction...on purpose! I am trying not to be too concerned about how we are going to tell Georgia that to spare our house we demolished her truck. Then I remember that I am to trust my husband and if Warren says the truck is safe it must be. With all of this running through my head I pull forward to put some tension on the chain.

I stop.

There is a very brief pause and then Jonathan yells, "Dad! It is coming down! Move!"

I gun the engine...not wanting to be under it.

The tree came down!

Warren moved not a second too soon and God had spared us from this potentially irresponsible decision to cut down our own tree. The tree landed just where we had intended the whole time.

Inexplicably, all of a sudden I get this feeling of intense power and pride. I point out to Jonathan and Warren what a "she-woman" I am that I have just singlehandedly pulled down a tree with a Ford truck! Yee Haw!

Sure looks easy when the job is done.

I left just then to pick up Mikey at work with many a "red-neck" joke running through my head. Boy did I have a story to tell him.

I wish I had pictures - but - I was just having too much fun!

Joy in Days of Sorrow

I did not title this post "Happiness" in Days of Sorrow. But, Joy. We are counting down to the two year passing of my Dad. November 9th, 2005 he slipped peacefully into eternity at the young age of 58. We are not happy that he is gone! But we are joyful that his suffering from diabetes and what it had done to his body is over. We are not happy that we do not get to enjoy his presence every day...but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is in the presence of his own best friend, Jesus.
We are not happy about the pain this has left in our hearts, but we rejoice that God has been faithful to carry us through.

In April, Warren's Dad went to be with the Lord after a three year struggle with a spinal chord tumor. November of 2006 found him with extreme brain damage after a fall, since the tumor had left him pretty much paralyzed on one side and the medications had side effects that caused him to bleed easily. This fall rattled his brain and he was no longer able to communicate much or care for himself at all. The circumstances of the months that followed are at this point in our lives absolutely the hardest we have faced, to date. But there is joy in watching how the Lord orchestrated Gene's miraculous acceptance at the Nursing Home at the end of our road and the opening up of Mom's home to Georgia during those difficult months...the family home was an hour away. The Lord brought just the right people across our path when we needed it most. Did we feel happy during those times...emphatically NO!...but we do know the comfort and JOY of resting in HIM and knowing that HE had shown the evidence of HIS care in working out the impossible details.

These are the things that I hold on to when I am so tempted to be overwhelmed and let that Joy slip away into despair. God was in the details. God was with us. God was our comfort. God gave both Dads dying was beautiful. Can I say that? Their passings were beautiful! It is true.

So...whether I "feel" happy about the loss of these really important men in our lives is not important. Finding my JOY in the LORD is!

If you have lost someone close to you and you have lost your joy, I would challenge you to look for God in the details. Make a list. Can you see HIM there? In the days, weeks, months or years has God worked in your life to show you how much HE loves you and cares for you? Rejoice in that love. If you are HIS child there is absolutely nothing that comes your way that HE cannot or will not enable you to make it through. days of sorrow!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Boys vs. Girls Parties

Tonight is the birthday sleepover for our middle son, Mikey. Yes, his birthday was on the 6th but in order for all things to work out to his liking this was our best opportunity. You see, this boy's party needed to begin at the skate park. He is quite good at skateboarding and truly looks forward to this each year since we stumbled on to it as a party idea a few years ago...Our County skate park is free! We brought two friends back for a sleepover. I am marveling at the contrast and similarities between a boys sleepover and a girls.

Boys: Did you know that milk comes out of their noses if they laugh at the table?
Girls: Eat daintily and giggle a lot...not the kind to cause the nose traumas.

Boys: Huddle together in the bedroom and stare and yell at the game system that
they are actively using...for a very long time.
Girls: Are carefully spaced around the picnic table slyly glancing at each others
crafts as they create objects of beauty.

Boys: Wait until it would be the proper time to head to bed and then put in a very
loud smash 'em up movie...does this help them stay awake to play more games?
Girls: Put on thier pretty jammies and make up their own comfy sleeping bags and
then giggle quietly as they watch a sleepy Finding Nemo...for

Boys: Make up their own party games, don't need birthday cake(chocolate popsicles
are better), Pinata? Who needs that...unless it is at their sister's party
and they need to impress her friends.
Girls: Love a party planner and coordinator who handles the things like the pinata,
the cake, food and games.

Yes, indeed, they are created differently.

NOTE to self - cause no laughter at breakfast and possibly avoid another gross nose event.

Random Thoughts...

Good News:
Our son Jonathan, profiled in one of my earliest posts, has always struggled with writing. Not the creative part but the getting things onto the page part. His one time tutor said it is like there is a dam at his elbow that stops the words from being able to get through to his hand and then out of the pencil.
This week something worked that enabled Jonathan to work past that difficulty. I have mentioned before that we are reading Airborn. We are still reading this book. We are enjoying it and are at a place that the heroes of the book have just discovered the bones of a new, never before discovered species. At this point as I stopped reading I asked each of my children to take the story up from here and tell me what happens next and how would they handle such a discovery. Here comes the good news. Jonathan got very excited about this assignment and began writing. He wrote at home, then he took his notebook to the bowling alley with us to write some more. This young man who normally would struggle out a half a page to "please me" has written at least three pages. I most likely would not be able to easily read what he has written but when he read out loud what he had so far on our way to bowling, I was captivated to hear more. I am so thankful for those rays of hope that come through now and again.
Knowing how extremely difficult writing is for Jonathan I am more than a little bit proud of his accomplishment this week.

Flower Beds:
I want to make another flower bed in our front yard. I want to set it up in such a way that it is mostly self sufficient because I am a lazy summer gardener. I am good in the spring and the fall when it is not too hot but not so much in the heat and humidity of summer.
Any suggestions?
At this point my planning has gone this far: I want it to be a large triangular bed in the front corner of our yard facing an intersection. You can see it in the old picture I dug out of the memory of our computer at the top of this post. The landscaping in front of the house has changed already and one of the two trees has to come down, the one closest to the house.
I plan to have the boys help me remove sod and then thought I should have a small truckload of topsoil brought in and placed there where I can then plant Irises, butterfly bush, spring bulbs, Burning bushes, lavender, short blue grasses and black-eyed susans.
Add some mulch and give it a border of some kind....I could use help here....and watch it grow. I traditionally use garden "plastic" to keep the weeds down. Any thoughts on that?
How raised do you think this garden should be? The ground slopes sightly toward the road here.
Any advice will be carefully considered and I will post pictures of the process as we go. Maybe that will help me weed in the summer!

Blessings on your day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Need a Laugh?

I have a good one for you. First go to Honey I fed the Kids and read his Post called Change a Life, Change the World. Follow the link in his post to Tim's Blog at Duckabush Blog. I am not giving you that link because you must do it in this order. ENJOY! Too, too funny! Men! They are hysterical!


Something I find amusing..
On the sidebar you'll see my country kitchen and I have put it in my favorite things category. I don't know why it is there. I don't even usually like country that much. I am a victorian girl at heart. But when we got chickens (outside) all of a sudden I find that I have all kinds of chicken decor too. Some were gifts, some I actually spent hard earned money on. I guess it grew on me because when I look at those pictures I think, you know, that is a place in my home that makes me smile and therefore has become a favorite.

On Slaying the Giants....

Strange Title?

Of course.

But here is what got me thinking about that. A recent sermon reminded me of the Israelites who surveyed the land they were about to enter. It was a new land, it was a strange land. They were afraid of the unknown. The reports came back that it was a land of plenty and very good...BUT...there were giants in the land.

You'll find this in Numbers 13 and 14.

What I find amazing in this story is that God had brought these people out of Egypt and kept them safe through many miraculous means...crossing the Red Sea, feeding them manna and quail, giving the the 10 Commandments, causing water to flow from a rock. And yet, when God was ready to send them into a new land where all was prepared for them...they panicked. They literally wanted to retrace their steps and go back to being slaves in Egypt.

Now, I don't think it was that they loved being slaves...I seem to recall a lot of dissatisfaction there too. This was new, unfamiliar and scary.

I am at a place in my life where there are many changes going on here and around me. Our Church is leaving the denomination we have been with and going independent, I am considering more schooling to become a certified counselor, we have TEENAGERS! There is a lot of new territory to explore. I get overwhelmed by the "giant what-ifs". But here is what I think the Lord is trying to impress on my heart through the recent sermon and then a children's song that I keep hearing...If it is the Lord's will to step into the "new land". He will take care of those giants one by one and it is not to concern me.

Oh my! Sometimes I just want to flee back into the familiar land....somehow get my fifteen year old boy to be happy being ten girlfriends, no job, less independence. But how would that help to prepare him for life and being a Godly Christian man. No, I must stay and fight to put into him those things that God desires him to learn so that Mikey will serve HIM well.

I think about counseling...I think, "I already do that with finances, isn't that enough, Lord?" I am impressed upon that no, there is more. These are your gifts. Develop and refine them...then use them for HIM.

With the church, I see the road ahead as difficult and overwhelming. We are going to have to move to a new building, creating a new entity, reaching out into the community in a new way. Exciting? Yes! But scary. Aren't there enough churches already? Surely God doesn't need our little congregation...these are the "giant" thoughts that come into my head. But, you know it always comes back to the fact that we worship in this congregation because we were called there. We are truly "fed" there. Our children are growing spiritually. Where else would we want to go? NOwhere! I think until God gives us a desire for another fellowship that HE has us here for a reason and so I must face those giants and know that God will slay them.

Are you facing any giants today? Can you trust God with them? Let's do it together. HE is faithful.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I have friends at many different levels.
There are the friends that I see weekly at homeschool events. We cross paths but don't really interact on a daily basis. Yet, I know that they are there and that there is a level of caring. There is definitely a relationship.
Then there are church friends. I see them a couple of times a week and often we will speak during the week to check in and see how each other is doing.
There are the neighbor friends. Whether it is because the children play together or because we have similar interests I very much value these friendships.
All of the previously mentioned friends are relationships because of the location of home or decisions to participate in church or co-op.
But there is a special group of friends that are at a different level. There are just a few people in my life that will be there always. Shelley, Lee, Mom, Warren...
The ones that I am around now may turn out to be that kind of friend but it is too soon to know that because these relationships have not been tested by time and distance.
I think that women really do need each other. The fact that so many of us are reaching out to each other through our blogs is pretty good evidence that we were built to relate with other people. Especially people that we find things in common with. Folks we can learn and grow from. I am very thankful for my new "bloggy" friends!
It is so easy in our daily lives to forget to "work" on our friendships and keep them fresh. To take our friends for granted.
So here is a BIG shout-out to all of my many friends....Thank you for being there!
I'm glad you are my friend!

We are Dogsitting!

This is Bear. He is my mother's dog. Mom did not mean to get a dog but last year she went along for a ride with us to the Humane League. We were looking for a dog to help fill the void after our husky, Sally, had passed away. Bear caught Mom's eye as he was being taken to meet a family.
I guess she wanted him then but figured
there was no way that the other family would say no to him.
They did.
Next thing I knew I was encouraging her
to fill out paperwork and bring this large dog home.
She did.
We spent the next couple of weeks shaking our heads at this spontaneous decision but Bear has proved to be a great friend for Mom.
He is very protective of her and with her constantly. Being with us overnight must be quite confusing to him since he can see her house from here.
Mom has overnight guests that are not dog lovers.
She, being the great hostess that she is, asked if we would keep Bear.
Not so long ago when we were in Virginia on a quick vacation,
Mom kept our two pooches at her house for three days.
Now that must have been a challenge!
Thanks Mom!
Bear is a very nice dog
and has been very well behaved.
Just thought those of you who like dogs
would enjoy meeting Bear.

I like to encourage anyone looking for a new pet to
visit their local Humane League first. You may
find the sweetest dog or cat there, like our Chloe and Mom's
Bear. You may not. But at least you will know that you
have tried to get one more animal rescued into a good home.
If you do go to the Humane League try to spend some time with
the pet you are condering adopting. We left the first day convinced that
we were coming back the second day for one particular dog
but after spending time with that dog we could see that it was
not a good personality match for our family. It was good that we
made that extra trip...that second day was the day we met Chloe and
I wouldn't trade her for any other dog.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Fellowship Meal...and more was one of those glorious days!
The service was wonderful.
Everyone sang with their whole hearts,
which makes it much more
interesting to lead music.
The song choices this week were
some of my favorites...and we did some
creative things with the instrumentals
which of course makes it more fun.

The sermon this morning was on...
are you ready...
I had to ask the Pastor if he had
been reading my blog...
but no! This was the next passage in the
series he was preaching.
I was nearly bursting with amazement at
this timing.

Then we had Communion. It is still so
amazing to think about God becoming Man
to take my place - MINE -
just because HE wanted too.
HE loved me first!
I love HIM back!

A fellowship meal followed which was
very, very good today.
There was chicken, my chili and cornbread,
a fresh garden salad, angel food cake...and more!
As far as I know there was only one "car-tastrophe".
That was a peach pie that had to be cleaned
out of Brenda's car. So sorry, what a mess!
It seemed that everyone stayed for the meal
because we actually ran out of room at the tables.

After coming home and doing up the dishes and
refrigerating the little bit of leftover chili,
our evening guests began arriving.
A group of us headed on a walk...since the weather is
just about perfect. We went to the end of our
road and back. This is about a mile total with a
huge hill in the middle. I have to be feeling really
great to joyfully attempt it so you know it was a
good day.

Warren, you know... my "grill man", made sausages on the grill while
I whipped up some pudding parfaits with the
help of Chelsea and our friend, Ruth.
The table is dressed for fall, with an 'edible' centerpiece.
We put everything on the table in a very festive way
and called it an impromtu Harvest Party.
It makes the food taste even better.
Freshly sauteed onions and green peppers didn't hurt, either.

Chelsea, Ruth and I played two games of Scrabble.
They were fun. Chelsea won. She is great
with words!

After that, kiddos headed to bed while
the grown ups watched a movie. An action/drama.
It was o.k. but really too much violence for me.
I prefer a gentler or funnier type of movie.

It was so nice to have had Ruth, Mike, Steve, Georgia and Mom
over this evening. It was also fun walking with Kara and Jack.
Thanks guys for spending some time with us.