30 June 2007

Ah, Texas!

There really is no other place on earth like it. While I haven't actually traversed the entire earth - I can still tell you - the mold was broken after the good Lord fashioned this lone star state. While I have spent much of the last year wondering what I'm doing here, and how long I can make it (kind of like one of those people on Fear Factor put in a glass box while 50 live tarantulas are released to climb all over them), I have been reading the blog of another homeschooler who was a Texan trying to get back home from the land of Arkansas. She posted a blog earlier today that I just have to link to about how to know when you're in Texas! Check out some of the other links too - good stuff. I have been learning to love Texas vicariously through her!
(Just to clarify - it's not Texas - it's me! This place just isn't my home yet!)

Book Heaven

There has never been a time in my life when I was in such heaven about the books that surrounded me and that I could currently put my hands on. I am reading the Donald Miller book - Searching for God Knows What. I know I keep mentioning it – but I just can’t help it! It’s so real and good. Lemme share a little piece of Donald with you:

The scary thing about religion to me, is that people actually believe God is who they think He is. By that I mean they have Him all figured out, mapped out, and as my pastor, Rick would say, “dissected and put into jars on a shelf.” You’ve got a bunch of Catholics in Rome who think one way about God, and a bunch of Baptists in Texas who think another, and that isn’t even the beginning. It goes on and on and on like this, and it makes me wonder if God created us in His image or if we created Him in ours.

This is amazing. When he starts talking about opinionated, hyper-conservatives who slap God’s name on whatever political agenda they happen to have at the moment he says, and I quote, “People like that should have an island.”

On top of the Donald Miller buzz I currently have going, (or could that be the Blackberry Merlot?) I am surrounded by other books that are feasts for my soul. Two Franky Schaeffer books came from Amazon today – Addicted to Mediocrity – which I used to borrow annually from my friend, Tina – but it is just such a long drive from TX to WV now – and Sham Pearls for Real Swine – a new book on a similar thread. Both of these books are about Christians in the arts. Here’s a little excerpt from the book jacket of Sham Pearls:

What other age beyond our own of anesthetized, plastic propriety could accommodate us? What past leaders would meet our standards of piety? Luther? We would find him vulgar. Shakespeare? Filthy. Bach? Secular. Verdi? Catholic. Joan of Arc? Insane. Winston Churchill? A drunken warmonger. George Washington? A reactionary chauvinist. Jesus of Nazareth? Rude, sexist, offensive, and inscrutable. All of these would be too complicated, too real, too human for the ‘nice’, the timid, the shallow, the ignorant – the church.

Yep – controversial. But real. I love it. I also ordered some Anne Lamott – who I discovered for the first time the other day during a major iced coffee high at Borders. I sat and just drank in her thoughts. I am not sure if I will end up loving her books – but I can be sure they will make me think outside the box.

So here it is – reading for research – to be inspired to write.

Oh – and I’m also reading Gossamer by Lois Lowry with my son – and that book is hard to put down!

I’m in book heaven…….

29 June 2007

I Rock?

My friend fatty got this award because she totally does ROCK!
She was supposed to choose 5 other girl bloggers to pass the award on to - so she said we were to come over and pick up our own reward. She commented here and said I ROCK - so we'll just take her at her word, regardless of how delusional she is! And there is the simple fact that I am a girl. Well at least I used to be - the girlish figure is gone - but the simple fact remains what DNA would verify - 100% girl. I love the blogging community, and I think I am supposed to pass this along to 5 other bloggers. I choose Kathleen @ Coffee Mom, Jane@Halfmoon Happenings, Karen@For Such a Time as Now, Renae@Planting Seeds, and YOU! You know who you are, you are a girl, and you're a blogger and you ROCK! Totally!

Susan Godfrey's Blog Contest

I read about Susan Godfrey's Blog: Contest!! earlier today and I just had to enter. She is giving away a blog design. It isn't for me - because Goofy Girl made my blog just the way I wanted it. I want to win it for a friend who would like to have her blog spruced up a bit. This post is to help publicize her contest. Jump on over there and check it out - she has some very cute graphics for a lucky winner!

Prayer Is Not a Weapon Against Another Believer, and Other Rantings

In light of my last post, I am going to say that while I will save my goodies for my writing (did I mention I'm giving all of my faithful readers a FREE copy once I get published?? dream with me people!) I will never hold back on the rantings! Aren't you lucky?
Today I had a conversation with a family member, while sitting at my kitchen island, not wearing a bra, in my PJs feeling all vulnerable and was attacked by the expression "Well, I'll pray your eyes will be opened." Of all the infuriating things I've ever experienced, this is in the top 10. First of all, this is coming from a person claiming "spiritual maturity" - and yet it is THE most immature thing I think one believer can say to another. Maturity prays without a word to the person about it. Can I get an amen?
This same person is also always saying, in any conversation on spiritual matters that they've "already studied ALL of this stuff" and therefore indicating that they can benefit nothing from your participation in the discussion. Actually it's never a discussion, but a monologue and anything you have to say seems an interruption to the "wisdom" they are hoping to impart to you.
And here is the thing - maybe I don't get what that person is saying. (In this case I think it is ridiculous and a distraction from what God really wants us to focus on - BUT) Maybe there is nothing of benefit to me right now where I am in my life. Just like when my kids were babies - I didn't try to shove steak down their throats. Sometimes you have to wait for a person to cut their teeth in an area before they can chew on what you're serving up.
Anyway - I got the house pretty clean. The fury made me shake - and I swept the front porch, washed some dishes, swept and dusted the living room, cleaned up my son's room in a matter half an hour. Why do some people make it so hard to be with them?

28 June 2007

Writer's Blog

Lately, I have not been posting as much on my blog. It isn't because there isn't stuff going on, or that I am not thinking about blogging or writing. The thing is that what I really want to do, my heart's desire is to write a book. So I have a confession to make. Lately, I've been holding out on you. Instead of writing a couple paragraph blog entry, I've been jotting random thoughts into a writer's notebook. Believe me I have tons and tons of random thoughts and only seem to capture about one-third of them in my handy-dandy notebook. I have also been doing a lot more reading than usual. It seems that I have a propensity for neglecting that part - and yet, I've heard over and over that reading is a good way to spark your inner-writer. Yesterday, I was trapped (ah, much to my delight!) at a Borders for two hours while we waited for my friend who was taking a test in Houston and I discovered a book in the religion section by Anne Lamott! And the there was coffee - I was in heaven. (I think I have Stockholm Syndrome now and wish I could be held captive there again!)
I have always hesitated to call myself a "writer" because it sounds arrogant. If someone would ask what I've written, I would mainly only be able to point them to this blog - and it's crazy ramblings. Not much literary genius. Oh yeah, and then there is this - but that's not the kind of writing I really want to do. I think I've decided that consistently throughout my life, the one thing I have always loved to do is write. The first birthday present as a child I ever remember getting that I was thrilled about was a diary. In later years, after a messy divorce and custody battles, nobody encouraged much writing for fear I would write about them. But I am a writer. I love to write, and I will write. It seems delusional - and I fear rejection - which is why I haven't endeavored to do more than writing for myself. But enough of that. I throw caution to the wind.
So if I'm holding out on you on this blog - you'll know why. Don't think I won't be posting - I'm just saving some stuff for myself for right now!

Now I need some affirmation - do y'all think anybody would ever want to read what I write?

Who Says This Stuff

Overheard a teenage boy today saying, "They say if you can tie a string in a knot in your mouth with your tongue it means you're a good kisser."

I ask you, who are they and why the heck do they say this stuff?

26 June 2007

Update on Kaitlyn #2

We got the test results from Kaitlyn's bloodwork late yesterday - but I've been so swamped that I forgot to post it. Her blood sugar is great - and it seems she is just prone to fainting spells - or "passing out" as some call it. My mother-in-law evidently has done it her whole life, mostly when she's scared. It seems that fear or pain make the blood leave the head quickly - and if she does it again, we are supposed to get her feet up and help the blood get back to her head. Scary stuff, but I am so glad it is nothing more serious!

25 June 2007

I'm Published - My First Ebook!

Woo hoo! I am so excited there could be two of me. I have always wanted to be a "published" writer - and with the beauty of Adobe PDF files, and the internet, I have managed to assemble my first ebook. It isn't a literary work - although I may have some of that in me, but it is a co-op planner for homeschoolers. It is complete with detailed instructions on how to plan and manage a co-op, and includes printable forms to use, an idea list, and a ton of suggestions and recommendations about homeschool co-oping. It should be up for sale in the Schoolhouse Store in the next 24 hours or so! I am jazzed about it!
Oh yeah, and this incredible picture used on the cover was taken by Kate-the-Great, and the amazingly adorable girl smiling at you there is the offspring of my dear friend, Kathie!

A Contest for Moms

This sounds so awesome - a weekend getaway - just for moms! I had a friend tell me just last week that I needed a vacation. This isn't until September - but check out this Motherhood Redefined Getaway sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom.

Scrap Happy - Week 10

Ah, here we are again - another Monday Scrap Happy! Here's my page for the week:
I made this page with a super kit that I can't remember the name of right now - but it just fit this picture so well. My girls went to a "purity conference" with some friends and had a great time, learned a lot, and were inspired to give their hearts completely to the Lord!

Struggle to Be Free from the Grip of the Seducer

I was thinking a lot through the weekend about the Bible Study that a small group of us are embarking on via a yahoo group. It isn’t just about being overweight or what you eat, but more about a heart of idolatry. This morning I was reading my new Donald Miller Book, Searching for God Knows What, and read something that really spoke to this issue. It is a bit lengthy – but I pray God may use it to speak to at least one heart like it spoke to mine.

I’ve a friend who overhead his wife on the phone with another man. She did not know he was in the house, and he walked up behind her, leaned on the frame of the door to hear her confess her love and enjoyment of the other man’s touch. My friend drove around Baltimore in a daze; he went into coffee shops and sat with his head in his hands. He went into a bus station and bought a ticket to Pittsburgh but he missed his bus, sick from smoking a pack of cigarettes. Instead, he spent an hour in the bathroom vomiting yellow muck into a filthy toilet.

Our systematic theology reduces the fall of man to a technical act of betrayal. We hardly think of it as relational at all. But I think this view distorts what actually happened. I think God must have felt like my friend in Baltimore. I think it was something terribly painful for God to endure. I don’t think we can understand the pain a pure love would feel after being betrayed by the focus of its love. You wouldn’t think God would forgive them [Adam & Eve AND us] at all. You would think God would just kill them.

A few paragraphs later he goes on:

All this makes me wonder what God must have felt, arriving on the scene just after the Fall, knowing all He had made was ruined and understanding once the sacrifice that would be required to win the hearts of His children from the grasp of their seducer. I see Him in my mind walking the paths, calling to the couple meeting their eyes for the first time, and Adam and Eve shaking in absolute terror, wondering what had happened, confused at the broken promise of a snake, feeling at once the trustworthiness of their first love and wondering if God would ever love them again, feeling the hot breath of His anger and emotion, hearing Him speak for the first time, not as a friend, but as One who had been betrayed. “Who told you that you were naked?”

I think the one difference in the scenario that “Don” lays out here – is that God was not taken off guard like the man with the cheating wife. He knew it was risky to gives us freewill, and He knew what the outcome would be. What God wanted most of all was for us to be willing to love Him in spite of everything that might attempt to lure us away. We find ourselves so much of the time, in the grip of our seducer. It may be packaged in the form of food, money, sex, alcohol – but it is certainly from the enemy. It breaks the heart of the One who truly loves us. Our struggle with sin is not a tally on a scorecard, but a shameful, adulteress relationship.

No Day of Rest

It is after midnight and I am still up and going strong. I have been trying to get a PDF file made of the More of Him, Less of Me Bible Study that is starting up this week. I was happy to do it, but it seems that whenever I attempt this kind of project, everything possible fights me! Word was giving me a fit, spitting out formatting symbols, etc.
That is really the least of our problems, however. Yesterday afternoon, I got my husband into our bathroom to show him a spot on the wall in the closet that backs up to the bathtub that seemed to be continually wet. It was also right next to the towel hamper, so I wasn't sure if the kids were maybe putting really wet towels against it, and it just wasn't getting a chance to dry out. Well, he pulled the wallboard off and saw it drip, drip, dripping from the last shower. Ugh. We had to turn the water off immediately. I washed my hair in the kitchen sink this morning before church (which is another post altogether), the dishwasher is full, there is a pile of laundry in every hamper, and the kitchen sink is piled high with dishes. Thankfully the neighbors have been letting us fill up buckets with water so we can flush the toilets. Travis did some repairs, but as soon as he turned the water back on, it shot out everywhere! He is going to have to stay home tomorrow to work on it some more. You don't realize how much you take running water for granted until you don't have it.

24 June 2007

Addressing Questions of a Commenter

I got this comment from "Lia" earlier today - and since there is no blog linked - I thought I would take some time to address her concerns here - and maybe we can all learn.

Lia says >>

Isn't it a bit of a contradiction to say that a diet is slavery? Isn't overweight slavery too?
When the Bible tells us that everything God created is for our enjoyment, do you think God also meant eating so much that 25% of all Americans is overweighted and obesity is becoming a major health problem?

My response>>
It is definitely slavery to be overweight. No doubt. But it is no contradiction to say that dieting is also slavery. I was not saying dieting was slavery and obesity is not. However, the diet industry proves that rules and regulations have no impact on righting our hearts. That’s why the average woman in her mid-thirties has been “dieting” since her teenage years in one way or another. What we are coming against here is gluttony – pure and simple. The premise of this Bible Study is to learn to eat the way God intended – not excluding any particular type of food, but enjoying everything in healthy proportion. We will also be learning to recognize the symptoms of hunger and fullness.

I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves – as much of this is explained through the weeks of study. Anyone interested is invited and welcome, but know that it is settled in the hearts and minds of those of us leading the study that what we will learn is truth.

Thanks Lia - great questions! Hope to see you there!

Personal DNA

I saw this on Coffee Mom's blog - and I had to try it. It is an 11 page quiz - and when I tried to do it yesterday my internet connection failed about 8 pages in! Ugh! So I had to go back and do it again! I'm an Advocating Experiencer. For the most part, I found it to be a very accurate description of me!

Evidently my DNA is mangled because no matter what I do this graphic won't post right! Ugh! Seems like maybe that could explain a lot!

23 June 2007

More of Him, Less of Me

Years ago, I went through a Weigh Down Workshop. I lost 30 pounds while doing the study, but more than that, I realized that dieting was a lie. In God's word over and over again He tells us that food rules don't restrain our appetites, and that everything He created is for our enjoyment. Dieting is slavery - and it is likened to being stuck in the desert after being freed from Egypt. This was amazing stuff. I totally got it.
Then there was "the controversy". Don't you know that is just what the old devil needed to try and steal truth from me. But just like my friend, Helen says, (insert Kentucky twang here) "The truth is the truth even if a liar speaks it!" Let me clarify that I am not saying that anyone is a liar - I am just saying that the truth is still the truth, regardless of what is thought about the one speaking it. So, around we go again.
I blogged about my struggle with my weight not long ago, and my friend Sandy told me about a lady who had put together some of the concepts of that study, and we conspired to work on it together. Having support is super. Having accountability is even better yet. So here we are, wanting to get started - and then there were three - my non-blogging friend Carol wants in too.
Anyhoo, we want to start a yahoo group for support of this Bible study, called More of Him, Less of Me - or maybe Less of Me, More of Him. I am certain it is not More of Me, Less of Him - although sometimes isn't that the case?
The study is free of charge, and we want anyone interested to participate. I am hoping that we get started this Tuesday or Wednesday. Please comment here and leave your email to let me know you want to participate. You will have to have a yahoo account in order to do so on the Yahoo group site.
Here's looking for more of Jesus in you!

22 June 2007

"Don's MY Man!"

Several years ago, I read a book that made me rethink everything I thought to be true about being a Christian. It was Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. It was one of those kind of books that makes you think, but it is written in such an easygoing style. You can imagine each chapter as a conversation over a cup of coffee in some trendy coffee shop, or walking near the river with the author, who by the end you have become as familiar with as a friend. My daughter Kendra has also read this book – and it had a major impact on her as well. Recently I decided I was going to read it again, but when I went to get it off the bookshelf I couldn’t find it. That night at bedtime, I walked past the room and saw it in.her.hands! What transpired was not pretty - and ended with me relenting since she had already started actually reading! For the past few weeks we have been fighting over it. I keep asking her, "Are you done yet?" She like her mother often has about half a dozen books going at once, as well as the Bible, magazines and all the other reading we like to do. Today I told her I was commandeering it to read while I sat for hours with her sister at the hospital. But when I got home, in the mailbox awaited Searching for God Knows What by the same author. I forgot I had ordered it a week or so ago on Amazon. Kendra was doing a happy dance and said, she knew that meant she could have Blue Like Jazz to herself. Ugh! I want to read them both, but I guess it’s only fair I let her have it!

Everywhere I turn, I'm having to fight for my Donald Miller fix! The other night, when I went with the kids to youth group, just to sit in a corner and check it out, the young lady that was leading the study quoted some excerpts from an author with a similar style, Rob Bell’s book Velvet Elvis, which I liked but not nearly as much as Blue Like Jazz. I was distracted wondering if she had read any Donald Miller. At the end of the night, I approached her and asked if she had read Blue Like Jazz. She said, and I quote, “Don’s my man!” Now I realize that this should have made me happy - to have others reading such a great, life changing book. But shallow as I am, it made me want to talk about how much better I know “Don” than she does! How silly we can be sometimes! Good for her! And if she reaches for Don again, she’ll pull back a bloody stump! No really – it’s alright.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One nasty sweet-flat soda, two phlebotomists, three hours, four times in the waiting room and five blood draws did for a very long morning make. There was a highlight – we saw Kathy and her mother Ms. Sylvia – a lady we attended church with that always walks around singing hymns that my husband said of, “That woman is a REAL Christian”. She was a bright spot. I also got halfway through Blue Like Jazz which I have been wanting to reread, and played a few rounds of “Golf” (our favorite card game thanks to my friend Lizbeth!) with my daughter. We also met a very sweet elderly man who challenged Kaitlyn to a race every time he passed us. He kept saying, “You’re not sick! Get out of here! Race me to the corner!” It was fun. Hospitals aren’t fun places, but there are times when they are necessary. The results of her blood test were supposed to be back this afternoon, but of course I can’t get in touch with anybody there! She had to drink the syrupy sweet drink and have her baseline blood draw – then she had her blood drawn twice at the half hour mark, and then twice at the one hour mark! She had a lot more needles than she anticipated going in, but she did very well with it. Now the waiting game.

21 June 2007

Update on Kaitlyn

Tomorrow we are heading off to the po-dunk-town hospital. I have never been there before, but it looks very teenie tiny - but sometimes those can be the best ones. It seems that when Kaitlyn had some bloodwork done on Tuesday, it showed that her blood sugar was low - and so the doctor is concerned that her sugar is too low or too high. We are going for a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. If you've had a baby, you likely had one of these where you drink the sickening sweet syrup, and just before you feel like you're gonna die, they take your blood and send you home. Anyhoo, pray that all is well - or that we can at least understand why she passes out. It is a scary thing!

20 June 2007

Something's Really Abuzz!

Just a short post to rant about these dang Texas flies! I hate them.... and their 10 gallon hats...... and their stupid spurs..... and the females with big fly hair!

Something's Abuzz

Three pots of coffee last night and a sink full of cups this morning means that there were friends in the house last night. And a lot of them. There were 3 adults and 3 teenagers aside from the members of our family. The adults sat and drank coffee all evening and discussed spiritual things until well past midnight. It was incredible and awesome. I am hungry for God's word again in a way that I haven't been in a long time - which is why this post will be short this morning - I am off to my quiet time. But I just wanted to say - what joy was overflowing my heart to have a house full of friends who love the Lord last night! It soothes the homesickness that seems to always ride underneath the surface.

19 June 2007

Christian Radio Contradiction

I love Christian radio. Mainly I enjoy music - but somehow, likely God-ordained, the radio in my bathroom will not pick up the semi-local Christian music stations. It will however, pick up the Christian "teaching" stations - where all day long you can hear great men and women teaching God's word, while brushing your teeth,and "fluffing" (as my totally 80s friend Tina calls it) your hair. Yesterday on the Focus on the Family segment, they had a recorded broadcast of Frank Peretti! It was so awesome. He was a great speaker. Funny and real. If you can go to their website - don't miss it.
Yesterday my daughter Kaitlyn said how she thought it was curious that they were promoting the new Evan Almighty movie. While it is likely very funny - it seems a little wrong. I would like to see it - and can see the entertainment value in the "what if Noah lived today" scenario. But it does seem a little risky for them to promote this movie after Bruce Almighty.
Then this morning I heard a speaker - he was teaching about the woman at the well, and Jesus' offer to give her living water. He was explaining that every other well came up short - money, success, relationship, physical beauty - they would all be wells that ran dry. It was great - I was all pumped thinking - yeah! gimme some of that living water. Immediately following this segment came a commercial for a shop that does excellent body work on your vehicle. And this particular station is constantly full of diet and exercise programs, and home improvement shows. But - hey, you just told me that those things weren't important. And while I know they have to pay for their broadcasts somehow, it seems a frightening contradiction. My mind is renewed - and then slapped back down.
The worst worst worst one is a commercial about Christian publishing. It says something on these lines....."so you're a Christian author. once you finish that book you're working on, what are you going to do? PRAY it gets published." Ugh! I cringe everytime that one comes on. It is so unclear. I know that the mean don't JUST pray - and I understand that God doesn't want us to be passive - but it is so ugly the way they say it. Gross. Yuck.
Anyway - just my thoughts today. What do you think? Is Christian radio contradicting itself?

18 June 2007

Bloggers Block

It is so weird - when I am not able to get to my computer, I have about a thousand and two things that are going through my head that are blog-worthy. Then I get here and look at this little white box and have nothing, nada, zilch!

There are a few interesting happenings to report.
The kids and I are peeling from the sunburn of last week. My son has enjoyed picking it off of everyone and informed us this morning at the breakfast table that he is making a "skin ball". I need mothers of boys to tell me - should I be alarmed?
My oldest daughter has officially decided that she is not interested in having a serious relationship - and would like to just be a teenager. Her philosophy is that relationships are a distraction, and an entanglement that she is not ready for yet. Where did she come from?
My youngest daughter almost fainted last night. She was as white as a sheet - even her face. She was also clammy to the touch. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.

Oooh oooh ooh - and I can't wait, can't wait, can't wait to see this movie! I LOVE Jane Austen! Oh my GOSH - and as you watch the preview you will hear some of the same music from LITTLE WOMEN! It is too good to be true! I can hardly wait! I am like a little kid waiting for Santa! I just read that it is supposed to open August 3rd!

Okay - I'm sorry but here is another video with awesome pictures from the movie along with some fabulous Jane Austen quotes!!!!

That's all for now folks! Badee badeep!

Scrap Happy - Week 9

Hey everybody!
I'm just a bit late putting this up today! Sorry - things have been crazy. I'm dealing with a sick girl, piles of laundry, work and all kinds of other stuff! Here is a page for the week - it is still not a new one, however we did get my Adobe Photoshop reloaded when we took our computer back to XP - so next week should bring a new page or two or three! (I'm getting way ahead of myself!)
I did not make this page. It was created by my sister-in-law Vonda. I hope that she won't be upset that I am using it here. She is very talented. I will link to her gallery here once she sends me the link I lost when my computer crashed! She is a very special person in my life - and is responsible along with her mother for turning me on to digital scrapbooking. It is a hobby and a passion that we share and enjoy. I loved it when she made this page of the two of us. I will always treasure it. I am glad that we have had a chance to get to know each other, and I do count her as my sister in my heart!
Thanks Vonda for sharing this love of scrapbooking with me!
Happy Scrappin'!

16 June 2007

Answered Prayer

Let me brag on God's goodness for a minute here, and tell you what a humongous deal it is that we got to be a part of what He was doing. Kendra has a friend named Michael that we met at the beginning of the year. He is a high-energy, fun-loving guy, but there was a darkness about him. We were struggling first with wanting her to maintain a friendship with him, for fear of it causing her to stumble, but instead of doing anything, Kendra and I committed to praying for him. More recently, my other daughter, Kaitlyn started having a recurring dream about Michael being attacked by demons. She had it over and over. She was sitting at the island in the kitchen last Saturday telling Kendra and I about it - when.he.called to see if he could come by. She said she knew that God wanted her to pray with him, but she didn't want to. Not because she didn't want to pray for him, but because she is the shier of the two girls, and putting herself out there like that is not something that comes naturally to her. When he got here Kaitlyn told him about her dream and asked if she could pray with him, so four of us in our kitchen put our hands on him and she prayed with a sincere heart for this friend. It was so awesome to see her obey in something that was difficult. But the best part of all is Michael couldn't wait to come over and share with us all that God had taught him through the week when he was at camp. He stopped by on his way to work this afternoon and came in carrying his Bible! I can't explain how I know but he was just different. You could feel a lightness in his presence and see it in his eyes, and he was excitedly telling us all about all the things that he has come to understand over the past week. Praise the LORD!

Donuts for Daddy's Day

I decided to do a low-cost, high-energy gift for Father's Day for my hubby. I got up this morning and made homemade donuts! Since Father's Day falls on a Sunday - this had to be done a day early. If everybody will take it easy, he can have some for his Father's Day breakfast.
It is really rainy today - big surprise - and while I was frying the donuts, Kaitlyn came out of her room screaming that water was coming through the roof. So Happy Father's Day daddy - you get to fix the roof! Strange thing is that this roof is just 14 months old - so we think it may be covered under warranty. It was landing on her bed and I am thankful that she knew it - and also that it didn't happen while she was asleep. C'est la vie! It's always something.
Hope you are having a nice Father's Day weekend. How are you spoiling the daddy at your house?
The top picture is pre-glazing and the bottom is post-glaze. They aren't pretty but they sure were good! YUM YUM YUM Stop on by - I'll put some coffee on! Travis won't mind sharing!

A Gem in the Word

God's word is full of priceless treasure, but I have a special one in my Bible that belongs only to me! When my girls were younger they loved to use rubber stamps. When my daughter Kaitlyn was 10 years old, she presented me with this bookmark she made with rubber stamps that I will keep in my Bible until the day that I die. In her own little poetic way, she gave me the best compliment that a mother could receive. In a culture where the family is diminishing and motherhood is not highly valued, she has found me to be a "rare" mommy. How much better could it get than that? I'll be an old lady - Lord willing - holding that in wrinkled, knotted hands, with a laugh in my heart that we broke the mold, shunned the mediocre, and aimed for the absolute best, because I am a rare mommy!
Thank you my precious baby girl. Your words have been forever etched in my heart. You too are a rare daughter!
What's in your Bible?

15 June 2007

Afternoon Delight

It is Friday afternoon and I'm here at my computer with a hot cup of coffee with Irish Creamer and life is good. It was a yucky day in which I had to do huge, major grocery shopping, but hey - I was finished before noon before Billy Bob and all of his cousin's get their paychecks and head over in pickups brimming over the sides with kinfolk to the Wally-world. Thank heavens.
It was a traumatic experience - grocery shopping. I really hate this task. I love to cook though, and my family won't stop eating even though I tell them how terribly inconsiderate it is, which means we need supplies. I try to only go every other week - but money is tight right now (could it be TWO formal gowns and a 3 week trip to WV?) and alas, I shall have to go again next week.
It is also traumatic looking at the carts of passers-by (should that be passer-bys?). The amounts of processed food that people consume scares me! I had a moment where I started to reach for the hot dogs and Little Debbies in the cart of an unsuspecting woman with the words, "You can't eat THAT!" on my lips when the Lord gently reminds me that I fed my kid SPAM yesterday. It just scares me. There are advantages to buying processed foods - they fit in the cart nice and neatly - all the square little boxes standing neatly in a row.
Grocery shopping completed, and heading in mini van full of plastic sacks, in a torrential downpour, my son and I spy what appears to be a MASSIVE tornado to the west. Ugh. I'm in a van no less, and I'm thinking of sacks of flour flying around in my van as it is sucked up into the vortex - MORE than I am thinking about our safety. Then I decide it doesn't really matter because the van is already covered with about 10 pounds of sand from the beach excursion. Oh and yes, I finally put a bra on to go grocery shopping and I finally got the whole sixties "burn your bra" thing - I mean who invented this twisted torture device? Anyway - it was apparently NOT a tornado. The weather - not the undergarments.
All this to say that it is Friday afternoon - I'm having a hot cup 'a joe, and blogging without a whole lot of demands to meet at this very moment. Ah! I'm thinking that maybe afternoon coffee is not such a good thing for me as I scan back over this post! Anyway - what's in your coffee?

Ruth Bell Graham 1920-2007

Yesterday afternoon surrounded by her family and friends, one of the few women who could likely be called a saint in our day and time, left this earth bound for heaven. I was startled this morning when I read the news and heartbroken for her family who will certainly mourn her loss. When I watched the video on Fox News, a statement from her daughter was read, including several quotes that Mrs. Graham had made. It was so poignant, and being a lover of quotes - I will always remember fondly the woman who went counter-culture to model Christian womanhood:

Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.
~ Ruth Bell Graham

14 June 2007

Slow Cookin' Thursday - Hearty Italian Sandwiches

Although I have been absent from this meme for a while, I have still visited it and snagged some very, very good recipes! YUM!
I found this recipe in the Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook. I haven't tried it yet, but I am making it this week, with some homemade sub rolls (Lord willing - last time they didn't turn out so well!)

Hearty Italian Sandwiches
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 pounds bulk italian sausage
2 large onions, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
2 large sweet red peppers, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 sandwich rolls

  1. In skillet brown beef and sausage. Drain.
  2. Place one-third onions and peppers in slow cooker. Top with half of meat mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover. Cook on LOW for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  4. With a slotted spoon, serve about 1 cup mixture on each roll. Top with cheese.
NOTE: For some extra flavor, add a spoonful of salsa to each roll before topping with cheese.
I intend to add some garlic and other goodies when I make this recipe.

Check out more recipes at Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom's weekly Slow Cookin' Recipe Exchange.

Yum! Yum! Spam Anyone?

Here's what you get when you reproduce with a man who loves SPAM! I can make homemade whole wheat bread, move away from soda and processed foods, reduce the amount of sugar that we are eating, but there are just certain things I can't seem to keep them from wanting! As long as they only eat it once in a while I guess I can strike a compromise!

Been to Vista and Back Again

Those of you who are regulars here - know of the computer saga that never seems to end. I went to WV at the end of April and a couple of weeks into May. When I returned it seems that my laptop had some sort of travel illness. With a little diagnostic testing from my dear hubby & computer guy extraordinaire, as well as confirmation from HP, it was determined that my hard drive had crashed. They sent me a new one and hubby hooked me up with a computer for temporary use, while he attempted to extract my documents from the crashed hard drive. I have never missed a day of work thanks to him - or not - and I have plugged away here on my little blog! We put the new hard drive in and upgraded the system to the Windows Vista operating system that was supposed to be sent in January - but arrived in May while I was gone. Anyhoo, blah blah blah to say that every.single.day that system has crashed something like 20+ times. It means rebooting over and over again. There is a nice new look to it, lots of gizmos and gadgets for your desktop, etc. but if the system doesn't consistently run - well it's no good. Oh and for those of you who are my scrappin' buddies - the reason I hadn't gotten my Adobe Photoshop reloaded and gotten up to speed on scrapbooking again is that it won't take the dang program! UGH! After a very busy workload yesterday, and crashes about every 15 minutes or so, I told my hubby, take me back! There have been minor losses along the way. I have lost some emails, and a few documents. The worst loss was a folder of pictures that were taken when the girls friends visited from WV. I cannot find that file anywhere! (I guess they'll have to come back and do it again!) Anyway - hubby got XP back on the machine now and we are humming along. If you are using Vista, I send my condolences! When I did an internet search to link this to an article about the problems on this new operating system, I found rants about the problems going back to over a year ago - BEFORE IT WAS EVEN RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC! What were they thinking.

13 June 2007

Raising Children - A Picture God is Painting

I know that after my post on Monday, it may seem that I am discouraged with my life as a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling - (get the picture? It all revolves around "home") mom? Nope - not the case - just having an overwhelming day and spouting off a bit to release pressure on my wee little blog. My friend Joanne says blogging is cheaper than therapy and I do so agree!
After yesterday's sunburn, we were all dipping ourselves in a vat of aloe vera, and trying not to be cross with one another, and in the midst of the events of the day so far I have witnessed the following:
  • brother does something that grosses sister out, sister gets angry & pushes brother & gets sent to her room, brother comes to express apologies for the thing he did to provoke the push
  • daughter who was having a tough time yesterday with mom asks me for index cards to write memory verses, and tape to post them at various places in her room, also asks mom for scripture references of some familiar verses and we look them up together
  • daughter does chores she would rather not do & brother that was pushed earlier by same sister helps her out
  • siblings all reclining in living room to watch Quantum Leap and eat ice cream to cool the heat rising off of sunburn "together"
When I get overwhelmed - I need to remember that it is all a process. We are painting a picture day by day in how we live with one another of God's redemptive love. Offenses and forgiveness. A separation and reconciliation. Eventually fellowship on all sides. I am so thankful and my heart is so full. Thank You Lord for revealing Yourself in even these little things!

12 June 2007

50 SPF is no Match for the Texas Sun!

Man oh man! We went to Galveston Island today with Kendra's friend, Allen and his mom, my newfound friend, Sherri. We had a really good time. The beach was covered with seaweed in uncanny amounts - read this news story from 2005 about it. Evidently it is a recurring problem. It was absolutely everywhere. But that didn't stop the kids from enjoying the Gulf Beach. We had 50 SPF sunblock, and reapplied it several times a day - and we all have sunburn. I know it would be much worse without it - but I can't believe how little effect it seems to have had. It is no match for this intense Texas sun! Blackberry merlot seems to be the best sunburn tonic at the moment!

11 June 2007

What is Wrong With this Picture

Mom - feed the cat and kittens the second my eyes are open, make coffee, clean out kitchen sink from night before (even though I did it at midnight somebody still always sneaks something in behind me), throw in first load of laundry for the day, check email (work at home), bible study and prayer, blog, make bread, switch out laundry, sweep floor, check email, make lunch (today was mac & cheese), wash up any dishes, switch out laundry, cook dinner, serve dinner, check email, fold towels, cut husband & son's hair, sweep up floor, make lunches for tomorrow for everyone (we are having a day out and packing our lunch), pack clothes for tomorrow's beach trip, fold mountain of laundry, check email, and there's still 4 more hours to go in the day.......

Dad - work 8 hours (in all fairness - out in the hot Texas sun - but when the day is done - it is DONE), eat dinner, watch TV, get hair cut, hang out on computer, roll eyes when wife happens to faint in the middle of the most intense action of my game

Kendra - tidy bedroom, tidy bathroom, help with laundry (meaning mom reminds me to check it, and later I will say, "I did the laundry"), clean up after dinner with my sister, listen to music, walk with a friend, sit on front porch with friend and drink hot tea, talk on phone, step over mom who has fainted on the floor

Kaitlyn - tidy kitchen & unload dishwasher, draw, tidy bedroom, draw, fold some towels, draw, sit on porch and talk with sister and friend, draw

Kullen - feed dog, take out trashes, play GameCube, see mom fainted on the floor and ask if she wants to play "Sorry", pout when she doesn't answer, watch old episodes of Quantum Leap

I don't mean to be facetious - but do you ever feel like your life is to make all of their lives better, and that you rarely exist on some level? I know that God has asked me to put others more highly than myself, and most of the time I do it without effort, but there are some days when I feel like I am going to breakdown under the load.

Crawling Out From Under the Rock

Not having cable television for most of the last 14 years (except for a few months in our apartment last summer) has its advantages. Everything we want to watch is available on DVD! We had a great time watching episode after episode of LOST. It was very sad when we caught up even though we built toward the season finale with great anticipation! We have been watching some episodes of I Love Lucy, Quantum Leap, etc. We get them all from Netflix. It is so awesome to be able to just get any show you want. There were others that weren't as exciting - like Family Ties with Michael J. Fox - which had way more sexual implications when I watched it with my children than I had remembered - as did --- are you ready for this??? Mork & Mindy! Gross. I was just a kid - and all of that stuff flew right over my head. I am not saying we would never watch them - but likely just opt for more of the other stuff. Yesterday we started watching the first season of Gilmore Girls - and it was awesome. We watched all FOUR episodes - yep we vegged for a few hours and just watched TV! I can't wait to get the next disc!!! What are you watchin'?

Prayer Request for Grace

My friend Kate has a daughter, Grace who has truly lived up to her name. Her entire life has been one medical battle after another, but if you met her, you would never know it. I remember her as the little girl in Children's Church and Thursday night church (yes, our church was weird) who would hold her head back to deal with allergies. Grace has been through surgeries, daily shots, cancer treatment, overcame hearing loss to learn to speak and read, and the latest medical obstacle to overcome is that she needs a kidney transplant. She is scheduled to have a catheter put in today to begin dialysis. Tomorrow is her 14th birthday. Please pray for God's healing touch on Grace, His guidance of the surgeon's hands, and His provision for all of her needs. If you would like to see picture of this beautiful girl, her mom posted some here!

Scrap Happy - Week 8

Hey all you scrappers! I have still not gotten my Photoshop program reloaded onto my computer since my crash - so I have no new pages to share! I am going to however share a page with you that I made last April:
I know that there are all sorts of products now that are for scrappin' your recipes - but this was an original idea of yours truly! My girl loved this Shrimp Scampi recipe so much that I made it for her on her birthday. It was when we had our house for sale in West Virginia - and the day I made it our realtor stopped by and said, "Oh my gosh that smells so good. I can smell it all the way to the car!" I chose paper colors to match the shrimp - and found the clip art online! I hope you will scrap some of your recipes and share them with me! YUM!
Now get scrappin'!

10 June 2007

A Little Blessing to Share

All of my children love to draw. It has always been of the utmost importance to have plenty of paper, good pencils and a pencil sharpener available. Since we started homeschooling I have had one of those crank pencil sharpeners like we had in school fastened to our wall. One of my children shows a particularly acute interest in art - specifically drawing, and much natural talent, although she doesn't realize it. Her birthday is coming and I was thinking how much I wish that we could afford to get her a good drafting table. You know, the kind with the tilting top, where she had plenty of space to spread out and draw to her little heart's content. A few weeks ago a neighbor came over and said something along the lines of, "If you like to draw, my father-in-law has a drafting table he is giving away!" My brother-in-law, who loves to encourage their artistic aptitude, being an artist himself, jumped on that and went to see it that afternoon. He said it was a good sturdy table, and that he wanted Kaitlyn to have it for her room so he said we'd take it! Travis and the neighbor went to pick it up today - and she got quickly to work. When she sat down to draw the first time, she said she felt that there were others who were much more deserving of such a great place to draw - and I think that heart is why God gave it to her!
I am always so amazed when God allows blessings like this. Just this morning I heard a speaker on the radio say that God wants to give us more that what we are trying to take for ourselves. (I think I misquoted - but you get the jist!) He is so good to us, and He doesn't have to be. How cool is that?
Now, don't forget to go to the previous post and help me out - okay??

ATTENTION Homeschoolers - Help Wanted

I am working on an ebook to assist homeschoolers in planning their own co-op. Part of that book is going to be a list of suggestions for classes that might be hosted at a local co-op. If you have ever participated in a co-op, of have even thought of participating in a co-op, what are some classes that you have seen offered? What are some of the kinds of classes you have most enjoyed? What kind of classes have you thought you would like to teach if only the proper resources were available?
Some of the classes that I have seen taught ranged from Drama, Etiquette for Young Ladies, and a Castle class where the kids learned all about the structure of castles and built a large one with sugar cubes, to a Detective/CSI class.
Please share your ideas with me. I would so appreciate it. Let's get each other fired up this summer about some fun things to join forces on for the coming school year!

09 June 2007


The Lord has overwhelmed me. Within the last two weeks so much has transpired on the homefront that I can hardly imagine how it happened - even though I saw it all come together with my own two eyes.
First, I have made a friend that I have been walking with every morning. It his HOT HOT HOT outside - in the mid-90s even at 9 am - but every day this past week we walked around our block 3-4 times. This has been a tremendous blessing. While we have different spiritual backgrounds, God has used these morning walks to bring up conversations that are sharpening me.
Second, Kendra met her friend Allen, and because of that I met his mom, Sherri. She came over the other night and we had coffee and talked until midnight - never realizing the passing of time. She loves the Lord so much and it shows in every aspect of her life. Kendra and I went to a small group Bible study with them, and it was awesome. When we got home, Kendra made a list of prayers that were answered in the coming together of our newfound friendships - my prayers for a friend, Sherri's prayers for a friend that loves the Lord, Kendra's prayers for me to make a friend, Kendra's prayers to make a godly friend, the prayers of a lady we met named Joyce who had been praying for God to send a friend to Sherri, and I added that it was likely Allen's prayers to meet a girl who loved the Lord. It has all culminated in this amazing way that only God could do. You meet people and generally it takes time to get to know them, but it has felt all along the way like we've always known each other.
Then, the Bible study last night was like a big, deep drink of water for a thirsty person. I was starting to wonder if there were people here who would set aside their televisions for a night that they weren't "supposed" to have church, to have fellowship and communion with one another. It was pretty wonderful. Cleve Sharp was the man who led the group. There was no doubt the Lord's Spirit was on him. He shared a vision God gave him of some things that He was going to do this year among his people. So much of what he said were things that we have been sensing as well, and watching come to pass. One thing in particular was that we were moving from the church as it is structured now, into homes - for more koinonia - true fellowship among the body of believers. A mutual sharing of faith life, versus a political system where there is a power structure, and monologue where there should be dialogue.
Here are some of the other things he said that touched me so - that I was in tears even before he could finish a sentence - because I knew where he was going:
  • I sense there will be a death of some things that have been dear. These have been places of great expectation. These were seeds that have been nurtured and at one time brought much hope. Many of these things were God’s will for the season but now it is the end of it. For a time it is ok to mourn. Then put it away from you …. Don’t allow the trauma of the transition to hold sway over you.
  • There are some things that seemed lost to us … that will absolutely be recovered. The joy of these things will be as an old and dear friend. Some of these recovered things will be sweeter than we ever remembered.
  • Some of the clearest words of life and direction will come from the smallest mouths. So, listen up.
If you read my blog regularly - or even semi-regularly - you will know the significance of some of these statements. I left last night with some new friends, spiritually refreshed, encouraged, excited at the prospect of what God is doing in the midst of people who love Him, and a sense of awe that He did it again when I least expected it. There is a fire in my heart again. I am so thankful.

07 June 2007

Under Fire

Yesterday morning I entered two posts on this here blog - one about my husband and how the Lord has bridged a gap with laughter, and the other about my children - how much I love them and want them to be with me every day. Today I want to be divorced and childless. Okay maybe there was too much drama in that statement - but I definitely would like to run away - at least for a couple of hours, but with my luck I'd probably run into somebody who had lost something, was hungry, or expected me to take care of them! Do you know in only a few short hours after posting those two entries, my husband and I had a major blow out - you know the kind that sends a car careening off a cliff into a dry ravine below. That kind of blow out. Big. Huge. Ugly. I wasn't too nice either.
Today I have felt overwhelmed by motherhood. Everybody stays up too late, sleeps in too late, is grouchy with me for making them get up, and has a million excuses or escape routes out of helping out around this house, etc. Working from home 7 days a week is weighing on me - and I have to have the kids help or I will totally cave. But today it has been nothing but sheer resistance. I feel like I live with four takers - take take take - and they never notice when I may not have any more to give, or heaven forbid, that I need something.
I drank a Caramel Iced Coffee yesterday evening while the kids were at Bible study that kept me up until 2 am and I think that may have something to do with my inability to cope. I am headed to bed very soon and will hope for a better day tomorrow. Ugh. And even while I know that there are real physical factors contributing, I also think that as soon as we praise the Lord for something - the enemy launches a counter-attack! How evil is that?
BTW - hubby and I made up which was an act of God. I still have a hostile teenager who doesn't think she should be punished - but I can live with that.

Weighed on the Scales, and Not Found Lacking

I got on the scale yesterday and almost croaked. It isn't that I didn't know that I have continued to steadily put on pounds - but it was just almost THE highest number I have ever seen. It was a pretty huge wake up call. I have got to do something. I started out this week walking with my neighbor - we have been walking every day even in extreme humidity. I am glad I have been doing that but the bottom line is that I love to cook and I love to eat! But I feel yucky, tired, heavy, worn down and worn out. I was prompted to weigh myself because even the "fat" end of the clothes that I have are getting tight and short and frankly look like I'm wearing something I took out of my daughters' closets. Usually I tend to think - I am NOT buying any more clothes until I lose a few pounds, hoping my hideousness will be a motivator. This time I decided that if I feel bad about myself - it will exacerbate the problem, so I went shopping. I bought some new clothes and a bathing suit. I don't like shopping and especially hate clothes shopping, but found some nice things and didn't spend too much money. I also went alone - which anybody that knows me will know what a tremendous accomplishment that is!
Please pray for me - and share with me any advice, suggestions, scripture, etc. that you think may help me here!

06 June 2007

I Don't Get It!

I know that the woman that just said this meant nothing sinister by it, but it made me scratch my head as I was leaving. I just dropped Kullen off at VBS at the church closest to our house. As I was leaving, one lady was saying to another, "There's nothing like 3 hours of free babysitting for your kids, huh?" I just don't get it. The public schools in our area just let out. Once the rounds of Vacation Bible Schools are over, these same women will be saying, "Oh, I can't wait for school to start again! These kids are driving me crazy!" Why do people have children? They are going to be children. As a homeschool mom, this is completely counter to my thinking - I hate it when my children are away. Yes, even on the days when they drive me crazy, I wouldn't want them anywhere else. Call me weird, say I can't cut the cord, act like I have attachment disorder - I don't care. This is where God has called me to keep them - and I will tarry on in spite of the mentality that children are something to "get rid of" that swirls all around me. I know a adult that told me once that their mother said often during their childhood, "I can't wait until you kids are grown!" and even at their age it still hurts. The message they got was that they were an inconvenience keeping her from the life SHE wanted to have. What parent doesn't lay aside some of their own plans and dreams to raise their children? I am still scratching my head. I just don't get it!

Turning it Around

I had a good friend tell me once that my husband and I were so blessed with the gift of laughter. It is one of the things I remember loving about him the most when we first met was that he always made me laugh. Of course, I was very young, and as we had children and the responsibilities of life crept in, for several difficult years, I didn't find him so funny anymore. Our marriage was headed directly for divorce-ville, at Nascar speed. Somewhere along the way, God changed me, and I learned to laugh with him again and this has made all the difference in our marriage.
This morning he woke me up about 10 seconds before he had to leave for work (2 hours before I had to get up) and needed some help. I couldn't even get my brain to acknowledge that I was awake, and in a bit of a huff (hair standing straight up on top of my head) I said, "Why did you ask me for this last night?" which we all know is totally unproductive. His answer was, "Well you were too busy laughing." I let it go at that point, knowing that we were both being irrational, assisted him the best I could and let him leave. About 15 minutes later I called and was clarifying some things about what was happening after work, and he seemed calmer, so I was asked him if he didn't know that no matter what I was doing, he could interrupt me to help him, and what was up about the "too busy laughing" comment. He started to crack up and said, "You're NOT allowed to laugh! Bwaaahahaha!" obviously realizing the ridiculousness of what he had said.
This laughter is a gift from the Lord. It turns things around over and over again. Thank you God! Help us chuckle our way through old age - together!

Me and Beth

I don't want to brag or anything, but you know Beth Moore, that lady Bible teacher - well we go way back. She is a woman of deep theology, with witty sayings like, "....in Texas we believe the higher the hair, the closer to God." The first time I heard about Beth Moore was years ago at a Women of Faith conference. No she wasn't there. I was stuck in a line for-ev-er next to a very hyper woman that really really loved Beth Moore Bible studies. She went on and on - she had done this study, and she had done that study. Her enthusiasm verged on like, somebody should call Beth Moore - we may have a stalker here.
(Rabbit trail - the last time I had felt like that was when a friend who sold Tupperware took me with her to a management meeting. Geesh the things I've had to go through after being lured by donuts and coffee! Picture the environment - podium at the front, facing rows of seats - typical lecture environment, yet a hush fell over the room not unlike the environment at church. There were testimonies, chanting, a lot of standing up and sitting down. These women were way too excited over the plastic things and their capability to belch air. Freaky.)
The woman's rambling took me back to that meeting - I was waiting for the plastic bowl to be put on my head and for somebody to spin me around. She rambled on and on (bless her heart!) about Beth Moore Bible studies, almost to the point of causing an aversion in me. I can be that way. I was none to happy to say goodbye to the overly zealous woman in need of some lithium when our turn came, and never thought of her again until the first opportunity came to participate in a Sunday School class where they were doing a Beth Moore study A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place. Guess what? I didn't take it. But I saw something happen in the ladies that I knew that were taking it - they were getting really excited about God's word. Not long after, I swallowed my pride and signed up for the Breaking Free study - and suddenly I understood the crazy lady in line. God is using Beth Moore in a mighty way to help grow women's hearts for His kingdom. I have taken a bunch of her Bible studies and am currently doing the one called David: A Heart Like His. It is awesome.
So if you have never participated in a Bible study by the delightful Mrs. Moore, I suggest you do so posthaste! Come on over here, I'll put the plastic bowl on your head and spin you around. And for those of you who don't already know it, Living Proof Ministries has a blog now! Beth and her daughter, Amanda write to inspire and encourage women - and let me tell you that apple didn't fall far from the tree! Don't miss Beth's PMS post, or Amanda's Do Over post! They're so real, and so over the top for the Lord.

05 June 2007

Remember Me

This video was put together by a 15 year old girl. She did a super job. Sadly it instigated a debate on YouTube and she had to turn comments off. What is wrong with people?
I read a bumper sticker once that said, If you can't stand behind our troops, stand in front of them! Touche! No matter what your political views are, your freedom to have those views are secured daily in ways you can't imagine by our troops!

Dear Men and Women of the Armed Services: I remember you. I pray for you daily. Come home soon! Thank you.

Redefining Romance

In response to a post on my daughter's blog, I started thinking about romance. Kendra wrote about how she has romantic notions of love, but is somewhat apprehensive about the real thing. I think that is because as a society we have put too much stock in it. We pretend that the fluttery butterflies in our stomachs are the symptom that we are "in love". Sometimes we confuse sex for romance, in our sex-saturated culture - it is the message of soap operas, romance novels, and many movies. And then once the butterflies are gone, the relationship ends and our hearts that were never meant to be given away so freely, are shattered. Or worse, they're not and we move on looking for the next feeling.
I remember the moment it occurred to me, and it changed me forever. I had been on bedrest throughout most of my pregnancy with Kendra. I spent hours and hours and hours everyday watching a little black and white television, which was my only form of entertainment during the long hours of the day. Daytime TV in the 90s, without cable consisted of talk shows (in the Donahue era no less!) and soap operas. I got hooked on the soaps. As two toddlers slowly took over my life, I had less and less time for them. One day out of the blue, and I know it was from the Lord, I saw them as a poison. They were feeding me a scenario that was not realistic. A bunch of plastic people were going from relationship to relationship chasing the butterflies, giving up their bodies, and sacrificing their hearts. I realized that watching the soaps were affecting my expectations of my husband - the hard working man who would come in covered with dirt contrasted starkly with rich playboys with nothing better to do than womanize. And that day I decided - and I have.never.watched.them.again. Period.
I am proud of Kendra - she is wanting God's best. I have talked to her about not putting too much stock in "romance" and the stuff of fairy tales that no guy can live up to. Guarding her heart does not mean putting it in a steel box and never allowing anything or anyone to touch it. Song of Songs tells us not to "awaken love too soon". Really loving somebody is a process. I am having trouble navigating her through this as I gave my heart away freely and often as a teenager. But the Lord is the best teacher. I am going to keep pointing her to Him. He wrote the best Love Story of them all - He can surely author the one He has for her life as well.

Pirates 3 - Movie Review

Saw Pirates of the Carribbean 3 this afternoon - and my review in two words - hated it. It wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen - but it was just one long action scene that was exactly like some of the scenes in #2. Long drawn out storyline - and SPOILER WARNING: the good guy/hero dies. Although while watching the movie you can hardly tell who is alive and who is dead with the whole "Davy Jones' Locker" theme where the dead sail around in a state of eternal limbo. I hope that #3 is the death of this series. I think the first 2 were worth watching, but this one went too far. Sorry Pirates fans!

04 June 2007

Scrap Happy - Week 7

Okay Scrap Happy participants, since your hostess is lame-o and didn't even get the meme up last week I am going to extend the contest deadline to this week! I am still going to offer a prize of $15 to your favorite online scrapbooking store -digital or otherwise. So let's get those pages posted.
Here is mine:
I made this page of my son wearing his daddy's welding hood. I thought this would get you inspired to make pages for Father's Day! It was the first attempt that I ever made at cutting a picture out. If you use Adobe Photoshop there are a bunch of great tutorials to help you with this online. I can't find the one I used since I lost all my bookmarks when my computer crashed - but I found this one that looks very user friendly! If you need help - email me and I will try to help you navigate the process at julientexasATsbcglobalDOTnet.
Post away Scrappers!

Alcohol Debate Revisited

We visited a new church yesterday. It was pretty interesting - we weren't there for 30 seconds in our seats when announcements were made - the first of which being that there was a petition in the back of the church for anyone interested to sign to support prohibiting the sale of alcohol in that town, about 30 minutes south of us. Kendra and Allan just started to laugh. Let me just say - I believe that the church, seeing the adverse affect that alcoholism has on the family, the community, etc. has every right to take a stand against the sale of alcohol in their county - the same way I would take a stand if they opened an adult book store in my neighborhood.
I didn't see anything wrong with this church encouraging members to sign this petition as their consciences lead them. I just don't think the church (in general) needs to behave as if alcohol is the primary culprit - when the primary culprit is the sin nature. Take a walk down the hall of any hospital and tell me that chocolate cake and tobacco use is not doing any damage. But instead of doing spiritual warfare against the enemy and the nature of sin that dwells in the heart of each individual - we attack a behavior. I know the battle will never be won this way. Think of how Nathan approached King David about his transgression with Bathsheba. He did not shake a finger at his nose and preach on adultery. He did not post an announcement in the local newspaper to shame David. Nathan told a story that pierced the king's heart. That heart-changing moment took David from a place of unrepentant sin back to being the man after God's own heart. Can we get a witness church? Can we learn?
What I also don't like is for those people who see the cultural pitfall of alcoholism - and the effect it has had and then use scripture in a way that supports their righteous cause. I don't believe for one cotton pickin' minute that Jesus drank unfermented grape juice only. Perhaps he did right after the harvest when the first grapes were crushed - but just based on common sense, and mathematical equations - the Last Supper took place many months after the grape harvest. Without refrigeration, it is impossible to think that juice was un-fermented.
A word study on the word wine in the New Testament translates to the Greek word - oinos. It literally means wine. It is the word used for the wine at the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. It is also the word used in all the gospel's analogies of putting wine into new wineskins - as the fermentation process occurs the skins must be stretched, which is why you do not put new wine into old wineskins. It is also the word used in Luke 10:34 where the "Good Samaritan" found the man beaten and left for dead - and poured oil and wine on his wounds. If the wine was used for antiseptic properties, doesn't it stand to reason that it would have been necessary for it to be fermented?
This is what bothers me the most - that no matter how good our intentions, the word of God cannot be twisted to suit our cultural agendas. Every study I have ever attempted on the subject leads me to the same conclusion. I have heard it said more than once that people want to get as far away as they can from God and still be able to be right with him. I would say that the rules are what put us in that shape. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. These are the words of Jesus. (Matthew 22:37) Anything outside of that is man's attempt at cleaning up something only God can clean, and it is the way of the Pharisees.

03 June 2007

Unpopular Opinions About VBS

Let me start this post that is going to contain some likely not very common thoughts on VBS by saying that many, many years I have poured my heart and soul into Vacation Bible School at the church where we were longtime members. I loved the kids, and gave everything I had to the point of exhaustion every year, and I know that there was benefit in what we did to glorify the Lord. However, I think there is an ugly side to VBS that is seldom mentioned. One thing that was extremely distressing was when our VBS had to be closed to children outside of our church. Vacation Bible School is supposed to be an outreach to the community, a place for churches to reach out to the community and give the schoolchildren a place to spend their time during the long, hot summer months - that had a two fold purpose - the children are off the streets and we have an opportunity to share Jesus.
Now, that being said, another thing that has started to bother me in more recent years is the cheesy, canned curriculum that passes itself off as "educational material" for the local church. I am not saying that some of it isn't fun, and that the kids don't like it. They do - kids love cheesy - for the same reason they love SpongeBob. The stuff is just downright goofy sometimes. I think that sometimes we sell kids short and make the things of Christ come off like a Garfield comic instead of what it truly is, the Greatest Story Ever Told.
That said, I love Veggie Tales, although I hate that the kids who watch them who have never been in church and hear the real story of, oh let's say Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will spend the next 20 years of their lives thinking they were thrown into the furnace for not bowing to a chocolate bunny. Yep, Christian kids get that it is allegorical humor - but what about the rest of the world.
I do not mean to sound critical - I know how much blood, sweat and tears go into those programs - but wonder like much of what is done in the church if we've lost the true intent of what VBS is all about. In spite of these thoughts, Kullen will likely attend one or two of the local VBSs in our area, and if we were really plugged in to a church, I would likely be helping out. But that is not the sum total of his spiritual training. He's mainly going for the friends and the cookies!

Kitty Cat Update

Okay, you're gonna gush! Are you ready for this? Here is my new feline baby. My kids do NOT want me to call her Callie, so we need a name. I'll be taking suggestions. She was inside my bathroom today sitting on some clean linens when I was able to snap this picture. She has the best - absolute best personality of any cat I've ever had - and I am totally in love with her. We have also got homes for all of the others - so it has been a very good kitten experience for all of us. We are going to let this one grow up and have a litter before having her fixed as well - they will probably be absolutely precious!
Help me give not-Callie a name. Suggest away!

Weekend Wrap-Up

I haven't blogged much this busy weekend. The end of the month came last week which means invoice time at work. I was working on those Friday night until the wee hours of the morning.
There is a young man named Alan who has been showing some interest in Kendra. They met through a mutual friend - and we were excited to hear that he is a Christian. However, we were a bit concerned that first, we don't know him at all and secondly that he is 18 years old. The not knowing him was a bigger issue than the age thing to be honest. He came over Friday night to meet us, and brought his mom so we could meet her as well. She invited us to a church that I had been curious about - and we went this morning and really liked it. He seems like a very nice young man - and he has good taste in girls. While we aren't allowing her to "date" yet, we are open to any young man of good moral character spending time with our family and getting to know all of us more. Only the guys worth having anyway are going to put up with the Forsythes for very long!
So I have been too busy for deep thoughts. I have had a lot of them - but I cannot keep track, and as usually happens, as soon as I have 2 uninterrupted minutes on the computer - all thoughts are gone!
Hope you're having a great weekend!

01 June 2007

Scattered Observations

Okay, this morning when I looked at myself in the mirror, I mean really looked at myself - I was a little frightened.
First of all I noticed that if you have a large head, you should not have big hair. Unfortunately for me, I have a hubby who is in love with the 80s (mid-life crisis I think) and whenever my hair isn't big, he thinks I am sick. Anyhoo, I have been growing it out and I think that the longer it is - the less huge my head looks.
Second, I decided to retire the nightgown I was wearing. I guess I am of the school of thought that if it doesn't have any major holes where parts that nobody wants to see stick out, then I am in good shape. However, I noticed a tear at the top - that I'll attribute to my hubby and not explain further (let your imaginations go wild - and know it is probably not nearly that interesting or scandalous), and secondly there is a stain of an unknown origin on the front. I looked at myself and thought, "my husband looks at this and wonders where the woman he married actually lives!"
What has happened to me?
In some ways I know I've let myself go - although I try to be at least clean. Yes, clean can be my minimum standard of acceptability - however, I think it is time to aim for much higher! So I am headed out to do errands today - grocery shopping, the bank, the pharmacy, etc. and while I am out, I am going to buy a new nightgown. I did finally put makeup on for the first time in about three days.
And recently I have had a renewal of my complexion. A friend of mine in WV is a consultant for Arbonne. It is a skin/healthcare company. I have been using their entire facial care line for aging skin - and it is like a whole new me. Let me just say that their eye cream is like a miracle in a tube. I had gotten to the place that my eye makeup was running toward my chin by noon every day - and this stuff makes my eyes a little more like the tight skin around the eyes of my teenage daughters. It is awesome. Pricey but well worth it! If you are interested - email me at julientexas at sbcglobal dot net and I can hook you up!
Is anybody else in this rut? Let's help each other out of it. I want to feel good again. Drop some pounds, tidy my overall appearance. It seems that life, and kids, and house, and pets, and family and animals take a higher priority - as it should be - but I have to find some little niche for taking care of myself.

Random Thoughts of a Late Night Blogger

I was thinking earlier that the busier and more full my life is the more I have to blog about - however, the less time I actually have for blogging! Isn't that just the way it is! Sheesh.
Also - Texas may hold hope for my weight loss efforts yet - as the southern accent does something indescribable to the word for my favorite frozen dairy confection - instead of saying "ice cream" it comes out sounding like a slang for Preparation H - say it out loud if your children aren't in the room "ais-craym". Sorry to be shocking - but this is really turning me off. I am sure I will be over it shortly!
Oh yeah - and um I almost kept this under wraps because I am totally hoping to win some of that yummy Canadian chocolate - but I figured that I should share it, because it's only right, and since my friend Fatty asked if there was chocolate involved if she voted for me at TopMomma - I figured if I at least pointed her in that direction, she may consider it! Head on over to Coffee Mom's blog and check out the awesome contest where you could win a chocolate bar.