Birthday & Hot Spot Finder

USA Today HotSpot Finder HERE
I think you can click functional cell phone towers by clicking here.
Today is my birthday! Lots to be sad about. Lots to be thankful for. Lots to do today!

Thanking God so much for safe family and dry home today!!!

Moving Katrina Refugees

Evacuees with special problems already have been evacuated to hospitals in other Louisiana cities, but the 23,000 people now confined to the stuffy, smelly Superdome, as well as some other refugees will go to Houston, about 350 miles away. The marathon bus convoy should take two days, officials said. (whole story)

Bellsouth Photo Gallery

My Birthday Commemoration: 2005 Pics

Brothers Staying Warm

First Show N Tell
--"Feisty" the Cat

First Basketball Team

Upward 1st Season



Father-Son Fertilizing


Graduation Loot

Baby Emma

Miracle Baby

Forehead Scrub--

PM Ritual

Watch and Learn

Watch Mom and Laugh

Blowing Bubbles

First Suit

First Big Hunt...

How'd I do?


"Twoo Wuv"

Mother's Day Treat

Chocolate Eclair

src="http://photos1.blogger.com/img/278/7458/200/DSC02436.jpg" border="0" />
Practice Fishin Posted by Picasa

Our First Fish

My First Nephew!

My Second Nephew!

International News: Fear's Worst

Get out... of the way.

Talk about group influence at it's worst. I can't imagine that kind of raw fear.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Panic engulfed thousands of Shiites marching across a bridge in a religious procession Wednesday after rumors spread that a suicide bomber was about to attack, triggering a stampede that killed 648 people. Scores jumped or were pushed to their deaths into the muddy Tigris River about 30 feet below, while others were crushed in the crowd. Most of the dead were women and children...It was the single biggest confirmed loss of life in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. (MORE) .

Willow Creek's New Auditorium

Some of us went to Willow Creek in Chicogo last year and were curious about the new rennovation...such a great unveiling was expected, they wouldn't tell us anything about the facility. I ran across Crossroads yesterday who said:
As one enters from the parking lot, one can see that the
construction of this auditorium is exciting and fresh. It's hard to describe or show you with these pictures
just how massive this building is. There is no way I can
capture it all with my camera...
More Pics and Comments


Last Day?

Posted by Picasa
So today is my last day being 31! Deep thoughts. Wow. What a year!

This year I didn't even know what day my birthday was on until a friend reminded me! I don't think I wanted to know! Times is passing too quickly!

This will be a fun year...my last year having a "baby" home with me! What will be next? There's a loaded question I don't even want to think about yet! I'm sure it will be exciting.

Some days I want this phase of wholehearted devotion to just last forever (it will). Then again, some days, it is a happy thought to consider not being yelled at all day by tempernmental toddlers! (Okay, I know, teenagers are worse!)

One thing I'm learning this year: Life is very short and worth celebrating!
Make moments count.

A Few Meaningful Quips from 2005:

"I'm coming home early!" My Navy Brother
"It's a boy!" --My brother
"It's a boy!"--My brother
"It's a girl!"--Step-Sister
"I'd still chose you." My husband
"Mom, my tooth is wiggly! See?"--My Daughter
"Sure!"--My Mom :-)
"Any time!" In-Laws!
"It will heal." re: son's broken leg
"We can fix it." re: husband's broken arm
"I'm just missing you all the time!" (Back- to- Work Friend)
"I miss seeing you smile." (Long-lost friend)
"Can I come over?" (Forgiving Friend)
"...I wuv u mucher dan da sky!"--My redhead...awww)
"Let me fix you lunch." -- Compassionate Friend!!!
"It's not life-threatening".--Sick Friend
"It might be better!?" -- Encouraging Friend
"Thanks for being here." -- Gracious Friend
"Want to ride my Harley?"--My Brother
"Sure we can!" -- Faith-filled Friend
"I wanted to talk with you... Friend in Need
"I got email!" Far-Away Friend
"He will live." Re: Cousin in wreck
"We're okay. The van isn't". Our wreck.
"Let's meet every week." -- Beloved Friends
"Let's get together again."--New Friend
"I think you are ready."--Inspiring Friend
"I sure miss your porch."--Beautiful Friend
"...and I don't even like coffee." --Brave Friend :-)
"You make me smile out loud!" --Recovering Friend"

A Valuable Lesson

Always back up html code to a word file
if you try adding books and CDs
to the sidebar...



Unless you REALLY like creating HTML. Uggh.

Tips for Women at Home In Storm

Okay, so I'm not on the coast or in some dangerous line of fire of Hurricane Katrina. But, I've been in the rain for an hour now "water-proofing" on the fringe of the storm. I've been mopping water for an hour -- need my toasty robe, hot coffee, and a break.

We had blowing rain all night and our share of water. We're under flash flood warnings until this evening, expecting 3-6" of rain ON TOP OF 4-6" of rain we already got over the weekend= WATER EVERYWHERE.

Got our basement drain fixed over the weekend after it flooded all the carpet.

Here's my tip:

We used our new HOOVER DUAL V STEAMER WIDEPATH WITH AUTORINSE as a WET/DRY VAC (Detail) to remove 25 gallons of water then. Was my Moms back to school power tool self gift. This thing has one of the best "drying features" on the market--pulls water out of carpets with a 12 AMP motor and has the best smelling carpet cleaner I ever smelled.

I'm not sure that it's designed for such a prupose, and I wouldn't have thought of using it unless we'd just bought it. But, it's working great in a pinch. If you use something similar, just be sure to dry your hands before plugging in. (If you are wet and frazzled...you'll need this reminder.)

The brushes on it are great, too, by the way. Worked great on the stairs yesterday.

(If you buy one, buy at an appliance store such as Sears where you can get insurance added...a lot of plastic parts reports say are expensive to replace).

Tip #2: If water is leaking into your fireplace...put a towel or bowel inside to catch drips and empty as needed. Hard to have this kind of rain and not have leaks in fireplaces...just contain them so they don't drip down further into the house.

Tip #3: Tip off your gas tank in automoble. Lines around here have been 10-15 long. Prices may not skyrocket, and I hope they don't, but be prepared.

Tip #4: Batteries for radios/flashlights in case of power outs.

Tip #5: Shave your legs and wash your hair...I don't really know why, but it just makes you feel more prepared come what may.

Tip #6: Buy Ice Cream. Again, purely pyschological. If something should happened, we need comfort food. I have a fresh apple pie on hand also.

Tip #7: Check drains...remove any leaves, dirt, mud that may have filled drain holes. This was a problem with our basement. Any basement doors, double protect with plastic and some heavy weights to keep water out.

Tip #8: If the gutters have water pouring over them instead of down the side drains, you probably need to clean out the gutters. Wait for a lull in the rain, take your cell phone with you, and have someone hold the ladder. It's slick out there. I crawl out an upstairs window. Wear gloves...keeps your hands from getting too cold, and watch for nails sticking out in the gutters when raking out leaves.

Tip #9 If you've had standing water...buy air deoderizers and carpet deoderizers...burn candles, open windows to ventilate when you can. Something about the smell of wet carpet. Uggh. Gotta love that.

Tip #10 If you happen to be blessed with an in-ground pool to maintain, you need to set it to waste or you'll have water everywhere. I had to waste 15-20 minutes twice this week on our to prevent overflow.


Rainy Monday

Well, my goals for today were to--
vaccum water out of the basement
read to my son in the rain (on the porch)
color with him,
burn the trash (if we had any dry weather at all), and
make a run to the grocery.
Got those done.

Missed a few "might dos"...but, you know, I really miss my kids on Mondays this year. I guess knowing this is the last year to have one home. I know the whole parenting process is about learning to let go...I'd just rather not talk about it this year!

By tomorrow, Tuesday, I'll be ready to conquer the world again.


Chris Rice Moves Mainstream

Chris Rice moves mainstream. Opens this fall for Sara Groves and Jars of Clay

Chris Rice is perhaps best known for vivid Christian hits like "I'm Smellin' Coffee", "Untitled Hymn", and "Deep Enough to Dream" (my favorites). Gotta love this--you'll only find it here...a Chris Rice computerized jigsaw puzzle? Yup. You said it. For those competitive souls. Post your times here.

Anyway...Chris's new CD "AMUSING", aimed at targeting a more mainstream audience, will be released on August 23.

Apparently, for you guitar enthusiastics, there are special guest appearances on the CD by Duane Eddy...

Perhaps the most successful instrumental rocker of his time, he may have also been the man most responsible (along with Chuck Berry) for popularizing the electric rock guitar. His distinctively low, twangy riffs could be heard on no less than 15 Top Forty hits between 1958 and 1963. He was also one of the first rock stars to successfully crack the LP market. (More)

Katrina: Breach in Superdome Roof

SuperDome roof begins to cave in where people have fled from Hurricane Katrina. 1/12 of roof affected if the dome were sliced into a pie, says CNN correspondent. Watch Video: Breach in Superdome roof

Miles O'Brien's blog of storm

On post reads: [On "American Morning"] I will speak with Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center and director of the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.
Among the things he told our producer: "We're talking about in essence having -- in the continental U.S. -- having a refugee camp of a million people." We're talking about an incredible environmental disaster." "We may be about to experience our equivalent of the Asian tsunami. Floodwaters will carry with them toxic waste."

Site Traffic

Wow. Look at all the little dots! There are actually people reading this thing! I started typing two weeks ago and Ms. Private didn't even "list". I'm journaling on the web afraid people will read it? Well, seeing as how people are reading, figured today I may as well.

Life is worth sharing...worth celebrating!

Let's see: My banner "blogging" moment so far was last week the worship minister "Los" at Sandals church in CA cited my blog. Sandals is a progressive church (for lack of a better description...see their cite) who reaches people by "being real" (...what a concept.) We love it, and are emmulating that heart attitude where we are--seeing people come to Jesus.

The whole blog thing is pretty fun. We are years into the trend -- I'm just really figuring out what a blog is! There's a Mom's life for you. It's quite a FUN way to celebrate life together; we could all use some CELEBRATING!

Easy to create as well. With "blogger"(Google sponsored), it's free and fairly easy. I've tweaked mine, but you don't have to. Try it if you want to open your heart to the world...all me if you need help.

Let me know something you celebrated today--comment below.

Got Faith?

Reading John Piper last week struck a chord with me. He said that even all our "good activity" is generally tainted by our lack of faith. "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him."

As I went through the week, I realized that most things that were ruffling my feathers were rooted in a lack of faith on my part.

~Lack of faith in what God is doing.
~Lack of faith in His character, His word.

We all consider ourselves to be "faith-filled" believers, but are we really?
Enough to continue to smile, to know He is truly in control in it all?
Your comments welcome on the struggle to have faith.


5 Star Food...or Not

Okay, so I've not been to any "star" restaraunts to speak of lately. Ethos is killing me with pics of the food he eats every weekend.

So, Friday, I scheduled a much needed date with my husband (broke his arm 5 weeks ago, so our social life has been, well...anyway, it's been hectic around here).

We went to a new local restaurant. Good thing we went for the band. It was part of an experiment in answer to Los's question posed in the last post. So, I'm 32 and have now been to my first bar intentionally...I mean, you have to go through them to get to the bathroom in most restuarants. I guess they have to go more, so they get the right of way?

Actually, realized it was my husband's first as well, so a new shared experience and lots of interesting conversation around that one!

At least the band was good. 70s music. Used to play with guitarist, just starting to play with the bass (which my son called bass...as in the fish).

So, today is Saturday. The kids are gone, and we are living it up on "big people food". Thus, the picture, commemorating eating real food in my home without the little people going "Ugggh. Do I HAVE to eat this? You put THAT on my plate?! Mooooommm! I don't LIKE this. You're killing me."

Real food. Blessed quiet.

*Lean Beef in Angel Hair Spaghetti and Parmesan sauce (don't tell hubbie, he hates Parmesan).
*Fresh Garden Squash (from my sweet elderly neighbor), steamed tender in a Sweet Vidalia Onion Sauce (Mmmm)
*Fresh Garden Salad with Crisp Ranch croutons, Lite Shredded Cheddar, Fresh Bacon, Little Garden Tomatoes growing volunteer outside my fence, Fresh cucumbers (from my sweet neighbor), topped with a Splash of Lemon Juice. Did I say, Mmmm.?
*Fresh Tea made with Splenda (actually liked it sugar addict that I am).

THAT was good. I'll have to cook more often!


Re: Microbrewed Faith

RE: Microbrewed Faith
Check out Raggamuffin Soul's insightful blog discussion on the moral dilemmas we get into trying to make our faith relevant in today's culture. Where do we draw the line between not being "legalistic", and causing others to stumble who may not understand our motives?

Great thoughts there. Thanks LOS.

And, for the record, somebody in your house is a great photographer. Hold 'em tight! Beautiful girls!

Q Revealed

Some are stumped with Q.
Others crazy over X.

What a Challenge for you guys.

Q first.

At first, the "Q" word in the list that describes God seemed to me more like an attribute God wants US to have. But, thinking on it, if He wants us to have an attribute, He already possesses as part of His character, right?

So, I'll give it to the author. As I said, the interesting thing is, opposite is also true of Him. I'll list my very favorite verse that reveals "Q".
"Because you have kept my word in quiet strength, I will keep you from the hour of testing which is coming on all the world." Revelation 3:10 BBE

I guess I've had seasons in my prayer life that exemplified the quietness of God--just didn't realize He was revealing part of who He was to me. Terrified me. I'd go sit and pray,wanting to speak and hear from him. He was quiet and it seemed my spirit knew not to speak...as in "do not say a word, and I'm not saying a word". Last year, that lasted about four weeks. I mean, I kept looking at it...I really hadn't been ranting or raving at the time as I have at some times.

I tried to learn to rest in it. It was a huge effort it lasted so long, and I was so used to His voice, and the sound of mine going up to Hi. It was new and weird and different. I eventually realized I was still "praying" without so much "conversation" and singing and dialogue. I guess it's like the concept of Purpose Driven Life that "all of life is worship". (As a lead worshipper, that one threw me for a long time. I'm petting my cat and thinking...you mean to tell me this is worship...come on! But, whatever gives Him pleasure is worship. Much like watching my kids just enjoy life...it brings me such joy.) Perhaps He was also teaching me that all of life is prayer--or can be. I don't know. I continue to glean things about Him from that time.

I kept wondering if I had some hidden thing that was keeping me from hearing... or almost worse, Him wanting to hear from me. Necessary trust--when there are no words.

Our God who is loud is also very quiet.

Thought about writing a song about God's quietness--this came to mind. Might be a hit.
"In the secret, in the quiet place,
in the stillness you are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait,
only for you,
cause I want to know you more."

Click for Chords


Oregon Healthier Due to Daily Biking

Experts: Bikes help Oregon check obesity. State is only one in U.S. to not increase rate of obesity. See Article Here

U.S. Mint Seizes Rare Coins

Family wants to know if $20 Gold tone coins are authentic. U.S. Mint looks at and seizes the coins and puts them in a military base for protection.
Click here for Full Story

Permanent Markers on CDs

August 18, 2005
Using Permanent Ink Markers On CD's and DVD's...

The easiest way to label a CD-R is to whip out that permanent marker and write directly on the disc. It's also a great way to assure that the disc won't be readable later on.
The damage won't happen today, or even next month, but at some point the ink will leach into the reflective layer of the disc and it'll be the end of your data.
Now, we're not saying you can't label your discs. But you do have to be careful of the kind of writing instrument you use to do so. In order to understand why certain markers and pens can harm your CD-Rs and DVDs, we first need a basic lesson on the physical properties that make up the disc:
CD-Rs and DVDs are made mostly of polycarbonate substrate, or plastic. The plastic is there to carry the data layer - the shiny metal you can see when you look at the bottom of a disc. The data appear as marks or pits that either absorb light from the laser beam or transmit the light back to the laser/photosensor by way of the shiny metal reflective layer.
Most people know that it is very important to keep the bottom of your discs clean and scratch free. Scratches, fingerprints, and other debris can stop the laser from reading the data.
However, most people don't realize that the tops of discs are just as prone to damage as the bottom - if not more so! Although you can physically see the shiny data layer from the bottom of a CD-R, it is actually applied to the TOP side of the disc, just under the label. On some CD-Rs, the data layer is under nothing but a thin layer of lacquer. Damage to the top of the disc can destroy the data all together.
Read More HERE.

Thunder Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, so that little thunderstorm proves one point--God speaks.

For some reason I opted to trim hedges instead of painting outdoors today. Trimming from the roof when an electrical storm starts is intersting

In the meantimes today was the day. (I really need a drumroll after all this), I finally made "The WORLD'S GREATEST CINNAMON ROLLS!!!!! as voted by my family.

Only took six web pages of "helpful tips", (Click Here for More).

The yeast yeasted, the Saigon cinnamon WAS better, the bread flour was a must--finally got the light and fluffy and chewy I wanted. (MmmMmmMmm) The creamy "Cinnabon" chain topping replica was out of this world! (Took only an hour to "whip that up"). I've been more on the lines of "open the can and spread it on" so far--but look out, there's a whole new world out there.

On to something equally inspiring for supper...looks like left over Pizza a la frig.

Seven Deadly Sins

Okay, so I'm guilty, guilty, guilty...

Here are VideoMaker Magazine's Seven Deadly Camcorder Sins:

1. Headhunting - placing every subject in the center of your frame.
2. Motorzooming - overuse of on-screen zooms.
3. Rooting - staying in one spot instead of looking for interesting angles.
4. Firehosing - panning all over the scene.
5. Upstanding - shooting everything from standing eye-level.
6. Snapshooting - taping only two or three seconds per shot.
7. Backlighting - too much light falling on the background instead of on the subject.

These tips come from VideoMaker's Getting Started page, which has lots more great stuff like what to pack in your camera bag and how to record audio for video. More goodies: Pete's Video Tips, and VideoMaker's guide to buying a digital camcorder.

XQ Tips

Keep trying on the X, Q, and Z words.

Hints for the X word:
It's not so much an "attribute". (Think names of God.) Need a basic knowledge of Greek to get it.
The Q word? Hint: The opposite attribute is also true of Him.


Last night was fun. Wore my new dress--needed to make a visit to the funeral home. Haven't worn a real dress since sometime in January. Turns out I was a night off on the visitation, so I get to dress up for another funeral home visit tonight! Good thing really. Realized the dress started to feel like a "funeral dress". Why do that to a perfectly good new dress? Next time, I will wear a dress I don't mind "tainting" with the label "funeral home dress".

ON the UPside:
Visited with friends last night on their wonderful new patio. Just sitting there in the breeze under the stars, realizing how God provides the perfect thing people need in His time. It was just an overwhelming moment of worship for the month. Really. I'm so proud of my God. I love it when He takes good care of my friends.

Update on the Cinnamon Rolls:

Today will be another shot at the cinnamon rolls. Three strikes and I may give up.
I hope to get a batch good enough to take to my husband's staff at work.
The first two attempts kept me up half the night; I'm starting EARLY in the day this time. Maybe yeast "yeasts" better in the daytime. Got on line for some help yesterday: had the wrong flour, wrong sugar, wrong spices, wrong milk, wrong margarine, and not enough additives. Other than that...

Painting Again:
Looks like today will be another day of loving my husband by painting the fence outside. Calling for rain tomorrow. Better make hay...

HAVE to clean my kids quarters today...nearly killed myself up there in the middle of the night.
PARENTING TIP: ALWAYS SCOOT FEET ACROSS THE FLOOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Don't ask questions, just do it. You'll thank me later.
To end:

A friend gave me a well-loved reading chair last night she didn't have room for. I'm thrilled.
Read there last night, played my guitar, AND, most importantly perhaps, it kept two kids OUT of my bed last night (I am indebted for life.) They said, "It's so Sooooffft and commmffiieee."

Well, the redhead will be up soon -- my "new" chair calls for coffee.

Finally, A Reading Spot Posted by Picasa


The Q Word

Last night I bought a book for $1.00 over at the Dollar Tree that I expect to change my life. (Now you are curious).

After reading the first section, I just get that full feeling you get when you read something great.

It's a simple book, but does something I've been looking for for a long time. It compiles all (okay, many) attributes of God supported by various Bible verses in many translations. Great to use in your prayer time, especially when you are feeling whiney. I know you never feel that way, but frankly, I struggle with it from time to time. Her book is The Everyday Guide to God by Amy Ny Wong

Of course, what do we all do first with a book from A-Z listings? We look for Q. I did! First stop. I'll have to check Z next. An attribute of God starting with the letter Z.
Wow...what about Q? Any ideas for X?

I'll post the answers she gives soon. See what you can come up with.


Silence No More

So, today I got over the silence. One day of that and I was about to go nuts.

8:30AM we had an informal praise band practice to see how some new instrumentalists would mesh. We still have some work to do, but I was encouraged at what God is providing.

I had child care for a few hours, so I planned a full and fun day. Visited with three friends at their work that I normally don't get to see. Did some "have-to" shopping and some leisure shopping. Planned a bike ride (selah).

(locked myself out of the house doing so...had to make great time biking to get keys from my husband at work and make it back home in time to go get kids from school. Now, that's motivation to stay moving even with a lot of crosswind and sun!)

Got the kids, took a nap, ate at Tumbleweed, shopped some more, burned trash, did laundry, and cleaned the baths.

Overall, a much more productive day than yesterday! That's better.

I'll have to take the day off tomorrow to recover.

Just kidding.

Lesson for today: The thrill of "playing" lasts about two hours before a new problem or complaint seems to hit. You know, only the thrill of walking with the Lord lasts.

Seize moments--hold eternity in your heart!


Ruth Myers--A Hero

Okay, so the posts so far have been pretty family oriented.

Today, I'll tell you about a hero of mine.

I was doing a devotional type study today (actually had time to sit down with a book for the first time in a few weeks). Note the study I'm finishing up listed in the margin.

Ruth Myers, the author, is quite a lady...70s I'd guess from her picture in the book. She and her husband, Warren, are on staff with Navigators (an international, non-denominational mission organization). They've served in Singapore for "many years".

loved her book 31 Days of Praise--it's changed my prayer life to recognizing more fully that God is using to the benefit of His kingdom a very "unfinished" me, and He can change those things I don't like whenever it suits Him and those things can no longer be used for His purposes...isn't that an encouraging thought (as long as we are cooperating, of course).

This study is "The Satisfied Heart: 31 Days of Experiencing God's Love." Her books I go back to as classics when I'm in between other studies, re-reading highlights and scriptures I've written that go along with her thoughts. She pulls out verses I've never seen before. Feels like having a wonderful aunt sitting with you, teaching you.

Ruth is on my hero-of-faith list. Nothing in particular, I just like her. I'd describe her as well-read, disciplined, plain, uncomplicated, full of the word, richly in love with and filled with the Lord lady. She sacrifices to do the Lord's will.

So, here's a challenging quote from her book today that struck me as something new to think about. Tell me what you think.
"Even as a beginner I find a delightful blend of feeling not only secure in His love, but also liberated. Now that's a trick--to experience both security and freedom at the same time. Often they don't go hand in hand. But they come togther so beautifully in our experience of God's love."

My life seems in transition in so many areas...so many things shifting, changing, challenging. I love it. I love that it wears me out! I hate to be bored. To know both the security of trusting Him and the freedom of walking with Him...the pull and tug of that balance. I've never thought about it in terms of trust and liberation working together. I'll have to keep thinking on that one. Share your thoughts if you like.


This is the first full day of my kids in school where I actually left when I dropped them off. I planned my day this morning to make sure I scheduled time to just play with and read to my 4 yr. old. I did. By noon, he was asleep in my bed. Now, it's 2.

It is so quiet, things are moving so slow! You'd think I'd be getting caught up, but it just feels so weird around here that I can't.

I'm sure it will get better.

Researched adding photo albums to my blog. Turns out you either have to know moveable type to handle the coding (which I don't), or subscribe to the TypePad blog service which does message categories and photo albums in it's package. I'm pleased with my blog, but sure wouldn't mind those services! We'll see how this goes for a while.

Blessings to you!

Mulling Rich

Someone reminded me of Rich Mullins today. He made some good hits. Was a great songwriter. Had a lot of depth. I was actually suprised, however, at some of his concerts to see his lack of respect for other people, their interpretations, their ideas. He seemed a bit full of himselg. He was very real and he knew God. Glad to see how God just rewards those who seek Him, period.

Rich would come out on the stage unshaven with a wrinkled t-shirt and shorts, sandles or no shoes, hair greasy. This was before it was popular to dress "grunge". I guess he was pre-grunge. We thought he was a stage hand. He'd walk over with no introduction, sit down at a people, slam Amy Grant for "messing up the song he gave her", then start, "Sing Your Praise to the Lord".

I don't know, I just wasn't anywhere close to listening to that kind of intro as worship. Maybe it was a bad day. I love the guy's music, and there were other concerts I saw him at where I really worshipped--had most of his CDs for lack of better options in those days. But, you had to definately get past his lack of grace. He liked making political statements and anti-culture sentiments. Okay to not be a slave to culture, but people like Michael Card of the same time period got away with it without offending you doing it.

Yet, I remember one concert where he left the room at the end of the concert. People kept singing "Awesome God" for so long that he and the band took a break, came back, and joined in again.

I loved the refrain of "Everywhere I Go I See You".

Some of his songs made no sense to me at all. Something about a motorcyle in one that I just never really got.

Rich Mullins. An artist who shaped "soul" into Christian music taking it from "rock" and "performance" to songs of worship where you could enter in--neither excluding the other.

Here's a link to an interview with Rich Mullins and details about his untimely death at the bottom. http://www.tollbooth.org/features/mullins.html Any other Mullins fans out there?


Biking the Trail

Kristy W. invited me to bike with her on the trail today. We had a great ride and paced well together. She's got the legs of a horse. I've never found someone who could keep up with me and she led most of the time.

I've probably only ridden the whole trail twice all summer-- great fun to give it a go.

Trees have grown up from where I left it last--could hardly see the water! Many flowers planted by community groups...looked nice.

Got spooked coming home. Heard gunshots (3-4 shots fired from a rifle, I think) close to the houses close to the trail. She was on the look-out already, someone having told her about some trouble along that stretch last week. We actually stopped and voted whether to leave the path for the Hwy or stay on. She thought we could go fast and look the other way, so we did.

I was praying hard and not riding as fast as I wanted to.

We had only crossed a couple brave joggers and one biker it was so hot. Not like we had much company.

Shortly after that toward the end of the trail, we passed one old man hobbling along. I mean, I truly thought he had plenty room on the path--rang my bell, but I guess he didn't hear it. He looked like he had moved over some, so I thought he had. Boym did he get startled! And boy, could he get mad in one hurry! He started screaming and cursing and waving his hands--I couldn't make out what he was screaming and it seemed a bad idea to stop to find out. Kristy said she couldn't repeat it. She did tell me later. Glad we were on bikes. He was kind of funny, but she was still making sure he wasn't able to catch us on foot as we loaded bikes into the pickup. Ha. Like he could! He WAS very mad.

We finished in one hour five mintues. I used to add four miles to that time. Gee, I'm out of shape. Nobody was supposed to confirm that. (As if I didn't know.)

This morning I was very short of breath. Took a nap this afternoon, guzzled some Gatorade, and left feeling fine. I should have tested my sanity going at all in this heat, but I actually felt better momentarily during and after. The excitment of riding again suspended all good judgment I do believe. I was zonked when we got home tonight. Fell asleep for a nap in a heartbeat. Gotta go when you can, us weekend warriors! Loved it.

Well, read a good quote I liked yesterday I'll leave with:

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.
~C. S. Lewis

Movie Reviews

I've seen several movies lately. Since my dh broke his arm (in a most royal fashion, might I add), we've entertained ourselves with movies. Several have been children's movies. Some werne't good enough to mention. I'll talk about the few I remember.

The first one I thought had a lot of good dialogue: Saved by Winn Dixie. It was good for those of us who live in a small town and find ourselves talking about one another instead of with one another. It's about a Baptist preacher and his young daughter. They have their share of scars, but as the little girl gets to know people, she begins to pull the community together with her charm. One part in particular that stuck with me was a half demented librarian she talked with. The lady had saved some losenges from a time when their was a candy factory in town. They were special candies made by a man who had suffered much and wanted to add something sweet to the world with his candy. She gave two girls a peice to sample. The both liked it at first, but then got this pensive look on their faces. They said that the candy somehow was making them feel sad. The librarian told them that it had a secret ingredient. Sorrow. The plot began to evolve around that fact that what makes life so good and connects peopls is both sweetness and sadness, joy and sorrow--but, only when we share it. At one point, the little girl says something like, "they say what has torn this town apart is that noone shares their sorrows anymore. I think it's because nobody shares their joys either!" So, she throws a part with "the town witch [actually just a half blind African American lady with wild hair nobody got to know].

I also took the kids to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I actually liked the movie a lot, mainly because it was fun while still acknowledging the effect of pain in life on people. I also liked Charlie's sense of family and how much they valued what was important. I loved the role of the elderly people in the movie and in his family. They had very little, but had it all.

We also saw Sky High. It was about a family of superheroes. It was cute. My kids liked it. It was more pre-teenish, but the underlying values in it were good. Bad guys can become good friends. Waiting on who you will become. Never underestimating the value of a good right hand man.

Last night we saw Million Dollar Baby about the girl boxer that came out last year or so. The acting was exceptional and it had a lot of redeeming qualities. I won't say too much about it or I'd ruin it.


Perfect Saturday

Summer Nap

Actually, this pic was from Mother's Day...a nap was the perfect gift! Posted by Picasa

But, it desribes today. Today was one of those random Saturdays that happens maybe once a quarter. No place to be. Stayed in PJs until noon, ate ice cream for breakfast, worked on the blog site, rested and very definately recovered. After a week of running my head off, Aaaaah.

Did have a few hours of manual labor painting on the fence for a while-- until a Summer thunderstorm started to brew, again. Found a huge, thick sheet of plastic in the garage, thankfully!

I love to see my kids "bored" enough to rediscover old toys and turn off the TV.

We ate sandwiches, granola bars, and pizza all day...which menat NO dishes! Aaaah.

I did NO laundry. (Okay, so they are asking for the whites...but they're clean in the dryer.)

I didn't pick up anything until nightfall...toys all over tarnation.

The biggest joy of today: Finding my 6 yr. old daughter in a favorite pink, ultra-feminine, soft Sunday dress with her new back to school hair cut, curled up in the window sill, gazing out, while eating a afternoon chocolate snack.

Cinnamon Role Update

So, the cinnamon roles were a hit. I wasn't crazy about them, but my dh loved them. (I won't roll them so think next time so the layers will rise more. They need to be mushier inside). Still working on my recipe for "The World's Greatest."

After waiting for my daughter's teacher to finish her introductory remarks to deliver hers, I dropped it on the floor. Tricky getting past the Hawaiian door flowers hanging down.

The class got a kick out of that. Luckily, we had an extra.

Got my books added to the site last night and this morning. I think they all work now. Thanks to friends who are helping check codes for me.


Miracle Grow Bloom Booster

Friend (you know who you are),

Thank you for leaving the fertilizer that causes blooms to grow.

Thanking God for you today especially.


Me, Who else?

Today was a banner day at the children's school. They had a balloon send off to celebrate a new school year. They are hoping their balloons will travel far and someone will send back a note letting us know how far the balloons traveled.


Cinnamon Roles and Gym Shoes

Okay, so the first half of today was a little stressful. But, we made it. The kids are settled into their school, sort of. Now, the notes begin...the "don't forget" notes. Not notes for the kids, but notes for the Mommy who is supposed to remember the contents of all the notes so that the child will be healthy, well-adjusted, and well prepared.

So, for tomorrow, gym shoes, pizza money, balloon lift off, book fees. Check. Except that I have no dollar bills yet for pizza money. And, the cute uniform shoes don't fit therefore requiring that the gym shoes be promoted to daily shoes for one child, leaving no gym shoes. Okay, so it's a bit more complicated than meets the eye.

But, after that long nap to shake that nasty allergy headache (courtesy of my clean carpets and new carpet steamer...not complaining, love the look), I have decided to wow the world with the world's finest cinnamon roles. Last weeks were a flop in my opinion. So, for week 2.

I think we may have a yeast problem or a chef problem tonight. The yeast doesn't seem to be "yeasting" as well as it did last week. So...that sort of ruins the whole experiment. What's with the "add flour slowly". If yeast is the active ingredient, why aren't we adding the yeast slowly? Perhaps so as to not cool the tempernmental yeast too quickly? Hmmm. I did add it slowly. Just wondering.

Anyway, so the goal was to want to take breakfast from the loving mother to the note sending people so that perhaps when we have the incorrect change and no gym shoes and lock our keys in the van, well...sympathy is a good thing.

And I may need some. Just set off the fire alarm from the cheeze that fell off the kids pizza yesteray. It's like 1:30AM. When exactly does one start cinnamon roles to have them ready for the next morning? One website categorized them as a "brunch" food. Aha!

Red Tic Tacs

The first morning of getting ready for school began, and I was fixing breakfast.

My little first grader came up to me and said, "Mom, do you have any mints?"

I said, "Well, yes, hon, I do. Why?"

She said, "Can I take them with me in my supply box?"

I said, "Yes, but do you think you're going to need them at school?"

She said, "Yeah, I heard that Ms. Stephanie tells kids it is rude to tell other kids they have bad breath. She said that we should say, 'Want a mint?' Well, my friend only brushes her teeth at night, and her breath is SO gross! So, I'm going to say, 'Want a mint?'"

She got my tic tacs.

I think she worked all summer on that plan.

You know what they say about the prepared mind. Well, I'm sure there's good quote about it I could add. If you know one...post it and I'll add it.

Watermelon Rines and Corn Cob Nobs

Well, the corncob nubs are bare and the rines are about all that's left of real summer. School starts today.

Mommy has as many jitters as the kids do. To ward off this "lack of control" feeling all us Mommies get this time of year, I started scripture books for both kids to help me pray for things (I meant to teach them this summer.) It's not that we didn't try. We just may not have gotten to full steam yet!

I'm hoping to put as much into the little scripture books as I have been putting into scrapbooks--maybe they'll see them laying around with their names on them and just want to snoop? I want to make it worthwhile. Doesn't every Mom want to say to their kids at some point...would you just go read your Bible or something?! Maybe this will help!

Reading proverbs had a big influence on me as a child...today I am still convicted that the things they need to most work on are also things I need the most work on myself.

First day, well...my daughter had a reaction to the neosporin she put on raw tissue. It swelled up like a big buillon of some kind. Freaked me out. Tried to call Daddy...he'd forgotten his pager today. Finally Got her taken care of after a trip home for the first aid kit and back to the school. Stayed and volunteered for some other emergencies. Locked my keys in the van.

Overall, it looks like I'm adjusting well.

I hope the kids fared better.

Did I mention I have a headache?


This Week I Met John Piper and A Goth Girl

"Jesus had finished the work God gave him to do,

and the resurrection

was the proof that God was satisfied."

--John Piper

Today I started reading my first John Piper book, The Passion of the Christ. Brian S. said he was reading Piper stuff some time ago and liked it, so when I saw the book on clearance at LifeWay 50% off yesterday, thought I'd give it a go.

He writes in ways that make me think more about nonbelievers line of thinking. Some of it is review for me, BUT the presentation is good to remember when sharing the message of Christ--how others approach our faith and issues they have with it. His writing reminds me of the apostle Paul's, as in: "I know we all think XYZ, but that doesn't add up to the real message of Christ because ________."

As I read it, I remembered a young girl I met this week at McDonald's. She is a Goth--or trying to be (seems to be searching). When I met her, she had just been talking with another older Goth girl (I noticed many self inflicted wound scars on the full length of the older girl's arms.)

Later, out of the blue, the younger girl was suddenly beside me across the restaurant fixing a drink, not even knowing why she was there. She was like, "What am I even doing over here, they fix their own drinks." It was like something "pulled her" over to me...I didn't quite know what to do with her. She hadn't even taken my order.

She said, "Do you think I'm weird?" I sort of paused and wondered if she was talking to me. Then she continued, almost talking to herself, "They all tell me I'm weird."

So, I'm thinking, this girl is searching, she's Goth, and she wants to know if I think she's weird.
She was waiting.

Finally, after another interruption, she was still there. I turned to her and said, "No, I don't think you are weird...I think most of us are about as weird as we want to be." And, she just sort of looked at me, and I left. She had to go back to work.

I really couldn't think of anything thoughtful to say to help her, but hopefully acceptance and truth both rang in there somewhere. I may give her the book, who knows. Thought of her because Piper discusses the role of Christ and his chosen path of suffering. Thought she might get into it.

Piper commented that the word PASSION is derived from a Latin word meaning suffering. Go figure.

Welcome your thoughts and comments!

Thanks to Randy for sending the blog link today
Great blog. Inspired me to write my own.

My First Blog

Why am I blogging?

Easier than jogging.
Don't like clogging.
Too small for logging.
No need for dogging, hogging, or frogging.
It's trendy, hip (entirely more hip than "too-long-and-thoughtful-to-be-email" emails--right?)
You are wanting to start your own by now! I can tell.

Anyway, it will no doubt add novelty to my journaling for a while. People can come find me if they want to know what's up with me and mine.

Writing seems to keep me on task somewhat...sort of...when I'm not writing, or thinking, or reading.

So, here's to blogging!

Well, that's enough for blog #1.

By the way, Happy Birthday, bro!!
30's not so bad.