Whack the Mole

We went to our church's annual "Treats 'N More" festivities instead of Trick or Treating this year.

Inflatable slides, bouncy houses, and obstacle courses. No telling how many kids came. I'd guess 7-800.

Most fun? Watching the babies in the baby bouncy house, riding each other, mauling each other...laughing!

Okay...even more fun: after the kids leave, the adults get to play! We race and act stupid for a while.

Last year, I held the title of fastest through the obstacle course. Only barely. Mr. Wonderful grabbed my foot on the climb (being notably behind me) and nearly cost me my title. Gets dirty.

Turns out our church secretary is out for blood. Whew. She nearly got me too. But, not quite.

So, this year, they add inflatable jousting! Whoa. Looked scarey. You stand on these huge inflated pedestals with a mask over your head and ears. Then, they hand you heavy sticks, tell you to "GO!" and you try to knock your opponent off their stand.

The crowd is screaming your name, hollering instructions...just like a boxing ring or something. A whole new experience for me. I just didn't want to hurt anybody or get whacked too hard! Our first round was sort of slow. I just kept blocking her shots. She could hit pretty hard and I didn't want it hitting me! Finally, someone who seemed to have some authority on the matter starts yelling over and over, "Go for her head! Hit her in the head! Get her in the middle! Hit her, hit her, hit her!"

I'm thinking, "Whoa, DUDE! I don't know which one of us you are yelling at, and since I cannot clarify with this monstrosity of a padded helmet on my head, I'm thinking I better be the hitt--ER rather than the hitt-ee. She ain't hittin' this head of mine with that big 'ole thang. I started to get into it then.

So, I decided while blocking her quadruple power hit attack, it was my time to go for the head-- while she was tired.

She was taller than me, so it took a few times to connet. But, I did...I whacked her right in the head!

Sort of gentle like. I didn't want to kill her. Just wanted to startle her and knock her off balance...but it didn't work! She seemed a little stunned that I really did it, but she didn't fall off! So, I try to poke her in the midsection to politely knock her off balance while she was in shock. Again, not wanting to kill her impolitely. (I'd just found out her name five minutes before!).

She still stayed up! So, it was getting old. I decided to go for the same combo, harder and faster.
Off she went. The crowd screamed, chanting my name! Warrior Girl! Warrior Girl! Okay, so not really, but they did roar! It was fun.

So, round two of three. Sooner this time, my crowd coach started yelling. I'm thinking, "Don't make me hit the girl in the head again!" But she was taller than I was and was going to kill me if I didn't do something to get her off balance. Defense would only last so long. I was a little more brave second round, not wanting to get tired...whacked her in the head earlier.

Worked again! So, thanks to the guerilla in the crowd.

Round three...I think I have it down...gotta go for the score. Get her head. No messing around. She's surviving. Go with what works.

I have to say, it felt good.

Well, not necessarily the whacking her in the head, per se! Maybe...but only for the goal. Just the whole whacking thing. I have never understood wrestling or the whole boxing thing.
But, for those who would like to whack someone, haing a willing stand-in just for the occasion was nice. I about took a guy out earlier anyway, so it was a good release. I'll get to that story later. Whew...I was mad. Maybe more mad than I should have been.

Boxing? Ah. I don't know. They need more padding. Head padding.

My husband was so proud of his little 5'3" warrior. All hugging me and telling me how awesome I was. Oh, I know. I just can't help it. Shoot...I was proud! I was shaking in my boots for a good 15 minutes afterwards! Thinking, man I am NUTS! But, that's a good feeling now and then...when you have padding on.

Actually, I still can't get to sleep. It's 1AM. But...I feel good. I won! Hopefully I'll sleep real sound when the adrenaline wears off. I hope she's okay.


Pray and Grieve

Pray for this church and pastor. UBC Waco, PRAYING

(Tunz4Jesus...you'll especially be interested.)

I'm so shocked and grieved I can't even re-type it. Tragic. My spirit cries.

Lord God, be near.

Thanks for sharing, Los.

Make Me More

I need to hear from the Lord today. I need help and hope and courage and guidance.

I need to feel his Strength. To know He's helping me. To feel the wind of His presence. To be assured that nothing is too difficult for Him. That I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me. To be reminded that He commands me to be of good courage and not be afraid...for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.

Time for a calendar. A pen. Priorities...or it's simply all not going to fit between now and Christmas. Motivate me Lord. Impress on me the schedule to make it all work...the schedule that will pace me so that I am what I need to be for my family when they need me. Refreshed. Ready. Prepared. Not harried, hurried, irritable, innattentive.

I want to be fully there. I need to be. Make me what I need to be and please cover for me when I fail. I know you do, and you will. Make me more than I am right now. Make me more.



Saturday StuFfs

Today, my Mr. Wonderful postphoned his painting project to take me to shop for a sofa.
Drop everything and GO!

I let him do all the research while I entertained Red...I had gotten uncharacteristically carsick. (Had been scouring scrapbook layouts and furniture layouts on the drive, trying to stay productive.) He was also trying to stay productive...driving 55 on a very bumpy, windy road while doing catchup office work. I hinted several times--finally told him to slow way down or I was seriously going to throw up. He slowed down.

I've not felt so good all day.

No purchase, again. But, we know more where to start, what we are liking, and got some good info as to where to go from here. They say the reclining mechanisms on Lazyboy are tops, so we'll hit their showrooms next.

We ate at Ryan's Steakhouse. Man, I love that restuarant. Today, the best broccoli soup and a zillion meats and veggies, all tasking fresh. I don't know how they do it. I think it's a marvel. Everyone I've ever been to is great. A treat today: warm sour kraut with polish sausage mixed in. I know...you are all licking your chops. Haven't had that in forever. Craved it preggy with child #3.

I'd never make it, but I love it on a buffet plate with a lot of other unhealthy stuff to mix in with it.

Otherwise, I'm still on my Fall, "get-it-caught-up-before-their-birthdays-and-before-Christmas-hits" scrapbooking kick. I'm really determined to get caught up some, and to work on old layouts only half done I need to finish and go back and refine. One more birthday in November...then, I stop and get Christmas organized.

I decided to do something that amused my daughter last night: I replaced summer shorts in my dresser with scrabooking paper. She and her dad laughed their heads off at me.

Here's my bedroom.

Here it was every night last week.

You see my problem.

I used the guest room last year, but the kids kept having to come downstairs to sleep for one reason or another and I'd have project all over the bed and floor. At least the corner of the bedroom is sort of my space. No one goes over there unless I'm there.

Good thing about a good mess...it necessitates progress.

Well, enough rambling about nothing.

For those of you who wanted to see the miniscrapbooks, here's the link:
(The school books look much better than when I took this initial photoshoot--I may replace them soon.)


Soak in Sunlight Beams

The end of last week, first of this week, I was just drained. You know the kind...no muster for praying, reading. Spent. Every night. In bed far too late, seeking down time, cramming it in, too...not really finding it. Duty on duty. Needing rest...cease of demands...to truly sit down and unwind.

Day after day of not even having it in me to even do my class Bible study assignments, I finally got desperate and prayed, "God, fix me. I'm out of whack. I can't even get in whack." Yeah, that's how stupid I was sounding.

Middle of this week, I modeled a friend's pattern and took "Sabbath Rest" time for self. And I mean "TOOK"...as in, "to seize, lay hold of, as if, as it were, by force". (I made that up...pretty good, huh?) No formal worship, no praying. "Ceasing".

How? With three kids, you say? Responsiblities? One still at home? Visits? Grocery shopping? How do you "rest"?

Well, this time, here's what helped me. I did the "must do's"--laundry, dishes, food--anything that would make me feel very behind if I DIDN'T do them...otherwise, crossed it off my list. Postphone. No can do. Until rest came. I'm too busy.

In the meantime...

I napped.

I sat down.

I watched TV.

I rested.

I took baths, not showers.

I put off calls, letters, cards.

Now, if God told me to specifically add it back in, do it...I did it.

Ah. Wow.

And I actually got some "extras" done, too...but for the sheer joy of it, not because it was on my list. Not because I had to.

Now, how do you know when it's time for this kind of drastic shift? Physical illness. Vague symptoms. Never feeling rested. Grumpy. Ill-tempered. You know.

So, and the first day? She rested. Napped, a lot. Took meds. Shook headacke. Recovered. Put a pillow on my head and squeezed it real hard off and on, all day. Blocked sunlight. Groaned.

Second day? Played. Enjoyed. Did something new. Laughed with my family. Did not give way to stress, though it was there. Stayed caught up on "chores".

Third Day? Turned out to be a "firework finale": a class field trip with kids to the orchard.

The perfect apple Posted by Picasa

Wow. Peaceful. Beautiful. Long Gravel Roads. Amazing.

It Licked Me--Goat at the Farm "Petting Zoo"! Posted by Picasa

The kids still had their moments, actually, I had five kids all day with with me today...and, all the same "stuff" was there, but I was better for it. Ready.

Capturing sunlight beams, falling down.
Still breathing deeply, but unforced. Feeling the sun in the midst of the cold.
Seeing the joy. Laughing. Exploring. Drifting. Unstressed. Unstrained. Unworried.
Kissing silk shining hair, enjoying a now "toothless" girl singing the silly Christmas song to Daddy as he walked in the door.
Into the night, cuddling by the fire with a bowl of popcorn, an afgan, three cute "theives" in PJs.
breathing in deep scents of clean purple lavendar in their hair.

Thank You, my Lord and my God...for teaching me to celebrate. Permissing rest. Slowing me down. Showing me what in the world "balance" means.



Boy Wonder decides tonight that he's going to teach me, his 6 yr. old sis, and his 4 yr. old bro to play touch football in the front yard.

Well, I have never had so much fun in my life. What a hoot! Entire belly rolling fun. Little Red "hikes" it to Boy Wonder way up in the air. Boy Wonder catches and runs...sis and mom two hand touch.

Goldilocks, outruns them all on her quarterback debute. On the kick, she throws her clog over the goal post (tree) instead of moving the ball, though. Uproarious.

Little Red gets a chance to run next. Runs the wrong direction, of course. We're all yelling.

He's a fast little tike. I call him "Flash". I should start calling him that here. Flash and Boy Wonder...that works.

Mom, who, surprising, can throw and kick relatively well. Can't kick straight very often, but can get it in the air.

Boys won...had to go get Halloween Treat Bags from Mamaws early.


So...then we go to Wal Mart to get their "all A" rewards. Long story...I'm not for paying your children to make good grades in general. Just a left handed boy who "can't" slant to the right for the life of him. Now, he can. Thanks Sam.

Anyway, Polly Pocket Magnetic Super Change for Goldilocks. She's been eying that for a long time.

Boy Wonder picks on of those Atari wannabe's that you plug into the front of the TV. PacMan and all that. I'm thinking, after Playstation II at grandparents, he will be bored stiff.

We get home, I'm telling them to turn down the beeps and blinks, I'm cleaning the kitchen, looking for their batteries.

After a while their Dad says, "I hear your Mom was pretty good at PacMan once. Ought to have her show you how."

I'm thinking "Yeah, right. So outdated." Completely unenthused.

They beg me to come see.

So, I go over to watch Galaga and all.

Finally, they insist I play a game of PacMan to get a high score they can try to beat.

I started that game...seriously, it was like a wave of 12-year-oldness just came over me. I don't know what it was! The same energy, speed. It was like I had never stopped playing.

Only, and this was always the unrealized dream...they are CHEERING! Like REALLY LOUD. "Mom, GO, YOU ARE SO AWESOME! WHOA...DID YOU SEE THAT? DAD! ARE YOU WATCHING? How'd she DO that?"

"I don't know son! How DID you do that?"

"Son, did you even know your Mom was so cool?"


I was too busy to answer... cutting the curves, in and out, up and down, left and right, in and out of the alleys, eatin' up the goblins. Add a life. Whoa.

My first game...made it to the third round. Used to get to 13 or 14, but we all know Ms. PacMan is harder and faster, earlier.

Fantasy. Right there. You are the coolness. The thing. The master. And they are all mesmerized.

My son only asked that I not sneak up at night and waste his only batties on the controller. He wants to see if his big friend can beat my high score tomorrow. Oh, pullease. I'm invincible!


To add a cherry to that sundae...I also did something new with Goldilocks today. We started a book "reading silently" together today. Anne of Greene Gables.

Here's how that goes: I finish the page first. Look at the drawings on the other page for a while. Then stare at her blue eyes, trying to learn to follow one line of text at a time, sometimes using her delicate little pointer finder to keep her place. Sometimes, she's understanding it, sometimes having to repeat. Her eyes giggle, laugh...she notices me wathing and laughs, asks me what I'm doing and if I'm already finished.


My six year old first grader...reading a real, interesting chapter book with me.

My life is rich today. Overflowing.


A Favorite Piece of Cookware

Okay, so negatating my anti sales party blog...here is one of my most favorite kitchen pots. It is a microwaveable Pampered Chef pot.

My favorite use for it is to cook ground beef or sausage in the microwave. No splatters, no separate strainer, no melting RubberMaid...it's all here.

You can start from frozen meat...run it through the defrost cycle first...just prop it in the pan, no lid. Once defrosted enough to break in half, remove from packaging and put into a couple big chunks in the pan. Microwave for about 3 minutes with the lid on. Have an old coffee cup handy...when it's starting to cook soft, time to tilt the pan toward the coffee cup, lid on. All the grease, unsightly juices and slimey stuff runs right out into the cup between the lid and pot...ah, no mess. At this point, I chop up the meat with a spatula, or sometimes even more finely with a potato masher or bread kneader.

Depending on how much beef you have (generally 1-1.5 pounds at a time in my house) microwave 2-3 minutes if still VERY pink, 2 minutes if pretty pink, and one minute if still a tingle of pink. (If I were going three minutes more, I'd stir it half way through to distribute heat evenly and avoid scorching the edges).

The beauty to this is, you only get one pot dirty, you don't have grease popping all over yourself and the cabinets and the stovetop, you don't really have to watch it that close, no grease fires, no overdone meat.

Today, I did my own version of "once a month cooking" with it! This week I had bought the cheaper bulk pack of ground chuck at Wal Mart. Cooking it all today. I'll freeze it in freezer bags.

In 20 minutes now, I can easily plan for Tacos & Burrito night, Sloppy Joe Night, chili or soup.

I'm figuring with six hours a week drama practice, I'm going to need some advance planning on the 'ole grub.

So, the next time you are invited to a Pampered Chef party, invest in the large Micro Cooker.


Amanda, Part 2: Forceable Hospitality

Continuing story from my dear sister in Christ and friend, Amanda, a 19 yr. old, 2 year missionary in SE Asia. Another missionary working in their initial "plant" wasn't very friendly in "sharing territory". This required their move...sad and demoralizing for two young girls trying their hardest to share Christ with the Muslim world. The first day of their move:

"Our move went surprisingly well. We loaded up all of our belongings in the back of a Tata truck and headed towards our new home.

Our desperate prayers against rain were answered, and all of our belongings arrived dry, but a little scuffed from the hour and a half long trip from S town in a back of an uncovered truck.
The workers started unloading things in no particular order into all corners of the house, and within two hours, most of our belonging were located somewhere in our new home. The big Tata truck caused quite the commotion on our small brick road.

We instantly became the talk of the neighborhood, and women and children began to arrive at our doorstep, eager to check out what was going on. (In South Asia, if a door is not locked, then that is an open invitation to check out what is on the other side. Since we were moving our stuff in, the doors were open, which many women took as a sign to come on in.) Soon, more and more women and children were showing up.

It started to be funny at the large amount of people who had come to visit. I think we had almost 30 women and children stop by. I began giving house tours to satisfy their curious and somewhat intrusive nature.

As the evening approached, we locked the gate downstairs in hope of some privacy and the chance to make some progress in the realm of unpacking. To our surprise, the doorbell kept ringing. We were perplexed as to how people were getting to our door, even though the gate downstairs was locked.

Finally, we realized they were going to the house next door, climbing onto their roof, walking over to our house, and then climbing down the stairs to our front door. Needless to say, we have been blessed with many instantaneous relationships. Our neighborhood is full of women and children eager to enter into friendships, and I am excited to see what our Father has in store for our new neighborhood.

Hard for me to imagine the scope of cultural differences. Talk about feeling like a bug under a microscope! Later today I'll post their trip to meet potential story crafters they are desperately seeking. Young girls, just out of college, and this is their lives. Giving all. Holding nothing back. Promised nothing--except the blessing of God. And that is enough.



Hallmarks of Hump Day

Hallmarks of today: (post "Mom-fit" day)

  • Headache (hissy fit hangover?)
  • Snuggle with Red until 10AM trying to get rid of headache...felt "led" to REST
  • Extra Strength Tylenol
  • Hour later: Allergy Meds
  • 1 hour. More headache.
  • More Extra Strength Tylenol
  • Kim Possible The Movie snuggling with little Red
  • Fold Whites
  • Tortilla Chips and White Jalepeno Cheese & Salsa for lunch w/ iced sweet Tea
  • Put away Whites
  • Nap with Red...scalp massages
  • Get other two kids from school
  • Grocery (again today for kids' Fall parties)
  • Dress for church, Bible Study
  • My fav part. We get in the van and my oldest, 9 yr. old says as I'm backing out of the garage: "Mom, I love you." No favors fulfilled. Just helped him with his school project some an hour or so before. Then Red, 4, pipes in saying, "No you don't... she's MY fwiend, NOT yours!"
  • Headache gone. Completely.
Maybe I'm not so bad on the Mom thing...sometimes?
Maybe we all deserve a bad day now and then...or have one, whether we deserve it or not?!

Me and my three superhero boys on a bumpy hayride last weekend:

Mr. Wonderful, Batman, and Spiderman


My Friend!

I heard from my sweet little missionary friend, Amanda, today! What a treat! She is in SouthEast Asia (location vague due to high security). She currently needs encouragement, her faith built, and for God to reveal His hand in their project.

I've been unable to contact her because her computer battery will not charge. A friend's hard drive was down, so she borrowed the battery for the first contact I've had with her in a month.

I'll share with you in the next few blogs some of her progress. It's fascinating, and she could use your thoughts and prayers. List any prayers and encouragement here if you like. It's probably safer than her getting anything overtly religious by email. This after a necessary/"political" relocation. I am backing up to start at Aug. 23 to catch you up to present.

"I am very happy with our new home. We have been extremely blessed to be somewhat settled, and many of our needs have already been met. I have found a wonderful language tutor who is not only a good teacher, but is quickly becoming a close friend. We have a house helper, and many great neighbors who we are building relationships with us.

Still, one important need remains. We desperately need story crafters [They take the people's stories and interject the gospel into them in such a way that the people can accept them...the women pass down stories since most do not read...so finding story crafters is an urgent need]. Currently, our project is at a standstill until we can find them. I ask that you please join us in serious and concentrated pryer about this matter. Please ask the Father for Syloti speaking nationals who are willing to spend time helping us with our project.

* This Wed. we leave to go visit another possible story crafter contact. Please pry that this family would have the necessary language and an eagerness to help with our project.

* My faith in our project. It is disheartening to have so many obstacles. Pry that I would believe that our Father can and will complete this project.

Stay tuned for what happened with their trip to visit with this family.


A Growing Week

Gotta give her credit where it's due...it's been a very "growing up" week!


French Toast Peace Treaty

So, I tried making daughter French Toast for breakfast...sort of a compensation for the rudeness last night? I'm not so good at it yet, but it's been Chocolate Pop Tarts for breakfast almost every school day this year, and once she tried them, she asked how long it would take me to cook another batch. She ate them all, too! Four peices. I'm such a good cook. I'm such an excellent mother.

Okay, so they were a little flat, a little heavy, and the second batch a little dark. So, anyway...

I have to work on the technique.

Today, my goal is to figure out why I feel so cranky. I think it's a feeling of overall inadequacy, wondering if my children are being well enough equipped for life as opposed to those in public school.

Anyway, if the fruit of the Spirit is supposed to be shining in me if I'm Christ's disciple, we have some things to work out today. I lost it last night with her. Why? You'd think I'd have this whole patience/gentleness thing a little more down by now. Some Moms seem so great at it. Gosh, a whole slew of them came in from an hour drive to a swim practice first. Good grief! You're kidding me! When do they do homework? We got out at 8!

Maybe I'm just not used to "extracurriculars" and the whole pressure thing that goes with them. Maybe we're BOTH nervous, and we'll both catch on. Anyway, we're in it together. We'll make it work...right?



I Just Don't Know

Well, ya'll. I just don't know if I'm cut out for this whole Mom thing sometimes.

I got home so frustrated with my daughter I could have screamed. Okay. In fact, I did.

I got so irritated with her. She was uncooperative (with me, at least quietly, with an ugly scowl no other child in the room held) concerning any idea of what she would be doing in the play.

It takes her quite a while to warm up to new ideas. She wants to do it, but doesn't want to do anything "it" requires. The "idea" of being in a play, without actually "being" in the play. I think just overcoming her stage fright to try out was a huge step. Now, the rest of it...well, we're not to the "I'm doing this because I enjoy it" part yet. So, it's the constant lecture about my doing it BECAUSE she WANTED to do it. I am sacrificing so that she can do it. And she's telling me the whole time we are there that she is bored, she wanted to be "Beth", and wanted a reading part and doesn't want to be "the crowd" who "giggles, laughs, and sings".

Small responsiblity well handled turns into bigger parts later, I teach. I don't ever want to do it again, she says. I'm bored.

I had this problem with my son last year. He played Joseph. A five minute role, a star role, but the rest of the practices, most of the 2-3 hour practices, they did very little that involved him. So now, he won't do it again. To bored.

Maybe my kids aren't cut out for the stage. Who knows. Not that I want them to be, in particular...I'm just following her. Or I thought I was. Maybe she's following me. Oh dear. Tonight, I hope not. I got so mad at her. Ranting and raving..."Why can't you just be happy and enjoy what you said you wanted to do?.........."

My husband is rolling his eyes wondering how I got myself into this and if I can back out. I don't want to back out...I don't want to back her out. But...it is a lot to ask of a 6 yr. old kid who's never done it before. I know. Patience.


Maybe we'll make it. She's be one grouchy, terrified "crowd" I'm afraid. But, it will be a good opportunity for her. Conquer a fear.

She still rehearses the songs from the last children's Christmas play to sing along and pretend to be a star.

Lord, give me patience I do not have. A more gentle spirit. Wanting to pop her upside the head is probably not the quiet and gentle spirit...I'm just guessing. How often my Mom wanted to do the same to me, I know...she said so! I never could figure it out...I thought I made perfect sense.

Well. Enough of that. On to the dirty kitchen and clothes to be folded and food stuffs for parties my kids have Thursday and forgot to tell me about BEFORE my shopping trip. (Gentle and quiet, gentle and quiet, gentle and -- new mantra).


One Golden Moment

Well, today has been an answer to prayer.

The Living Room carpet is spot free...thanks to my new Hoover Steamer.

Two loads of laundry done...we now have clean shirts for school and clean underwear.

Me...bathed, quiet timed, excersized (not exorcised), and ready for a quick trip to the grocery for necessities before I have to pick up the kids from after school activities.

Wow! I'm doing it!

Ever have one of those moments where you realize...sometimes, it comes together and there is that one golden moment where you feel like you might just make it? It's pure delight. I was made for this! I am doing it! Mom, look at ME! Look! I'm doing it!

Okay, moment over, Red screaming that his pants are "falling off" they are too big (he wore them last year), and he can't find his shoes.

Back to the drawing board.



CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News

"Hurricane Wilma slammed into southern Florida on Monday with high winds, driving rains and storm surges.

Wilma began as a tropical depression on Sunday, October 15. By midweek it had exploded into a wicked Category 5 storm, becoming the most intense Atlantic basin hurricane on record. It came ashore on October 21 near Cancun, Mexico, pounding the Yucatan Peninsula for two days before it moved back into the Caribbean. Once over water, Wilma sped toward Florida."

Anybody else starting to wonder? How long until Jesus comes. Surely you are thinking it by now. Three U.S., larger than life hurricanes in a month's time. If you aren't thinking, maybe it's a good time.

Are WE doing our jobs? Are WE ready?

I read today how D.L. Moody made it a lifelong resolution, long before his public ministry as an "evangelist" to tell someone about the gospel message, to share Christ, every day. I mean, he was intense with this commitment...if he went to bed and realized he hadn't gotten it done, he got back up and did it before he went to sleep.

Extreme? Maybe. But, how many of us would get up out of bed for a forgotten med we were supposed to take? Would you get up again to check locks on the doors? Close a window? To check on children?

How many of us take our "job", the great commission (Matt 28), THAT seriously?

Hurricane after hurricane. Tsunami. Biggest on records. How long do we have left? To get our boldness up? Get the job done? Tell them. What if...?

We are so "behind"! We have to be...we hold the hope of the world. Yet, too many "hopeless" all around. Too many untouched by hope.


A Star is BORN!

A little Diva.

We got a call at 11:00PM last night. She was asked to be in the cast. Probably not a speaking part this year, depending on how she does, but "she will be on stage a lot". Oh boy! She'll be so excited, and mad. She wants a line, and doesn't. So funny.

First practice tonight. Scheduled from 6-9, I think? I hope not. Her bedtime is 8:30ish. "Cheerleading club" is over at 4:30. That gives me one hour to get her fed, homework done, the other two to childcare...or something? What DO I do with them twice a week for three hours? YEesh. This'll be fun.

How do you do this Mom thing, anyway?

Well,...as for today, my mantra is "I am not behind. I am not being run over by the snowplough of life. I am not exhausted. I am doing the things I chose. I love life. I can do this. I will stay on top of the most important things. No prob!"

Repeat every five minutes.



That was Fun!?

Okay, so that was an experience.

My shy daughter in a theatre with no mics. She did well. She did not cry, waller me to death, freak out or back out. She got up there, introduced herself, and read a one line part.

I'm so proud of her!

She must be sloughing off adrenaline now...going through the house very tempernmental at every little thing: "I WANTED TO SIT BY DADddddddYYYYYyyyy!"

Now, why couldn't she speak up on the stage like THAT?!

Red went with us. He decided he wanted to try out with sis.

Oh my word, a social disaster...but, not to worry, only the entire town was there.

I looked like one of those Moms trying to force her 4 yr. old to do something he didn't want to do...the kind of Mom we all love and adore.


He made it up the first to stairs-- then went into meltdown on my leg.

We tried to explain that the play is for children who enjoy the stage, not ones who can hang on their mother's leg and freak out. He didn't get it.

So, while we waited for sis to try to show her stuff (pulling at her eyelids and eyeballs waiting for her turn...heyfever? I'm trying to motion for her to stop. "What?!" She's gesturing back.) The whole "mommy pressure" thing appearing to happen, yet again. Just SMILE or something. Pointing to mouth. No...hands down, DOWN. (Good grief, just put her in a beauty pageant and hang me why don't you? No, life development skills here, people, stage presence. It's NOT the same thing...IT'S FOR CHRISTMAS for crying out loud. Christmas. Mild, beautiful, child like Christmas...Red, would you stop it if you make one more cry or sound I'm taking you to the bathroom. Cry. Pinch. I mean it...clenched teeth, sister is doing good! See? Shhh.) URgh.

He kept getting worse and worse and worse. Effects of stage fright.

The director finally turned and whispered to me (on the front row) that it would be okay if we went on home...if we wanted to.

Shoot...with sis finally brave enough to be on stage, reading? "I'm the best reader in my class, she told them" when they asked if she thought she was old enough to audition a reading part. First grade...gotta love that.

She was the one going into meltdown last year for the church Easter pageant. Now, she finally made it up there. Confident. Bragging.

Nope, she's staying. Red...well, I'll just keep pinching him.

Finally, it got too bad, I grabbed in for the "march out to the foyer." He screamed the whole way, tears streaming... "I CANNNnnnnnnn't! I WANnnnnnt to, but I Caaaaannnnn't Dooooo Itttttt!"

I'm a good mother. I'm a good mother. I'm a good mother. I am supporting my children.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of punishment this is, but I'm sure I got a star in my crown.
All in all, we're a supportive, if not disruptive family.

My pastor's wife truly is "The Drama Queen"...she says it's going to be fun and we all believe her! You'd think I'd catch on! Gee, I'm gullible. Years from now, I'll probably look back on the memory fondly when my children are dramatically leading the world to Christ by storm on some large stage somewhere. A girl can dream.

Progress was made. I am home, and safe within my own walls, we can practice our "dramatic vocal chords together".

There are sure some kid sunshine's out there. Cute!!!! Not sure if I envy the mothers or not!
Desperate! Meg was a hoot! (Glad to have someone to substantiate the validity of this story! I need chocolate, and your coffee, and some chocolate. CHOCOLATE! You're still off exercising anyway!)


To Play or Not to "Play"...

well, tonight my daughter is totally freaking out in my ear trying to decide if she wants to try out for the Christmas pageant or not. She says, "I do!", but I guarantee that in 5 minutes she will totally freak out again screaming, "I CAN'T". She is so much like me! Beautiful. Daring. Slow to commit to anything, but once she does, loyalty forever and ever amen.

"I want to, I want to, I want to!"...she now says.

So, the question is..."Does Mommy WANT to?" Finding childcare for two other kids who knows how many times a week, waiting through practices, memorizing lines, nerves...aahh, the joys of motherhood.

She says, "No, mom, it's the joy of childhood".

Much more interesting blogging with your daughter seeing thoughts, reading over your shoulder. So much for the "diary" aspect of it all.

Gosh. Life. So grand.

Today, found a pair of jeans I love for $4.00. Old Navy. Aaaah. And a silk three peice suit for $3.50...cheap enough to ruin it on the first wear and still live a happy life.

Consignment shopping...the best!

Bro. Brian and Melissa got a son today! Wow! Beautiful baby. A 6-7 hour delivery...gotta love that one. Go God! Got a pic, but better find out if daughter wants to go to practice or not before I take the time to upload. Stay tuned...


Errand Day

Today, errand day. Lots to do: Hospital visit, shopping, getting chimney paint for husband, delivering food for Mom. Drop of a gift. Looks like a lot of driving in the rain, not my favorite on the two laner road.

Yesterday, got to host my former youth minister for a quick impromtu lunch. Great to have time to visit and show off my kids and new house. Missed you Lisa.

Well, Red is yelling at me "Come on, MOM! Let's GO!"




Saturday: Catch Up Day

I did not get nearly what I wanted to get done today. It seems there is no end to organization of a household of five. My carpets are driving me bonkers-- so filthy and spotted again.

Of all the "dirt" in the house, that one probably gets me the most. Takes me a good half a day to get everything cleaned up to the point where I can vaccum, much less run the steamer. Uggh.

But, a good break tonight! Real Fall bonfire, 115 or so people, gooey games, hayride with a tractor on a flatbed (yup, the BIG bumps scared me! I did fall off once...luckily, to the center. Landed on top of my son, losing my camera out of my pocket..."Everybody, feet up!" in the dark. I found it before it rolled off!

Tomorrow's our team's praise band week. We had a mixup with practice. It will all flow at 7AM , hopefully for the best.

Fall Festival took my focus this week. The scrapbooks auctioned fairly well I thought. Tripled what I put into them, so I was pleased.

I took orders to make school mini books as a fundraiser also, and idea I had the last day. Probably 5 orders, be $60.00 total. I made a scrap basket of extra supplies I had. It sold for $18.00. That plus, the $24.00 in minibooks and the the Greg Biffle autographed Nascar hats altogether made about $144.00. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just give the money and forget the work...but it was a blast. Pony rides, fall pictures. I bought a kitchen basket with all kinds of stuff in it for $18.00. I was proud of some of the things I got.

One particularly interesting item was a motorized dish cleaner by Dawn. Hmmm. So, now, I have a battery operated plate scrubber. Actually great for glasses and things hard to get your hand down into. I feel stupid using it, but, for the sake of novelty and progress...

Well, on to MasterLife. I am so far behind on chores this week, I wish I could say it's burning deep within me to do it, but tonight, I just don't want to get further behind on anything!


Does "Fruit" Equal Evangelism?

Well, this week I have stumbled upon an apparent truth I have not embraced before. It has to do with my question from last weekend...is fruit of the Spirit synonomous with evangelism...can, in thought, writing, the two terms be used, virtually interchangeably?

I thought not. After all, fruit is not a "results based" effort. Not an effort at all, really. We abide in the vine, and the fruit grows. The emphasis, nor the effort, should be on fruit, but on abiding, which usually means, obeying. The emphasis is on hearing, doing, and being in Him.

So, what of evangelism?

Avery Mills, who wrote MasterLife, THE Baptist discipliship course, uses it that way. His life-long emphasis being, evangelism. In person, he seems to be a teacher, gentle, wise, courteous, mild mannered, but strong. But, his life is one of seeking to save that which was lost...going to the by-ways and finding the lost, going to the bars, etc. At times, in the flesh. But, nonetheless, if there was anything I would want to err on doing in the flesh at times, evangelism would be a good place to err rather than other pursuits.

So, this week, the doctorate, wise leader of our course says that line of thought is a bit outdated in the book. That fruit bearing should encompass also seeking and saving "the lost" as Jesus did...anyone out of active fellowship with Christ. Not just the unsaved. Well, that rounded it out a bit for me.

Still, the thought this week is that the "fruit" I so want generated in my life as a result of knowing Christ, what end result do I want to see in all that? I think much of the time I just want to be less annoying to myself and others. I want to be more productive (errantly substituting "fruit" for worldy fruit, not the kind Jesus describes in Galations 5 = love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Our memory verse for the week, part of the disciple's "cross" picture says this: "This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:8.

You know what? It's not about me being more tolerable. It's not about me doing anything better or more productive. It's not about me even being more Christ-like for the sake of wanting to just be like him, really. Those aren't so bad. But, the real motivation?

To glorify my maker by bearing much fruit so that I will be known as a follower of His SO THAT, yes, people may want to know Him also.

Avery challenged me also this week to be more diligent in saying "Why". When someone says, "You are so ______________"! in complimenting us, we are to not be negligent in saying, "You want to know why?" We feel like we are just baiting the hook...that eventually, if we just look like Christ long enough, they will make the connection.

Avery says, "No!" That IS our connection. Complete the circuit. Don't leave them hanging. Don't always expect you'll have that next opportunity. We are busy people in a busy world, tell them right then and there that Christ has made you that way. Because chances are, the area they notice is not your strongest "thing"...it's something He's done in you. Why? To help you evangelize. To give you a doorway to connect with others. The fruit contains "seed"...it is meant to bear more fruit for Him. Though this is not explicitely stated or pointed out in scripture as the role of fruit, everything we are to be about is the Great Commission. Go make disciplies, teach, baptize! So, yes, the fruit, everything He is making in us is to set us up to know Him better, glorify Him, and bring others to Him.

I guess the question for me is...where have I been? What I need to spend a WOLE lot more time praying is for the Lord to bring me into contact with those who need to see Him. Even uncompleted, He shines in me. Hang around just the body of Christ long enough and you know what? You get a jaded picture of what the whole game is about. You will never look like him or her, never be where they are exactly...your walk is your walk. Walk it in such a way to make an impact on the unsaved. Don't just walk it in such a way to be acceptable to the body of Christ.
With a lot of young kids in my house, I've been rather isolated, and have been sharpened by that community, but it's time to pray for God to expand my circles of contact...to make the investments, be open to it, to touch a generation that needs Christ.

Burdened for the next place, wherever it may be...



Dream Ahead of Time

There is a critical moment when you realize you are far too behind to accomplish all you want to accomplish for the day. You begin to panic in a low key way, but find yourself determining what has to be cut (since you already missed it). This is a great time to pray that God will work all He has for you in the day, and not worry about the opportunities missed. What will _______ think? Why can't I _________? I never ________.

What I am trying to remind myself is that I am doing things others cannot or would not do, and that there was no other time to in which to do them. (Okay, if I were a little more ahead of my game, it would help...but, I am not, and the game is now.)

To scheduling more things I "want to do" ahead of time so that I can be more available to serve in the "now"...dreams in hand.



Do Things Backward

A day of very little meaningful email. There really oughtta be a law against it. A bummer. Not that I had time.

The scrapbooks I commited to make for the kid's Fall Festival are turning out great.

I want to keep the seasonal one, "Thanks". Should just make one for my family...but when do you ever get to that?

New development on the creative process today...realized when I don't have to focus on the pics (there are none)...it's a totally different process! It's fun! I get to focus on just colors and paper and techniques. Actually, the books are prettier, more cohesive, the pages better. I get to just be artistic and creative. It was fun! From start to finish, the books are done in a couple days.
I may try doing a small album for myself that way sometime and go in and add the pics last. When all else fails, try doing things backwards!

These mini books are so cute for a coffeetable. All the touches of ribbon, age, inked paper, textiles...you just want to pick them up and touch them! Okay...so I'm a paper lover, but I still think you would.

I'll try to remember to add some pics tomorrow. Bushed.


Cutie Pie

Today...an exciting day. I'll have to add pics later for the full effect, so I won't spoil it.

So, after that event, Red and I went to breakfast as McDs, then a little shopping.

I needed some Fall shoes and a skirt.

4 yr. old Red let me try on an outfit in the fitting room. I was critiquing myself in the mirror, and he said, "That's a cute shirt, Mom". You're a cutie.

I said, "Well, thank you! I sure like that!"

He gleamed back and added, with that twinkle only a 4 yr. old red head with a cocked head and a mischievous smile can hold: "Cutie Pie!"

He's been calling me that all day I smiled so big at him.

I love it.

He is building a Lego behind me while I type.

He just said out of nowhere: "Mommy, I WUV you."

Motherhood was made for days like this.
Problem is, of course, they only come once a quarter or so!



Wednesday StuFfs

Mood better today. Catching up...making scrapbooks for Fall Festival to try to auction. Hope they do well.

Answers to big prayers this week! Pray for God to redeem extended family for His glory this week if prompted. Thanks.

Got the driveway sealed today! That job done. My Mr. Wonderful has it all going on, I tell you.

Well, late night, again.



Site Meter Interest

You want to know what feels weird? When you see an entry on the site meter to your blog with an ISP with state/government credentials. I don't think I know anybody in state government currently, but I suppose that could offer certain advantages, though I'm thinking of any at current. I should keep up with the Kernal more. I used to.

Hmmm. In any case...I just felt led to blog this hour...take a moment to say that I support state government, I drove the speed limit today (...okay, except for that one time, and it was an accident...er, careless. Only until I noticed it.)

I like the state flag.

In general, this blog is alright with all things that might matter to the...what was it? Commonwealth Information Systems of Franfort. Whatever that might be.

Um...and I paid my taxes.

Thank You for your patronage!


I'm Doing What?!

Well, it's late...What am I doing but scanning the Two Peas in a Bucket boards for quick, easy, cheap, and clean cut scrapbooking ideas.

I volunteered at the PTO meeting to try to fill a Fall Basket for fall festival...

by making a baby scrapbook for it.

I really wasn't thinking at the time, just trying to find something I could do to be nice.
So, now I'm reading baby poems and looking at cute babies all night. Hmmm. How'd I get into this one at such an "opportune" time anyway? I need to stop being nice.

Okay...postive thoughts. Maybe that will scratch that itch. (Not really an itch...more like a displaced sort of "out of sorts" thing that happens to women on occassion.)

A favorite craft...it'll be fun!!! It'll BE fun. IT'LL BE FUN! (I'm a positive person making the most of every opportunity!) Okay, full of it.


Tuesday StuFfs

The trade off for pretty Fall leaves?
Fall allergy headaches! Uggh.
Hey, there again, you can't have it all!
Seems blogger's comment section is quirky today.

If your comments aren't showing up on the blog, email me here if you wish.
Try again next time.
So many fans I'm crashing the whole system.
Go figure.
Bible study conundrum of the week: Can the word "evangelism" be interchanged with "spiritual fruit"? Why or why not, or just thoughts mulling the possibility. I'll share more on it tomorrow.

PTO meeting time.


Tuesday...back on track, sort of

Aaah. Today, back to some productivity.

Cleaning out the guest room: One desk. One chefrobe clear so far.

Dreams of organizational bliss...a haven for the occassional guest. My odds and ends projects have taken over.

Break time! Watching Clifford, The Movie with Red.

Miles to go after taking a rest day yesterday. By tomorrow, maybe I'll get dressed before noon. Hey, gotta enjoy the perks!




Pumpkin Carving Time!

Okay, so this was actually a joke. Go ahead and try it...you'll have a fun link to scare your friends with. My mom sent it to me...scared the daylights out of me. When your mom tells you to do something, you still just do it, even at 32.

Tips on Carving a Those Awesome Pumpkins
Turn up the sound, of course, to "Do the Mash" while you learn.

Seen Here, "Peek a Boo Kitty"= Scarey!

Blckky Day

Today has turned out to be a rather blckky day.

I'm not sure why, but have a few huntches:

1. Post vacation blues
2. Post vacation laundry
3. Post vacation messes I left
4. Fall household projects I want to do and don't feel like doing
5. The best and worst: I'm likely not pregnant after all (with all the that entails. Which women know makes all the above seem much worse than it actually is).

So today went by. I sat with the Lord. Tried to get caught up on my study. Took it easy. Passed the day, but not all that enjoyably.

Not that I didn't try. I started up the fireplace (burning myself). Cuddly up with popcorn and white nacho sauce for lunch, ate double fudge chocolate ice cream, wrote with my favorite new brown ink pen, and avoided all chores. Still felt like crud.

Good to get Red back home a few hours ago. And great to have a break on a day when I felt bad.

Can't win 'em all!



Today is "bittersweet". Thanks for the right word for it, E.M.

I miss old friends. Hugs. Smiles. Shine...the kind you see in a party when everyone is happy though life is hard and you know better, but it's still great to see people "well", "joyful", "celebrating".

Chatter. Stories. Kids full of life and good manners (for real?).

Men helping kids play, women shining.

People suffering. Obeying. Living the life. Doing the thing. Not even knowing how much they shine. How irredescent the glow! Vibrant the praise! Deep the lessons! Full the worship! Compassionate the love! Genuine the service! Passionate the journey! Deep the joy!

I pray for old friends today. Too short a visit, yet so full. So thankful for the time they gave to catch up and share an afternoon together at a hoagie party...Mmmm. (Emeril vinegrette!)

Thank you, Carol!

And thanks for the call Melissa! Always sweet to be missed. Blessings to you.

~Me (See trip pics here.)



The last two days have been an awesome brain clearing time of refreshing, laughter, stories, joy, friends, memories, worship, prayers, memoriesand pampering.

I am home and need to think sleep or I'd have tons to blog as far as details. Perhaps tomorrow.

My daughter grinds her precious little teeth in her sleep around 5AM, so I am needing to do a bit of catch up. Thank God, I didn't get tired at all driving home. The sunset's spectacular showcase changing every second kept me awake. Thanks for the great prayers guys!



Reward Time--Can Hardly Wait!

Tomorrow I am taking the two oldest with me to Lexington, where my oldest was born.

We'll visit some of my favorite people on earth.

Hosting us is one of the most godly women ever created. (Yes, you are).

She is passionate in her thirst for God, hungry toward obedience, and utterly devoted to her "yes's" by the grace of God.

he took me under her wing early on when I knew nothing (I know even less now!) and we walked together. I saw her fight her weaknesses, push disciplines (when discipline was not her "thing") and offer up a life, not of stated priorities...but fought-for priorities...blood, sweat, and tears kind of priorities. The real deal. The life lived.

She is truly a hero in my life. One who my mind's eye still calls forth when I feel off track.

She sings sweetly over me, "Pick the one or two most important things, and do them wholeheartedly."

"Always rule out/consider the physical first" as a mentor taught her.

"Hold on to His promises with an open hand."

12:34AM: Gotta get some sleep, get the oil changed, pack some clothes. Then, off to hear the most infectious laughter ever to ring through the planet.

Aah. Can hardly wait. It's been too long.

Probably won't sleep a wink.


Bad Post

3PM This is not meant to be a good post.

I am so tired of sorting Fall clothes.


Still miles to go.

Takes Foreveerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Fall break. Beautfiful weather, and I'm stuck in a closet getting rid of clothes I just bought three months ago. Something very wrong with this picture.

I suppose if they didn't grow, the worry would be worse, but there are days when I could give it a try.

Okay, back to an unmade bed, sticky floors, carpets that need vaccuming, bags that need packing, laundry that needs folding, and two kids clothes almost ready for wear.

I enjoy what I do...really...overall. But, moments like these? My daughter is already telling me what she won't wear, and that she "can't" clean up the floor of her closet and I'm tired and I need a severe kind of ultra refreshing nap that I will not get with kids in the house.

Okay...gripe session over. I'm thankful, and all that.

5:30PM Okay, so I got a somewhat successful powernap and felt good enough to tackle it again. Got her closet cleaned out, room cleaned and vaccumed, and we're back on track. Another motherhood moment behind the scenes survived. Somebody told me once, "Been there, done that, don't want the t-shirt." Well, I could handle a really nice t-shirt actually emblazened with "Mrs. Wonderful!"

Coming from the right man in my life, I'd wear it, at least when I cleaned house...be good for morale.


Purpose Driven....Drugs?

Shlog raised some interesting questions on his blog worth mulling based on this story.

"ATLANTA (AP) — Ashley Smith, the woman who says she persuaded suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols to release her by talking about her faith, discloses in a new book that she gave him methamphetamine during the hostage ordeal.In her book, "Unlikely Angel," released Tuesday, Smith says Nichols had her bound on her bed with masking tape and an extension cord. She says he asked for marijuana, but she did not have any, and she dug into her illegal stash of crystal meth instead...During the ordeal, Smith says, she pulled out Rick Warren's book "The Purpose-Driven Life" and read to Nichols a chapter called "Using What God Gave Me" to gain his trust. Nichols later released her, and she called 911 and told authorities where to find him."
Click here for the full story.

QUESTIONS: Does this hostage's use of drugs or her captors use of drugs negate her claim that God intervened to free her? Does God use "sin" to bring about virtue? Can both drugs and deity be active in a person's life at the same time?

Thanks for the thought-provoking blogs, Shaun!


Today, mulling my role in helping create a sense of healthy community for people. The role hospitality needs to play in that, and ways I want to grow into more "realness"...people seeing me at various levels of "undone" to allow them into my "real life", not just my "together" moments. Into my home, seeing my kids cranky, my irritations too high, my real "me". Am I willing to be that vulnerable to let others know they are that valuable?

Have been discussing community...how to pull others into circles of care and the best ways...or various ways to acheive that. Has me thinking. What does God want from me? Of all the Biblical admonitions...why the one to 'be hospitable?', and what does that mean?



And what do I title this?--Suggestions?

Man, when the best moments of life are happening, you just don't have the time to blog to do it justice! I gotta hurry.

Family Hay Ride 2005
So, last night the cookout was great...back of a red farm pickup truck, not too cold, goldilocks in french braid and county western shirt (she's worn to every hayride for three years), Red, still fighting a fever, and my biggest boy cracking jokes and singing corny songs, laughing his head off just like his DAD...loved by all no matter what he does, so fun to be with, always likeable.

We're singing Old MacDonald, spotting, not Mars, not a satellite, but Venus in the early evening sky. We've been calling the wrong planet the wrong name all summer, but now that we've been to the planetarium, we know and sound all smart. All of us say, in our turn, "Yup, that Venus is pretty tonight." as if we were the first to say it. When we changed directions, the kids thought it was Mars since it was on the other side of the truck.

Dog wagging tail, barking at cows, running laps between our legs, happy as a lark.

Weaving carefully through cattle in the field, or waiting for herds to move. Bumping through ditches, ducking for limbs, dew falling.

Campfire, nacho sauce...dogs and Cats eating the hotdogs.

Marshmallows falling off sticks before we could get inside with them for the S'Mores.

Sticky! Posted by Picasa

Wow. What a night.

Father & Son Posted by Picasa

Back home. Smelling like smoke. Nostalgic. Emailing a lovely friend. Feeling fine with the world. Aaah. Fall Break. Kick up the fireplace. Let's snuggle.

Then my husband sticks a big 'ole chunk of flesh flapping off his finger under my gaze saying, "I think I'd feel better with a few stitches in this."

"Well, yeah!!! I'll say! When in the world did you do THAT, just now? Getting the mail? The box is plastic?"

Apparently finding the roasting sticks earlier he had a little injury. He went in the house, quietly found a bandaid, and ate supper without a word, no complaint.

I'm like, "I cannot believe you."

He laughed and said, "Well, what good would it have done to say anything?"

We are definately not wired the same, my husband and I.

"So, you're going to the ER? You're actually going to let the ER stitch you?"

"Well. I was thinking..."

Okay...there is a problem with how this is starting right now I can tell you. Right there, with the hesitation, the pause, the "Well...".

I know from here on out, it's not looking good for me . My life is about to change. All there is to it. No arguing. No turning back. I am married to this man.

I'm just glaring at him, shaking my head, my stomach already flipping out.

"You are kidding me."

"The ER for a couple stickes? We can do it. I don't just think Red should see it."

"Well, no. I should think not. We'll wait 'til he goes to bed."

"We really shouldn't wait much longer."


"Let him play computer."

"Okay. Go get the stuff ready. Numb it good."

"It's too close to the end of the finger for me to give it much of what I've got on hand."

So me, the finger, and Mr. Wonderful.

I wash my hands like five times...every time I touch anything, I wash again. I'm in major surgery.

He gets himself all numbed up, threads the hook...rather like a curved fish hook, shows me what I need to do, where I need to stick it to get it out the other side, anchored.

Right. Uggh. This is not happening.

It was rather like an out of body experience. I can see how health professionals block everything and do what they have to do now. You just have to.

But behind it all, I'm thinking...you are totally out of your mind if you think I'm digging into your flesh, and there is no freakin' way you are going to be happy with this even if I do what you tell me, which is highly unlikely. What am I doing? How did I wind up in this moment of my life? This is no medical emergency...I made no such vow. Alternative...ER? Man, he owes me.

I say, "Okay, plan B. YOU make the first stick where you think it should start and get it where it should come out, then I'll release the clamps on the hook, pull it out for you, and you tell me how I'm supposed to tie it off with this stuff. "

He's numb, right? He knows what he's doing. This is reasonable.

Good thing I lined up it as such...we have a problem with the first stitch and tearing and have to start over. Not a good moment. Visually, emotionally...not good for morale. So, we're starting over....HE's starting over. I've really not gotten involved yet except for the blotting, becoming increasingly more necessary with all the manipulation. [Yuck? You say? Do you want to read further? Well, yeah, that's what I thought!]

So, about that time, our Lego Stunt Rally boy, Red, starts demanding an audience for the last great race he just won...over and over and over. "Come here! Mom! Dad! Come see! I won! Come on! You're missing it!"

"Be there in a minute son. A little ties up here. Be right there. Keep playing!"

When no one showed up, and we just kept hollering, he came looking for us.

So, I block the kid at the door and tell him he can't come in, Daddy is working on his hand.

That is just not normal..."Daddy is working on his hand."

So, I go pacify my Lego Champ (so sorry to miss anything in the back bathroom...really!), he re-threads and makes the first "bite" and is ready for me to pull it through. (Do we HAVE to call it a "bite" Pulleease.

SoI learn to tie surgical knots with fancy tweezers, and mainly, how great an encourager my husband is under pressure...."Excellent. Now, loop twice, grab the other end, now pull nice and tight. Excellent. Loop again, grab, pull, release. Two more singles just like that one. Great. You're doing great." I could make good time on the laundry if he'd stand there and say, "Excellent" like that!

So he's the one hurt, encouraging me. Typical. Sewing earlier in the day was better. At least I was practiced up for the day! Who knew?

So, we lost the weak stitch again getting the next one. Too much tension. Had start over, again, on the one we lost once earlier. I would not make a good surgeon.

So, in the end, the finger has two strong stitches...looked like it needed more but would have compromised the strength of the other two, so we let it go with that. Thank goodness. I wasn't fond of the whole "bite" process.
I had nightmares all night of one kind or another. Proud of myself, but not caring to repeat it! In case of emergency, if I were to remember how, I could do stitches.

So, today, back to normal, and it feels refreshingly good.

Sorting laundry so that the gas guys can get into my laundry room, again, to get the pilot light off and on. A "normal" day. Sounds normal now at least.

Hoping for a play date this afternoon with the kids and friends paying our new game "Kids Cranium Kaddo." Hopefully, no injuries or sickness, but I'm prepared for anything at this point.

Just another wild week here on the "ranch".


PS: Oh, and I forgot the best part...he tells me later that when he went back out to the truck where he laid the roasting sticks, they were missing! His Dad had mistakenly burned them in the fire.

...and he still didn't say a word!

I tell you...it's classic.


Seamstress Me...Hoo-yah

Seamstresses have my utmost respect and adoration.

Whew. Today I heemed two pair of jeans and three pair of blues. Now, three more khakis and two more pair of jeans to go.

My mother did this stuff for my brothers. She was always rubbing her head and irritable the longer she worked. I know the feeling. "Turn off that TV, and the volume on the computer, too. Go outside for a while!"

A pucker here, a loop in the seam there, tension problems, wrong size needle....


I know, I said that already.

The good thing is, my youngest is running true to size. AND I found jeans for him from brother's old stuff out in storage! Yes! AND I found 3-4 pair of Old Navy flare bottom jeans I'd bought a year or two ago for Goldilocks...fit perfect, so I can't complain. (Probably means she's outgrew them by the time we really need them in cold weather, but we won't go there today).

Bonus for me...found a nice pair of washed front Levi's I'd bought at a thrift store last year and never had time to hem... new pair for me that I didn't have time to shop for at Opry Mills in Nashville yesterday. YES!

Grandma and Grandad are having us over for a weinee roast and heyride and....S'Mores tonight. I can't wait for the grand reward to the day's labor. Sounds like a blast. Just what my runny nosed crew needs. Hopefully I'll get some decent sleep tonight. Red kept calling for me last night and made me sleep with him. I know he wasn't feeling so well, so I did.

That kid's bottom bunk mattress has GOT to go. Springs sticking me everywhere. We need to do something. No wonder he tell me his mattress is "too lumpy". I thought he was exaggerating. I'd never noticed it before. Nope...he's exactly right! An egg shell or something.

Well, one hour until the big event. Tomorrow, more gas line work. They got a "go" on the house. Now have to find a way through the front yard to re-route the gas lights and hopefully that means, it looks like we don't have to trench the whole driveway now!

Elation, escatic joy, and celebration!!!


Fall Break Trip 2005

We had a great Fall trip to Nashville--1 1/2 Days, Loads of fun. We went to Opry Mills (man, what other mall in the world is like Opry Mills? We saw a huge tank of Sting Rays in there for heaven's sake! Nascar Simulation, Glo Golf, Bowl in the Dark, Out of this world Arcade, IMax theater...wow.) Family is entertained while I shop. I love it.

See Full Trip Here

Today? Get Pants hemmed for fall for the kids and go through their clothes...some more. (Still need shoes and jeans purchased this week!) Want to get caught up to fit in a trip to Lexington this weekend. I'd better get busy!



Fall Fun!

This decoration at Moms house...she always makes the holidays sparkle.

Well, a couple days of fun. I hope to look at some decorating magazines and get my dreamer going. Do some praying. Get some soul rest, and come out the other side with some clothes and shoes that fit the kids. Hopefully come back with at least one new scrapbooking gadget...a girl has to have her souveneirs!

I am so thankful for all my friends today. People who make me smile. Fun!

I am thankful for those who go out on a limb and try new things and take risks! It's always hard! Some misunderstand, and we all go and grow.

I am thankful for those who listen and let me be me, and are still so gracious.

I am thankful for kids who make a huge mess all over my house, too.
(Well...okay, I'm working on that one.
Whew. Will I ever get caught up after this MESS? Sticker on my good wood furniture? Good grief.)

Did I just see my 9 yr old son drive by the window on a 4 wheeler with my 6 yr old daughter and 4 yr old son on the back on a wood plank-seat? It would appear to be true. WHAT??!?*

Well, off to make some memories...or keep everybody alive, whichever applies!


Guitar Initiation

Well, I survived.

Path today was, I kept feeling led...

1. to play the music myself. Struggled immensely with that-- in the bathroom--(uggh) all day, as I always do when such a dim-witted sounding idea comes to my head. But, I probably lost 5 pounds...who can complain?
2. to not involve a lot of singers who may not be familiar with the music. Figured the guitar was enough mental for me tonight without trying to figure out all the other stuff going on around me. Did anybody else have a hard time going from rhythm going alone to trying to play with a drummer who also plays rhythm. Hello? I do a lot of stops...you can't do those with a full band. They just get lost and you have to go to simplier rhythms sharing that space with the drummer. I hate that. I loved being able to drop in and out and let melodies ring here and there -- pop back in when I felt like it not having to wonder if everyone could follow me. Driving the car solo... I have to say...that part and the flexibility was a lot of fun...a lot of responsiblity, and a God Thing, definately, but this time wasn't humility for "Me" night...though, I'm sure those will come.

A couple times in practice I lost the pattern and I was so afraid of doing it again live, but that never happened, praise God. I added a strong singer just before worship on the male side and that helped. I never even had time to get nervous. Fun to try something for the first time! (Though it's 2AM now and I still can't sleep after a recover nap...on an adrenaline buzz).

3. to keep cutting songs! I started out with a possible pile of eight this week ...worked it down to four. Yet, still cut the final duet during the service. We had so many testimonies that it turned out that there just wasn't time.

After realizing how many needed to speak, I figured out finally why God was leading me to let other primary musicians recover and rest. Three songs? Not worth their sacrifice of practice and performance really. I hope they all got rest and recovry. It's marching band season here. Fun, but drains everybody. It was simple, uncluttered, and nice. The harmonies were great. With my lower range soprano voice, I love a good alto to sing with. I don't feel like I have such a hard time following myself, if that makes any sense to anybody.

We did two upbeat songs to start: Everyday (easy chords, great message of service for tonight. I kept getting a lot of string buzz I'm not happy with on the hard rhythm???...tried to stay close to the frets, but it's just a fast paced song...where you hit is where you hit!) Hopefully it was too fast for anybody to pay much attention. I may take my Ovation (Celebrity) to the body shop soon for it's first haircut...or whatever you call it...setup? There. A guy in my band was going to take it apart for me Friday and adjust the neck, but I just couldn't risk a new setup that close.

Maybe soon. Seems if the strings are vibrating now...wouldn't it be worse with them closer to the fretboard? I may have to get a second opinion with someone more skilled than I am and see if it rattles for them or if I'm still just not holding strings tight enough...I trimmed my nails some (eeeek...such sacrifice), but I could probably go shorter if I really had to. It's one of the two high strings I think. Maybe the second.

Anyway...song 2: Your Love is Amazing (I love that one).
followed by two testimonies from guys who did repairs down in "Katrina" territory (awesome).

Then song 3: God of Wonders (ministered to me much in the days following Katrina)
The video guy used a new song I found on Casting Crowns new CD (a must have) this week, Praise You for This Storm. He did a super-fantabulous job matching pics with the themes. I wish more could have seen it. With Fall break a lot of people were out. It was awesome.

In the beginning were satellite photos of Rita, followed by travel photos of guys in trucks on long roads surveying damage...Cot shelters and...wreckage and all. Then as it starting talking about God being there in quiet whispers...elderly volunteer ladies serving food for them and people building....I could really see God in their shining, serving faces! Do we all look like that serving selflessly?

Man...talk about powerful.

Then real video footage as they road in the back of a pick up truck surveying damage, narrated slides of houses implanted by trees and all kinds of mess they helped clean up... maggots in the frigerature-- uggh.

Fascinating to hear their hearts and passion to still be there -- helping.

We've got another team down this week...youth for fall break wanted to go help for their Fall break. What GREAT kids.

Then, four more testimonies...so we by-passed the last little inspirational duet we thought about doing (Watermark's "Take Me There"). I LOVE Watermark. In my next life, I get Kristy's voice.

Well, so I survived. It was fun. My fingers hurt, my joints are tight and swollen, and my back aches--such a newbie (I know I played 5 hours today--still not as much as some of you at times, I'm sure), but diarrhea is gone! (TMI...okay).
Well...my husband just walked in from the drug store informing me that they had 99 cent DVDs; my son didn't know what "Beverly Hillbillys" were.

Oh no. They didn't...You gotta be kiddin' me.
Well, I'm obviously losing control...time to get back to the home front.

All my adventure for now!



Okay, so it's 2:30PM. I need to eat. Practiced at 7AM, service, small group, personal practice, order of worship.......FOOD!

If I get sick from it...I have plenty of time before 4. Another practice.

So, 6 speakers. Mixing worship in.

No hymns...yet. Not working for me tonight. I usually scream that that group will light up if you give them a hymn. Not following my own advice...I need to have one on standby I suppose.
Maybe Come Thou Fount. A fav. of mine. I played it last time...without drums, though?

My drummer is moving. Don't think I'll have a bass. Why even add anything? I think it'll just be aucostic night.

I am shocked that I'm trying. I don't think I can play standing up yet still. We'll see. I just get more sound...I guess I'm getting the reverb from having the guitar perched on my leg. Probably absorbing a lot of sound that needs to go "out", too. I hadn't thought of that. Thank you Blogger. YOu have taught me much in our short time together here today.

Well, food's down...time to panic...err....practice and pray and think about cognizant things to say.


Pray, Always, At all Times

18,000 dead. 41,000 injured so far in Pakistan's earthquake...one of enourmous magnitude. I think the story said the biggest in the last 100 years.

Let's not forget what it feels like to hurt.



Asia Devastation

I tried to post a link to the CNN story on the Asia earthquake. It wasn't a permalink, so today it's no good. Amazed me that some of our ministers were unaware of it today. My heart is heavy for those thousands buried in mud, legs amputated to be pulled out, bleeding, hurting, wounded, distraught. "Pakistan earthquake toll reaches 18,000 dead and 41,000 injured", a spokesman for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf tells CNN.

This picture from that earthquake yesterday reminds me of the four men who carried their friend on a cot.

Let's not grow weary in doing good! Pray for these as earnestly as we prayed for our own. Let your love grow.

Also pray for a young missionary friend of mine in Southeast Asia, unnamed for security, that opportunities to share Christ will open to her through this nearby crisis.

Wearied Mom

Today is one of those days that wearies a young mother.

Three little hurricanes getting everything out everywhere, spilling everything yelling at one another.

Two are now at Grandmas...bless her soul.

The third is mad that she is not at Grandmas. Very mad. Screaming at the top of her lungs, stomping, flinging herself all over mad.

Yes, I made her stop.


I always have this strange illusion that there will be enough of the next seasons clothes that still fit. You'd think I'd have that one figured out by now, but it sneaks up on me every year.

Here we are, October, and all my daughter will wear for shoes in her collection is one new pair of short black boots that light up. Hard to find Sunday dresses that go with that. She picked a sleeveless silky mauve number with a sparkly short navy blue denim above the knee skirt first. NOT! Then came in with a shimmery ankle length sparkly navy silky like favorite.


Finally, I found a denim top with heart appliques and black vellure pants that would both fit and go with the shoes.

She was delighted with my choice. NOT.

All Red has is black dress shoes to wear with his casual little cotton pull up pants. I do know this doesn't really work...but it's better than the light up Sesame Street Sandals in 40 degree weather.

We have to go shopping. For shoes. AAAAAAAAaaaagggggggggggggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Somebody did not adequately prepare me for this part of the job.

9 yr. old son? Pants need hemming. My machine has not been kind to me lately.

So, I don't know. I'm nervous about worship tomorrow mainly. Don't feel like messing with much else, but don't have time to focus on that for other "stuff".

The service tomorrow night? What's in my head is not what I think is "safe". May even be pathetic. But I don't know whether to follow it or try to just do what everybody else does to make it work. That sounds "regular". All three staff will be out tomorrow night.

I don't know.

Fall Break. Hubbie has to work this weekend. We get Monday and Tuesday to make a memory.
I have no idea what in the world we will do.

Too much indecision. I can't even think of anything I can decide.

So, I finished some scrapbooking from the session started last night. At least it's getting done!

Well, this is the worst blog ever. Yes, all over the place. But, that's how I feel today. And that's okay. It will pass and it will all be worth it.


New Color

I like Lime green.

Darker, lighter variations...muted, bold companions to it.

This is a new revelation. I've carried a lime green purse all year, just to be bold and to stop carrying the standard brown and black, blah. But, I really like it.

I'm glad that I like it, and that I know that I like it, and I am ready to admit it.

It feels good to find something new that you like when there is so much to not like!

I like lime green.

Party? Anyone?

I do not do parties to buy products.

I don't have parties to sell products.

If you do, that's okay...I still like you.

But, understand that this has been my philosophy for about five years due to a less than totally positive experience--mainly due to hosting my first party, but also outrageous shipping and less than stellar payouts on the "lifetime guarantee" pitches. I mean, it was a smash...everyone had a blast. I got some "good deals", and am still happy with what I bought. But I felt guilty and blew my budget on mine. Then when you had one, I could not support yours. I felt guilty that you helped me do mine. I could not get sucked into the party thing for the next thing you were interested in...I was tired. And I think it's hard to remain objective when there is only one line being sold. Of course it's The BEST! The BEST deal for the quality. ??? Sometimes.

Anyway, my life is much less stressful with the whole financial/budget thing if I just stay away from parties where there is an expectation that I will support you and your friend and your interests to be there. I'd rather compare prices, not have my friendships wrapped in financial ventures, and time people don't seem to have to socialize spent selling. Money sure motivates people to do what they wouldn't dare do before...get together and just have a good time talking about things they like, for example.

Now, burgers and chocolate dessert? I'll be there. Bring a friend! Get a free door prize!!!

Sort of.

I did say chocolate~!



A Morning with My Dad

A Morning with my Dad:

Lots of smiles.
Bright faces. S
Stories about horses.
Walk around the farm with sweaters and a hot cup of my fav. hazelnut coffee.
Kids running through the fields in fall boots, climbing dirt piles.
Dreams on the right tree limgs for swings.
Homemade loaded potato soup with fresh bacon and cheddar, O'Charlie's style.
Smell of apple pie (THANK YOU CINDY).
Pics taken to add to scrapbooks. More coffee.
Scooby Doo Cartoons. Cool porch with homemade afgans.
Giggling kids...silly questions.
Red "wuving" warm coffee in my lap.

Lots of warm fuzzies. I am blessed.
A morning to remember.
Thanks Dad.

Click for
More Pics



Wow. Today has been a good day. Good deep questions. Good encouragement. Good fellowship. Good food! First potato soup of the season. I might share the recipe, given enough interest.

From where I started to where I ended up...there is a God in heaven who cares for me very much!

E.M--Stomping cans has proved therapeutic! You are the world's greatest ear.
C.J.--Good timing on the call and encouragement. This sky's for you.
J.A.--Great white Mexican cheese sauce! Mmm. Sent hubbie for some tonight!
TS --Thanks for prayers today. Sensitive observation.
Tunz--Thanks for prayers/thoughts today...understanding. Sorry about your daughter's hair issues.
Misty--Thanks for prayers/invitations/handling the chaos of my life with a laugh. Keep walking strong!

Up too late...not wanting to start over! I wanna play more!


Note to Readers

Today I decided to write in several short blogs instead of one that jumped all over tarnation. If you've shown up and think, "Gee, how'd I get that far behind?" Well, the fact is, you aren't that far behind, I'm just much further ahead.

:-) Me

Do the Least Important Thing, pt. 2

Well, after two days, my thoughts are that you feel like you are surviving hitting the very top priorities...but if you never take a break and do some Level 2 and Level 3 "to do's" you never feel "together".
As a follow-up to Do the Least Important Thing, here is my report on amazingly gratifying things I have gotten done since yesterday. These are my top priorities:

1. Feeding my kids & Mr. Wonderful
2. Clothing my kids & Mr. Wonderful
3. De-cluttering to a reasonably relaxing level
4. Mantaining some level of sanity doing the above three

After these, I rarely have time for much else.

I decided that wasn't getting enough done to satisfy me this week with MasterLife's challenges on time management. I was feeling so guilty about the massive accummulation of undone things that I wasn't in good conscience, able to volunteer with other things I could do to expand my "circle of influence" to reach more people for the kingdom.

So, here are some unimportant things I did yesterday to eventually reach more people for the kingdom. (Don't tell me my priorities are out of whack, I'm not buying that one this week--stay with me).

1. Putting away the 5000 stacked up tower of VHS children's tapes in the cabinet, in their cases.
2. Spot cleaning immediately anything I passed where the thought came through my mind, "soon I need to get to that". I made that time RIGHT NOW. Today, I am walking through my house not thinking that quite so much, and it feels good. The black spots are off the carpet (I still haven't vaccummed, but at least that fact is not glaring).
3. Organizing my materials for the scrapbooking party Friday night. Is that is a top priority? Well, wasting the 4 hours is not fun...so yes, if I wanted to get anything done, I needed to print pics and start thinking about layout before I'm around the hens talking our heads off.
4. Washing the bar stool cushions. Aaah. They look so much better.
5. Cleaning out the clutter from the van (yesterday).
6. Going by the professional vac machine with 75 cents to quickly super suck the crumbs out today. Next, I left it parked outside the garage to remind me to clean the inside windshield which has had Armor All oversprayed on the windshield since we bought it this SPRING. I will dust it, too. Have I dusted my house? No. But I have to sit and stare at the dashboard more than I do the house anyway. My priorities have been wrong all this time.
7. Kept my laundry folded and put away when I finished. I have made it a room to "clean" every day this week. I can still see the floor. I even used duct tape on duct work in there this week! (I have one of those shelves that flipped if you get too much weight on one end, and...well, I got too much weight on one end. It broke my dryer duct vent into! Mr. Wonderful was happy since he has so few things to fix and do around here this week, :- but I helped out. W made a good team!)

Now...my theory is that each person needs to accomplish more than the bare minimum in order to feel enough control over life to do the top three well--with good attitude. Not just recreational balance...but low priority balance.

Now, how's that for an idea. Try it! See how refreshed you feel. I'm finding I do the top three irregardless...we have to eat and be clothed! It's the lesser priority things that take more time, planning, and talent. Add one or to mindless tasks, or tasks that take a little planning...things that just need to be done. See how good it makes you feel. My feeling is, "My Mr. Wonderful will be so amazed, so thankful, so impressed with my effort!" My feeling is, "I can do all this! I actually got something 'extra' done!" My feeling is, "Wait to see what I do tomorrow!" I'll just keep you guessing as to what exciting thing that will be! (Bugs out of the lights? Ooooh. ;-) You just never can tell.)