Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mom Radar

While we all know these things happen regularly, today this made me think of Sara. But, here is another reason why moms should get suspicious when the kid(s) has(have) been too quiet for too long...*sigh* I guess I didn't need to read yesterday's paper anyway! LOL

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A Week After Thanksgiving

I didn't mean for this to take so long but, after bugging Kari over at Healed Waters about how her "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" adventures went, I figured it was time to blog about my experience.

I took up Kari's challenge but I started on October 24th with writing one note per day, seven days a week. I made up a card in MS Publisher using Kari's graphic (giving her credit, of course, as well as the link to Healed Waters) that I "snail mailed" to the majority of the people I chose but also used the Dayspring e-card site for several as well.

Among others, I sent notes to some church family, my pastors, my three oldest friends, a couple of my MSN message board buddies (fellow moms who struggled with infertility), some blog friends, my parents, and my mail and newspaper carriers.

To be entirely honest, I fell two sort by the end. But, of the 28 I completed, I received some kind of feedback from about 10 folks. Not that this was the point but I felt it was a good gauge that I was making a small difference to these few folks and that Kari's idea was an awesome one to begin with! LOL Mostly, it just felt good to slather some love on some of my favorite people. And, I apparently made my mother-in-law cry...well, not intentionally! LOL

My biggest testimony about this, however, is that I sent three cards to family members that I'm currently somewhat estranged from and each one responded with being very open and positive about the unsolicited contact from me. I'm hoping these notes are a crack in the door to some restoration between me and each of them.

So, it'll be something I will do each year. I've already put the reminder in my Palm for next October to get prepared. Ultimately, I want to thank Kari's obedience for following God's call to write about this desire of her heart. Because of it, I've taken the first few steps down a (hopefully) long road of healing with three very important people.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Countdown to Christmas!

Growing up, I always had an Advent calendar. Now, as a parent, I was looking for some new traditions for all of us to share and to help with the "Christmas countdown" once the kids are a little older. I found this idea 2-3 years ago (I don't remember where or I'd cite the source! LOL) and used it for the first time last year with pretty good success. And, we are looking forward to trying it again starting Friday.

I made a list for December 1 - 24. And, for each day, I tried to come up with one small thing we could all do together as a family. It doesn't have to be complicated or costly but it needs to be something everyone engages in for a little bit. For example, here are some ideas:

Decorate our tree

Hang our new Scandanavian flag garland
Make ornaments for tree
Watch some "old" Christmas movies (see
post below)
Make paper snowflakes
Decorate tree for the birds
Make red and green rice crispie treats (food coloring is SO underrated! LOL)
Go see "The Nativity"
Night drive to see houses dressed up with lights
Christmas crafts
Play carols and games
Make hot chocolate mix
Make Christmas cookies
Take cookies and cocoa to neighbors
Go sledding
Go skating
Have a cookie swap

We also included a couple local attractions and performances to get us out and about. For example, our city's orchestra and youth choirs each have their concerts this coming month and the city's annual "Reindog Parade" as well as our area's zoo has a program outside for kids.
I'm also using the ABC Family movies for "back-up plans" in case of poor, icky, or too warm weather. (Did I mention that it is November here in Michigan and it is currently SIXTY-THREE degrees outside!?)

A few things I learned last year:
I had too many crafts and too many baking/cooking/crafty things so it got too expensive and time consuming (especially since I was 8 months pregnant this time last year!) so I'd suggest spreading those type of activities out over the month. Also, we made the traditional paper chain for the tree last year but, instead of cutting all the paper up ourselves, we just order the materials from Oriental Trading. We also used them for our ornament last year.

Finally, since the point is spending time together doing fun things, don't stress about not getting to your activity each day! It defeats the point! LOL We got about 80-90% of the things done we planned but it was always nice knowing that if we had an hour or so to kill that we could fill it with some pre-planned and family-quality-time related activity.

And, we used about 75%of last year's ideas, tossed a few, added a few, and adjusted a few for more age-appropriate things for our kids. The beauty of this is that it is so easy to change and mold into something appropriate for each family! Just wanted to share this idea. Hope it blesses someone's family as much as it has blessed mine!

For more Christmas ideas, head over to Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer

"25 Days of Christmas" on ABC Family

As I will posted later, I've been looking for things that are "family oriented" for Da Hubby,me, and the Vikings for each day of December through Christmas. Came accross this in my "Family Fun" magazine - which is owned by Disney. They have schedule a "family" movie each night December first through Christmas. It includes the old "classic" cartoons (Frosty, Rudolph, etc.) as well as somemore recent family favorites.

And, while everyone might not agree that all these movies are appropriate for Christian households (like the issues over the Harry Potter movies as well as some IMHO questionable selections recently), I like the concept and it will be filling in some leftover spots on my makeshift Advent calendar (explanation to come soon).

Just thought I'd share...Here's December 1-7. Other links there will take you to the rest of the schedule. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Meme

Tagged from Callapidder Days...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? No Santa at our house but, growing up, Santa wrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White pre-lit on an artificial tree. None on the house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. Don’t even know what it looks like! LOL

5. When do you put your decorations up? Trying for a tradition of the first Saturday in December.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Ham

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Honestly, having trouble thinking of one. Isn’t that awful?

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Don’t remember

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not ‘til I got married so now one gift is opened on Christmas Eve

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Right now it’s mostly stuff I collected, had passed down, or had given to me as a single girl. Haven’t really gained too many since I got married or since the kids arrived.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Depends – the good fluffy stuff where I am now? Love it! The nasty damp stuff I grew up with? NOT!

12. Can you ice skate? Use to – now I’m just an ER trip waitin’ to happen. LOL

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not really but I know that one that I remember fondly because I just passed it down to my daughter is the doll house my dad made me when I was about 9.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Re-discovering the simple joys and setting traditions for our kids

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? My sister-in-law’s “Dirt Cake” – think crushed Oreoes and “fluff” in layers in a trifle dish/bowl.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? This is hard since I’m transitioning from being someone’s only child and being a mom myself. This may sound funny but I always looked forward to the bag of pistachios in the toe of my stocking growing up. Munching nuts after all the gift opening while reading instructions, manuals, taking off tags, etc.

17. What tops your tree? Has been an lighted angel for several years but it is acting as her nightlight right now in my 2 year old’s room right now. So, probably won’t have one this year.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? It’s probably a tie between “Away in the Manger” and “The First Noel”20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?? Yum!

And, "Tempest/Coppertop"...consider yourself tagged! LOL

My Short, Unsuccessful Career as a Burglar

*sigh* You know that moment. We've all done it. At the moment that the front door, back door, car door, or whatever closes behind you. *click*

I keep two sets of keys in my purse. Since we own two Ford vehicles (a Focus and a Freestar), we have those monster key fobs with all the buttons as well as the "big" keys required of newer vehicles lately. I refused to carry both big keys and both fobs all the time so I made up a separate key chain for the Focus's keys (which Da Hubby generally drives) and kept them in a zippered pocket of my purse. I drive the van which has my house keys on the ring.

So yesterday was one of those days where both Da Hubby's and my schedule got completely shot through like Swiss cheese and by 7pm we were still barely hangin' on. For a multitude of reasons which I won't go into now, Da Hubby had to be driven back to work by me and the Vikings around 6pm so he could work 'til 9pm so he could clock in a full day. The Vikings were NOT happy about it and spent most of the evening making Momma miserable at home.

Around 8:40pm, in my frazzled state, I scoop up both kids, a set of keys, and head to the van to go pick Da Hubby up. I walk off the porch to my similar refrain to my eldest "go to the van...go to the van...go to the, don't pick up rocks, chalk, etc....just go to the van." Then, it occurs to me that the van isn't unlocking but the Focus is honking! Hmmm. Doesn't take a rocket scientist...I have the wrong set of keys...OH NO! I just locked the van keys in the house and the kids and I are locked out!

Thank you Ford Motor Company for keyless entry on the van! I get the kids loaded up and plug in a "Wonder Pets" DVD we burned from the TV. Then, I begin to assess how in the world am I going to break into my own house? I'm so embarrassed that I didn't even call Da Hubby at first. But, after two trips around the house and despite two "loose" screens/windows with no luck, I break down and call him. After some "debate" but Da Hubby still using his nice "inside" voice (LOL), he tells me to go ahead and break out the glass in the back door! *sigh*

But, MAN, do you realize how much noise that makes! LOL How does anyone break into a home by breaking glass and NOT have anyone hear it!

Bless his heart because that man o' mine comes home (after having arrived at work the first time at 6am that morning), helps me put the kids to bed, and then cleans up the mess I made knocking the glass out of the door (and down the basement stairs *sigh*) And, never says one word other than - "don't worry about it! It's only a $10 piece of glass! By the way, you have the spare house key on your Focus ring now, right?"

I knew I married that guy for a reason! *blush*

Monday, November 27, 2006

Five Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

I was "passively tagged" (LOL) by Everyday Mommy and thought this might be fun. And, I don't remember what I've blogged about or not (thus the "probably" of my title) so...

1. In elementary school, I won the softball throw for the greatest distance in the City-Wide Olympics. I was also the only girl in third grade who could hit a softball hard enough from our playfield that it would hit the school!

2. In high school, I not only got to be the lead in my senior year play, an Agatha Christie mystery, but I got to be the "bad guy" as well! What fun!

3. In college, I was part of a large group of people at Michigan State University trying to set a world's record for the most people playing Twister! LOL

4. Again, in college, I got to work down on the field at Spartan Stadium as a gopher with ABC Sports a year that MSU went to the Rose Bowl!

5. I worked with Secret Service while on staff with the police department at the University of Michigan around 1996 when the former President Ford was on campus to "retire" his football jersey!

If you read this and found it fun, consider yourself tagged!

Motherhood's Equivalent to Duct Tape! LOL

Going to playgroup! What a way to spend a Monday morning after a holiday! LOL

My first impulse today was to stay home, dig in, and get the house picked up, cleaned up, and straightened up after having company, traveling 400 miles, and having Da Hubby home for four days. But, the Vikings slept in until about 8am and we had playgroup at 9:30am. So I mobilized the troops and arrived with 2 minutes to spare.

This group is put together by our local
"Parents as Teachers" group and is very organized around several age-appropriate activities and a children's book each month. One of this month's activities? Shaving cream and food coloring! ROFL! Good Lord! What are they thinking?! Do these people have children?? LOL

Anyway, while Viking #2 played in the baby area, I got #1 set up in a plastic smock to make a huge mess. After quite a while, she was ready to move on. So, I then faced the challenge of how do I clean her up? So I started with paper towels to get the "mass" of bubbles off her and then resorted to baby wipes for the sticky remainder.

As 5 or 6 moms did the same, I joked aloud, "what did moms do before baby wipes? They are like the mom-equivalent of duct tape! What mess can you not get out of with baby wipes!?"

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

In no particular order...

Welcome to my new blog provider. I decided to move from and hopefully have found a home here at Blogger.

Our "Turkey Day" wasn't exactly what I planned (is anything really ever what we moms plan? LOL) Just Da Hubby, Vikings #1 and #2, and me at home this year. A first! And, since it was just us - Da Hubby and I decided on something a little unconventional for dinner so I wouldn't have to spend all day in the kitchen. So, we got a tank of propane, 2 fillets, and some frozen crab legs and had a little Thanksgiving "surf 'n' turf"! LOL

Friday was spent cleaning the basement and completing some electrical work that is to be inspected next week before our permit expires. Even Grandma got in the game and came to watch the Vikings upstairs so Da Hubby and I could clean without distraction. We're not quite done but a large dent was made in the mess.

Today was spent on Viking #1's and my haircut, purchasing supplies from our local Lowes, putting up the tree, and Da Hubby being in the garage most of the afternoon making a "baby picket fence" to put around the tree to keep our 2 1/2 year old and our 10 month old from pulling it over on themselves. The best part of today? The kids took a "tandem nap" (meaning both at the same time) so Da Wife (aka ME) got a little short snooze on the couch! Yippee!

That's about it for the last few days. Will be doing a short road trip tomorrow to be with my mom and her husband on the other side of the state. My "step-grandma" (my step-dad's mom) passed away Thursday night. It was a blessing after 5+ yrs in the nursing home but sad nonetheless.

God's blessing on the rest of every one's weekends. I'm off for bath times and bedtimes!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

2006 11 16 I am Unique!
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

2006 11 15 Say Thanks to U.S. Troops

A web friend whose husband is currently serving in Iraq passed along this site and really encouraged a group of us to help out and use this site to send "thank yous" to soldiers overseas.

The kids' art on the "web postcards" is so cute! Plus, you can submit your kids' work as well. And, they have pre-composed thank you messages or you can write one yourself. Please consider taking a few minutes to participate!

2006 11 15 Interesting Research on Speaking In Tongues

Received this in an email newsletter I receive regularly from Charisma Magazine Online...


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that there may be a neurological parallel between what worshipers believe about the speaking-in-tongues experience and what actually transpires in the brain, The New York Times reported. Scientists took brain images from five healthy, active, churchgoing women as they were speaking in tongues and as they were singing. Comparing the two images, the researchers discovered that the women’s frontal lobes—the willful, thinking part of the brain—were quiet, as were the language centers, indicating something else was in control, the Times reported. “The amazing thing was how the images supported people’s interpretation of what was happening,” said Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, the lead researcher and director of the university’s Center for Spirituality and the Mind. “The way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them.” Scans of people practicing meditation differed sharply. Newberg found that during meditation the frontal lobe was more active. The findings were published in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

I'd be interested in reading the entire article from the journal if it isn't all medical-jargon-gobboldy-goop! LOL

2006 11 15 In Response to a Response About Ted Haggard

As I'm sure many others have done, I've followed the story about Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church in Colorado Springs. My heart breaks over devastation done to his relationship with Christ, his family, his church, and the National Association of Evangelicals of which he was the president.

I watched with some Christian pride at how it was handled by the Board of Elders to which Mr. Haggard answers. No big to-do. No big finger pointing. It was immediately, openly, honestly addressed. They demanded he step down but they "closed ranks" around him as his period of correction and restoration began. It appeared the Biblical "system" worked despite the backlash and opinions of the general public.

So, I found myself more than a little irritated by today's syndicated article from Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts. Now, I read him regularly despite his apparently socially liberal beliefs since he is one of only a few national columnists that our little local paper publishes. He was comparing the "outing" of actor Neil Patrick Harris (of "Doogie Houser" fame) as a homosexual and the "outing" of Ted Haggard's self-described sexual immorality. Pitts feels that at this point in time he would rather be Harris rather than Haggard.

But, what I found so irritating is how sarcastically and disrespectfully he addressed the handling of Mr. Haggard's situation...(the bold is my emphasis)

"On Nov. 2, Haggard stepped down from the NAE presidency. Two days later, his church fired him. He has confessed to ''sexual immorality'' and will spend the next three to five years in ''restoration,'' a process that reportedly involves confrontation, counsel and – you can’t make this stuff up -- rebuke from `'godly men.' "

What's to be made up? Why is "godly men" in quotes? That is how the Bible system is designed and instructed to work.

"This all raises two questions. One: Between this guy (Haggard) , the late gay-bashing former Spokane mayor, James West, Pat Robertson biographer Mel White, and Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, leaders in the ''curing homosexuality'' movement until they fell in love with one another, can't we now safely assume that any conservative who rants about the homosexual agenda is a lying hypocrite gayer than a Castro Street bar? And, two: Wouldn't you much rather be Neil Patrick Harris than Ted Haggard just now? In other words, wouldn’t you rather be a content gay man living life to the fullest, than a closeted gay hypocrite living lies to the fullest? Especially since lies are so frequently found out."

So conservatives are never to be believed ever again? All of us are hypocrites? So, there's no overgeneralization by Pitts here? So I guess I'll stand up and say, no, I still wouldn't want to be a content gay person rather than someone seeking God's correction to return to His will for me.

2006 11 14 My House-band

Ephesians 9.22-25: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her...

We had a ladies' tea last Saturday. The theme was apples and in particular being the apple of God's eye. One the points (among many) was the issue of submitting to one's husband as the priest of the household.

Now, as a former 12-year-long single unsaved career girl (I left home at 18 and met Da Hubby when I was 30), I would have been the first to tell ya' that you were insane if you thought that (one) I even needed a man much less that (two) I would submit to ANY man lording over me. I had been raised by a single mom who strictly taught to depend on no one but myself.
Even when I returned to regular unsaved church attendance in 1988 at 20 years old, the church I was in NEVER addressed "submission" in relation to my future husband much less Christ! I don't think I ever heard the word! I just figured it was part of that Old Testament thing like the dietary restrictions that Christians don't follow anymore! Too bad that the Scripture was in Ephesians!

Then, I met Da Hubby in 2000, got married in 2001, and got saved and baptized in an independent charismatic church in 2002. (It was a busy few years! LOL) And, that's when the teaching about submission really started to sink in. The turning point was a message at our former church about how men are told to love their wives but women are told not to love but to submit! Initially, one could find this humorous or find this unthinkable. I'd like to think that loving those we care for comes naturally as part of the nature God gave us and we didn't need to be told to "love" these guys again! LOL

Either way - the most important part that no one up 'til this point bothered to explain to me was that men are to love their wives like Christ loved the Church! It was like an explosion went off in my head! So THAT is what that means!? Once I began to grasp the slightest understanding of the depth of Christ's love for me and that He only wants what is good for me, why would I have a problem submitting to the man He had chosen for me and that is directed to love me as He does!? Thus, my conversion to a submitted wife began.

So, at the ladies' tea, one of the points our speaker made was that the word "husband" references him being the "house-band". He is not only the priest and leader of the home but he is the "band" around the "house" holding it together. And, if a man fails at this calling, the home will be out of balance and at risk of falling apart.

I like that idea! While I may be the heart of the home so to speak, it is Da Hubby's arms holding us all together tightly! And, just as Da Hubby holds us close to him, so does Jesus hold us close to Him, sheltered under His wing of protection from all that may try to break that bond between Father and children!

Praise God!

2006 11 10 How Do I Strike A Balance?

Between enriching my kids’ lives and overscheduling them?

Between keeping my house clean but spending time with my kids and husband?

Between going to church and spending quality time at home with my family?

Between my Bible reading and my reading for school?

Between time caring for my family and some time caring for me?

Why does it seem to be all or the other…when the only thing that should be “all” is our enthusiasm, love, and devotion for Christ?

Psalms 29:11 “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.”

Matthew 24:13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

2006 11 09 Nine Weird Things

Found this on Everyday Mommy ( ) and considered myself tagged! LOL Anything self-inspection-evaluation-orientated lately is seriously grabbing my attention.

My 9 Weird Things...

1. Up until I had children, for every vehicle I've ever owned, I recorded EVERY tank of gas, mileage, etc to figure out my MPG. Thanks to my "best-est" friend of 30 years whose Dad made her do it for all the leased vehicles his employer provided and that she and I drove through our high school and college years.

2. While I love him dearly, I am eternally miffed that Da Hubby can NEVER seem to order anything off the menu! LOL It seems like EVERYTHING needs to be a special grill order for him!

3. One of my favorite toys from my childhood was my huge box of Lincoln Logs! I want to find some for my kids as soon as they stop putting everything in their mouths! LOL

4. Speaking of toys, another favorite of mine was the racetrack I won when I was about 7 while on "Bozo the Clown", a Detroit area kids' TV show "back in the day". I was on a field trip with my Brownies troop and managed to get a dollar bill out from under an upside-down glass Coke bottle without knocking it over!

5. I met Da Hubby at a kayaking conference - I had NEVER kayaked before and had borrowed all of my equipment!

6. I rarely can have a can of Pringles in the house without sitting down and eating the whole can!

7. Being trained as a middle school landuage arts teacher, yes, I've read all the Harry Potter books and LOVE THEM! (Don't know that I would let MY kids read 'em now (LOL) but I did read them all when I was single and teaching full time.)

8. I can sing the theme songs to "Diego" and "Wonder Pets" in my sleep.

9. And, I can still sing "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" that I learned at youth camp MANY years ago backwards and forwards! LOL

So, if you read this, enjoyed it, and think it might be fun, consider yourself tagged as well!

2006 11 08 A New Bible?

Being resistant to change, I haven't been willing to give up my current Bible since it was given to me in 1988 when I returned back to church. It's NIV which was fine but I'm starting to have some concerns about some things I've noticed missing or different in NIV from KJV or NKJV which our pastor uses for sermons/messages/teachings.

Plus, my current Bible is a bit of a snapshot to my spiritual journey back into God's light since I started a habit of putting dates by passages that were meaningful to me at that point in time. It's amazing to see "1989" next to a passage with a note about what I was struggling with at that time as a re-new-ed believer. To see other passages marked "1998" as I was still single at 30+ yrs old trying to live right. To see the passages marked as possible wedding Scriptures from 2000. And, the transformation to a married, stay-at-home mother of two in 2006.

But, I'm itching for a new start, a clean page, a fresh reading of the Word. I'm feeling like that part of my "old life" needs to be put aside, released, put behind me, to start fresh. Also, my NIV Bible was published by Concordia Publishing and has a Lutheran "tilt" to it. But, I'm no longer part of that organization so I'm looking for something that fits my new Pentecostal instruction better.

So, I'm looking for recommendations. A women's Bible? Something NKJV? Amplied translation? A study bible verus a "plain" one? Anyone have any ideas? I'd like something with lots of room for notes in the margins, some references and/or commentary, and a concordance of some sort. Never had a soft cover - that might be a nice change.

Anyone have any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

2006 11 03 And, it's about 52 days 'til Christmas

Not like heaping my "wood" on my already overloaded fire! LOL

Looking forward to the holidays is so much different when you have small kids. I'm amazed by the "consciouness" I have of creating a particular feeling, sense of history, of tradition now that I have little ones. Since I had very little sense of "history" and tradition growing up, not to mention very little church-going, I'm already thinking about ways to instill some of that Christ-centered specialness about Thanksgiving and Christmas in my little Vikings.

Also, I am still pain-free two weeks after God healed my back! (See previous post.) Praise Him! All the glory is His!!

Things are much the same around here...busy, busy, busy. I'm halfway through teaching my part of a college-level "preachin' and teachin'" course at our local Bible school. Two weeks down, two weeks to go. Been disappointed by some of the students not finishing assignments but I suppose that could be for a number of reasons.

Also, I'm halfway through taking my sociology course which will renew my State of Michigan teaching certification. I got 98 out of 100 on my second test. Yippee!! And, there's something odd about taking a college class like this so many years after my first time through nearly 20 years ago. Having WAY more problems with the liberal college mindset and soiciology texts telling me about "conservatives" are intolerant and discriminate against women and that all cultures, religions, and beliefs are just as "right" as all the others.*sigh* Hard to study this information when it makes me so uneasy.

My little Vikings are doing well too. Both still fighting the change-of-season sniffles. This is the fourth cold in 8 weeks. *sigh* But, nothing too major. It seems to bother me more than them! LOL Viking #1 wants Da Daddy to teach her how to ice skate once the snow comes for good (Egads! She's only 2 1/2!). Potty training is going well with some struggles still in the "solids" department. Meanwhile, number #2 is pulling himself up and getting into everything even more. He'll be 10 months tomorrow. Where has this year gone? I can't believe I'll be done nursing him in about 8 weeks! It can't be time already! *sniff,sniff*

So, that's how things are here. Anxious to get caught up with everyone here. Number #1 is at Grandma's today and Number #2 is napping so I'm off to read blogs! Hugs to all! Have a great weekend!

2006 10 04 And as if yesterday wasn't stressful enough...

First of all, let me say...praise God that everything has turned out fine but look at what I woke up to this morning...

*sigh* Da Daddy watched the kids last night so I could go to Bible school to observe one of the other faculty members that I'm co-teaching my class with this semester. Was gone two hours. And, I came home to Viking #1's eye being a little puffy. Daddy has no idea how it happened. Obviously, it got worse over the night.

We've been to the pediatrician's office already who has determined it isn't a bug bite and it isn't from getting bumped in the's probably a scratch that got something in it. So, we've also been to Walgreens for antibiotics already as well.

Had a funny momma moment in the parking lot at Walgreens though...came out to the van after getting the script filled. I'm standing in the parking lot with nearly every door on the van open, Viking #1 is peeing on her "kiddie pot" in the back while I change a poopy diaper on Viking #2, then mix a quicky bottle to get #2 home and then dose #1 with the antibiotic and let her sip MY drink to rinse the nasty taste from her mouth. You can tell which women have had little kids because as they walked by...they all laughed! LOL Isn't it amazing the things you NEVER thought or could imagine you'd be doing before you had kids!

So it's 10am and I already need a nap...Lord, give me strength to make it through this day.

2006 10 03 Completely Overwhelmed Again

Stupid ADD. So completely flustered I have no idea where to start...

*financial problems

*potty training

*due to above haven't left the house (except for church Sunday which resulted in two "accidents")

*baby's skin problems - wicked eczema - that we can't get under control

*have to start teaching in two weeks and have nothing prepared

*after four straight nights last week of staying up past midnight to study had my first test last Friday only to have to start all over again and read more, watch recorded lectures, and take notes for another test in 3 weeks

* my mom's coming this Sunday for three days

* suppose to stay on diet

* suppose to be going to weight class Monday nights, Bible school Tuesday nights, midweek services Wednesday nights and still be able to cook at home each night (since we can't eat out) and get all the above done.

*my usual help (my in-laws) are out of the picture this week as my MIL is 11 days post-op from a knee replacement

* can't seem to find time to pray or read my Bible while one or the other kid is up screaming or crying for something most of the day lately (going potty, hungry, teething, you name it) and into the night (see above and add recent nightmares) *sigh*

Lord, help me!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2006 09 27 My First Pentecostal Healing

Been busy with sick kids (the 4th cold in 8 weeks) as well as "mucho" busy with a crusade at church, taking my midterm for my class, and starting to co-teach the college level preaching and teaching class at our local Bible school. Been nearly passing Da Hubby at the front door as soon as he comes home from work and I leave to go study or prepare. Then, we had the four days of crusade in there somewhere too. Da Hubby made it to all five services in four days; I made it four. But, PRAISE GOD, for His goodness! I wish it would go on for days, weeks, months! What an amazing time!

Mike went alone Thursday night as I had my midterm on Friday but all four of us were there Friday night. What an amazing speaker! What an amazing message! What an amazing feeling! Some of my notes:

Sickness and disease are part of the curse and NOT in the will of God

He healed them ALL... (Acts 5.16) No one left out!

Healings are a manifestation to the unbelievers.

Jesus said "You can do greater things!" (John 14.12)

Remember (our denomination) being associated with the "holiness" movement?

"I'd rather be a holy roller than stumble into hell! Be proud to be a 'holy roller'!"

After the message was complete, there was prayer for those who needed healing led by our elders, pastors, and the visiting preacher. I felt drawn up to pray at the altar but did not get in line for healing prayer. After many minutes and after most everyone had gone through, Da Hubby came and got me and asked would I go get prayer for a chronic back condition I have and have been dealing with for many years.

Some time was I was young, I unknowingly injured a back vertebrae and caused a spondylolithesis. Basically, one of the vertebraes in my back had its "puzzle piece" edges broken off and only my lower back nuscles hold it in place on my spine. I've always had mild back problems which have been made significantly worse in recent years with weight gain and two pregnancies in under two years. It's been so badly lately that I've been dealing with the pain on a daily basis. It's been difficult to hold the kids for any length of time, to carry all the necessary "baby gear", groceries, change diapers on any surface lower than the changing table, unable to get up from a chair without bracing on the back of the chair, to stand long enough to do a load of dishes, to sit at the computer for too long, interrupted sleeping, etc.

Anyway, Da Hubby led me up to the visiting preacher and I told him that I had back problems and that I had had enough. I was done. I am too young not to play with my kids! He prayed over me and someone annointed my forehead with oil. Many folks pulled in around me to pray as well. Well, there were no lights, no warm/burning feeling, nothing I was "expecting" but when when eveyone backed away and the preacher asked "what was something you couldn't do before?" I told him about getting up from the altar or getting up from a chair. He said "try it now." And, I DID IT!! And, I have had almost NO PAIN IN OVER A WEEK! There's been some muscle tightness occasionally (particularly since I've taken to huggin' and carryin' my kids again!) but no shooting pain!! No "I have to put this down *right now* or my back is gonna give out"


2006 09 23 How do mommas function on so little sleep?

As I sit here at 3:30am listening to my oldest coughing so frequently that she can't fall back to sleep..dumb ol' sleep deprived brain is wandering. I can't give her more meds, it's too soon. I've propped her up, had her sip water, went and got the humidifer...nothing seems to be working. However, it's occurred to me that between her and my little guy's teething and recent growth-spurt-inspired middle-of-the-night feeding again, I can't remember the last time I slept through the night myself and/or got more than 5 hrs of sleep uninterrupted.

I realize that there are bigger worries and bigger problems in the world as well as knowing that parents have been doing this for generations but I've never worked so hard on so little sleep in my life 'til I had kids.

I USED to think I knew what tired was working fulltime on midnight shift while I attended school fulltime during the day.

I USED to think I was tired working 30hrs a week evenings and weekends to maintain health benefits while student teaching all day during the week.

I USED to think I knew what tired was teaching a 60+ hrs week my first few years and also having a part-time job to help meet the bills.

But, none of that compares with how hard I've worked and how truly mind-numbingly tired I've been the last three years. And, had I not been blessed with a husband that was willing to work so hard out of the home to afford me the chance to stay home myself, I don't know how I would have coped. I don't know how working-outside-the-home and/or single moms do this! They are much stronger women than me! LOL I have learned a WHOLE new level of respect for my divorced/single mom.

But, I've also learned more about God's love being a parent than I could ever imagine. Mommas operate on that small amount of sleep with an incomprehensible amount of unconditional that was difficult for me to understand that God had for me until I had these amazing miracles brought into my life. There is no explanation of how I function day to day except for by God's grace and with His strength.

So wearily I think...praise God for His son and His example of unconditional love
Praise God for my little miracles and all the others He has brought inot this world.
and I send up a prayer of comfort, peace, strength, and wisdom for all those amazing mommies that are here and that we know who are doing this terrifying but ultimately rewarding job as a single and/or working-outside-the-home mom. You go girl! LOL

2006 09 20 Need insight on this...

I try not to be angry about this. I just feel a need to defend some people lately. I sincerely want to know what is driving people who are critical, judgmental, and nosy but say that they are "only helping"? I don't understand. How should one respond to grown-up bullies?

First - Maggie here at Faithprints seems to get jumped all over regularly. She opens her heart and mind and life to those that read her blog as she writes, trying to understand better how to manage her walk, her faith, her home, her family, her homeschooling interests, and her and her family's health issues the best way she knows how. And, often she has to take a break, walk away from Faithprints for a time because individuals seem to think it is right, fair, and appropriate to critique and criticize her choices and opinions.

Then, another Christian woman whose blog I follow (who has an AMAZING witness story if you are interested: has to apparently defend her choices for her family and faith when others repeatedly challenge her about the direction she's chosen for herself and her family.

Closer to home, a sweet, unassuming, shy, faithful Christian sister felt she would follow God's calling and step out despite difficulties reading and speaking in public and begin a new ministry at our church for losing weight and improving our "temples" for the glory of God. Then, she gets a nasty phone call from someone outside our church that attended ONE meeting saying that she is running the group inappropriately.

I don't agree with all the choices everyone else makes for their lives. I wouldn't make the same choices many others make. But, we are all children of God and we're all supposed to be family regardless of our denominational, historical, social, psychological, and behavioral differences. God is working on ALL of us, moving us toward perfection in Him and in Him alone. How is one encouraging others to strive for all God's envisioned for them when we are critical?

I'm just so frustrated and bewildered. We're supposed to being loving on people, not tearing them down. As I've watched/seen/heard about these (and other) things over the last week or so, it just alternatively breaks my heart and fills me with anger. Again - what are we to do about grown-up bullies?

2006 09 14 Transition to Fall

I don't handle change very well! LOL My kids have taught me flexibility but changes in my schedule tend to throw me for a while until I'm able to regroup. So I've been on "survival mode" and my blog entries have suffered. So my apologies to those of my blog-friends I've "ignored" the last few weeks.

First - the kids are fine. Amazingly big. Incredibly beautiful. Astonishingly brilliant. (I'm a little partial, can ya tell?) My girl stuns me every day with all she's learning and picking up in her daily adventures. My boy is becoming mobile and can miraculously charm any stranger with his easy-going, smiling, flirting self.

Da Hubby's 7-day trip to Minnesota went well. He came home fairly well rested (the drive home was a pain) plus we got three days of lying around the house playing, talking, snuggling, and eating together.

My college course has started. Luckily, it's a study-at-home course where I go to the campus every 4 weeks for a unit test so I can schedule "study time" whenever the kids' and my schedule allow. And, after meeting with the dean of the Bible college where I'm now on staff, we agreed that I would teach the "teaching tactics" portion of their current class about preaching and teaching. I will be doing that once a week through October and part of November.

So, I'm busy with those things as well as all things that keep this house running plus I'm also in the midst of planning Pastor Appreciation Month activities for October! Oh, and as of my most recent weight loss meeting last Monday, I've lost a total of 19 pounds! Nothing like jumping in with both feet into the deep end! LOL

Had a random "ah-ha" moment last Saturday I wanted to share...Da Hubby and I attended our church's leadership meeting at our pastors' request. Da Hubby is sharing praise and worship duties while I started at the Bible school. As part of Pastor Don’s teaching on building relationship between leadership and those we guide, he had us do an activity to illustrate how we need to take time and become open and interested in learning the small details about each other. He sent us around to find two people who we don’t already know a lot about and ask them one question: “what are you passionate about"?

As I scrambled to think of what I would answer should someone ask, I made my way across the room to find someone to talk to. I stunned myself with my first-impulse answer: homemaking. After getting married at 33 yrs old and 15 yrs of single career life, I’m entirely focused and obsessed with homemaking! LOL Who’da’ve thunk? Following God’s plan (finally) has brought me to a place right now where I’m completely comfortable (OK, mostly comfortable) with putting aside all my experiences, training, and career desires to follow His “nudge” into my new stay-at-home-mom life.

Well, I hear my big girl trying to climb into the crib with the I'm off to referee another day of toddler-baby big time wrestling! God blessings to you all!

2006 09 13 My thoughts on Friday the 13th

This morning I did some quickie research on Friday the 13th (ShortyBear beat me to it for the original idea but I’m following up because she sparked my interest.)

For historical reference, I found this explanation on the National Geographic website (not exactly a Christian-friendly site but, to be fair, I WAS looking for background! LOL)

“So how did Friday the 13th become such an unlucky day?

“Dossey, also a folklore historian and author of Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun, said fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities ultimately combined to make one super unlucky day.

“Dossey traces the fear of 13 to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.

“‘Balder died and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day,’ said Dossey. From that moment on, the number 13 has been considered ominous and foreboding.

“There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.

“Meanwhile, in ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.

“Thomas Fernsler, an associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, said the number 13 suffers because of its position after 12.

“According to Fernsler, numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus.

“In exceeding 12 by 1, Fernsler said 13's association with bad luck ‘has to do with just being a little beyond completeness. The number becomes restless or squirmy’."


So it is apparent that even Christianity is subject to superstitions (big surprise there, huh? LOL). However, I found a Christian woman’s blog where she said that she’s taught her daughter to pronounce it “stu-pid-STISH-shon” And, a previous pastor’s message kept going through my head. This pastor stood up on the Sunday prior to a Friday the 13th and did his message on superstitions and faith and how you can’t have both. He brought a ladder up on the platform and walked under it. He brought a mirror up on the platform and broke it for the entire congregation to see. He had an umbrella and opened it. Challenging all the “taboos” and the “powers that be” to rain down bad luck that was greater than our God! NOT! This sermon had such a powerful effect on Da Hubby and I that we rarely even wish someone "good luck" anymore! LOL It's not about luck, it's about the power of our God!! Yeah!

And, then I found a transcript of another pastor’s message on the web that was similar. ( ) Rev. Tim Owens said it’s a matter of a faith that conquers fear. I think that superstitions are all about fears and things out of our control. Particularly fears of the unknown: unknown forces and unknown future events. But, Rev. Owens used Psalm 27 to refute all that fear. (Psalm 27:1 unknown version) "In the face of my fear, I come first of all to rely exclusively upon God, Why? Because He is my light; He is my victory; and He is my stronghold."

Rev. Owens stated, “We see in this psalm, first of all, that faith that conquers fear is a personal faith. It's not something that just hangs out there isolated from you--not something that you hear about, not a second-hand kind of knowledge--but a first-hand knowledge and faith in God…

“When my faith encounters fear, in the face of fear I throw the Lord Almighty and I throw these three things about my God: that He is my light, who dispels darkness; He is my salvation Who rescues me from my fear; and He is my stronghold, my castle, my fortress. David says, "When I throw those three things in the face of fear, then fear fades away.” Now the implication here in verse 1 is that it is the Lord, it is God, and God only--God alone. David had discovered what everybody discovers at one time or another in life: that you cannot put your ultimate trust in anything or anybody else but God and live above the fears of life.”

Additional Scriptures I've been dwelling on today:

Matthew 10.31 (NKJV) "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12.32 (NKJV) "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

2 Timothy 1.7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Hebrews 13.6 (NKJV) So we may boldly say: "The LORD [is] my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

Psalm 34.4 (NKJV) I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 56.4 (NKJV) In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

As Forrest Gump would say… “I like (that). I like it a lot!” LOL So, let us go forth boldly with NO FEAR!! Praise God for His strength and His faithfulness! And, happy Friday and a wonderful weekend to all!

2006 09 12 Update on us...

In no particular order...

First, thanks to those of you who emailed and left messages asking about Viking #1's eye. We ended up back at the pediatrician's that afternoon when she woke up from her nap with it significantly worse. The doc added doses of Benedryl to the medication schedule with the antibiotics and that seemed to do the trick. Within 2-3 days, all she had left was a "shiner" which has now disappeared entirely. Still not positive what caused it but, once the swelling receded a bit, we found a pin-prick-sized scab which may indicate that it really was a bug bite "gone wrong".

Also, remember the first test I took for my class? I got 99 out of 100! LOL

On the potty training front - my toddler is doing really well with part of it but is still having a "solids" problem, if ya know what I mean. So, she's either holding it and "saving" it for her overnight diaper or going in her new underpants. She seems to have a "block" about doing that part of her business on the pot. So, we're trying some additional techniques and praying that works.

My mom's visit was a disaster. Da Hubby was so enraged by her behavior while in our home that he wants them to cancel the reservations they've made for another visit at the end of the month or he's threatening to get a hotel room himself so as to be out of the house. *sigh*
Everyone's colds seem to have passed. The baby had another over the weekend (that's three in five weeks) but my big girl seems to have missed that one - maybe due to the antibiotics from her eye? Regardless, I'll take the grace where I can get it! LOL

Also, have been doing research into our local MOPS program. Thinking about joining. Anyone have any experience with that organization?

Also - it's SNOWING here this morning!! Arg! I was SO in denial but FINALLY a weather forecast in Michigan was accurate! LOL So, I'll be off to the second hand stores the next day or two to find my big girl a new coast, bibs, mittens, and boots and the baby a warmer winter coat.

With all that is going on, it's been hard to keep focused on the higher things but doing what I can to make time for Him before all else. It's going better some days than others.
And, of course, I couldn't let the opportunity to share some pics of the kids pass...last Saturday, Da Hubby jumped outta bed around 6:30am to go take pics down at Lake Michigan of the moon setting. At 7:30am he calls and wants to know if the kids are up. LOL There's a freighter pulling out and he wants Viking #1 to see it. Da Hubby was so cute and excited plus the kids had gone to bed early so #2 was already up, I woke up #1, left 'em in PJs but threw some warm clothes on them, packed 'em up in the van and drove the mile down to the beach. Along with the moon set pics, he took these of the kids and me.

That's the last week for us (LOL) Not busy at all! Hope everyone here is doing well. Miss chatting with you all. Also, anyone else doing ADDMama's "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" ? I got my list done this morning and will hopefully be out to get supplies today!

God's blessings!

2006 08 29 My Mother's Daughter

My mom has always been a bargain hunter. Once I left home, nearly every visit to where I grew up started with hello's and kisses and followed with "you'll never guess the deal I got on..." As a result, I've become a habitual sale hunter, garage saler, and coupon user! LOL But, while my mom and I still struggle to come to some level of comfortable understanding of each other, I still smile and think of her when I find a deal like I did today. Can't wait to tell her when the kids and I go to the other side of the state to visit her when Da Hubby is out of town from this Thursday until next Friday.

I needed to check on the cost of the two books for my fall class. So, while Viking #1 was with Grandma and Papa today, VIking #2 and I loaded up the stroller and headed to the local campus. We jogged through the rain and into the main building which holds the bookstore, winded through some back hallways to avoid the crowds, and eventually found ourselves in the correct section and aisle of the bookstore.

The two books for my class brand new would be over $170! *gasp* Yikes! And, even the used ones would still cost nearly $120! *sigh* So, I copied down the full titles, which edition they were, and their ISBN numbers and headed home.

Once Viking #2 was down for his nap, I headed out on the Internet to see what I could find. Withing a few minutes, I found one of my texts for $50! Wa-hoo! Then, I thought "I wonder if anyone has these books on Ebay?" Hmmm... So as I picked through the listings there, I saw an auction that ended in under 2 minutes! And, it was MY edition! So, I quickly clicked and checked out the was BOTH of my books for a current bid of $58. But, I only had about 1 minute left! Yikes! I quickly decided how much I could bid and just put in the highest I was willing to go....and less than one minute later, I was the happy owner of both used but unmarked textbooks for $75 including shipping!!!! WA-HOO! A total savings of nearly $100!! Praise God!! Let's hope the first orientation class goes as well on Thursday night...

2006 08 24!

Well, I wrote last month that changes were on the horizons for me this fall. I tend to handle change with resistance. My patterns, habits, and schedules give my poor ADD brain something to organize around and be at peace with occasionally. As a result, I regularly have a lot of anxiety about these kinds of things. And, I deal with stress by shutting down for a time to re-group and by eating everything that isn't locked down! LOL

Da Hubby leaves for a week-long guys-only canoe trip with a couple of other Christian men in northern Minnesota a week from today. So, I'm home alone with my two babies for the subsequent 10 days. A little scary to say the least! LOL No breaks. No day-to-day (esp. at bedtime) help. While he's gone, I have orientation for the college class I have to take this fall to reinstate my teaching certifcation. Then, a week after he returns, I start teaching at our local Bible college. *sigh* On top of all this, I have to maintain the kids' schedules to some point of normal and stay on my diet! LOL Yea, RIGHT!

I used to so look forward to this time of year! It was like a new lease on life and a clean slate at the beginning of each school year...must be why I became a teacher! LOL But, when I have a second to actually reflect on that statement, I remember that the only "new lease of life" or "clean slate" that means anything is being saved and knowing the Lord. And, it is on Him I will depend!

Psalm 3.5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding

2006 08 20 Opinions?

I'm writing for a weekly contest on a Christian writers site. This is my brainstorm/rough first draft. Wondered if I could post it here and get some feedback. What does anyone think? The topic is the cross.

Salvation is often a rocky road. It is terrifying to step out and away from everything you’ve known to something exciting, promising, but still unknown. But the journey is actually a short distance. It’s a crossover of Jesus’ body at the Crucifixion - hand to hand and over Jesus’ heart.

The cross of Christ brings one to repentance and to one’s knees. His arms spread wide show the way. One begins in the left hand. And, as Matthew 24.41 (NKJV) says "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…” Those of the left hand will not see Heaven but will continue to live only in the world as they will.

Conviction draws one from the old ways toward a promise of eternal life. It is an eternal life spent with Christ and drawn near to Him. The miracle of being cleansed of all previous sins and stumbling blocks occurs in the center of Jesus’ body, in His heart and in His love.

Waiting for those who seek Him is a life of power, preference and princely favor found only in His right hand. In that hand is also the armor of righteousness (2 Corinthians 6.7) and the hand of fellowship (Galatians 2.9).

This crossover is nothing short of a miracle. And, in the Bible, crossing over accompanied miracles as well. In Matthew 9, Jesus crossed over to Capernaum. Prior to leaving, Jesus cast out demons. He then crossed over and then healed a paralytic. In Matthew 14, Jesus fed the 5, 000, walk on water while crossing over, and then performed healings. In Mark 5, Jesus cast out demons, crossed over, and then raised a dead girl and healed a sick woman who touched His garment.

Crossing over was bracketed by miracles. Thus is the case with salvation. The Holy Spirit works on the unsaved one’s heart, the miracle of Jesus’ heart and love occurs, and then the miracle of God’s favor for believers begins. The journey is actually a short distance. It’s a cross over – From left to right over Jesus’ heart.

2006 08 14 Praise God

God is good! All the time! All the time! God is good!

I posted about two weeks ago about needing a way out of a situation where I lose my state teaching credentials. I am one class and/or three credits short from a renewal that will take me until the kids are in school. The first option provided was a lengthy graduate level class with multiple commitments, the need for child care, possible travel to another city, and a $1400 price tag.

However, after two hours of rig-a-ma-role of dragging both kids in the double stroller between the two campuses (they're on the same property), the problems were solved!
Having to deal with LONG back-to-school lines...there were none.

Having to drive a 2 hr round trip to get "guest student status" approval from my main campus...waived!

Didn't have any of my paperwork with me (no school ID, transcripts, nothing!) problem! The counselor accept my half-completed application and told me to fax her my info when I got home!

Child care? Won't need it! It's a videotaped class. I buy the book and rent the tapes to watch at home. I only have to go to campus 4 times to take tests!

Having to drive out-of-town weekly for class? Nope! The local campus is 10 minutes from home.

Instead of owing $1400 to the big university I attend, the community college's total bill? $330!

2006 08 11 More Faith Like a Child

My goofy kid...she was shaking her head telling Da Daddy "no more" when she was done eating one night last week. She was laughin' her socks off as Daddy made her giggle even more. Shaking her head "no" turned into a full force, hair raising gigglefest.

As I look at that picture today, it makes me wonder where our joy in the Lord is hiding sometimes. Faith in Him should bring out our inner joy and peace and create a hair-raising gigglefest of worship thanking him for all He's done for us. How do we connect with that thankfulness, that faith, that ferocious joy on a daily basis??? How do we stay "present" in our lives, watchful for all the good things He's blessed and is caring for around us?

Lord, please help me to see You in the everyday. Help me to find that joy and peace exhibited by my children. Cleanse me of any thing holding me back from a hair-raising gigglefest of praise for You.

2006 08 08 "...and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"

It's actually a icky couple of days.

Friday: found out my little sister miscarried her baby
Yesterday: I had my furbaby put to sleep
Today: the four yr anniversary of when we lost our angel to a miscarriage

On top of this, the stress of running around all weekend, dragging the kids here and there without naps for a family reunion Friday night and all day Saturday. And, it being "that time"...just having an emotional, hormonal couple of days. *sniff, sniff*

But a small thought that made me smile...if Jesus experienced all things we struggle with as humans (men and women alike), I wonder what he thought of PMS? LOL

2006 08 04 One more prayer request...

Got a call yesterday from my step-mom. In June, my 18-year-old half-sister, after a very hard and difficult 4 years, found herself pregnant. Well, when she went in for her first ultrasound this week, they found the baby was not viable and had not been for over a month. It's unclear why her body didn't "tell" her sooner.

Four years ago next week, we lost our little angel. I had my husband, my family, my in-laws, and my church family rallied to my side and into our home in the weeks following. I barely coped. She is half the age I was and she only has her much-older live-in boyfriend, my dysfunctional dad and step-mom, and my other half-sister.

I have experienced few things sadder than a miscarriage. It changed my outlook on my life, my attitudes, my faith, and my marriage forever. How do non-Christians deal with all of this without a faith in God? I'm stumped. I asked a women I once worked with after she claimed to be an atheist "then why get up in the morning?" What is there to live for if not a eternal hope in Jesus and God's work for you on this earth? How can anyone open their eyes each morning, look around, and NOT see God's amazing goodness? *sigh*

So, here I am trying to think of the right thing to say before calling her...knowing that there's really nothing I can say. Could you all please pray for the situation...

2006 08 02 An update...

As I sit here with both kids playing around my chair, I only have a minute. But, I wanted to keep y'all up to date.

First the update...I've been on Weight Watchers for two weeks now. It hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it would be! LOL And, so far, I've lost a total of 9 pounds! That's simply with using portion control through their points system and the regular activity level of a summer filled with hauling kids to activites and walking more. Over this time, however, it's become abundantly apparent how much emotional eating I was doing to cope with stress and anxiety. So, please continue to pray for strength and guidance for those areas.

Then, I will notify the dean of our Bible school this evening at midweek service that I would happy, proud, and blessed to be a new instructor for fall semester! I don't even know what I'll be teaching. Don't know any details other than I'm feeling what I call a "nudge" that this is something I need to be part of. Please pray for this area as well.

Finally, one new request...I've been struggling to find a way to complete 3 more graduate credits during the fall term to keep my Michigan teaching certifcation current during thetime I'm home with my babies. Since one class at the college I'm currently connected with would be over $1400, I have been looking for an alternative that will meet the college's and the state's requirements for a more reasonable and "do-able" price. My advisor has provided 3-4 possibilities. Please pray that I not only find a solution but that it would be the one God would have for me to use.

That's the update from here...thank you ladies! God bless!

2006 07 31 Momma Just Don't Get Paid Enough!

Good lord! Moments like these must be the reason people tell their children..."I hope you have one just like you!" LOL

My son conked out at 12:30 without his lunchtime oatmeal and is still toddler ate lunch and I put her down for her nap about 1:45. Knowing she hadn't pooped yet today and knowing that lately that's the FIRST thing she does when I put her to bed...I putzed around and asked her around 2:00 if she had pooped. She said no. So I figured she looked sleepy and would be out like a light shortly so I went ahead downstairs to take a shower.

So, I'm in the shower soaping up with conditioner in my hair and I can SWEAR I can hear her crying...I think "Nah! She was nearly asleep and I didn't hear a "thump"! LOL Then I'm trying to rinse and I hear she’s REALLY screaming so I rinsed as quickly as possible run upstairs au naturale (meanwhile the baby's still sleeping) to find her with poop on her hands, on the wall by her light switch, a trail of poop from the play room, and a pile of it at the bottom of her stairs!!!! The little sneak went down to play as soon as I went downstairs, then blew out the diaper, down her leg, and dragged it thru her room to call for me. **sigh**

She was so upset it was hard to be mad - especially when she carefully pointed out each pile for me. I apologized a million times because she kept saying “I was crying. I called for you..." JEEZ! No guilt trip THERE! LOL So we cleaned her up on a towel in her room, washed our hands, I spot cleaned the carpet and put her back to bed where she's perfectly happy and talking to herself right now...

Moms just don't get paid enough!

2006 07 21 Just some good old fashioned braggin'

Been having a good momma week. More fun and fewer battles with my budding-independent-nearly-7-month-old son and my two-going-on-moody-teenager daughter. We've been to the park, to a "Brown Bag" concert for kids, horse carriage rides, and to the local Dairy Queen yesterday (a challenge to my diet I must say!LOL) to romp on the inside playscape since it was raining. Feeling particualry grateful also due to the prayer needs of Sara, Kristie's friend, and Denise. Our miscarriage, infertility struggles, and our subsequent dependence on God have changed and molded us in ways we can't even describe. Just wanted to share a few a pictures as a way to praise God for His faithfulness and to testify that miracles happen...

2006 07 18 DIET is a Four Lettered Word

Well, I’ve stayed within my calorie/points goals for two whole days! LOL It’s actually been rewarding already to see that I’m doing better and I’m (almost) looking forward to weighing in next Monday.

I’m part of a weight loss ministry through my church called S*** H***** Lites. It’s kinda of a “mutt” program using some Weight Watchers and some other theories while providing the accountability for weighing in and such, the encouragement/fellowship of others, plus we get a weight-loss/temple-clean-up devotion each week!

I’m struggling with trying to include exercise in my day with both kids still. Thought about using a tape/DVD and including my oldest. Considered doing something during naptime but getting a 6 month old and a 28 month old down at the same time for any length of time is still one of God’s many miracles! LOL We’ve walked a lot but the recent heat wave has put a bit of a damper on that. And, we have so much fun doing our regular activities – grocery shopping, going to play group, having an occasional “mick-nic” as Viking #1 calls it that I feel like I would have to “trade” one of those activities for exercise.

I have so many bad eating and self-care habits to break. Emotional eating to deal with stress, anxiety and depression are at the top of the list. Being “big boned” with a mom who was a twig and never had to worry (much less teach to her daughter) about eating well has been a problem. Finding an exercise I enjoy has always been a struggle. And, once I did, not being able to find it here locally after my last move.

But, as God has opened doors to other opportunities, I’m sure things will align for me to take some action with this as well. Lord, help me to value this temple you have provided as much as You do. Guide me through these lifestyle changes and protect me from those things that increase my “food temptations”. Show me how to count on You more in all things. Amen.

2006 07 16 Third Time's the Charm

After my most recent entry last Wednesday, I was seeking God to open my eyes and my heart to see Him more clearly. To be more grateful, appreciative, and aware of God’s mighty works in and around my life. Well, once again, God’s got a funny and wonderful sense of humor!

I went to midweek service that night and the message was about the reverential fear of the Lord! Then, the next (Thursday) morning, as I was flipping through the channels while nursing Viking #2, I stumbled onto Joyce Meyers’ program and she was speaking on…the fear of the Lord! LOL Then, I’m cleaning off a bookshelf in our home and I find a book by John Bevere called…wait for it…”The Fear of the Lord”! Well, that would be what I refer to as a “nudge” from God! LOL

So, that will be my focus for a bit of time now. Plus, I still need to seek Him for an answer, an open window perhaps, about the matter of teaching at our local Bible school. As I have been considering those possibilities, I’ve been wondering…what is the difference between a leap of faith (jumping into the commitment of teaching with and for an amazing Spirit-filled staff and administrator despite blockages not being cleared away yet ) and waiting on His timing for all obstacles to be handled? Hmmm…

2006 07 16 Changes on the Horizon

Well, I'm anticipating a season of change coming onto me. Things have calmed down (as much as they can with two small children) and have become a little more "normal" day to day. And, as I look around at the crumbling piles around me of things I have let slide as I’ve pushed out two babies in under two years (LOL), it's time to get a little more back on track.
I do this with a healthy amount of fear. I have a history of over-committing and overcompensating with a wicked side order of not being able to say NO! I also deal daily with ADD which is currently un-medicated. Between trying to conceive, being pregnant, and nursing, I’ve been off my ADD meds for nearly 5 years. It is a constant struggle to fight the daily symptoms as well as the accompanying anxiety and depression that results from that struggle.

I’ve also put on about 70-80 pounds since getting married. It complicated our infertility struggles as well as challenged our budding married life. Then, it was pushed aside as I was told I “couldn’t” diet while I was pregnant or nursing.

Then, I think I’m ready to start picking back up some my responsibilities at church. I’d love to start singing with the praise and worship team again. I’d love to teach adult Sunday school again. It’s SO tempting to jump at the chance to teach at our Bible school without seeking if it’s God’s will for me right now. Also, our church weight loss group, affectionately called “Tub Scouts”, is starting back up and I would LOVE to participate! Diet, exercise, and fellowship “cure” many of the problems that come with the overweight and ADD issues.

So, I’ve decided to put a small toe in the proverbial water…talked to Da Hubby after church today and, first of all, I’ll join Tub Scouts again. Then, come August the decision with regards to Bible school will be made. In September, it’ll be time for a decision about teaching Sunday school. Then, when Viking #2 reaches his first birthday just after the holidays, it’ll be time to start thinking about weaning and visiting the doctor to restart my medication. I think it’s gonna be a busy 6 months! LOL So, as my first “selfish” goal, I’m hoping to lose 80 pounds in the next 19 months. Nineteen months from now I will be turning 40!

Father, please give me counsel, direction, and insight as I start to resume some “extra” activities outside the home. Lead to me know what is in Your will and what things are no longer important in Your plan for me…

2006 07 12 Faith Like a Child

How amazing is it to see the world through your children's eyes? Wonder. New-ness. Discovery. To be completely enthralled by something you've never seen before.

We are so fortunate to live in an area that is very "touristy" and moderately affluent. There are many things done, scheduled, performed, etc in this relatively small town. Today, I took the kids to our local bandshell in our little downtown area which incidentally overlooks Lake Michigan. We had gone to our little ma and pa deli, picked up some food, and planned to have a "mic-nick" as Viking #1 calls it while we listened to this week's Wednesday brown bag concert at noon. The sound of the music as well as the smell and sounds of the lake was soothing in the midstof a busy week. After that, we joined many other local moms and kids, the local YWCA's camp kids, and the tourists on a horse-drawn wagon ride around the downtown area.

How captivated my oldest was by the other kids, the music, the ducks, the bugs, the horses, etc. Even the baby was dazed and staring up at the trees, the leaves, and the sunlight. That awe, that wonder, that mesmerizing lost when we "grow up"...isn't that suppose to be how we look toward God?

Lately, in an attempt to be more thankful and less critical about the world around me, I've been trying to get mind around how incredibly awesome and dumbfoundingly cool God has made each thing around me is and how incredibly blessed I am to have those things and those people sharing my path with me. I don't feel grateful enough for all God has done because I'm taking all that is around me for granted. I've lost that awe and wonder.When one is baptized, they are washed clean and given a new life to live. I need new eyes again, Lord. To see your greatness, your love, your power, your sheer awesomeness in my life and in the small wonderful things around me. Help me, Lord. Open my heart and my eyes to see You more clearly...

2006 07 06 Am I Fervent?

Our midweek service last night was amazing! The praise and worship, the message, the prayer time, the fellowship. This experience was increased by the fact that Da Hubby had stayed home with the kids! LOL I got to sing all the songs, sit through an entire sermon, and pray without one eye open watching for trouble! :)

Our message was about being fervent and re-committing. Our pastor feels we're being attacked and being drawn away from the things God's promised us. We're probably "drifting" a little - which, to be honest, I would expect in the "laziness" of summer when so many people are coming and going from vacations and the nice weather calls many away from service on Sunday mornings, evenings, and Wednesday nights.

But as everything "clicked" last night and I was caught up in joyous praise and God's presence, I was I truly fervent about my Lord? There are so many things yet to come this year in our daily lives and in our church activities. One of which is that I've been asked to step up and become a instructor at our Bible school. This is not for the weak, halfway, lukewarm, or lazy! LOL These people are our leaders, movers and shakers, on fire for God and darn proud about it! :) I'm honored to be asked but intimidated by what it might mean for me and about me. Pastor often talks about living with excellence, raising the bar, taking a step out. I find myself wondering if I'm ready.

Not being raised in the Pentecostal tradition, this enthusiasm and evident love of Christ was missing in my life, something I searched for but now find a little overwhelming! Am I up for the challenge? Only God knows. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a rushing river and God might be asking me to go ahead and jump in!

I pray for His strength and guidance since there is one hurdle left to climb over before I can commit to teaching. If this is His will, the doors will open! And, if not a door...a window! LOL

Praise Him!

2006 06 30 A Graduation Tassle...

... and a new baby niece on the way!

Yesterday was a busy day as I shuttled kids around to their grandparents, did errands, and took the dog to the vet. Generally rushing through my day untilI saw something that struck me.

As I sat at a red light, I looked into the car ahead of me (being in a van sitting up a little higher than standard cars makes this somewhat easier! LOL). The young man had the standard graduational tassle hanging from his rear view mirror. But, as we sat there waiting for the light to turn green, he reached up, ran his fingers through it, straightened it out, un-kinked a few snags like he was reminiscining. It only last a fraction of a minute and we were both off to our day's adventures. But, it made me think.

How much is in front of him! What Life must hold in front of you at that point in your life. No one but God knows what the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years hold in store for that young man. Great things. Sad things. Accomplishments and failures. But, many, many changes.

Remembering back those 5, 10, 15, and then 20 years ago when I was his age and had just graduated high different my life is now than ANYTHING I pictured then! LOL All the sad, lonely, miserable years that I went through, that God brought me through to a relationship with Him at this point in time.

Then, I thought about the phone call I received Wednesday. My 18 year old half sister announced to my dad and stepmom that she's pregnant. I'm unsure how to react. A new life is always a blessing- especially to me after my many years of infertility struggles. However, she's been through school suspensions, expulsion, alternative ed, AA, NA, counseling, court dates, and doctors appointments in the last three years. Moved out of the house at 16, moved in with a fellow 17-year-old classmate, broke up with him, started dating her 26-year-old boss, started living with him, and now has become pregnant by him. *sigh*

And, again, I have to much is in front of her! What Life must hold in front of her at that point in her life. No one but God knows what the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years hold in store for my sister. Great things. Sad things. Accomplishments and failures. But, many, many changes.

As I become older, I am beginning to understand better how the Holy Spirit "fills in the blanks" when you don't even know what words to use to begin to pray. But, I pray that God shows Himself to that young man of promise I saw in traffic and rocks his world with His amazing love. I pray the same for my sister - for her salvation, for the tiny baby inside her, and for her situation that all of them will line up with God's will. It feels like "all" I can do.

2006 06 26 Water Inspired

Have you ever noticed that witnessing a baptism often feels like a renewal of your own baptism?

I felt this way when I was in a traditional mainline church that believed in baby baptism. Often during the ceremony in front of the whole congregation, we spoke the same words in place of the baby being baptized, its parents, and its godparents/sponsors. This feeling is that and so much more so now that we are part in a church with an adult baptism tradition. We are blessed to live about a half hour walk from Lake Michigan. And, doubly blessed that our church chooses to do some of their baptisms in it!

How moving is it to hear as they stand in this great lake before God, His creation, the pastor, and all of our church family, someone testify of all God has brought them through - backsliding, a spouse's death, a nervous breakdown just to name a few from last night's service - before being submerged and arising as a new creation in Christ?!

I am so grateful to a family who followed their tradition to baptize me with water when I was 6 weeks old. And, God bless the pastor who lead to my adult baptism nearly four years ago in a church member's pool. But, how magnificent to honor those moments be being present for those doing it for the first time again and again!

Feeling renewed, encouraged, and grateful today. Thank you Lord for washing me clean spiritually! Amen!

2006 06 22 Ya Want Cheese With That Whine?

I 've never considered myself particularly experienced enough to determine if this is the case...but, lately, I'm definintely feeling like I'm under attack.

Car insurance problems possibly costing $900+. Health insurance "surprises" costing $300+. Bank issues hindering us from fixing some of this. Sick kids, husband and myself with stomach flu. A dog closing in on his end of battle with kidney disease (another high cost proposition for the trip to vet and eventual cremation). The first new van payment to strain the finances a bit. *sigh*

I keep trying to give it to God and fight the voices in my head saying it's all my fault, it's my poor planning, I'm alone in dealing with it, some shame for not being able to balance it all (kids, home, finances, etc) so now Da Hubby will have to stress about it as well. Just feeling down, bummed, and in need of a good frustrated cry. Discouraged to even start tackle each problem one by one (where do I even start?) - a reoccurring problem as I deal with unmedicated adult ADD.

Just needing prayer today and feeling a little silly for it just being a preponderance of small stuff that is "ganging up" on me. Lord, help me to be more grateful for what I have and what You have provided. And, help steer me through these choices the next few days. Let me see Your will in these matters as I learn the lessons I need to learn and accept the consequences of what might eventually come to light as poor choices. And, Lord, provide your peace to my jangled nerves.

2006 06 19 My little Vikings...

My little babes are sick today. Daddy was livin' in the bathroom (if ya know what I mean) on Saturday. Viking #1 started vomitting last night at midnight and diarhea started this afternoon. Then, the baby started filling diapers right before dinner. Momma's had 3 hours sleep since Saturday night! LOL No other explanation than God that I'm still on my feet and able to put two words together! :) And, bless God for Da Hubby who came home and made dinner! LOL

Just wanted to share a took four attempts and my mother-in-law's help but I finally got the kids and I secretly to JC Penney's two weeks ago to get portraits done for Daddy, my father-in-law, my dad, and my step-dad for Fathers Day. They turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! *blush* So, here's my pictorial debut...

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start. Blessings to all!

2006 06 18 Another change

Be careful what you ask for - you might just get it! Or be careful what you pray for...
It's funny how God decides to resolve a problem! LOL Back in April, I was talking about and praying about what might be coming next in my life after so many changes in the last few years. One thing that I figured would remain constant would be teaching.

I swore I’d never be a teacher. I come from a family of teachers. And, before I learned about God, His gifts to me and using them to His glory, I swore I would do ANYTHING but teach just so I could be different. So I spent nearly 8 years after high school trying every other thing that sounded interesting. Eventually, I started thinking back to what I really enjoyed and what I’d really like to do with my life and ended up back in school to be certified to teach. I graduated from that program when I was 26. I had had 3 careers before I was 30! Looking back, my teaching really defined me in my mind most.

Then, as I’ve explained before, I met my husband and my life did a 180! LOL Everything in my life underwent a major and immediate overhaul. In the six years, I transformed into a stay at home wife, then a stay at home mom of one, then two beautiful little Vikings. Changed faiths to a Pentecostal congregation and grew exponentially under the direction, guidance, and shepherding of two amazing pastors. However, during this time, my school teaching was put on hold. To feed my need, I taught adult Sunday school at my church – one session on “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere and “Too Busy Not To Pray” by Bill Hybels.

I always assumed I would keep my certification current. We were (and still are) kicking around homeschooling. I figured my certification would help with that. And, if the kids did go to an out-of-the-home school situation, I could always go back to work. Plus, what if something happened to Da Hubby? Lay off? Injury? Worse? I needed something to fall back on to support the kids. I thought my certification expired in June 2007. I’d been putting off checking because I was so sure.

In the meantime, the middle of last month, our church’s Bible school president presented completion certificates before a morning service for those students who finished another semester’s worth of classes. Afterwards, I stopped to talk to the president to ask her how her week had gone and to ask if she was glad this semester was over. As we chatted, I mentioned how much I missed teaching. She then explained that she had been praying for God to send her more people with teaching training and experience to expand the staff. She asked if I would prayerfully consider joining her instructional staff!

I was so flattered, promised I would talk to Da Hubby about it, pray about it, and would get back to her. I wanted to double check my certification expiration date so that I wouldn’t get over-obligated trying to teach for her while trying to complete a grad school class while balancing the two kids. So, the other day while digging through the final boxes before our garage sale this past weekend, I stumbled onto my files for my grad school work and credentials. I was stunned to discover my certification expired in less than two weeks.

I was devastated. I am a “teacher” but who would hire me now? What kind of job could I get now? What if something happened and Da Hubby went home to Heaven? I needed to be able to support the kids. I overcame huge obstacles to complete that certification. I was distraught at the thought of losing it. Maybe the offer to teach at the Bible school was an indication it is time to let the certification (my last connection to my pre-saved, pre-married life) go and let God take the wheel, so to speak.

I momentarily fell apart and a huge hormonal crying fit in the driveway (Da Hubby was out cleaning the garage for the garage sale) as soon as I put the kids to bed. Well, another advantage to being saved, these moments of crisis don’t often last long because He puts everything in perspective. I not a “teacher” only – I’m a child of God first!

The next day I called the university and spoke with the women in charge of certification. I had prayed that there was some unknown or unheard of secret clause in the State of Michigan “teacher code” that would allow a loophole for a teacher basically on “maternity leave” for a few years. Well, I got one. Long phone call short? My certificate will “go to sleep” (that’s an odd choice of phrasing, if you ask me! LOL) while I have either summer or fall term to get one more class. That will put me at 15 grad credits, which is enough to apply for my professional certification. Yippee!

Meanwhile, I still need to make a decision about the request to teach at Bible school. Thus, the request for prayer in my last post. I haven’t felt a leading one way or another yet. Maybe I need to follow through with checking into finishing that three credits of grad work first. As usual, waiting on God’s timing, grace, and wisdom. So, I will let you all know how it turns out. I’m hoping that things will transpire so I can give the school’s president an answer this week so she can begin to prepare for fall term. So, again, I ask for prayer for wisdom, discernment, and guidance. This started with a prayer for God to reveal what’s next in His plan for me. I was out of His will for so long, I don’t want to do it again. So, I want to “end” it relying on prayer as well.