Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Little Link Love

While my brain isn't in its sharpest form this week, but I have bookmarked the following entries for further reading later. I'm not normally drawn to "political" stuff but find the last two just so jaw-dropping, I thought I'd share.

"A Dangerous Book for Boys" from Everyday Mommy

"A Wake-up Call for Parents" from MegaMom Barbara Curtis about a recent mandatory high school assembly in Boulder, Colorado where a clincial psychologist who is also part of the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association of Southern California told the following to 14- to 18-year-olds - "Now, what is healthy sexual behavior? Well, I don't care if it's with men and men, women and women, men and women -- whatever combination you would like to put together..."

And, "A Wake-up Call for Parents- part 2" with regard to the issue of "tolerance education" in public schools. If this is a topic you are interested in, be sure to click on Barbara's 2001 article from Focus on the Family's magazine Citizen.

Thursday Thank Tank

Following Peach's example...

Keepin' it simple this week since things have been a little rough...

1. Thankful that Flicka still asked for me and wants me to hold her when waking up last night from nearly 6 nights in a row of nightmares.

2. Thankful for modern conveniences like washers and dryers with all the "accidents" Flicka's been having at night.

3. Thankful that yesterday she finally answered "yes" again to DaHubby's question "did you love Mommy?"

4. Thankful for a hubby that is just...well, awesome in a crisis - emotional or otherwise.

5. Thankful for a church family that received us with hugs and hellos at midweek service last night and missed us last Sunday while we were out of town.

6. Thankful for a Father who surrounded me in a peace during that service that healed much of this week's hurts.

7. Thankful for Anita who has been SO encouraging this week.

8. Thankful for the hour-long talk by phone with my daddy this weekend. I never would have thought I'd chat about computers, recipes, cooking, homeschooling, and child-rearing with my dad!

9. Thankful for health insurance (yet again) as we wait on results of a test I took last week and next Tuesday's procedure for Pojke.

10. Thankful that despite the stress and strain of the last week or so, I was happy to see that when I weighed in last night on the church's scale, it had gone in the right direction! LOL I've lost a total of seven pounds this month. Thank you to Beth F. and Tales from the Scales!

Check in later to see what Peach has to say about her Thank Tank or join some bloggy sisters for Thankful Thursday at Sting My Heart.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Small Praise Report

Back when we had revival a few weeks ago, at one point, the evangelist prayed over Pojke who at that point was suffering with yet another ear infection. Our pediatrician had said that if this happened again before Pojke was 18 months old (in July) that we would have to consider surgery for tubes. The evangelist laid hands on Pojke, prayed over him, and said Pojke would not need the surgery.

Well, a month later, here we are. I took Pojke in today for a follow-up. While he is infection-free (praise God!), there is still standing water behind his eardrum. And, when tested, his eardrum is not vibrating the way it should...which might partially explain why Pojke is starting to get close to falling behind the "average" of the number of words he should be speaking at this point.

But, the evangelist was right! My baby Viking still will not require standard, general-anesthetic surgery. Praise God! There is a relatively new alternative.

So, next Tuesday, Pojke will undergo a
laser-assisted myringotomy. In basic terms, they will use a local anesthetic on a fancy Q-tip to numb Pojke's ear drums. Then, after strapping him to a "papoose board" (which ought to be LOADS of fun!), they will use a laser for 1/5 of a sec to make a 1-2 mm hole in his eardrum which immediately release any pressure/discomfort he's been feeling, which will drain the remaining fluid and give bacteria no place to breed, which could immediately improve Pojke's ability to form words, and which will heal in 2-4 weeks. The eardrum heals over SO well, most puncture sites cannot be found even under microscope. And, there is a 70% chance Pojke will not get another ear infection after this. Other than eardrops and some Tylenol, we'll walk out of the office 10 minutes later.

Praise God for this opportunity! But, as you can imagine, we have some concerns about "them shooting a laser into your son's head" as one of the very blunt mommies I know said to me this afternoon. LOL So, if you could say a prayer for Pojke, his doctor, and for us - that everything goes according to His will and according to His plan, we would really appreciate it.


First, thank you to everyone who put such wonderfully kind comments after my post about Flicka yesterday. I teared up reading them, flattered to hear that y'all don't think I'm some "momma monster". LOL

Spent most of the day yesterday in my head...worrying about every word coming out of my mouth directed towards her as well as everything that's been going on the last few weeks and months. After our adventure this weekend and her little outburst the other day, I'm still reeling some.

Told DaHubby (after he had called for the third time to check on me) that I still felt awful. By 9am yesterday, I stopped counting at ten the number of times I stopped myself from saying something critical and/or impatient to Flicka. *sigh*

Then, Pojke had a bit of an awakening when Momma realized that DaHubby had been *precisely* correct that I had been favoring my baby boy. Flicka had somehow become someone to protect Pojke from. How did THAT happen? *sigh*

And, his toddler world was rocked a little when he didn't get to win each argument and/or dispute yesterday. And, as if his crying and momentarily hurt, surprised eyes looking up at me weren't bad enough, the surprised look on Flicka's face when I took her side just crushed me into the ground further.

"For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."

So, how do I get up? I've been praying pretty much constantly. For wisdom. For insight. For humility. And, in thankfulness for DaHubby's honest but hard-to-hear observations.

God formed us once from the dust of the ground. I'm hoping He'll re-form me again into the godly mom and wife He wants me to be.

Breathe into me Your breath of life again, Oh Lord, for it is all that is getting me through my days this week. In this "dusting" of my pride, allow me to lean on You and the man whom You picked to be by my side. I don't know it all. I don't need to. I just need You.

Wordless Wednesday

the longest two tower suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere.

Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy living in Michigan? *wink*
Check out other Wordless Wednesday participants here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We're Home

The weekend didn't go quite as planned. Taking the kids so far into cooler-than-expected weather with so few conveniences began wear down even DaHubby's positive camping and U.P.-visiting attitude. We came home a day early to salvage yesterday as at least one day to spend together peacefully when it first mommy-heart-breaking moment.

"I don't like you!"

Nearly everything I've done in the last few days has solicited silence, grudging compliance, attempted ignoring, or those four words from Flicka.

My heart is broken. My confidence shattered.

When we surprised my in-laws by showing up at their favorite breakfast place yesterday morning, Flicka refused to come home with me. *sigh*

When we picked her up that afternoon and I had turned off the TV at the end of the show she was watching to pack her up, she came at me swinging. *sigh*

There's also some sibling rivalry issues that (as an only child) I thought I was addressing but DaHubby (one of six) assures me that I am feeding with Flicka re: Pojke.

So, I'm all a-jumble emotionally and need to work some things out. While I'm not "fasting" blog writing per se, I'm still not feeling in a position to write a lot. I'll be around, licking my ouchies, and figuring out what to do from here.

As a side note, I have a 400+ pictures that DaHubby took this weekend and somehow I have to select a handful to throw together a quick web page so my parents can see "what fun" the kids had this weekend. So when I get that done later today, I'll link back here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blog Break Extended

DaHubby and I decided last night to head upstate via a 7-9 hours ride (depending on the kids LOL) early (like THREE A.M.) Friday morning. The old friend who owns the cabin on the island I talked about in my favorite vacation spot post is unable to be there this weekend but told us to go on ahead and enjoy it with the kids. So, we're off for a little road trip to somewhere near DaHubby's old stomping grounds for some rest and relaxation - well, at least some R&R once we get there since we all know how much work it'll be to get ready to take two kids under 4 to an island with a cabin with no running water, no technology other than a phone, and no stores! LOL

So, I've got two days to do about 8 errands, pack four people, prep 4 days worth of food, etc. while maintaining some sense of order around the house. Y'all have a wonderful holiday weekend! See ya' back here next Tuesday!

photo credit:

Peeking in for a sec...

CONGRATULATIONS to my sweet dear hubby who came in second in Kailani's An Island Life II contest! His photo and memories of Big Bro D whom I've written about here and here was well-deserved! I love you, sweetie!

Monday, May 21, 2007


One of the things I appreciate about my current denomination and church home is how it requires accountability. It can be awkward or make one self-conscious at times. But, I feel like it creates a stronger bond among the fellowship as well as destroys the hiding of sins in the darkness where they can fester and get significantly worse.

To achieve this, there is a level of transparentness that would probably horrify some people outside our church family! LOL We don't only share prayer needs like unsaved family members, health concerns, injuries, and the like but it is not unusual for people to speak openly about their need for prayer in areas of drug addiction, money issues, and other less "Christian-like" temptations.

This blog has worked in much the same way for me. It has helped or is helping me read more (the Bible as well as other things), write more, and lose weight. It encourages my faith to "speak" with some of you each day and makes me feel less "odd" for some of the beliefs I hold. LOL

However, the scales have tipped out of my "favor"...and it's my turn to be transparent. It's nothing major but I'm beginning to lose a sense of balance and priorities (again).

*Despite the "good" it brings, I'm spending too much time on the computer, particularly blogging and following others' blogs.

*After spending some time feeling proud (the first sign of a problem) of turning off the cable and keeping the TV off more often, my kids have spent too much time in the last week or so in front of it so I could catch up or keep up with my online "responsibilities".

*I DO NOT like the reaction in me this weekend as DaHubby joined in a photo contest I found and promptly trounced me with the number of votes he's received. I was not gracious about it at all and found it difficult to enjoy his happiness and well-deserved confidence-building.

*My pride (there's that word again) and excitement in getting some crafty things done this week turned into sourness with my hubby and kids when my online "work" got done, THEN my housework which then left no time for crafty work which made me cranky.

*My disappointment in myself that I never finished my Godly Women entries because, well, I haven't been reading my Bible much.

*I'm participating in too many carnivals and contests and seeking connections there instead of starting here at home, in the Word, within my family, and reaching out from here.

*I'm spending WAY too much time "keeping score" about how much I feel I'm doing and how little I feel I'm being "appreciated" for it - another bad sign.

*My computer time has taken away from my exercise goals.

*And, finally, since I am an emotional eater, all this "out-of-balance-ness" has caused a major hurdle for my diet changes to the point where I lost only 1/4 pound this week.

So, I'm instituting a bloggy fast this week. I've gone through my Palm and removed all my reminders for all my planned blog entries. The only one I may still do is Thankful Thursday because I think it honors the whole point I'm trying to re-learn. Blessings on your adventures the next few days! And, say a little prayer that things get back on track around here!

Friday, May 18, 2007

PAT Picnic Today

We participate in our local Parents As Teachers group. This morning was our end-of-the-year picnic. Flicka and Pojke met "Clifford", saw the fire trucks, played with Play-doh, played with bubbles, painted, ran, rolled in the grass, ate under a tree, saw an owl, toad, turtle, and snake, got a goodie bag, and much more! LOL

Pigtails! Finally!

The hair battles here have been B-I-G lately. Shoulda started her with taped-on clips while she was still "bald"! LOL So, Flicka now wants her hair long, untrimmed and doesn't want me to do anything with it - no barrettes, ponytails, or pigtails. FINALLY! Last Sunday, she let me try it. So not to be out done by the ADORABLE pigtails of Miss E, here's how our first attempt turned out...

No, I'm not competitive...what makes you say that!?

But, I actually have a chance at this contest since there are only 14 of us! LOL Unfortunately, DaHubby is one of my competition (that's the down side to getting your hubby hooked on blogging too! LOL)

Please consider going to Kailani's site and voting for my favorite vacation place post. Place a comment in this post to vote. You can vote once today, once tomorrow, and once Sunday. Thanks!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

SRT#7: Lightning and Lace by DiAnn Mills

OK, I'm just being transparent here. Not only was this book NOT on my list of books to read for the Spring Reading Thing challenge, but normally Christian "chick lit" is NOT my thing. LOL

The familar historical novels with struggling women overcoming some life-altering thing and mending relationships with significant others while learning to trust God more have always been a little too "Harlequin" for me. And, no, it doesn't help if it's set in modern time because it's usually in a big city that I can't (or don't want to) relate to. LOL

So, while I was THRILLED to have finally won something from a contest, when I won this book from one of Katrina's awesome giveaways, my expectations were not high. How wrong I was!

I received it from the author (autographed!) last Thursday and had it read in just over 24 hours! LOL It had a solid story line, a bad guy you loved to hate, a plot that moved quickly, and nothing seemed particularly "hokey". The characters seems honest, possible, and flawed for pete's sake. No glossed over simplifcations or generalizations here - well, not much anyway. *wink*

This is the first book of this type that I have read. And, if all of DiAnn Mills books are this good, I may have a new summer reading favorite!

Thursday Thank Tank

In honor of Peach who is taking a God-directed bloggy break at the moment...

I've been on a "5 senses" thing lately so I'm using that to organize my thankfulness list today! LOL

1. Thankful for the sound of Flicka singing her three-year-old version of praise and worship songs..."there's no God like Ta-ho-ga, there's no God like Ta-ho-ga..." (that's "Jehovah" for those unfamiliar with Flicka-speak and/or
this song)

2. Thankful for the taste of anything sweet, chocolate, or ice cream flavored...thanks to Beth and her compatriots at
Tales from the Scales. *wink*

3. Thankful for feel of the heat kicking back in again this week - typical Michigan weather: last week air conditioning; this week the furnace!

4. Thankful for the sight of Heather who is still with us , still fighting, still praying, and still waitin' on her healing! Her struggle, her testimony, and her faith have already changed how I see the world around me.

5. Thankful for the smell of crock pot soup and fresh baked bread. We have made it habit the last 6+ weeks to prep Saturday night and then fill the crock pot and the bread machine early Sunday morning so that when we arrive home 3-4 hours later, there is this amazing, thank-God-for-homemade-food smell as soon as we walk in the door!

So, while Peach is on sabbatical, ck out Thankful Thursday at Sting My Heart.

Someone Stop Her Before She Crafts Again! LOL

Well, the sad news? I didn't win Laura's organization challenge. The good news? I can now find my craft supplies when I need them! LOL And, I'm out of control!

Finished Flicka's blanket Tuesday.

Made her sewing cards yesterday (since watching me sparked her curiousity for sewing).

And, I then went to the local knitters' group at the library last night and have a VERY rough first few rows to show for about two hours worth of work! LOL

Good grief! Someone step in and slap me! LOL

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Favorite Vacation Spot Contest

A friend of mine from way back has a piece of property in Northern Michigan that is right on the St. Mary's River just south of Sault Ste. Marie. His cabin is on Neebish Island. I had my first invite up there around 1993. I have since been blessed to visit several years in a row and, most recently, I have introduced the place to DaHubby, Flicka, and Pojke (then in utero *wink*). It was and is an absolutely perfect slice of heaven.

So, when I saw a call for submissions from Michigan History magazine back in 2003 because they were putting together a special edition in tribute to the "Islands of the Great Lakes", I knew I had my writing assignment cut out for me. But, how could I describe this place in 300 words or less!? This is how:

"It was so little but has had a powerful effect on me.

One little island. One little cabin. Everybody running out on their docks when the distant rumble of engines reaches their ears. At that point, the St. Mary’s River seems almost narrow enough to swim across yet upbound thousand-foot freighters glide by effortlessly several times a day. A single freighter is well worth the drive from downstate.

Neebish Island seems to be the wilderness sister to its neighbor, Sugar Island. Everything about it says “shhhh, don’t tell anyone.” The ferry is harder to find. The signs are harder to notice. It seems quieter, greener, and full of hidden roads, paths, and treasures.

I first arrived at Neebish around 1993 thanks to a dear friend whose family has had a cabin on the island for decades. The wall space over the desk is covered in photos documenting the generations of this family that have used, appreciated, and added on to this piece of property.

Almost everybody along this stretch of beach are distant relatives of the same family. Yet, they are considerate and welcoming of strangers and guests. That includes the unofficial welcoming party of often more than a half of a dozen dogs, well trained and well mannered, who wander freely and play for hours on the beach.

The adopted motto for those using the cabin is “a rainy day at Neebish is still better than a sunny day downstate.” Cell phones are turned off. There’s no television. Only a radio. It takes a day or two but you get on “Neebish time”: eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired, read a lot, and visit the rest of the time.

I have been so blessed by this tiny slice of heaven. It is a magical place."

I was selected - as were DaHubby's photos! It was our first published pieces! And, it made my love for this place all the sweeter. So, now I'm entering this in Kailani's An Island Life Photo Contest II It may not be the type of island that one normally thinks of escaping to for vacation, but it fits me perfectly!

(If you would like to help me out, please feel free to go here, view the other entries and, if you feel mine's the best, you can vote for me once a day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thanks!)

WFMW: Being Like "Robo-Dad" LOL

While I feel I'm pretty hip to new technology, I also accept change to my current systems with a heavy level of scepticism. When DaHubby (then the DaFiance) suggested several years ago to convert from my large (like 9 by 12) planner with dividers, sections, etc. to a Handspring/Palm type device, I gasped at the sacrilege! I wouldn't *dare* mess with the system that got me through college, those first few lean post-college years, my first lay-off, more job hunting, back to working full time, back to school 3/4 time simultaneously, student teaching while working part-time, and my first 60+ hr a week teaching gig. Needless to say, our house *now* runs (nearly) like a Swiss watch with the addition of a Palm into my life.

But, I digress...

But, with that in mind, you can imagine my eye-rolling when DaHubby bought one of these: a Motorola Bluetooth headset. I took to calling him "Robo-Dad" as he would suddenly ignore me and begin conversations with what appeared to be thin air. Several times while at the grocery store for me, he will have called asking one more time what it was I wanted and I would hear him say at least once to someone passing by him "no - I'm not talking to myself"

So, I laughed inwardly and continued to balance our "home phone" which is actually my cell phone on my shoulder while keeping Flicka in the house and/or changing Pojke and/or doing dishes and/or making dinner (or all the above) at the same time! Then, I nearly dropped my cell in a sink full of soaking dishes (for about the fifth time in a week) and I'd had enough.

DaHubby paid about $69 for his a few months ago. I found one on Ebay, bid, and won it at the cost of (with shipping) $29! It is the best money I've spent since my Diaper Genie! LOL While I use it primarily at home (and occasionally while I'm driving), it's been worth every penny to be able to have both hands free and stand upright with my head not cocked to the side while multi-tasking through a busy day.

Bring on phone calls while I rotate the laundry, change a diaper and load the diswasher! Being able to use the phone while multi-tasking without a need for a chiropractor? That works for me! Just call me "Robo-Mom"! *wink*

Go over to Shannon's site today and see what other cool ideas are being passed around!

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

There's just something about this shot DaHubby took at the zoo a few days ago that grips my heart. Is it that much of the world from her perspective is new, wonderous, and moving quickly around her? Or, that she's growing up as quickly as it appears that background is moving? *sigh*

See some other Wordless Wednesday participants here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Sewing Debut

One of my goals for 2007 was to learn to use a sewing machine. My mother-in-law had an old hand-me-down machine that's older than DaHubby that she gave me once I had a lesson in how to use it. Then, during the organizational challenge last month, I came across a bag filled with fleece rectangles I had cut up for a different project that I never completed. So, I took the "squares" and made Flicka this:

What do you think? (Be kind! LOL)


There. Do I have your attention now? *wink*

Well, this is week one weigh-in for the May Day Weight Loss Challenge at Tales of the Scales I've been using a scale at home for a general weight check - to make sure everything is going in the right direction..down! LOL But, my church has one of those older doctor's office sliding-weight scales for its weight loss ministry. So, I've been weighing in while we're there Sunday morning.

Anyway, the total loss for this week? Three pounds. Not exactly the resounding first week loss I was hoping for but it's still heading in the right direction and it is on track with a healthy weight loss of a few pounds a week at a time.

I also walked twice in the last week with my MOMS Club folks (my other goal) and tread water in the deep end of the Y pool for 20 minutes waiting for Flicka to jump in during swimming lessons. (That counts as exercise, right!? LOL)

Oh, yea - back to the recipe. Found this on my first attempt last fall with weight loss which resulted in a 30 pound loss. It tastes great but the "clear-ness" of the gravy (since all the "cloudy" fat is removed) might be off-putting to some. But, a very good replacement at 1pt per 1/2 cup!!

Check here for everyone else's first week successes!

Monday, May 14, 2007

SRT #6: Homeschooling for Dummies

OK, I'm SO far off my list that I proposed to follow when I started this Spring Reading Thing with Katrina but I AM proud of how much reading I've gotten done! LOL

I got Homeschooling for Dummies and A Complete Idiot's Guide to Homeschooling at the same time via Ebay. Without going into how DaHubby and I REALLY dislike this "Dummies" and "Idiot's Guide" thing, let me say this: I read "Homeschooling for Dummies" cover to cover and probably have 30+ sticky notes working as tabs at the top of the book for things I'll go back and use. That is not the case so far with the other.

There are seven "chapters" or parts: Heading to Homeschooling, Tackling Kids of Any Age, Basic Curriculum Options, Nailing Down the Details, Making Your Year Sing With Extras, the Part of Tens (10 educational games and 10 most common homeschooling fears), and the worth-their-weight-in-gold appendixes on curriculum, resources, associations, and glossary of "education-speak" that drives non-teacher-trained (as well as teacher-trained) folks insane.

The parts that will at first glance help me the most right now are pages on arguments for people claiming my kids won't be socialized, lowering costs, helping me find the proper legal resources so I know my rights and responsibilities, public domain/copyright/fair use issues, and organizational ideas.

This is easy to read, well-organized, and simple to understand. It addresses homeschooling from different perspectives in terms of why you are homeschooling and what you will teach in a way that's inclusive. It covers the spectrum from school-at-home classical curriculum to unschooling.

If you are at the beginning of your home schooling research like I am, I'd suggest picking up a used copy of this book. Don't know that I would have spent $20 for this book but since a "very good" copy can be purchased at for under $7 not including media mail shipping, I'd jump on it.

If you would like to see some of the books the other 270+ people are reading, there are a list of participants here and some of the reviews here.

Eight (more) Random Things

Been tagged by Lisa...

The Rules:
Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

The Facts:
1. I collect postcards. Not just from places I've been but I bug everyone else to get a few while they are gone wherever THEY go too! LOL It started with a mentor teacher hand-me-down-ing a shoebox filled with really old postcards to me in 1995.

2. I don't/can't drink coffee. Never got the taste for it - even in college. However, I figure if it could taste the way it smells, I'd need it intravenously! LOL

3. Weird Proud family baby naming tradition: Flicka and Pojke are fourth generation "double initials". Most everyone down my dad's side of the family tree has names like Timothy Terry, Erin Elizabeth, and Dawn Denise.

4. Last month, I had my first sewing machine lesson since 8th grade home ec. LOL Got a hand-me-down machine from my MIL. I'm nearly done with a new blanket and throw pillows for Flicka. And, I have patterns sitting on my desk for aprons and (hopefuly) an adorable jumper for Flicka.

5. Several years ago, I participated in a halftime show for a Detroit Lions game at the Pontiac Silverdome.

6. I had a short career in law enforcement. Was a pretty good 911 operator/police dispatcher for a while. However, I found it frustrating that there's no "follow-through" - you generally don't find out how things turn out.

7. Prior to DaHubby and Vikings, I used to be a regular
Renaissance fair attendee. Even had a simple costume made to wear. Can you say "NERD"? LOL

8. While having problems with a starter and cellinoid on a former vehicle, I was taught by the tow truck driver who was getting repeatedly sent to my home how to basically hot wire my own vehicle. Must have gotten too good at it because I got stopped by a friendly local law enforcement officer in a Meijer's parking lot one day and had to prove I was the registered

The Tags:
Well, most everyone I know has already been tagged...but how 'bout DaHubby, Christina, and JMom.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Zoo Follow Up Pics

Because I couldn't pick only a few, I threw my 20+ favorite pics of the 100+ DaHubby took yesterday at the zoo and created a quick web page for whoever is interested. Click here to see a few animal pics but mostly my babies havin' a blast!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Taking a Break With the Animals...

...and I don't mean the Vikings! *wink*

After a long week of overtime for DaHubby, late nights prepping the garden, and busy, sniffly, boogery babies, we're taking a family day off. We're driving an hour and half east. My mom and step-dad are driving an hour and a half west and we're meeting here.

No "momma chores" and diet food for me. No "honey do lists" or computer work for DaHubby. No "hurry up and wait" for the Vikings. Just a (hopefully) perfectly sunny, pleasantly in the 70's day of animals and grandparental (is that a word? LOL) spoiling.

I'm sure DaHubby will take an insane amount of pics. I'll try to post tonight or tomorrow with a few. Have a wonderful, blessed day everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Passing Along a Curriculum Deal I Found

As I've mentioned before, I'm planning a bit of a "homeschool preschool experiment" for this fall for Flicka. I figure we'd give it a try before I'm actually accountable to explain to someone that I'm keeping her home! LOL Anyway, everyone I've spoken to has been fantastic and FULL of ideas. However, it has left me swimming in possibilities.

There's setting up a place, materials, curriculum, amount of time, etc. The curriculum possibilities alone are enormous. One I've checked recently that has come highly recommended is
Alpha Omega Publications. I investigated their site and not only are they currently advertising 15% off all curriculum purchases in May but I found coupon codes via Pay Per Post for a site called for free shipping from AO on purchases over $200.

I'm not quite ready to purchase anything just yet. So, while I sort through what will work for us, I thought I'd pass this along to any of you in the market for new curriculum. To find this code, click
here, select the "baby, kids, and toys" category in the left column, then scroll down on the next page to the section that lists "all stores" and Alpha Omega is listed first.

God's blessings!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thank Tank

In honor of Peach who is on a God-directed bloggy break...

Laurel's entry for Thankful Thursday today has a Mothers' Day theme. So, I thought I'd steal borrow that idea as well.

My relationship with my mom is complicated. We're so much alike and yet so different. And, especially since the Vikings have arrived, it's often hard for her and I to feel like we're speaking the same language much less in the same conversation. However, here are some of the things I'm thankful for in her:

1. She works...HARD! Since I was in single digits, my mom's been a single working mom. I remember my mom never stopping. There's was always more to do. Looking back now as a stay-at-home myself, I can't figure out how she got it all done!

2. She's always tried to give people what she thought they needed. Cookies, flowers, cards, small gifts - you name it, my mom's probably given it to someone.

3. While I absolutely hated it at the time, she made me do chores. As the only other person in the house, it makes sense *now* that I should have pitched in. *wink* But, at the time, I was often very put out by having to put my busy social calendar on hold. As I train up these two little warriors, I *get it* now 25 years later.

4. I'm thankful that despite offering to buy me a car if I went to the state university 20 minutes away (which I refused), she allowed her only child, a daughter, to go over an hour and half away to a Big Ten university to grow up and figure out what I might do with my life.

5. Finally...and this will probably sound weird but I am SO thankful she sent me away to summer sleep-away camp...several times! LOL I'm sure money was extrememly tight but she always manage to rustle up the money to send me to Youth Camp. I spent 8 glorious summers as a camper, 2 as a cook's aide, and several more as staff. Sadly, the camp has been replaced by a golf course. *sniff, sniff*
But, in return for my mom's investment, I have my best friend of 31 years; a love for outdoors, camping, and canoeing (which in turn "won" me a husband); and so many years of memories from that magical time before our individual innocence is lost as well as our societial innocence where kids could go away for a week and parents could trust that their children would come back in one piece and not have to worry about SPF levels, food allergies, lawsuits, and waterfront accidents.

So, thanks, Mom! See you Saturday! Happy (early) Mothers' Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

OMgoodness! Watch this!

Hat tip to Laurel who posted this this morning. Just got around to watching it (it's *finally* naptime! LOL) When I tried to explain what worship was like here and at our revival two weeks ago, I felt like I couldn't get the message across. THIS would be JUST what it felt like! This was posted on the blog of the worship leader for Beth Moore.

WFMW: Crayon Removal From Walls

Can't take credit for discovering this one but thought I'd pass it along. Found a tear-out section in a recent Family Circle magazine about stain/spot removal. It had a TON of good ideas and I was going to put it aside for a rainy day. But, this one caught my eye and I tried it immediately.

Since Flicka had sneaked a few crayons into her bedroom one naptime, there has been a curvy blue crayon masterpiece on her wall over her bed. Apparently saying "only on paper" ad nauseam just hasn't sunk in yet.

So, Family Circle suggested using an old toothbrush and some white toothpaste to remove crayon from painted walls. I was a wee bit skeptical. So, off I went to Flicka's little toddler heaven aka her bedroom last weekend to try it. Ya know what? IT WORKED! With a little elbow grease, no more crayon! An added bonus? Her room smelled minty clean! *wink*

Good and successful stain removal ideas? THAT works for me! Check out Shannon's site today for more making-Mom's-life-easier ideas!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

In Other Words

"When God is involved, anything can happen. Be open and stay that way. God has a beautiful way of bringing good vibrations out of broken chords." ~ Chuck Swindoll~

I had two thoughts on this quote this focusing on Luke 1.37 "For with God nothing will be impossible" and the other focusing on the "broken" people of the Bible. At the risk of repeating again God's abundant grace and mercy in Heather's "possible" results following "impossible" struggles with cancer lately, I'll go with the later.

God uses imperfect people. They were "broken" but obedient (eventually). *wink*

I've seen the following around the Internet. I've even heard it preached. Don't know the original source but I found something similar here:

"Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was not attractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was from a poor family, Sampson was codependent, David had all kinds of family problems, Elijah was deeply depressed, Jonah was reluctant, John the Baptist was eccentric, Martha was a perfectionist and worried a lot, Peter was impulsive and hot tempered. Paul was sickly, and Timothy was timid. Regardless of their imperfections God used each of them in His service. God can use you also."

How often do we think - well, God can't use me for this ministry. I'm not ready. I don't have the skills. I don't have the gifting. I don't have (whatever). We seem to have to be reminded over and over and over that we don't have to be perfect - just obedient. Isn't that easier? No working toward an impossible attainment - just do what He asks. It's not that difficult. Or is it? And, why do we as believers seem to be always trying to talk God out of our part in His plan? We need to have enough faith to step out and just do it!

I'm as guilty as the rest. I've only stepped out into seriously unfamiliar territory a handful of times when I felt God was directing me to do so. But, it ALWAYS resulted with an outcome I feel was gifted of God. Each time it gets a little easier but I still have trouble hearing Him occasionally and/or feeling His "nudges".

So, what can we do to hear Him more often? LISTEN! LOL Also, increase our faith and discernment. It's like the proverbial snowball - each step forward in faith will begin to build and build our faith, hearing, and confidence where God will use us more to bless those around us.

Wouldn't it be great to know that God chose *YOU* to step into someone's life to bless them?

For more folks take on this quote, go to Joy In The Morning who is hosting In Other Words this week.

Back on the Wagon

Well, this blogging thing has been an awesome accountability tool for me...I've read with my kids, I've cleaned the basement, I've read my Bible, and now I'm hoping it'll help me lose weight! Count me in for the May Day Weight Loss Challenge!

My weight was never a problem until I went away to college and it has been going up and up and up ever since. I eat as an emotional/stress response plus my ADD triggers some wicked impulse eating where I'll have half a bag or box of something GONE before I realize what I'm doing! LOL I gained so much that it actually impeded me getting pregnant. Then, having babies in a mid- to late-thirties body didn't help matters. I have a poor back from an old injury which has gone from being an occasional pain to chronic, every-day-painful, activity-limited issue.

After Pojke was born I decided to do something before I turned 40. I didn't want that birthday to show up on my doorstep and still feel like this. Having kids later in life also made me recognize that if I don't start taking care of myself, I may not get to see all the things my kids do and achieve as they get older.

So last summer, I started a Weight Watchers copycat program running at our church. From July to October, I lost nearly 30 pounds! I felt amazing! But, as fall turned to winter, the weather became less hospitable for outside exercise and the seasonal garden veggies ran out. I put back on about 7-10 of those pounds.

Well, I now have 10 months 'til my 40th birthday and I have a significant chunk still left to lose before getting back to a healthy weight. So for this challenge that runs today through September, my goal will be another 30 pounds. Also, I'll be walking an hour at least twice a week with my MOMS Club.

Each Tuesday those participating will be posting how they are doing. If you are interested in joining much of the mommy blogosphere, join us at Tales From The Scales - a blog especially created for this challenge! Good luck to all!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Following the Lord's Lead

I made her cry. The young mom I've passed a dozen times when we pick up our kids from the nursery after service. I don't know her well. And, I made her cry.

While our church is not large by any means, it's grown enough in the last few years that we don't necessary get called every time the prayer chain is activated like we used to. But what I did or didn't know at the time didn't matter to God. I did what I felt He was asking me to do. I sang the song.

I was sitting up on the platform before service with the other singers, Da Hubby on piano, and the worship leader. Then, one of our pastors opened up service. Before prayer, she directed everyone's attention to the young couple sitting in their usual seats. As Pastor Deb began to speak, I didn't think anything of them sitting there alone. Their kids were probably in children's church and the nursery with Flicka and Pojke. But, one wasn't. One was in the hospital. An hour away. And, they were here. At church.

Apparently, last Saturday evening, the father had their eldest in his vehicle and they were in a bad accident. The father was fine but their son was not. Broken bones. Stitches. Head injury. The couple had spent the last week at the bedside of their son while dealing with discussions of possible rehab and the repercussions of the head injury.

I looked at Da Hubby across the stage, caught his eye, and mouthed the words - "my's for them!" And, we both teared up. He nodded.

During prayer, all I kept thinking was "here I am, Lord, use me"

We sang our scheduled songs. More prayer. Then, offering. Then, it was my turn.

I shared the (very) short version of Heather's story. And, I said I felt I had been directed to sing this song and up until now I hadn't known why. But, then I made eye contact with that young mom and said "but, I think I do now".

Da Hubby said I did wonderfully. I thought I sounded awful! I couldn't quit crying. *wink* I don't think it mattered. I made her cry, too.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Pick Me, Oh, PLEASE, Pick Me!

Jules over at Everyday Mommy is having a contest this week in honor of Mothers' Day. She is awarding one new TypePad or Blogger page design. Now, since I don't want any more competition, whatever you do, don't click here! *wink*

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Say a little prayer...

...tomorrow (Sunday) morning around 11am EDT because I'll be singing this song as a tribute to Heather (who blogged today by HERSELF 48 hrs after BRAIN SURGERY - PRAISE GOD!) and to hopefully encourage someone in attendence tomorrow. Despite feeling led to do this, I'm still nervous and self-conscious. Pray...a lot! *wink*

Six Years Ago Today...

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Why Do Guys Get All the Cool Gadgets?

I know envy is a bad thing. But, good grief!

Let me explain: thanks to Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie, I've been a cleaning and organizing fool and apparently it's rubbed off on Da Hubby. Let's just say that for the first time in the two years we've lived here, one could walk into our garage (which never holds our cars...who puts cars in the garage?! *wink*), put one's arms out and spin in a circle and not hit or knock over anything! LOL The cleaning bug bit the whole family!

Back to the point...I stumbled onto a webpage through a link at Pay Per Post that sells garage storage and organization tools for "car guys"...but, MAN, could I have a few of these?? LOL Baskets that hang from walls - wouldn't this work well in a laundry room? Wish I'd had one of THESE in my classroom when I taught full time! LOL And, I'm sure I could come up with a use for this can storage shelf somewhere in my home.

Well, OK, this overhead storage thing would be cool for Da Hubby too.

Anyway, I guess I'll have to settle for the Motorola Bluetooth ear piece that arrived yesterday (which is identical to Da Hubby's) from Ebay! *wink* At least now, while I'm cleaning and organizing, I won't have to worry about dropping my phone off my shoulder and into a sink of dish water!

A 4:45am Scolding by a Three-Year-Old

My babies are night owls. It's not a problem for us for a variety of reasons. I stay at home so no getting up early to hustle them off to day care or preschool. DaHubby gets to enjoy them longer in the evenings. I get some me-time in the mornings when I'm at my best. We get to go to evening activities (like 7pm midweek services and such) with fewer behavior problems.

Anyway, Flicka was come 8:30 last night which is early for her. My brave "flicka krigare" (little girl warrior) swam the entire length of the pool, over the deep end, TWICE at swimming lessons yesterday. Then, she proceeded to celebrate in such a way (with a video and popcorn uninterrupted by Pojke) that no afternoon nap was taken."But, I'm so sleepy, Momma" was the last thing we heard from the back seat while driving home from Lowe's.

Concerned for her unbroken record of several nights without accidents, we were worried she hadn't "emptied" herself before bed. So, we laid her down with a double folded thick towel across the midsection of her bed and just let her sleep in her clothes.

Jump to the midst of some SERIOUSLY deep sleep, my momma radar detects the patter of feet across the wood floors into the living room. I drag myself out, check the living room but no one there. Hmmm...go to her room. She's standing next to her bed straightening her covers. She turns and says indignantly "what is THIS?" (pointing to the towel). I explain our grown-up reasoning. "But, I don't need THAT anymore!" she sniffed.

She crawls back into bed, having taken off her shirt and sweats, and says accusingly "And, Momma, YOU forgot to put me in PJ's!" She huffs and lays down.

Then, "Momma can you make my bed?" (translation: pull the covers up over her and tuck her in)

Then, "And, Momma, I need my mid-i-fi-er. *sniff* I have a booger nose."

And, she curls up to go back to sleep. Apparently, I've been dismissed! Even at 5am, I didn't know whether to laugh or to start praying for her teenage years! Geesh!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Today for Heather

How appropriate that today is the National Day of Prayer!

Today - and possibly at the very minute you are reading this - Heather may be undergoing life-saving brain surgery for what was originally thought to be inoperable brain cancer. This woman has been on my mind and heart constantly the last week or so as I watch and read her blog in awesome wonder how her amazing faith is being walked out through this challenge. If you could, take a moment and lift her up to the Lord today.

lso, Heather seems to have a particularly soft heart for praise music and and a gift for singing. She posts videos of songs that inspire her over the last few weeks. This particular song that she posted on April 19th gripped my heart and will not let me go. So, I asked my pastor last night if he would consider allowing me the honor to sing it as a special after praise and worship this Sunday or next Sunday. I do it because I feel compelled. And, it's a tribute to Heather, her faith, and the Lord we share. But, I'm also hoping that her story and this song will touch someone at this point unknown to me in my church family who may be struggling with something.

Father God, may Heather's doctors find NOTHING to remove or, if they do, that Your will be done and may it be the best possible outcome for Heather and her family. Whatever happens: all for Your glory, Lord!

Anyone Got The Number For a Modeling Agency? *wink*

No, *really*...these are my new favorite pictures! LOL

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Whole Room Organizational Challenge Completed

Good grief - the time it took to load all these pictures took nearly as long as it took to clean the basement! LOL

As I stated in my other post, I've been working on two projects for Laura who writes at I'm An Organizing Junkie. This challenge was a month long. I chose to tackle my kitchen closet and the basement. This post in about the basement. To be honest, it is not as completed as I had hoped but MUCH progress was made and what IS left should not be a problem to deal with.

So, Laura's asked us to answer the following questions in our finale:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
Due to my ADD, I was completely overwhelmed by the whole task...thus, explaining how it got that way in the first place! So, the hardest thing was finding a way to dividing this up into manageable, smaller pieces without getting frustrated, discouraged, or distracted. Luckily, the basement is kinda divided into "zones": two finished rooms, one large unfinished space, and the laundry area. So, I tried to stick with one at a time.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

Well, this challenge was more about what we will using the space for. The main motivator? The one room that was a guest room but will now become a homeschool classroom in the fall. The other motivator was it would be wonderful to actually USE my stuff now that I knew what I had and where it was located.

Our biggest problem (other than organizational! LOL) was that we hadn't really defined what we wanted for each space. Once the first room was designated at a classroom and the unfinished side was "storage", the second room's issue became how to organize what remained: boat materials, office stuff and teacher stuff. With these "use designations", we have "zones" now where stuff goes now so it'll be easier to keep it together.

3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
Good grief! The garbage men are absolutely HATING us at this point! LOL I've also been using Freecycle, Ebay, and to clean out the majority of our unused, until-recently-unseen stuff.

4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
Everything needs somewhere to go. And, everyone in this house needs to put away their "toys" when they are done with them! LOL

5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
Most definitely. I'll be finishing up our new classroom over the summer and embarking on my (and Flicka's, of course) first experiment with homeschooling this fall! I'll also be able to practice more of the craft and home skills I've been learning now that I have the space to do so. This cost me no money, only time. And, as a result, I actually MADE money, got free books, and blessed several people in my community! Then, I can make more money and/or save our money by using those crafty skills even more.

Now, the unveiling:

The "guest room" before:

The guest room after:
The bed will be coming out of there next.

The unfinished storage area before:
And, then after:

Those remaining tubs and piles are things of Da Hubby's he needs to go through yet. And,that bookshelf has all my craft supplies now...all in one place and LABELED! Oooooo!

The second finished room before:
And, after: