Monday, March 31, 2008

Dentist Fear

Yea, well...I admit it.

The reason I gloat over never needing anything from the dentist but my biannual cleaning is because I take *really* careful care of my teeth because I'm terrified of the alternative.

The thought of a cleaning already makes me stress out but the thought that something MAJOR is wrong...that there will be needles involved...and extensive drilling...I'm making myself sick and I'm nearly in tears.

In 45 minutes is my appt with my dentist with regards to breaking my tooth about 12 days ago. It could end up a big filling, could be a crown, could be a root canal if I've broken it off far enough down. *sigh* I just don't know and not knowing is making me sick to my stomach.

I am the same person who at 11 or 12 years old had to have 8 teeth pulled (4 baby molars and the adults underneath) to prep for having braces put on. I was sitting in the old-styled dentist chair that actually had the foot long piece that came up on the end. And, after the procedure, I was so sore from straining and pressing constantly with my legs, nearly standing on that foot rest for what felt like eons-long extractions that I could barely walk and my legs were nearly as sore as my mouth.

All that being said, the financial side of this is just salt in the wound.

So, if you happen to read this before 4pm EDT, say a little prayer....please?

Itsy Bitsy Contest Post

I'm intrigued by this book and thought I'd enter a giveaway so I can peruse it in my "free time."

I know some Christians have issues with yoga and the things it is traditionally associated with and based in. However, as I attempted in 1998 to self-manage my then-new ADD diagnosis since I was initially against taking medication for it, I have to say that effects of the type of yoga I took at a local recreation center were exactly what its advocates claim...calmness, focused-ness, less stress, more body awareness which assisted with some weight loss at the time.

I still love it but haven't done it in years. And, I wouldn't mind seeing what this book says about using it with little ones who are ALL ABOUT needing some more body awareness as their bodies grow and grow and grow! LOL

If interested, stop by Blogmommas.com and read more about Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers.

HALFWAY!

Had a wonderful Dave Ramsey-inspired, CHEETAH moment this weekend...we had one of our final "large lump sum" checks come in and, as of 10 minutes ago, we are officially HALFWAY to being debt free!

We started with $28K in debt between credit cards, medical, and student loan responsibilities. And, that check arrived Friday for about $5400 and I just made an online payment for $5200 to Cap*tal One. (We withheld about $200 for a secret summer possibility.) And, that payment took us under $14K remaining!

We have two more "extra" checks still coming - the tax stimulus ck and an amended 2006 tax check (we apparently overpaid in a category we weren't aware of at the time). Those along with the regularly scheduled snowball payment will "kill" Cap*tal One in the next month! That will leave one credit card and then my student loan!

WA-HOOOO! CCHHEETTAAHH!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Post 757

Well, I had been planning all week to do a meaningful, retrospective, thoughtful, and serious blog anniversary post...then life happened! LOL

So, short and sweet: happy blogoversary to me!

I began blogging to when Pojke was just 10 weeks old. In the midst of "mommy hazing," I needed something that was "mine." Something "grown-up" that didn't include the kids...yea, right! Look at this blog now! LOL

So, it has been two years of growth, fun, prayer, faith building, and friendship. To my other Faithprints alumni: it's been TWO years! Can you believe it? LOL Thank you SO much for making my life so much richer.

And, while DaHubby didn't realize that this anniversary fell today, I got a "gift"! This is what happens when I leave him alone for two hours to run errands...

HE'S CUTTING MY CABINETS! We had talked about this...how the originals were in such great shape, that whoever put them in placed them so low that much of my cooking paraphernalia doesn't fit under them, that MAYBE we would cut them off some day and shorten them up and get some light in my main cooking area...and he went and DID IT!

Luckily, DaHubby is as equally talented with construction as he is with engineering. And, this was my result:

It may not seem like a lot to anyone else but I feel like I have SO much more clearance and there's some really cool optical illusion going on that makes it feel like the cabinets are set farther back now, too.

The difference four inches makes...

And, the difference two years makes.

Thanks again, ladies! And, thanks again, handsome. Reflecting on how lucky I am to have the friends I do and the hubby I do, y'all made for a wonderful day!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Anyone a motorcycle enthusiast?

If so, you might appreciate this...plus, I get to do a little brag on DaHubby.

Many people don't understand what he does for a living as a tool and die shop's design engineer. *I* didn't and I'm the daughter of a modelmaker! LOL DaHubby basically can create something out of the empty ether of a computer keyboard and monitor - but I'm a little bias.

Someone comes into his workplace and says "I need a machine that will do *this*" or "...a part that does *that*. DaHubby sits down at his computer and creates, designs, engineers these amazing drawings that are (from what I understand) basically blue prints for the guys in the shop area to be able to build that machine or part.

His latest project is a little something different. A local businessman who runs Thunder Allee Cycles wants custom rims for a tricked-out chopper motorcycle.

Now, my daddy was a hard-core motorcycle man in his day so I've seen a few motorcycles come and go. But, the computer drawings of what DaHubby designed for a simple tire rim were just so...well, beautiful...I wanted to share.

(Click on the picture itself for an enlarge, up close view)

I'm just a little proud of him, can ya tell? Love you, handsome! Great job!

Praise Report!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Those of you who took Peggy before the Throne did a wonderful thing!

I hit "enter" for that post last night, we loaded the kids in the van, and were en route to church when the phone rang. DaGrandma was calling - they were on the way home from Chicago and...

The test results came in.

Bone marrow? CANCER-FREE! No leukemia cells found!
Staph infection? NOPE!

This is VERY good news!

From the last two posts Peggy's husband put on their CarePages blog:

Last night: "...the chemo worked it killed all the White Blood cells Good and Bad ...But Peggy will need another Bone Marrow Test maybe next Thursday to make sure the good ones are being rebuilt. Although the Doctor fully thinks everything is going good. He said it might not seem like she should have the high fevers but that is normal for any one who has went though as much Chemo as Peggy. The Infection has be identified as a small pc of dead skin that got in her line and caused the infection. It happens everyday to people but the immune systems can fight it off.Peggy at this point has no immune system. They have killed the infection culture in the lab with the Antibiotics they are giving her. So Doctor thinks the Antibiotics should do the trick. So we are waiting now for the White Blood Counts to go up and the fevers to cease then we can go home for a couple of weeks."

This morning: "Well last night was a good night... Only had a couple of fevers but I think they were only like 100.5 Which is real good considering what she was having. They have introduce lactic (lasix?) to get rid of Fluids...The white Blood Count went up to .04 this morning so that is good.. We are on the way to recovery!!!"

Again, thanks to everyone who prayed. We really appreciate it. She still has weeks to go in the hospital (according to DaGrandma) but this is much needed good news.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bend a knee?

We're running out the door post-dinner and post-phone call from Chicago:

Things are not going well for DaHubby's sister, Peggy. She finished her second round of chemo last week and had a bone marrow test on Monday to see if THIS chemo kicked the leukemia. While we've been waiting for the results, Peggy continues to have more problems and more complications. She is now running a high fever and received blood/platelets. There may be an infection setting in. They've run additional tests for other things but what is scaring the family is how badly she looks and that she is starting to use phrases like "reaching my limit" and "just waiting for these test results." She's getting tired.


Please pray as you are led...perhaps for her comfort, a healing would be wonderful, for good test results, for strength and faith but always God's will. Thank you.

Did I mention we are dogsitting? LOL

"Abby" arrived Tuesday and is staying with us 'til April 5th. The poor thing had a rough few nights but I think she's starting to get comfortable....ya think?

(Tina - this is for you! *wink* She misses you guys somethin' awful but she is doing great!)


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WFMW: frugal boullion/flavoring

This WFMW was just a spur-of-the-moment substitution that turned into a regular thing...

DaHubby occasionally makes himself a pack of Raman-style noodles for a snack or when I've left him to his own devices for lunch or dinner. However, he really dislikes the sodium/saltiness so he uses only half of the flavoring packet. As a result, for every two Ramans eaten there's a packet of seasoning left around. It seemed a shame to throw it out (thanks to our new frugalness) so I stashed them in the cabinets.


Well, about a month ago when I went looking for chicken boullion for a recipe, I found I had none. However, I had maybe a half dozen "chicken" Raman packets. So I replaced a packet for each cube of boullion required in the recipe. And, what a great new taste!

So, now I have a small storage bin in the cabinet with chicken, roast beef, chili, creamy chicken, and other packets waiting for the next recipe I can experiment with!

Again, nothing earth-shattering...just something fun to use in a crunch. For more WFMW, go here.

Wordless Wednesday

One of the perks of being within walking distance of Lake Michigan:

Even in the remnants of winter, it's still beautiful.

For more Wordless Wednesdays go here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Boil Water Order

Just find this interesting...in a small community like mine where we have no local news broadcast and 3-4 local radio stations and receive the rest of our news from South Bend and Chicago, how exactly was I suppose to learn about the fact that three townships, two villages, and one city in Berrien County are on a "boil water" order? *sigh* Glad someone where DaHubby's work trolls the local talk radio station website.

So, for the next 48 hours, I'll be boiling water...this stinks! LOL

Pass The Torch Tuesday

Don't know if this is what Kelly had in mind (LOL) but it was so cute, I couldn't help it..


Oil changes with a 4 year old assistant! LOL And, they changed the Focus's oil after the van! And, the first words out of her mouth when Papa came to pick her up this morning: "Papa, *I* changed the oil in the van last night!"

To see more examples of passing the torch, look here.

Etched Into Memory

You ever have one of those realizations that as it is happening you *know* you will remember this moment? It could have been something life-changing or maybe an everyday event. You are just in the moment...deeply aware for some reason...a moment of "metacognition".

It seems like scrapbooking for the brain and I'm historically not very good at it. I'm known for the problem with my memory...childhood, high school, college, even post-Viking arrival. I have trouble making things "stick" but today was one of those everyday events etched in.

Nothing earth shattering. Flicka was whisked off to her grandparents this morning leaving Pojke and I at home making breakfast. Since he was angry that it wasn't HIS turn to go with Papa, he insisted on yelling "no!" to every question I asked including "are you hungry?"

So, I warmed up some soup from this weekend and grilled a mini-bagel. THEN he was hungry! LOL So, I scooped some soup into a smaller bowl, gave him half a bagel, and some fruit and we had a "picnic"(translation: we ate sitting on the living floor).

As Pojke scooped up elbow noodles and veggies, I ate my soup while we had one of the national morning shows on. And, BANG, it happened.

I looked at Pojke's sweet little face, forehead wrinkled as he concentrated on getting a spoonful of soup in his mouth. His cute but uneven haircut given by my mother-in-law on his moving-target head and every strand of hair missed. His little, perfect ears which have had lasers shot into each. His blue eyes which are my family's eyes reflected back at me. That he's wearing Flicka's old sweats reminds me how fast he's growing. His little "monkey toes" just like mine. His big, wide hands like DaHubby's which can already take apart everything just like DaHubby did! LOL

Sitting quietly next to each other. Just eating breakfast. How funny that THIS will be one of the moments I remember.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hindsight Being 20/20...

...there are many things I would do differently - particularly with my undergraduate experience. I don't necessarily regret the choices I made but I might have sought out more opportunities and/or done some more digging to take advantage of what my alma mater had to offer.

These opportunities that I read about online at Kettering University are an example. I wish there had been opportunities like this when I was in college or if there WAS that I had known about them! LOL

I graduated with my degree from a Big Ten university in a program that was nationally accredited for that particular field and I held ONE job doing it after graduation and found I didn't like it.

But, Kettering provides a co-op program that begins as soon as a student is admitted. No more waiting until one's junior year to begin major classes. Students rotate them between school and their co-op job alternating every 3 months to gain practical experience right from the beginning. Freshmen are out in the work place immediately figuring out the field they're interested in, getting experience, and building the necessary skills to be a leader in their chosen area.

That co-op idea would obviously be one of the reasons Kettering ranked number one again in U.S. News & World Report as one of their 2008 America's best colleges for their Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering program. Their engineering co-cop programs include not only the number one but also the number three program in mechanical engineering.

If you have a kid (or ARE a kid) considering Kettering, you might want to give their site a look-see.


Friday, March 21, 2008

How ironic...it's Spring!

We went to sleep with a winter storm warning of 4-6 inches of new snow. It started at about 10am this morning and has continued all day. *sigh* Spring in Michigan can be very anti-climatic! LOL

Regardless, today is the FINISH of the ten week exercise accountability challenge here at Life With Two Little Vikings!!

With over 13,000 minutes promised, we still completed nearly half. And, that figures out to be over 100 HOURS of exercise! Well done, ladies!

So, comment below with your last amounts and I'll update the ticker as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Quick Thursday Thanks Tank

Yea, yea, yea...I know I'm supposed to be on a break but I wanted to share the good news!

There's a bone marrow match for DaHubby's sister! It's the baby of the family - my brother-in-law "J"! The whole family is relieved but still praying that the second chemo knocked out all the leukemia so the bone marrow transfer can take place.

Thanks to those of your praying for her and for our family! What an Easter gift!

Psalms 150
Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

Bloggy Break

Have several pending projects getting neglected, time with the kids pushed aside, cleaning that needs to be done, and our Easter celebrations/services to focus on.

In addition, DaHubby and I start facilitating Financial Peace University tonight at our church.

Finally, we've been informed one of the four of my hubby's siblings tested to be a bone marrow donor for their sister, Peggy, appears to be a match but they are not revealing who yet as more in-depth testing is being done. So, we're waiting on the call and want to be prepared to drop everything to go over to Chicago.

So, gonna take a bloggy break at least until Monday. (I'll post the final exercise challenge tomorrow but will not be checking to update the ticker until Monday or so.)


Everyone have a lovely, joyous, and celebratory Easter/Resurrection Sunday!

He is risen...He is risen INDEED!

Spring Reading Thing

Katrina runs some GOOD reading challenges. Seasonal. Relatively short. Non-competitive. Leisurely but accountable. I love 'em! LOL And, today begins her Spring Reading Challenge for 2008! For the next 12 weeks, we are to tackle a reading goal set entirely by our own whims and love of books.

Normally, I would stick to fiction for most of this. Easy for me. Quick reads, brain candy since my brain power is so taxed lately keeping the Vikings from escaping from the house or going into a sugar coma. However, I'm stickin' to nonfiction this time around and we'll see how it goes.

I'm estimating about 2 weeks per book...thus 6 books. (The first two count as one since I'm halfway through each! LOL) And, here is my list:

Finishing The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus by Scot McKnight

Finishing Healing for Damaged Emotions by Davids Seamands

Debt-Free Living by Larry Burkett As a mentor of sorts to Dave Ramsey, I'm hoping this complements our recent get-outta-debt attitude.

Fear of the Lord by John Bevere I've been trying to read this for several years and feel like I may finally be far enough along in my walk with Christ and "mature" enough in my faith to give it another try.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen A classic, I know. But, my interest was rekindled by my re-introduction to it by PBS.

Either a Maria Montessori biography to complement some homeschool research OR The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court which just sounds juicy- depends on my local library

Maybe a Lynn Truss - maybe this one or this one

So, stop by Katrina's place today and see what else everyone's reading this Spring. And, as Katrina says:
"...if you want to focus on non-fiction this spring, go for it. If you'd rather use the challenge to structure your family reading time, do it. If you only have three books on your list, don't worry about it. If you get half-way through this spring and decide to change your whole list, that's no problem. The point of the challenge is to give you a chance to set goals that you want to set. There's no pressure, there's no "minimum number of books." Make a list that suits you and your current situation and goals, and join in!"

So, do what she says...JOIN IN! *wink*

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WFMW ala DaHubby

I told DaHubby that I would give him ALL the credit for this one!

We eat a lot of popcorn around here. Once in a great while, it's the microwave type that I get during a great sale. But, more often it is air-popped from the machine my mom got me before I left for my freshman year of college in 1986!

Hello, my name is Beth and I have a 22 year old popcorn machine! LOL

Anyway, my pet peeve for over two decades was how messy my various kitchen counters became as I tried to put melted butter on my finished popcorn. The last few years, I've had my favorite popcorn bowl which received its status by being deformed *just right* so I could "spin" it on the counter while I poured the butter over the top evenly. But, the problem continued when I would set the cup down in which I had melted the butter. "Butter rings" all over my counters.

The other night - I walked into the kitchen while DaHubby was making our evening popcorn. He had a spoon of some sort that he was using to put the butter on.

"What is that?"

"Your melon baller!"

Our melon baller has the little hole in the bottom of the "cup". DaHubby had melted the butter as usual in a coffee mug in the microwave and was scooping the butter out and it was "leaking" out of the hole evenly all over the popcorn!

*smacks forehead* Now, why didn't I think of that?

LOL We're not solving the problem of world peace around here but we've saved some "momma sanity" with less mess and great spread-ability! LOL

For more WFMW ideas, check out Shannon's site today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lightbulb

Read this last night as I finished up this book which describes a woman who began to use the boundary techniques the authors' espouse and the changes she experienced.

"Sherrie slipped into her new dress. It fit perfectly - two sizes smaller than she had worn a few months ago. Thanks, God for my new self-boundaries, she prayed. Her diet and exercise program had finally worked, not because she learned any new secrets about food and working out, but because she saw taking care of herself not as selfishness, but stewardship. She stopped feeling guilty about taking the time away from other things to work on her body. Getting in shape made her a better wife, mom, and friend. And she liked herself better."

*sigh*

My head knows I'm suppose to take time for myself, to take care of myself, to refill when I'm constantly pouring out into others but do I do it? Very rarely. I've started and fallen away from several attempts to exercise, lose weight, etc. And, according to the book, it all goes back to feeling somewhere in my psyche that I'm not worth it and/or others deserve more than me. This can look like sacrifice but it more often critical internal dialog.

Before becoming a believer, this is a singular problem but now it's much more complex. I am one of God's beloved daughters. I deserve all He has decreed, promised, and planned for me. So, if I'm not able to see my worth in Him, am I not being disobedient in a matter of speaking? Aren't I shaking my fist so to speak in God's face when I argue that I'm not to be as loved and cherished as the Word tells me I am? Doesn't that sound remarkably like being ungrateful for all He's trying to provide? Aren't I stifling His path and promise for me? Doesn't this sound like a huge faith problem?

So, where is my faith? Whom do I believe? My internal critical dialog? Or, the Master of the Universe?

And, who are YOU believing today?

Nothing intelligent to add

And, I told Carmen so. The following excerpt from this book is just so good!

"In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, we find another resource for hospitality. The Trinity shows God in relationship with Himself. Our Three-in-One God has welcomed us into Himself and invited us to participate in divine life. And so the invitation that we as Christians extend to one another is not simply an invitation into our homes or to our tables; what we ask of other people is that they enter into our lives...

"I don't find inviting people into my life much easier than inviting them into my apartment. At its core, I think, cultivating an intimacy in which people can know and be known requires being honest--practicing that other Christian discipline of telling the truth about where we live and how we got there. Often, I'd rather dissemble. Often, just as I'd rather welcome guests into a cozy and cute apartment worthy of Southern Living, I'd rather show them a Lauren who is perfect and put-together and serene. Often, telling the truth feels absurd...

"Like my apartment, my interior life is never going to be wholly respectable, cleaned up, and gleaming. But that is where I live. In the certitude of God, I ought to be able to risk issuing the occasional invitation."

Pass the Torch Tuesday

Pretty self explanatory...doing dishes at Grandma's a couple Sundays ago. Have no idea what my father-in-law is talking about in the background (LOL) but DaHubby caught his girl showing that we may be passing the torch! *wink*




I'm so proud of Flicka's and Pojke's helping lately! Their "helper chart" mentioned here and here has been a big blessing so far. For more PTT moments this week, stop by Kelly's site today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's 3pm already? *sigh*

Well, we've had a busy day. After Flicka had been running a low-grade fever most of the day yesterday, she slept in this morning but awoke feeling good with no sign of fever. So, we got up at 8am and we're out of the house by 9am for a playgroup. After playing with about 9 other kids for over an hour, we headed out for the pediatrician. Today was Flicka's four year well check.

I had been preparing her for a couple days about what Dr. M would do and about the "pinch" of the shots and why it was important for everyone (including Pojke, Mom, and Dad) to get them. She was very brave until the RN had her lay down. *sigh* Poor baby.

Flicka was due FOUR vaccinations but those four are to be done before entering kindergarten so we picked two for today (polio and tetanus) in the hope that the other two (MMR and chicken pox) would be available again in a combo one-shot this time next year.

But, that "k" word kept jumping out at me...KINDERGARTEN! When did THAT happen? Good grief! That's my BABY! LOL I told our ped about my intent to homeschool at least for a little while, that I wanted her strong and built up in our beliefs before lettin' the world have a shot at her and the ped completely agreed.

She related a story that she remembered having to stand up to her fifth grade teacher in a matter of belief. FIFTH grade! *sigh* What is that 10 or 11 years old?

Anyway, Flicka is healthy as a horse: 75th percentile for weight and height for her gender and age. And, Pojke's ears were checked from that ear infection a few weeks ago and all looks fine there too.

But, Pojke is now napping and Flicka is sporting a large knot on her leg, is dosed with Tylenol, and snugglin' on the couch and I look up and it's time to start thinking about DINNER! *sigh* Where did this day go?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What's On Your Fridge?

Was tagged by Kathy at My Quiver's Full for meme which I haven't had in a while. And, it's not only a meme but a contest as well! Since it is Saturday and DaHubby had to work this morning and it's (nearly) a quiet moment, I thought I'd post my response now.

First, I feel like I have to defend my poor little fridge. It came with the house. It is not the one I would have picked (considering we had come from a little one bedroom bungleow where I had all new post-wedding stainless appliances *wink*). It's a pain to use - I'm not a side-by-side fan - and plain to look at but, she keeps running despite everything the Vikings have throw at her and in her in the last two years.

So, starting from the left side:


Along with some other random stuff...the blue basket is the junk mail and such to be shredded. In the upper right corner is our wedding announcement from out local paper I cut out nearly 7 years ago. And, there are the two "handout thingys" (prayer cards? programs?) they give you at funerals from my step-grandma and my maternal grandma services.

Well...there is usually a method to the madness but ya caught me at a messy time! LOL On the left door are all my prayer and verse reminders. Some for the Vikings. Some for me. One to remind me to pray for my pastor.

On the upper right door is all things kitchen... measurement conversion chart, basement freezer inventory list, the running grocery list, this week's dinner list, and sneaky ideas for getting veggies in the kids' diets. And, on the bottom right, Flicka's contributions.


On the right side is an idea I got from a teacher catalog. It's designed to hold a "door-full" of postcards for classroom display. Instead, I use it to post pictures of family we don't see often, the Vikings' favorites snapshots, and the prayer cards of three missionaries we pray for.

That's it! Now for the part that worries everyone...the tags. LOL

Our little corner of the blogosphere hasn't had a lot of memes lately that I've noticed so hopefully they won't mind this either...so I tag Anita, Lisa, and Deb

Friday, March 14, 2008

Week Nine: We're in the Home Stretch!

...for this exercise accountability challenge! Can you believe spring starts next week? PRAISE GOD! FFIINNAALLLLYY!! Can't come soon enough for me! LOL

Anyway, while I've lost my "street cred" as the leader of this challenge by not following through, I am more than proud of y'all who stuck with your original commitment or simply increase your overall movement in some way over the last nine weeks.

Lisa ck'd in on another post but I need to know how the rest of y'all did this week so I can update the slider to the right.

Seven days and counting....

The New Austerity?

Time Magazine finally seeing the light? LOL Frugality is gonna be "cool"!

Last three paragraphs:

Several polls have shown that large majorities are planning to use the tax rebate coming later this year to pay off debt rather than buy new stuff. Beyond that, evidence of a major attitude change is still sparse.

"People are more aware than they were two years ago," says get-out-of-debt guru Dave Ramsey of the callers to his radio show, which airs on 350 stations around the country. "I don't know if they're doing anything about it."

Ramsey, who also has written a couple of best-selling advice books and is a regular on the new Fox Business Network, does allow himself to dream. "It's like a whole generation woke up one morning and realized that cigarettes kill you," he muses. "Maybe a whole generation will wake up and realize that collecting points on your Discover card doesn't make you rich."


And, a Dave Ramsey plug to boot! Perfect!

Sweetest Sound

...to a momma's ears who was worried about her "late talking" boy:

While cleaning up before bed, Momma sings the first line ala Barney: "I'm a happy helper..."

And, Pojke responds clear as a bell: "I know wha to doo..."

(He's lucky he's so cute and so smart 'cuz the little pillager woke the house up this morning at 3am due to ear/tooth pain and Momma fell asleep on the floor in his room 'til 5am! *wink*)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today's Walgreen's Trip

Thought I'd share how I did at Walgreen's today. I know Lisa will approve! *wink*

Two Jane brand makeups: originally $3.99 each with BOGO sale and 2/$2 off coupons: FREE

Two children's acetaminophen and one sleep aid: originally $4.99 each - after sale ($3.99) and rebate: $2.32 each

Colgate toothpaste: free after rebate plus a .75 manufacture coupon = .75 overage

Minus a $5 register reward coupon

So, out of pocket today: 10.02 - pending $5 rebate = $5.02 for an original $22.74 worth of merchandise!

*big smile*

Thursday Thanks Tank

Intentional: Done deliberately; intended

Deliberate: Arising from or marked by careful consideration

Having a hard time again today...don't feel like doing anything and yet I have a long list of things to tackle. Yet, just as moms do, you intentionally push aside your "self stuff" and push forward to finish things your family needs. And, you make a deliberate effort to "be there" for your little ones.

So, today is a day of intentionality and deliberateness. So, I will have to find a way to pull myself to not only accomplish my "mom stuff" but what about my "daughter" stuff? What is a child to the King suppose to do about her "daughter stuff"? Like being thankful?

Ephesians 5:20-21 "...giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God."

Always: Every time; on every occasion; without exception

It's hard remembering that we are to be intentional and deliberate about being thankful as well...especially on days like this when we just don't feel like focusing on all the great blessings God provides for and showers on us. (And, the submitting thing isn't particularly easy for us either.)

But we must do it always.

Thank you, Lord, for Pojke, for his general good health, the sweet way he's saying "please" and "thank you", for his patting me on the back when he hugs, his boogery kisses, and for his obvious love and adoration of his sister.

Thank you, Lord, for Flicka, for her general good health, her desire to help, for her growing skills at sharing, her budding money sense, and for her strong desire to learn and discover.

Thank you, Lord, for DaHubby, for his intelligence, patience, sense of humor, his love and defense of me, his constant working, his dedication to us, and his music ability.

Thank you, Lord, for this home and my ability to be here full-time to raise the Vikings. As hard as it can be, I wouldn't electively go back to work right now for anything.

Lord, help me, protect me, guide me while I do my best for You with the blessings You have provided.

Always.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

For more WW, click here.

Wednesday Worries

Nothing major - just feeling a little discouraged and bummed.

I hate that "I told you so" feeling and got a well-deserved one last night. Can't remain on my high horse anymore with DaHubby. Now remembering my less-than-totally-sympathetic response to DaHubby's major dental work last year due to his teeth chipping/breaking is a little "squirm-able" now since I broke my first molar last night. My dealing with stress by clenching my teeth in my sleep apparently has caught up with me. So, I've now gone from a somewhat arrogant someone who hasn't had a cavity or needed even a shot of Novocaine in nearly 8 years to someone who will probably need some more advanced repair work in the next week or so.

The money repercussions of above add to my disappointment...our dental insurance only covers 50%, *sigh*

And, Flicka's running another temperature while Pojke's fighting what my mom has euphemistically called "Hershey squirts". At least he's in diapers - now, THERE'S a silver lining.

My mother-in-law took a fall Monday morning before all the family left for Chicago and is now home recuperating with a sprain (thank God it was only that as she is one knee replacement done with one to go) and a walker.

We haven't heard from Chicago yet in terms of the blood work DaHubby had so I'm hoping that THAT report will be a ray of light this week!

Just feeling out of sorts, feeling old, feeling ashamed, feeling apprehensive...y'know, just one of those days! *wink*

WFMW: Packaging Idea

This is actually something my mom does for the Vikings. The last few care packages that have arrived - whether for Flicka, Pojke, or both - have had a interesting and different packaging filler.

Syrofoam peanuts? Nope. Too obvious.

Something that can be reused? You betcha 'cuz I come by my frugalness genetically. *wink*

So, what is good for package cushioning...soft and thick...that someone with small children could take out and use?

DIAPERS! LOL

Flicka's birthday box arrived last week and was lined with diapers in Pojke's size! LOL While he would be less than thrilled if that was "all" Grandma sent for him (which it wasn't), what a great idea!

And, thus is my contribution to WFMW this week! Stop by Shannon's today to see other moms other great ideas!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pass The Torch Tuesday

More results from our "helper chart" experiment...

My little kitchen helper making mashed potatoes...

And, my "window washer"! LOL

To see more examples of "passing the torch", stop by Kelly's place today.

111

That's the number of blog entries I had in my Bloglines notifier this morning. I had over 100 emails in my 4 email accounts. I've got a home visit coming in two hours. Two babies acting "funny" - hoping it's not another round of illness. And, I have to go grocery chopping a day early due to plan tomorrow.

Chicago went well. No news on the medical side - more of a sit-and-wait and we'll-call-you situation. I have a TON of pics which I'll try to post later. The touristy side went well too. The Vikings seemed to have a blast and we got home just at dinner time...so a hot meal (we took a picnic lunch with us ala Dave Ramsey and out no eating out policy), a bath, and the Vikings were in bed by 9pm.

I'll check in later today once I get the laundry, the cleaning, and my electronic life caught up! *wink*

Monday, March 10, 2008

Into the Big City

Well, we're off to the Windy City shortly. Today's the day that all of DaHubby's siblings are meeting at Chicago Rush hospital to begin the process to figure out if one could be a bone marrow donor for Big Sis Peggy.

We've decided to make a day of it - DaHubby got the whole day off from work and, after the medical part of the trip, we will be taking the kids here. And, then heading home once the "nap time crankies" kick in.

Please pray for Peggy and for our safe travel. Hopefully, we'll be home with some optimistic news, some awesome new pictures, and some great new adventures!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Birthday Party Completed!

Absolutely exhausted! LOL But, here are my top three pics of the day...

The cake


The craft (magic wands)...
The princess...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Finally, a bloggy party (updated)


Välkommen to my bloggy Viking hus!! Have a seat, nibble on a piece of Swedish rye, take a bite of this delicious risgrynsgröt (rice pudding) and sip a mug of egg coffee.

My name is Beth and I am a recently-turned-40 (as in yesterday) year old SAHM to my two little pillagers, Flicka (Swedish for "little girl") and Pojke ("little boy"). My dotter will be 4 on Sunday and my boy is 2. DaHubby is a Yooper - someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - and a third generation Swede. And, I'm a "troll" - someone from "under the bridge" in the Lower Peninsula - having grown up in the Detroit area. (Update to add: we use pseudonyms around here for internet/family safety so as crazy as I've gotten with the Swede-theme...my kids names are not Flicka and Pojke! LOL Although, those "in the know" will tell you that there ARE definitely Swedish influenced!)

I am a secondary English teacher by training but haven't worked full time in 7 years as I spend these most important years at home with my babies. We're giving homeschooling a try for the first time this year at the preschool level.

Finally, I'm a Christian, a proud daughter of the King. I'm a denominational "mutt": raised Catholic, a campus ministry Lutheran, and now the wife of a son of a Pentecostal preacher! LOL But, building my relationship with the Lord and learning more about Him and how to be more like Him is my daily goal.

Tack så mycket for stopping by today. I'm so glad you took the time to visit here out of the 1200+ blogs to visit. Feel free to come back anytime for a visit...as long as you don't mind the mess! *wink* Since DaHubby's the coffee drinker, I may not always have hot coffee ready but there will at least be hot tea or sweet tea ready for any unexpected guests!

Gud välsigna dig! (God's blessings!) And, join the rest of the party here.

Fourth, a party preview...

For those that have asked...this is where Flicka's party preparations stand:

Punch bowl - off to church shortly to borrow for the weekend

Ice "cubes" to float in the punch - done! (And, those cups were on clearance! tee, hee)
Jello Jigglers - cooling in fridge and will be cut with a star cookie cutter

Our "goodie bags" aka treasure chests ready to go:

Balloons - blow up, tied in threes, up all over the dining room

Magic Wand/scepter
crafty project all prepped!
Pork butt roasts and a large box of elbow noodles ready to be turned into BBQ pork and macaroni salad for the grownups - doneIce cream - in the basement freezer

And, finally, the cake...well, it won't be started until morning. But, if I'm lucky it'll look like a simplified version of this.

Ya think I got enough to do? LOL

Third, an update

It is week eight of this exercise accountability challenge. Again, I'm a bad leader but I am REALLY encouraged by how much many of you accomplished. You must be feeling SO much better. Those of us in the colder climates, spring is coming...don't laugh...really, it IS...just hang in there!

There are fourteen days left in this challenge! Can you believe it? So, how did you do THIS week and what do you plan to accomplish in your final 2 weeks?

Second, a thank you

What an awesome birthday yesterday! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my bloggy home, emailed, called, mailed a card, whatever. It was probably my best birthday ever!

Wednesday night after midweek service, I received my first ever surprise party! LOL Pastor asked us to rise for prayer and dismissal and promptly starting singing "Happy Birthday". A large sheet cake had some serious damage done to it along with some wonderful fellowship and tons of good wishes.

Thursday...wow, where do I start? Waking up to DaHubby whispering "Happy Birthday" in my ear. That my in-laws took Pojke for the day and then Flicka had an afternoon play date. That I had several hours uninterrupted to be all crafty, getting ready for Flicka's birthday party tomorrow. Getting a call while out buying party supplies at the dollar store telling me that the florist delivery guy was in my driveway and where did I want him to leave these flowers? (Luckily, a neighbor was home.) That my dad called in the middle of the day (somewhat unusual) to talk for a bit and wish me happy birthday. That my in-laws and the play date mom held on to the Vikings through dinner time so DaHubby and I could go out for a bite to eat. Then, we had company join us at the restaurant! Our pastors (one whose birthday is next week) joined us for a wonderful, no-stress, no cutting food in small pieces, no recovering sippies from under the table dinner! Finally, a free ice cream treat from Dairy Queen! I STILL feel full! LOL

I am truly and humbly blessed...THANK YOU ALL!

First, a poem

Jumping on the bandwagon for Pensieve's Poetic License this month. Completely missed last month (sorry Robin!) but didn't want the chance of writing another limerick go by. LOL

Guidelines are as follows:

Theme: none

Form: limerick
Additional: must include one or more of the following words: green, Irish, leprechaun, shamrock, Easter, Spring, kite, windy

So, without further ado:

March is 'bout birthdays 'round here
One for Mommy and sweet Flicka dear
Foods of every assortment
Balloons oozing disportment
Blue, green, red, orange colors to cheer.

Stop by Robin's bloggy home today to see what other poetic masterpieces she's encouraged!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

40 things I've learned...

In no particular order...in honor of 40 blessed years on the planet.

1. I *thought* I knew about kids...'til I had them myself.
2. That we all have wonderfully different backgrounds, views, and histories so be gentle with each other.
3. That gaining wisdom is more important than beauty, money, status, or things.
4. Always bring a change of clothes when out with one or more kid(s).
5. That if I'm not actively, consciously, enthusiastically for God, I'm against Him.
6. Borrowers are slaves to their lenders.
7. Miraculous healings are possible.
8. I am a child of God, a co-heir with Christ! WOW!
9. Large leaps of faith when led by God are SO worth it!
10. Driving the speed limit isn't so bad. And, it's easier on your insurance.
11. I truly didn't begin to grasp what God did through Jesus until I had Pojke.
12. I never gave much thought to Mary's strength and faith until I had Flicka.
13. It's fun to give.
14. A smile goes a long way to brightening your day and the day of someone else.
15. Nothing more important in your PC routine than backing up, backing up, backing up! LOL
16. That nothing draws a bunch of female strangers together faster than being moms.
17. That it is possible to have such faith, such confidence in the Scriptures that at one's funeral their family can sincerely celebrate one's arrival in Heaven.
18. That there are people who can come into your life and restore all your faith in humanity, that people are good, decent, and honorable.
19. I don't know what "love language" this would be but very few things are cooler than a full fridge after grocery day! LOL
20. No one can make you feel guilty unless you LET them.
21. It's all about context.
22. When in doubt, listen. You can never go wrong.
23. We are all capable of superhuman feats...of strength, of faith, of giving, of accomplishing the "impossible", of withstanding pain.
24. Sometimes it is worth the mess.
25. That a thank you note can make someone's day
26. Sleep and silence are to be treasured. *wink*
27. That being married to the same person (at least MY same person) for years can NEVER be boring! LOL
28. Unconditional love IS possible
29. Accepting compliments graciously is really hard sometimes! LOL But, ya need to learn to do it!
30. Read, read, read...and then pick up another book.
31. Puppy kisses fix everything.
32. The Bible is not a buffet - you can't pick and choose what to follow. It's all or nothing. Deal with it!
33. Sometimes the "E" on the gas gauge *really* means it's empty.
34. That knowing how to hot-wire your own vehicle is sometimes a good skill to have! LOL
35. That a child-like wonder in things like snowflakes, weather, water, rainbows, etc. can keep you young.
36.That the love of friends and family can sustain you regardless of the challenge
37. That the love of a strong church family can undo the consequences of years and years of unbelief.
38. That the love of your babies can touch you so profoundly, so deeply and they can wrap your hearts around their little pudgy fingers.
39. That the love of a good man can heal what seemed to be insurmountable hurts and scars
40. That the love and grace of God is better than anything and everything

Thank you, Lord, for these 14,610 days You've given me...let me use whatever days I have left to glorify you.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Walgreens Trip

Maybe no so successful as Lisa's trip to CVS but I think I'm doing OK! *wink*

4 pack Ivory:
2/$4 - $4 register rewards - .25 man. coupon = .25 overage

Gillette Venus razor:
$9.99 - $5 register rewards - $4 man. coupon = .99

OOP cost: 11.83 (had another .99 item I had to buy)
minus RR - 9.00

$15 in merchandise for $2.83.

And, I immediately turned around and used the $4 RR to buy a bottle of Tums (and a pack of M&M's for Pojke so the total was more than $4). So was it actually...

$19 in merchandise for $2.83! *big smile*

And, I still have the $5 RR to spend...bwah-ha-ha-ha! *wink*

Wordless Wednesday: Boys and Girls


Cabin fever? Fighting the "crud"? Winter coziness? Who cares! LOL

See more WW here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

DaHubby's Sis Update - UPDATED

Well, the news continues to be disappointing...but never hope-stopping! The post-chemo bone marrow test was Friday. The results just came in and the leukemia was not all knocked out. *sigh* So, we're assuming the bone marrow transplant is temporarily on hold. Meanwhile, Peggy's doctors are planning a second round of chemo. That's all we really know right now.

Not sure what to pray for at this point (besides a total miraculous healing, of course) but will rest in Him until it becomes apparent what we are to do.

UPDATED: We heard additional news...the lead doc says they only saw two cancer cells. So, to be cautious and make sure the first round of chemo has finished its work, Peggy is in wait-and-see mode with another bone marrow test on Friday. The second round of chemo is on hold for another week.

Pass The Torch Tuesday

Our church's children's program has undergone a huge overhaul. In 4 years, the church has gone from Flicka being the only person under 12 in the congregation to a program with 4 age-divided rooms (0-2, 3-5, 6-8, 10-12) and over 30 total kids.

With the recent restructuring, they begun taking offerings from the kids each Sunday. And, while we've been kicking around the idea of "commissions" for the Vikings (like an allowance), this change nudged us to commit and put it to paper. The kids have to be EARNING money to be GIVING money! LOL

So, both Vikings now have a "helper chart" that shows 2-3 things a day they can do around the house. For each thing, they receive a quarter. They can earn about $3 a week with $1 going to church. They have the option to refuse (but no money then! LOL) as well as the right to ask for more "chores" (although I'm trying not to use that word too much! LOL). But, a dollar still goes to church no matter what.

So, the last few days have been spent teaching each skill so that it's done well enough to earn their quarter. Guess what one of Pojke's new responsibilities is:


For more Pass The Torch moments captured this week, stop by Kelly's place today!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Are You Happy?

You should be! Sit down today and list all the things that make you happy, things you are thankful for!

Will someone look at you today and think "wow! I want what THEY have!" when that is Christ Jesus!?


A Biblical promise - you will be happy when you are who and what God wants you to be!

And, consider seven happy people of the Bible
(hat tip to Pastor Don - the "bestest" pastor in the world! *wink*)


1. the one whose sins are forgiven (Prov 28.14, Job 5.17)
2. the one who delights in the Word instead of the world (Ps 119.16, Prov 3.13, Ps 1.1)
3. the one who keeps God's commandments (1 John 3.22, Ps 29.18, John 13.17)
4. the one who dwells in the house of the Lord (Ps8 4.4, Ps 144.5)
5. the one who waits upon the Lord (is 40.31)
6. the one who trusts in the Lord (Ps 84.12, Ps 128.2, Pr 14.21)
7. the one who endures (James 5.11, James 1.2)

So, is your strength in the joy of the Lord??

Wanna see a miracle?

I got PROOF! LOL

Remember my church elder who fell off the roof?

Remember this post a week later...he immediately clung to his belief in God and said "All Ahead Full"

This is the man who broke THREE vertebrae and damaged his spinal cord...the man who couldn't move anything below his waist...and yet told the hospital staff: "...we better get working. In 6 weeks, I'm WALKING out of here!"

It has been 18 weeks and look at this! (Short but so so SO sweet!)




Acts 8:7: "...and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed."

PRAISE HIM!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

DaHubby's toy part two

Yea, his new camera takes video too...not hours and hours but longer than the 30 seconds our old one did. To keep this page from bogging down when it loads, look here and here for two *really* cute videos of primarily Pojke.

YEA!

Debbie's back!!!!

She's afraid she has no friends left in blogland. If you know of Debbie, please, please, PLEASE stop by and say WELCOME BACK!!!

Yooper humor

With apologies to Anita for this simplistic explanation (*wink*), ya know about the to-do where Quebec has wanted to secede from Canada because they seem to feel their language and culture and history makes them a unit in its own right? So, they have the appearance of the "country-within-a-country"?

Well, those from Michigan's Upper Peninsula seem to feel much the same compared to us "trolls" born "below the (Mackinac) bridge" in the Lower Peninsula. Yoopers figure trolls are just "tourists" to the U.P. and many trolls think the Yoopers are Michigan's equivalent of "hillbillies".

With that explanation and keeping in mind the rich Scandinavian traditions and history of the U.P., this joke is from an unknown source so it is definitely not our work but DaHubby told this joke last night to his parents (they're all Yoopers) and my mother-in-law about split her side! LOL

After having dug to a depth of 30 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, California scientists dug to a depth of 60 feet, and shortly after, headlines in the LA Times newspaper read: 'California archaeologists have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.'

One week later, the 'Mining Journal', a local newspaper in Marquette, MI reported the following:

'After digging as deep as 90 feet in a rocky field near Negaunee, Ole Johnson, a self-taught archaeologist and Swedish logger, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, the U.P. had already gone wireless.'

A little late...Week Seven: Exercise Accountability Challenge

OK, I'm really feeling like a lame duck leader here (LOL) but I hope this is still helping those of you that kept with your commitment to exercise.

While I've not got back on track yet, Lisa informed me that she had a wonderfully productive week for exercise and I'm praising God with her for it!

Those of you still chugging along, I would LOVE to honor your dedication and hard work by listing your minutes on the ticker...so how did you do this week?

Daddy's Got A New Toy

The photog bug bit DaHubby hard years ago. He's hauled a large backpack full of camera gear around his annual treks into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness while his "canoe-mates" have taken fishing gear! LOL

Last fall and pre-Dave Ramsey, he just HAD to have a new camera that took AA batteries (can't do recharageables in the middle of the wilderness with no power) for his last trip. Well, that one somehow met its match.

When DaHubby and Flicka went on a daddy-daughter date last Friday night, DaHubby whipped out that camera which he is ALWAYS carrying to take some adoring shots of his beloved girl...only to find that the LCD screen on the back as broken rendering the camera useless.

While we would normally suspect that the Vikings had something to do with that, DaHubby and I also have a history of occasionally not being as careful with our tools and gear as we should be. We figure this camera came to an unnatural end one day in DaHubby's briefcase which gets bumped around pretty harshly.

Anyway, with our federal tax return recently burning a hole in our pockets awaiting its trip to Lowes and the dentist's bank account, DaHubby wanted to discuss a replacement. Now, I can use discipline and tell my babies "no" to just about anything...but DaHubby? Never! LOL He just simply works too hard for us! LOL Plus, our Dave Ramsey re-training has made him nearly as frugal and penny-pinching as me! So, I was less worried about him being extravagant.

So, after much research and web-surfing, DaHubby settled on a mid-ranged price replacement which takes significantly better pics than the old one.

He's been like a kid at Christmas taking pics and videos of EVERYTHING and these are two of my new favorites: