Friday, November 28, 2008

Vikings' Life Verses

Have heard from friends of different denominations mentioning they have "life verses" from the Bible - generally from a confirmation class experience. I missed that step myself and I am not currently in a denomination that does it either. But, I've always liked the idea. (This has been in correlation to the reading and research I've been doing about speaking a family blessing over the Vikings each day.)

So, I took step one today. After many weeks of praying, considering, and digging through my Bible, I picked out two verses that I would like to be the Vikings' life verses until such time they are able to pick their own that speak more to their hearts' desires.

I made up a little something for each of them in MS PictureIt to post over their bed:

Flicka's verse speaks to the struggles that we endured to conceive her as well as the joy surrounding her arrival. She is our hope and our tree of life in terms of carrying on after we are gone. Also, her IRL name refers to a type of tree so I thought it was appropriate.

Pojke's verse was much harder to find, much more elusive. I felt like Elizabeth all through my pregnancy with him. Every praise and worship practice, every Sunday morning when DaHubby and I sang, every time music played or a preacher got all loud Pentecostal-crazy at our church, Pojke jumped in my womb. Prenatally, he appeared to love music and voices singing and preaching. As his conception was entirely unexpected, a true miracle, and answer to prayer, it is my heart's desire like Hannah for him (if it is God's will) to return to the Lord in a life of service.

This was a really heart-defining, soul-searching experience. As I'm in that season of life where I'm in the day-to-day trenches of caring for these little amazing miracles, it's difficult for me to stop and in silence and contemplation truly consider what God has in store for them. In a typical mommy moment, it's bittersweet to already be considering what they will be doing when they leave the comfort and safety of this home...particularly since I'm still changing Pojke's diapers! LOL

So, the second step is to create a blessing that I or DaHubby will speak over the Vikings each night before bedtime. That is one of my "resolutions" for 2009.

Finally, some sibling peace...

...but how can they be comfortable?
and how long will it last? LOL

Pumpkin pie day two

Remember the two pies I made yesterday. And, remember how I blogged here about my little pie crust troubles. Well, here are the two pies after their time in the oven:

The one on the left is the store bought crust; the one on the right is the homemade.

The one on the left is gone; we haven't tried the other yet
so no taste testing yet but at least they looked respectable! LOL

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And, while the pie is baking...

...I got the Vikings involved in a little dessert craft! LOL Using this recipe as our starting point, Flicka and Pojke put together lil pilgrim hats using striped shortbread cookies, Reese's mini-cups, and Starburst "licorice" in red, orange, and yellow cut in squares (couldn't find inexpensive, fine-point frosting nor Chiklets or any other square small candy).

Easy and frugal last minute pie crust

With so many things to put together today (and I'm not even cooking the actual MEAL! LOL), I decided on frozen pie crusts for my pumpkin pies. As you probably know, they generally come in pairs, one spooned up inside the other. However, when I separated mine this morning, the bottom one was crushed and broken. So, of course, I scrambled online to fine a quick and easy pie crust recipe. What I found was this!

Mixing done IN the pie pan. No rolling into a perfect circle (it is this frustration that's kept me from trying before). No transferring it in one piece to the pan (the other reason). No tearing or ripping the dough en route. In other words, PERFECT for me! LOL

And, this is what it looked like pre-cooked:
Then, I'll update in an hour or so to show you how it turned out! LOL

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his,
and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness...

Psalm 30.4

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Viking deconstruction/re-construction part 3

The boxes from part two found themselves being "re-purposed" the next day as dog houses!

Two days of fun and they still have the toys Grandma and Papa brought them! LOL

See part one here.

Vikings deconstruction/re-construction part 2

Another example of "recycled" toys around here lately...the "train":

See part one (the "recycled" sweater dryer) here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving and parachutes

Did the entire Church worldwide get the same sermon yesterday about the 10 lepers who were healed and the one who gave thanks? LOL Well, I got it twice.

As a guest at our local COG Saturday night, their senior pastor used that story in Luke 17 as his main Scripture. Then, at my home church Sunday morning, Pastor D made reference to it as well. But, there was one other allusion I heard that has stuck with me all weekend and I just wanted to share it during this week of Thanksgiving for those of us in the States.

Captain L Charles Plumb flew aircraft for the U.S. Navy during Vietnam. The story of his life, his training, his capture, and his time as a POW have been so extraordinary that it has been captured in books and he is now a motivational speaker who tours the country.

The pastor I heard speak on Saturday shared this story from Plumb's life:

A few years ago, Capt. Plumb was in Kansas City having a meal. A man across the restaurant kept looking at Plumb as if he knew him and eventually approached him.

"You're Capt.
flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down. You parachuted into enemy hands and spent six years as a prisoner of war."

Plumb confirmed that yes that was him but inquired how the man knew all that.

"Because I packed your parachute."

Standing before him, many years older, was the sailor who had packed Capt. Plumb's parachute days, maybe hours before he fell into enemy hands.

Plumb describes jumping up and shaking the man's hand and said "...
I've said a lot of prayers of thanks for your nimble fingers, but I never thought I'd have the opportunity to express my gratitude in person."

The men spoke for a few more minutes, parted ways, and then Plumb says that later that night, he still could not get the man off his mind.

"...I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform - a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back and bell bottom trousers. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on board the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said "good morning", "how are you", or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor. How many hours did he spend on that long wooden table in the bowels of that ship weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of those chutes? I could have cared less...until one day my parachute came along and he packed it for me."

So, who is packing YOUR parachute? Who is holding you up physically, spiritually, or prayerfully? Who does those everyday, small things in your life? Who is the person who you may not have acknowledged that is packing your chute as you read this. Who do you need to seek out and thank this week?

Contemplating...the mall

With the holiday season springing itself on us earlier and earlier each year, consumer spending and conspicuous consumption are running rampant in many U.S. homes. Since we've joined the Dave Ramsey bandwagon and began "acting our wage", the holidays have been very different around here.

This year is no exception. While I've been saving for a small Christmas fund since June, I'm still making most of the gifts we're giving including the ones for the Vikings. And, we've been blessed with several hand-me-down toys that the kids will be receiving as well.

And, at some point in the last week (although I can't remember where) as I perused my usual frugal bloggy goodness, I remember reading "just skip the mall this year" and "going to the mall is NOT entertainment".

Now, I know the writer was referring to just going to the mall to hang out and mindlessly buy something to fill a day when there's nothing to do but it got me to thinking...

I'm all for skipping the mall. One thing I "caught" from my dad is the desire to try to frequent small business owners and avoid the "big box stores". But, in a community as small as ours, I've noticed that mall is something else all together.

It's our community center - a place with the space and parking for events, activities, etc. passing through the area or on the calendar to set up shop. Our mall has had animal shows, musical events, and beauty pageants. There's been 4H displays, craft shows, and scavenger hunts.

Just this weekend, I took the Vikings up there for National Family Volunteer Day. About 15 or 20 of our local community groups - ranging from Hospice at Home to the Girl Scouts to Animal Aid - were all set up at tales in one of the mall's "intersections". And, over the course of two hours, we...

...made cards for those in hospice
...made containers to collect pennies for our local cancer service
...made welcome bags for children at the abuse shelter
...made place mats for 2 of our area nursing homes
...packed small boxes with books and such for children sick in the hospital, and
...braided materials to make chew/pull toys for dogs at the animal shelter

Free entertainment for the kids and learning about giving at the same time. Talk about a frugal lesson that ol' Dave would be proud of! LOL

So, while I understand that randomly walking through the mall wanting to be entertained or thinking I'll somehow be "fulfilled" by purchasing something is SO budget-defeating and self-deluding, and I'm not naive enough to think that the stores and the mall are hosting all this stuff out of the kindness of their wallets, I think there is still a place for going to the mall even for the frugal. At least in this neighborhood.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fingers and Toes

Our home church is a small group but growing. Yet, Sunday mornings usually hover around 100 believers in attendance. It is also more of a drive for us (about 17 minutes) while so many other churches are around the proverbial corner.

One of those churches is the local Church of God (COG). It's one of probably three of the "megachurches" for this relatively small city and they generally have close to 100+ families each Sunday. Our city's COG is known for its outstanding children's programs and it also has a Saturday night "come as you are" contemporary service.

When DaHubby was in the early throes of balancing full time work and full time school and in an effort to balance it all and get all his homework done, he missed several Sunday morning services at our church and took advantage the peace and quiet to work on his never ending to-do list.

Earlier this fall, I noticed the COG's sign for their Saturday night service. I started thinking about how much I missed going to church with DaHubby. About how awesome their kids' program is. And, about how close in beliefs their church is to ours. But, I couldn't fight the nagging feeling that I was somehow "betraying" my church family.

Two weeks ago, the four of us were driving past the COG just as their service was starting. I was in sweats, DaHubby in jeans, and the Vikings still had dinner on their faces. LOL We again marveled at how that church with its HUGE parking lot is ALWAYS busy. Then, DaHubby and I looked at each other and said "you want to try it?" "Yea, let's really test if it's really 'come as you are'!" So, we went. And, everyone had a wonderful time. And, they were incredibly gracious hosts. Yes, the kids' program rocks. Yes, the worship was awesome. And, yes, the senior pastor's message was good as well.

But, that's not our church.

Without going into the whole story, we know that we know that we know that we are supposed to be at our little country church right now. DaHubby plays piano and shares the responsibility of leading praise and worship with another sister-in-Christ. I sing with the P&W team and participate with the women's ministry. The kids know that church is a second home.

But, we really enjoyed the COG service.

See, that's the cool thing about the body of Christ. Our church and the local COG - we're just fingers and toes. We told our pastor we visited there and he's not stressed about it. And, we stopped and introduced ourselves to the COG pastor and praise team leader. We were polite and enthusiastic but clear that while we enjoyed ourselves and appreciated their ministries we had a church home we love.

The local COG can do amazing outreaches to the community that will touch so many lives. They have the financial power and historic presence (they're celebrating 100 years next year) to be a beacon of hope in this area.

But, our little church's ministry is elsewhere. It just serves another part of the Body. Our church has grown from 30-some people with DaHubby and I being the youngest participants and the only ones with kids to 100 people in attendance and a kids' program expanded to 3 rooms in just under 5 years.

But, we're both working for the same goal...bringing souls to Christ.

The kids and I went to the COG's Saturday night service again tonight to get out of DaHubby's hair for a bit so he could get some work done. And, again, they were incredibly gracious hosts. I even joked with praise and worship leader that his line-up of music was so good that we'd be stealing for our service in the morning. I even ran into someone DaHubby used to work with and his wife. The kids had fun. I got to worship, sit quietly without the Vikings interrupting and actually *hear* the message! LOL It was wonderful.

But, we'll be in our regular seats tomorrow morning with all DaHubby's family around us, and amid our wonderful church family.

We're just fingers and toes.

Incidentally, that's how I feel about my bloggy friends as well. We don't often discuss our denominational differences. We focus on what we have in common - our love for Christ and serving Him and others. For example, I'd like to think that Anita and I will have our mansions in Heaven right next door some day. And, hopefully, GiBee won't be too far down the block. And, it would be cool if Sara's and Lisa's heavenly homes just up against my back fence! LOL Like most of my bloggy friends, I've never met these wonderful ladies in real life. Yet, I know they are serving Christ in their communities just like I'm trying to do here.

Again, we're all just fingers and toes.

Frugal Rules!

To those who tease and make fun of our frugal living - frugal entertainment, frugal shopping, etc. - who's laughin' now! LOL Check out our schedule for today:

Dale's Donuts (9a-12p)
free woodworking demos and activities
the cost of a couple doughnuts! LOL

Lowe's Build & Grow (10a-12n)

Volunteer Day @ Mall (11 - 2pm)
Part of National Family Volunteer Day: "
The Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan has invited area nonprofits and civic groups to have hands-on volunteer activities for you and your family to do. There will be at least a dozen activities for you to choose from and you will be able to learn how you can be involved in your community all year long."

Family movie day at local library w/"Kung Fu Panda" (2-4pm)

A whole day's entertainment for less than $2!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's heeeerrrrre (in best "Poltergiest" voice)

What we woke up to 30 minutes ago:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WFMW: EZ pumpkin cooking

Pumpkins are everywhere the last few weeks. But, this year I had my eyes peeled for good pie-making pumpkins as well. So, while we had two carvin' pumpkins for the kids, I also picked up two pie pumpkins from our local farmers market a few weeks ago.

Then, my mom and step-dad were here last weekend for an early Thanksgiving. And, while my mom brought a ham and the potatoes, I was looking forward to making that green bean casserole thingy as well as a pumpkin pie from scratch.

However, as the weekend wore on and Sunday night's dinner loomed near, I was getting crunched for time and needed a low-labor, stove-and-oven-free way to cook the pumpkin. So, within a couple minutes of Internet surfing, I found a solution - or actually made one up.

Adapting directions for cooking squash, I just cooked the pumpkin in the crockpot while at church! I simply cut the stem off, cleaned out the "goop", and cut the pumpkins in quarters. I put about an inch of water in the bottom and, after 3 hours on low, ta-da! All fork tender and ready to be pureed for pie!

For more WFMW, stop by Shannon's site today.

Wordless Wednesday: Give Me A Little Kiss?

For more WW, check here and here

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Relay Repeat!

Since my local paper doesn't have direct link to their articles (they use this funky "read it online" widget with no hyperlinks), here is the direct text from today's local section:

Relay repeat
Relay for Life again leads nation in amount it raised per capita to fight cancer

H-P Staff Writer

For the second straight year, Berrien County’s Relay for Life ranks first in the nation in the per-capita amount of money it raised to fight cancer.

The Relay for Life 2008 at three sites in Berrien County this year raised $735,000. That equates to $4.58 per capita, more than three times the na­tional average of $1.34 per capita...

...Shelli Knoll, community representa­tive for the Great Lakes Division of the American Cancer Society, said Berrien County raised 6.5 percent more money than in last year’s award-winning event. Besides ranking first in the nation in per capita money raised, Berrien Coun­ty raised more total money than any other county in the Great Lakes Divi­sion, which covers Michigan and Indi­ana.

*big smile* We are mighty proud!

Viking deconstruction/re-construction part one

Apparently, my make-it-from-scratch, recycle/reuse, crafty mantra is starting to rub off on Flicka. A few months ago, we found a sweater drying rack in the garbage during a walk. It was loose, uneven, but nothing a piece of duct tape couldn't fix - plus the first thing Flicka said when she saw it was "baby bed"! LOL

So, for about 4-6 weeks, it's been a "baby bed"...until she and her brother stepped on it trying to climb up some random piece of furniture and it broke.

Then, what does Flicka do?

"C'mon (Pojke) - let's go make a art thing!"

My daughter then took apart the entire drying rack, separated the good pieces from the broken one, discussed (at length) with her brother what they could use the mesh for, and requested tape to start putting together....her own easel! LOL

Unfortunately, they moved on to something else before they finished their quest so I have now completed pictures. But, for no cost, it kept them busy for over an hour! LOL

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Ya know when you read something and you say "YES! That's *exactly* what's been kicking around in my head and they've put it down on paper perfectly"? Well, Laurel posted this Friday and it is attributed to Carol Wimmer.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean livin”

I’m whispering ‘I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.’

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride.

I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not trying to be strong.

I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not bragging of success.

I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not claiming to be perfect,

My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I still feel the sting of pain..

I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not holier than thou,

I’m just a simple sinner Who received God’s good grace, somehow!

Busy plus an upcoming project

Didn't realize it 'til just now that I hadn't posted since Thursday. Apparently, my Twitter and recent Facebook addictions has taken more time than I thought - because I'm definitely online as much as always but just not here writing! LOL

Friday we spent the day at home just chillin' out and DaHubby surprised us with a dinner out with a family from church.

Saturday morning we ran errands and played while DaHubby was in school. That afternoon DaHubby and I "divided and conquered" the Vikings by having Flicka helped Daddy with a household project (with tools!) while Mom and Pojke attended a wonderful 3rd birthday with some friends. (Note to self: apparently it's time to be more careful what I wear to "mommy events" since one mom at the birthday party blurted out "Wow, I've never seen you so dressed up [I was in a jean skirt and sweater!]- you're always in sweats." LOL)

Sunday morning was spent in worship with DaHubby leading the P&W team and me singing with some of my favorite church buddies. We tried out one of the new songs we've been working on. DaHub's wasn't too happy with it but I thought it sounded great! LOL

Then, Sunday afternoon - the grandparents descended! LOL My mom and step-dad came over from the Detroit area and will be here 'til Tuesday. SO, we will probalby be somewhat scarce as we visit and have some fun.

And, speaking of fun, two weeks from today I'm starting our Viking Family Fun advent calendar so the planning is underway! Brainstorming from last year's calendar and tweaking some things here and there, I have about 14 of the 25 days filled so far. I'll reveal what exacctly we're doing as we get close to December 1.

Finally, for those that picked up on the prayer request via this blog, Twitter, and Facebook, please continue to keep my friend D in your prayers. The only update I've heard is that she's been released from the hospital but have yet to hear about any memorial-type services for her son, Ethan.

In addition, there's been a bit of a setback from my sister-in-law Peggy. She's been celebrating being able to return to work as of November 1 but almost immediately began to have some unexplained swelling in her legs and her docs around here are sending her back to Chicago today for an appointment with her cancer-fighting team.

Thanks as always to everyone who keeps up with our tokig liv (crazy life) via this blog. Your continued comments, emails, thoughts, and prayers are very much treasured and appreciated.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another angel joins heaven

For my friend, D.

Lord, let me be Your light. Let her feel Your peace. Touch the families. Comfort them all. Heal their hearts. Take this little one into Your arms. Your will be done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WFMW: back on the horse

Been out of the WFMW game for a bit - gave up all my best ideas and have been too much actually in the trenches to look around at some of my shortcuts! LOL But, this occurred to me last night as I put Flicka to bed.

In the interest of saving energy when Flicka was only 15 months old and we had just moved into this house, DaHubby installed a motion detector switch in her little playroom area adjacent to her room. That way as she walked in, the lights would go on. And, after she had walked away, the lights would eventually go off saving us money.

The other "accidental" benefit was her complete disinterest in climbing something to turn on the lights for her budding independent self! LOL

While she is four now, we still use the timer. I activate the light as I put her to bed so that she can read her books before falling asleep. When the light goes off, it's time for sleep. Luckily, for those wondering, we've had no problems with her intentionally re-activating it to lengthen her story time (yet!)

It definitely works for me. For more WFMW, stop by Shannon's bloggy home today!

Wordless Wednesday: Momma's boy

While Pojke is definitely 100% boy, occasionally a small peek of me peeks out...especially the part that LOVES books! LOL And, the book he's reading was a gift to me in 1975! LOL

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vikings vs. Bovines

So, ya may have heard if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter that we had a dairy farm tour with our MOMS Club today. Andrews University is in our county and hosted us at its new dairy facility. And, we had a wonderful time despite Pojke's first impression which he put succinctly:
"Momma, those cows are STANKY!"

First, we were in the milking parlor:

Then, it was off to the "momma barn"

This is the "dalmatian cow" - just ask Flicka, she'll tell ya so.

While human females can't seem to go to a public restroom alone, apparently bovine females eat in threes! *wink* Who knew?

Then, it was off to the calves' barn - oh my were they cute...but LOUD!

But, the tour ended with a little excitement when this little lady decided to escape and proceed to nursing on the knee caps of 3-4 moms until harnessed back in by a staff member! LOL
Once she was captured and contained again, we head off to visit Daddy at work and came home for lunch!

Oh please oh please - no ice storm!

Humbled and thankful

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy 233rd!

To those affiliated with the United States Marine Corps: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Especially to my "little" cousin, Evan, who is currently at USMC boot camp.

And, to those serving and those that support them by carrying on at home: THANK YOU!!

Doubly Blessed

It all started off with cleaning out my Bible. I've been itching for a new one in a different translation but regret having to let my current one go. I was given my Concordia Self Study Bible 20 years ago last month yet have only been really using it about half that time.

One habit I did start immediately was putting the date in the margins next to significant verses that were pertinent at the time. As 20 years have passed, it provides a bit of a diary and documentation of where I've been, the challenges I've faced, the questions I've asked, and the numerous ways God's acted in my life.

But, I'm ready for a new one and was going through all the scraps of paper, pictures, and bulletins I have stuffed in the pages and in the cover. As I sorted through the photos, I found this one:Just over 6 years ago, I was baptized by my former pastor. As I look at this picture, I see all the promise that comes from a public confession of faith. It had been about 27 months after DaHubby and I had met and 15 months since we had been married. And, after completing the membership classes which changed my denomination for the third time, DaHubby and I were now walking forward being more of one mind and on the same page.

But, this picture is also bittersweet. The date on the back tells me that this day of celebration occurred 10 days after we lost our first angel to heaven. It was as much a dark time as a celebration. That in and of itself tells me how strong (and how comforting) this renewed, newly-testified faith really was. And, it's only grown from there.

But, renewed from what beginnings? LOL That's a whole 'nother story. My story of my mutt-like faith journey - starting from my mom's Catholic faith, through my Lutheran renewal in college, and resulting in my Pentecostal "homecoming" - all started here in April 1968:

From those roots, I grew my wings which brought me where I am today. As I look back through 20 years - and then through my full 40 years - there's no way I could deny God's presence, His influence, and His protection all those years.

While I wandered away several times and did things I would never want to repeat in current company, God's always welcomed me - a poor wretched sinner - back home every single time.

And, it is because of that fact that I fully believe the message preached from our pulpit yesterday that said in part:

Don't be afraid - He is always with you!

He fought for you before; He'll fight for you again! And,

He brought you out before; He'll bring you out again!

And, all God's people said - AMEN!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


WOW! Amazing!

Heard this today for the first time. Had me crying in the van with it playing on the radio - kids must have thought I'd lost my mind! LOL

Recorded it with my phone on the dash. When I got home, I printed out the chords for DaHubby and he's playing it behind me now. We are SO playing this for praise and worship! LOL Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Religious Right Is Dead" so now what?

The last two paragraphs of Cal Thomas's column "It's official: The religious right is dead" which appeared in my local paper today - a copy of which can be read in its entirety here:

"God teaches in His Word that His power (if that is what conservative Evangelicals want and not their puny attempts at grabbing earthly power) is made perfect in weakness. He speaks of the tiny mustard seed, the seemingly worthless widow's mite, of taking the last place at the table and the humbling of one's self, the washing of feet and similar acts and attitudes; the still, small voice. How did conservative Evangelicals miss this and instead settle for a lesser power, which in reality is no power at all? When did they settle for an inferior "kingdom"?

"Evangelicals are at a junction. They can take the path that will lead them to more futility and ineffective attempts to reform culture through government, or they can embrace the far more powerful methods outlined by the One they claim to follow. By following His example, they will decrease, but He will increase. They will get no credit, but they will see results. If conservative Evangelicals choose obscurity and seek to glorify God, they will get much of what they hope for, but can never achieve, in and through politics."

Remember conservative believers are being watch *right now* for our reaction to the election this week. If necessary, bite your tongue. Turn the other cheek to a goading comment. Be a good loser. Rejoice with those that rejoice. Then, pray. And, continue to be Christ-like. Get no credit but witness to the world around you. Be at peace. Our hope is still in Him not in man.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Growing Up

For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The nicest words I've heard so far this week LOL

We've still had medical and/or hospital bills trickling in from the loss of Böna in mid-August. I've been trying to chase down the last one that still hadn't been sent to our insurance as of early last week. FINALLY I heard from the OB's office today after multiple calls:

OB insurance lady: "We sent it in to Blue Cross on October 30th and they've already paid $422.76 of that bill."

"And, what would be left as our 20% share?" I asked, bracing for bad news.

"Actually, Beth, it says at the bottom "Patient may be billed zero'."

As I said here, praise God for health insurance - we FINALLY hit our deductible! Was anticipating another $100+ bill (after already paying out hundreds so far out of pocket for the initial prenatal fees and resulting hospital stay) and we may owe nothing! It's been wipe away clean!

Now that example Pastor used on Sunday about being forgiven by God free and clear, completely grace-filled FREE takes on a WHOLE 'nother level of meaning *wink*

Happy Birthday Sweet DaHubby!

Happy birthday, my love. You've blessed your parents' lives for 41 years and mine for over eight. I was 32 when we met - and you were *SO* worth the wait! LOL

You are my sun and moon, my compass, and my best friend.

Thank you for how hard you work, how well you juggle all your responsibilities, how well you provide for us, and how well you care for us.

You are an AWESOME head of household! *wink*

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thank goodness for health insurance

We've had some chaos in the insurance area lately. Found out September 30th while at the lab for my first mammogram that our insurance was to change the next day. *eyes roll* We've yet to use the new stuff...but we will today.

Put the Vikings down at 8pm last night but Pojke was back up at 10:30pm and 4:00am due to what must be pretty serious ear pain. Tylenol is working for now. But, since it took over twenty-five minutes on constant auto-redial to the ped's office, his appointment isn't until 11:20am.

While Flicka has had one or two ear infections, this unfortunately is a regularly thing for Pojke. He had so many of them as a little guy that he actually had outpatient surgery to try and fix it. That surgery was supposed to stop or at least lessen the frequency of them. It has but it's still discouraging to see him get sick from the same thing over and over and over.

So, while the transition was rough...bless God for insurance.

And, while I have no idea what our new co-pays, office visits, or prescriptions cost...bless God for insurance.

Also, despite the surgery not being 100% effective to stop all future ear infections...bless God it was covered by insurance.

Finally, while Pojke continues to get these...bless God it is ONLY an ear infection and is covered by insurance.

So, while the Vikings both had cold recently - thank You Lord it was just a cold

And, while I've spent 3-4 days miserable with sinus pain and stuffiness - thank you Lord it was just a cold.

And, while DaHubby spends today in bed with the same sinus problems - thank you Lord that it is just a cold.

And, finally, while it breaks a momma's heart to hear her baby cry in the middle of the night and not be able to do much about it - thank you Lord that it is *just* an ear infection.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Read in its entirety... service this morning...TWICE!

(NKJV) Psalms 103 [A Psalm] of David.
(Formatting for emphasis by me)

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me,
[bless] His holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good [things,]
[So that] your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.

The LORD [is]
merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger,
and abounding in mercy.

He will not always strive [with us,]
Nor will He keep [His anger] forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
[So] great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

As far as the east is from the west,
[So] far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father pities [his] children,
[So] the LORD pities those who fear Him.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we [are] dust.
[As for] man, his days [are] like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD
[is] from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children's children,

To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the LORD, you His angels,
Who excel in strength,
who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.

Bless the LORD, all [you] His hosts,
[You] ministers of His,
who do His pleasure.

Bless the LORD, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Are We All Becoming True Independents?

I've been able to vote for 22 years. I've voted in every single election since the day I registered to do so in 1986. I cannot never remember this occurring before this election.

It goes without saying - the public is fed up. Fed up with politics, politicians, and all that's involved. But, we persist. We continue to participate in the process.

It's been my experience that even if one does not commit to one of our two major parties, most people seem to lean one way or another. And, when in doubt at the polls, we as voters seem to give the candidate that is of that party towards which we lean the benefit of the doubt.

What would REALLY freak out Washington, the RNC and the DNC would be if the public started actually judging each candidate ON THEIR OWN MERITS without regards to party affiliation.

And, I think that out of sheer desperation and deep desire for true, mature, committed, unselfish, ethical leaders, people are working through their decision-making process in a new way and it is resulting in lawn sign collections like this:

Has anyone else noticed this (or are doing this) in their area?