Monday, November 30, 2009

Hey - look over here!

I'm guest posting at Lake Michigan Family, talking about the 5th annual Vikings family Advent calendar. Please, go now. *wink*

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5th Annual Vikings Family Advent Calendar

I'm guest posting several times in December at Lake Michigan Family with the previews and wrap-ups but those interested in our full list...this is what we'll be doing around the Viking Hus the next 25 days:

1 paper snowflakes
2 walk-in crafts at Lincoln Twsp library 6-8pm
3 GSBC holiday party
4 hosting MOMS Club craft/Light Up the Bluff 7pm
5 Reindog parade/Maud Preston Library sweet shoppe
6 put up Cmas tree
7 wreaths from paper plates
8 see downtown snowman
9 Swedish paper hearts for tree
10 make hot chocolate mix
11 YMCA family night
12 Curious Kids crafting
13 St Lucia Day
14 SJ schools holiday concert at Mendel
15 Parents As Teachers holiday party at the RESA
16 red/green RC treats
17 school donation
18 make Scottish bannock cake/Y family night
19 ice skating? Or Barker mansion light display? Lake Michigan Admirals game?
20 Polish star craft
21 Cmas cookies
22 Grinch 1pm @ Linc Twsp library
23 something for birds
24 Jesus b-day party - cake/balloons/the whole sh-bang!
25 Christmas

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's nearly that time again...

So, I've got the 5th annual Vikings family advent calendar ready to go starting Tuesday. But, this year, there's a little twist on things. Meagan at Lake Michigan Family wants me to guest post our adventure this year.

Since so many of the activities included this year have to do with many of the wonderful (and often free) activities in Southwest Michigan, she'd like me to share with her readers as well.

I will be posting there but will be linking to it from here starting Monday. If you are interested in peeking at our previous attempts, I have three of them. (I wasn't blogging in 2005.) But, I DO have them for 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Please meander through the old posts and come back Mondays and Tuesdays in December see a preview or a wrap-up of what we've been doing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pre-Reform Rationing

I've been following the health care reform stuff sporadically. At this point, I'm just praising God I have ANY health insurance at all particularly with the number of checks for co-pays and scripts I've written lately.

However, twice in the last 2 days, we've had to make a call: do we or don't we go to the doctor?

Pojke and I spent 6 hours in our local emergency room Saturday night as a result of him trying to see how far he could push a Polly Pocket shoe up his nose. Initially, DaHubby and I went around and around about whether to head to the ER or not. We tried everything we could think of to NOT have to take him. Because Pojke might be scared and/or traumatized? No, because we can't afford our co-pays and deductibles. Fortunately, due to a strange stream of events, we came out not owing a dime (yet) but DaHubby and I haggled for several minutes trying to assess how in the world we'd pay for it. That sense of financial insecurity and that awful sense of not being able to "provide" for one of the Vikings shakes a momma at her soul.

Then, this morning, I woke up barely able to swallow, feeling like my left eardrum might pop from pressure, my left eyes bloodshot to the point people were staring, and a sinus headache unlike anything I've had in a really long time. I called my regular doc and the whole practice was booked solid this morning. So, I called DaHubby at work to see what our co-pay was for the walk-in clinic. In the meantime, I spent nearly a half hour sitting int he parking lot of the clinic waiting to hear from DaHubs so I could know whether I could go in. If it was the more expensive co-pay, i was very seriously considering not going in and just sucking it up and going home. We just can't afford it with our situation right now and without knowing what any hidden costs may arise from Pojke's visit to ER not 36 hours earlier.

Now, I keep hearing people in the press complaining about the rationing of care under this new plan. If anyone thinks that it isn't already happening, they haven't been in someone's shoes like mine in a while.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Listening when Someone talks

(My apologies in advance for hijacking Third Day's song for my illustration. LOL)

Tell me to slow down if you think
That the road that I'm on's goin' nowhere
Tell me to slow down if you know
That I'm goin' too fast for my own good.
Tell me to slow down
If the way is leadin' to a dead end
Tell me to slow down turn around
Let me change the way I'm goin'.

I would like to think someone would stop me before I crashed. I would like to think that there's someone who would care enough about me to step up to me and say "hey, slow down!" It's comforting to know that in most cases the person most likely to do that for me is DaHubby.

DaHubby has an uncanny ability to read situations and the people in them. He's constantly putting words to and making sense of my unending yet unspoken internal angst. It's like that when you say someone really *gets* you, ya know? LOL Like finishing my sentences.

Hindsight being what it is, I've learned that about 95% of the time I should have listened to him because the situation (in which he might be involved or just be observing) turned out exactly as he said it would.

Tell me to slow down if you see
That I'm runnin too fast in the wrong race.
Tell me to slow down if you think
That I can't keep up with my own pace.
Tell me to slow down 'cause you know
If there's ever any question
Tell me to slow down, turn around
Let me change my direction.

Not to minimize how valuable DaHubby's skill is to me, I was thinking how much God is even better than him at it! LOL So, when God send His "nudges" as I call them, why don't I listen to Him as often as I listen to DaHubby?

Prayer is funny that way. We pray for direction, for patience, for guidance, for strength but are we listening when God answers? Do we run off our laundry list of concerns but not take any time to just *sit* and *LISTEN*?

Do we ask God to come and change us, mold us, make us better but then don't take the time to hear what He has to say about how to DO it!?

Oh, I don't want to let go
Of all the things that I know
Are keepin me away from my life.
Oh, I don't want to slow down.
No, I don't want to look around,
But I can't seem to work it out,
So help me God.

Now, my life (especially with little ones) can be as crazy as the next person. My schedule's packed with ALL sorts of things (real and imagined) that I think need to be done. Repeatedly this week I heard people pray for help because they are letting their quiet time with God slip away into the hurried-ness of life. People (including myself) often just rush through our God time and check it off our to-do list. We punched our clock so God will be happy with us.

And, I got to would our kids feel if we just punch a time clock with them? How would we feel if our spouse simply "clocked time" with us. More than once, DaHubby's teased me saying "hey, can you add ME to your to-do list?"

And, again, how much more must God feel when we just clock in with Him instead of spending serious time in His presence?

Be still, and know that I [am] God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalms 46:10 NKJV

God WILL be exalted - are you gonna be there, waiting, listening when He is?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank

There have been so many things going on and issues flying around here that I *really* need to consciously do my thanks tank today. It's my "mind focuser" for the week...

So, in no particular order:

I'm thankful (and THRILLED) that the kids appear to mostly healthy again...FINALLY!

I'm thankful that my "offline" time has provided a chance to step back from & re-assess my online life on Facebook and Twitter.

I'm thankful for an "early" Thanksgiving. My mom and step-dad will be here Sunday and she's bringing the food with her! LOL All I have to make is desserts which will be a surprise - (one) because one of them is a favorite of the Vikings and DaHubby and (two) the other is a first-time recipe I'm attempting. LOL

I'm thankful for a brilliant, patient, and understanding hubby who doesn't blow his top when I locked us outta the house when we walked down to our neighborhood park this past week. He just shrugged and started popping off the screen of one of the new windows he's installed. Flicka was at first very upset...until she realized that Daddy was gonna be putting HER through the window to unlock the front door. I'm also thankful for neighbors with a sense of humor who came out to watch "the show" LOL

I'm thankful my first-ever trip to our local Panera which turned into a wonderful unexpected morning of visiting with 3 ladies I really like but I don't get to spend nearly enough time with. Mel, Melissa, and Shelly - you made my day!

I'm thankful for a locally-run bank who was able to work with us (again) when our current financial situation found us short (again) for the minivan payment. Praise God for these folks who listen first and don't assume folks coming to them for help are just bad with their money. Within 48 hours, we're breathing easier with a new arrangement. I'm also thankful that this new arrangement allowed us to better participate in our new church's food drive as well as keep the few dollars we've saved up for the Vikings' Christmas presents in the bank!

I'm thankful for our YMCA scholarship. Those of you who donate to your local Y for situations just like this...THANK YOU!! It's because of people like you that my babies are still in swimming lessons, still going to family gym nights, and family swims with Daddy...not to mention the child care so Momma can spend some time getting some much-needed exercise and stress relief as well.

I'm thankful for choir...I guess I'm just a big ol' music/band/singing geek but there are few things I have more fun doing than singing - particularly for church. By Wednesday, my bee-hind is starting to drag but choir practice ALWAYS makes me glad that I persisted through my day and went. We have an anthem on Sunday to open service...praying that it goes well.

I'm thankful for the 4 hours I spent in prayer and fasting with some local Moms In Touch International folks. Thinking about leading a group at Flicka's school.

I'm thankful for being able to go on the second of Flicka's school field trips last Friday. This one to the local nature center.

For more TTT, stop by Pam's place and see what she's got filling her thanks tank.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Looking Back

On this day in 2004:

On this day 2006:
For more WW, go here or here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See [how] the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end [intended by] the Lord -- that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5.7-11

To endure: "to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo"

I will endure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mama Bears and Jehovah Nissi

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about this "mama bear" instinct. It keeps coming up in different circumstances - and not all of them related to the Vikings.

In my Bible study group which was reading Esther, we talked about how in chapter 9, Esther asks King Xerxes for another day for the Jews to defend themselves against Haman's decree. We talked about why she would make such a request. Possible bad reason? She was getting used to being in power and was wielding it rashly. Possible good reason? She was feeling a little "mama bear-ish" about her people and wanted to make sure all the enemies of the Jews were annihilated.

Then, there's a well-meaning friend of the family that has taken to teasing Pojke lately. Asking to see his ever-present "beep beeps" (aka toy trucks) he carries everywhere with him and occasionally his lovey, "Susie". The man has taken the toys and/or Susie when left unattended and wants Pojke to give him a hug to get it back. He's called him a sissy and a mama's boy when Pojke turns to me for help. He's called him a baby for having Susie at all. Things like that.

Initially, it wasn't bad but it crossed the line somewhere and now is very upsetting to Pojke. Since this is a friend of the family, I've hesitated to say anything so far. But, as it has continued, I find my "mama bear" rising up in defense.

And, lately, there have been friends of DaHubby's who poke fun at him. For being "too smart", for going to school while working, for allowing me to handle the finances, for not doing more of the typically man-like things in which they feel DaHubby should be participating. And, again, I feel my "mama bear" bearing her teeth.

Then, while attending my last Beth Moore session for that study of Esther, she mentioned the following verse of Scripture:

To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire [shall be] for your husband, And he shall rule over you." Genesis 3:16 (NKJV)

Beth Moore talked about how we should pay less attention to what society says about beauty, femininity, and being desirable and focus more about what God say about our value and beauty as well as what our hubbies think. We should be desiring after THEM not society.

My desire should be for DaHubby - and it is. My desire to love and defend him flows naturally from that. And, those little sweet Vikings, I love them that dearly. Thus, I also feel the need to defend and protect. All things come from that love...even that mama bear instinct. The challenge is to reign it in so as to still remain Christ-like.

Jesus loves us ever-so-much more than we love our hubbies and children. How much MORE "mama bear" feelings does He have towards us? While we refer to God as "Abba Father", I think it would be good to remember that He also has a large dose of "mama bear-ish" feelings for us as well. We need to remember that He is standing between us and those things which would hurt us.

Jehovah Nissi - My Banner and Protector!

And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; Exodus 17:15 (NKJV)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

(Belated) Wordless Wednesday: Vikings at Rest

Two days of couch snuggling due to sickness haven't really been all that bad:

For more WW, go here.