Friday, August 31, 2007

A (tough) practice in thankfulness


Poor Pojke. It appears he has his first ear infection since his procedure this spring. Up part of the night, slept on the couch part of that rocking a warm, fussy, ear-rubbing toddler.

Then, while getting ready just now...major "solids" diaper blow-out...down his legs, on his hands, all over the house. Now he's in the tub.

Trying to be thankful...

I still had a couch to sleep on
I still had a bed to crawl into eventually
Had a hubby that tried to soothe Pojke first so I could sleep
We have a doctor we can call and see almost immediately
We have health insurance
That it's just an ear infection and not something worse
For a hubby that let me sleep in and then called to make sure I was up in time to call the pediatrician
That I had a phone to call on
That Flicka is well
That DaHubby had a job to go to this morning
That I have a vehicle to take Pojke to doctor
That there is gas in it!
That I had food in the fridge to feed the Vikings
That I have the $10 co-pay for the doctor
That I have this computer
That I have this blog
That I have my "bloggy friends"
That I have my regular friends
That I have family - immediate, extended, near, and far.
That I have Jesus.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thanks Tank

Inspired by Peach...

In random order...

1. Very thankful for a wonderful surprise in the mail. My mom who checks in here occasionally saw my post about my initial difficulties finding books for the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge. She then printed off my list, took it to her local Borders, tracked down this one, and it arrived yesterday!

2. Thankful for two recent in-the-moment realizations of how much I love my kids and hubby. I've been trying to make a conscious effort after reading this post earlier this week.

3. Thankful for my freedom in Christ. I am a daughter. I am an heir. I am to be free of fear. Often, folks complain about "why become a Christian - look at all the stuff you CAN'T do!" Instead we should think about...when someone looks at me- do they see a slave or a son? Do they see forced labors or freedom!?

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

4. Thankful for this song that got my heart pumping this morning.

5. Thankful for breath, sight, hearing, and health. I've been thinking profoundly about what life would be like without them.

Go by Peach's place today to see what she's thankful for and swing by Iris's as well to visit with her and the other ladies of Thankful Thursday.

A little discouraged

From a well meaning family member: "It would be so nice for her to be around other kids."

After a particularly hard day of behavior: "We need to put her butt in preschool!"

From seemingly everyone: "Why would you want to homeschool?"


Hard to stay motivated with weeks and weeks of reviewing and ordering curriculum, finding/writing goals, "scheduling" and breaking down everything into appropriately smaller pieces, writing lesson plans, getting a space ready, getting supplies, etc. with all this "chatter" around me.

And, we're due to start a week from today.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas 2003

One of the joys of living near Lake Michigan...

Frugalness Fun and Festivities

Stumbled onto a new blog dedicated to frugalness. I am SO hooked that I read every single post of the 10 Bloglines kicked up when I subscribed to it! LOL Give it a look-see. There's even giveaways (of course - it's all about getting good stuff cheaply)! LOL

Monday, August 27, 2007

Busyness leads to wickedness?

Psalm 10.4 (NIV) : In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

So, if I'm not at all times and in all ways seeking Him...

And, if I'm not "making room" for Him...

Am I wicked?

Psalm 9.17 (NKJV): The wicked shall be turned into hell...

Father, forgive me...

Psalm 139.23-24 (KVJ): Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Psalm 11: 2-3
"For look! The wicked bend [their] bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"

"God On The Mountain" - lyrics by Lynda Randle

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

Psalm 11:4
"The LORD [is] in His holy temple, The LORD's throne [is] in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men."

He is ALWAYS on the throne! Amen!

From a fellow Scot...

"Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occasion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power."

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge: Book Two

Well, when it rains, it pours! LOL I was worried about not having enough material to complete Lesley's Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge (ATRC). The books I was interested in were difficult to find, on hold at the library, and waiting lonesomely on my wish list.

However, I got three in nearly a week! LOL

The Blood of Flowers came in about 10 days ago.

A week ago, I received an email from that this book (which was not on my original ATRC list because it was taking FOR-EVER for me to get to the top of the waiting list) would be en route to me shortly. Wa-hoo! It should be here any day.

And, when I went to return the first book to the library, they informed me that Austenland had come in and was being held for me at the main desk!

I finished Austenland in a 24 hour period. At 194 pages, it was an easy read. Here's an excerpt from the author's site. This author apparently has been writing teen period novels (enough in number and quality to be included in a Newberry Award anthology) and this is her first "adult" level book.

This book spoke to my "former" self...y'know, my pre-Vikings, pre-hubby, pre-back-to-church, 30-something-and-still-single, English teacher self. LOL

A 30-something, never been married, New Yorker with a long list of failed relationships woman named Jane is stressed about *still* being single and is confronted by the fact that she is sabotaging each relationship because the man involved doesn't meet up to her image of Mr. Darcy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

An elderly great-aunt over for a visit spies her secret, stashed copy of the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice and calls her out for her small self-defeating habits and basically tells her to get over it! Several months later, when the elderly aunt passes away, Jane finds herself in a lawyer's office hearing that Great Aunt has left her something in the will...

Nope, not lots of money. But, a trip to Austenland.

Austenland is like a three-week-long Renaissance faire where wealthy vacation-goers spend apparently A LOT of money to fly to England and spend three weeks completely cut off from the modern world living at a secluded period manor submersed in living in Regency era England ala Jane Austen in full costume.

So, why would Great Aunt who told her to "let it go" send her to an Austen "boot camp"?

Well, the book unfolds and explains the self-searching of Jane over that 21 days while flashing back to old boyfriends numbered one through fifteen. So, will Jane "succumb," be wooed theatrically by a Darcy-wannabe, and then go home alone to live a determined life as a spinster as Austen? Or, will she get what she *thinks* she wants and find that modern life holds better promise?

Not wanting to be a spoiler, go and find out for yourself. The ending initially seemed hokey but turned an unexpected corner and went out with fireworks! A worthwhile read!

And, go here to the comments section to find what other worthwhile reads everyone is doing for the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge.

Read Together Wrap Up

In the end of June, I signed Flicka and I up for Jennifer's Read Together challenge. At the time, Flicka and I were immersed in our local library's summer reading program. We had stumbled onto a great first "chapter book" for little ones called The Treasure Tree by Gary Smalley and John Trent. I reviewed it here.

We had a wonderful time reading that book - making the transition from one=story-in-a-sitting to the "big girl" world of reading a chapter and ending with "well, we'll have to read again tomorrow night before bed to see what happens next!"

Unfortunately, when I tried to find similar early chapter books or the sequel to The Treasure Tree which is called The Two Trails, our library did not have any and kept directing me to novels WAY too advanced for Flicka.

So, while we did really well at reading a total number of books for the library's program, we only completed one of the several I sought out specifically for Jennifer's challenge. However, I have a longer list now of those type of books on my wish lists at and so maybe I can integrate them into our homeschool preschool experiment this fall.

Thanks, Jennifer! I hope we didn't let you down! *wink* While it ma
y not have ended up where we (or you) planned, it did start a journey we hope to continue!
And, for those who are interested, here is Mr. Linky list of the book reviews completed so far.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Anyone seen a very large boat and a rainbow?

We had *another* thunderstorm pass through last night and today. So, we're up to a FOURTH flooding/oozing of our basement. The backyard is so sopping wet that the ground is starting to mildew and get slimy! *sigh* Even splashing in puddles is losing its charm for the Vikings!

For those that emailed or commented and asked, yes, I did get a "full night's" sleep (about 6.5 hours) last night. Pojke spent yesterday with DaGrandparents (and they visited the aunt whose nose Pojke broke- her corrective surgery was Tuesday). So, Flicka and I "took it easy" and spent the day together.

We went to our local old-fashioned "five 'n' dime" and picked up beads and lanyards for $1.50. Then, we used our membership to our local kids museum for about 1.5 hours. Then, came home and made "cookies" although they were from a Betty Crocker bag! Flicka madeherself a necklace and bracelet while her oodles of cookies were baking. Then, she took a glorious 2 hours nap during which I got a few things done, had lunch, and got a 45-minutes nap in myself!

We were pretty much confined to the house last evening due to the crazy-beautiful thunderstorm last night so we all just snuggled up with bowls of microwave popcorn and Momma's homemade low-cal shakes (with added fruit for the Vikings) and watched recorded America's Funniest Home Videos 'til bathtime.

Unfortunately, I now have two-days worth of stuff to do and it's still raining off and on and the Vikings have a bit of "cabin fever". Not a great combination! LOL So, we're going to have lunch, run to the post office, run off some energy at the Dairy Queen playscape, and then come home for naps so I can finish the laundry, work on curriculum, work on the MOMS Club newsletter, and do my Bible reading (I'm studying a psalm a day 'tilthe end of the year!)

Have several posts backing up again...I finished another book, an earlier reading challenge is over, and I found a cool fundraiser that's coming up I want to give a plug to. So, I'll be back ASAP.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Home after midweek service: 9:15pm
Kids in bed: 9:30pm
DaHubby home from worship practice: 10:15pm
He works on computer while I try to stay awake...
We go to bed: midnight
First thunderclap: 1am
"Sleep" on Flicka's floor: 1:15am -->
Last thunderclap: 3:30am
Crawl into my bed: 4am
Pojke wakes up congested and crying: 4:15am
Pojke finally goes back to sleep: 5:20am
Crawl into my bed: 5:22am
DaHubby's snooze alarm goes off: 5:25am
DaHubby's snooze alarm goes off: 5:34am
DaHubby wakes me up, kisses me goodbye - no clue
Phone rings: 7:15am
Phone rings: 7:45am
It's gonna be one of those days.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Still dreaming of the day...

..when I might actually need this! LOL

Was clicking through PayPerPost this morning and found a new business that wants to help bloggers set up an email newsletter for their! It's an email application that supposed to increase traffic to your site if you are interested in that sort of thing.

I'm not sure if any of the "mega-mommy-bloggers" stop in here or that any of MY readers are interested in something this "tech advanced" but this site initially sounds awesome in terms of what it can do for someone trying to get the word out about their blog and staying in touch with those who read it.

According to Zookoda, they can help you with what they call email marketing by managing email newsletter subscribers, enhancing a blog with custom newsletter subscription forms, designing eye-catching newsletters to match a blog's design, scheduling recurring broadcasts for each day, week or month, viewing real-time open, bounce, click and unsubscribe reports, and accessing mobile users by emailing blog content in text format.

This company seems to feel that have an RSS feed is not sufficient enough notice to subscribers that you've posted something new. Instead, they will help you create a professional looking email newsletter and instead of waiting for your subscribers to "pull" the feeds to tell them you've posted anew, this will notify them via email to come by your bloggy home and check things out.

This might be a little advanced for this corner of the mommy blogosphere but might be useful to someone looking to increase their readership enough to participate in placing advertisements or other money-generating options on their blog.

Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge: Book One

Well, I joined the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge when the first book I had on hold at the library came in. It was "The Blood of Flowers" by Anita Amirrezvani.

The book takes place in 17th century Persia in the area of modern Iran. It tells the story of a young girl's coming-of-age and loss of innocence following her father's death. She and her mother, due to their Islamic culture which incidentally reminded me of Naomi and Ruth of the Old Testament, are basically left with no support, no immediate family, and only distant relatives in a busy city a long way away. However, the girl is extremely talented in the making of rugs. This skill gets them in to see the distant relatives but become basically slaves in that household due to their powerless stature. And, again due to their position, the girl is left with poor marriage options which leads her into an Islam tradition of a 3-month renewable marriage contract where she learns (in the more racy parts of the book) how to keep that husband happy so he'll continue to "keep"her.

The young girl (who is left nameless in the tradition of all but the most famous master craftspeople who make Persia rugs) is the narrator. Seeing Islam as a religion and as a social structure from the "inside" was intriguing to me since I grew up in an area of Michigan with the largest Arab population outside the Middle East. Seeing how they would have look at Christians- in particular the Scandinavian who comes to Persia looking for rugs - was also interesting. Even after the last page was turned, I was still left with the quandary of how can two religions be so similar in some ways and so diametrically different in others.

The book was an easy read even at 370+ pages and very character driven as it seems most "chick lit" is. I would definitely recommend it as an "escape" novel and/or a good weekend read.

To see more reviews of what everyone's reading for this challenge, go here.

WFMW: Shoes on the Correct Feet

Being trained as a secondary-level English teacher, I'm often at a loss to come up with a age-appropriate solution for a toddler/preschooler. But, Inspiration struck last week after the umpteenth time of explaining to Flicka that the reason she had blisters was because she had her shoes on the wrong feet and she replied "but I like them this way!"

Not wanting to discourage her from her self-dressing education (which helps while I'm wrangling Pojke into clothes as well), I took a permanent marker and drew two small smiley faces on each of the arch areas/ inside edges of the soles of her shoes. Then, I told her that when she put her shoes on to make sure that the smiley faces were facing each other so they could "kiss" and say goodbye before we left! LOL

And, we've had no problems since!

For more WFMW ideas today, go here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: First Tea Party Captured

For more WW, go here.

Bob Villa's Got 'Nothing On DaHubby

Good grief, he's been busy! LOL He's been on a home improvement tear the two weeks.

Basement bathroom re-plumbed? Check.
Bathroom sink faucet replaced? Check.
Grass cut and garden cleaned up? Check.
Concrete (from old porch foundation) moved. Check.
Begin our business website redesign. Check.
Pulled up stinky post-flood carpet. Check.

And, I'm sure I've forgotten other projects.

And, we've talked about having him build another raised planting bed for next summer's garden and painting Pojke's room...which is still the lovely pastel purple we painted for Flicka when we moved in! LOL

While I haven't seen him much and despite my worrying he's not getting enough sleep, I'm SO proud of him! He done good! *wink*

Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Cool Links

...from our local paper this weekend.

This one reminded me of Kelly's project here at Pass the Torch. (I had to copy, paste, and edit for space since the paper made me log in.)

Backpack drive provides school supplies to children who need a little help

H-P Correspondent
BUCHANAN —A few years ago, when Jann Mitchell want­ed to do something to help her community, the idea to organize a backpack drive to give school supplies to children came to her during her prayer time.
“I was praying about what I could do to be a blessing to the community, and the Lord gave me that vision,” she said. “I went with it and it has been re­ally great.”
This is the third year that Mitchell has organized the backpack drive. She has gotten more people involved every year, not only at Faith Victory Fellowship where her husband, Dave, is the pastor but through­out the community.
“Each church has something they do, and this was something I felt we could do,” she said. “At first I wondered about back­packs, but it really helps people to get them for their kids.”
This year, the Buchanan Area Ministerial Association is help­ing, as are several local busi­nesses, organizations and indi­viduals.
For example, the Chemical Bank branch in Buchanan has put posters up about the back­pack program as well as set aside a place where people can leave donations.
It’s also become a ministry that other local churches have taken to heart.
“A lot of churches had their kids bring items as part of their Vacation Bible School pro­gram,” Mitchell said. “It was a blessing to see the kids get in­volved.
“I thought it was neat to see all the churches working to­gether,” she said. “It’s a won­derful witness for the commu­nity to see.”
After filling over 200 back­packs with school supplies the first year and 378 last year, she and other volunteers have done 306 already this year. They’ve already spent one morning fill­ing the backpacks and will be doing it again on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. and continu­ing through the day until they are all done.
The backpacks will be dis­tributed to children and teens and their parents from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Buchanan Farmers Market stalls at the Common in downtown Buchanan on Sun­day, Aug. 26, during the Old Mill Festival. Everyone from Head Start to 12th grade stu­dents can get one.
Mitchell said she went to area schools as well as trailer and mobile home parks the first year to find families where help might be appreciated. Since then, people have contacted her both to ask for help and to find ways they can make donations themselves...
The backpacks are filled with everything from toiletries to all sorts of school supplies includ­ing folders, notebook paper, notebooks, scissors, glue, eras­ers, crayons, pens, pencils and even calculators for the high school students.
Each one also gets a chil­dren’s book on religious themes and a flier telling about the Bu­chanan Area Ministerial Asso­ciation and activities at differ­ent local churches...
She said that the backpacks go out to families throughout the area.
“Kids in Buchanan, Niles, Galien and Brandywine get our backpacks,” she said. “They even go as far as Coloma, Baro­da and South Bend.”

And, this one I thought was cool as an option for homeschoolers in this area. There are only two districts in Michigan doing this and one is down the road from me and (I think) would be an option for Flicka and Pojke should we choose to go the homeschooling way until high school.

Local homeschoolers enroll part-time and in return they get resources, classes, and experiences they might not generally get on their own and the district benefits by getting "credit" for those students so more money from the State of Michigan.

FINALLY! A district that doesn't look at homeschoolers as the "enemy" or the "competition" or people to be distrustful of! Wa-hoo!

Another Silver Lining

OK, despite Flicka's 5am wake-up call due to thunder and lightning and despite the fact that the basement STILL has got puddles (for the third time in about a week),
I found another "up side"...

(Sorry about the "cloudy" images...Flicka was taking pics yesterday and apparently stuck her finger on the lens! LOL)

Mean Ol' Bug!

Look what a mean ol' mosquito did to my Flicka...

and this is after two doses of Benedryl!
It's better today but she still looks like she's been boxing with her brother! LOL

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Playing "Hooky" Today *sigh*

Woke up today to find... had rained all night and now the basement starting to leak again. Two puddles in diagonal corners indicate a possible problem...ya think? LOL

...that the "quick" plumbing fix in the downstairs "mini-bath" has turned into a major re-plumbing project including the stall shower, toilet, and the water feed for the fridge's ice maker. *sigh*

...that Flicka's right eye is swollen shut from some kind of bug bite yesterday.

Sooooo, we're gonna stay home from services today to hold down the fort and keep up with these issues.

Blessings on your Sunday and your worship of Him. Praise Him!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Canning Math - updated

(Updated: I'm using this for my Pass The Torch Tuesday as well. I'm blessed that my mother-in-law takes the time to show me so many of her skills that seem to be less popular today with homemakers. Cooking. Sewing. Canning. She's passing a torch to me! See Kelly's post today for more torches being passed.)

2 - the number of large pans boiling in my house for 8+ hours

5 - the number of hours spent standing while filling pots, boiling water, dumping tomatoes, peeling tomatoes, and doing it over and over and over...

1 - extra run to the hardware store for more lids and rings

7- the number of jars at a time we could "cook"

6 - the number of 45-minute "cycles" to "cook" the jars

Final totals?
11 quarts of Beefsteaks
22 quarts of Romas
1 broken jar while cooking

2 where the seal never "took"

And, I'm NEVER gonna wanna see another tomato for a while! *wink*
Unfortunately, there's probably at least another 25 quarts near-ripe, waiting for me in the garden! LOL

Friday, August 17, 2007

One last thing...

...DaHubby wants some honest feedback on the design of our family/business website. He's doing some tweaking and asked me to post if y'all had time to go check it out and tell him what works and what doesn't. Appreciate it!

The Harvest Is In! LOL

As I mentioned before, the up side to having all that rain last week was our garden going CRAZY with bounty. So, DaGrandma and I have made a date for today to can and can and can and can all of the resulting tomatoes that we picked last night. The scary thing is - we picked about HALF of what will be coming in!

So, I give you the first big Viking harvest of 2007:

We had three raised planting beds. The center one was ALL tomatoes. We planted about 6-8 Roma tomato plants that you see right in front of DaHubby. What ya can't see behind the "cuke cage" is that the 4-6 beefsteak plants are TALLER THAN ME!

There are SO many Romas and they are packed REALLY tightly. We've had to re-stake these plants several times because they are just fallin' over with fruit!

I was afraid the "Roma monster" was gonna eat Flicka! LOL

Our harvest just last night: 2 grocery bags FILLED with Romas and one of beefsteaks. Plus, a couple onions and a couple final cukes.

HEY! That's one less tomato come January! *wink*

Oh, yea - I found these NINE babies before we got started on the tomatoes

These veggies destiny? be boiled and canned! We're ready for DaGrandma!

A Travel Resource for Someone?

Was clicking through PayPerPost this morning and found what could be a good resource for someone looking for a travel agency which specializes in overseas adoption and missionary travel fares.

Golden Rule Travel claims that "most of our advertising comes by way of recommendations from satisfied clients." And, they also have several links to pages of testimonial letters as well as being recommended by New Hope Christian Service International Adoptions ( , Sunshine Adoption, Inc, and Frost International Adoptions

And, they state that they employ four former missionaries, a pastor, a Bible college instructor, and a former child-care worker - all dedicated Christians - so a customer is getting someone who knows what it’s all about for a traveling believer.

So, if this is a service you or someone you know might need, feel free to pass it along.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge

Well, I hesitantly am joining another reading challenge. But, this one caught my eye about two weeks ago due to its genre requirement. Lesley at A Life In Books said this challenge came as..."a yen to travel to distant lands, but lacking the resources to do so."

Basically, I figure I need to get out more. Need to get outta my head. Need to get outta my reading "rut". And, need to get away from the everyday "stuff".

So, I'm joining the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge.

Since lack of money is a hindrance to world travel, it is also a hindrance to buying new books. So, I scoured Amazon looking for things of interest. My "Plan A" list included these:

He Leadth Me by Charles Reynolds (Scotland/ Ireland)
The Last Lighthouse by Sharma Krauskopf (Scotland)
Sea Room: An Island Life in the Hebrides by Adam Nicolson (Scotland)
Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone by Mary Morris (Latin America)
Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn (all over - journalistic coverage)
Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gellman (Mexico)

Unfortunately, when I went to find these at my small local library, they didn't carry any of them. *sigh* Put a few on but it could be a wait.

So, Plan B? I start in the library's catalog FIRST and search it to see what they DID have. My "replacement" hitters for this challenge - which lasts 'til the end of the year, averaging one book per month - are the following:

The Blood of Flowers - by Anita Amirrezvani (Iran)
Austenland by Shannon Hale (England)
Gypsy in Me:, The: From Germany to Romania in Search of Youth, Truth, and Dad by Ted Simon (Eastern Europe)
Between East And West: Across the Borderlands of Europe by Anne Applebaum (Eastern Europe)
North to the Orient by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Asia)

And, the single remaining tribute to my Celtic heritage:
Rhanna by Marion Christine Fraser

If you are interested in joining, here are Lesley's guidelines:
  • The challenge runs from July 1 through December 31 during which time you must read six books that fall under the ‘armchair traveling’ theme.
  • Fiction or non-fiction works are fine, and do not need to be specifically travel related, as long as the location is integral to the book - I’ll leave that to your discretion. Locations must be actual places that you could visit, so no Middle Earths or galaxies far, far away.
  • Books may be cross-posted to other challenges, but you cannot count any books read prior to July 1st.
  • To join, make a post outlining your six choices and link to (original) post...Because I like to have a little wiggle room, you can opt to switch out books throughout the challenge.
  • And yes, there will be prizes!
So, if you are feeling some wanderlust and want to join us, the ship's leavin'! *wink*

Thursday Thanks Tank

Inspired by Peach...

Short and no particular order...

1. For a wonderful, sweet, slow, at-home evening last night with the Vikings - to-do lists, dirty dishes, unfolded laundry put aside, couch-snugglin', chips and dip, and a VHS of the original "Lady and the Tramp."

2. For a basement that now smells like "Ozone" and not cat pee. We've got 90% of the carpet pulled up and the basement's a mess but no cat pee smell.

3. For the report from my dad that during a follow-up MRI/CAT scan (don't remember which) on my sister 4 days post-accident the doctors could not find the original laceration to her spleen! Praise God for this healing!

4. For the former pastor of DaGrandparents, who went home to Heaven last Sunday night while surrounded by his congregation who, having decided to have "service" at his bedside instead of at church, we're singing praises as he met Jesus face to face. Not to be flip, but what a way to go!

5. For a church family and physical family that believes in the power of prayer!

6. For a good report from my mom's dermatologist. I haven't mentioned it here before but my mom is a melanoma survivor. She found another spot recently and the doc reports that the post-biopsy results show no new cancer!

7. For an auntie who loves us and the Vikings so much that even a broken nose couldn't shake it! LOL

8. For a hubby that absolutely works his tail off but is still willing to take a half-day off to take all of us to the County Fair - even if we were rained out! LOL

9. For the chance (which I have to reschedule still) to go "upstate" with just Flicka to see my friend of 30+ years and her two daughters for a girls-only weekend.

10. And, finally, for the One who gives me strength, guidance, peace, salvation, and SO much more! May I continue to strive to bless Him and honor Him with my life.

Join Peach or Iris and the ladies at Thankful Thursday to see what others are thankful for.

BWah-Ha-Ha-Ha *updated*

That would be DaHubby's evil cackle as he sees with satisfaction that I've finally "seen the light" and have been "forcibly" converted from Internet Explorer to Firefox.

Have I mentioned before I'm not really good with change? *wink*

Having my own personal "computer geek" in-house has its perks. While I have an often long laundry list of things to keep updated and to check to our computer running at maximum capacity (anti-virus, malware, pop up blocker, Windows updates, de-fragging, back-up burning, etc.), we can still get hit occasionally with some kind of "internet nasty".

Well, my hesitancy to make the change to the ultra geeky less virus risky Firefox might have let in a Trojan horse which attacks through all versions of IE. *sigh* Now, someone apparently can access our system from a remote location somewhere. And, DaHubby's multiple years of computer hipness has not been able to (YET) find a fix.

This may be why Debbie and some others have been having trouble getting parts of my blog to load. This Trojan horse was somehow introduced via email and/or blog comment (probably one from August 9th) and appears to inserted html code into any page we have edited recently in Microsoft Front Page. Some browsers will not allow pieces of my page to open because that code is inserted. So, Debbie, it's actually a GOOD thing...for you! *wink*

Now, as all you Mac users smile again smugly, I will further confess that this last internet battle has caused the ever-PC loyal DaHubby to actually consider buying a Mac the next time around.

So, we currently are backing up e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g on an external hard drive so that DaHubby can attempt some more risky attempts to fix this problem...with the end result being a possible "clean sweep" of the hard drive and re-load the mounds of software we've installed.

On the positive side, I have this cute little kids-themed "skin" for my browser and this cool "ForecastFox" add-on that give me a current weather satellite, temp, and forecast for my area. And, oh, did I mention? Firefox provides that MS Word-like red squiggly line for misspelled words here in my Blogger composing window? Sweet!

Maybe change isn't so bad after all...LOL

*updated: DaHubby read the post above and feels you may worry that visiting here may infect you as well. He wants me to reassure EVERYONE that WE ARE NOT INFECTING ANYONE ELSE. This is contained within our home and our personal PC-fortress.*

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Whose Control are YOU Under?

That actually my title for this outline from my pastor's sermon from last Sunday. Simply because it has been a reminder to me to check myself in a moment of stress or strain and be aware of how I'm reacting and what I am thinking and feeling.

So, I give you...Pastor's sermon on "Real Power":

Blessed are the MEEK for they will inherit the earth.

Yet, you are NOT meant to be a doormat! "Meek" is meant to imply "gentle" and "under God's control." Remember - we may be meek but we are born with God-given harnessed power!

Hoover Dam holds back an enormous amount of water, letting it out in controlled amounts to capture the most productive electricity output. We can be like that dam! We can have restrained, controlled power!

We’re also like the space shuttle – we have the power to lift up or to blow up/destroy.

There are three ways to live your life:

Out of control – an accident waiting to happen

In control – controlling things “my way”, restraining self alone, basically forcing yourself into a “box” to behave as expected.

Or, you can be under God’s control!

Five “Real Power” exercises for this week:

First, when you are confronted…LOVE!

Proverbs 15.1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 25.15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.
Ephesians 4.26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
Psalm 141.3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Second, when you are insulted…PRAY!

Matthew 5.39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
1 Peter 3.9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Luke 6.28 "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Third, when you are neglected…ENCOURAGE!

1 Thess 5.14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
Hebrews 10.24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

(Nothing will “solve” your neglected-ness faster than helping someone else. Pastor was careful to say – there is power in good works. They won’t get you to Heaven but it will be the type of character building God wants for you!)

Fourth, when you are rejected…FORGIVE!

Colossians 3.13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also [must do.]
1 Peter 2.23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed [Himself] to Him who judges righteously;

Luke 6.37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

And, finally, when you are applauded…SAY THANKS AND MOVE ON!

Psalm 49.18-19 Though while he lives he blesses himself (For [men] will praise you when you do well for yourself), 19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light.
1 Cor 9.25 And everyone who competes [for the prize] is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a perishable crown, but we [for] an imperishable [crown.]
Matthew 6.1 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 Tim 4.8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

The Upside of All That Rain

If one was to look for the silver lining in last week's deluge, it would probably be THIS:

These are headed into the crockpot for a "slow cooker pepper steak" recipe for dinner tonight. Can everyone say "yummmmmm..."? *wink*

And, did I mention that I have about 2 dozen more of those tomatoes, about 5 dozen Roma tomatoes, 2 dozen green peppers, 3 dozen onions, a half bushel of peaches, and another 2 dozen jalepenos to can/dry/freeze/braid/string up? LOL And,it was WHOSE idea to have a garden and learn to can veggies? That would be ME! Ugh!

Gonna be a busy rest of the week and weekend!

Big Time Baby Wrestling

This is a term DaHubby and I coined once Flicka was old enough to romp and wrestle around on the floor with one of us. We'd raise our hands and say "big time baby wrestling"and Flicka would run towards us and flop into our laps.

Well, whoever it was before I had kids (and thought I knew SO much) told me boys are more physical and just "different" than girls and I argued that was silly? I apologize! LOL Because before Pojke could walk, he could crawl *really* fast toward whoever was down on the floor yellin' "big time baby wrestling."

We found out yesterday that maybe we had gone overboard! LOL

Aunt S and Uncle J watched the Vikings while DaHubby and I went over to my dad's home this past weekend. Due to where and why we were going, we thought it best to make arrangements for an adult-only trip. We picked them up that evening thinking everything had gone smoothly and uneventfully.

Until yesterday.

DaGrandma (who was watching Flicka) called while I was out running errands with Pojke.

"Did you hear from 'S' yet today?" she asks with a chuckle in her voice.

"No, why?"

She goes on to tell me how Aunt S went to the doctor Tuesday for a follow-up on a problem with her leg. She mentiones to her doc that her nose is bothering her.

"Did you know your nose is crooked?"

And, he sends her for x-rays!

Come to find out...Aunt S picked up Pojke at some point Saturday and sat him on her lap with the plan to start rocking him to sleep for a nap. Apprarently, Flicka wasn't done playing with Pojke yet and was egging him on while he was trying to settle into Aunt S's lap. At some point, he leaned forward (to probably yell in Pojke-speak "leave me alone, I'm tryin' to go to sleep" at Flicka), and then came back fast...hitting Aunt S in the her a bloodynose...and BREAKING her nose! *sigh*

Eighteen months old! Oh, and Aunt S has an appointment tomorrow with a plastic set her nose. *sigh*

WFMW: sneaky nail cutting

OK, I admit. This isn't a major revelation. But, when I found myself is a quiet van yesterday after lunch and had the thought "cool, NOW I can cut his nails!" (LOL) I thought it might be a WFMW moment!

One of the best suggestions I got as a first-time mom with Flicka after stressing and stressing about cutting her sharp and tiny nails was to wait 'til she was sleeping. Well, I will admit this now for all to see...I still do it with Pojke at 18 months! LOL

Trying to cut that boy's nails while he's awake is like trying to give a feral cat a a a hurricane...well, you get the picture! So, I still just wait 'til he's dozed off at a convenient place and/or time and do it there. With him asleep, it probably takes less than a minute but the peace with which I can do it is priceless! And, no resulting scars, injuries, tears, etc. for either of us!

So, with Flicka at Grandma's and Pojke cutely snoring behind me, I pulled into the driveway, turned off the van, and opened his door. I grabbed the nail clippers and went to work as he dreamed of chasing puppies - or whatever toddler boys dream about!

It just still works for me!

Stop by Shannon's place today for more WFMW ideas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: From Flicka's View

Go to WW to see more examples.

Pass The Torch Tuesday

Kelly at Pass The Torch encourages her readers to "catch" their kids demonstrating things we as adults would like to pass along...

So, I've been very conscious of my interactions with the Vikings the last week or so. I've also tried to be more "present" in conversations and/or time alone with each one. Most nights, Flicka and I spend about 5-6 minutes in Mom and Dad's bed before her bedtime. We've talked, snuggled, read, etc. For some reason the other night, I thought to grab my brush as well as our "bedtime timer."

Despite enjoying having her hair done lately, she still has the typical 3-year-old response to having to sit still longer than 15 seconds. LOL "Ow, Mom, you're hurting me" is frequently heard as I work tangles out of her hair. So, since we all had just gotten cleaned up at the end of this particular evening and I had just got done brush the day's tangles out of her hair, I thought of this...

And, five minutes turned to fifteen...and we had the best chat we've had in a long time! *sigh* I hope this is something she comes to cherish as much as I do.

Check out Kelly's PTT post for this week for more info and examples.

An "A-ha" Moment...

Carmen is one of my favorite "deep thinking" bloggers. She's very interested in media and does solid reviews from a Christian worldview but she also writes posts that push my envelope beyond my daily worries of spilled juice and stained onesies. She's been busy lately and doesn't necessarily blog everyday but when she's always good!

From her post yesterday quoting From The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out by Dan Stone:

"God says you are a brand new creature. The old one died. You don’t look dead, you don’t feel dead, you don’t always act dead, but you’ve got to make up your mind: are you going to agree with God or are you going to debate Him? You may debate him, but you’re going to lose the debate. It’s not worth it. So in faith you agree with God: “Gosh, I read that, and it sounds too good to be true, but I’m going to believe that. I’m going to set my face to that.”

We're to just "give in" to God's will and His truth. And, like I've ask myself and others about the "born again" experience, is it really that simple? To step out in faith - for the first time or for the fortieth - is absolutely terrifying but absolutely thrilling. What feels better than being in God's will? NOTHING! So, is it that simple?

I'm thinking YES!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Sunday Nugget

As I mentioned earlier today, my pastor has been doing a series on Christian character. I plan on typing out the outline from yesterday's sermon shortly. But, there was one nugget I wanted to share ASAP.

He was talking about how your true character shows under pressure. And, he was giving us examples of what to do in a variety of challenging situations. In one case, he reminded us that when you are rejected...FORGIVE. And, he used the following Scripture:

Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also [must do.]

1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed [Himself] to Him who judges righteously;

Luke 6:37 " Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Pastor also mentioned at this point the events before the Crucifixion and made the comment that during that time "He was called every name in the book."

And, it dawned on me...

He was called every name in the book so He could be the Name of the THE Book!

Praise Him that we can be as Elijah and call on His name, the name above ALL names!

1 Chronicles 16:8 Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!

Amen, amen, and amen!

Weighing the Options

I'm at a place again where I'm on the fence between two options: taking a bloggy break to focus on several things on my heart or using the blog to "get it all out" so to speak.

My relationship with my parents.

After reading and finishing "The Five Love Languages of Children" over the last week, I've been re-thinking my interactions with the Vikings as well as DaHubby, my parents, etc.

And, speaking of reading, I'm finding myself wishing not only for my occasional "quiet time" but to spend it absorbed in a good book or more time in THE Good book.

My pastor's messages and recent series about Christian character have convicted me...hard!

And, finally, the issues with my sister are hard for me to think of without becoming upset.

So, while I'm sorting all this out...please be patient if I don't seem as "there" as usual.

And, while Pastor's messages have showed me some selfishness I need to work on, due to the scatterbrained results of my ADD, I may just have to be "self-focused" a little longer...if ya know what I mean. *wink*

Saturday, August 11, 2007

"It was the best of (surprises)..."

...and the worst of (surprises)."

We're home from our "one day round trip" to see my sister. We're exhausted and we have a very busy day tomorrow. Tomorrow is DaGrandparents 55th wedding anniversary, I have "treats" for before-church fellowship, DaHubby's leading worship, then after church dinner out with DaGrandparents and all the siblings and their spouses.

We left the Vikings in the care of Auntie S and Uncle J for the day to keep the kids from having to be stuck in the van for about 5-6 hours. Then, it was nearly like a date! LOL DaHubby and I had nearly 2 hours of uninterrupted conversation! *wink*

So, we called my dad when we were a half hour away and were pleasantly surprised to hear that Chelsea had been released from the hospital! She'll be at my dad's indefinitely. Praise God she's healing so quickly. It's hard to believe she had the accident AND surgery on Wednesday!

She is still on significant pain killers and in a lot of pain. In addition, she must take her temperature regularly to watch for infection and internal bleeding returning. And, she'll return to the hospital in a few days for more blood work. She looks as one would expect. And, it's starting to sink in what's happened and what the repercussions might be.

Unfortunately, my concerns about her medical history were confirmed. There have been many things going on with her that I was not privy to that have come out into the open as a result of this accident. It so saddens me. Her hard years and hard decisions have come back again. *sigh*

Please continue to pray for the situation...I'll update more later.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Prayer Request

You know when the phone rings late at night, in the middle of the night, or very early in the morning, you *know* something's wrong? *sigh* Well, my dad called late last night. Normally, this is pretty normal. He seems to call around 10pm probably figuring the Vikings are sleeping and it's quiet enough to talk.

After catching up a bit (which DaHubby assures me is all about ME talking LOL), my dad finally said "well, the reason I called..." and my stomach dropped.

Due to my Dad's remarriage, I have twin half-sisters who turned 19 last January. They are my only siblings. Chelsea was in a serious car accident Wednesday around 3pm. While she appears to be stablized, she was serious enough at the scene to be Med-Flighted to a regional hospital and will be held a minimum of 3 - 5 days due to the internal bleeding they've identified. In addition, there was an injury to her knee that (while nothing is broken) will take some long-term healing. Her male friend passenger was not wearing a seat belt and received 2 broken ankles, a broken femur, and a broken hip. The lady and young child in the other vehicle were transported to an ER to be checked out but they were walking and such at the scene.

It appears Chelsea had the right-of-way through an intersection and the other woman pulled out in front of her causing Chelsea to T-bone her just in front of the lady's driver's door at full speed - there were no skid marks.

The young man friend, who was pinned by his legs in the car, was able to dial 911 and my step-mom since Chelsea was in and out of consciousness. My dad and step-mom live within 2 miles of where this occurred and arrived as the ambulances did. Someone contacted my other sister Caylee and had a friend drive with her to the scene. When those two arrived, that girlfriend found out that Chelsea's passenger was her brother! *sigh*

My sisters, despite their age, have had a hard couple of years. They've probably had to make more adult decisions in the last 5 years than I made before I was 30. Things were looking like they were turning around for them. Living independently and Chelsea was to start college this fall. Now, she has lost her car with no replacement and lost her waitress job and will be living at my dad's for several weeks.

Praise God she's alive as well as those others involved. Praise Him that she will only be in the hospital an estimate of days instead of weeks like her passenger. Praise Him that the other folks were not hurt any worse. But, please pray for her healing as well for those involved in one way or another. And, I worry that this may caused some issues especially with Chelsea's medical history.

It's likely that DaHubby and I will pack up the Vikings early tomorrow and head over to spend some time with that part of my family. Pray for our safe travel and that we speak the right words into this situation.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Playing Catch Up (Again)

Well, about 2 day post-flooding, my mom and a friend drove the couple hours drive over here to spend some time with Vikings. Yet, I still have every window, door, and crack of my house open along with 3 fans, the house fan amd 4 ceiling fans running in addition to two Ozone machines and a de-humidfier running and it still smells awful in here. *sigh*

So, my apologies for been absent from posting and commenting...I'm hoping to dig out this weekend.

Also, an FYI: I'm aware that my blog banner pic is not displaying. Apparently, it is the only "victim" so far of our domain transfer. And, DaHubby will be "on the case" when he arrives home tonight (I hope).

Blessings on everyone's day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

WFMW: Speaking of smells...

Shannon must have been reading my mind! *wink* Her idea for this week's Works For Me Wednesday addresses some of the unmentionable smells she's had to battle. And, my tip has to do with icky smells in the kitchen. No, it's not my cooking (I can hear DaHubby chuckling to himself) but with my garbage disposal.

Once a month, I have my Palm remind me to section up a lemon and slowly feed one piece at a time through my garbage disposal to take care of any standing water or "standing food" smells from the drain.

As a freebie to throw in, I also found this link that also suggests two other variations...first, use just half the lemon on the garbage disposal and the other half to clean your microwave. Second, add a handful of baking soda tothe drain as you are feeding the lemon through for even more smell-fighting action. My additional suggestion: as you are cutting the lemon, remove as many of the seeds as is convenient. My disposal will chew 'em up but doesn't seem to like them much.

And, since we're on the topic of a lemon's awesome cleaning power, you can use another one with some salt to clean your cutting boards!

Cheap. Inexpensive. Natural. Effective. Works for me! *wink*

Stop by Shannon's site to see what other great ideas the ladies are sharing today!

Wordless Wednesday - Generations

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And God remembered (the Vikings)...

Genesis 8:1: ...and every living thing, and all the animals that [were] with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Well, "subsided" would be an accurate word but it implies that the WATER did all the work! LOL So, three hours of scramlbing and wet-vac-ing abd now three fans blowing a minor hurricane through my basement and most things are back to normal.

Pojke was scheduled to go to DaGrandparents today - check

Flicka and I were to attend a MOMS Club function - nope!

Flicka and I were to go grocery shopping afterwards - nope!

Flicka and I were to go to the pizza party at the library at 2pm to celebrate finishing her first summer reading program...and I can't wake the poor thing up! Apparently, being awake and scared all night from thunderstorms and getting up at 6am was just too much for her. So, after four attempts to roust her off the couch, I'm gonna let the poor thing sleep.

DaHubby worked his tail off this morning, the three of us ate lunch, and then he returned to work around noon. So, I sit here in a quiet house...finally! And, I guess when Flicka wakes up, we'll go to the grocery store then.

Anyway, took a few minutes just now to post some odds and ends on Ebay. And, if anyone is interested, I will give free shipping to anyone who ends up winning the auctions for the bracelets my family and I made to sell at Relay For Life. Better pics are at the Ebay links below:

Here's the ones in adult sizes and here's the one for the kids' sizes. Just mention upon winning that you frequent my bloggy home and I'll take care of the rest.

Also, while I'm thinking baout it, a mea culpa and another reason I really dislike having ADD:

I just found today the email from my giveaway winner that indicate her choice of picture. *ugh* It's been sitting in my in-box for ELEVEN days! *sigh* Nice way to start a business. So, I'm off to bug DaHubby via IM to start figuring out how to get Diatribal her free picture. And, if she's reading this, again - I am SO sorry!

We interrupt this morning for....

...a FLOOD! *wink*

Spent part of the night sleeping on floor next to Flicka's bed through a bout of thunderstorms. Alarm went off at 5am. *ugh* DaHubby got up then to go to work and, for the first time in weeks, he didn't use the basement shower. Hindsight being 20/20...If he HAD gone downstairs he would have seen the several inches of water "oozing" across the basement floor. *sigh* Luckily, during the last basement cleaning, most everything went into "Tupperware" tubs.

Then, DaHubby arrived at work to find most of "the floor" (the machine shop area) under water as well. Luckily, his office and the engineering department was nice and dry! So, DaHubby is on his way home to wet-vac the basement. And, according to the "weather geeks" he works with, this is just the beginning. The storms are to start again shortly, the forecast is 2-5 inches an hour, and will last until late tonight.

So, while I had MUCH planned to get caught up on today computer-wise, we'll be turning the PC off shortly to "save" it from possible lightning-related issues. *wink* If the forecasters got it wrong (again - thanks to our unpredictable Michigan weather), I'll checkin later.

Take care all!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Reunion Follow-up

Well, we're home...with a van full of leftovers and 2 absolutely filthy children in desperate need of a meal, a bath, and bedtime. Visited with many of DaHubby's family- even meeting a cousin, one of those that lives in Minneapolis, that I've heard TONS about but had never met until this point. She's a mom and a teacher - so, of course, we bonded immediately! LOL

She's an author (3 published books!), creative, and a crafter - one who admits quilting is a sickness and then recommended a "how-to" beginners quilting book to me! LOL We swapped email addresses so if she's reading this: it was SO wonderful to meet you, "PurpleShakespeare"! *wink*

Anyway, lots of pics were taken. But, I realized you probably wouldn't be interested in most of them! So, I give you my two new favorites:

DaGrandpa and Pojke

"Mr. Director, Miss Flicka is ready for her close up!"