Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day baby revisited (UPDATED)

I was due on Leap Day 2004 with Flicka. Unfortunately, she did to me what I did to MY mom...I was 3 weeks late, Flicka was nearly 2 weeks late! LOL

I had mixed feelings about my due date. It was cool because it was something special but then the questions started to come from strangers and family: what if you actually deliver on that day? ANd, then I found out it was actually considered UN-lucky in some cultures.

The point became moot as I failed to go into labor and was considered 2 days late which became 5 days...7 days...10 days!

However, I still found Leap Day history, explanations, and traditions interesting...

"A tradition was introduced many centuries ago to allow women to propose to men during a leap year. This privilege of proposing was restricted to leap day in some areas. Leap day was sometimes known as “Bachelors’ Day”. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage offer from a woman.

The tradition’s origin stemmed from an old Irish tale referring to St Bridget striking a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men every four years. This old custom was probably made to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how the leap day balances the calendar.

It was also considered to be unlucky for someone to be born on a leap day in Scotland and for couples to marry on a leap year, including on a leap day, in Greece."

Anyway, as a wonderful wish to all...Happy Leap Day!

UPDATE TO ADD: And, to celebrate, here's some Walgreen's .29 coupons...good for just today!

Update on my SIL

Well, the news hasn't been good this week. After doing genetic tests on her particular leukemia, the results indicate she has a very rare type of leukemia that the cancer specialists at Chicago Rush have only seen 19 cases of...ever! And, of those 19, only one was able to find a bone marrow donor suitable enough and quickly enough to survive.

Luckily, Peggy has four surviving siblings! And, siblings are the single best chance for a bone marrow match. And, the statistics say it's a 1-in-4 chance a sibling is a match and she's got all four to "choose" from.

Outside the normal worries about what this means, this has hit me in an odd way too since I am a biological only child. I have half sisters but no full siblings. If this was me, outside God' divine intervention, I would most definitely be one of the 18 who wouldn't make it.

So, DaHubby waits for the call which might come next week to tell him when to start the screening process.

Meanwhile, Peggy has another bone marrow test this morning (in about 15 minutes actually) to see if the last 2 weeks of chemo has knocked the leukemia out for now and she'll be OK'd for a bone marrow transplant in about 2 weeks.

As always, your prayers are appreciated and pray as you are led.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Maybe it's the weather...

Brain-locked. Cabin fever. Survival mode.

And, I can SO relate to Karen's post recently where she said:
"But, I do feel like I have become more ’surface’ with the things I talk about here. I haven’t wrestled with much of anything meaningful in a long time.”

Other than my SIL's fight with leukemia (whose battle is not necessarily taking the path of least resistance), the biggest worry around here right now is coughing babies and Flicka's upcoming birthday party. With the exception of Peggy, not particularly earth-shattering. *sigh*

But, I've on more than one day after a morning busy with activities, errands, to-do's, or a combination of all of those can't help but sit down and be entirely exhausted at lunch time. And, I just can't get engaged or re-motivated through the afternoon...which should be my busiest time since the Vikings are taking their nap/quiet time.

And, I know I'm lacking downtime, time for my brain to percolate, work through "higher minded" issues because immediately upon leaving last night to run a couple errands after dinner with the Vikings are in the capable hands of DaHubby, I immediately starting thinking of more "deep" thoughts.

In the quiet of the car and the quiet of the darkened evening, everything came tumbling in for no apparent reason...thoughts about the possibility of a third child, for example. And, that I need to lose all fear, anxiety, and worry of the future since (according to Chris Tomlin):
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine

By the time the kids are in bed, I fall onto the couch or into bed with little interest in reading or other quiet pursuits because I can barely keep my eyes open. Plus, it is often the only time DaHubby and I get to talk.

So, I decided my brain just needs a retreat! LOL But, I haven't quite figured out how to make that happen since a momma's 24-7 job is never done and there's always something to clean up, someone to feed, or someone to keep from jumping off the couch! LOL

But, I did get a glimpse of God's promise and reminder that He will always care for me and I have nothing to fear or fret about in Tomlin's song on the car radio. As for the third child issue, well, that's definitely more up to God than us since DaHubby and I are too exhausted to even think about it! LOL

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Called in the Cavalry

Today is pay day and grocery day. But, I have two sick little Vikings. No food in the house isn't really an option so I called in reinforcements - my in-laws. LOL They watched the Vikings while I made my rounds of Aldis, Meijers, Hardings, Rogers, and Martins for our week's supplies.

Flicka started at 102 this morning but seems to be feeling better. Pojke "relapsed", has had a sippy to drink, a couple piece of fruit and was in this the condition I found him in on the couch when I got home an hour and a half ago...

...and he's in the same position now!

Guess I'll be missing church again tonight...poor babies.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


And, the second round of this crud begins...and it's Flicka's turn. *sigh*


That's the number of entries I'll receive by posting about this cool toy giveaway contest at Two great prizes. Eight entries possible per person. One great site. Check it out.

I was hoping for Elizabeth Bennett! *wink*

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I Get It Now! LOL

Just finished watching part 3 of this. And, I'm completely hooked...again.

Never been much of a Jane Austen fan despite being a major English lit geek! LOL Never really "got" Austen's writing before; just "endured" reading her novels when required; never really understood the big deal behind the character of Mr. Darcy; and never advocated movies over the original works. I'm not only a geek but a purist! *wink*

But, thanks to PBS and Colin Firth, I'm a convert!

All the traditional stereotypes (romantic and otherwise) are there:

the good, honorable man trumps the cad every time

one of most women's "love languages" is security and Darcy's got it!

love conquers class, expectations, finances, everything!

guys like a girl who is authentic and knows who she is and isn't afraid to defend herself

guys like a girl who is loyal and loves her family

both the rich and the poor can have too much pride and prejudice

there is just something about a man in uniform *wink*

I know when I posted before about this many said they weren't really fans of Austen. But, I would respectfully suggest giving this film version a try.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mixed feelings

In need of prayers would appear that DaHubby's sister has a more rare form of leukemia than originally thought. DaHubby and their three other siblings are being asked to consider starting the process to see if they can be bone marrow donors. We should know if they need him within 2-3 days.

Thank you for lifting this up as you are led.

101...102...103: updated

Pojke's temps yesterday...even with Tylenol. *sigh*

Other than making a meal and doing a load of dishes, he and I spent most of Sunday on the couch. We even ck'd in with the on-call doc before bed to double ck that the 103 temp wasn't something to worry about.

And, see the chewing on the blanket? LOL I'm hoping the teething is the main culprit but it seems teething brings with it all sort of "above-the-shoulders" problems...ear infection, runny nose, etc.
So, I just got an appt with the pediatrician for 1:20pm. Let's hope we don't pick something else up by taking him in with Flicka in tow.

Updated...home from ped. No ear infection (praise God!) so no antibiotics!!! Just a bug and/or teething. The fever is already coming down and he's en route to the crib for a nap!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Like Father Like Son

So cute...

But, guess which one woke up with a fever and is staying home with me today? *sigh*

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Outreach Blog Style

What an interesting approach for outreach...creating blog posts! Spreading the word via Christian bloggers. The Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina is looking to create a buzz.

This nearly 60 year old church which was started on Mothers Day 1947 and now boasts over 1500 members. I'm thrilled to see that amount of missions work they do and I'm impressed by the size of their education department. They even have Philip Yancey (author of "What's So Amazing About Grace?" and "Where Is God When It Hurts") as "heritage lecturer".

So if you are looking at churches in Greenville SC area and are of the Presbyterian persuasion, perhaps check them out!

The WHTI hits home

Has anyone looked into this yet? I don't know whether to feel safe or be seriously annoyed! LOL

Apparently, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was designed to required "all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S." Initially, that meant all U.S. citizens were going to need a passport.

However, due to a cost of $100 each for an adult plus a processing time of several weeks, impatient U.S. citizens (particularly those in "border" states) got a tad irritated! LOL Additionally, as a result, the government got completely inundated with applications!

Then, fee "extortion" began where local providers were jacking up costs more than the federal government required...U.S. citizens got further annoyed.

So, while the Department of Homeland Security is still enforcing the new requirements on air travel, they have backpedaled a tad for those of us traveling only by land and water to Canada, Mexico, and warm cruise-friendly areas like the Bahamas and Caribbean and provided this neat, smaller, cheaper alternatives: passport cards!

At this point in time, they are also allowing Canadian and American citizens to provide a birth certificate and drivers license which will eventually end "at a later date, to be determined."

Now, what little knowledge I have of my federal government gives me pause with phrases like "at a later date to be determined" which gives me pictures in my head of DaHubby, the Vikings, and I standing at a border crossing several hundred miles from here, hungry kids crying, van full of traveling gear and some assumingly nice federal employee telling me that as of the previous Monday, I really do need a full passport now. LOL

And, one downside is that if we apply for traditional passports at a later date, we must pay full price despite the fact that the government has already checked us out once and will accept its' own passport card as ID for the full passport application! LOL

Anyway, instead of $370 for full passport books for all of us, it looks like I will be budgeting for $160 for four passport cards! And, with a possible 4-6 weeks wait (but I've heard it's up to 12 weeks+), I guess I should get on sooner as opposed to later!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Week Six: Exercise Accountability Challenge

I've been hesitating to post today since, once again, I'm not a very good example. No minutes for me again this week although it's been on my mind everyday. But, DaHubby's dual jobs along with weather, family commitments, and a continually teething, not-sleeping-at-night Pojke, it's been hard to get a "free time" to do it.

I think I'm due for a plan change. I need to find something I can do more at home (a video perhaps?) until the weather breaks. And, assuming the sidewalks here clear soon, I can always start walking the neighborhood.

But, the really good side of this's week 6! That mean tere's only 4 weeks...28 days...672 hours UNTIL SPRING! LOL

So, how did YOU do this week?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank

Been out running all day...errands from 9:30am til 4:30pm! Been too cold to go out for just one errand so I saved them all up! LOL But, I thought I'd use my "to-go" list as my outline for TTT today!

Went to the chiropractor: I'm so thankful for my chiropractor. Not only is he helping my chronic back problems and encouraging in terms of my exercise goals, he said he immediately thought of me when he found he needed someone to do a one-time only job for his office. That'll be $100 in our pockets eventually.

Went to the bank: I'm more thankful than I could explain for the blessings of our growing financial stability. What a wonderful feeling to NOT be dreading every interaction with the bank's staff.

Got gas: even at $3.19/gallon, I'm thankful for the minivan, that it's new, that it runs, and keeps me from being locked in the house with the kids all day! LOL

Went to Aldi's: Thankful for the staff there who are consistently polite, friendly, and FAST! LOL

Went to Meijer's: Thankful to have found the "clearance" hamburger right next to the "sale" hamburger that I had gone in search for. LOL Save another bit o' change.

Went to Lowe's: Our federal tax return was direct deposited today! Went to Lowe's and wrote a WAY TOO BIG check to them but they are PAID OFF!! CHEETAH!

Went to the dentist: So thankful that we paid them off with the tax return as well! CHEETAH!

Went to pick up my new free paper shredder: what a blessing Freecycle has been to all of us!

Went to Martin's: Thankful for a laughing, pleasant, fun-having daughter who has everyone in stitches with her goofy and adorable behavior.

Went to Hardings: Thankful for the nice cashier that always talks to the kids, asks questions about them, notices I'm "missing" one (Pojke was at my in-laws today).

Went to Family Dollar: Thankful for having started already teaching Flicka about earning and spending her own money. Watching her so thoughtfully pick out *just* the right thing to spend her hard-earned $2 on while patience-pushing at times is precious to watch. Let's hope we break the bad money habits with DaHubby and me! *wink*

That's MY list. And, you can see the lists of the Thankful Thursday ladies here as well as Pam's Thursday Thanks Tank list here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pojke-speak deciphered...finally!

Been meaning to share these two tidbits on Pojke budding was enough to make a momma's heart go "awwww...."

I was a momma obsessed with trying to get Flicka to say "I love you" the first time around. I blame it on first-time-momma syndrome! LOL And, needless to say, she resisted for-ev-ver! For Pojke, I figured it would be later since his overall speech was later than Flicka's. But, he's surprised me. Last week, the baby boy and I were snuggling and I said (as I have a millon times not expecting an answer) "I love you, buddy." To which Pojke replied "uv ooo too" Untaught, un-coerced, and spontaneous is all the better let me tell ya! LOL

Then, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what "Koo, Momma" meant. And, it seemed to occur around mealtime. I racked my brain for a while trying to figure it out and it finally hit like a lightning bolt last week..."thanK yOO, Momma!" Again, un-reminded and unsolicited SO rocks! LOL

I sure do love that boy of mine!

WFMW: Another crayon mural clean-up idea

I posted this about two weeks ago on a Saturday but it worked so well, I thought I'd re-post for WFMW.

So, if your darling(s) have used crayon on your walls in large quantities and you are not the happy owner of one of these, this baking soda option might be just the idea for you!

For more WFMW ideas, check out Shannon's place today.

Wordless Wednesday

For more WW, go here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Blahs

Yea, they're still around. We're back in survival mode. Cranky Flicka. Teething Pojke (up at 4:30am this morning). DaHubby working 13-15 hour days between both jobs. Bank holiday yesterday makes Momma crabby because that means DaHubby's check will be deposited a day late. Schedule in an upheaval as DaGrandparents rally around Big Sis P. Exercise time hard to come by...heck, getting a shower each day right now is a treat! LOL Cabin fever complicating it all. But, we're safe, happy, warm, and fed although a little booger-y and not particularly well-rested! *wink*

Speaking of Big Sis P, she is doing well. Nearly one week down and three weeks to go on her month-long stay at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center. My brother-in-law has started a MySpace page to keep everyone updated so I guess it's public knowledge now.

Big Sis P (aka Peggy) was diagnosed last week with acute leukemia. I'm still unclear about which kind. We've heard they caught it early - something to the effect that it's only in her marrow and not in her blood yet is what we've been told. She's currently undergoing a month of chemo at Rush. So, please continue to pray as you are led.

And, we will continue to pray that spring arrives we've had two days of snow (3 inches so far) since Sunday when it was FIFTY degrees! Gotta love Michigan weather! LOL

Monday, February 18, 2008

I think I'm in trouble...

DaHubby has taken great pride this weekend in relating this story...

Recent talk has turned to hanging posters in Flicka's room. Particularly what kind she would like on her walls. Expecting answers like princesses, flowers, Care Bears, that sort of thing, we were stunned by her most recent choice.

Apparently, those bedtime snuggling conversations with Daddy and his explanation to her questions about the stars and moon have paid off! LOL

Oh, and her second choice? A poster that shows "all the bones in our bodies"! LOL Maybe something like this?

Can this be normal for a three-soon-to-be-four-year-old? *wink*

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Our First Planned Family Night Out

Because of our zealousness in following the Dave Ramsey plan of financial peace, any family nights out requiring more than $10 have been non-existent since October! LOL However, with a budgeted money for gas, parking, and treats, guess where this Yooper daddy and the Michigan State hockey fan momma took their kids?

(This is from DaHubby's cell, so please excuse the quality.)

Go Griffins!

And, the tickets, you ask? Thanks to a VERY nice supplier for DaHubby's shop, the $50-$100 worth of tickets we had were FREE! Thank you, thank you, thank you, nice man, wherever you are!

Two other thoughts:

First, Dave Ramsey is COMPLETELY was MUCH more memorable and pleasurable to go do something fun and come home knowing that we spent only cash and it wouldn't be coming back to "haunt" us later.

Second, Dave very much believes in blessing people when you can. The whole point of his financial peace plan to get to point that you are provided for AND you can start giving it away to bless people as is directed by the Bible!

So, despite being around 9:30pm when the game was over, the Vikings were doing really well since they had taken long naps. So, we all thoughts we'd get some "treats" or "num-nums" (depending on which Vikings you talked to) before the very long drive home. We found a 24-hour IHOP down the highway and pulled in.

Two kids meals to split between the Vikings and me. Daddy got a breakfast meal. Then, the kids got dessert. Just over $20 for everything. I left to take the Vikings to the bathroom before we left while DaHubby paid the bill. When I asked, he said, yes, I paid the bill.

"Did you tip her?"

"Yep!" he said with a smile.

"How much?"


And, I was thrilled.

We had a wonderful night. The kids had a blast at their first every hockey game. We had a nice meal. We came home with no "extra" money and we got to bless a hard-working, toughest-job-in-the-world waitress!

*big smile*

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kitchen Style

Was just making lunch for the Vikings and was thinking about how my style of cooking has changed in the last 10 years. It's changed in terms of type of cooking and the amount of food I prepare but I have become a real stickler in another area of food preparation: cleaning up! LOL

As I pulled the grilled cheese off the stove, I had just got done wiping the counters clean. And, when I handed the Vikings their plates ("two hands, please, two hands!"), there's was nothing for me to do other than remind them to put their plates in the sink when they're done.

I also have what I consider a really bad habit of letting the dishes go all day and then do them as I'm making dinner! LOL In those 5-10 minutes "standing time" in-between recipe steps, I do the day's dishes. Meanwhile, most of dinner prep utensils and such get toss in there too. SO, when dinner is over, I toss the dishes in and "ta-da": I'm all done for the night

It wasn't always like this however! As DaHubby can probably attest to, early in our marriage, I was a really messy cook!

So, I thought I'd throw out a poll of sorts.

Are you the type of cook that cleans up as they go? When your meal is complete, are there no dishes left in the sink other than the ones y'all ate on? Are your counter tops already wiped, ingredients put away, and the clutter busted?


Are you the enthusiastic type where the end of your delicious, all-gone meal is just the beginning...of dishes, of scraping food off stove, of half opened ingredients still sitting on the counter, of filling a dishwasher?

So, I made a first attempt at a Blogger poll - see it at the right and vote! Are you a "Neat Nellie" or a "Tornado Teri"? What say you?

Week Five: Exercise Accountability Challenge

Well, we're halfway done! Five weeks down, five to go til SPRING!

Yet, unfortunately, this week I'm simply a moderator of this thing. Each night I
scheduled in a trip to the local field house to walk, something of higher priority deflected my efforts. Yea, I know, I should set MYSELF and my health as a high priority but this week has just been exhausting more in an emotional way.

However, the events of this week have renewed my determination to keep this up. So, while I completed none of my minutes this week, I plan on getting back on track (literally and figurative) as soon as possible.

So, how did YOU do? How many minutes did YOU get done this week?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hijacked Guest Post

Happy valentines day sweetheart. And also to viking 1 and 2. I don't know what my life would be like without you guys so i won't even imagine. Thank you for the card and we will have a great time this weekend.


Your financial partner who drinks the koolaid with you. (Dave Ramsey metaphor)

(Love you, Handsome. Thanks for being my best friend, my prince, and the best daddy ever! XOXO)

Thursday Thanks Tank

In honor of Pam, the ladies of Thankful Thursday, and Big Sis P:

My mind is a-whirl. My emotions a mess. My heart broken a little. But, still I will praise the Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for those I love. Remind me daily that no man has a guarantee for the number of his/her days. Help me to remember to live each minute for You as if I'd be meeting you in the very next minute.

Thank you, Lord, for my health and that of DaHubby and the Vikings. I will never realize how precious it truly is 'til I lose it.

Thank you, Lord, for my parents. Despite Mom's battles, despite Dad's unexpected hip replacement, You have watched over them and seen to it that are still here on earth.

Thank you, Lord, for all my material blessings. Guide me in wisdom to be a better steward of all You have seen fit to provide.

Thank you, Lord, for my friends: long-term, recent, and online. They bless my days and make me and my life better for having know them. Especially Lisa F, Shelagh, Jill - 65 years of friendship combined - you guys have held me up through some of the worst times of my life. You are the ones I'll have to pay to keep quiet in my old age! *wink* Knowing you are out there praying for me means the world to me.

Thank you, Lord, for my church family. They are Your "tangible" love here on earth and I don't know what I'd do without them.

You are so big. I am so small. Yet, somehow, I am a co-heir with Christ. I'm in awe. Flat on my face. Unworthy. But, thank You.

Please feel free to join the ladies at Sting My Heart to read more about all we have to be thankful for this week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WFMW: Bare Cupboards Dinner Resources

I haven't done a Works For Me Wednesday in a while. And, it would figure that I would be reminded to do it the week Shannon is not even in the country! LOL But, Chili is pickin' up her slack *wink*.

The following two sites have been a real Godsend the last year or so as I've tried to restrict the number of our impulse run-to-the-store-for-a-few-things trips and our eating out.

Taste of Home's advanced recipe search allows you to pick and choose from a list of criteria (number of ingredients, amount of prep time you have, low fat, low sodium, etc.) and find a recipe just suited to your needs in a panic at 4pm when your hubby is due home in an hour and you didn't get a chance to stop at the store today (and when does THAT every happen? *eyes rolling*).

And, Cooking By Numbers can also help you find a recipe with very little in your cabinets. Check what you have and hit "find recipes" and it'll spit out several recipes you can make with what you have on hand!

Stop by Chili's today and see what 200+ great ideas the other bloggers have this week!

Big Sis P

At DaHubby's request, I'm not able to give any details but the results for Big Sis P test were not very positive. She has a significant battle ahead of her. Pray for her and DaHubby's family as you are led. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Praise (CHEETAH!) Report

Had our taxes done tonight. It took over an hour including a 15 minute trip back home to find some additional paperwork we were missing! LOL But, the absolutely stupendous news? Highest tax return ever! And, due to a miscalculation of our property taxes last year, we're filing an amended return for 2006 which will give us an additional $400+! Plus, the State of Michigan will be sending us a return as well! All this results in a return that will more than DOUBLE the total amount we've paid off so far in our debt snowball!!

Plus, we are still anticipating a one-time whole life insurance refund check as well the possible tax money from the federal government in the spring!

Can you say CHEETAH!!??

Prayer Request update

Tomorrow at 9am Eastern Time is when Big Sis P finds out what the particular health battle in front of her is. The general consensus is it could be leukemia, bone cancer, lupus, or simply very low iron (anemic). On the scale of things, DaHubby's family is obviously hoping for the latter. If you feel led and think about it, any additional prayers for God's will and His peace would be much appreciated.

Handling Change

So...I'm looking for some wisdom and input. And, as I keep telling people who are non blog-familiar and look at me like I'm nuts (LOL), blogging with you all is like a 2008 version of sharing wisdom over the back fence like used to happen in previous generations of moms.

And, my question to you all is how do you handle change? And, is it different for big lifestyle changes as it is for last minute upsets?

While I've always said I like things to change up often because I get so bored so easily, I don't know that6 that attitude is played out in my life...and I think DaHubby would agree since he recently accused me of being not spontaneous! LOL

I've noticed a shift the last few years. I'm just as happy to stay home as opposed to facing the packing, planning, and hauling of bags that it takes to leave the house right now with the Vikings. DaHubby and I are just tickled to have a evening with nothing to do and just stay home. Where I used to experience a sense of disappointment and/or a feeling of being stifled upon returning home, now it is a strong sense of relief! LOL

My recent big lifestyle type of change is the transformation that has occurred following our completion of Financial Peace University with a complete overhaul of how we think about money and how we're spending it. I've never been one who could be called extravagant so tightening the belt even more was "more of the same" for me. And, every time DaHubby has come up with an idea to try to make more progress that circumvents the "gospel" of Dave Ramsey, I've argued that we have to work the program for the program to work and we are making great strides already. So, my conclusion is that at this THIS big change hasn't been particularly hard because there's a structure in place to follow step-by-step.

However, I generally seem to get more upset, more anxious when my daily plan gets shot. I have a hard time "flowing" with THOSE kinds of changes. For example, the pseudo-schedule we keep for the Vikings to visit my in-laws in outta kilter this month due to a short mini-class Flicka and I are taking on Wednesdays in February. And, again, DaHubby could testify to my extreme frustration when he tries to give me too many options for activities or tries to change plans on me at the last minute.

I'm not sure if it's a control issue. I don't know if it's all an ADD issue...although I know that one of my feelings is extreme anxiety that I will forget something after I've planned every out to cover all my bases and then the plan changes for some reason. And, I often beat myself up that it's a lack-of-faith many control issues are.

But, even with the day-to-day changes, I seem to be getting better. I don't know what to attribute it to at this point but even some last minute schedule upheavals haven't really got me as upset as usual. My "flow" seems to be getting better. LOL

Another thought with regards to the ADD, is much of the anxiety and depression that often come with it is cause by feeling "deficient" somehow that you can't seem to manage as well as it appears others do. So, in the interest of shedding light into my little ADD darkness, I was wondering what goes through other folks' heads when they are confronted with something similar.

So, what say you all? How do you deal with change? Does prayer get you through it? Do you "enjoy the ride"? Are you truly excited to see how something unexpected will turn out? Or are you more on my end of the spectrum were a good schedule keeps your sanity and the world better cooperate! LOL

Monday, February 11, 2008

I SO have to try these!

Hat tip to Mommy Life:


-Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how the primates do it.

-Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

-Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

-Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating; peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

-Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

-To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

-For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

-Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

-Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.

- To make quick deviled eggs: put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly. Now cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

-When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

-To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

-Use wet newspapers and put layers around plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic but they will not get through wet newspapers.

-Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

-Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

-To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

-To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

-Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! -- static is gone.

-Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

-Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

-If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two.Viola! It unseals easily.

-Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

-To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

-Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

-If you use dryer sheets in your clothes dryer, periodically clean with soap and a soft brush your filter as the sheets create a film over the mesh which prevents the air from flowing.

Snowed in again

The thermometer is above zero for the first time in three days...but just barely: 0.9 degrees. Most the schools here are off school today but I've already spent most of the last four days in the house with the kids and we're getting a little stir-crazy.

So, after receiving a great Valentines care package from my mom this weekend, I set the Vikings to the task of making valentines!

Cold outside? Doesn't matter since kid life is wonderful when it includes glue sticks, Elmers, googly eyes, finger paint, and a nice long post-craft bath! LOL

Overheard at the Vikings' Hus

Flicka and I are snuggling before her bedtime. She's got two of her dolls with her and is playing with them while we chat.

Flicka: "Momma, they're gettin' married!" (And she's making the two Barbies kiss.)
Me: "They are?"
Flicka: "yep, they're getting married."
Me: "And, what does that mean? Why do people get married?"
Flicka: "Because they love each other and the baby's on the way." (WHAT? LOL)
Me: "But, honey, Mommy and Daddy are a girl and a boy. And, those are two girls. In real life, two girls can't get married."
Flicka: "Oh, mom, don't be silly. This is only make-believe."

Let's hope that the baby coming BEFORE the wedding is make-believe too! *wink*

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Crazy People

That would be me...or would it be "us"?

At 8:55am, as DaHubby, the Vikings, and I were getting ready to walk out the door to before-church praise and worship warm-up, the phone rang. Church was canceled. Why? Because this is what the thermometer in our yard has been reading most of the day:

NEGATIVE 6.7! But, did that keep us home? Naw, of course not! LOL We went to our former church we attended before the Vikings were born. Hadn't been there in 5 years! Similar to the church service Anita described at her church last Wednesday, it was a small service filled with heavily dressed, hearty souls and was a very good one nonetheless.

And, the thermometer in the van was still reading this on the way home:

And, is this love or what??? Stopping to scrape the ice of the wiper blades...with no hat, no gloves, and just a sweatshirt on! *wink*

And, this is what it looked like driving along Lake Michigan on the way home:

Even my Yooper hubby is curled up in front of a space heater in an afghan! It's nice to be home...with a crockpot full of round steak and potatoes boilin' on the stove! Hope everyone's day of worship and rest was a great one!

Prayer Request

Three years ago about this time of year, we lost both my grandma and DaHubby's brother. Big Bro D fell to lung cancer 4 months after completing his first Chicago Marathon. Sadly, it is becoming more and more possible that another of DaHubby's siblings has a cancer fight ahead of them. Big Sis P has a bone marrow test this past week for possible leukemia. *sigh* Please keep her in your prayers especially the next few days 'til we hear about the test results on Wednesday.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Should I be impressed? LOL Found out that my post about the Vikings' wall scribblings made it to a "top blog posting" list for today! LOL Scroll down to number six for 2-8-08.

Week Four: Exercise Accountability Challenge

(You can read about this challenge here, here, here, and here!)

Wweeellllll...another lax week here at the Vikings household. Our schedule was messed up for so many reasons: DaHubby's additional work, babysitting for friends, the weather, lack of sleep, etc. It seemed it was always something. I only got 2 of my three scheduled workouts for a total of 65 minutes of my promised 90. *sigh*

I'm going in the wrong direction! Particularly since my workout schedule is about to get MUCH harder in about 10 days!

If anyone is feeling the *blahs* as I am, we need a BOOST! We need a mini-challenge. A prize? A giveaway? SOMETHING! Any thoughts? What will stoke your competitive spirit a bit? We're not even halfway through! LOL We need to get back on track! What say you all?

Leave your ideas and your minutes for the week in the comments below!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank

In honor of Pam and the ladies of Thankful Thursday:

1. Humidifiers - without all three that we own running in each bedroom at night and the large pot of water boiling on the stove each morning, this house would be a much more uncomfortable place to live and breathe in.

2. DaHubby's sweet tea - Yea, I know he's from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. However, with some Yankee ingenuity (along with trial and error) and some instruction from some church friends originally from Tennessee, the "nasty stuff" I would normally turn my nose up at has become a welcome, tasty morning "jolt" for this non-coffee drinker.

3. DaHubby's vacation check. Blogged on it yesterday. 'Nough said! *big smile* CHEETAH!

4. that despite the pain-in-the-rear driving weather of a slush/freezing rain/snow combination, we woke up to an amazingly beautiful landscape this morning where all the wet slushy trees and such are covered in a thick frosting of fluffy lake effect snow!

5. for a sweet moment that I've been meaning to blog about but haven't really been able to put into words what it meant to me: simply, our church is scheduling a baptismal service soon. Flicka now has been bugging us repeatedly that she wants "Miss Evie" (her Sunday school teacher) to baptize her! *sniff, sniff* When I suggested that we needed to ask Pastor about that, Pastor then responded with "well, your daddy can baptize you if you'd like!" Flicka's been on cloud nine ever since. (While we know she's too young to truly understand what our beliefs about baptism are about and have no intention of letting her go through with the process frivolously, what a momma heart-warmer!)

6. For a couple hours of sheer English-geek enjoyment watching the first four installments of PBS's Masterpiece: The Complete Jane Austen. I am the lone literary nerd in the house. So, over the last month, I've gotten up with DaHubby, made his lunch, sent him off to work, made myself something to eat, and then snuggled in on the couch for a 6-8am viewing of Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Miss Austen Regrets. And, I'm a really looking forward to most of the remaining 6 programs that run through the first week of May...Momma's little bit of "brain candy".

7. For the three hours of (nearly) uninterrupted time this week to tackle the basement cleaning project yet again. With our spare mattress currently on the floor down there along with a hand-me-down TV/VCR combo from an older Vikings cousin, the kids cuddled, played quietly, and watched Shrek and Toy Story while I made a significant dent in the cleaning and had 2 large garbage bags to put out in the trash!

8. For my 2008 goal to complete a reading of Proverbs this month. I'm about 5 chapters in and already completely overwhelmed by how so much of it apply into my life right. this. second!

9. For my exercising schedule...which resulted in a first-time-since-high-school event this week...I actually jogged! LOL With an overweight frame, a back that my chiropractor calls HIS other doctor friends about, and the world's flattest feet, it was painful and exhilarating all at the same time. LOL I have a semi-secret goal that I'd like to reach by summer. This is the first baby step towards it!

10. Finally, for my Lord and Savior...whom I have been spending more time this week and have enjoyed our additional visits enormously! LOL

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Buckling down again

I94 closed down again!
4-6 (minimum) inches of more snow expected!
Church canceled tonight!

Anita...I hope you are buckling down, too. It's looks like I'm sending some really icky weather your way!


Card card offers? CHEETAH!

Commercials for new leased (or as "someone" would say "you-get-fleeced") cars? CHEETAH!

The 19-year-old "big box" employee who wants to sell ya' a new big-as-the-house HDTV? CHEETAH!

DaHubby and I have made a joke about yelling "CHEETAH!" anytime anything comes around that tries to entice us to go into any more debt. But, it is even MORE fun (or "fun-ner" as DaHubby would tease) to yell it as you PAY OFF SOME DEBT!

Can I get an AMEN!? YEE-HAW!

DaHubby's vacation check came in today. Any unused vacation time still in his account on his anniversary date is cut to him in a check. This is the second of a couple "one time only/lump sum" checks we're expecting in the next month or so.

Sooooo....Flicka and I yelled at little CHEETAH! when I paid off the bank loan we had this morning!

And, we yelled a bigger CHEETAH! when I gave our dentist over $1600 towards a balance for emergency work done for DaHubby a few months ago. And, the remaining balance is small enough that we should be able to pay off the rest by the end of this month!

If there wasn't a inch of slush all over everything, if there wasn't another inch of snow on the ground, if there wasn't 4-6 more inches of snow on the way...I'd be on the top of our roof screaming....


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Taking a short break this morning...

Have more thoughts brewing and percolating (nice metaphor so someone who doesn't drink coffee! *wink*) but I'm doing a favor for a friend who needs your prayers. I'm watching her daughter (who happens to be nearly the same age at Flicka) while she takes care of some business for herself at our local hospital. The "playground politics" of three - especially two older girls vs. one younger boy - are particularly interesting! LOL

Gonna try to be back this afternoon...hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Another thing rambling in my mind today

This has been in and out of my conscious mind the last month or so...modest dress. And, what does it mean to a Christian woman?

And, the thoughts bumping into each other in my no particular order:

"At least I know that (a man) is judging me by my brain and my personality and not by my body." - a comment made by a veil-observant, traditional-loose-clothes-wearing, young Muslim girl I worked with many years ago.

The arguments made at this blog like modest clothing being a hedge between the world and the believer, a witnessing tool, Biblical interpretation, to humble the wearer, and simplicity of lifestyle.

I find is disappointing when people dress to the nines for worship. But I don't dare say anything, because who am I to judge? I just really feel that our lives should be about Godliness and NOT how we look on the outside. If a person is dressed fancifully and wearing lots of makeup and jewelry, people are seeing her and not God. People are seeing her physical beauty, and lusting after her, or envying her, and it may be much more difficult for her to show her inward Godliness." - a friend from a homeschooling board.

The legalism that entrapped DaHubby and his siblings when they were kids (for example, on the topic of modesty, if women cut their hair, wore make-up, wore red clothing, etc. it could basically threaten their salvation) is something I obvious want to avoid at ALL costs!

As someone who really has no interest in fashion per se; as someone who has always been uneasy about the use of sexuality in the press, media, etc; as someone who wants to protect a young daughter from exploitation; as someone who is more interested in this season of life in the utility of my clothes as opposed to their fashion-ability; and as someone who wants to be an example of modest Christian woman, these types of clothing choices are becoming more and more appealing.

The utility of a "uniform" of sorts. A visual reminder to myself and the world of my commitment to Christ. Simple clothes that exemplify a simpler lifestyle.

If I may "peek" into my bloggy buddies' heads...Anita, Sara, Lisa, GiBee, Laurel, Laura, Debbie, Kelly, Christina, Pam and anyone else who happens by...what do you ladies "do" about observing modesty?

Re-tackling my mission statement

During our Financial Peace University class, one chapter was on "Careers and Extra Jobs." During that week, one part of our homework assignments was to create a personal mission statement. I've done these a million times before for college classes, teacher-training classes, professional/continuing ed classes and seminars, etc. I written them as required and put them aside each time.

However, with a variety of factors playing through my head lately, I've decided to tackle it again. And, then display it as Dave Ramsey suggests - even if it is still a work in progress - because I need to be held accountable, held to a standard that I picked out and believe in.

That corny country song lyric keeps playing in my head: "You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." The last 10 years of my life seem to have been all about figuring out what do *I* really believe and why? And, more important lately, shouldn't I be able to stand up for it and defend it?

For too long of a time, I've never given much thought (unfortunately) about what I think about things. I've pretty much found people I trusted and took their views as my own figuring that's what everyone did. But, as my 40th birthday rears its head in a few short weeks, I find that if I want a life that is truly mine, that is not nearly enough. My lack of "adolescent rebellion" and challenging is now WWAAYY overdue! LOL

Enough acting already. Enough worrying about others liking me, keeping the peace, and others withdrawing from/leaving/abandoning me. What am I about? What did God intend for me?

Also, this book has been rattling my cage and shaking all my foundations as I begin to read about a believer's Biblically-based, God-provided boundaries (personal space as well as "mental" space) that, when built up appropriately and in age-appropriate steps, make us happy in our walk with Christ, in ourself, and in our relationships and, as a result, mentally healthy to do God's will.

I've been passively allowing myself to be filled with others' opinions, thoughts, and priorities most of my life. It's always been easier to "go along." It's hard to look back and find many decisions (major or minor) that I can acknowledge and take ownership for that didn't include hours and days and weeks of wondering what would everyone else think, what would everyone else want, and what would keep the peace. As a result, many of my decisions have been made either with others' needs in mind or in desperation to get away from the showdown of wanting something that I felt would upset others.

What worries my heart most - if I can't define and defend what I believe and why, how can I be a good witness for Christ? Why are the powers and people of this world able to make me feel "smaller" for what I believe? The answer? Painfully? Because I let them!

As it is with most issues with a lot of "baggage" and years of layers of meaning, I feel like writing huge explanations, justifications, and ready-made apologies so as not to come off appearing selfish and self-centered and making anyone angry. But, I'm gonna just let this lay here as it is for now.

Just as Dave Ramsey gives his "baby steps" to financial peace, this is one of my baby steps. One inch forward. One step out in faith.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Where you may have a laugh... my expense.

They look really sorry, don't they? NNOOTT!!

Is this some kind of momma right of passage? Scrubbing miscellaneous scribbling off walls? Well, this scribbling was about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide of multiple color crayons! *sigh*

Previously, toothpaste has worked wonders on small individual spots. No such luck this time. So, I brainstormed up another angle and I wanted to pass along a find: baking soda. The universal cleaning wonder! LOL Made a paste with water and baking soda and with a little scrubbing with a toothbrush...voila! Nearly pristine wall!

Friday, February 1, 2008

In need of a desktop/wallpaper change?

There are some beautiful ones here. Wallpaper with calendars, Scriptures, and beautiful photos. What more could ya' ask for when you're looking out the window at so much snow that DaHubby will probably have to park a couple blocks away and walk the rest of the way home since the plow hasn't come through yet! LOL

Week Three: Exercise Accountability Challenge

Well, we are at the end of week THREE of ten, ladies. We're nearly halfway there! Halfway to some new, good habits and halfway 'til Spring! Which I would REALLY like to start thinking about since we got blasted with another "snow dump" last night (another 6+ inches with more on the way) and all the schools are closed!

Just thought you'd like to know that as of last week, cumulatively we have put in nearly FOUR more hours of time then we had pledged thus far! And, that's awesome!

So, how are y'all doing? As for me, it's been a hard week here. Between caring for sickies and becoming a sickie myself in addition to DaHubby working from home this week, I lost one of my planned workouts and was unable to catch up before this morning. But, I still managed to get 70 of my 90 minutes completed.

So, leave a comment below on how many minutes you completed this week and let's make that TICKER CLIMB...or at least inch right-ward! *wink*! And, if you have stumbled across this challenge and are wondering "what in the world are these people up to?", check
here for an explanation. And, then here and here for our progress so far!

Blessings on everyone's weekend! And, get in an additional workout this'll have fewer minutes to do next week! LOL