Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another random question...

How much "stuff" does one need to have to justify a rummage sale?

The Financial Peace University class we're facilitating is thinking about having a "Dave Ramsey garage sale" but, should that fall through, I might have enough to do one on my own.

If you could tell from passing by that there wasn't a ton of stuff, would you still stop and check it out?

Tackle It Tuesday

Not sure if this counts since *I* didn't do the work, but can I have "partial credit" for it being on DaHubby's "honey do" list? LOL

Last summer, DaHubby tackled our crumbling brick porch and replaced it with a beautiful new deck. However, we were at a loss on what to do with the landscaping on the left side of the porch. So, it sat. With a icky pile of debris from construction being my eyesore all winter.

Then, with the help of some kind friends, we were able to acquire several pieces of 2-by-10's as well as several wheelbarrows full of rocks and, in the ultimate Dave Ramsey style, DaHubby made a clean-looking, beautiful rock garden for the cost of a $7 roll of weed barrier! LOL

Many, many thanks to DaHubby, his ingenuity, and his frugalness! Man, I love that guy! LOL

For more tackles, go here.

I think it's genetic

I have a bit of a reputation being something of a klutz. I blame it on poor impulse control from my ADD (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! *wink*) But, it would appear that my childhood habit of passionate exuberance while playing turning into injury is being passed down.

Not sure how this happened exactly. DaHubby was supervising the bathtub. And, Flicka was showing her new skill of being able to put her face under water. All I can think of is that she lifted her face too quickly and hit the faucet...but it's more a scratch as opposed to an "impact" hit. Hmmm...

Regardless, she's a tad upset by the injury and is being all pitiful and such this morning. Hopefully, she won't be passing in front of a lot of mirrors today at my in-laws! LOL

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another random thought...the crib

Yes, Pojke's still in the crib.

Yes, I know he's nearly 28 months old.

Yes, he's starting to climb out.

Yes, I want to start potty training him this summer and I obviously cannot expect the poor child to get up to "empty" if he's in the crib.

Yet, I'm majorly dragging my feet on this one...

Flicka was a "gradual girl". Potty training. Toddler bed. Everything in baby steps. Not sure at this point if that's MY doing or hers but it worked.

DaHubby's suggesting we just take the crib down and Pojke can go "cold turkey".

I need some advice from moms with older kids...whatcha think? Gradual or cold turkey?

Heaven? Or Circles of Hell? LOL

DaHubby just sent me this. The file is labeled "Trailer Heaven." But, with all due respect to anyone whose home has a VIN number, this reminds me more of Dante's circles of Hell from Divine Comedy! *wink*

I wonder how many tornadoes hit the area where this photo was taken? *snort*

Sorry, cheap shot! LOL

Weather Whiplash

Typical Michigan weather...in the 70's last week and we woke up this morning to 40's and a possible forecast of snow this week. *eyes rolling*

This flip-flop is so pitifully confusing for the Vikings as one day they are in shorts and the next in a heavier spring coat. LOL

So, what do you do when the weather is dashing a little one's hope for shorts...make believe summer with...


Tired out

but home safely!

Doing laundry, cleaning up, and resting after putting about 360 miles on the van this weekend!

But, no sympathy for me from DaHubby...he put in over 18 hours on the road this weekend as well.

Also, trying to convince Flicka that we just not able to spend ANOTHER day, all-day, riding her NEW BIKE!! Thank you Grandma Paula and Papa Doug!

We have no pics to share (Momma's hands were WAY too busy keeping everyone busy, safe, out of trouble, etc. LOL) but I'll be back tomorrow!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Road Trip(s)!!

The travel bug has bit and the vehicles are being packed.

DaHubby is helping out a friend from out church that recently moved here from Tennessee. He and his family had to leave some stuff behind when Whirlpool transferred him to this area..."stuff" including a motor home! LOL

So, DaHubby is going on a guys-only road trip to here where they will pick up the motor home and then drive back to Michigan Sunday. It'll be DaHubby's first daytime trip down through the Appalachians mountains and he is seriously geeked! An 18 hour, 1260 mile round trip...WAY too much testosterone in a confined space for me! LOL

So, after whining the he gets to go somewhere fun AGAIN without us *wink*, he suggested going to visit my parents. So, the Vikings and I are headed near here and here. We're all heading out just after lunch (in my case - I'm hoping the Vikings will SLEEP all the way there! LOL)

Just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful weekend!! And, we'll be back Monday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sabbatical Jubilance

...a rest from the everyday with exuberance.

I've been changing priorities and the way I spend time with my technology. It hasn't worked everyday but there were immediate and positive changes in our home environment, my attitude, and the Vikings' attitudes as the last couple of days progressed.

Instead of thinking at the end of the day that I "only" got done the minimums (like groceries, bill paying, diaper changing, meal making, etc.), now my thoughts are leaning more towards: those are the things that HAVE to get done...then all that other "stuff" I've been thinking was so important (cleaning the basement, improve this, re-doing that, etc.) is not more important than the stuff I've been "leaving behind" each day. Time for me, time to read, time to pray, time to talk to DaHubby, time to play with the kids.

Sabbatical in the academic world often refers to a time when a professor takes some time off from his or her teaching and/or research to do something else - sometimes rest, sometimes new research, for example. It was often offered once every seven years. In addition, the etymology of the word goes back to sabbath - a period of rest or day of remembrance/worship.

Sabbath is often considered a reverent and solemn word held in a type of silent homage. When actually, it is etymologically connected to the year of Jubilee which, in addition to the "year of sabbath" which provided a time of release and forgiveness of debtors and slaves every seven years, was celebrated every 50 years!

As someone who is working through Dave Ramsey plan for getting out of debt, I can only image how incredibly awesome, dumbfounding, and elating it would feel for someone to come to my family and forgive us all our remaining financial debt.

But the revelation that struck me was this: Sabbath is a time of jubilee!

And, my recent rest from the unending drive of technology and my ever-present to-do list has provided for some jubilant times with DaHubby and the Vikings. And, during this time of family and fun, my sense of all I have to be thankful for has increased along with my sense of peace and joy. For example, despite being the third person in the household with a cough and cold, it's been relatively easy since I've had time to rest and to enjoy the (near) silence of quiet/nap time.

So, what would be your first reaction to having all your financial debt forgiven? What about emotional debts you hold with others? Would you show "great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant"? That's jubilee!

So, how much more should we be filled with exultation by a Heavenly Father who has put every single one of our sins and trespasses as far as the east is from the west? Are ya' feeling jubilant yet?

Finally, with sabbath being related to a time of jubilee, how much "great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing" is going on during YOUR sabbath this week? *wink*

Psalms 116:7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. (NKJV)

Wordless Wednesday

Look what I'm learning to do...

For more WW, go here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You can ignore this post...

...but DaHubby has been up to his techie tricks again. His current camera and some cool geeky software he has allows him to stand in the center of an imaginary circle taking pictures every few feet and then "stitch" them together for one *really* long landscape "surround" shot.

DaHubby took this series of shots at the new church property I mentioned here. The photo is about 320 of 360 degrees of the new church property.

If you are interested in seeing it, click here.

WARNING: this file is 2.21 MG and depending on your equipment and connection could take a *really* long time to load! LOL

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pass The Torch Tuesday

DaHubby has made friends with "the new guy" at work - it's like they were twins separated at birth! LOL One thing they share is a love of outdoors. So, when we visited Mr. H's to pick up some scrap wood he was going to burn from which DaHubby will make garden beds, Mr. H offered to take Flicka and Pojke for a quick ride around his property while DaHubby loaded wood in the minivan.

So, even though it wasn't Daddy, another seed sown...

For more Pass The Torch Tuesdays, stop by Kelly's place today!

Montessori Monday

Ok, not my best example to date (LOL), but bear with me momentarily!

Background: Began doing homeschool preschool last fall. Using my teacher training, I researched expected skills, curriculums, etc. and made up plans with all the ambition of a rookie.

Then, about 2 months in, Flicka quit cooperating.

My focus on letter recognition and letter writing was too much too soon. So, I let it go for a while. We worked on letter recognition in a slower, less-intense, more everyday way and left the writing of them until the next attempt felt more Flicka-directed.

Well, I know the photo doesn't really do it justice since I use pseudonyms for the kids' safety but behind that nifty little rectangle is the first full all-the-correct-and-recognizable-letters attempt at writing her own name! We were at church and she called me into the toddler room where we were waiting for DaHubby to finish his before-service musician warm-up.

"Look what I did!"

And, the smile says it all!

Teacher-directed 0, student-directed 1! LOL

Go by Barbara's place for more "Montessori moments"!

...and a Monday promise

I wish I could explain the feeling...those of you who have been part of a church which has outgrown in current home, which has bought additional land, and which needs to envision all that is possible and what God's will for our congregation and this little piece of dirt! LOL

God's hand was all over the purchase of this piece of property just a hop, skip, and a jump from our current church home. The house was originally built by the grandparents of one of our current deacons and currently a single gentleman is living there who is in charge of our missions program and our recovery ministry.

Last fall, DaGrandpa, who was also a large machine operator in addition to being a pastor, got to knock over several acres of trees with some rented equipment...a bulldozer I believe. Now, comes the job of clearing all that brush and fallen trees. And, we started to make a dent last night!

Several guys (including DaHubby) met with their chainsaws yesterday afternoon and got to work! Others came off and on over the afternoon to fellowship and to cheer the workers on. Then, around 6pm which is our usual Sunday meeting time, we all settled into lawn chairs, sang several songs, and prayed over the four corners of this property which we hope will glorify God!

Afterwards, there's was a little fun to be had as well. (These are the parents of the really fun family I mentioned here. They make me laugh and not take parenting too seriously...and their kids aren't too bad either! *wink*)

A great night to remember God's promise and get charged up to serve Him and expand the Kingdom!

A Monday prayer...UPDATED

DaHubby visiting with Aunt Peggy yesterday. As I type, Peg is en route to Chicago this morning for some pre-transplant testing. It is possible that they may keep her in Chicago and go ahead with the bone marrow transplant earlier than originally planned since Uncle Joel has to donate early due to IBM requiring him to travel overseas for work in the next few weeks.

If you felt led, please pray for God's will as well as His strength, wisdom, and guidance for all those involved with Peg's treatment as well as for Uncle Marlon, their daughters, and their grandbabies. And, a special level of divine comfort for my in-laws who are really struggling having lost their eldest son 3 years ago to lung cancer.

UPDATE: Just posted on Carepages by my niece:

"Just received a call from my Dad and he asked that I do a post to let you all know that he and Mom are on their way back home. Mom isn't strong enough to do the transplant at this time. So, they are sending her back home for probably at least a couple of weeks.

She did get to see her little brother who is there completing his portion. Mr. Camera-Happy (Dad) got a picture of the two of them and will be posting that when he gets back. So, I guess we will need to get LOTS of rest and try to eat a little more and try to get her stronger so that we can get her better..."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thanks Tank

in under the wire...with 37 minutes 'til midnight! LOL

While nothing major, this week has been filled with minor bumps and bruises and aches and pains. So, on that note...

I'm forever grateful and blessed that Pojke was only "sunburn sore" and scared when Flicka took it upon herself to "warm up" the tub water the other night by turning the hot water on full blast while Pojke sat basically under the faucet. Needless to say, the hot water heater has been turned down even lower.

I'm so thankful that Pojke's fall tonight - a trip into a dining room table - only resulted in a minor blood loss but probably a fat lip in the morning.

I'm grateful that when Pojke took a swing at Flicka with some random toy this morning, he just grazed near her eye with only a scratch.

I'm SO thankful that when Pojke ventured over the crib side today for the first time (with his sister's encouragement) that he chose to go on the side near the wall of his room which slowed him down on the way to the floor where I found him under his crib...not even crying.

I'm thankful for the opportunity given to DaHubby and I'm still praying for his sore throat...he took the night off from speaking at the Financial Peace University class we're leading at our church, let me do my teacher thing, and rested his voice for the four revival services at which he is leading the music in the next three days.

I'm relieved that DaHubby's huge bruise on his arm (as a result of some heavy-duty work building a platform addition at church Tuesday night) didn't hurt him as bad as it looked.

And, I'm thankful that I'm still standing upright...for the most part. With a notoriously finicky bad back lately and an addition abdomen strain from overexertion, I have nearly no non-aching muscles left in my core to hold me up. By the end of the day, I'm hunched over like an old woman and feel like one too.

Yet, we are all alive, sleeping relatively wellm having had a pretty good week, serving Him and preparing for revival! God is good! All the time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WFMW: Memories in a Can

For those who are scrapbook-deficient like myself(LOL):

I don't remember where I saw this idea but I shamelessly stole it and ran with it! And, it's really worked for us! The last two Januarys, I went to our local Lowe's paint department and purchased a plain empty paint can with lid.

During the month, we place the "memorabilia" of our recent activities in it. At the end of each month, I also glance through a month worth of photos and pick out a few (particularly of an activity where we don't have stubs, brochures, guides, etc.), label then with a date, and add them in.

Then, on New Year's Eve, we open the can! Last December 31st, we finished dinner, cleared the table and opened a year worth of memories! Pojke's a little small to remember all of it (given he turned one in January 2007 LOL) but Flicka remembered nearly everything!

And, the memory can is labeled with the appropriate year and stored (somewhat) more conveniently on a shelf in the basement.

We've already started the 2008 can and here's what's in it so far:

Pics of Pojke's birthday, Momma's "big 40" candles, Pojke's first haircut before-and-after photos, Flicka's birthday candles and photos, tickets and photos from the Vikings' first hockey game, and stubs from a trip to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry when we went to visit Aunt Peggy in the hospital.

Not as neat, orderly, nor pretty as scrapbooking - but cheaper and easier works for me! LOL

Check out Shannon's site today for other great ideas!

Wordless Wednesday

What's wrong with this pic? LOL

For more WW, go here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A new note above my computer...

Who are you blogging for?
My blog
THEN Bloglines

Realized in the last couple days (especially after seeing this link) that part of my recent cycle of time management problems was keeping up with Bloglines before everything else. Using the argument that it was OK since I check so many frugal sites for ideas, tips, and recipes, but I was getting bogged down with options while neglecting the work around the house along with the Vikings. I was neglecting emails and keeping up with Ebay and Freecycle but MAN I didn't have any posts waiting in Bloglines. Ya see what I mean?

Anyway, my new priority list means that I get NO BLOGGING until my Bible reading is done (started reading Romans again with a good inductive chapter by chapter study) and my email is caught up...or at least looked at and "scheduled" for a response.

So, if I seem scarce or I'm not commenting as much, it's not that I'm not reading. It's just gotten pushed down the priority list a bit while I sort out my mind, my house, and my post before reading all of yours! LOL

Monday, April 14, 2008

Montessori Monday

Well, as I look for more research about integrating Montessori ideas around here, we are also looking for easy, everyday activities with which to experiment. Despite waking up feeling entirely "done" and wore out with mommy-hood Friday morning, I pushed through it, packed up the Vikings, some PB&J's, our "swampers", and a second set of clothes and headed out to our local nature center.

"How often is the soul of a man, especially of that of a child deprived, because one does not put him in contact with nature." - Dr. Montessori

And, how they reveled in it...in the large of it:

And, in the small of it:

In the nooks and crannies of it:

And, in the wide angle view:

For more Montessori explanations, experiments, and examples, go by Barbara's place today.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Flash From the Past

My aunt from the Thumb area of Michigan sent me some scanned pics of my distant past which I thought I'd share. Oh...the early and mid-70's...I'm kinda glad I don't remember most of this! LOL

Thanks, Aunt B! Appreciate the walk down memory lane!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


There's a scent in the air and I don't particularly like it.

I was relating my shopping day stories to DaHubby yesterday. Wednesday is payday AND my multiple-grocery-store, hunting-for-deals shopping trips. I spent four hours (amid Viking interruptions) doing bills and prepping for grocery shopping. Then, the Vikings and I spent three hours visiting Aldis, Meijers, Rogers, and Hardings for our $60 worth of weekly supplies.

And, for the first time, I noticed something that is really squeezing my heart.

Aldis was packed which never happens around here around that time of day midweek. There were obviously a lot of "newbies" which you can spot a mile away if you're a regular. But, many of those folks not only looked lost but they looked panicked as well. And, there were people arguing in the aisles over things: what to buy, what cost more, "we don't have the money for that", etc. Aldis buys in bulk and I got the last bunch of bananas. The last bunch!

Meijers was the same way. Ours is having a superb meat sale with several cuts at $1/lb. And, while the initial aisles were relatively empty, the ones by the back wall where the meat department is were jammed full of carts with mostly women pushing their way through to grab the last chicken parts, BBQ ribs, or bone-in ham. There were THREE meat department folks attempting to keep up, unloading carts from the back but people were taking stuff off faster than they could get it in the displays.

Rogers is our "high end" mom and pop grocery store. They went from a tiny 6 short aisles a few years ago to a mammoth new store. Their prices are notoriously higher but, when their good stuff is on sale, I take advantage. The place was nearly empty! At lunchtime for Pete's sake!

The county in which I live is really taking a beating lately. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in Michigan which has climbed 5% in the last year. Our local community college has had multiple millages voted down. Businesses (mostly manufacturing-related) close weekly.

Nearby, there is one city in such dire financial straits that they are laying off city workers in waves as well as teachers from their school district. Unfortunately, that district can't really afford to do that since that school district is ranked 576 our of 647 districts in Michigan.

We've had a previously unheard of number of bank robberies in the last few years...three close to our former and current homes. Weekly, there are 1 or 2 new newspaper stories about someone who is a treasurer or involved in a business's finances and is being arraigned for embezzlement. The drug court notes column (yea, our little local paper publishes all the convictions and such - can you imagine?) is just getting longer and longer and longer.

All this "big city" crime...meanwhile, if you took the combined total of this county's Twin Cities' population, it would still be 2% of Detroit's or one-fifth the size of my hometown.

This all puts DaHubby's cut in work hours in perspective. We have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, vehicles to drive, technology to keep us connected but that sense of panic that is starting to rise around me as the kids and I go through our day is hard from which to escape and/or insulate.

Our immediate response is to lower our heads, work hard, make money stretch farther, focus on our family, stay home, spend less money. But, what happened to looking up?

(NKJV) Psalms 121:1-2: I will lift up my eyes to the hills -- From whence comes my help? My help [comes] from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Even in this relatively little struggle of ours, we are going to have to remember to look up...to look up to the Lord and to look up into the eyes of those around us. We should have a peace about things and have God's Presence so wrapped around us that people will seek us out. Struggling, working, striving does not need to be "miserable" work. ALL is for the glory of God. Just as we would struggle, work, and strive for something we dream of, why couldn't we do the same to show how God's provision supplies our needs?

Thursday Thanks Tank

In honor or Pam and the ladies of Thankful Thursday...

My mind a swirl today with mommy and wifely responsibilities. A 30-minute "emergency budget committee meeting" ala Dave Ramsey has relieved most of my concerns about this prayer request but every dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny is being overly scrutinized. And, I have several other balls in the air at this time...which make my ADD-addled brain want to explode.

So, in no particular order, here are some things I'm thankful for...

A particular family at church that has become "family", whose daughters voluntarily watch over the Vikings, and the parents who make me laugh...all the time.

A money plan (and the knowledge it grew from) that cushioned the financial blow yesterday.

A hubby who came home invigorated and challenged by this blow, NOT devastated and worried which is what his reaction would have been a year ago. Dave Ramsey is right (LOL): most women have a "security gland" that goes into conniptions in cases like this and DaHubby has gotten *really* good at making sure mine is at ease as much as possible.

A pastor who's been preaching "juicy", complicated but well thought out sermons that have been pushing everyone's envelopes and comfort zones preparing us for an upcoming revival.

For a "new" friend from my MOMS Club group that we just found out lives about 3 blocks from our home. There are nearly 60 of us in the group but only 3-4 ladies I've become good friends with. I hope this person is one of them.

For my mom sending a little financial gift to the Vikings that purchased their new session of swimming lessons that start this afternoon. While Pojke and I play in the "babies" class, Flicka will be learning to tackle the deep end with her "bubble" on! LOL It's nice going knowing that it's all "financial grace" and I don't have to feel bad now in hindsight when we could now use the money.

For this house...there are parts of it I love and some other parts I don't. LOL But, it's "home" and, no matter that kitchen floor needs to be replaced, that we have a growing leak in the ceiling over our bedroom, and that the basement is chronically damp enough that the dehumidifier runs about 8 months a year, each little thing we do (making curtains, DaHubby trimming the cabinets, etc.) makes it a little more "ours" and it'll be OK. All improvements are being done with CASH! So, patience, patience, patience! LOL

That it appears that things have stabilized with my sister-in-law's battle with leukemia. If she remains fever- and nausea-free through tonight, she'll be home (this is the second attempt to do so) sleeping in her own bed TOMORROW! She was admitted almost two months ago to the day, has been through SIX bone marrow tests, and two rounds of chemo! And, she is coming home to gain her strength to take the bone marrow transplant sometime the end of April.

That's what I'm thankful for today...how 'bout you?

Get Out of Debt ala SNL

Not much of a Saturday Night Live fan anymore but this video was brought to DaHubby's attention last week.

We were asked by the Financial Peace University coordinator of Dave Ramsey's team to play this video tonight for our class. Unfortunately, as it appeared on MSNBC, there were advertisements that would have been inappropriate for our church played before the actual piece.

So, while I wanted to share it because it is pretty funny, this post is partially utilitarian. By embedding it here, the ads (I think) were removed. Click on the "play" button in the lower left corner if you are interested in viewing it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Small prayer request

Found out this morning that DaHubby's hours are being cut back again. Forty-five is his shop's "normal" but work is so slow so they're cut back to 40. This will result in DaHubby's check being cut by about 15% until further notice. *sigh* We're already cut back to the max since we're following the Dave Ramsey plan. So, something is going to have to give way...just not sure what that'll be yet.

Pray for wisdom, guidance, and discernment so that we can make wise decisions and still be good stewards as well as good parents and homeowners. And, pray that we'll feel His Presence at the times we'll feel the most discouraged.

As I told someone this morning in a different but challenging situation: God ALWAYS has a plan. This is a refining fire. There are better things ahead! Pray that we'll remember this as well.

WFMW: 3 Minute Garlic Bread

Well, it's Wednesday again and here is another non-earth shattering peek into one of my shortcuts. LOL

From our newly married days, we have one of those sandwich makers. You put in four slices of bread and your preferred fixin's, clamp down the top and three minutes later...PRESTO! Grilled sandwiches.

This little kitchen gadget goes through cycles. We'll use it a lot for a few weeks then it gathers dust for a few months. But, I may be using it more...

I LOVE garlic bread. Would LOVE to be able to buy good, expensive bread regularly to have it broiled to perfection in my oven but budget and time constants don't allow it...and I ALWAYS burn it if a Viking so much as STEPS into the kitchen during the grilling time. So, one day in a crunch (aren't all good "mommy ideas" born this way?) I tested a theory.

Four slices of bread - white would probably work better than wheat. Buttered on the "inside" with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese. A heavy-Pam-like-spray applied to the gadget. Clamped down and PRESTO! Three minutes later something that sort of resembles garlic bread.

A cheap alternative that will keep my garlic-bread-lovin' taste buds happy 'til we can afford a 45-minute drive worth of gas and a $45 trip to Olive Garden! LOL

For more WFMW ideas, stop by Shannon's today!

Wordless Wednesday

Potty training instruction? In a parking lot? LOL

For more WW, go here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

We've been in this house for three years in May. It took me a year to figure out that the city we're in had curbside recycling (yea, I know...I'm slow). And, it took another year to call (yea, I know, shame on me). But, we fixed that!

Our recycling is picked up every other week and here's my first offering to the recycling truck in the morning!

As a post script, yea, that's what a hard Michigan winter and living in a clay/sand environment does to your lawn. *sigh* That's next after the garden prep! LOL

For more Tackle It Tuesdays, go here.

Pass The Torch Tuesday - late but not out

Spent the morning and afternoon enjoying some quality time with Pojke so I wasn't on the computer this morning. Yet, I wanted to share something from today. "Garden fever" has struck at the Viking household!

DaHubby is planning and plotting and pacing the backyard. He's started about 40-50 "pods" with seeds in my kitchen window. He's got a computer program telling him what to plant, where to plant it, when it'll sprout, when we'll be able to harvest, etc.

And, he's raising up another "garden fever man"...
For more Pass The Torch, stop by Kelly's place to see her post today.

How we spent most of Sunday...

*sigh* Well, I got outvoted. It was something I hoped I wouldn't need to worry about this summer. I just didn't think they were ready plus we live near a busy thoroughfare. But, when it was a free and it was delivered, it was hard to say no. So, we spent all of our (FINALLY!) glorious Spring-like afternoon walking around and around and around and around and around the block in the Vikings' new hand-me-down from their older cousin:
While the Jeep is battery-operated and geared more toward Flicka, Pojke got something in the deal as well! LOL
I'm still a nervous wreck and paranoid about injuries (and Pojke's eventual and inevitable discovery of the gas pedal), the kids really seem to like it...well, DUH! Of course they do!

And, now we have to do is get Flicka her new bike (as she can't fit on her first tricycle anymore) and we'll be all set for summer transportation!

Monday, April 7, 2008

YouTube at church?

This is becoming a more and more common thing at our church home. Most times, Pastor is using it for an example in a sermon. Or, we may see a video about a ministry or something with a praise and worship song in the background.

But, yesterday, the tone of the video took a decidedly different turn.

Our sermon was about that there is only ONE path to God and it is through Jesus Christ. That's it. And, too many folks are wandering off that path into humanistic, non-Biblical beliefs.

Yesterday, Pastor opened with this video:

Now, I stopped watching Oprah a while back because I felt she had lost touch with the world that I live in. Most of what she said, what she gave away, the books she chose, who she interviewed, and some of the issues she gave attention to were not even remotely on my radar.

And, I knew people were starting to question what happened to her Baptist upbringing and belief in Jesus Christ as the only way. This addressed that with a vengeance.

What it also addressed is my wishy-washy-ness (I can make up words - I'm a professional! *wink*). I had several minutes of what Anita refers to a squirmable. I felt really convicted about my "well, Jesus is the only way...for me" and left that smallest crack in the door for the possibility that there's other options.

And, I'm horrified at myself at this revelation.

Then, I think two things immediately struck me: I've done this so I don't have to evangelize that hard and I've done this so I don't have to worry about my family and friends who aren't believers not making it to heaven.

*sigh* You can see the inherent problem here I suppose.

So, now I spend some serious time thinking about what this all means and what I'm going to do about it.

How We Spent Saturday...

We took a short family road trip to Mishawaka, IN for the Michiana Christian Home Educators conference Saturday. And, luckily, we had a bee-yoo-tee-full day! I was able to attend parts of two sessions while DaHubby kept the Vikings occupied.

And we wandered the vendors area for what I'm sure DaHubby would argue was HOURS! LOL Flicka seemed to have fun and we are all re-energized to start afresh this fall. Attending really helped settle our hearts that this is something we're going to commit to for a time.

Finally, one funny moment...we knew we had found folks like us when we went to the mini-van around lunchtime to have our brown bag picnic/tailgate with PB&J's ala Dave Ramsey (no eating out! LOL) and realized that we were one of about ten families doing the exact same thing! LOL

Now, I just have to wade through the large stacks of stuff we brought home! LOL NOW I know why all those homeschooling veterans had those book/scrapbooking carts with them! LOL

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To those of Scottish heritage...

Just wanted to wish all of you a...

Happy Tartan Day!

A little more info:

"Tartan Day (part of Scotland Week) celebrates the existing and historical links between Scotland and Scottish descendants in North America. In the United States there are over 30 million people who claim Scottish descent. Tartan Day is held on April 6, the anniversary of the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was created in 1320...the first known formal Declaration of independence."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Hey, Grandma Paula and Papa Doug:


from the Vikings!

Plan A...B...C...D...oh, nevermind!

It was one of "those" days:

Change of plans for DaGrandparents meant I lost my mommy time and spent the day with the Vikings. Hardly a tragedy but a little disappointing (for them AND for me! LOL) to be honest.

Got my errands done (with Vikings in tow so it could twice as long) but got NONE of my "wish list" of fun catch-up activities done.

Dinner late and a little over done.

Tried to start a new fun "date night" tradition with the Vikings tonight, starting with Pojke. As a result, Flicka melted down since she wasn't included.

Then, Pojke refused to come with me, blew a fit on the front porch, and he insisted he wanted Daddy and Flicka.

Finally got him out to the van...to find a flat tire. *sigh*

Then, I got to clean up all the dog p**p in the yard (thanks to our four-legged house guest) and the Vikings could play in the yard.

All turned out fine obviously. DaHubby plugged the tire. Nothing on my to-do list (other than the laundry) was technically a "must." But, as a self-professed control nut, it just grinds me! LOL

Good note? DaHubby came home early while Vikings were napping (a DOUBLE blessing! *wink*) The tire is fixed without any cost. And, we all heading to our first homeschool conference 45 minutes away tomorrow! LOL

So, I'll be up late finishing the laundry and packing a picnic/brown bag lunch for our "road trip" tomorrow!

Actually, Plan E, F, and G weren't so bad after all!

A little time...

My in-laws are taking both Vikings for a couple hours today so I'm all hyper-motivated to get some stuff done around the house. Then, DaHubby is due home from work around 2pm then the Vikings around 3pm...so I'm off for some momma-only time! Wa-hoo!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another 7 things

Jessie at Overflow of a Forgiven Soul tagged me this week for a "7 Things" meme saying I'm "spunky"! I wonder what THAT could mean? *wink*

The Rules: 1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog. 2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. 3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

And, since I try to pick a "theme" of sorts for these to help me come up with all seven, this meme's theme is my wedding! LOL

My 7 Things:

1. DaHubby and I had a courtship, engagement, and wedding based on "fives": we met on 5/25/00, five weeks later he proposed, five weeks after that I had quit my job and was moving to the other side of the state to be near him, and we were married on 5/5/01 with only 50 guests!

2. A bagpiper "played me" down the aisle!

3. Instead of a unity candle, we exchanged tartans: my family's background is part of the Clan Hamilton and DaHubby's mom's side is connected to the Clan Gordon. I "gave up" my Hamilton sash and then DaHubby pinned the Gordon sash on me.

4. We were married under a cedar arch DaHubby built just for the occasion that then stood in our first backyard and followed us to our current one as well.

5. DaHubby's dad, DaGrandpa, married us. He's that tiny, little guy behind us in the photo above. Don't let his size fool ya! He used to be a boxer...in the Navy!

6. Being new to the area, I planned our wedding for the first Saturday in May...which happens to be the same weekend as a large local festival around here which includes a parade. The main drag out of the local "downtown" passed right by the old-mansion-turned-restaurant that we had chosen. In the middle of the vows, it occurred to everyone that the parade was complete because...everyone that passed by honked at us! LOL

7. The dance with my daddy after the ceremony was the first and only time I've danced with him.7 People I'm Tagging:

Most of my immediate bloggy circle generally don't do many of these but I will tag them nonetheless (LOL) and leave their response up to them.

1. Anita (she'll have to come out of hiding to tell us she's OK)
2. Debbie (maybe she'll show us her favorite seven teacups! *wink*)
3. Lisa (who can probably name the seven best deals she's gotten this week)
4. GiBee (who will probably give seven home remedies for flu and/or toddler ear infections)
5. Christina (I want to make sure she's survived the midwest winter)
6. Sara (who'll need something to do when she comes off her bloggy break LOL)
7. Pam (who could easily list seven ways God's blessed her during the last two weeks during her hubby's hospitalization)

Thursday Thanks Tank

In honor of Pam and the ladies of Thankful Thursday:

This week, it's all about good health...

Thank you, Lord, for our good health...our church attendance is down again and again as some families continue to pass around and battle colds and flu.

Thank you, Lord, that DaHubby's sister, Peggy, is gaining health and strength so much so that her doctors are considering letting her come home for a few weeks to get more strength back before the bone marrow transplant.

Thank you, Lord, for the Christian pediatrics practice we use. From the office staff to the nurses to our wonderful pediatrician, all are awesome, sincere, kind, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Thank you, Lord, that Dr. M could squeeze Pojke in her busy schedule to easy my mind when I found some worrisome swelling in Pojke's diaper region. And, I praise You that it appears to be nothing.

Thank you, Lord, that Pam's hubby is finally safely home from the hospital after treatment for a serious infection.

Thank you, Lord, that GiBee and her baby boy are also on the mend after an awful flu for her and multiple ear infections for her son.

And, thank you, Lord, that You held my hand through my two-hour dentist appointment Monday. I haven't prayed that hard in a long time (LOL). As fear and anxiety gripped me, as the tears flowed, thank you for an awesome and understanding dentist and staff who comforted me, explained everything, and took wonderful care of me while never once making me feel silly. Finally, guide me throught the follow-ups, repercussions, and additional decisions.

That's what I'm thankful for this week...what about you?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Are you a potato or a peach?

From one of the books I'm reading for Katrina's Spring Reading Thing...

From Healing Damaged Emotions by David A. Seamands, the chapter on healing one's low self-esteem, which has struck me like a two by four to the head:

"If this kind of low self-esteem has been programmed into a person, it is difficult, and in some cases impossible, for that person to feel beloved of God, accepted by Him, and of worth to Him in His kingdom and service. A great many seemingly spiritual struggles are not spiritual at all in their origin...

"That was the case with Shirley...

"Shirley had been given many good things by her parents in their rural home - security, hard work, discipline, strong Christian commitment, and high standard of morality....but gradually Shirley and I (her pastor/counselor) began to see that though her parents had done their best, they'd gone at it the wrong way, by giving compliments that made comparisons or set conditions.

"You're so nice when...I hope you'll never be like that girl down the road...that's fine but...we love you when...if...but...

"You know how some girls during adolescence go through an "ugly duckling" stage. Shirley was one of these, and her dad tried to help her accept herself. He really did love her, but again and again he said to her, "You know, you just can't make a peach out of a potato." While he thought he was helping her, he was really scarring and cutting at the very heart of her self-esteem. She grew up with a potato self (concept), thinking of herself as misshapen, ugly, as something that grew under the ground."

After much counseling, Shirley began to realize how that self image affected everything in her life. Her relationships with those closest around her were seen through "potato glasses." And, of course, how could she believe God loved her if He had made her a potato?

Dr. Seamands describes how he went out of his way to "reprogram" her self-image. He called her "God's peach" or "my peach." And, when she truly discovered and truly believed she was a daughter of God, she let His love and grace pour in and wash away all those potato feelings and potato images.

He goes on to describe that the change in Shirley was one of the most remarkable he's ever seen...her actual appearance changed, she began caring more for herself, became more attractive to be around, and began to relate better to people.

My name is Beth and I am a potato.

I've never sought out to learn appropriate boundaries and limits in my life and have come to see myself the way it seemed everyone else did. My self-concept has been garnered from others. In addition, I never learned to internalize my inherent value so, as a result, I stuffed down my feelings and needs to be "the good girl" or maybe more appropriately "the compliant girl." I never really knew what *I* wanted and was just going through the motions of what I thought I was supposed to be doing.

As I look back, it has affected every. single. relationship I've had and am having. It wasn't until recently that I realized that I could be angry, state my opinion, whatever without the fear of someone being so mad they'd leave me...or if they DID leave that I'd still be OK.

This not only affected my relationship with others but I'm now convinced that it is a very big part of my continued failure to lose weight and keep it off. I eat when stressed, I eat when sad, I eat when angry, I eat whenever my emotions threaten to "lose control." I have the discipline to do it for a while but eventually I lose resolve, something comes up that's more important than me working out, me being able to buy healthier food, me being accountable to a weight loss group.

I've had some of those close to me say that they love me more than anything, that I'm beautiful in their eyes no matter what but I've always discounted their words because it doesn't match what I see from inside.

So, what does that say about my relationship with God? I am to be precious, loved, honored, treasured, adored, rescued, and saved. Sadly, I rarely feel that way.

As I enter my 40's with my eyes searching, my ears listening, my mind growing, and my heart battered but ready, can I hear the "inner peach" that God intended for me to be?

So, what are you? Someone's potato or God's peach?

A good season and good reason for potholes

The following list originally published here.

The top signs you're driving on Michigan roads:

14. Geologists thought they discovered a fissure in the Earth's crust on I-75. A quick call to the Department of Transportation cleared up the confusion and a road crew was dispatched immediately.

13. Urban Jeep owners have a new extreme driving sport: "On-roading."

12. Imported Canadian garbage is used to fill the biggest potholes.

11. You see "Men at Work" signs but the freeway is deserted, nor is this the Land Down Under.

10. The people up ahead are slaloming between the orange barrels. (My cousin actually did this in Grand Rapids, MI)

9. You see laid off auto workers beside the road with signs that read, "will fill potholes for food."

8. Instead of seeing signs that read "Road Construction, Next 3 Miles," you see signs that say, "No Construction, Next 3 Miles." (As a minor note, this one is sad, but true)

7. You see construction crews building bridges over potholes instead of filling them.

6. Michigan's gravel roads are smoother than its paved ones. (Also sad but true)

5. Your shocks last only 500 miles.

4. Police don't go on high-speed chases, fearing they might suffer a blow-out.

3. Some citizens start putting man-hole covers on the biggest potholes.

2. You never know there's a pothole in the road until you've driven out of it.

1. The welcome sign for Michigan over the freeway says "Welcome to Michigan! (bump)"

And, on that note...a silver lining. Heard this on our local Christian music station the other day. A school-aged girl called in for a request but also shared that someone told her that every time she's in a vehicle that hits a pothole, use it as a reminder to pray for someone

And, the DJ's joke in response: well, at least here in Michigan we'd be fulfilling 1 Thessalonians 5:17 since we'd be praying without ceasing! *wink*