Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: One BIG Fireplace

Pojke at one of my favorite places to visit in my hometown.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Sunshiny Day

Despite the starts and stops of Michigan's spring the last week or so, the lengthening of the days is a definite indicator that spring is coming whether Michigan's weather wants it to or not! LOL And, with those longer days comes more sunshine!

But, before the meteorological weather would cooperate, Dianna dropped some sunshine on me all her own. It's been along time since I've been given a bloggy type award or acknowledgment so this was a wonderfully pleasant surprise.

So, in the interest of spreading the sunshine around, I apparently need to follow the following rules:

1) Put the logo within my blog or on my post
2) Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers
3) Link the nominees within my post
4) Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.

I'm not doing 12 but my nominees which are currently sunshine to my life and smiles to my face are:

Gibee at Kisses of Sunshine
Heather at Not a DIY Life
Sara at The Busted Stash
Jill at The Diaper Diaries
Jen at Zaankali's Adventures

And, remember the words of America's own "sweaty toothed madman" aka Walt Whitman: "Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you."

A Busy Mom's Bible

As many of you know, I often take advantage of freebies. Especially books. E-books, hard cover, paperback - doesn't much matter. LOL So, I definitely jumped on the proverbial wagon when Zondervan offered bloggers a new Bible to review.

As a rule, I'm usually not a fan of the ever-lengthening list of Bible translations and specialty Bibles. I did invest in a Amplified Bible for a new take on my Bible reading this year but have long since walked away from NIV translations since I found it frustrating and even inaccurate at times in comparison with KJV and NKJV.

And, I generally find it a little irksome to see the rows and rows of Bibles for women, men, pastors, kids, teens, charismatics, Lutherans, Catholics, families, students, those in recovery, recent graduates, brides, couples, parents, sports fans, military, public service, and the list goes on and on.

But, my curiosity was piqued when Zondervan was offering a "Busy Mom's Bible." And, I thought I'd give it a shot.

The book itself is well-constructed, solid, and has a nice feel in your hands. This is a quality book. I'm not into the whole "pink is for girls" thing so the hot pink and pale pink cover was a bit much. Maybe a "tomboys" Bible is in the works!? LOL

"Busy Mom's" is a NIV translation but I found it worked in this particular situation. My guess is that the publisher was responding to the much heard cry of busy moms in and out of the home who can barely find time to shower much less get to their Bible reading each day. So, they interspersed "Busy Mom's" with 1, 5, and 10 minute devotional inserts throughout. And, I think the NIV translation facilitates the read-it-and-go idea.

The inserts not only have the 1-5-10 devotional options but they are also thematic on topics including the following: God is..., Family Ties, Your Marriage, Raising Your Kids, Your Relationships, Your Identity in Christ, A Woman of Character, Overcoming Obstacles, Your Emotions, Your Spiritual Life, Healthy Living, Stewardship, and God's Love For You.

The additional inserts are equally spaced throughout the Old and New Testaments which while visually pleasing are a little annoying since the Scripture reference cited in the devotion is NOT necessarily where the insert was placed. For example, the insert on Stewardship appears near the second and third chapter of John in the New Testament yet cites 1 Samuel 5.12 for the 1 minute devotional read. Or, the insert on being a woman of character is placed near chapter 5 of Song of Songs while citing Philippians 2.3 about doing nothing out of selfish ambition.

There are some very useful references and tools in the back of the Bible including a 104 page concordance. One reference is a "10 minute study index". It is organized by subject and are follow-ups to the inserted devotionals. Due to the way it's organized, I'd find this index WAY more useful than the inserts.

Finally, I really like the "5 Minute Readings of Jesus" and "5 Minute Readings About the Women of the Bible". Those were lists I would definitely use if I truly only had 5-10 minutes to read my Bible.

Overall, this is a quality Bible for someone looking for a relatively well organized way to use a short amount of time to get into God's word. I see from that they are offering this for $16.99 and it retails for nearly $25. I would definitely say it's worth the price. And, other than the two inserts on marriage and having kids, this could be a good buy for any busy woman and not just a busy mom.

Thursday Thanks Tank

Filling my tank this week... boss at Lake Michigan College. She just cracks me up.

...being a (very small) part of the wonderful things going on at the new First Church - Benton Heights campus!

...listening to Pojke singing "Fa-der A-bra-ham had many sons..." while playing in his room LOL

...and listening to "God bwess dat I love..."

...I've said it before but Flicka's teacher. Our family is so blessed by the school Flicka is at. Everyone on the staff is becoming like family but Mrs. S in particular is an answer to prayer.

...apparently Flicka has had a major "light bulb" moment at school and is suddenly writing and reading at increasing speed. As an English teacher by training, that warms my heart beyond description. ASL teacher, Heather. She really kicks my butt during class but is also a very wise woman of God who gives really good "momma advice" when I asked her about a request Flicka had made recently. dear hubby who continues to be a very good sport about picking up on the chores I've let drop due to my recent work shifts. It's been a long time since I've worked outside the home but even longer since he had to tackle the laundry, motorpooling the Vikings, and more than the occasional load of dishes and he's doing a great job! LOL odd as it sounds, hearing how much DaHubby's classmates and teachers like him and are impressed with him. "You get a student like him once every 20 years" said one of his instructors. I'm so proud of him anyway and to hear that makes me want to yell "TOLD YA SO" and then grin like an idiot! LOL

...and my Bible study ladies. They never fail to make me laugh 'til I cry; then share something that squeezes my heart 'til I cry; and then we pray 'til we cry! LOL Lots of crying going on.

What about you?

Pam is on hiatus right now but you can see her previous Thanks Tanks here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Callapidder and Viking Spring Reading

Welcome to the virtual Viking Hus! My little pillagers and I are out and about today but I wanted to make sure I jumped in with Katrina and her Spring Reading Thing which kicks off today!

As I started to think about my list for this challenge, I tried to balance out my fiction and nonfiction as usual and diversify the types of nonfiction into a parenting book, a Christian-themed book, etc.

But, as I went through my wish list (now at over 150 possibilities at, the same types of books started jumping out at me.
So, I'm dropping my usual fiction/nonfiction set-up to jump in with a tandem-themed list.

The first thing I noticed about my wish list was the number of history and fiction related the my great home state. So, to honor my poor strugglin' Michigan, I have four possibilities about the Great Lakes state:

Guiding The Way From Middle Neebish by Edward T Cook (interlibrary loan)
Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan by Mardi Link (interlibrary loan)
Lake effect : two sisters and a town's toxic legacy by Nancy A. Nichols. (LT library)
Pandora's Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway by Jeff Alexander (SJ library)

Then, I happened to notice that many of the books on my list were ones put there at Dave Ramsey's recommendation. Now, obviously, I didn't exactly talk to him personally about this but Dave does keep a well-stocked and fairly diverse list of books he recommends beyond his own.

So, in honor of Dave and with DaHubby's graduation and "new life" and career just 6 weeks away, I'm going with the following
Dave Ramsey recommendations:

More Than Enough by Dave Ramsey (home)
48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller (home)
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard (home)

Now, that's seven nonfiction books in 12-13 weeks. While it may appear to be a reasonable goal, I've NEVER done one of Katrina's challenges without at least ONE fiction book. LOL So, I'm hoping I don't get bogged down too badly.

If you are interested in what everyone else is reading or maybe just looking for some good ideas for some summer reading, stop by Katrina's place and check out the sign-up list here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Thanks Tank

In no particular order..the following are filling my tank this week:

Living near Lake Michigan and in a city which has to "plow" the streets and sidewalks occasionally for SAND! :) Woo-hoo! Beach season is coming!

Blue skies and nearly-spring sun!! Happy vernal equinox in two days! LOL

As much grief as the time change causes, one HUGE benefit around here is having time after dinner to go back outside and play.

Acquiring a fresh tank of propane and beginning grilling season!

Mrs. S - Flicka's teacher. We are so blessed. Mrs. S goes WAY above and beyond the call of duty which has recently included going directly from a 100 day party, into 2 birthdays, then into what was probably a long week of tackling the tough-twisters of Dr Seuss, and then a St Pat's Day that left the kids grinning from ear to ear.

A hubby who takes care of all things mechanical and maintenance-y with superior skill plus does dishes and laundry when asked. I'M SO LUCKY!!

What about you?

Pam is on hiatus right now but you can see her previous Thanks Tanks here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Better late than never...

Flicka at her first maple tapping! Happy WW!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2137 days of Flicka

You are six today. It's hard to believe. We were on our knees for 3 years praying for you. And, at last, you were due to arrive from Heaven on Leap Day 2004 and instead leaped into our hearts and still hold them in your hand.
You are goofy, emotional, stubborn, smart, and *ahem* persuasive. You have this crazy laugh and an even crazier love-hate relationship with your brother that I'm still trying to understand.
Unlike your brother, God hasn't deemed it necessary to give us a peek into what you might do when you grow up, what His plan might be for you. But, I'm sure whatever it is, it's something that will testify to what a miracle you are.
You are entirely like me one day and entirely like your father the next. Practical, frugal, and crafty one minute and then industrious, imaginative, and exploding with new ideas the next.
Over the last month or so, your daddy and I have been brought to tears at how fast you are growing up. Looking at these pictures that Daddy took of you, I can picture your wedding day and fear it's not far enough away for my liking.
Happy birthday, my angel. You are God's promise and answered prayer to us all rolled up into one feisty and beautiful package. We love you beyond words.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Back in my post-college years, I was looking for a church. I had come back to church during my sophomore year at Michigan State and had been involved in campus ministry 'til I graduated in 1990. I (ironically) found a job a year later in Ann Arbor.

Having only experienced the outreach-related mindset of campus ministry, I found myself attending the University of Michigan campus ministry equivalent. I didn't feel like an "adult" yet so going to a "regular" church congregation seemed awkward. I was still re-new to my faith and no "grown up" congregation seemed to share my enthusiasm. So, I spent the next 6 years worshiping with my former rivals (though I never EVER rooted for U of M, I promise! LOL).

While I was working in Ann Arbor, I started my teacher certification program at Eastern Michigan. And, while working full time and schooling three-quarter time, I eventually graduated after fall semester 1996. And, off I went to Michigan's Thumb area to teach.

Again, I was faced with where to go to church. I tried several but none really "spoke" to me. As I
whined discussed rationally this problem with my former U of M pastor, he gave this advice: "You can't keep dating churches. You need to pick one and marry it." So, soon after I took his advice and transferred my membership to a local church.

That pastor's advice has been ringing in my ears again this week and I think the Lord has brought it back to my mind on purpose.

I've been involved in two different studies over the last couple months. And, both of them are converging into some pretty uncomfortable realizations. The biggest one is this: I've been "dating" God but haven't really "married" Him yet. *sigh*

I say the words. I attend when I should and even enjoy it. I sing with choir and LOVE that. And, I really enjoy working with the people at our new church. But, my prayer life stinks. My Bible reading stinks as does my Bible memorization.

I've said before that I always wanted a Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus conversion story but the Lord has had other plans. I've slowly...ever-so-slowly...have been creeping toward a stronger and stronger faith. But, I was completely stumped when a person in leadership at our new church asked me when I accepted Christ.

*blank stare*

I've always been His. I've said the prayer. I've come to the altar several times to re-dedicate. I've been prayed over and anointed. I've even been baptized again as an adult. But, can I put my finger on a day, time, and experience where "it" finally happened for good? No. And, that bothers me.

Then, these studies are starting to push pretty hard on my idleness and borderline disobedience with regards to God.

Don't get me wrong - I WANT to be sold out, obedient, and completely His. But, I don't think I've made some final leap. It appears I'm still skirting around and "dating" the idea of being sold out instead of being settled in and being "married" to the idea.

So, I'm sorting through and processing all the "stuff" that being uncovered and revealed. I'm digging - and I'm praying it's deep enough to find the real treasure. A more real and more intimate relationship with Christ.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Thanks Tanks

Without further ado...

1. So thankful for the sunshine

2. I'm blessed beyond words by the comments left here and on my Facebook page about on my previous post. You all sure know how to dump compliments when I least expect it.

3. I'm thankful that FINALLY we received DaHub's first unemployment check Tuesday. Too bad it was TWENTY-SIX days after he was laid off. LOL But, our Jehovah Jireh has completely provided for us through those around us.

4. Did I mention the sunshine? LOL

5. Thankful that I remembered to start downing vitamin C and garlic as soon as I noticed a sinus thing coming on because I think I missed the bullet on this one. LOL

6. For a hubby that realized that my monthly you-know-what had hit with a vengence requiring the fetal position with a heating pad so he took inititiative and took the kids outside for the afternoon which allowed me a 3 hour nap.

7. That big shiny yellow thing in the sky - seriously, it's making my WEEK! LOL

8. For my Svenska Flicka who is getting so big and starting to take on responsibilities (even if inconsistently) that I never expected her to be doing at this point.

9. For my Svenska Pojke who has got to be the best share-er around.

10. For all the angels-in-our-midst who continue to watch out for us - especially a sweet lady from church who bought my book for the next Bible study session starting in April so I can continue to grow and mature. *big smile*

Pam is on hiatus right now but you can see her previous Thanks Tanks here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


You know how it goes. You meet someone for the the first time. Or, someone you've known a while is sharing about something that's happened recently.

It could be that they felt that housework could wait a day or two while they spent time with family. Or, that they spent all morning cleaning their bathroom with a toothbrush.

Maybe a little extra money came their way and they spent it on a new gadget. Or, that they splurged on a bottle of wine.

Is that first person a bad housekeeper? The second an overachiever? The third wasting their money on technology they don't need. The fourth a excessive drinker.

Or none of the above?

I've been struggling lately with the whole what's-expected-of-me-according-to-a-variety-of-people and how do I see my job as the keeper of the home and hearth of the Viking Hus.

I'm working as hard as I know how on all that I can manage around the house and yet I'm often embarrassed when people stop by unexpectedly. Dishes in the sink, food on the floor, toilet's dirty, piles of "in process" papers on several surfaces, laundry in process of being folded on the couch.

I go to other moms' homes for play dates and such and everyone else's homes seem spotless and organized. Their things nicer and cleaner. LOL And, yet, I always wanted a home that was "lived in" instead of a "museum" where the kids can't touch, can't play, can't just "be."

My kids' rooms may not be spotless but they are cleaner than they were a month ago before our latest job chart. My kids are still learning how to care for their things and what to do if they have too many things.

While I'm the first to admit to being a control freak of sorts, one of my goals is to let the kids have some freedom (within reason) and to be able to live without me harping on them constantly about how clean everything should be.

Ninety percent of the time I'm OK with the decisions I make about how and when and how much housework and chores get done. But, occasionally, an interaction with an outside source throws me into a tizzy of re-examining everything I'm doing.

I just want to rest in the knowledge that I'm doing "enough" - enough for DaHubby, enough for my kids, enough for myself. And, to be able to recognize when I've had "enough" of being compared to someone else.

I want to rest and know that the priorities that I'm responsible for and that I set for us are ones that make a good home, glorify God, and fulfill everyone's needs. And, that those priorities are "enough" for us and the Vikings.

And, I want to be less worried about what everyone else thinks.

Anyone else?