Friday, December 12, 2008

My favorite card


Now my husband has bought me some great cards in the past, but this is my hands-down, all-time favorite one. It still makes me laugh when I look at it. One of the things that I have always loved about my husband is his goofiness. He is not afraid to look dumb to get a laugh. I remember him wearing a really loud, mismatched Hawaiian outfit with his workboots to embarrass a buddy he went to the hardware store with (and you know who you are buddy:). He isn't malicious or hurtful just darn funny!

I am also thoughtful to pray today for a young couple we know. They have a very sweet courtship story. We know from experience that the dating scene with a christian veneer on it doesn't work to help you stay pure before marriage. Still many folks don't like the idea of courtship. I think most misunderstand it. They think that we are going back to the days of arranged marriages. You know when the first time you meet your spouse is on your wedding day. Anyway...

This couple chose courtship and succeeded. They have been asked to speak at a youth event this evening at another church. I am so excited for them. It is wonderful that God has given them such a testimony. My children look up to them as an example of when they should have their first kiss-at the altar! I am into arranged marriages though-I have one. Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof said, "Adam and Eve didn't have a matchmaker! Or maybe they did! Perhaps these two have the very same one." Very true! I know that the Creator God arranged our marriage.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I am sooooooo excited!


We don't have a huge amount of wedding photos. I was thankful for what I had. Now we own a scanner! I can scan them! I am also getting copies made (from Walmart since that is so much cheaper on ink). I am so excited I almost can't stand myself (almost).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gratefullness


"It’s easy to blame chronic childishness on an over-cautious parent, an over-protected upbringing, a controlling mother, etc. However, nothing will keep an adult from acting like an adult, except his own childishness — just as nothing will keep a Christian from living like a Christian except his own sin. If we say our circumstances make us think and act like children, the solution is four words: Repent and Grow Up."--The Botkin Sisters

I have so many blessings in my life. I have some obvious ones: I am married to the man that I still desire, I have 7 awesome kids, I have a wonderful church and circle of genuine friends (some I am related to and some not).

One thing I am becoming more and more thankful for is a gift my mom gave me. It is the gift of maturity. My mom let me go to Africa when I was sixteen. That is a huge step. That just earmarked her whole attitude. She was raising children to adulthood. We always knew that she would be sad when we were old enough to be on our own, but that was also right and good. It is funny because now we have a friendship that is based on respect. We don't always agree, but we work it out respectfully like adults.

I am thankful that my mom did this for me. It is a wonderful gift and it is one that I hope and pray to pass on to my children. I pray that God would use them in in great and mighty ways.

I am also grateful because it is a gift that cost my mom a lot. She was not handed that as a child. She conciously made choices to make our relationship better than she had with her mom. I am thankful and mindful of the cost my mom paid.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Commentary on modern times


Our family is often is amazed at the "theology of Pixar." They seem to hit a bunch of hard truths in their wacky films.

We are seeing the Syndrome game plan coming into play all over our nation. In this scene between Syndrome and Mr. Incredible it is pretty clear. Syndrome is going to sell his inventions so everyone in the world can be a "super." He says, "And when everyone is super, no one will be!" That seems to be the way we handle things in this country in our schools, in our workplaces....It is the answer to the cry, "That's not fair!" Some how as a nation we think the Declaration of Independence says our Creator gave us an inalienable right to be lazy and happy. Last time I read it, it said," the pursuit of happiness."

Pursuit implies work. It is the idea that we all are born with the right to exercise our gifts in the pursuit of happiness. It does not mean that we get to gorge ourselves on the fruits of others' labors. Unfortunately, we have become lazy. In our society we look at those that have (the supers) and decide we should have that too. Now if you want to work for it, so be it. We have come to expect a certain "lifestyle" standard is our right. Just like some fat, spoiled brat that has never done an honest day's work and lies around spending daddy's money that he broke his back to get.

Now what is the response of our places of employment? Our school system? Our government? It isn't, "Well, get off your duff and work." It is to lower the bar and make everyone "super." Our society is hitting an all-time low of mediocrity. Because everyone is being made super and pretty soon no one will be.

Thankfully God is still above such things. I am watching Him raise up my Mr. Incredible as well as many men in our church. I am thankful for all the truly Super folks in our church. I am also thankful for those awesome folks that God is raising up a standard with in other fellowships.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not too old, I hope.


I have been hearing complaining from the Captain that I haven't posted anything here lately. So I will interrupt my usual TV watching and bon-bon eating to post something.

When TODR and I got married we didn't have alcohol at our wedding. We did have a little mechanical pig, some balloon figures, a great DJ and a whole lotta fun. The wedding coordinator at the hotel was trying to explain to her co-workers that we were fun folk. They couldn't believe that we could be fun without being drinkers. I know there are people that don't know how we survive without drinking, TV, and such. All I can say is that they have never experienced our idea of fun. We don't need to drink to have side-splittin' fun.

One of our favorite activities is dancing. We love to turn on some boogie music and the whole family dances. We have all kinds of activities that are just plain old fun. I hope to never lose our desire to have that kind of clean fun. Anyone up for some cow tippin'?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Father



There are days, weeks and sometimes months that I stray into fear. It is a subject often addressed in scripture. Usually some big weenie like Gideon or even Joshua that sits trembling in their boots. God comes and says, "Don't fear." It happens over and over again. I feel in good company.

I must say that in the midst of some of our trials as of late I see God's Fatherly faithfullness. I was overwhelmed by the washer situation as well as some other burdens. It isn't that any one of them were so bad it is the combination of them that can be crushing. Saturday TODR took apart the washer. We thought it might be a $145.00 part. GREAT! We could buy a new to us set off of Craigslist for less than that! Still we didn't really have the money for any of it. While I took our kiddos to the library craft bazaar TODR put the washer back together. He had found a bolt and figured he might put it in there too. Well, our washer now spins like a top! Completely free of charge (except, of course, the hard work put in by TODR)!

We also were the thankul recipients of 20+lbs of elk meat. I say that truly. I am not keen on bear or deer meat. I do, however, like elk. That is some tasty stuff. So I am going to end this post and take some elk stew meat out so I can crockpot a yummy elk stew tomorrow.

I have been reminded again that the Lord is taking care of us even in the little things:)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Succinctly put as usual

Much to the chagrin of some egalitarian ladies of my acquintance I frequent a blog called Ladies Against Feminism. The name puts them off. It is unfortunate because the ladies that put this together are very well educated and very able to put forth thought-provoking ideas in well written form. This article definately encapsulates some hard truth about our election. What does it say about us as christian women?

It brings to my mind the exhortation in Titus 2. This passage is not just about "our place" as women. It begins with older men's responsibilities and goes right on down the line to slaves (women are differentiated here for those that might believe the bible equates them). The whole point of the passage is WHY do we joyfully embrace our callings at the different seasons in our lives. v.9b-15: so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

The thing is that the world already despises us. Jesus said that if it hated him it would hate us. We somehow are surprised by this. I know it is easy for me to believe, here in America, that I can be cool and christian. No such thing is biblical. It is being a worldly man-pleaser and not a christian.

The feminist lie along with all the other worldly lies tells us we can and should have it all RIGHT NOW! Now I ask why is it so hard to wait to raise our children for "other" career goals? I mean seriously folks. Why do I have to rush, rush, rush. I have to experience life. Then I pop out a few kids, put them in daycare and pursue my career so I can be fulfilled. Ask any working mother after rushing kids to daycare, working hard at an 8+ hour day, getting the kids, sitting down (maybe) to a meal out of a box or a take-out bag, rushing to get the kids in bed, not having time to tidy the house and falling into bed too exhausted for any kind of intimacy with the hubby if she feels fulfilled at that point.

Now I, like everyone else, struggle with contentment. I am not Pollyanna. There are days when I would gladly trade my husband, kids etc. for a week on the beach with a bunch of pina coladas. There is reality for you. We have been going through a really growing time as of late so that can be an easy reality to wallow in.

However, I am content in the Lord. He is so good to me. When I am stray from contentment the Lord lovingly brings me back. I truly am blessed. God has a way of reminding me that He is watching and He is pleased with me. I ALSO have a growing, deep friendship with my husband. I ALSO have growing love and respect from my children. And even once and a while I do get public approval(my most recent story must be saved for a different post).

I do struggle with my "image." I pray that the Lord would help me be real. My detractors might be able to misunderstandingly call me a doormat, weak-minded, baby machine, but may they never be able to call me unchristian.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad, bad 80's Hair

I recently joined the facebook crowd. Some beautiful people have been posting old youth photos from the 80's. This one is of me and my old friend Kurt. I think we both look better today than we did then, but I do wish I could wear those jeans still:)

I joined a fan club!

I am not really a joiner. It took me a long time to be adult enough to admit that Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book. Why? Because I didn't want to be like everyone else. Everyone likes that book if they read Jane Austen. I finally decided that I was secure enough to go with something popular because I like what I like. I don't have to like something odd just to be different.

Anyway...
So here I am 35 years old and I have officially joined my first fan club! It is the Doug Croucher fan club. Now if you don't know who that wonderful individual is let me enlighten you:

I was in seventh grade when our small Lutheran school engaged two teachers that were younger than Methusaleh. When you are 12 anyone older than 30 is ancient. One of these guys was going to teach 8th grade and do the youth stuff. His name was Doug Croucher.

He really had some good ideas. God blessed the youthgroup and it swelled from a half dozen (I think) to over 30 (I think) on a Wed. night Bible Study. I had NEVER met a man that actually lived like he believed that Jesus stuff. The summer I graduated from 8th grade I was "kidnapped" into the youthgroup and my life was never the same again.

I spent a bunch of time with this great man and he took a lot of stuff from a hurting confused girl. I came to know the Lord when I was fourteen. This man had a huge bunch to do with that. I can look back and see where my life was headed. I can also see all the riches I have received in Christ through out the years. I am so thankful to my Lord and Savior for bringing this man into my life.

So I joyfully join the ranks in the Douglas Croucher Fan Club.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I am afraid to ask


Our washer has been making horrible smells and noises as of late. We found that it doesn't have enough umph to make the spin cycle happen. Guess how we figured that out? Why, yes...I went in and the clothes that I was going to put in the dryer were dripping madly. Oh no! TODR checked it out. We now have to listen for the spin cycle and help it get going. I am thankful that I don't have to hand wash all of our stuff. At least for now.

Our dryer is also is having problems. It takes two cycles to dry the clothes. (Sigh) It is better than nothing. Two cycles truly is better than untold amounts of laundry strewn all over the house for drying. (Note: We live in the Pacific Northwest, August is the only month we can hang dry anything with any regularity.)

I am hoping and praying that we can make do until the Lord sees fit to bless us with some other affordable appliances.

Now as if that weren't bad enough...
Last night TODR got out of bed to crawl underneath the covers at about 2:30am. His foot landed in our green carpet: SQUOOOOSH! That is not right! It turns out due to a crack in our concrete foundation, filled in dirt where gravel was and an un-named individual leaving a garden hose on next to the corner of our bedroom, we got flooded. We now have all of our bedroom furniture in our living room. There are two heaters and one fan drying out the pad and carpet. TODR and our oldest son spent all afternoon sucking water out of the pad using our steam cleaner. It will all be okay. I think I will actually be able to sleep in my own room by the middle of the week.

I don't even have to mention the fact that Obama is our president elect and that is just the thermometer showing America's atmosphere. I do know that we should fear God and not man. And no matter what, Obama is just a man. God could stop his heart this very second if He so chose.

That brings me to the title of my post. I am afraid to ask, What else could go wrong?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dedicated to the Captain

When Brian and I got married I didn't want to walk down the aisle to the traditional bridal march. I know a very uncharitable rendition of it with lyrics about the bride being big, fat and wide. I couldn't handle it. So instead we chose Great is Thy Faithfullness. Since we are in the high statistics to have a failed marriage, us making it is only a testimony of God's grace and His faithfullness. This is a wonderful reminder that Brian and I will fail each other, but God never will. With His strength there is the power to live in today with His new mercies.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Ship's Captain


I shared about the kinfolk that have my six in my previous post. They are the ones we fly with and have each other's backs. Our family's visual for the biblical family is a military ship. TODR is the captain, while I am the first-mate. Depending on the ages of the children makes them either officers or crew. Now all of these people filling these positions are equal in human worth. All these positions, however, have differing levels of responsibility and privilege. The captain not only is supposed to have my six, but the whole clock.

Sometimes it is so easy to look at some one else's privileges and envy them. It is even easier to assume that if I were in charge instead of that someone else I would do a better job. Truth be told The Admiral doesn't put the wrong man in the job. Since my captain and I both came from huge marine ship disasters it is hard for us to work as a team.

We are going through a big time in our life that I would liken to a scene in Captain Horatio Hornblower. The captain caputures a ship and then without asking the Admiral turns the ship over to a man he believes to be an ally. Then he finds out from British official documents that England is in fact an ally of Spain and he made a huge mistake. Then he has to go back and destroy this ship that has him outmanned and outgunned. After a big blunder like that it can be easy to lose faith in your captain. Captain Horatio does go back and is victorious because of his brilliant strategy. It is a hard fought battle, but he proves that he is the man for the job.

I must admit that I lost faith in my captain. I can be a stupid, foolish, sinful woman. I am, however, honest. We are in a position that we now have to sail back and destroy a ship we should never have let go. I do have faith that the Admiral has placed the right man in the position. I am not foolish enough to know that the sinking of that ship will be easy or without cost. I do know that if we work as a team God will bring us through. He put the right folks in the right positions.

MODR, I am sorry that I fail to respect you and believe in you like I should. I truly do know that God brought us together. He made you the captain of our ship. He didn't make a mistake. These things just give us an opportunity to work together as a team. Humility before honor is the way of the kingdom. Let's go sink the ship.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Seven


Anne Shirley of Green Gables talked about "kindred spirits." Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote an article about the difference between "kinfolk" and "relatives." Now "kindred spirits" and "kinfolk" are those friends that Proverbs speaks of; the ones that stick closer than a brother. So for my Saturday Seven I am going to list Seven of my kinfolk or those that have my six (as my awesome pastor would say). These are folk that the Lord has blessed me with and they will fail me because they are human while Jesus never will. These are Jesus with skin on.

KENDRA'S KINFOLK AND KINDRED SPIRITS(In no particular order)

1.Rebecca Walker (She definately rocks. I love her enough to even share her with Tim and Amy and Lolanda, but that might be it:)

2.My mom

3.R. John P.

4.R. John P.'s lovely wife, Dalene

5.The Lovely and Gracious Ms. Wanda

6.Superman that happens to be married to the Lovely and Gracious Ms. Wanda
7.My sniffer (sister)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall

I haven't posted for a while. I have wanted to post about why we homescool. Here is one big erudite reason from some insightful folk.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Big Ten-Four


Eleven years ago I was still in labor with my oldest son at this time. I had been in labor since before midnight when my water broke. He wouldn't be born until 3:45pm. He is the only one I had in a hospital. Although I had some really nice midwives I think the hospital scene added to my anxiety and inability to progress. I ended up with pitocin. It was my longest labor as well.

I finally pushed out a 7lbs. 13oz., 19 and 1/2" long incredible miracle. I will never forget the incredible sensation of touching my first child. We didn't know if this baby I carried was going to be a boy or a girl. Somehow I just knew he was a boy. He sure was.

They washed him, weighed and measured him, and placed him all wrapped up in my arms. I sat there mesmerized by him. I didn't want to share him with anyone. I even ate while holding him. We all laugh at the story of how I tried to choke him on chicken. While I was eating I dropped a piece of chicken right in my yawning baby's mouth. I fished it out right away. He didn't have enough time to breath it or anything. There was no real danger, but I almost hyperventilated while thinking about it.

Today 11 years later he is still a miracle. He is very agile. It is hard to believe all the things he is capable of. He is very helpful with the little ones. He has a big heart for them. He can chop kindling for his Oma. He can chop firewood. He can start fires. He is doing better at school. He is an able fisherman and camper and hiker. He usually walks the older folks or ladies at church to their vehicles. He still wants to be a smoke-jumper. A dream he has had since he was four. Given his giftings he would be a wonderful firefighter. I am so proud of this boy! He is such a gift!

Happy Birthday to you, Big Ten-Four!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Bad with the Good

The good news is that the Fireproof movie is doing really well (see post below).

The bad news is that the Senate passed that horrible bail-out plan. I think this picture is so perfect though:

Of course the Good News never changes. Jesus came to save us from the wrath of God. If you are found in Him then you will be saved eternally. That is better than being bailed-out temporarily in this world's system. No matter what this fall-out means they cannot take away my soul. That belongs to God.

Get the message?


As Michael Silberman of Samuel Goldwyn said, "The Kendricks are catering to audiences that Hollywood doesn't make movies for anymore." Imagine if Hollywood would "get the message" and start giving the American audience movies it wants to see instead of giving them what Hollywood wants them to see.

Now there is a thought. If you want to read the whole article go here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Couldn't have said it better...

So I won't. Go to this link to find out another reason I wish Ron Paul was still on the ballot. I don't know. He might still be on mine.

Monday, September 29, 2008

And they remembered the camera!






Pix from TODR taking C.J. and T.M. out hiking behind our house. We might only own 1/2 an acre, but we have National Forest behind us. So it seems like we have hundreds of acres:)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Romance

The Fireproof trailers got me to thinking a bit about romance. I think men get a bum rap an awful lot. It isn't that they aren't romantic. I think it is more that we are simpler than they think. I also think that we women are all different, there is no real one size fits all (or even most) when it comes to this area. And (you should almost never start a sentence with and) men are competetive by nature even with themselves.

I listened to an interview with Shaunti Feldham on Family Life Today when her book For Women Only came out. It demonstrates this principle nicely. Mrs. Feldham was giving the example about how her husband gave her a romantic gift of ice skating lessons. Not only were they ice skating lessons they were in a famous location with famous skaters. Her point was that her husband didn't figure he could ever top that so she didn't even get cards for something like the next three years. What even made the point more was the two male hosts got stuck on the lessons. They immediately sized up whether they had ever done anything that staggering for their wives and how they rated in the analysis. That made the point more valid.

That brings me to the things I find romantic and not. That also is the reason for the poll in the sidebar. Feel free to vote and/or leave a comment about your tastes. Today is Saturday so I am going to do a Seven Saturday list. This is a one time deal. I am not committing to it every Saturday. I like routine, but I don't like being overly committed.

So here goes:

1. I love having my feet massaged.
2. My idea of a romantic dinner is without anyone that I HAVE to feed or pick up food off the floor from anywhere they do not ask if I want it super-sized/biggie-sized/king-sized or includes toys with the children's meals. Other than that I would even be okay with a truck stop or strangely home-cooked meal(not even exotic or great).
3. I don't like flowers after a disagreement or if my husband has done something "wrong." If it has been dealt with and forgiven the flowers just remind me of what a dork he was.
4. I do like home-picked flowers and flowers from the floral store just 'cause. They don't have to be roses (although the two-tone roses are my favorite), carnations, daisies or dandelions will do. I have many dandelion bouquets from the children. I would prefer some Willow Tree figurines or stuffed animals to flowers sometimes.
5. I like funny cards. I like cards with old-fashioned pictures. I like sweet-cards. I like home-made cards. I like e-cards. I don't like sappy, rhyming "inspirational" cards with all fluff and no real message. They make me want to hurl:)
6. I don't really care for gold or diamonds. I have always thought diamonds look like ice and I don't think something cold and frigid is fitting for representing marriage. I really prefer old celtic, poesy, silvery kind of jewelery. I like old-fashioned (really old fashioned like medieval old).
7. TODR and I used to walk on the beach where we lived all the while we were courting. I still find an outdoor walk on the beach or out in the woods to be really intimate and sweet. I love the idea of firelight. Sitting companionably with my sweetie with some hot chocolate, tea or decaf. coffee on a clear starlit night next to a roaring campfire sounds just about perfect.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interview with the cast of FIREPROOF the movie

When I was in YWAM a teacher gave us a definition of love that I wrote in my Bible and have since memorized.

Love is a commitment to right actions that sometimes brings pleasant feelings.

This interview is a clarion call to our generation. It is the message of Fireproof.

Our family has been blessed by the other two movies the Kendrick Brothers have made. I am thinking that God is raising a standard in our sad and selfish age. I also know that I fall woefully short. I want to give up. The Bible says that love never fails. It also says that God is love so if we don't have Him we don't have love. We cannot give what we don't have. On our own we will fail. All things are possible with the God of Love.

I am thinkin' about it.

I remember watching Growing Pains on TV when I was younger. I also remember reading about Kirk Cameron's christian conversion. I never paid it much mind. He has shown up more recently with The Way of the Master (with Ray Comfort) and in a couple of Left Behind movies. Now with the new movie Fireproof from Sherwood Films coming out I have been taking stock of this man.

The thing that is amazing is how he and his family seem to be the real deal. I am convicted to pray for this man. The kids and I have been watching some footage from interviews with him. While he proclaims his love for his wife and deep commitment to her he is showing his even deeper love and commitment to his Savior. He told the talk show hostesses that he has a commitment to only kiss his wife even on screen. He told the secret that the kiss on Fireproof is actually his real wife. Good on the Kendrick Brothers and good on Kirk Cameron!

He is making a public stand. While I think that is so commendable I also know that it is a declaration of war. I am not saying he shouldn't say those things. I think acknowledging the battle lines is the only thing a godly man of honor could do. Just like those men that signed the Declaration of Independence put everything on the line with their signatures so is Kirk Cameron. The Camerons have been married for 17 years. Kirk states that is like 70 years in Hollywood. I bet that is true. Let us be diligent in upholding men who stand in the public eye with courage and honor up in prayer. The enemy will be gunning for them.

I am also rethinking if I want to risk bawling my eyes out in public and go see Fireproof in the theatre.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Last, but not least September Birthday Girl


This beautiful girl is the fulfillment of the Mother's Curse. You know when you have exasperated your mother and she utters, "I hope when you grow up and have children you get one that acts just like you." Of all our children this spitfire is the most like me. She goes at everything 110 percent. It is her biggest strength as well as weakness. She gets into everything and tries to help. When she is 13 she will be so helpful, but at four her idea of cleaning the toilet just means more work for me. On the other hand she gives the best hugs and loves genuinely and intensely. We could definately call her a Spice-girl:)

Four years ago I had some contractions the night of the 21st. They weren't such a big deal. We finally decided to go to the midwife's. We called the lovely lady from church that had agreed to watch the other kiddos. When she arrived TODR showed her where to park her truck. He then packed me up into the van. Then he promptly backed up into our friend's truck. I told him to tell her after we got home:)

We got to our midwife's around 1:00 a.m. I had hung on all the way there thinking of getting in the tub. When she checked me I was at ten c.m. So she broke my water and our lil girl was born twenty minutes after we arrived. I got to get in the tub afterwards. She was the easiest and shortest labor I have ever had. I was so thankful for that. Since she was born almost exactly a year after her sister I had been kind of depressed about giving birth again. God really met me there during labor. She is the only baby I remember crying for a long while after her birth. The others cried at first, but then just serenely looked around at their surroundings. Not this little girl! She cried getting in her carseat. She cried unless I put my hand near her face. I wondered what we had gotten into with our fifth child. Afterwards she did settle down and become a really complacent, sweet thing. She slept through the night at two or three months.

We drove home a couple hours later. Our friend was really sweet about the truck. Thankfully when they checked it out there was no damage to it.

Our Spicegirl chose pizza for her birthday dinner. She got a copy of the Aristo Cats. She got her princess dress for the tea party we had. We made cupcakes to take to prayer group last night. Happy Birthday Sweetheart. We are so thankful you were born.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another thought-provoking article

Yes, I need to encourage the men in my life to be the men they are called and capable of being. This is a good article written by a woman younger than I and with a lot more wisdom than I had at that age.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Food Faux Paux.

Over the years I have learned to cook more from scratch than boxed or pre-packaged. I have made some embarrassing mistakes along my cooking voyage. I once packed bologna for my husband's lunch complete with red plastic ring on it. I didn't know that you were supposed to take it off.

I pulled another boo-boo in last night's soup. Sometimes our neighbor and/or my mom bring us offerings from the local food bank. I usually stick to recognizeable things if they are not labeled. I am on a crockpot binge right now trying to tighten our food budget while making nutritious filling meals for all 9 of us (and the guests we end up with from time to time). So last night I happily tossed in turkey, carrots, chicken broth, onion, garlic, herbs and spices and snowpeas (or so I thought) and simmered it altogether until dinner time. I made some garlic bread. Viola! Dinner was on.

Now snowpeas do not need to be shelled. I thought we were going to enjoy those nice, tender things in our soup. I think they were soy beans. Tasty little things, but you need to take off their inedible outer shell. We all ended up shelling our soy beans out of our soup. It made for a bit of mess. It still ended up doing the job. I am glad to know what to do with those podded things since I have four more containers of them. I will shell them BEFORE I put them in the soup.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

See! I told you.

Check out this great post by Carmon Friedrich. She is one great reason that I leave the controversial stuff to others most of the time. She is usually really good about hitting the issues with a logical, biblical view. So don't take my word for it, read her stuff!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The OLD, OLD Daddy Rabbit


Happy Birthday to The Ole Daddy Rabbit. Yes, 42 years ago today was the big event that ushered TODR into the world. We are having Grandma's Special Chicken today with mashed potatoes, corn and salad. Every birthday celebrant in our house gets to pick their special dinner.

May God bless you this day and the upcoming year Mr. Heath.

Lots of love from your family!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Character Development

One really nice thing about homeschooling is the opportunity for us to instill character development into our children. Another beautiful thing is when the older ones begin teaching the younger ones. I looked out of our front door to this illustration of the older ones teaching the younger ones trust.

Yeah, it is teaching mommy to trust as well. It is a good opportunity to practice that relaxation breathing. Yes, all the kiddos were out there except the baby (she was sleeping).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mindsweep moments that changed my life.


I have for the most part decided not to write about controversial issues or ones that might hurt or offend family reading our blog. I think in view of the greatly heralded Republican pick for vice-president it is time for me to craft a post on a deeply personal subject. I have close friends and family that might get upset when I hit the sacred cow of working mothers. I am not trying to heap guilt on the mothers that must work. They carry enough hardship. My own mother had to work while I was in Jr. High and Highschool. If she didn't we would not have eaten. I know that, but there are still times when I wish my mom had been there. I do have a big problem with moms that choose to work while popping out a couple of kids and leaving them to be raised by strangers.

There is a computer game that we like to play called Minesweep. For those unfamiliar with the game the player is presented with a screen that he or she has to logically flag the hidden bombs while uncovering the safe squares. If you successfully guess all squares you win the game. If you inadvertantly click a bomb, everything blows up. There are also times in the game when you flag a square and it opens up a big patch of safe area. Sometimes in life we are doing something little and God allows a big patch of truth to open up to us. Some folk refer to this as an "Ah-hah!" moment or an epiphany. I call it a mindsweep moment. There are several that changed my life and how I live today. In order to have others understand my position I need to share some more personal details of my life.

I have always been "good with children." I was one of those responsible, highly in demand babysitters from the age of 11 or so. By the time I graduated high school I had coached Jr. High volleyball, taught preschool, taught in VBS, and babysat quite a bit. Everyone always said how I was so good with children. So, of course, what should I do? Become a teacher! That is what you do when you are good with children, right? Not become a stay-at-home mom. That is not seen as a viable option for a brilliant young woman with childcare skills.

I bought into the lie hook, line and sinker that if I wanted to make a difference I should touch children for Jesus in daycare. Now I have worked other jobs not just childcare, but those jobs are not significant ones to this story.

I was a nanny to a wonderful family. It really was a very fulfilling job for me. I never turned on the TV, we went for walks almost everyday, read books and ate wholesome meals. I learned an awful lot about ordering a home while having that job. I also went to college and took lots of Child Development classes. I was more and more convinced that the way to touch the next generation was to be a Christian Childcare provider.

I got a job working for a for profit daycare after I had been married for not quite a year. Here it was that I was going to get started using all my education and gifts! At first I really enjoyed it. I was hired as an "infant teacher." That meant that I was one of two teachers with up to eight babies under one year old to care for in one small classroom. I also moved around to different classrooms as a subsitute teacher. I worked in every classroom from infants to the older after-school programers. I also advanced to handling medication as well as running the front desk. I was good, very good.

Now remember this was a for profit daycare center. It was also located not too far from the city court house. We had a few children in the center that the moms were single moms and doing everything they could to keep their children fed and clothed. I felt for those moms. The rest, however, were children that had parents that chose to work. We even had one boy in the preschool classroom that had a mom that didn't work. She openly stated that her husband could support her and she didn't need to work, but her son bored her. She figured he would be better off at the center playing with his peers than with her because she wanted to do her grown-up things. He was a nuisance.

Not all of the parents were that blatant about it. Most I would say were as duped as I was. Most parents felt somehow that they really HAD to have two incomes. None really saw that their children needed them rather than the 3500 sq. ft. house that they never really lived in. Or the second BMW, or the namebrand shoes, or the list could go on and on indefinately. The children really needed mom and dad.

One of my mindsweep moments came on the day after Thanksgiving. The center I worked in was closed 6 legal holidays a year. That meant we were closed Thanksgiving day, but open for business the day after. I worked that day. Now it wasn't a regular day as most parents had that day off. We did have about 35 kids show up. I held some sweet little ones as they cried while mom and dad left them at the center. I don't recall a single parent that left a child there that day that was going to work. There might have been a few, but I only remember that most, if not all, were going shopping. Those parents were going shopping, fighting the crowds and buying their children incredible Christmas presents. I am sure most of them spent far more on gifts than I made that month.

Now does anyone remember what they got for Christmas each year as a child? We all remember a few special Christmases that we finally got that long awaited bike or doll. For the most part we don't. We do remember those times of being with mom or dad when they chose to take us for a walk or get us an ice cream. I knew that day at the center that those children would have traded all their presents for their parents to have spent some time with them. If their parents had instead gotten an ice cream cone from McDonald's (this was before their pro-gay agenda:) and walked with them on the beach they would probably have remembered that day forever. Wow! Our children really do want us. We would see if we gave them the choice.

The other mindsweep moment was much more intense. We had two little girls at our center. Even now thinking of them makes my heart constrict. Their parents both held high-powered important jobs. Those two girls, aged 1 and 3 when they started, were the first ones at 6:00a.m. to be dropped off. They were also the ones usually left after 6:00p.m. when the center closed. Often times the "back-up" babysitter was the one that showed up to pick them up. When these little girls had chicken pox the babysitter kept them at her house because they were not allowed at our center until their pox had cleared. The younger girl had gotten pink-eye. She was back at our center after the required 24 hour antibiotics had been administered. I was on meds. that day so I got to give her the drops. Here I was holding this precious little girl with the puffy eyes trying to get her to let me drop the antibiotic into her eyes. It dawned on me that while this was my job, "THIS WASN'T MY JOB." Her mother should have been the one holding her and comforting her. Her mom should be there when she was sick. It dawned on me that this was not right. It also dawned on me that I was not honestly making a difference.

I ended up leaving the center after my first son was born. It took me a bit longer to figure out that a mom isn't replaceable and that God gave me my own children to make an eternal impact on. God didn't give me other folks' children to raise, but mine. I look back and see those two instances that set my feet on a different path. I also read those heart-warming stories of teachers that make a huge difference in one child's life and sigh. Yes, those teachers after years of sacrifice help a handful of children that might not have been helped otherwise. The fact is that I make an eternal, irreplaceable difference in seven children's lives. I do make a difference when I take care of my God-given responsibilities and then maybe give hope to others that might see the path I have taken and have the courage to take that same path.

The way I see my calling clearly now makes it impossible for me to uphold Sarah Palin as a great VP choice. She might be politically savvy, she might champion causes that I stand behind, she might honestly make a great vice-president. Unfortunately, she has five children that need her desperately. There are other people that could do a good job as governor or as vice-president. No one can fill a mom's shoes when it comes to her own children. Trust me I have tried. I was very good. I was not good enough because I wasn't the mom.

I have witnessed the hurt desperation in innumerable children. I cannot stand by and silently condone this travesty. May God open mothers' eyes to the privilege our children really are. Now not only am I good at what I do, I hold a position no one else in the world can hold. That is power. It is power that I can only wield on my knees and from my heart. How I mother my own children is what I will stand accountable for one day.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My favorite story


Acts 9: 36-43 contains my favorite Bible story of all time. It is about a disciple named Tabitha. The thing that has always grabbed me about this story is the character of Tabitha. It isn't that Peter raises her from the dead. The thing about her that touches me is that the widows and orphans are beside themselves when she dies. They show Peter the garments she has made them, displaying the tender care she had for them. She was not even known to Peter. She was kind of a nobody quietly serving the Lord by taking care of widows and orphans. She was not, however, a nobody to the Lord. He saw fit to even put her story into the Bible for all time. It reminds me that we may not have the recognition from man (in fact the Bible tells us not to look for that), but God sees.

So seven years ago when our first daughter was born we named her after that wonderful woman. We were expecting another nine pounder (our second son was pretty big). After a really horrible, tiring labor and delivery out pops (quite literally, our midwife almost dropped her) a beautiful little peanut. She was born just after ten at night and was the smallest baby I have born. Of course, one look at her and she was worth every stitch of agony.

Today that little peanut is such an incredible little girl. She loves pink and Barbie princessy things. Yet she is a trooper and able to keep up with the boys. She surprised me with being packed and ready to go ahead of schedule for her camping trip this week. She is learning to read and use the computer. She amazes me every day with how capable she is. She can cook Ramen noodles and eggs. She can make sandwiches. She draws and colors very well. She is beautiful, but not vain. I never thought I would enjoy being a mom to girls. I am so privileged to be blessed with such wonderful girls.

Happy Birthday to my Tabitha girl, you are a real princess.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Where we live

Some of our favorite people in the whole wide world are hosting their annual haycrew campout. Since TODR has to work this week the bigger kids are camping while we are going up some evenings this week. That and I am not camping overnight with so many non-potty-trained kiddos. TODR will be camping out this weekend when he is done with work.

We were headed home last night. We came around a corner and this is what we saw:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Birthday Beauty



Five years ago today we were blessed with our second daughter. She was our first child to be born in the morning. She looked like a china doll. She has grown quite a bit since then. She is still very petite. We tell her she may be small, but she is mighty. She loves her dollies. She also loves her sisters. She likes purple and pink. She has gotten big enough to do a good job brushing her teeth and making her own bed. She has started doing some chores in the morning like putting dirty clothes in the laundry and wiping down the table after meals. She has green eyes and straight brown hair like her mama. She has a tender heart and a great smile. I love to see her running across the yard towards me with her big smile all over her face. She is great at playing imaginitive games by herself. She is also good for a cuddle most times. Happy Birthday to one of our biggest blessings.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Serenity

Serenity: Noun form of the adjective serene. Serene (suh-reen) adjective Calm and peaceful, as in a serene setting.

We providentially met a little girl named Serenity this Monday. It was a great meeting at the park. I was blessed.

I tend to stress out about so much. Folk tend to ask how I do it all. The answer is that I haven't been. I haven't been letting the Lord carry it either. I took a stress test. It said that I had severe demands on my body, but my support was good. That means I could do more in limiting my stress as well as improve the support I give myself.

I have wanted to lose weight. I have been eating right and exercising and nothing. I was getting stressed at what else I need to be doing in order to lose weight. I was so gratified to find out that I actually needed to rest more and eat regularly. So I have been seeking serenity (not new agey, but the Lord's way). TODR has been letting me walk everyday (I can go by myself or I only take one child). I have been taking time to do my devotions and do calming things. I have also started taking some Flaxseed Oil, Ginseng as well as my Vitamins and Spirulina.

You know what? I feel good. TODR looked at me yesterday and said he thought I was losing weight. I have yet to verify that on a scale, but I am feeling peaceful and hopeful (not about the weight just in general).

Well, I need to get going on routine and tend to my children that are definately not serene right now:)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stress Reliever

There are lots of things out there to relieve stress. The best is learning to trust God. I get lost into getting things done on my own an awful lot. With our family budget getting into place again I find myself back in the position to pray for my needs to be met. It is always so wonderful to feel so loved when the Sovereign Lord of the Universe obviously cares for me.

He provided a nice couch when I needed one (for $15.00 and it is really nice). Now the bigger kids are going to go camping next week. They had some clothing needs. I had a small amount of cash. I also had some $ on account at the children's consignment store. So I scored! For the grand total of $8.00 cash we got: Three pairs of jeans for my oldest daughter she also got a zip-up camo. sweatshirt, a couple pairs of new jeans for C.J., a pair of really nice almost new camo. pants for our oldest boy, belts for the four oldest kiddos, warm tights and shoes for some smaller girls and three tea lights for birthday decorations. Oh! and a couple of hats for dress up.

Naturally I don't like to be dependent, but when I go to the Lord I am always so blessed. You would think I would learn. I am definately a work in progress. I want to be content to dwell in the Lord's presence whether I am in need or in plenty.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Truth is stranger than fiction!


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
12
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?


On that note I should relate a strange incident that happened almost 2 years ago now.

We live in a small town in an area called the Big Bottom Valley. Didn't know if you had guessed that or not:) The Big Bottom Valley is not heavily populated. Two years ago this Oct./Nov. we had some unseasonal and very bad flooding in our area. There was a news program on it showing one young woman getting evacuated from her home. I had friends that saw the news clip and were horrified when they heard my name mentioned. Then they looked and saw it was not me. I had several people tell me about it. I didn't think much about it until that Christmas.

I got a Christmas card in the mail that seemed weird. I didn't recognize the return address, but it had my name on it. I opened it expecting to be able to figure out what odd relation sent me a card. When I opened it a check fell out. The card was signed from Grandma. I was horrified when it sunk in that it really was not my Christmas card. When I couldn't get ahold of the real recipient I packaged opened envelope, card and check into a bigger envelope. I enclosed a note explaining what had happened and posted it back to the return address. I felt like a criminal. I was taught to NEVER, NEVER open someone else's mail!

Then later that year I started getting strange things in the mail. The address was for around the corner, but it had MY NAME on it. The other disconcerting thing was I was not getting some things I should. Finally, a young woman showed up at our house with my son's CDs we had been expecting for an overly long time. She was the girl with my name from the flood and she had temporarily moved down the street with relatives. She had put in a change of address form at the post office. Our poor mail lady had been very confused.

The mail lady knows everyone on her route so she had thought the mail was misaddressed. She then tried to kindly correct the mistake. I finally went in and righted the wrong in the post office. They were so embarrased. At least the other person with my name has a different middle name. Still what are the odds to live down the street from someone with the same name? Especially when they are no relation to you whatsoever! It isn't like my name is John Smith!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What happened to that man I married?

I was cutting TODR's hair last night. I looked at the floor. There deposited in big fluffs was huge amounts of brown hair, dark brown hair at that!

When we got married 13 years ago we lived in Southern California. We surfed and went to the beach often. I mean really often. Okay, we lived on the beach. (Spiderweb side note: I miss the beach an awful lot, storm-tossed, raging wave times the most) Anyway... The long and the short of it is that I married a very blond man. Over the years away from the beach (I am sure age is apart of it too) it has become this dark brown color. I think it is funny.

He wouldn't want me to mention the weight he has put on either. Or the fact that for reasons not understandable to him that I find him more attractive with a heavier build not less. So I won't mention that. He still has the most incredible blue eyes. Some of our children have inherited those eyes. Our baby has those eyes. Whenever some one remarks on the beauty of her eyes I respond with, "That is why I married her daddy."

Of course, eye color is an incredibly shallow reason to be interested in some one let alone marry them. It isn't just that his eyes are a great shade of blue, it is the passion that is visible in them. I will never forget the first time I met him at his ocean baptism. He came out of the ocean and all you could see were those passionate, sparkin' blue orbs.

He may have had some dramatic changes on the outside, but "in essentials I find him very much the same." (Anyone want to venture a guess on the quote? If you know me at all you know it is Austen or Shakespeare)

Yes, Mr. Heath the best thing in my life is the Lord, but you are my biggest blessing!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

JUDGEMENT/JUDGMENT

I do learn something new everyday. I think I do anyway...

I was listening to my husband quote Romans last night and I thought I had found a typo in his Bible! It was judgment. No E inbetween G and M. Hmmmm.....I found it a second time. I thought whoa, whoa, whoa. How could this be? The answer is that judgement as well as judgment are acceptable spellings. I looked it up in the dictionary. I wonder why I never caught this before?

Did anyone else know this?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

13 LONG years.


Yesterday TODR gave me a card with a similar cat picture on it. The caption, however, was different. It said, "If you want rainbows, you've got to put up with the rain."
Why did he give me such a card? Well, one reason is that he has a good sense of humor. The other is that it was our anniversary yesterday. Thirteen years ago we made a huge commitment to each other. It hasn't been happily ever after, but that is an unreal fairie tale expectation anyhow. We have seen rain and shine in our marriage. I think the real secret is to watch for the rainbows. I too often only see the rain and not the beautiful plants growing and flourishing with the rain and sun. God be praised that I honestly believe that he is growing beautiful things in and through our marriage. He even throws in some gorgeous rainbows.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Asundry Photos




Yes, I am better now


Nothing catastrophic or really out of the ordinary happened. Just a whole lot of life converged and I was so overwhelmed.

I am better now. I worked some stuff out of my system. I ALSO GOT MY CAMERA TO WORK. Yes I did! Even with all the unhelpful suggestions from tech. support. I truly am glad that I know some really neat computer geek folk. If I didn't and I only dealt with folk on tech. support I might conclude that computer geeks have no sense of humor. Or reality... Or something...

I can now get my pictures to load from my awesome camera to the computer. Now I can even post them. I have my suspicions on what caused the problem. He shall remain nameless, but if he EVER messes with my picture settings again there will be dire consequences involving tortures of inquistional porportions!

It does make me feel some better that I have conquered this nagging problem.

I also feel better being released from some of my self-imposed requirements in life.

I will post some of my dazzling pictures.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Blogging Break

Life doesn't always turn out like you plan. Actually, I think very rarely, if ever life turns out like you plan.

I have too much of that in my life right now. I feel like I have many hopes dashed to the ground. I have a great deal that I need to be before God's throne hoping that He will answer me as a dear child. I hate trying to be happy when I am not. Since my blog is one that I try not to get too personal with I am taking a break. I need my Abba Father to mend my heart with joy in Him.

So on that happy note, I hit the snooze button...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Simple Post


FOR TODAY July 30, 2008...
Outside My Window...is overcast and cool. Same as last week. We had some really nice sunny weather in between though. This summer reminds me of when we came up for our honeymoon thirteen years ago.
I am thinking...that I really need to be grateful for what I have. I tend to think more on the what I should be doing or have instead of what God has blessed me with. I think it is probably something most of us can identify with and wish we couldn't.
I am thankful for...being able to stay home with my children. That I have the time and opportunity to read to them. They are very creative and do quite a bit outside. I am trying hard to have movies be a treat. They enjoy being outdoors and with each other (for the most part anyway).
From the kitchen...is absolute quiet. The dishes have been done. There is bread in the bread box. The box was a thoughtful gift from my sil. The bread I made yesterday. There are blueberries in the fridge that I need to put in bags and freeze. Also the left overs from my experimental Jambalaya soup that turned out pretty well last night are in the fridge. I have cooked ground beef in there as well. Now I have to decide if I am going to reserve the soup tonight with salad or if I am going to freeze it and use the beef in something.
I am wearing...a navy blue sweat shirt, wild-floral jammy pants that TODR says resemble curtain material, funny (but warm) socks and hair down long. I sometimes wear my exercise clothes (like in this instance) until after I ride my exercise bike. Then I wash and change into more presentable stuff. I always wear certain jewelry items.
I am creating...clean laundry, a mental note of what to serve for lunch and deciding on dinner.
I am going...ride my exercise bike, make lunch, fold laundry and decide on dinner eventually.
I am reading...I finished Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman yesterday, Phillipians, Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mali Siblings (with my children), Proverbs (with my children) and Romans (with my husband because he is working on memorizing it-he is up to Chapter 4 vs. 2 today).
I am hoping...to lose weight. I haven't had much success even though I have been working on it.
I am hearing...Train Conductor Dave being a goober.
Around the house...my washer is working (for which I am incredibly grateful), my children are watching an educational (and short) video, my phone ringing with a lame recording being on the other side not anyone exciting like I had hoped (TODR hasn't called yet today:( and a fort that the children created outside around our apple trees.
One of my favorite things...is my foot massager. I am thinking on getting more info. on feet stuff. I am also thinking about purchasing some herbal foot bath from this site and then maybe I could make my own.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...going to visit a friend on Thurs. that I haven't seen for a long time and our kids can play while we catch up, Fri. I will probably catch up on everything I should have done Thurs., Sat. we are planning on the blueberry festival.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
I am remembering to post THE LINK too.

She tagged me!

My friend, Bucca, tagged me. I am supposed to share six random things about myself and then tag six people to do the same.

1. On cold winter nights my husband has me crawl into bed. He then uses the hairdryer to warm up the whole bed. It is such a lovely feeling. We usually left the hairdryer next to our bed. I have often wondered what our babysitters, Kacey and Barbara, used to think.

2. I really like artichokes, GOOD CHOCOLATE, and popcorn. I really dislike plain milk, Miracle Whip and dirty toilet seats (especially ones that are left up).

3. My favorite clothing item in sixth grade was a neon pink shirt that I had gotten for Christmas. I even had earrings that matched. They were long with a different colored neon bead on the end of three little "stems" on each earring. I felt so cool when I wore them. Now it is my husband that wears neon (orange) all the time. I don't think it is so cool anymore. I still think HE is cool though.

4. Before I had children I really, really thought I would enjoy pregnancy and breastfeeding more than I have. I love my children and wouldn't trade anything in the world for them. I get so sick when I am pregnant that it is hard for me to have a good attitude let alone fulfill my obligations. I don't mind breastfeeding my babies. I believe it is the healthiest option for everyone involved. I have had to give it up a couple of times and it made me sad. It just isn't that incredibly bonding experience that it seems to be for some others. Every time I have seen my precious little one on ultrasound it makes all the pregnancy nausea/vomitting worth it, but not any easier. It always makes me lean on the Lord. I have so much compassion on those dealing with chronic issues. I am sick for months, but at the end I get an incredible pay off. Folks dealing with chronic illness see no end in sight.

5. I battle with myself often. I really, really want to be ultra organized. I mean really organized! Like I would like all my books alphabetized, everything in containers with labels and all clothes folded in their drawers. I wish all my furniture matched and I had a "country living" home. On the other hand I desperately want my children to have happy memories of childhood. I want them to remember that mom let them play with bubbles in the sink, that they could make a mess (as long as they cleaned it up afterwards) and people felt welcome in our home. I had a friend once with a perfectionist mother. She had plastic all over her matching furniture and rugs. Her house was perfect. She always seemed unhappy. I truly don't want to live in a bubble. If you saw my house, you would know that the latter IS winning.

6. I am tired of the comment that I look good for HAVING HAD SEVEN KIDS. I just want to look great. I am sure it is pride. My husband and children ALWAYS tell me how beautiful I am. I know my husband wouldn't want me to be too skinny. I really would love to fit into my wedding gown (not that I even still own it). I have had many well-intentioned folk give me tips. I seriously don't have time to sit around and eat. I feel like I did when I was pregnant the first time. Everyone had advice. My grandmother even went so far as to say that I was sick because I didn't think positively enough. Maybe I am just not in the positive zone right now.

Okay, I am tagging...

Rebecca at the Washington Walkers. You didn't call "no tag-backs," but I am. Ha-ha!

Michele at Frugal Granola.

Jeanette at US CHAMBERLAINS.

TODR at This is The Day.

Sharon at In My Father's Garden.

Valerie at Bound by Grace.

I am hoping the last two will be encouraged to post again:)

Okey, Dokey...ARTE Y PICO


Up until recently we had a WONDERFUL FAMILY that lived across the street from us. We knew when the landlords put a for sale sign in front of our neighbor's house that our time with them that close was limited. We didn't get together as much as either of us would have liked, but we did share some good times. Sharon made some exquisite cakes for our daughters' birthday party one year. She and her Mister came over for fireworks one Fourth of July. Things like that. I know that it was a good move for them to be closer to the Mister's job AND they own their own home for the first time in their wedded life. I still miss their quiet presence across the street. I miss Sharon's face at church much of the time. I am thankful for the internet so we can still be involved with each others' lives. Sharon awarded our blog the ARTE Y PICO AWARD. In honor of her I am taking the time to pass on this lovely award.

Here are the awards. I have many blogs that I get an incredible amount of encouragement and insight from. I cannot list them all so here are the requisite five.

I must give the first award to my first blog friend ever: Valerie at Bound by Grace. We connected on a weblog a couple of children ago. She was brave enough to send me her e-mail. She then got a blog. I had never seen one by an average person only those gnarly ones that people pay money for others to design for them. If it hadn't been for this wonderful lady on the other side of the country I would probably still not be part of the blogasphere.

Number 2 needs to go to Carmon Friedrich. My friend, Valerie (mentioned above), recommended this lovely lady's blog. She is the woman that enables me to not delve into controversial subjects too much. She is so very intelligent. She seems to always be very mindful of the Biblical reasons for the way she lives her life. She graciously disagrees with her opponents. I can only remember one time, out of all the years I have read her blog, that she let her ascerbic wit get "a bit out of hand." She then apologized to the one on the receiving end. As an aside, I thought she showed great restraint even in that situation. I thought the woman deserved it, honestly. She probably could have used the dictionary Carmon offered her as well:) So if you want a look into a wonderful mom's life (one that has even more children than I do as well as more brains) check out her site.

Even though she is on a blog break I still have to honor the Engstrom Mama. I met her online through Carmon's blog a few years ago. Then I checked out her blog. THEN I recognized her youngest girl (so far) at a Desiring God conference almost two years ago. We met face to face. It was so fun. That summer her family took a chance and hosted our family for the Love and Respect conference their church did. Unfortunately, PapaPyro was detained on business so we didn't get to see him that trip. We did get to stay with some other wonderful people. We have since then gotten to visit them a few times. They are neat people with a down-home hospitality that says CHRISTIAN. MamaK inspires me quite a bit.

Okay, number four...I will have to do the next logical blog...
Looking Through the Lens. This young lady is a beautiful person inside and out. If you look at her pictures on her blog you can catch her artistic eye. She has some photos (okay, some of them are of MY kids) that made me cry from sheer beauty. Check it out, I think you will be impressed too.

Last, but definately not least...
I am going to award Frugal Granola. I have been acquianted this lovely lady for a while. It has been through the blog world that I have gotten to actually know her. She is very transparent and inspiring with her posts. Her love for the Lord, her family and simple living is beautifully displayed on her blog. Everything on it is tranquil from her music to the lovely layout. Take time out to add her blog to a ritual in your life, you won't regret it.

Rules:
1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award, be it through creativity, design, or interesting material, and that also contributes to the blogger community, no matter the language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) Award winners and the one who has given the award have to show the link of "Arte y pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Show these rules.

One down.................

I have much to do....

I have quite a bit to catch up on. I am not very quick when it comes to the computer techy stuff. It takes me a bit to post something with links and the like in it. I have been awarded a few different things that I am going to attempt to get on my blog today. If you haven't noticed I have also been trying to do the Simple Woman's Daybook every Wed.

I have still to e-mail a beautiful, young lady to see if I could use one of her copyrighted pictures on my blog. It is such an incredible picture and since I know the models it is even more so to me.

I think I fixed the mess up on my camera-computer link, but I have no batteries for my camera. It is one of those items that when someone says they are going to town and if I need anything, my mind blanks. I then remember after everyone is in bed for the evening. Oh well. The pictures are on the camera and my children will not grow up thinking their mom didn't care (well, at least about getting them captured on film:).

Onward....

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Pig Story


Thirteen years ago today I was planning my wedding which was still three weeks away. I was giddy and excited. THE ONLY THING I COULD THINK OR TALK ABOUT WAS THE WEDDING. I admit that I probably was a very boring conversationalist at the time. We were on a fixed budget that we were trying to stay within. We were blessed with so much help and lovely things (like all the flowers were donated by one of my mom's student's family).

I learned a great many things during this time. I hope that I learned my lessons well considering I HAVE FIVE DAUGHTERS to eventually marry off. One thing I learned was that often busy-body, no scratch that, well-intentioned friends and relatives have ideas about your wedding. Every body seems to have an idea of what they think your wedding needs to entail and they are personally affronted when you don't incorporate said idea/s. They also want you to pay for said idea/s. When you get his and hers friends and family it can get crazy exponentially very quickly.

Now enters the pig...

My mom was a teacher at a christian school so she had lots of contacts and resources. She also was trying to lighten the mood, bless her socks off! One night, as I was feeling overwhelmed by all the hoopla, my mom opened up the prom decorating catalog she had stolen, er, um, borrowed from school. We all proceeded to pour over the pages and laugh at all our ideas. You could have any theme you wanted! There was the Hawaiian one, the Country one...we some how got stuck on the huge paper mache' volcano. Then the full-size pig cut-outs and hay stacks for the barn theme. It was funny. My mom made an imitation invitation for our wedding (much harder in those pre-computer days). It has something to do with the full-moon we would be sacrificing a couple of pigs to the volcano...
It was so funny and broke up all the gloom of overblown expectations. We would joke about the pig or volcano kind of thing often when things got too serious.

I mean really...A marriage is serious. We make vows before God and man. On the other hand it is a party and we should have fun, right? It probably is a good idea to have all the pressure beforehand so maybe the bride and groom will know if they can make it through such family heated things. How do so many couples make it through this pressure then divorce later over trivial things? I don't know-rabbit trail...

Back to the story...

My mom then bought a pig. No, not a live one. One of those old-fashioned, toy kind that took batteries and would move and oink. She decorated it with green ribbon. Then when Mr. and Mrs. Brian Heath were announced at the reception there that thing was oinking all over the dance floor. Those in the know thought it was hysterical. We laughed.

A while later when we were announcing the expectant arrival of our first child to my mom...
I dressed the pig up like a baby and gave it to her. Thus beginning a thirteen year tradition of pass the pig. It has been passed between my mom and I for Christmases or announcements. You never knew when the pig would show up. The pig disappeared for a number of years only to resurface last year. My sister had it. She unearthed it and sent it up here to announce her move to the area from CA. The pig is now in my mom's possession. Who knows when and how it will pop up...

Every once and a while my mom and I come across some cute pig things. We try not to overdo it because, as with anything, pigs can become too much. People find out you "collect" something and then you wind up with all kinds of yard sale material (or another town's thrift store dependent on the giver of said item). Unless, of course, you collect money... Maybe I will try that tack some time.

There you have it. The legendary pig story.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trying to stay regular


FOR TODAY July 23, 2008...
Outside My Window...is overcast and cool. It is actually a nice change from all the really warm weather we have been having.
I am thinking...so many random thoughts I don't have room to write them down.
I am thankful for...how my life has turned out. I never thought I would have all these kids or be married let alone STILL married to the man I STILL WANT to be married to.
From the kitchen...come the lovely sounds of my oldest son washing dishes.
I am wearing...a navy blue sweat shirt, navy blue sweat pants, funny (but warm) socks and hair up in a clip.
I am creating...children to be motivated to do their chores. Ha-ha.
I am going...to have to get the electric cattle prod out.
I am reading...I need to find a new book to read, Ephesians, Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mali Siblings (with my children), Proverbs and Romans.
I am hoping...that I can wait to go to the bathroom until after I have this post done.
I am hearing...children playing and chattering when they SHOULD be doing their chores.
Around the house...morning stuff that needs to be done. It will get done eventually.
One of my favorite things...is having friends know that they can drop off their laundry at our house.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...have extra kiddos over Thurs. and Fri. Checking out a friend's garage sale, Sat. Prep. day and Sunday sabbath fellowship.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The Bible says the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are saved. The man in this picture had stepped out to see if it was the rescue helicopter coming for them. Reportedly he stepped back into the lighthouse moments before he would have been swept off by that huge wave. Contrary to popular saccarine christian teaching, life isn't a cake walk when you become a christian. We still are subject to the storms of life. We just have the strong tower to run into instead of being left awash in the sea with no anchor.

I forgot the link in my hurry for the bathroom!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mr. Incredible Does It Again!

There are tragedies and then there are TRAGEDIES! One such TRAGEDY hit our household yesterday afternoon (with a house full of people no less). Our washing machine bit the dust. That might be ho-hum to some folk, but to a mom of seven it is cataclysmic. When it is summer time, I have extra children over AND everyone is in the water it is horrible exponentially! The worst part is that it is mostly my fault that the washer is broken. I have overworked the poor thing with loads too big for it. I have also heard it spinning with a sickening "thud-thud-thud" sound (more often than I care to admit) and run in to rebalance or thin the load. When that happens I correct my mistake, but the damage has been done.

My friend's dryer is currently broken. She has been line drying a bunch and using my dryer a bit. She sent a load over to dry with some kiddos and the babysitter (to dry the load of laundry not the kiddos and the babysitter that is). So I had lots of wet kiddos and no towels. I had huge mounds of building up laundry. I had TODR and his best buddy getting in my smallish laundry room trying to figure out the problem. I had my friend's laundry to dry. I did what any self-respecting woman would do: I moved the laundry to my room, told the kiddos to dry out in the sun and put my friend's laundry in the dryer. Then I got out of the way of the menfolk.

We had a total of 7 adults and 11 eaters (that is children old enough to consume food on their own) as well as two babies in our house while this all was going on. You know what? We had fun anyway. The menfolk hauled the dryer out onto the back porch. They found the problem and what part needed to be ordered. We all ate some really awesome prime rib (I can say that because my brother-in-law made it and it was FINE. Bucca we have a wee little bit of leftovers, in case your are interested). The kiddos played dress-up and were hysterical. We played music, talked and ate some great strawberry shortcake. Everyone pitched in to help clean up.

Today TODR took Second Son to the appliance store and got the part. They "made" a friend of ours take 'em out for a burger (at least that is the report I got:). TODR got the washer to work for a grand total of $20.00 and a bit of sweat and blood. Right now there is a second load of wash being agitated in that faithful appliance.

I know TODR had some help, but I am still so impressed with him. I enjoy flowers and all the fee-fee stuff. I have to say that my washer being restored to me with a small amount of money and no recriminations from my hubby has got to be at the top of the list. Hmmm....I wonder what I can do to thank him.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WARNING:HEA(L)TH NUT TESTING

When TODR and I got married we had vastly different eating habits. I was a happy vegetarian whilst he thought the four food groups were Burger King, Wendy's, McDonald's and Carl's Junior. Now TODR is not really fussy about food. His dislikes don't even make up a whole hand full of fingers. That made it pretty easy.

Through out the years I have learned to cook with meat. Admittedly I do still have a steak disability. If TODR really wants steak he gets it while we eat out (which is few and far between). That is okay because I have yet to find a good recipe for broccoli cheddar soup so I usually have to wait for a trip out as well. During our first year together I had to learn how to cook for us as a couple. I worked at a bank when we first got married. I also was the happy owner of a small crockpot and a bread machine. A staple meal in our new little home was soup, bread machine bread (it had a timer) and a salad. Now I use a huge crockpot (I really want a bigger one:) and make hand make bread or muffins to go with the contents.

Each additional child makes the cooking needs for our family a new frontier. I have a hard time serving junk to my family. I also have a hard time paying the prices for much of the pre-packaged food. I have always made most of my own baby food. I order the brown rice organic baby cereal from our co-op. My children usually have choices for snack like pretzels, fruit or yogurt. It is also extremely hard for me to buy food at a restaurant that I know I can make better, tastier and cheaper at home. (That leaves me eating broccoli cheddar soup or Chinese when we go out. I don't seem to be able to get the hang of those.)

Last month I ordered 25 pounds of whole wheat pastry flour by mistake from our co-op. It turned out to be a great mistake. I had no idea how well this whole wheat would work. I went back and put it on our favorites so I can purposefully order it next time. So I am experimenting with our breads. I am also making new and different breakfast muffins. I used strawberries two mornings ago. Those turned out pretty fine. I used oranges this today. I have found that if I use applesauce no matter what "flavor" then the muffins turn out really moist every time (so much for Costco.:) I can't wait until our local blueberry farm is open for business!

I also got a Smoothie maker for Christmas. I am learning some basic smoothie recipes. My big experiment right now is a Green Tea Frappe'. I have my favorite lemongrass green tea steeping right now so I can freeze it into ice cubes. I intend to see if I can't make a yummy drink that is more healthy than Starbucks. My children are loving all the experimenting and are willing guinea pigs. They are anxiously awaiting the green tea.

Anyone have any smoothie or bread recipes to share? If you happen to have a really good broccoli-cheddar soup recipe let me know!