Monday, December 31, 2007

Have you heard The Call?

The Call is a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation. Today is The Call KC. You can catch live coverage of it on god tv or watch it online.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A few more links I like

Today I thought I'd share a few more links I like.

god tv
This is a great way to watch god tv if you aren't lucky enough to get the channel on your tv. This weekend I have been watching coverage of the Call Nashville and IHOP's Onething conference.

This is the movement responsible for the silent protests outside of government buildings and abortion clinics. Maybe you've seen the red duct tape with the word LIFE written on it. Get your lifebands here. (fair warning: this one was taking a while for me to load today.)

Test your vocab skills and donate something towards hunger too. This can be quite addictive. For example: hygroscopic means....?

efood depot
You can buy all those hard to find ethnic type foods here. I've never actually ordered, but I like to look.

Kids in Ministry
This is the website belonging to the lady behind the Jesus Camp film controversy.
A real weath of knowledge. I've used it for everything from recipes to how-to's.

Who needs an encyclopedia when you have wikipedia?

Last but not least.
One that I use frequently. I sometimes forget how to spell something or am unsure if I'm using a word correctly. It also saves shelf space. Who needs a dictionary when you have

Friday, December 28, 2007

Like a great pair of shoes

Seeing an old friend is like wearing a great pair of shoes or wrapping up in a cozy blanket. It's comforting to know some things never change. I had a nice lunch today with someone I hadn't seen in a very long time. (hi, btw...) Circumstances between us have changed, but that feeling of knowing someone was still there. I was going to blog about something similar last week, but really didn't have the time.

The idea came to me while at a Christmas party some of my parents' friends threw. As I was sitting in their house, I thought about how long we had known them. I was just a little girl when J. first came into our lives. I've known her through 3 marriages, a million moves, and countless dinners around the table. She has been a constant in both my parents' lives and mine. We always laugh long and loud when we get together, eat good food, and remember when. Everybody needs a J. in their life. I hope I have one of my own someday. I have friends. I'd like to think when the chips are down they would really be there for me, but always at the back of my mind I'm not so sure. I think I have trust issues, but that's a topic for another day. Anyway, seeing an old friend today made me remember I wanted to write about it.

Sometimes, I don't feel very friendly, loving or lovable. "Why would anyone love me?" is the thought I sometimes beat myself up with. I'm reminded of this scripture (paraphrased) "Herein is love, that while we were yet sinners, Christ came to be the atonement for our sins." Now that's a friend.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Am I the only one...

...that gets bored the days following Christmas? I think I've heard it called the big let down. Christmas was very nice, everyone loved their gifts, there were no major arguments-only 1 minor tiff when my husband woke up grumpily from his nap. ( I hate that.) Now it's the day after and it's all over and I'm bored. It's only 8:00, but if feels like midnight. The parties are over, people are back to work, and we're back to being alone. I really don't like it.

Calgon, take me away.

On a positive note, Christmas was quite nice. My family was together without the stress of the past few years, and we actually seemed to enjoy ourselves. No walking on eggshells, people were laughing, and smiling and even hugging when it was time to go home. How refreshing to return to the civility of years past. I even managed to stay on budget with the holiday shopping so no after Christmas guilt. We took lots and lots of pictures, none of which I've looked at yet. I managed to take a cute shot of the girls in front of the tree. Not only did daddy get one all framed and wrapped, but I also gave them to grandma, great grandma, uncle, and nearly uncle. I didn't bake a single cookie this year. Not even for Santa. We were at my brother's far later than expected -great grandma was late to dinner,a first in my memory. By the time we finally made it home, the kids were too tired to even care if Santa got his freshly baked cookies. Store bought to the rescue. I don't usually buy them, but hubby happened to have bought some for a gift that he didn't end up giving. They were pretty good, but nothing like homemade. Maybe I'll make some New Year cookies.

Okay, I'm rambling. I'll hop off and finish putting away the laundry.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Today will be a busy day. I want to go to Sam's to get a flower arrangement for my grandma, go to Wal-mart to print a copy of the girls' picture, and buy a bag or greens. Then I need to come home and wrap 3-4 presents, and clean like mad all before 3:45 when I need to leave to go to my brother's house for dinner. Oh! I also need to make a green bean casserole to take to his house. Then, when we get home tonight around 7:00 it's cookie baking for Santa, settle down with a Christmas movie or two, hang our stockings, put out the fresh cookies and milk or juice, and try to get the little darlings into bed and asleep at a decent time. When I'm finally sure they're out, I can load the stockings, and put out the presents.

Tomorrow, will be presents when we wake up, brunch, a short playtime, baths/showers, and then we're off to my mother's to enjoy the day.

I hope your holiday is blessed and full of family fun and laughter.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Me and my obsessive clicking...

or bad habit. I'm not sure which. I'm leaning toward habit though. I have this whole routine every time I hop on the comp. Let me preface it by saying I'm on the computer often. I've mentioned 9yo is a cyberschooler, and so it's a necessity. We're also by ourselves a lot, so it's become company for me. (sad, and pathetic I know.) Anyway, the routine goes: put in password (if I don't keep it locked, the little one would be on the comp all the time. She figured it out when she was quite young.) click email and read through my messages, and then click the school and start a lesson. 9yo is becoming more independent and so I've developed the habit of reading while she works. Sometimes books, or research of some kind, but lately blogs. With a half dozen or more on my favorites, it's become a habit to click them all. If you happen to notice on your site tracker I pop up frequently, you'll know why. Sometimes it's so mindless, I don't even realize what I'm doing. You know, like when your driving and you automatically turn on a certain street just because you travel it often. Certainly my dad and I aren't the only 2 people in the world that do that. I'm definitely thinking this falls into the habit category like biting your nails or twirling your hair. I probably need to be a little more disciplined. Just wanted to put it out there. I'm not a freaky cyberstalker-just an understimulated mom.

punched in the face

Got your attention didn't I?

I look as though I've been punched in the face. Yesterday morning I woke up with what I thought was a tiny cut on my top lip. I thought, "Man, are my lips chapped" and slathered on some chapstick. Pretty simple, right? Except my lip didn't feel better- it felt worse. After about 2 hours I finally looked in the mirror. ( I usually avoid them. My children don't care if my hair is perfectly coiffed.) Whadya know, it wasn't chapped. It was a cold sore. I immediately got out my tiny tube of medicine and applied. This usually stops them before they get too painful or large. Wrong. Today I woke up with a top lip double it's normal size. Erggg! I look like someone has abused me. Looks like I'm holing up in the house until the swelling is down. It's so embarrassing!!

Hubby won't be getting a portrait of we 3 girls. I never managed to get it taken the other night. Yesterday I hoped today I would look better. Today, I'm sure I don't. I guess I'll just give him one of the little girls.

At least it's only a cold sore. It could be much worse.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I thought I'd try something different. I've only ever seen it at one other blog, and I like the idea. Especially when you don't have anything specific to write about.

This Christmas season I'm thankful that...

there are only 5 more days until Christmas and then it's over until next year.

most of my shopping is done, except a trip to the grocery store and maybe to walmart to print up a photo of we 3 girls for hubby's gift-especially because there are only 5 days until Christmas. Do you know what the stores are like?

I live in a small place that takes less time to clean than the palatial homes I drool over. It gets messed up very quickly, but since there's less room I don't have to walk as far to put things away.

I'm a good cook and my family will eat well before we are invited over to a not so good cook's home for dinner.

we have the simple things in life. Running water, flush toilets, and electricity. These are truly things to be grateful for.

the lovely couple at church tucked a nice Christmas surprise in my card and I was able to go and buy some much needed undergarments. They really are such a blessing.

there is a store that carries the much needed undergarments in my size. It's so nice to walk in and find exactly what I need in a plethora of colors. One size really doesn't fit all.

I have the love and support of God fearing parents. Even in difficult times I know they love me and are praying for me.

Christ humbled himself and became a man. Lived a sinless life, died, was burried, and rose again to be seated at the right hand of the Father and gives me VICTORY and eternal life through His sacrifice. May I never forget all He has done for me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today I Cried

Make that cry. I'm still weepy.

As I was sitting in the sanctuary of my shower my thoughts drifted towards Christmas. This year everything is turned upside down. We are having Christmas dinner at my mother's house. Exactly what we've been trying to get my grandmother to agree to for the past few years. We always had Christmas at her house. We didn't just have dinner. We spent the whole day. She expected us as early as possible. Forget opening presents Christmas morning. uh-uh. She expected us so early that we started opening them Christmas Eve. No Santa Claus for me. We ate at 12:00 sharp. Lunch was spread out on the table, every one seated. This year no hurrying my children through presents. No mad dash to make it to Grandma's in time for a 1:00 lunch. Then it hit me. We aren't having Christmas at Grandma's. My uncle won't be waiting for us. Lunch won't have to be delayed. We aren't going.

We aren't going. My uncle won't be there. It had to sink in. He's gone. I tried to imagine not hearing his laugh as the kids tugged their toys out of his teasing arms. I tried to imagine not hearing him sing some goofy bluegrass or country song. I can't. He's alwasy been there.

My thoughts then turned to my Grandma. How much time do we still have with her? Suddenly rushing over to Grandma's seemed like a treasure, not a burden. Memories of my youth came flooding back as I felt the warm of the house, and heard all the familiar voices laughing. singing. Time is so cruel. If only I could be small again, my loved ones all surrounding me- small enough to fit in my grandma's lap as she sang me some song from her youth.

We aren't going this year. This year will be a new memory. My first Christmas at my mother's house. I'll treasure every moment. Drink in everyone there. We never know how much time we have left.

Socks and Underwear a Go

My husband informed me today that he didn't want a new cellphone. He's okay with using his 'old' one. This man is maddening at times. He undulates between extremely cheap and extremely extravagent. There seems to be no middle ground. So even if I had decided to break my budget and get him a new phone, he doesn't really want one. I told him today that he's just too hard to buy for. I told him the only thing I was sure he would use is underwear and socks-he never has enough, even when he has 30 pairs of each. He just flashed his usual smile and said, "Okay, that'd be good." I think he would really enjoy getting underwear and socks for Christmas. I have a large box in storage. Maybe I'll just fill it up with as much as my budget allows, and put it under the tree.

We were having our anual whataya want arguement-er, I mean, conversation. He always says he doesn't know what to buy me. He is truely oblivious to any attempt to clue him in to anything. He knows sizes and colors and all that jazz, but turn him loose with a wad of cash and he suddenly turns to Idiotman. He spends all his time looking at cellphones, tvs, and computers and then last minute decides he better buy me something. I guess he works better under pressure. The best gift he's given me in the past few years is cash. This year for my birthday he said, "Here. Go buy what you want." How romantic. <3<3<3 8D

Sunday, December 16, 2007

christmas shopping...

Check. Christmas cards...Check.

I finished my cards yesterday and my shopping for the kids this evening. The weather is gross. Cold, windy, snowy and blowing, but my mom phoned me up this afternoon and said I'd better go. The rest of this week is busy for her, so it was now or never. The stores were not busy, everybody was scared off by the weather I guess. The only problem was that the shelves were somewhat bare of some of the items I wanted.
4yo braved it like a soldier. At first she cried and wanted to go along but after I explained to her she was simply not permitted to go or to cry, she straightened right up. I wish I could spend double what I did but I'm sure when I get it all layed out to wrap I'll be surprised at what I was able to get. I usually have to do the shopping for my grandmother so that will be another opportunity.

I still need to pick up a few things for the adults in my life. I'm sure the kids will enjoy being dragged around to do that. Actually, they are usually pretty well behaved and enjoy giving a little input. I cannot think of a thing to buy for my husband. He has everything he wants or needs. If he wants it, he buys it. The only thing he would probably like is a new cellphone. He loves cellphones. I dunno. I don't think I wanna break my budget for one. He's still got a year to go on his contract.

Forgive me if the thoughts aren't very cohesive or well constructed. It was a 6 hour shopping marathon to get it all done. My brain feels fried.

Another Sunday at Home

Sleet and ice seem to be the theme for December. We are at home once again. This time I planned for it. I have a lovely roast with carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker right now. In a few hours we'll have a delicious late lunch. I haven't had pot roast in so long, my mouth is watering thinking about it. In the meantime, I'm watching IHOP's late service web feed.

"No one whose hope is in the Lord will ever be put to shame."

I'd really love to get subscription to the prayer room for Christmas or a few worship cd's I've had my eye on. I've hinted a little bit, but my parents hardly use their computer, and my husband is just clueless. I suppose they will have to be a gift I give myself.

Friday, December 14, 2007

christmas ramblings

We put our tree up yesterday which is something I put off doing because I don't really enjoy it. There is something about touching the branches that make me so itchy. I guess I wasn't really in the holiday mood either. I have yet to sign a card, bake a cookie, or buy a single present. Firstly, I haven't really had an opportunity to buy any. My children have been with me 24/7 without a glimpse of fatherly support for the past 2 weeks. I could have had my parents watch them, but that brings me to the other reason I haven't bought anything yet. Their bedroom has been a disaster zone.

I know I've mentioned before that I live in a small space. Let me just refresh your memory. We live 812 square feet-2bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathroom, small laundry space. We didn't plan on living here long. It was kind of a stopping off point-so we thought- until we moved on to greener pastures. Life kinda got in the way, I'll spare you the details, and we have been here 8 years this January. I never intended to be raising 2 children here. Having 2 means they share a small bedroom. A small bedroom means, you guessed it, a disaster zone. My 4yo is mostly to blame for this. She inherited her dad's messy gene. She could care less if things are neat and orderly. She doesn't even notice. It's normal for her to have to walk over top of things in order to get where she wants to be. 9yo is not nearly so bad. After living with me for so long, she caught on that things need to be neat in order to live peacefully. 4yo could careless if things are peaceful. I think she thrives on chaos. So 4yo messes it up, 9yo complains and begins to clean it up, but by the time things are clean enough to find a "lost" toy, 4yo has messed it up again. I feel like my almost 10yo is capable of being responsible for her own space. It's her room, I shouldn't have to clean it. More times than not though, I take pity on her and when it gets so bad I can't get in the door I clean it.

I've shared all of that to explain why I haven't shopped yet. The bedroom was a disaster zone. 4yo strikes again! I explained calmly to her that if the toys she had couldn't be kept neat, there would be no Christmas toys. If they don't care for what they have, they don't need more. More is a disease.

My husband and I decided when our first was a newborn, that we would keep life simple. Toys come at Christmas and birthdays only. Sometimes as a treat they will get something very small throughout the year.( usually $5 or less.) This is done out of love, not out of cruelty. I have an older brother who was spoiled rotten! My parents were the ministers of a small country church and he was the only baby. He was the only grandchild my grandparents had access too, and my mother had such a hard time conceiving they thought they would never have another. He was spoiled! Then 6 years later I came along and my parents moved us across country. They ended up in a very poor congregation in the middle of Galveston TX. The parsonage was so run down you could see the ground through the holes in the floor. It was tough and finances were tight which seemed to carry over for many years after they moved back home. I didn't get many toys as a kid. Only at Christmas and birthdays did we receive our simple gifts. And now as adults my brother and I couldn't be any more different. He's a taker, I tend towards giving. He's self centered, I tend towards self giving. ( I don't wanna bash him, so I'll stop there.) My husband grew up VERY poor. (he's an immigrant.) We're talking, no shoes, belly growling, no education, get your first job at 7 poor. We both agreed that being given too much, makes for a sense of self entitlement. I hate to be in the store and hear children demand something of their parents or to hear a parent beg a child over and over to make a choice between 2 toys they neither need or want as evidenced in the countenance of the child. I don't want that for my kids. I'm hoping that by only receiving at special times in their lives they will learn to value their possessions and learn what it feels like to earn and save before spending. So far things look good. My oldest said to me around Thanksgiving time this year, "I'm glad we only get toys twice a year. It makes Christmas so much more fun. I can't wait to see what you get me!"

The moral of my story? The bedroom is now clean. When toys start to creep out of their proper place all I have to do is say, "Christmas is coming." Nuff said.

Did I mention how 4yo loves the tree? She can be found gazing up at the branches, or rearranging the ornaments at anytime right up until Christmas. Our tree gets decorated over and over again by this tree loving little girl.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Drinking at the Well

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restoreth my soul."

Indeed he does. I just had a very pleasant experience.

Over the past several months I have been listening to a christian internet radio station called The Well. I stumbled upon it a few months ago when my subscription to IHOP needed to be renewed and I neglected to do it. The Well is a pretty good source for a different kind of praise and worship music. Some refer to it as prophetic. I like to think of it as incense on the alter. It's usually more spontaneous in nature and less commercial (think opposite of Michael W. Smith). Whatever you want to call it, it has been a blessing to me. Sometimes, I really dislike what they play. It almost hurts my ears, but that's more about style than content. I can't stand whiny thin voices infused with a rock type sound. It actually hurts my ears and grates my nerves, but I digress.

Today when i tuned in, much to my surprise, they were playing some nice soaking music. I used to make it a habit to tune in every Wednesday at this time for this particular broadcast. As I sat down, thinking I would just play some nice background music and look ahead to the day's school lessons, I was enveloped in the presence of the Almighty. How refreshing. It has been far too long since I rested in His presence. It used to be a lifestyle for me yet lately it has become more of a memory. How soothing to feel His warmth and love wash over me as I sat here and allowed Him to minister to me.

I've been drinking at the Well- a Well of Living Water.

Monday, December 10, 2007

hip flexor, ouch!

Now I understand why football players have to sit out a game for a hip flexor injury. I managed to injure mine,OUCH!

I'm not one for doctors. I don't like to be poked or proded and I especially don't like paying for them. When the pain in my hip became so unbearable that it hurt to walk across the room, or lift my leg into the car, I knew it was time to see somebody about it. I chose my chiropractor. Why go to an m.d. that would just prescribe meds and maybe a few strengthening excercises when I can go and get a total alignment? ahhh...sweet relief for my aching neck, and my now throbbing hip. My hip needed realigned too. When he gave it a tug,...thinking about it hurts. At least now I'm all straight and am sure of what's up with my hip. He said to expect at least a 2 week recovery time. Until it's better I'm left hobbling around. A time like now is when I really mind living alone.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

24 down...

Only 26 to go. I've probably been to more states if you count drive throughs when I was a kid. I didn't count those because I don't really remember much about it. I've also been to Canada and Mexico.

You can create your own map by visiting world66.

"It was like a ministry for me."

Today my 9yo's girl scout troop went Christmas caroling at a local nursing home. Some of the girls were out of pitch, one got tired and sat down in the middle of a song, the few that played their instruments should have tuned them first, many talked in between songs, but oh, was it precious! I felt so proud of our girls for their willingness to spend a Sunday afternoon with a roomful of elderly people they didn't know. I was proud, that despite the troop leader's lack of musical genius, they were able to make a joyful noise in order to brighten the day. I even was proud of the girls who played their out of tune instruments. When the singing was over, they broke up into groups. One group went to be helpers for craft time, and the other two read Christmas stories. How precious to see the girls helping glue and cut, or read 'Twas the Night and hold up the pictures for all to see.

On the ride home, 9yo said to me, "Mommy, it was like a ministry for me." Oh, how I love this dear child.

My heart is full and smiling.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Uploading photos

I have really got to dig out my my stuff in order to upload some pictures. I have put it off and put it off. My memory card is finally full, so It's probably high time I take care of it. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some recycled pics. You may be seeing a lot of them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Musings from the bottom of the freezer

I was so excited and blessed to find a deep freeze for only $40. I couldn't believe I actually found one for this price. Sure, it was larger than the one I had planned to buy new, but for the price, how could I pass it by?

That was before I tried to fill thing. Even cleaning it was a challenge. Before I plugged it in, I was careful to wipe it clean, inside and out. I didn't want to live with dirt from someone else near my food. The outside was fairly straight forward. Just spray and wipe. Next came the lid, a bit more grimy around the seal, but still easy. Then I looked at the cavernous insides. How was I going to reach the whole way to the bottom? I started at the sides. I reached and stretched and was still only able to reach my arm half way down. But what about the bottom?! I thought a while. I tried a stool, but still couldn't get the whole way down. The only other thing I could think of was to crawl inside. What a sight! Vinegar spray in one hand, paper towels in the other and my head and shoulders poking out the top of a deep freeze. The only real problem was that I was wearing slippers with a rubber bottom that left foot prints. I wiped away, and being satisfied, climbed back out of my freezer.

Now the real challenge is filling it. I work from a limited grocery budget. Generous enough that it allows me to buy whole and organic foods if they are on sale, but not so generous that I can run out and buy enough to make my deep freeze look even moderately filled. I'm not looking for full to the brim, just full enough that I can't see the bottom. I despair that it will take me many many months of careful on sale shopping to do it, but by golly the gauntlet is thrown. I will prevail!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggidy jog

Yesterday I made the trip to hubby's to bring him home. (Our other car needs inspected so I had to make the trip. Hopefully the garage will have the car done today.) It rained and poured on the trip out. It was late when we got there so we camped out on the floor and came home this morning. We ran some errands and then finally made it home. Today makes one feel winter weather has arrived. It is windy and cold and snowflakes are flying. I'm quite glad to be back home where it's somewhat warm inside. The wind and the cold make it feel quite cold inside too.

Hubby just went out on what should have been a half hour errand. The roads iced up while he was out so instead of a half hour it turned into 2 hours!There had been a large head on collision that didn't help either. Now I should remind you that living where we do, we're no strangers to winter weather. He said traffic was only moving at about 10 miles an hour. It wasn't until he was almost home that the state trucks finally made it out to clear up the mess. Let's just say he wasn't in the brightest mood when he got home.

I think we're staying in for the rest of the night. Tomorrow he will make the journey back to work and we will once again be by (or with) ourselves. Usually 1 day with this work obsessed man is enough. He has no idea how to relax. He's used to a frenetic pace and has trouble slowing it down to enjoy a quiet day with the family. I wish he would learn. Everyone should take the time out to stop and smell the flowers-even if they are snow and ice covered. 8)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

No church today

We had sleet and freezing rain in the night. The roads looked okay here this morning, but the church is way out in the country and one of the members that live close by called to say the roads were slick and sleet covered. 8( Better safe than sorry. I was looking forward to it.

I think I'll watch IHOP later this morning. They have 2 services now, though, so maybe I can catch it a little earlier. I also plan to do a quick tidy up (this is always needed in our oh so small space.) and then make the drive down to see my mom and dad. It's supposed to warm up this afternoon and we both live on well traveled roads, I'm sure it'll be safe.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

weekend woes

I hate the weekend. I know that may sound crazy but I really do. Weekends are lonely for me. The school week is over, most people have time off to spend with their families. We usually spend it alone. The bright part of the weekend is Sunday when we can go to church and know that the weekend is almost over. Even though it's really just a few hours long, the weekend seems to stretch out forever. Call me crazy, but I'm always glad when it's Monday again.

I feel this way all winter long. At least when it's warm again I can go dig in the dirt or go for a nice cool dip in our teeny tiny pool.

A Silent Prayer

Thoughts swirling
Mind racing
Heart pounding
Guilt deepens
Insecurity drowns

Emotions rising
Memories faded
come into focus
Truth or fiction
Fantasy or reality

Prayers rising
Heart crying
Forgive me
Help me
Show me, please

Fix it
Forget it
Walk away or
Race toward it
Heart still racing
Tears forming
Running down cheeks
as memories linger

Truth or fiction
Fantasy or reality
Forgive me
Help me
Save me, please
I need you
Show me.