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Monday, December 21, 2009

Experts?

!!!WARNING!!! This is a soap box post. Proceed at your own risk! I don't know why I do this to myself, but I do. I think it's like a train wreck. Try as I might, I can't avert my eyes. Once again I found myself glued to a show on National Geographic about Jesus' birth. In normal fashion, the show consults experts who confirm or refute the words of the gospel. Mostly they just refute it. WHY do they have to try to prove it? Why do they feel the need to go back into secular documents and try to find proof? Isn't the Bible a historical document? Isn't it proof enough that the things documented in it ACTUALLY happened? One point in specific, the show mentioned that Mary and Joseph probably were not traveling for the purpose of a census, since secular historical documents do not support a census being taken at that time. Hello?......And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Luke 2:1-3 If that's not proof that there was a census taking place, I don't know what the "experts" are looking for to prove it. The show also noted that Jesus probably wasn't even born in Bethlehem. For the sake of my sanity (and yours) I'm not even going to go there. Aren't you glad? ---------- Addendum: After doing some heavy reading on the Freedom from Religion Foundation website (which I do NOT recommend), I wanted to end my very late evening by reading my devotional for the next day. Following is the final paragraph from my devotion. I think it's quite fitting to this post: Professing Christians who must include evolutionary processes in the "days" of creation need to make "good" something other than what the inspired Word calls for. Again, the question is "why?" Perhaps it is because man's science appears to mean more to them than God's Word.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dr. Mom

You only have to read a couple of my posts to know that, while not officially diagnosed, I'm a little bit ADD and a lot OCD. Wait, maybe the OCD diagnosis is official. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is. Anyhow, I digress....(see what I mean?). Due to this personality disorder (and I'm not saying it's a bad thing), I like to write newspaper style posts. So, without further ado, for your own edification, I present the following, which is actually NOT a newspaper style post - go figure:
I am tired of doctors dismissing me. I always heard that doctors like a well informed patient, so I try very hard to explain all my symptoms in complete detail. Sometimes I go as far as to tell the doctor what I THINK is wrong with me, and I've learned they're not really fond of that. Apparently THEY like to be the experts. Without boring you with the details, let me just say that over the past couple of years I've had some minor health issues where I have known (or highly suspected) what was wrong, and it took the doctor(s) months to figure it out. Sheesh people, if I got paid to diagnose myself I could at least make a few bucks.
Just this week I was certain the antibiotic I was taking was making me feel worse than what it was supposed to treat. I called the on-call oral surgeon who dismissed me, and told me to keep taking them (2 more doses) until the following morning and then call my regular O.S. In the morning, I called my regular O.S. who said, "it was only preventive. You've got enough in your system, so stop taking them. I don't want to torture you anymore so I'm not going to put you on anything else." Score! 2 points for the stay-at-home-mom who actually knows her own body better than aforementioned expert :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rachel's News!

Another newspaper-style post:
Today is the memorial service for the four police officers who were gunned down in a coffee shop in Tacoma last week. So sad! It was incredible to see the line of officers on both sides of the street; it seemed to go on for miles. And I do NOT mean any disrespect by asking this, but it made me wonder, "who's patrolling the streets? Are those officers still on call? If they do get a call do they leave the funeral and report to the scene? But they're in their dress uniforms?" Sorry, this is just how my mind works.
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I tried a new fudge recipe yesterday. It was very good, but it didn't set up firm enough so it was difficult to remove from the dish, even though it'd been coated with butter. I think I'll go back to my old recipe. It's a little more work, but ultimately a better product. I really want to take some to our neighbor to say thank you. He came to let us know our roll-up garage door was wide open. Gotta love a neighbor who watches over your place....even when you're home :)
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Can I just say for the record that I have always thought global warming was a bunch of hooha? Now it seems the rest of the scientific community agrees. I didn't have any legitimate basis for my theory, I just had cold, hard facts (did you see what I did there? "cold"), what with living in the tundra and all.
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Speaking of cold; it was so cold here yesterday (a northern wind made it I-C-Y) that the girls and I had to have coffee before we could shop. Here they are in Wal-Mart with their Starbucks cups. Oh great, now I want coffee!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Short 'n Sweet

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and once again I've posted Christmas music, added some gorgeous Christmas trees and changed the verse on my blog! ENJOY!!!!
I have MUCH to do yet this Christmas season. I read on Facebook that many friends already have their trees up and homes decorated. I'm not that far yet. I have however, finished about 1/2 my Christmas shopping. Well, it's something :) Let the season of merriment begin!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Long and Short of it!

Have any of you bloggers ever started a post, edited, re-written, and edited some more, only to delete the whole post and quit?! Yeah, I just did that. I had this long soap-box style speech about how the government and businesses bow to the wishes of the minority. I went on to rant my opinions over stores refusing to use the phrase Merry Christmas, or print it in any of their ads. Then the whole thing got so discombobulated that I just ended up deleting it for fear that no one would want to read an 80 page soliloquy about what I think! So, in an effort to spare you, here's what I originally said: Proudly proclaim "Merry Christmas!" to everyone this year, and don't worry about offending someone. Sheesh! Some of us have to make everything harder than it needs to be :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

O Happy Day!!!!

Cory came home and told me that Avista made him permanent!!!! We are soooo excited. The Lord is good. We've been praying about Cory's career for a good 3 years now, and he's applied (and been rejected) by Avista several times. Finally, in God's timing he applied, got the 6 month temporary position and now has a full time regular position. It was quite the leap of faith, giving up a good job with his old company, to take on a position that may or may not go permanent, but it paid off and God has blessed our family. What a mighty God we serve!
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poem for Clare

"Background" I changed my background and it's not so pretty; But you couldn't read the other one; what a pity! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Candy Corn 101

It's that time of year again. You know what I love? Candy corn! You know what I don't love? Flavored candy corn. It's wrong. The whole purpose of candy corn is just to enjoy sugary, corn-syrup, flavored fondant, in the original shape and flavor. While I can appreciate a little color variation, I cannot tolerate a deviation on taste. So, for educational purposes please refer to the follow exhibits:
1) The only acceptable brand of candy corn is Brach's. Anything else is inferior - it's just a fact.

2) Although Brach's has commissioned such products as Caramel candy corn and Caramel Apple Candy Corn, don't be fooled by the brand name. These products are not the original candy corn, and therefore should you choose to consume them, you do so at your own peril.

3) Brach's has however, made pastel candy corn. These taste like the originals, but they're pretty pastels, appropriate for Easter or spring time consumption.

There you have it. Please leave all compliments, questions or comments in the "comments" section of the blog. Complaints or otherwise can be written on this line _____.

Class dismissed!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thief Grief

I am irate; fit to be tied, mad as a hornet......should I go on? Somebody stole the pumpkins out of the planter on my front porch. The pumpkins (an arrangement of 5 medium orange and 4 small white) had been sitting out there for about a week, and they looked so cute. We had grown them in our yard and wanted to display them, even though a couple of them were kind of soft (ick!). I hesitated to put them on the porch because, as I told Cory, some kids will probably steal them; but they're just pumpkins, so does it really matter? Apparently it mattered because I continually checked on them each morning and evening to make sure they were still there, since I just knew somebody would take them. Well, just as I predicted, I got up this morning and Autumn alerted me to the fact that someone took them. You know this is not about pumpkins. It's about the fact that someone came onto our property during the night, despite the porch light being on, and had the audacity to steal my pumpkins. And they didn't even take all of them. They were selective thieves, only taking the orange ones, even the icky orange one, which I secretly hope splatted all over them. So even though it's just pumpkins, we might install a security camera, and we might get a dog (a big dog) and we might build a 6 foot wall around our property, dig a moat and fill it with hungry alligators. Or we might do nothing, except vent, get it off our chests, and blog about it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

TGIF!!!

What a most precious Friday. My little Autumn prayed to accept Christ today. We were in the car heading for the store when she brought it up (we've had numerous conversations about it) and I said, "do you want to wait until we get to the store parking lot to pray?" and she said, "No, I want to do it now, while we're driving." So of course we did, but needless to say, I could not wait to pull into the parking lot so I could hug her and tell her how proud I was that she had made the most important decision of her entire life....at the tender age of 6. God is good! ALL THE TIME!!!!
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14
"Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Potpourri

No, not the smelly, fragrant kind, the variety-kind. It's been a totally tumultuous Tuesday (yeah, I'm still in rhyme mode). It started off with what seemed a normal dental cleaning. Everything was going well until I mentioned that I had a tooth bothering me. After a few x-rays and some discussion with the dentist, he recommended I see the endodontist. Off I go to make an appointment only to find out they have an opening today. What luck! I meet with the endodontist and 15 minutes, and $96.00 later he informs me I have something called 'tooth resorption' and my tooth has to be pulled. Seriously? I thought that was only for hillbillys and inbreds who don't take care of their teeth. Turns out, it's what happens when your cells turn on your tooth and/or bone and start eating it. No wonder my mouth has been sore, my tooth is amok with infection. Fortunately, it's the very last tooth on the top and it won't be noticeable, so at least for now, I won't have to pay for an implant when I see the oral surgeon. And that's on my agenda for Wednesday....make appointment with the oral surgeon! ------------------------------ In other news, I just read today that Obama wants to expand the current public school day to 9 hours, and shorten summer breaks. Apparently the US is lagging behind Europe and we need to be more like them. I thought that's why we left England in the first place, we didn't want to be like them. ------------------------------ Congress is also considering a bill that would give babies born in America a $500 savings account to be accessed when they're 18. Hey what's a few more bucks on top of our $1.4 trillion debt? ------------------------------ And my personal favorite....environmentalists want toilet paper to be recycled AND reduced to single ply. My guess is that it won't save much when people are using 3x as much to make up for the loss. Those are just the tip of the ice berg, but in an effort to avoid my political soap box, I'll stop there. You know you're glad I did :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weather Report

So, here's a poem I did write. Though not particularly funny or well executed, it DOES get the point across.
Chilly
Walking out the door
the wind a bitter splinter
the calendar says it's fall
but the weather
says it's winter!
It's been downright cold here. We completely bypassed fall and jumped right from summer to winter. It was 20 degrees when we left for church this morning. Brrrrr! I'd write more, but my fingers are frozen. Happy "fall" everybody!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Poem!

Just a little harvest poetry to inspire you (no I didn't write it, and I can't figure out who did).
Bobbing for Apples
Watch us bobbing for an apple, For an apple apple apple, But no apple apple apple, Not an apple can I get. Oh I cannot catch an apple, Not one apple apple apple Though my sister got an apple, All I got was soaking wet!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Candy Corn!

This past weekend my husband was kind enough to attend a craft bazaar with me. While there, we saw the cutest little wooden candy corn decorations, and if you know me at all you know I love candy corn. It kind of borders on an obsession. I picked one up, determined to own it, but after Cory saw the price tag he said, "I can make those." To which I replied, "Yes, but you don't have the time." He pointed to the price tag and replied, "I'll make the time." And he did.
That evening we went shopping for a few paint brushes and some candy corn colored paints. Cory then cut out not just one, but three sizes of candy corns. The following day he made several more, and we proceeded to paint them and distress them with a bit of sand paper. The picture below is our project about half finished. It went really fast!
And here's the end result! It's hard to see, but if you click on the picture it will enlarge it to show detail and you will notice some of the edges are a bit sanded off, giving them a shabby chic appeal, the perfect accompaniment for all my Autumn decor!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reeeaaaalllly Noowww!

It's not very often that I watch our local news, for several reasons: 1) It's boring. 2) It spends a ridiculous amount of time on sports coverage and 3) I'm usually watching FOX news instead. But today I turned on the TV, which was currently on a local station, and the news came on. As it turns out, there was a breaking story about an inmate/patient at a local state hospital, for people with mental issues and/or the criminally insane, who had escaped from a field trip. Yes my friends, you read that right. Apparently inmates get field trips. Who knew? So I continue to watch. This guy, who was committed for MURDER was on a field trip to our county fair, when he decided to ditch his group and take off. As of writing this blog, he's still at large. So let me get this straight. Some judge determined that the guy's not fit to be with the general public, and he's been institutionalized because he committed a murder. And yet, the powers that be at the state hospital, in their infinite wisdom, disagreed and deemed him fit to be at the county fair where he can mix and mingle with small children, farm animals and possibly ME? I don't know about you but I've always been under the impression that once a person was locked up, field trips were no longer an option?! Color me all kinds of surprised. I can honestly say, I did NOT see this one coming! If this is my tax dollars hard at work, I demand a refund!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First day of Home School Co-op!

The photo album below is the girls on the first day of home school co-op. They were super excited to see their old friends and sign up for classes. Cayla couldn't wait to show off her new glasses. The weather was nice, but still required a light jacket that morning. It will be the first of many as our sunny, warm days give way to icicles and snow.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blog Quickie!

Just a quick thought here. Do any of you other bloggers ever "write" blogs in your head? I think I'm constantly blogging in my mind, but often my thoughts don't transform themselves into the written word. Usually I can think up a considerably better blog than I actually write. It seems by the time I get to the computer, the amazing choices of words have suddenly vanished and I'm reduced to writing Kindergarten sentences. Artists carry a sketchpad with them everywhere so they can draw when inspiration strikes. Perhaps I should carry a notepad! Happy Monday everybody!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Rant II

If you clicked on "My Rant" from your website and you were directed to a site that said, "the page you are looking for does not exist" there's a reason for that.  I wrote a rant that I had to recant.  End of story :)

Cleaning Up My Act!

Normally I'd consider myself a pretty savvy shopper. Meaning, I shop frequently and I'm always on the look out for stellar deals. Apparently though, I'm also a mundane shopper. No matter how many commercials I see on TV advertising new and improved products, those items never actually make it onto my shopping list and into my grocery cart. Instead, I stick to my tried and true products that I've been using forever, and this in turn, induces product envy. My latest product envy is stain removers. According to my niece over at Clare's Contemplations I am missing out on some serious stain removers. In my laundry room there are currently about 700 brands and varieties of stain removers, and they're all pretty much not even worth the plastic they're poured in. It's aggravating. Apparently, despite seeing the ads a thousand times, there are a couple of products that I've missed in my shopping ventures. Shout Advanced and Spray-n-Wash Dual Action...or something like that. According to Clare these products actually work. I'm serious. She claims they can remove crayons and grease and dirt and all kinds of other semi-permanent stains. I must try them. I must break out of my mold, expand my shopping horizons, and strive to be more like my niece (and sister), who somehow knows about every new product before it's even available to the general public. If you have any amazing products you want to share, I'm all ears (or would that be eyes?). Otherwise, I'm off to fight crime stains.

Monday, September 7, 2009

School Days!

Just a quick update.  After a whirlwind weekend of planning for upcoming church activities and socializing with friends and family in honor of Labor Day, we're understandably exhausted.  Tuesday is however, a new day, and not just any new day.  It's the first day of school for us.  I've already gotten my curriculum organized and I cannot wait to get started.  Christian Liberty's curriculum (recommended by my sister, who KNOWS home schooling :) looks amazing and I know it's going to both challenge and encourage the girls as they begin their school work.  Here we go.....
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1:7

Friday, September 4, 2009

Audi-envy!

So, if you've been keeping up with me on Facebook at all, you know the switch that controls the brake lights on the Jetta stopped working. After two trips to Napa and one trip to Auto Zone....3 switches later, it STILL did not work. Finally, out of desperation we called the VW dealership. We never call the dealership first because they're expensive. But this time, we were out of options. With no brake lights, not only were we a total hazard on the road, we were at risk of being ticketed. So Cory called Appleway VW/Audi and found out the Jetta's brake switch was under factory recall and if we brought it to them, they'd fit us in and fix it for free. Not only did they do just as they said, they vacuumed and washed the Jetta. It was glorious!
On a side note, while there, we saw the most exquisite Audi of all times. We knew it was something special as we drove by it. To the average eye it just looked like a boring old sedan, but to car connoisseurs like us, we knew it was something amazing (the brakes were oversized and the wheels cost more than my entire car) We were right. Turns out it was an Audi S8 with a Lamborghini V10 engine and sticker price of.........eeeek.....$114,000+. Needless to say, we didn't buy it.....or touch it, and we basically stopped looking at it after that, for fear of scratching it, but it was beautiful to behold!
Here's a picture of one I found online, but the photo does not do justice to the car we saw. Yeah, I want a new Audi, but not if it's going to be nearly the price of my house :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another Autumn-ism

Tonight, while ironing church clothes for Sunday, Autumn observed that I'd already taken off my wedding ring for the night (I don't sleep with it on because I tend to dream I'm losing it and I take it off and it gets "lost" in the sheets).  She asked, "Mom, if you don't have on your ring, does that mean you're not married?"  To which I answered, "No, it doesn't mean that at all."  And Autumn replied, "Well, if you go to a store and don't have your ring on people will WANT to marry you." This made me laugh out loud.  It's funny the way a child's mind works and her mind definitely works overtime.  I guess the apple never falls far from the tree.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Am I the Only One?

1) Who occasionally prefers the 'before' picture to the 'after' picture in magazines?  I think the designers just get bored, so they take something that looks nice and gaudy it all up just so they can take a before and after picture!
2) Who watches reruns, or movies, over and over and over, no matter how many times I've seen them?
3)  Who continually hits the 5-minute "fluff" button on the dryer, intending to fold the laundry, but getting sidetracked, therefore needing to re-fluff every half an hour or so?
4)  Who believes cold cereal makes a perfectly acceptable dinner?  Tonight was "whatever you want" night and everybody made their own dinner.  I picked cereal!  Yum!
Yes, this is what it's like to be me.  My mind never shuts off and is constantly running through little oddities such as this.  Just wanted to share a few tidbits about the happenings in my week so far!  I encourage you to give me an ego boost by divulging one of your own pieces of 'strange behavior.'  'Cause you know, misery loves company and I don't want to be the only one!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Guppies!

Today was the first day of swimming lessons '09. The girls had a great time at the new facility. Up to this point, they've had the teacher right near them, but today, their first day back since last summer, the teacher stood in the middle of the training pool and the students had to swim to them. Really swim; no dog paddle, no treading water. They swung their arms and kicked their legs until they reached the instructor. Autumn was a bit tentative, but Cayla was a total fish! It was amazing! We cannot wait for tomorrow's lesson. In true fashion, Autumn was being goofy and Cayla was all smiles. The pics prove it :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tow Away & a Birthday!

Upon returning from our first day of VBS on July 6th, we noticed this car parked outside my house. We deduced that it had been involved in an accident, and then pushed onto our side street until the owner could take appropriate action. Apparently the owner had no intentions of taking ANY actions. So after making numerous phone calls to the 'Abandoned Vehicle' hotline, and encouraging others to do the same, the car has been towed. Hallelujah! Just another shot of the glorious tow truck taking it away!
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In other, far more exciting news, on Sunday we finally got to officially celebrate Autumn's birthday. She really wanted a pinata AND a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. She got both, and had a wonderful time. Happy Birthday Autumn!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Short Status Report!

Just finished folding laundry, now I'm spending a few minutes relaxing before going to bed.  Tomorrow it's church, packing for a week at Centrifuge (youth camp), then tying up a few loose ends before going to dinner with my in-laws and brother/sister in law.  Whew!  Monday morning I leave for a 7-hour adventure with a car full of teenagers.  A week of Centrifuge should be fun (please Lord don't let there be bugs....I did get some great bug spray though), and my sister and I will have a great time taking walks, visiting with the youth and organizing shower schedules for 15 people :)  Let the fun begin!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Helloooooooo

CLARE......WHERE ARE YOU???

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dream Summer!

Ahhh Summer! I have decided that summer might just possibly be my favorite season. Nah, I still love autumn best, but I am just so enjoying this summer. It's probably because we had an unseasonably cold and long winter, but that seems to be the case here every year. I honestly love every season in it's own right. Spring is wonderful because trees bud, flowers bloom, everything begins turning green and I can anticipate the coming of summer just as soon as Easter is celebrated. Winter is a great season (though much too long here) because it brings with it all the best holidays....Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, my birthday and of course Valentine's Day. I thoroughly enjoy watching the stores change decor and candy to match all the holidays. Fall, or autumn as I prefer for obvious reasons, has long been a favorite. Not only does it end the dizzying heat of summer, it opens the doorway to my favorite holidays, and presents changing leaves, crisp air and an abundance of school supplies. Although I home school, I still stock up on pencils, crayons, paper and scissors every year. It's truly a wonderful thing. But this year, more than other years, I am loving summer. After the lengthy winter, it's glorious to throw on flip flops, shorts and a tee and hit the great outdoors. I love not fidgeting with snow boots, heavy coats, gloves, hats, scarves and dreary weather. I love how the sun has long been up by the time I open my eyes each morning, and how it lights the evening late into the day so I can pull weeds, or splash in the sprinklers with my family. This has been an incredible summer and it's going by quickly. I think my dream summer would include VBS, a visit with family, and a plethora of barbecues and get togethers with friends with no deadlines, or plans to be anywhere. The sound of crickets, the smell of the grill and an endless supply of sodas on ice......yeah, that's definitely my dream summer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

VBS!

Here's my little Autumn on the first day of "Boomerang Express". VBS 2009 was fantastic. We were insanely busy and my home was overflowing with family, but we had a great time and made some lasting memories. Definitely one of my favorite things about summer!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Mid Year Product Review!

OK, so I love to share my latest finds and favorite items with my friends and family. Some of you have known about these forever and some are new. Some of them I have known about forever, but didn't develop a passion for until recently. Behold: They're quick and easy, they've been around for years and they taste like a little bite of lemony heaven. Krusteaz really does make the simplest and most delicious desserts. So good, and so summery!
Not only are these little cubes of gum mild and sweet, they come in a container that fits perfectly in the cup-holders of my car. Every flavor from wintergreen to strawberry is available. As an extreme allergy sufferer I'm always on the look out for products to combat histamines. Bausch & Lomb Opcon-A is now one of my favorite products. Even when I take Allegra or Claritin, I still have to deal with occasional, severe flare-ups of itchy eyes. Not anymore. I tote this little bottle of drops in my purse and eye allergies are gone. Thanks Nina for the tip. This Old House magazine is my newest reading craze. Finally! A magazine that understands we don't all have half a million dollars lying around with which to upgrade our homes! It has real tips, for people on a real budget, on how to improve or enhance the look of your home, deck and garden.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Discover this.....

I am totally annoyed with "customer service". What an ironic name, when in reality, it's no service at all. Cory and I recently signed up for a certain credit card, because they provide a 'cash back' option we wanted. So we get our cards (Cory's the primary) and all is well. As with all new cards, this company has been making 'courtesy calls' to Cory, to see how much he's loving the card, and make sure things are going swimmingly. What I don't get is "why can't I answer those questions?" I'll tell you why. Because I'm not the primary on the card, so they need Cory to answer those questions. Seriously, how DUMB is that? They're one of a million companies who do stupid things like this and here's my big complaint. If Cory were to tragically fall off the face of the earth, my money would still be green enough for them to accept a payment, so why isn't my voice good enough for them to field questions? Businesses have gotten out of control with all this 'making sure' you're not trying to be vicious to your spouse during a separation or divorce, so they put all these stringent rules and regulations out there to protect themselves and their clients. Sounds good right? But here's the kicker, when we signed up for the cards I told the person, "I'll give you all the information you need and my husband here can verify it for you." "Oh no ma'am. We must speak to your husband to receive the information." FINE. But how did they know I put my husband on the phone? For all they know I could have had Barack Obama himself reading a script (we know he's good with the teleprompter). In a nutshell, we're married. We file taxes as a married couple, we live as a married couple, share the same address, bank accounts, children and so on and so forth. Why does it take an act of congress to allow me to be a decision holder on our accounts? Oh, and one more thing......WHY do they call in the middle of the day? I want to tell them, "You're calling to speak to my husband, and ONLY my husband, and it's 11:00 in the morning? He's at WORK moron." But in an effort to exemplify Christ, I refrain from calling names. At least today. Tomorrow, when they call back again, and they will call back, I might not be so nice :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shortest Post Ever!

I should change my background to something resembling the 4th of July, but I think the cherries are so cute I hate to make changes.  Decisions decisions!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Questions and Answers

Once again, I have so much going on that I won't bore you with it.  Until I have time for something substantial here's a few more little random questions/factoids about me.  Play along if you like....and you know you like :)
Q)  If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?
A)  Poolside......in a private pool with just my family, so I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear a swimsuit
Q)  Dream vacation?
A)  Dresden, Ohio (home of Longaberger baskets), or New England in the fall
Q)  Favorite pastime?
A)  Shopping, especially at novelty shops
Q)  Favorite way to spend the day without spending money?
A)  Taking the kids to the park, working in the yard, baking something yummy for my family
Q)  You've been given $1000 and told to splurge on yourself.  How do you spend it?
A)  1 Vera Bradley bag, 1 Longaberger basket and a new, inexpensive couch for the family room
Q)  You've been given $1000 and told to splurge on your spouse.  How do you spend it?
A)  Flat-Panel TV
Q)  Ideal way to spend a Friday night?
A)  A date with my husband, or game night with friends
Q)  Ideal way to spend a Saturday morning?
A)  Well, in summer it'd be yard sales, but in colder months I love a cup of coffee while watching home improvement shows on TV
So that's it.  Just a few ideas to commit to memory in the event you ever want to give me $1000 or send me on a dream vacation.  Happy Monday everybody!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Random Thoughts

I have a couple of random thoughts, so please bear with me..... I am one of those people whose dreams manifest whatever it is I'm feeling. So I must be feeling disconnected from my family because last night I dreamed that Cory and the girls moved out and went to live in a shelter above a candy store (hey, it was a dream...I can't make this stuff up). Anyhow, I went to visit them and was SO incredibly sad that I was separated from my family. When I awoke this morning I immediately opened my daily devotional and read this verse: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 2 Corinthians 5:1. I honestly believe this was God's way of comforting me over my disturbing dream. God is good.....all the time! --------------------------------- Is it just me or is the fact that President Obama is visiting the Middle East, quoting from the Koran and trying to make peace with the Islamic nations, a sign of the end times? Does One-World-Government ring any bells? Just food for thought. ---------------------------------

Friday, May 29, 2009

Attention All Pests!

Last spring when we moved into our house, we thought it was just the four of us.   We thought wrong!  Apparently the neighborhood ants decided it looked appealing too, but I'll be darned if they're gonna set up camp in my fortress without sharing the mortgage payment.  For several weeks, in and around our home we sprayed and stomped, swept and mopped, set out traps and sprayed some more.  Finally the ants got the hint and left.
This year, there's good news and bad news.  The bad news is, the ants are back.  The good news is, they're not IN our house, but they're still taking up residence in the gardens and on the porch.  And it's NOT working for me.  Not happy Bob!  So I go to the garage and get out the industrial size container of Ortho Home Defense Max.  Yeah, it's every bit as cool as it sounds.  It comes with this attached spray gun so you can kill pests on demand.  And kill I did.
After securing the perimeter of my gardens and porch, I crouched down, sat back on my heels, loaded the gun and dared the dastardly demons to show themselves.  It was awesome. I felt like a hunter waiting for my prey.  A few brave critters made the mistake of leaving their hiding spot and they had to learn the hard way that you don't cross me when I'm armed.  Hopefully their families will follow suit and heed the eviction notice.  If not, we're calling in the big guns and letting the professionals do what they're paid to do!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Status Report

Status reports have become fairly commonplace in the world of blogging and yet, I have never actually written one, so here goes: Sitting: on my pockets when I should be folding laundry Thinking: about the millions of things I need to do this week Enjoying: Memorial weekend; had a blast with friends, and celebrated Cory's b-day Pondering: updates to the church website and adding a link so I can keep the congregation apprised of our pastor's trip to Israel Wondering: if the girls really ARE going to finish their schoolwork by the end of May Anxiously Awaiting: Cory's job change on Tuesday, VBS, Centrifuge, home school testing, Kindercamp, co-op graduation Loving: the exquisite sunshine and warm weather Excited: that we got our gardening and yard work nearly finished Wishing: that the hummingbirds would find the feeder I put out for them Thankful: that I am blessed beyond all measure and secure in my salvation

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Laughter really IS the best medicine!

I've read many church bulletin quotes (or misquotes) before, but the ones below were new to me.  I hope you find them as hilarious as I did:

-Wednesday, the Ladies Literary Society will meet. Mrs. Smith will sing "Put Me in My Little Bed" accompanied by the Pastor. -Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All" -Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. -The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.  -A songfest was hell at the Baptist church Wednesday. -Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Baptist Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. -Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary. -Mrs. Sanson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.


-The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge--Up Yours." I hope you all have a very sun-filled, and son-filled weekend!!! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

In the past few months I have attended a number of birthday gatherings; some were for family and others were for friends. Having grown up in a home where traditional birthday cake was the gold standard for celebrations, I fully expected to be served cake, but was surprised to find less traditional items like brownies, grasshopper pie, angel food cake and fruit pies. While all of these were exceptional desserts, there was just something unusual about sticking candles in a berry pie. While cake is always my first dessert choice, it definitely is my primary pick for my birthday. Yes, I like boring old white cake with white butter cream frosting. And don't try to pull that whipped frosting nonsense over on me either because I know the difference. So am I the last true cake lover who refuses to conform to the brownies and pies that are taking over the birthday world, or are there others out there who think a good old fashioned birthday cake is still the way to celebrate? Let me know in the poll to your right :) PS.....Cayla talks about her birthday year-found, but with it quickly approaching in June she's had a lot more to say about it. She and I had conversation the other day that went something like this: Cayla: Mom, when it's my birthday why do you buy me a cake instead of making me one? Mom: Because the stores do such a lovely job decorating, so I assumed that's the kind of cake you would want. Cayla: Well, I like a home-made cake. Mom: Really? Better than store bought cake? Is that what you want for your birthday this year? Cayla: Yep. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Your home-made frosting. She's definitely her mother's child. She LOVES cake! Couldn't you just eat her up?!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Madness!

There are times when I go on complete cleaning binges and sort through an entire room in about 15 minutes. After all, how long can it take to throw everything away? And while I desperately need to have a cleaning frenzy in my basement, I keep putting it off because most people don't see it. My children's rooms however are another story. Last week I invited the girls' friends over for a play-date this week. I told the girls they needed to have their rooms spotless before their friends came over. I may as well have been talking to a brick wall. Not only were their rooms not spotless as of 9:00 this morning (with their friends coming at 10:00), but it threw me into a mad, cleaning rush. You have to understand that I don't just get in the mood for these cleaning frenzies. They sort of 'come on' like a light switch that's been flipped. Generally they start when, in an attempt to HELP the children clean their rooms, I discover their faulty cleaning methods. In a child's mind, throwing everything into the nearest bin, bag or box is a perfectly acceptable way to tidy up. What's left gets shoved under the bed and voila, perfect room. WRONG!!!! It's when I discover these serious cleaning violations that I go into nuclear meltdown. We're talking PMS, World War III and the Apocalypse all rolled into one Monster Mom! No kidding, Hitler has nothing on me in these moments. I fail to understand why my children can't pick up on the fact that doll clothes go in the box marked "doll clothes" and blocks go in the box marked "blocks" and so forth and so on. Instead what I come across shoved under the bed is an assortment of mis-matched dirty socks, the mysterious missing shoe, Polly Pocket dresses, a lone Barbie brush, wadded up handfuls of Bendaroos, eight stuffed animals, a few dusty jelly beans, a pair of jeans, two pencils with the lead broken off, six markers, several checkers, hair bows, broken crayons, bits of string and a partridge in a pear tree. With the exception of the wearable items, most of it goes directly into the trash. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 dollars. McDonald's Happy Meal toys and Dollar Store items are the worst offenders. Not only do these items add serious clutter, but they're cheap and don't match anything, so they're always the first to go. Parenting magazines are quick to advise mom's to create bins or boxes and label them so children can put their items away. Thanks, are you going to provide the maid too? Because no amount of labeling or organizing can get my kids to put things in the right place. I think it's just one of the curses of allowing kids to have things. One day they might learn to actually take pride in ownership and care for their belongings enough to put them in their proper home. For now though, they seem pretty content to tear through the house like Tasmanian devils leaving carnage in their wake. Thank goodness for television. If they're watching TV they're generally (notice I said generally) not making messes. So sure, they might be mini experts on anything relating to Dora the Explorer and Olivia, but at the very least my house is clean........sort of!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Summer Sounds

While I'm waiting for a continuous string of nice weather days, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts about sounds.  Specifically, some of my favorite summer sounds.  Any one of these going on for an extended period of time might cause me to lose my mind, but independently I love to hear each one.  (Yes, these are the kind of things I think about.  It's a curse that my mind never shuts off :)  They're in no particular order:
1) The creaky squeak of an old screen door
2) The crack of the bat when a home run is hit
3) Crickets chirping
4) My girls' shrieking laughter as they play in the cold sprinkler
5) A distant lawn mower
For those fellow bloggers who never know what to post....I'd love to read your favorites!!! 
Happy Spring!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Recovered Spendthrift

This afternoon I went out with a friend who came to town for a visit. She and I used to work together, back when I got paid in dollars and cents instead of kisses and hugs. We haven't seen each other in a couple of years and it was wonderful to catch up over coffee. Afterward, we set our minds on shopping (my all time favorite hobby). I picked up a few excellent finds for Cayla at deep discounts, while my friend paid top dollar for everything she saw. I mention this because it made me realize just how much I've changed. Change is often a gradual thing, and the one doing the changing doesn't even realize it's happening. Or so I discovered. While shopping, I guess my friend found it amusing that my mouth gaped at the $79.00 tee shirt she picked up, and my eyes were as wide as saucers as I quietly watched her try on pair after pair of $75.00++ jeans. Within a couple of hours I had witnessed her drop hundreds on a new wardrobe (a very cute, very stylish wardrobe I might add) for her upcoming vacation. Each time she turned over a price tag and caught the look in my eye she would say, "you have changed so much. You're not the Rachel I remember." And once she added, "you really are the quintessential stay-at-home mom now." And let me say, she wasn't condescending, she was genuinely sweet about it, and I found it complimentary. While I've always been somewhat frugal, there was a time when I would have thought nothing of spending several hundred dollars at one time on clothing for myself. I'd whip out my store credit card, swipe it through the machine, and smile as my treasures were bagged for me. But that was then..... .....and this is now. Not only did Cory and I spend the first 7 years of our marriage paying off serious debt that I'd accrued, but I found a new way to shop. Anymore, I think it's as much sport for me as it is shopping to find the best deals I can. In fact, whenever someone compliments something I own, I find myself compelled to tell them where I bought it, and exactly how much little I paid for it. It almost embarrasses me if someone thinks I own something extravagant, because I don't want them thinking I spent too much money on something frivolous. None the less, despite my very comfortable, fairly cute (and very inexpensive) outfit I donned for my trip to Nordstrom, I still felt like a fish out of water. What was once second nature to me, now felt like culture shock. I don't mind how much my friends spend on things. That's between them and their checkbook. But for me, I'm sticking with my 'find the lowest price tag' game! Having walked on both sides of the fence, the grass might not be as green over here, but the water bill is sure a lot lower :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Curriculum Contemplation

Disclaimer: This is a home school post. I'd love input from my friends/family who have an opinion. THANKS in advance!!! As a homeschooling parent, I get to sift through literally hundreds of curriculum companies and try to figure out which route I want to go. I tend to be an all or nothing person, so I enjoy selecting one company, offering comprehensive curriculum for each grade level. The older my children get, the older it is to pick their education. I'm not complaining, but I am saying that it's a bit overwhelming when I consider the plethora of learning opportunities available to me. In the past, I have used Costco's comprehensive curriculum books. Dirt cheap, and easy to understand, everything is encompassed in one book. The problem is, they're not Christian and as my children get older and learn about case studies and various scenarios, I'd like those to be Bible based instead of secular. I have to consider my budget, my teaching style (how much prep work is involved, and if the company offers a comprehensive curriculum - my favorite), my children's learning style (and yes, they're different), and numerous other factors before making a decision. So, for those of you out there who have some thoughts and read my blog, I'd love for you to weigh in. After researching a dozen companies for my 3rd and 1st graders next year, here's what I've determined: Saxon: Excellent, but very expensive Switched on Schoolhouse: Decent prices, learning is via CD-rom, but there's no 1st grade comprehensive curriculum A.C.E.: Perfect for Cayla since she's self motivated, but not ideal for Autumn. Prices are midline LIFEPAC: Excellent comprehensive studies for both grades, midline price, but I don't know anyone who has used it, so I have little info. on it Sonlight: Stellar programs I've heard, but requires a ton of prep work (not my thing) Christian Liberty Press: I'm leaning towards this....the prices are good, it offers comprehensive curriculum for both grades and includes teachers manuals, plus it rolls into high school well Bob Jones U: Again, excellent curriculum, but it's kind of pricey. This year we used BJU science and it was great, so it's a possibility So, that is just one peril of being a home school parent. I know people who select a nice eclectic mix of materials and turn out intelligent, well informed children, but that isn't my ideal, even though it is what I did this year. We have all summer to consider it, pray about it, and see what our budget will allow. I want my children to have a great academic education, Biblical knowledge and a love for being home with mom. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mi Vida Loca!

Things have been so crazy and I haven't taken much time to post.  Are you getting tired of that excuse yet?  Here's a brief run down.  Sort of my personal status report, only with more words than a normal status report :)
  • I've been prepping for my VBS meeting on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to it so I can relax.  Yeah right!
  • The girls are working like crazy to finish up their schooling for the year.  Autumn still has quite a bit of her reading book to finish, but Cayla, my little worker bee, is right on track.  As long as we're done by June I'll be pleased.
  • The basement and the yard are beckoning.  Cory and I need to make a run to the dump, organize some items in the basement, and get the treadmill back in place.  It's surprisingly difficult to use it when it's unplugged.
  • We've decided to go on a health kick.  Actually it's the way we should have been eating all of our lives, but haven't.  You know the drill.....whole grains, lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruit.  In fact, today I'm certain I ate my weight in grapes.  Yeah, it's probably not going to bode well for me tomorrow, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
If I throw in TeamKID and Home school co-op, along with updating the girls' vaccinations, visiting the eye doctor and eking out a little time to take the kids downtown to play, that about sums up my life.  So as you can see, there's very little room left in my brain to have enlightening thoughts, or great epiphanies about topics for blogging.  In the event that a vacancy occurs in my mind, I'll be sure to keep you posted.  You know you're waiting with bated breath.  Don't try to deny it :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lotsa stuff in Italics :)

I have a dear friend who is so passionate about politics she makes me look completely and totally ignorant. She recently sent me an article. Here is an excerpt from it: "Is this the change you really voted for? President Obama has only been in office for two months. Now we have HR 1388.........This bill’s title is called “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education” (GIVE). It forms what some are calling “Obama’s Youth Brigade.” Obama’s plan requires anyone receiving school loans and others to serve at least three months as part of the brigade. His goal is one million youth! This has serious Nazi Germany overtones to it." If you are interested in the link, here it is: http://www.thevoicemagazine.com/politics/512-obama-youth-brigade-church-attendance-forbidden.html I have not read enough articles on the site to advocate it, but I did find this article VERY interesting. Another good friend and I were discussing the end times and she made a unique observation. Loosely (very loosely ) paraphrased she said, "Since Satan does not know when the Lord will return, he has always had to have his man waiting in the wings. That man could have been Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler.......or Barack Obama." I have yet to decide if I'm fearful about the state of our country, although I know that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7, or whether I'm excited that we may truly be living in the end times. Either way, I know our country and our president need all the prayer we can offer up. -------------- Why am I so passionate about this? Because too often "we" as Christians sit back and do nothing. We don't discuss, share opinions, or educate each other on politics, and we're content to remain complacent and allow other people to make our decisions. Hmm? it seems to me that no good can come from this. A couple of familiar Edmund Burke quotes to ponder: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." "Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.” Thanks to Heidi A. and Kimberley M. from co-op, for encouraging and enjoying my political posts :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Trip!

We had a whirlwind weekend, running down to see my sister's new house, and taking a day to visit the science center. The 12 hour, round-trip drive was kind of a bummer, but everything else was a ton of fun. The weather was beautiful, and it made for a wonderful vacation. There's a few snapshots of the girls (in the post below) taken at the science center. They had a great time with all the hands-on exhibits, but we hope to take them back in a couple of years when they can actually understand everything they're playing with.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Snow!

If April showers bring May flowers, what does April snow bring? It started snowing on April 1. Don't tell ME God doesn't celebrate April Fool's Day! We woke up to a world of white, very very wet, heavy snow. Autumn wanted me to bring some inside like I did during the winter, but it's too wet to play with. Anyhow, there's something about snow that has always fascinated me. When I was a little girl I learned that each and every snowflake is different, and no two are alike. So every year when it snows in my little world, I'm amazed that out of all the snowfalls each year, in every part of the world, there's no duplicate snowflakes. This absolutely boggles my little mind. There are trillions of trillions of brazillions of snowflakes, and none of them are the same. WOW! Awesome!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree!

Having girls, it's not surprising they enjoy making play food out of Play-Doh and serving it to us on their toy dish set. What is (but probably shouldn't be) surprising is how much they actually pay attention to what their father does around the house. I guess it really is true that children emulate their parents. Here is a lovely electrical schematic, courtesy of Cayla. Then Autumn, not to be outdone, actually built (well, kind of) the schematic with her Bendaroos ropes. My little prodigies; the engineer and the electrician!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Must. Not. Talk. Politics.

Although it's my blog, I feel the need to apologize for all of my political posts. I am quite passionate about politics though, so it's really hard for me to just leave it alone! I will at least be quick here. AIG is irritating me. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that you don't put money back into the hands of the mishandlers. And yet.....that's just what the government did! By the grace of our Holy and Magnificent God, my husband is still gainfully employed. But if he were one of the thousands of people in this country looking for work, I'd be irate that my tax dollars were being spent on bonuses when my husband wasn't even earning a regular check! OK, that's all I'm going to say about it......................for now :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Little Political Humor!

My aunt sent this to me. Maybe you've seen it before, but it's pretty funny. Enjoy, and have a great Thursday!!! The Plan Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago , another is from Tennessee , and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence: The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for My crew and $100 profit for me." The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me." The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$2,700." The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?" The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence." "Done!" replies the government official. And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Devotional!

Over the past decade I've tried a number of devotional books and pamphlets, but always find that something about them falls short and I end up tossing it aside and going back to the tried and true. That is, picking a book of the Bible (love Psalms and Proverbs), reading a few passages, making my own life application out of it and spending the remaining time in prayer. Lately I've tried something new. LifeWay has an online devotional that they will e-mail you each day. I love it because it's right there on my computer, which is where I land first thing each morning, so right after breakfast I can dive right in. Sounds great right? Wrong! While the devotionals are very good, and quite interesting, they really lack substance. If the purpose of a devotional is to spend time with God, then these devotionals are the equivalent of meeting God at the drive-thru window, picking up your order and jetting out. I like a devotional that 'invites' me to sit down with God, and enjoy some quality time to study, ponder and pray. I think a devotional for mom's might be great, because I should be able to relate to everything in it. Sometimes generic devotionals are too random and those are the ones I quit. If you've been through a devotional that you just love, please let me know the name of the book. I am willing to order it on Amazon, pick it up at the christian bookstore, or have it sent to me online - just send your suggestions........Yes Nina, I'm talking to you :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Springeth!

Even though it's still a couple of weeks away, when the calendar flips to March, it's spring to me.
What I love about spring:
1)  Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine
2)  Flowers
3)  Being outside
4)  The temperature is just right - not too hot, not too cold!
5)  The trees start to bud
6)  EASTER
7)  Pastel colors come back into fashion and white shoes are acceptable again
8)  Yard-sale season begins
9)  Crickets start chirping again
10) My car stays clean for more than 10 minutes when I wash it :)
If you feel inspired to leave a comment about your favorite spring activity, I'd love to read it.  Happy Spring!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Making Choices!

My good friend Juli, over at "Abundantly Blessed" blog site has really been struggling with her daughter's schooling this past year.  I won't give you all the details since you could go over and read them yourself, but suffice it to say, she's had to make some difficult choices this year. Along with all the privileges and joys of parenthood, there's also a mountain of tough choices that need to be made.  And while I'm not to the point yet, I can only imagine that it's even more difficult when those tough choices have to be made by the child and I cannot make the decisions for them.  I'm guessing it gets more complicated when the child makes the wrong choice (aka, not MY choice :) but this is why we have a loving Savior who draws us to Him and longs to help us in every aspect of our lives.
With all of that said, our local area is holding a special election right now.  It involves school issues, which means, higher property taxes if the levies pass.  This is a genuine struggle for me because as a home school parent I do not take advantage of the public education system, so it's tough for me to vote to raise my taxes when I won't see the benefit of those tax dollars.  The catch-22 is that when the public school's update their facilities my husband's company often wins the bid to upgrade all of the technology, and that obviously means he's staying busy at work.
I ALMOST think I liked it better when my only choices in life were Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops.....almost.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A $Trillion$

The girls and I were walking through the grocery store this afternoon when Cayla asks, "Mom, is a trillion a number?" Sadly, I responded, "Yes! It's the dollar figure of our national debt." What I cannot understand is why the government is bailing out the companies that mishandled the funds in the first place. You know what Einstein says about insanity? "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I've heard several things on the news lately. The first, if the bailout money were given to actual tax paying citizens, as opposed to companies, roughly 90% of the existing mortgages in America could be paid off. Wow, no mortgage payment. THAT could stimulate the economy! Secondly, I've heard that if the money were given to, once again, actual tax paying citizens, as opposed to companies, it would mean about $2000 per family in the U.S. Again, that's a tidy little chunk of change to tuck away, pay off a bill, or buy a new plasma TV. But no, the big plan to bail us (actual tax paying citizens) out is a new tax relief effort that will net us $65 a month. I for one am thrilled. I mean, $65 a month could make the payment on my new Porsche, Toyota, Ford, Mountain Bike pogo stick! Boing! Boing! Boing! PS...spell check doesn't recognize the word 'boing'. It's obviously the sound a pogo stick makes - and Tigger's :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Canned Response!

I have a pet peeve that I need to vent. I hate it when I call a 1-800 number in an effort to speak with a customer service representative and I am put through a series of automated answers that do NOT help me. It's not that I have a problem with automated service per se, but I do have a problem with it when the automation is certain there is an answer in their stupid line-up of cue prompts, and I am certain there is not. All I want to do is speak to a REAL HUMAN!!!!! The automated service cannot hear my questions, view my account and make a rational, informed decision about the problem. Believe me, after going through their list of a gazillion choices, by the time I do get a real person, if I wasn't upset before I'm pretty hot under the collar by this time. (side note: fortunately I truly HAVE learned that you catch more flies with honey, and so far I haven't bitten off one customer service dudes'/chicks' head :) I realize companies have these automated systems to save money and hopefully direct the customer to a canned response that will solve their problem, but at the very least they need to include, at the end of their ridiculously long list of options, the opportunity to press a specified number for customer service, aka....someone that breathes! Yes, some companies do this, however the USPS and Qwest do not and you have to beg, borrow, steal, plead, cajole, bribe and speak another language just to get to talk to someone with a heartbeat and a pulse. I'd be really happy if companies would get rid of these obnoxious automated systems and hire authentic people to direct our calls again. I guess it's true, 'good help is hard to find' and 'there's just no customer service anymore.' Thank you for taking the time to read my complaint. If this has resolved your reading needs, please press or say 1. If you need to read more, please press or say 2. If at any time you need to speak with a customer service representative........I'm sorry, this option has been removed. Please press or say 3 to hear your options again!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Library!

Prior to this afternoon, I'm embarrassed to admit that the last time I actually set foot in a library was around 1996 when I was finishing college. It's not that I wasn't aware of it, I just didn't feel a huge need to visit. My children have countless books and videos thanks to relatives who know they make fantastic gifts; so my urgency to get to the library was pretty low. Last week though, my father in law, while waiting for his cable TV to be connected, was checking out movies from the library to meet his TV cravings. I didn't even know the library had DVD's. I didn't figure I would check out any videos, but this did inspire me to actually go TO the library, get library cards for myself and Cayla and let the girls gather books they were interested in reading. I was pleasantly surprised when the girls selected not only leisure reading books, but also books on jellyfish, dinosaurs and rocks.....WOW! They're interested in Science. Who knew?! I told them they could check out as many books as they could carry. So, 17 books and 1 Hello Kitty video later, we have reading material to keep us busy for the next three weeks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Absolute Indulgence!

One of the things I love about Valentine's Day is a box of assorted chocolates. Especially when that box does not include nuts, but does include creams, particularly maple creams (I think my parents have been lying to me all these years and I'm really from Vermont). It's an absolute indulgence to take one bite out of each piece that looks tempting, and then consume the remaining or reject it depending on my mood. In honor of tomorrow's holiday (however you choose to celebrate), I'm sharing a box of chocolates with you. They're calorie free so ENJOY!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Daisy!

Our home school co-op had a Valentine's Party today that turned out to be a lot of fun for the kids, as well as the mom's. As it turns out, we had been trying to have a guest speaker who owns a baby wallaroo (yes, you read that right) to come and give our group a presentation. He was able to make it to our party today (how many people get a baby wallaroo at their Valentine's Day Party?) and gave a fabulous talk on kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos, then allowed everyone to pet the wallaroo. Turns out they're extremely social little creatures, and "Daisy" was no exception. Here is a photo I was able to snap while she was being shown to the class. Now I want a wallaroo of my own, and according to Jim, our presenter, I can have one for the low low cost of about $4,000. Sadly, I think I'll have to pass.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Undressed!

I was in the store today and observed, for the millionth time, two fashion hideous trends and one hair option that we'll just describe as a 'peculiar decision'.  The first was a young man wearing boxer shorts with sweats pulled down totally BELOW his rear end.  You'd think he'd be worried they would fall off, but apparently not.  I've noticed that the wearers prevent the pants from falling, by walking with their legs spread about 6 feet apart.  Kind of the way you or I might walk if we'd been riding a horse for 3 years straight.  This trend cannot die soon enough for me and I have to wonder about the parents who let Jr. leave the house with his pants hanging down around his knees.  I've heard of 'picking your battles' but this is a battle I think I'd pick.
Evil trend #2 was seen on a woman who appeared to be in her 40's wearing pajama pants. My first thought was that she should be old enough to know better, but apparently not.  When? no, WHY did society decide that wearing underclothes or night clothes out in public was a good idea?  I couldn't even wear my pj's to the hospital when I went into labor in the middle of the night.  I didn't care if I was delivering that baby myself in the car, I was doing it with my regular clothes on.  
Last I saw a woman who had her hair in old fashioned rollers.  I have seen this as many times as the next person and it makes me want to scream, "if you're willing to show yourself in public with your hair in rollers, then WHO ARE YOU CURLING YOUR HAIR FOR?"
I won't claim to be a fashion diva or even 'in the know' on the latest trends, but I'm not blind and I can certainly tell when "sumthin' just ain't right."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"B" Thankful

In keeping with the 'list' theme, my niece over at Clare's Contemplations has an alphabetical list of 5 things she's thankful for, or things that make her happy starting with the letter "A".  I just thought I'd throw in my two cents worth, by moving on to the letter "B".
Barb - My mother in law!  I know too many people who are not thankful for theirs, but mine is simply the best.  We not only have a million things in common, but we're both crazy about her son.
Baking - It makes me happy.  It makes others happy.  And it makes my house smell heavenly.
Basset Hounds - and beagles, bulldogs, bernards (as in St.).  All my favorite dogs start with a 'b'.  Maybe we need a dog, or we just need to visit our friends' dogs, so I can get my dog-fix!
Bible - My guidebook for life.  "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee."  Psalm 119:11
Baskets - If you've been to my house you know they're everywhere.  They're utilitarian, and gorgeous, and they make me happy.
So there's my 5 "B's."  Anybody want to start on the letter "C"?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alter Ego

These 'lists' are pretty popular right now in the blogging world and on Facebook.  I apologize you're getting this in lieu of a 'real' post, but I've been busy and I've had this stored in my postings for a few a little while now and figured it was time to print it.  Read my alter ego names, then find out what yours are!  Enjoy!
1.  To find your ROCK STAR NAME take your first pet & current car: Charlie Forenza
2.  Your GANGSTA NAME take your favorite ice cream flavor and your favorite cookie: Vanilla Oatmeal
3.  Your DETECTIVE NAME? Your favorite color and favorite animal: Pink Puppy
4.  Your SUPERHERO NAME? Just add the word "The" plus your 2nd favorite color, and your favorite drink: The White Cherry Coke
5.  Your NASCAR NAME. Take the first names of your grandfathers: Samuel Abie
6.  If I ever go into WITNESS PROTECTION you can find me with this name. Your mother & father’s middle names: Rachel Louis
7.  TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME? Just take your 5th grade teacher’s last name and add a city that starts with the same letter: Latzko Lynnwood
8.  SPY NAME: Add your favorite season to your favorite flower: Autumn Peony
9.  Find your CARTOON NAME by taking your favorite fruit, and an article of clothing you’re wearing right now, then add "ie" or "y": Blueberry Hoodie
10. Your ROCKSTAR TOUR is heading across the northwest...it's called "The” + Your fave hobby/craft, your fave weather element + the word “Tour”: The Talking Autumn Tour

Stagnate Much?

Random House Dictionary describes Stagnate as: to stop developing, growing, progressing, or advancing. I had the opportunity this week to visit with someone I seldom get to chat with. We only had about 15 minutes to talk, but we used the time to exchange testimonies and discuss our spiritual lives. My heart went out to her when she described how she and her husband are not growing spiritually. She mentioned that on the surface they look pretty good, but privately they do not pray together, are not being enriched through Bible study, and are not 'plugged in' to a body of believers who encourage them to develop a deeper relationship with Christ. I was amazed that she would divulge this information to me so freely, and saddened that her spiritual life is so stagnant. Yet, as I ponder it, I realize that any number of Christians, if they were truly honest, would describe their spiritual lives as stagnant. I then had to ask myself if I'm praying for these people. Our pastor is constantly encouraging us to pray privately and together, for the body of believers. It's easy to pat someone on the arm and offer a quick, "I'll pray for you" and then never do it. James 5:16 tells us to...."Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." We cannot force people to deepen their relationship with Christ, but we can certainly lift them up in prayer and encourage them. We are blessed to have a Savior who never gives up on us and continually draws us to Him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My List!

I have had so much going on in my brain lately that I cannot even begin to blog about it, so in an effort not to disappoint my faithful readers (all 2 of you), here are 5 things I love followed by 5 things I really really really don't love :) Love it: 1) Being a stay at home mom 2) Shopping 3) Talking on the phone 4) Starbucks (I especially love the coffee smell that greets me when I pull up to the drive-thru window) 5) Game night with friends Don't love it: 1) Balancing the checkbook 2) Driving in bad weather 3) Rare/undercooked steak 4) Being stressed (especially since I KNOW God's in control) 5) Realizing the store is out of the size I want when the sale is stellar If you want to join the fun, I'd love to read YOUR list of likes/dislikes! This is for my benefit, more than yours.....if you have time, read ALL of Matthew 6. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Mistake!

I foolishly thought that once the presidential election was over, the US as we know it would settle down and we'd all get back to life as usual. Silly me! I made a massive miscalculation. I gave no regard to the inauguration and the onslaught of Obama-Mania that would ensue. The news has been filled with inaugural information, including my beloved Fox News Channel. Ordinarily I would take an opportunity such as this, to educate my children on the inauguration, allow them to see segments of it, and answer any questions they might have. That's probably not going to happen. I seem to be having a difficult time getting into the spirit, and I think you know why. For the sake of clarity though, let me be metaphorical for a moment. I typically don't use, or even like sports metaphors, but I'm desperate and I have a few sports fans who read my blog, so I know they'll relate. Let's say you're a Dallas Cowboys fan, and they're playing against the Washington Redskins, who you hate dislike very much. And let's just say that the Redskins win the game by a landslide. How easy, nay fun, is it going to be to explain football and the beauty that is Dallas, to your future little quarterbacks at home, knowing how upset you are over the results of the game? Answer, not very easy/fun at all.....in fact, hard! I know, I need to just 'get over it', 'move on', 'let it go', 'shake it off'.......or pray fervently that God will change my heart and attitude and allow me to be respectful even if I don't feel much like it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Best Buy!

For the first time in quite a while Cory got back to his normal every-Friday-off routine.   After running the usual errands Cory had this brilliant idea that we head to Best Buy.  At first I was a bit reluctant because I hate looking at tech-y stuff, but once I got in there I felt like a drug addict in a pharmacy, a kid in a candy shop, Imelda Marcos at Manolo Blahnik's.  It was fantastic!  I am totally guilty of the sin of coveting.  Seriously, Best Buy is to technology what Las Vegas is to gamblers.  It was beautiful.  We fawned over enormous TV's, drooled on the keyboard of a Mac desk top with a 24" screen, and nearly left with a gorgeous Cannon digital camera that takes unlimited movement-shots, all for less than $200.  It was glorious!
Alas, reality set in and we left empty-handed.  But still debt free :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunny and 70!

I am one of those people who suffers from a mild form of S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Mine is probably more like the winter blues, or more of a post Christmas let down in reality. I know the brain needs a certain amount of full spectrum light and living here in the tundra we don't always get that beautiful, bright light. Our winter drags on here for a long time and the days take forever to warm up. I do have a few tricks that may be more myth than fact, but I've convinced myself they help. I've read that holding a flashlight directly to the forehead can flood the brain with light and helps the body to release those yummy, feel good hormones we all crave. So if you get close to me and notice a peculiar ring-mark on my forehead, or think you're catching a whiff of 'Sunset Mango' (thank you Bath and Body Works), or come to my house and become overwhelmed by the scent of coconut and sun tan oil, it's not your imagination. It's just me, manipulating my environment to trick my mind into thinking it's sunny and 70!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lessons Learned

I've made some interesting observations this week regarding the minds of children versus the minds of adults, or basically anybody over the age of 10. First Story: I was pulling out my apron and rubber gloves, preparing to bleach the girls' bathroom when Autumn and Cayla walked into the room. The expression on their faces was priceless. They were literally gleeful that their bathroom was getting cleaned and they instantly began calling dibs on the chores. There was a slight argument over who would GET TO swish the toilet brush, but it was quickly abated with the allure of emptying the trash can and fetching a new can liner. First let me make a disclaimer here. I clean the girls' bathroom regularly.....as in weekly. Don't let their excitement fool you into thinking it's a once a year occurrence. They just love to be where I am, participating in whatever I'm doing and if that happens to be mopping floors or scrubbing toilets, they're there! I love this about their ages. While monetary incentive will generally entice them into less favorable chores like emptying the dishwasher or transferring clothes to the dryer, some chores still hold pure joy and clearly cleaning the bathroom is one of those. Second Story: Thanks to my adorable sister, the girls received darling Vera Bradley purses and wallets for Christmas. If you don't know how I feel about Vera Bradley, click here for a quick reminder. So the girls have really enjoyed carrying their purses to church and recently several people have given them money for their wallets because what fun is a wallet with no money in it?! I always remind them to put some of their money in the missions offering in Sunday school and then put some into the offering during worship service. Autumn hasn't quite figured out the 'some' part because she thinks it's wonderful to take all of the money in her wallet and place it in the offering plate. I know she's not doing it for how it looks because she would still put it all in even if no one were in the sanctuary at all. And I find this priceless. Both of the girls know all about 'things'. They want 'things' everytime we go shopping, and they're fully aware that things cost money. So it warms my motherly heart when I watch them drop all of their money into the offering plate. It reminds me of the widows' mite (Mark 12: 41-44). Both of these stories heighten my awareness that children definitely operate on a different plane than adults. I think laziness (as in chores) and greed (as in not giving a tithe) are learned traits and that as adults we need to take a few lessons from our children. I should be so excited to clean my bathrooms because it means I have them to clean. And as far as tithe goes, if you've heard my testimony, it is something I had to learn to do as an adult because somewhere during late childhood that concept got lost to greed. I hope my children never become lazy or greedy or at least if they do, I pray that God will set them straight before they have to learn the hard way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slush and New Year's!

Well, we're still buried in snow but with the warmer temperatures, it's not just snow, but slush and snow. It's lovely! Every parking lot has gigantic puddles, nay lakes in them. I'm beginning to think if it warms up too quickly we may need to purchase flood insurance.
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On New Year's Day we celebrated a late Christmas with my parents. My sister and her family made it down as well which was an unexpected, but very fun surprise. Posted above is a short slide show from the weekend, but my favorite picture is the one of all the little kids camped out on the floor. From left they are Jocelyn, Luke, Cayla, Mark and Autumn. Clare's pictures turned out much better than mine, so hopefully she will share. I'm apparently afflicted and can't figure out how to use my camera. Shocking, I know :)