Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life Lessons

I shared these on the KidsROCK blog on Monday, but I wanted to have them, here, as well.  It seems fitting to discuss life lessons on this, our first day of the new school year!

  • To be “Smokin’” is a good thing, unless it is with a vacuum or electric weed eater.
  • When the brownie box reads, ‘stir by hand,’ it means to stir with a spoon. 
  • Lemonade requires more ‘ade’ than lemon.
  • Ants in a heated sandwich maker will explode.
  • Chestnuts in a toaster oven will explode. 
  • Ceiling fans will not hold a person’s weight.
  • When they say they will be at your house between 7 am and 5 pm, they also mean that they could very possibly not show up at all.
  • Sometimes it is better to just throw it away than to try to salvage items caught within range of a diaper blowout.
  • No matter how right you may be, the moment you begin yelling about it you become wrong.
  • When Mom asks, “Do you wanna…,” she’s not really asking.

Have you got any great life lessons to share?


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last day of vacation!

Can you be frantically relaxed?  That is how I feel, trying to soak up the last day, yet be fully prepared for school tomorrow.  I want the house clean, but don’t want to spend the last day of vacation cleaning.  It’s a dilemma! 

My daughter asked her father out on a date, so they are off playing.  I need to go spend some quality time with my boy before I finish laundry (some secret peanut smell has invaded our clothes, so I have massive piles to tackle), read my Acts assignment, find lunch and clip a few last minute Box Tops before our BT gal swings by to get them up in half an hour. 

And I need to be relaxed about it all, darn it!!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Slow Down

When our children were babies we indulged in the family bed. Actually, my husband wasn't too fond of the practice because he feared rolling over on a child. Little did he know just how light a sleeper I was at the time. Regardless, if I'd been a more godly and obedient wife, we would have used a crib or bassinet.

June 2010 Dance recital 017But I wasn't, so our babies were in bed with us. Now, of course, they sleep in their own rooms. The only time they get into our bed is on our weekend mornings for snuggle time or through the night when my husband is away.  Even then, I tend to boot them to the floor so I can have some elbow room.  They are a little too expert at snuggling; why does no one ever fear the mother will be smothered when family bedding?

This morning we took Daddy to work so that we could have the van. It was still dark when we got home so we all, puppy too, piled into my bed for a nap.

I lay there, pressed on both sides by my children with a dog my legs wondering where I would put another child. As I reminisced about little bodies, it struck me that my son's even breaths were on my neck. Yet I became acutely aware that his foot was on mine, as well! Man, he is l-o-n-g!!  How did that happen?

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is why I am the party planner of the family

In the car my husband and I were discussing our daughter’s upcoming birthday plans. He remembered a sweet little girl friend and asked why she hadn’t been invited to the party. I told him that finances (and house size) impose limits, and we had to keep the invitation list shorter than our actual list of friends.birthday

He was nonplussed and unsatisfied with my answer. He insisted we could fit this additional family. Not wanting to continue an opposition, I gently pointed out that I do need to buy some sort of party favor for each child we invite. His response? Crayons. Yep. Actually, that is not entirely accurate. In truth he said, ‘buy them each a crayon. and if you want, tie a ribbon around it.’

Ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t his first helpful suggestion at frugal hospitality, so y’all can thank the Lord that I am allowed to be the party planner of the family.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ah! Forts!

Who doesn’t enjoy making a good fort?  My kids sure love it.  My daughter just designed a new rig and is proud as peaches to show it off.  She plans to sleep in it tonight, of course. Sept 2010 001

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She is my crafty and social one.  I think school vacations are most difficult for her.  She gets lonely and bored far more easily than my avid-reader and backyard-lover boy.  It takes more to entertain her.  She needs friends or projects or messes.  She needs more cuddling and listening, as well.  

Not that my son can’t talk anyone’s ear off, but my daughter’s talks are more emotional, requiring so much more from her listener.  My son tends to talk about his current book (the one he is writing or reading) or computer game.  He talks story lines and concepts.  My daughter talks feelings.  This happened and it was SO funny, SO sad, SO wrong, SO SO!  While I find myself able to relate more to my daughter’s reactions, it is more taxing to converse with her. 

Today she made herself a tent—not a fort, thank you very much!  She has a pillow serving as a campfire and another posing as a log-seat.  I am happy she’s found a project.  She is tickled pink—and I’m not so bad, either, since this time the tent is not in the middle of my living room!

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Great Bible Study

We read and discussed Acts 3 and 4 this time around.  The neat part was that our son couldn’t wait to talk about it.  So over dinner, the conversation began.  This portion of Scripture tells about Peter and John healing the lame man at the temple and their subsequent calling before the powers that be.  We compared it to the time Jesus healed the blind man on Sabbath.  People missed the fact that a broken man had been made whole, and instead worried over details and loss of power.  Pride and fear of losing power blinded them to love and healing.

We also discussed the Sadducees, as well as what exactly was going through the disciples’ minds in the time between Jesus’ death and showing himself to them.  Our focus on both was the issue of resurrection, physical and spiritual.  This was really interesting and long.  We never came up with a final conclusion.

Finally we looked at the last bit of chapter 4 to see how the church got along.  Peter and John came to them after their ‘trial’ and the whole group went into prayer, praised God, trusted God and then spoke with boldness.  They were so unified.  They came together out of desire.  They longed to see one another, to give and receive support.

Regarding Biblical practices we should emulate, I have only heard the passages about the early church members selling what they have and sharing it among themselves to the point that none among them was needy dismissed out-of-hand.  There is a pooh-pooing about our needing to have such hearts. 

But I wonder if there is a reverse correlation between ownership and unity, and if such a correlation does exist, does our unwillingness to even consider such a lifestyle eliminate the remotest possibility of being the Body of Christ in the way He intended for us to be?Early May 2010, Burns and Kalbachs 026

Please consider: when we own something, we are less dependent on others, on Christ.  We can take care of ourselves.  We might be willing to help others, but tending to our own is first priority.  We are separated.  The more we own, the less connected and the more isolated we become.  Not only do we not need from others, but we are obligated to maintain what we have.  That big beautiful house needs someone to clean it, repair it and pay the utilities, taxes and mortgage.  All of that takes time.  And it demands priority, or we will lose the things that bring us independence! 

This has been on my heart since my reading, and I continue to ponder it.  I hunger so deeply for a church that is unified, that has members who depend on  and trust one another.  I want to belong intimately to Something bigger than myself.  As I constantly don’t find that, I pull further and further back, depending on and opening up to fewer and fewer people.  It is ironic that my desire to go big has me smaller than ever.

Additionally, we are trapped financially.  What once we could afford, now we cannot.  My husband works 16 hour days to maintain our lifestyle and to pay our bills.  But we aren’t getting ahead.  In fact, things are getting worse.  As the government continues to cut his pay and raise his insurance, my husband will just have to work more and more to merely maintain our trapped status. 

How do we break free?  How do we find dependence on Him and His body when it feels as though we are all single-celled organisms living next to one another, but never alongside?  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dental Woes

00283946The dentist office is my very least favorite place to go.  Just walking in and smelling the place nauseates me.  I have too many bad memories from childhood cleanings and braces.  Even my more recent adult experiences have been effused with pain.crazy dentist

Now my kids have far more positive feelings about the dentist than I do, and I am so very thankful for that.  We try to work it out so that my husband handles all the visits and planning.  It works pretty well.

My son was excited to get braces, and did pretty well in the beginning.  There have been some rocky spots lately, and now he has some cavities that need attention.  I deeply ache for him.  (I think I care more than he does.)

My daughter is cavity free, but needs to watch a spot on her gums they need to fill her molars?  (My chosen ignorance isn’t always a good thing.)   And my husband, who has sickeningly healthy teeth, needs to get the front four capped because of grinding.

So, we went to the dentist on Tuesday and will be returning on Tuesday.  I came along the first time because the scheduling is so close to our girl’s dance class.  I think the same will happen this Tuesday.  I should bring along a paper bag just in case!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Um..Mom, are you ever embarrassed being in your family?

This is not a question I ever expected to hear, but this is what happened.  Let me explain.  We were buckling up to go to our Get Fit class when I noticed my boy was wearing broken sandals.  So, I backed out of the driveway while he ran back into the house for his socks and tennis shoes. 

As I drove to the college track, he tried to get his socks and shoes on.  But, as I shared not too long ago, my son’s feet are growing like crazy.  (By the way, his new name is Puppy Duck.  Not only does he have disproportionately large feet, he is also flapping them when he walks and you can hear him slapping toward you from a mile away.)

So those big feet wouldn’t fit into his socks!  Why are these things always discovered while we are out and about??  I told him that when we got to the track, he and I could trade socks.  Then I had to laugh as I realized that I was wearing socks with blue flowers all over them.  I let him know and he said he was fine with that.  He was eager to point out that he’s never been one to get upset about appearances, and he would appreciate my laying off the wearing plaid with stripes nagging. 

My daughter, on the other hand, was listening to this interchange with a little bit more reservation.  That is when she posed her question.  So sweetly, so sincerely she asked, “Um…Mommy, are you ever embarrassed being in your family?  ‘Cause I’m sort of feeling that way now.  My brother is going to be wearing my mother’s flowery socks.”  smile_embaressed

I figured it would be good to mark this.  I am sure this is only the first of hundreds of times that I will be embarrassing my gal. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Washing the Dog

Since we got our dog about two years ago, I have been the primary bather of the puppy.  But it occurred to me the other day there is this whole Americana picture of kids washing the dog in the front yard, right?  So, I had them give it a try.  I call it a success!  Here are my attempts at getting photos of the speedy pup in the aftermath.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do you Fondue? I do!

Fondue just seems like a Dr. Seuss word to me.  Say it ten times in different voices and you’ll start to see pink elephants.fondue

So, the general consensus seems to be that fondue is gross.  I don’t argue, because I think cheese is gross and often wonder why you all keep eating it.  But dipping strawberries, apples and bananas into melted chocolate is a whole ‘nother story!  That is my kind of fondue!  It is too fun a word to waste on cheese, anyway.

I used to host monthly game nights disguised as Pampered Chef parties back in the day.  I would often serve my chocolate fondue  to rave reviews.  But that was years ago, so my kids don’t remember ever having it. 

So part of our special time together, we pulled out the fruit and chocolate chips.  I got out the old Pampered Chef stand and the tea lights and fondue forks.  We set a fancy table and dug in.  It was a neat treat!  

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sweet Life

00202046I knew September would be a doozy of a month for our schedule, but it has been surprisingly not-busy with outside things.  Lots of the activities we’d planned to attend were canceled due to finances, sickness or the scheduling conflicts of others’ calendars.  But, I think we’ve used the time off well.  However, it hasn’t really been much of a vacation

We have been big-project-ing ourselves to the extreme lately.  I just finished *most* of my obligations to the upcoming session of Club PALS and now it is time to relax! 

So, this new week will bring a new focus: togetherness and play; rest and relaxation.  We start school very soon and I want my kids—and myself—fully filled when we begin.  We are going to pick up a book, snuggle in bed and dive into wonderland! 

I pray you are blessed, as well.  Whether you are in the start-up frenzy of school, taking advantage of all the community offerings, or just doing the same-old-same-old, I pray you give thanks for the days the Lord has made!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Gal is a Sweetie!

00365333 Did you know my grandma had bad feet?  She did.  And she worked in the Gottschalk’s handbag department for years, standing on those throbbing feet.  She’d come home just aching beyond belief and would tell me she hoped I never hurt this way.

I do.  When I am on my feet too long, I come to understand why people call their feet dogs.  Doing these big cooks lands me with some real dogs.  After the first full day of cooking, I was walking as though I were a grandma: bowed legs, hunched back and mincing  my way across the room.  By the end of cooking on the second day, I was done.

We got the place all clean—our goal was to leave no evidence of the food hiding in our freezer so that when Daddy asked what is for dinner, we could fake him out and say there wasn’t anything to eat.  After the house was spic-and-span, the kids and I snuggled with our hot cocoa and cappuccino to watch TV.  I didn’t think anything of it when my girl asked me to pause the show—we never get through a viewing without a few interruptions.   00447042

But when she returned with a bottle of lotion and told me she was going to rub my feet…. Is that something?  She rubbed my feet for a solid 45 minutes!  I kept telling her she could stop anytime, but she said she wanted me to feel better and knew this would help. 

I couldn’t have gotten better care at the most expensive spa out there and my heart is filled to overflowing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Heh heh… That makes me think of those lecherously shallow princes from Into the Woods.  Ah!  I needed the laugh.  I am trying on these new contacts.  I refer you back to my former post on this subject.

I am trying to be good and patient, but this is awful!  I can see that I probably have improved vision.  But I also feel like I am inside a fish bowl, and everything is a little warped.  My depth perception is off and seeing things up close is a chore—not a good thing for an avid reader and homeschooling mom who has to read a minimum of 3 hours out loud on school days! 

I keep trying to remember how it felt when I first got glasses.  I was about nine years old and up until I’d gotten the glasses the concept that one was supposed to see blades of grass or leaves on a tree was unknown to me.  I thought you were supposed to just visualize what was on the chalk board at school; I had no idea that chalk actually left visible marks.  And I was dizzy.  I felt taller; things seemed further away.

So, am I seeing so much better now that I am experiencing all that adjustment again?  I don’t know.  I don’t think my vision is improved all that much!  And frankly, I am not sure the disorienting migraines are even worth being able to see better.  I mean, just how well do I need to see the pillow over my face?

How much longer do I have to keep it up to be able to say without a doubt that I will not adjust and I want my old lamer but painless vision back?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bible Study

We had a wonderful Bible study meeting the other night.  It is the first time our son joined us as a contributing member!  We are studying Acts in 14 weeks, so we are reading two chapters a week.  My son was a little wary about joining, surely he feared it would be terminally boring.  smile_wink  As we closed in prayer, however, he told the Lord that it was actually fun!  10215926

A number of topics piqued our interest from chapters one and two.  We discussed the Biblical validity and the specific grammar used regarding the concept of the Trinity.  Judas’ replacement process was also interesting to us.  Why did he need to be replaced at all?  There was more than one person eligible, but only twelve apostles appointed.  What is the significance of an apostle and do any exist today?  We also talked about the point at which one is considered to be saved: confession of faith, water baptism, baptism in the Holy Spirit, manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s baptism and what might qualify.  The nature of the studies my husband and I tend to do lately leaves a lot more questions than answers, and we really like it that way.    

Very neat stuff and quite a lot of meat for an 11 year old to digest.  I am really glad he enjoyed it.  I am also glad we are able to do a Bible Study where an eleven year old can, without reproach or distraction, hang upside down in a computer chair while listening and contributing because that is how he things best. smile_teeth

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Big Cook Coming

My poor husband need suffer no more.  All summer I have been the worst wife when it comes to putting food on the table.  He has to run out and grab something, or make it himself in the kitchen.  I make no excuses.  I stink.

Madi the Chef and Hobo Camp 001But yesterday I pulled up the menu program, set up the shopping list and recipes and got ready to get going.  Today we took Daddy to work so we would have the van to do the shopping.  We’ve hit two stores already and have one more to go.  Tonight we will make three recipes and prepare for a few more.  Tomorrow morning we kick it into gear and become cooking crazies.September 2010 012

My kids have never done this before, but I have learned under the tutelage of one more experienced than I.  We will surely all three of us learn a lot!  The music will be blasting and the bags of prepared meals stacking up in the freezer.  Maybe after this when my poor hubby asks what’s for dinner, I will actually have an answer that won’t be sarcastic! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We’re “Back”

Actually, we never really left. Instead of drinking in the beautiful green, gazing at the ocean, or marveling at the Redwoods, we cleaned. That is pretty horrible, isn’t it? It certainly failed to match the image of a vacation in the eyes of my kids, and I couldn’t really argue with them!

But now the house has been deep cleaned and purged. Furniture is rearranged, to give the house a new feel. We had a yard sale, donated and dumped what didn’t sell and have settled back into life.

Yesterday was our first step back. It was a bit of a misstep, at that. In fact, it stunk so bad that we packed up and ran away for one last escape before my husband has to get on his early-to-bed schedule. ‘Real life’ can really stink sometimes. I pray we hold onto the security our little escapade afforded us. I am afraid we will be clinging to it often.

We are hosting Lego Club today—my son has really missed it. I hope it goes well. We also have book study tonight: we are beginning Acts. My husband goes back to work tomorrow.

So, I guess it is time to dive back into a semblance of non-school routine. Routine is good for my family. I have a deep admiration for those who can be productive without it. I fail miserably whenever I give it a shot. So I have some planning to do for the next couple of weeks before school begins.

Pray for my little family, will you? Our hearts are heavy and some are bruised. We need to feel our Lord sustaining us and we need to strive for more than just endurance.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Puppy Feet

I have to first say that I do  not make a habit of taking pictures of my kids with their heads out of the shots.  It is just a coincidence that it has happened twice in a week.  Puppy Feet!  max 09-2010 

Puppy Feet is the current nick name for my boy.  You know how you can speculate the size a dog will be by gauging the ratio of foot to body size?  Well, my boy’s feet are giant!  These photos really don’t show the wildly disproportionate rate at which his feet have grown in the last year.  Every time I look at them, I realize that he will grow into them, which is just an overwhelming thought!  The other thought is equally overwhelming—when he grows into them, I will forget to call him Puppy Feet.  He will be giant.  So exciting.  So sad.  So cool.Puppy Feet! Max, Sept 2010

It is more than just those feet that indicate he is growing up.  He is becoming more mature in so many ways.  He dreams big and hopes big.  He is developing a thoughtful and helpful character.  He is increasingly independent, and asking to be taught skills so that he can continue to do more things on his own.

I am enjoying his pursuits of adulthood.  I really take pleasure in talking about ideas with him.  He is perceptive and has a perspective that is unique.  Of course, I can hear myself and my husband in his words, but it is exciting as I hear him process our values to make decisions and judgment calls for himself. 

Those puppy feet are more than just physical.  Adolescence is upon us, and he is growing in rates that won’t even out proportionally for probably another ten years.  We are on a new adventure!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Size Does Matter

As long as I am telling embarrassing stories, this is my husband’s favorite. But I get to at least tell some of my own perspective on it.

When we were first together, my husband had his captain’s water bed from his childhood room. It was a long twin-bed-sized box on top of another box with drawers. The bed was wider than the drawers, so there was a foot or two overhang on both sides. We had the bed pressed up against the wall, which created a cubby that could be accessed from the floor at the foot of the bed.

I used to lie on the bed and press my face against the wall to peek into that space below. I really like small spaces and I was pretty sure that this one would be perfect for me. I guess this is when the whole phenomena of my body being bigger than I think it is began. So I got stuck.

This is where my husband usually begins the story. He tells of hearing his name being called in a muffled tone and being sorely confused as to its possible source. He tells of searching the apartment, hunting for whatever could be calling out his name—like that was some big mystery. It isn’t as though there were a whole lot of people in the place.

Anyhow, he finally found me and pulled me out between laughing fits. It still galls me that I couldn’t get in and out of there more easily. As long as we had that bed, I continued to peek down from and imagine how lovely it would be to snuggle into that little spot.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Learning Naturally

My son is a prolific aspiring author.  Today we were watching an episode of a chick-flick TV show that started in the year 2000.  This particular episode ended with the introduction of a new character.  One of the main characters is thrilled, the other landed somewhere decidedly less than thrilled.

When the show was over my son was positively and breathlessly speechless.  It was contagious for me and I caught his excitement as he struggled to express his reactions.  He was so frustrated, though.  He sputtered, “I write really well and I think really well, but I…I…” Fittingly, he couldn’t finish the sentence.

I did not want to put words into his mouth, I greatly wanted to hear what he was thinking.  So I tiptoed around, trying to give him some starting words so that he could express what had him so excited.

Finally we figured out together that he really appreciated the literary device of introducing a new character that shakes up the status quo.  He could see how the show was getting settled and that it was possible to predict what would happen in different relationships.  While we may see it as predictable, for this boy only just understanding story development, tossing in a new character who evokes a variety of emotional reactions was nothing short of brilliant.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Love Me by JJ Heller

I haven't ever heard this song before, but in searching for favorites to share, I stumbled upon this. I found it to be so pretty.

I am often lonely, wishing and praying for a friend with whom I can be 'just me.' I remember lamenting this to my mom when I was in college. I told her, 'I have no friends with whom to play!' She laughed at how I said it and said, "Maybe that is why!"

I listened to this song and it struck me that I am probably not rare in my longing. I suppose we all feel lonely and different at some point or another.

I must remember that I am exceedingly blessed to have my Lord as a friend. We all do. But sometimes it doesn't feel like enough. And man, I feel guilty for even thinking that seemingly ungrateful, even blasphemous, thought! But then I think, 'He made us for relationship.'  It naturally follows that we want and need people.

I do have someone. I have my husband. I am totally me with him. I have no secrets. And in my most unlovely states, he actively loves me. I am blessed. I get to experience Jesus-caliber love from someone tangible. I would love an Anne Shirley-style kindred spirit of a girl friend. But when I sit and think--and climb out of my pity party--I realize I have two fantastic sisters who also love unlovely me. My kids take me for who I am and still want to be with me.

That is all pretty darn good!

Monday, September 6, 2010

TMI—Read with Caution and Mercy

Last night we were settling in for the night when my husband said that his ‘modi’ hurt.  That is the word for head in Korean.  I have lost my Korean vocabulary but for a few words, including modi.  The moment he said it, though, he sighed and asked, ‘Why would I say that?’  I laughed, a little triumphantly, and said that I had worn a groove out of him into which only I can fit.  I had ruined him for anyone else!  I quickly acquiesced that I have a similar groove in me for him.

He said that it is more like several grooves, and he weaved his fingers into mine.  He said that pulling apart would be so very painful with all those points of contact.  I quickly agreed.

Very sweet, huh?  I should have just left it at that, or reacted with a more romantic and amorous move.  But you need to understand something.  I am too often the unarmed victim in the ‘game’ of family flatulence.  The have me at their mercy and I am shamefully outnumbered.  I am regularly left writhing under a blanket after an attack.  Living like that can make one a little crazy.  So, you see, when I have something to offer on this front, I absolutely must act!  It is a matter of self-respect?

I am not heartless, however.  I was able to recognize how tender the moment was, so in keeping with it I…I….Well, he had just said that we should stay together forever, so I…I….  I offered to ‘toot’ on it.  *Blush*

He was properly appalled.  He asked if I thought men actually offered to ‘toot’ on things.  “Hey, Dude, let’s toot on it!”  “But Dude!  We tooted on it, man!”  I thought he was offended by my terminology.  I laughed so hard as I realized it was the deal itself that caused the affront.  I guess there is a reason why I am usually the unarmed, squealing girl in this battle.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Try Getting out of THAT!

Vacation writing!  Even though I will be away, I want to keep up on regular posting.  So I have some funny stories to share this week. Enjoy!  On the KidsROCK Blog today there is a great story and there will themed music links for the rest of the week.  Check it out.

Why is it that the most womanly thing we do is simultaneously the least lady-like?  What’s with that?  (Like my Seinfeld impression?)

After the birth of our son, my husband and I were enjoying a quiet moment together in the hospital, reviewing the happenings of the past couple of days (39 hour labor, than you very much!).  It was scary.  It was tough.  It was miraculous.  It was smelly.  Whoa…What?  I’m sorry, did you say it was smelly??  Ok.  That is SO against the rules!  A man can’t criticize the aesthetics of birth!! Come on!

But my darling already knows this—he is so good about all the rules (no jeans make my behind look fat).  I stared at him in disbelief while he looked utterly panicked.  He said he thought it was ok since I had said it first.  Umm…No…Pretty sure I never said anything about anything smelling!  He said, “Remember?  While you were pushing, you said, ‘It stinks!’”

My response?  “No.  I said, ‘IT STINGS!!!’”

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Guess I Deserve it

It makes sense that if I finish the school year at the end of August,  I would do my spring cleaning in September.  I can only pray that people will still be interested in shopping a yard sale in autumn!

We are doing a major purge, clearing out more that we have before.  Actually, I have only done two garage sales in my 13 years of marriage, so it isn’t difficult to top my past efforts. 

I am getting rid of my stash of Pampered Chef and other kitchen products.  All that alone opens up a lot of space, I am ashamed to say.  It certainly explains why being a consultant was such an abysmal financial endeavor for us!

September 2010 023The kids will be getting rid of toys and clothes, and we will be thinning our books, movies and computer games.  Again, just one of those categories creates empty space for us.

I hope to move more quickly through the house than I did today through the garage, though.  I found the old scrapbooks and photo albums of the kids when they were little.  Major derailment ensued as we strolled down memory lane.  I showed them my own yearbooks and I have some old things from my time in Korea.  I even let my girl try on the traditional dress that used to belong to me when I was her age. 

It feels good lightening the burden of stuff we have accumulated!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I have a Great Husband

I have been obsessively reading these culinary mysteries by Diane Mott Davidson lately.  I don’t know why, but I am practically obsessed with them.  I usually prefer Biblical, historical or Christian fiction.  I have always gotten so much from those genres, savoring the Truths in them for weeks and months after I finish the last page.
book Now I am reading these rather silly books.  Not a lot of wisdom or eternity can be found in them.  As I read more, though, I can see either a growing faith in the author, or just a growing boldness in her faith.  Her chapters have always been laced with delicious recipes, but are increasingly including prayers and Scripture.  But I don’t care!  smile_omg 
I don’t read them for spirituality.  I am just enjoying the mystery—immensely!  Ridiculously and shamelessly are other accurate terms.  The books are a lot of fun.  I have tried out a couple of other authors, too.  Some I have liked, others haven’t gotten me through the first book.  But I always come back to the Goldy books.
I tell my husband about them as I read.  Today I told him about a major development in the overarching storyline—something I’d sort of been hoping for.  He graciously acknowledged that it was about time.  So sweet to pretend to care!   But then I turned suddenly concerned and told him that there was trouble for Goldy.  He replied that of course there was.  Then I, because I am twelve and can change emotions more quickly than socks, became indignant and said that she was innocent.  My hero didn’t miss a beat.  He said, ‘I know she is, but you know people are going to suspect her after all she’s been through.  But it will be ok, she is innocent.’  He kissed me on the forehead and walked out of the room.
You know that he will even hold my hand when I am reading the scary parts?
What kind of great guy plays along with that sort of silliness and can keep up on plots to whodunnits that he doesn’t even read?  My kind of guy, that’s what! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Praise the Lord!

00433820We seem to be blessedly out of the woods!  My darling man woke today and answered our daughter’s desperate question, ‘are you all, all, all, all better?’ with a ‘yes!’  YAY!  I posted about my husband’s food poisoning a couple of days ago—I usually am able to keep a few days ahead of things.  So with the wonder of modern technology, the plea for prayer gets to be followed immediately by proclamation of health!  In actuality, he fell ill Monday and was well Wednesday morning.  And no hospital visit needed!!


00434743Honestly, on Tuesday my biggest concern was the dehydration.  He looked so haggard and hollow, and he was shaking and dizzy.  Isn’t just like a man to lose 20 pounds in one night?  He claims it was more like 400!   I can’t stop the chuckle that escapes my throat unheeded every time he says it.


two in love The biggest blessing to my heart through it all was the wonder of the people in our lives.  People called, prayed and offered sympathy and advice.  My moms offered wise council, my sister did the same.  Friends offered child care.  I was humbled and blessed to overflowing by the loving care with which we were treated.

vacation!Now, all is well.  We are in a day of recovery and restoration.  We missed the cool tour to the Nevada State Museum, which is a disappointment, but we may hit it for vacation.  Our pay was cut by a halting amount this month, so our planned vacation is on hold. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Poor Man

He has had quite a week full of ups and downs.  He got to go to an apologetics conference and to visit his brother.  Two fabulous treats in one!  He was lonely at the conference, he said, but came home with some neat DVDs we will watch together—once he is up to it.  That is the clincher!

Now my poor man is not up for much of anything.  It looks like he had some bad dressing and is suffering pretty seriously from food poisoning.  I feel horrible for him.  There doesn’t seem to be much either of us can do, but ride it out.  Not many people read this, I know, but please pray for my wonderful man.  At this point, he says death would be a relief from the cramping and bathroom time.  He is no drama king and considers any talk about death to be morbid and wildly inappropriate. 

Please pray his recovery is swift, and that we do not end up in the emergency room.  Our hospital frankly isn’t a place one would want to end up if in need of medical care—which, I realize is a bit of a contradiction.  There is always this peculiar internal conversation that happens when one is sick or injured here.  “How sick am I?  Sick enough to go to the hospital? Maybe, but am I healthy enough to sustain whatever they might inflict on me?  Yeah…no…I am just too sick to go to the hospital.”

I can see my darling husband weighing the consequences each time I offer to take him in.  I can’t tell if his no means he is well enough to suffer at home, or too sick to endure the hospital.