Saturday, May 29, 2004

Congratulations are Due

My friend, Maureen, got married today. To this I would just like to say...


Thursday, May 27, 2004

Last Saturday

I came home last Saturday and Paul, referring to a car that was parked in front of our house, asked me, "What's with this car?" I had no idea. I didn't even know why he was asking, so I said, "why?" Well, the back bumper had been hit and the debris was still there beside the car. We just shrugged our shoulders, because neither of us knew what had happened.

On Tuesday night we were all sitting out in the front yard, when our neighbor approached us. He chatted with Paul... and because I couldn't hear him very well, I had to ask Paul to fill me in. Apparently the car belonged to our neighbor's son-in-law. While he was visiting, the kids who live across the street (the oldest of whom is six) got into their car and managed to put it in reverse or neutral. They rolled the car right out of their driveway and into the parked car!

If the (parked) car had not been there, the kids could have easily rolled their car directly into our front yard. I am so thankful that my children were not in the way of that car!

I think there are tons of "near-misses" in our lives that we will never know about. And we may doubt that God is caring for us because we don't always see what he saves us from. Well, let this be evidence to the contrary! I think this is a reminder that God IS taking care of us!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

One Precious Boy

My son is the sweetest little boy I have ever seen. He got up late last night, crying quite a bit. He ended up puking... but this kid is so sweet that I just delighted to hold and snuggle with him for the rest of the night on the couch in the living room. Is this a product of his sweetness, or my mellowing as a mom? I don't know, but I just think he is the greatest.

The other day, he got a sippy cup out of the drawer and just waved it at me saying, "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" He was thirsty. And when I gave him some water, he was satisfied.

Now, for those of you who only read this blog to hear stories about Ms. Boo, here is one for you. And those of you who know her will be able to appreciate this.

Yesterday, Boo was standing on a kitchen chair in the middle of the family room, doing, what else, but singing at the top of her lungs. "Mom," she said, "come over here and watch me!"

ME: no, not right now
Boo: why?
ME: because I am trying to get the house cleaned up
Boo: clean MY room, mom!
ME: I think YOU should clean your room!
Boo: (disgusted) I CAN'T, mom... I'm SINGING!

...I know, my priorities are totally out of whack!


Tuesday, May 25, 2004


I am reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren and today's chapter was about using the skills, gifts, personality, experiences that God has given you. It is no coincidence that just a few days ago, I got what looks like an invitation to do just that. It is a specific answer to a prayer that I have asked of God many times over the last 3 or 4 years. Just thinking about this opportunity excites me (though I don't want to be for fear that it won't pan out!)

All of this is just God's way of continuing to teach me who I am. I never knew that it is good for me to do the things that I really LIKE to do - that God gave me those likes for a reason. I have spent most of my life denying my likes because I didn't think they were "allowed." After a lifetime of doing that, I found that I was an adult and didn't even know WHAT I liked. I absolutely love it that God wants me to do the things that really light my fire (and that it is GOOD FOR ME TO DO THEM!) Simply knowing what those things are is exciting, but knowing I may have the chance to DO them... that's way more excitement than I can handle.

Sunday, May 23, 2004


Saturday, May 22, 2004


I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. - John 15:5

Even my best works are nothing without Him.
There is a song I hear often that says "I couldn't face my life tomorrow without your hope in my heart." I heard it a few months ago and I prayed, "Lord, what is that about? I can't say I feel that way."

I have a very hard heart. Many times I find that I don't even WANT to rely on God for so much. That's probably because I am afraid of the change that it will require. I am way too attached to "stuff" here on earth.

I fear the things that God might have to allow in my life to get me to the point where I truly rely on Him for everything.


Friday, May 21, 2004

The Oft Requested List

1. Bart Simpson
2. Penguin (gum)
3. Raccoon (gum)
4. Asterix
5. "Happy Valentine's Day" (one pink, one red.)
6. Winnie the Pooh
7. Eeyore
8. Tigger
9. Piglet
10. Clown (12.5 inches tall)
11. Fuzzy Friends - Panda
12. Fuzzy Friends - Beagle
13. Fuzzy Friends - Bull Terrier
14. Power disk (I have, like, 3 of these)
15. Cat (gum)
16. Whale (gum)
17. set of 4 monster party favors (miniature)
18. Miss Piggy
19. Gonzo
20. Kermit
21. Fozzie
22. Jack-o-lantern (Series B)
23. Snowman (B)
24. Santa (C, with painted eyes)
25. Skeleton
26. Chick with hat
27. Bunny (2)
28. Sylvester
29. Speedy Gonzales
30. Daffy Duck
31. Bugs Bunny
32. Tweety Bird
33. Yosemite Sam
34. Truck (#5, cab R2)
35. Yoda
36. Dearth Vader
37. C3PO (thanks, Shelby)
38. Garfield (with visor)
39. Arlene (thanks, again, Shelby!)
40. Mickey Mouse
41. Pluto (C)
42. Donald Duck
43. Goofy
44. Monsters (3 different kinds)
45. Clown
46. Coach whistle
47. Charlie Brown (smiling)
48. Snoopy
49. Lucy
50. Woodstock
51. Astronaut 2 (no feet)
52. Spiderman (B)
53. Batman (dark blue, later version)
54. Batman (light blue)
55. Wonder Woman
56. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle - Raphael
57. Hulk
58. Lamb
59. Panda
60. Fred Flintstone
61. Dino
62. Barney Rubble
63. Pebbles
64. Bug

Anwers to potential questions:
Yes, I did have to go to the Star Wars, Garfield, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Websites to get the names of some of these. No, I didn't find all the info I needed there. Yes, Shelby did find (or knew) that info for me. No, I don't necessarily want any more. No, I have never bought a single one for my collection.

Want more exciting info? Click here!

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I am sorry if you have tried to comment recently and couldn't. You should be able to now. I am illiterate, technologically speaking. Blogger recently added the commenting feature to their settings and I went with that, and inadvertantly blocked non-bloggers from commenting. Before I realized this was just a matter of changing my settings, I re-"installed" haloscan comments. Anyway, I decided to keep it that way, because all my old comments will be lost if I don't.

All of this leads me to this question? Do you care?


When Paul and I were dating, it seemed like there was no one in the world who understood me better. (And I think he would say the same thing.) So, I think it is funny, now that we are married, that we sometimes get into this rut where I could swear we are from completely different planets. We just look at each other like "HUH?"

I think Paul does way more for our family than I even realize. And he doesn't let it shake him when the communication gets jumbled. He just talks it through with me, which (though it can be frustrating,) is always fun, in an odd sort of way. Hee hee! I love my husband.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Why I hate cicadas:
they are extremely ugly... and not just ugly, but BIG and ugly
they are everywhere
they leave their exoskeletons all over everything

Why I love cicadas:
Cicadas don't seem to serve any purpose, as far as I can tell. I (seriously) thought today about how I would like to ask God what he had in mind when he created cicadas. The fact that I cannot figure this out, and that I never would have made them if it had been up to me, just goes to show that:
1)I am not God
2)he does things for reasons that I may never understand.
So, I have decided that, as ugly as they are, I love the cicadas, because they remind me that God's ways are not my ways and that he understands way more than I ever will.

(And maybe THAT is the purpose of cicadas... to remind me that I ain't God.)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. -Isaiah 55:8


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Gas boycott

I keep getting this e-mail about a gas boycott. The goal is to get everyone in the country to refuse to buy gas on May 19. The e-mail says


It then calls for the May 19 boycott and goes on to say:


So, here are my questions about this:
1. Who did these calculations, and what, exactly, are they?
2. How does a net loss of 4.6 billion dollars translate into cheaper gas prices?
3. Will it really work? It seems to me like it will make absolutely no difference if everyone just goes to the pump on May 20 and buys the gas they didn't buy the day before. If NOT buying one day would cause a glut, wouldn't EVERYONE buying the next day relieve it? Maybe this is oversimplification, but that's how it seems to me. If we really want to buy less gas, we have to be willing to DRIVE LESS and therefore, use less gas as a LIFESTYLE, rather than just do a one day thing. (But that is not the convenient, comfortable, quick-fix kind of answer we Americans like to commit ourselves to.)
4. Waiting for our administration to control prices? WHY? Is that really the job of government? I am so sick of the attitude people have that they can just blame the government whenever something goes wrong and expect them to fix it without ever having to PERSONALLY do anything more than a one-day boycott.

Whatever. If I need gas on May 19, I'm buying it.


Monday, May 17, 2004

The kid is a trip

Driving in the car this morning, Ms. Boo said to me, "Mom, there is a cow in the grass!"

"yeah, I saw that," I told her. "That's neat, isn't it?"

Her response: "It's amazing."
I drove to a local church last week for one of my Moms' meetings and as we were getting out of the car, Boo reached for a snack that she wanted to bring with her. "No," I told her, "they will give you a snack while you are there." She looked at me, and, knowing that we were already parked in the church lot, she said "HERE, mom. I will have a snack HERE." Pardon me.
Recently, I was discussing some obedience issues with Boo. I was leading her in a little prayer in which she would repeat small segments after me. One excerpt went like this:
ME: I know
Boo: I know
ME: the Bible says
Boo: the Bible says
ME: to obey mommy and daddy
Boo: to obey mommy and daddy and Mr. Bug
ME: the Bible says
Boo: the Bible says
ME: to obey mommy and daddy
Boo: to obey mommy and daddy and Mr. Bug
~~Interrupt prayer to explain that the Bible does not say to obey Mr. Bug~~

I guess if obeying mommy and daddy is good, then obeying mommy and daddy and Mr. Bug must be better!


Thursday, May 13, 2004

I am my own worst enemy

The time of day when I have to start making dinner is probably my least favorite part of the day. It is impossible to get around the kitchen without stepping on a child. Mr. Bug gets particularly crabby as dinner time approaches. Add to this that I have been with the children all day... so my patience is usually wearing thin. Everyone is generally crabby and frustrated.

On a normal night, Paul would come home around this time and I can get some relief from the kids while he entertains them. Tonight, however, Paul had a track meet, so... I just kept tripping (both literally and figuratively.)

Now, most rational people would take all of these things into account and go for the easy meal, but NOT ME!

Today, as I was rummaging around trying to find something to eat, I saw that I had a bunch of mozzerella cheese in the freezer. Pizza, I thought. Great idea. But what would I use to make the crust? I had english muffins, and Ms. Boo liked making english muffin pizzas the last time we did it... but they were so gross. (More rummaging...) I thought I had a package of yeast... yes there it was. I decided I could make the dough from scratch.

But what about the sauce? We used spaghetti sauce last time, but that also tasted gross. (I grab my cookbook.) I had everything I needed to make sauce from scratch. So... off I go....

Yeast, flour, water, oil... knead the dough. pull J off leg. preheat oven. Brown the ground meat. let dough rise. pull Mr. Bug off leg. crush canned tomatoes, oregano, garlic, chop the onions, pepper. open can of mushrooms. put Bug in his bed. drain mushrooms. drain meat. clean table. flour table and roll out dough. add toppings. read recipe and realize that you were supposed to bake the dough 10 minutes before adding toppings. sigh. put pizza in oven. roll out second half of dough to make the pizza that you weren't even going to bother with until Boo threw a fit b/c you wouldn't let her help, and you yelled at her because she wasn't even supposed to be IN the kitchen, but should've been watching the tape that SHE ASKED FOR and staying out of the way like you told her, and now you feel bad, so you decide to make the second pizza anyway. put crust in oven. clean table. get Boo a paper towel so she can "help" clean too and maybe we can avoid another tantrum from the child who refused to nap today. clean the floor where Boo spilled flour when she was "helping." clean up mushroom can. clean up can of tomato sauce. No, Boo, you cannot have a snack now. clean meat spilled on stove. put away flour, garlic, oil. try to wake up Bug... no luck. get out plates. serve pizza. get out "shaking" cheese. Let Boo shake cheese by herself... enough said. see that none of the cheese is actually ON THE PIZZA. Reason w/ three-year-old that she doesn't need more cheese, but can use what is on her plate, all she has to do is dip her pizza in it. get fork. cut a piece of her pizza and demonstrate dipping. console child for next 2 minutes, profusely apologizing for cutting her pizza, and try to convince her that the piece cannot be reattached. wake up Bug cut piece of pizza for him. watch him eat some. spits out the rest... why? BECAUSE IT IS GROSS!

should've used the freakin' english muffins and spahetti sauce!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Watching the News

I was watching the CBS Evening News on Saturday. They did a piece in which they visited Allentown, PA and asked people how they felt about what was going on in the Abu Graib prison in Iraq.

One man, who had spent time in Iraq as a contractor, said that he didn't think it was such a big deal (I am paraphrasing.) He said something like, "you have to understand that the troops are under a lot of stress. They're away from home, they don't have much in the way of comforts, and they work very long shifts." Then, referring to the prisoners, he added, "these people are murderers!"

One woman they spoke to said that the events at the prison bothered her because they make Americans look bad.

Another woman pointed out that the soldiers posed for the pictures. She says that if they posed for the pictures, they obviously didn't think they were doing anything wrong.

Another man brought up the incident in Fallujah (I think) where they dragged the bodies of 4 troops through the streets. He said, "So, the prisoners were humiliated, at least they weren't KILLED."

The report went on. In it, there was not ONE SINGLE PERSON who expressed any displeasure that the people in that prison were abused!

IS OUR WHOLE COUNTRY ON DRUGS? Hopefully, it is just these residents of Allentown. Watching that report angered me to the point that I wanted to punch the television!

My disgusted response
First of all, I seriously hope that the rest of the country does not believe that everybody in that prison is a murderer. Some of those people are being held on suspicion. Some of them are being held for crimes which do not include murder. But let's just assume for a moment that all of "those people" (that has quite the racist ring to it) are murderers. AND let's assume that all the troops are under stress. My question is this: SO? If that happened to imprisoned murderers here in the states, would we feel that the treatment was appropriate? (May I remind you that this is the country where murderers get color TV, book deals, and basketball courts...) Hey, I am all about supporting our troops... but not when they treat humans like dogs. Poor little soldier... boo hoo. Sorry you are stressed. I know someone who gets stressed all the time... and he takes it out on his kids. Why is that not okay, but abusing Iraqis is?

I can agree with the fact that this whole thing makes Americans look bad. BUT, if you think that is the most disturbing part of this tragedy, then YOU arae just as guilty of making Americans look bad. To care more about how I look than about how someone else is treated. Disgusting.

Next, THINKING that you are doing something wrong has nothing to do with whether you are ACTUALLY doing something wrong. If those troops didn't know they were doing something wrong, then they are just as stupid as they are cruel. And, why wasn't anyone there to TELL them it was wrong... That tells me that this kind of behavior described the culture within that prison: it was fostered within that group of people (the company? batallion? the entire Army? who knows.)

Finally, the revenge deaths that have occurred on both sides of this war are tragic, and even humiliating. Even today we hear of the American civilian who was beheaded on TV as revenge for the prison abuses. I could easily write 5 more posts on revenge alone. But what kind of amoral response is it to say that a "lesser" crime is okay if it isn't as bad as someone else's? I gotta go Biblical here: People who spew such garbage have absolutely NO understanding of a holy God. Jesus said that anyone guilty of breaking one part of the law is guilty of breaking ALL OF IT. Therefore, dismissing a lesser crime as though it doesn't matter, is ridiculous. They are all sin in God's eyes. He hates it ALL!

The greatest of all the commandments is to Love God above all things and the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. The whole situation in Iraq wreaks of hate, for both God and man.

The Politics of war in Iraq
Now, it wouldn't be opportunist America if someone didn't try to benefit from this situation. John Kerry's campaign gurus are circulating a petition via e-mail, calling for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. (And, for the record, I think anyone who believes that is necessary should sign such a petition.) If it is good for America (and, oh yeah, Iraq too) that Rumsfeld resign... then it is REALLY good for Kerry. It would give him lots o' leverage against the Republican party. But I, personally, think it is pitiful that such a petition has come from the candidate of an opposing party. If it is the right thing to do, then it should be done sans partisanship. The Kerry campaign hasn't missed that its candidate stands to benefit from the success of this petition. I guess I find myself wishing (again) for the politician to take the high road... in this case, by letting someone else circulate that petition and avoiding even the appearance of using it for his own benefit.

On my mind
Forgiveness. Second maybe only to love, (they're inseperable, aren't they?) How often do the people of this planet think about forgiveness? How often do we choose to do it? The power of forgiveness. Sadly, overlooked.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

What I like about Helen

1. She is a faithful friend. She asks about the stuff that is going on in my life and she calls whenever she has gone too long without an update.
2. She knows how to be happy for other people.
3. She is wise.
4. She encourages people to get to know God better.
5. She teaches middle school. Anyone who teaches middle school should be cannonized.
6. Funny. Funny. Funny.
7. She gets sad when my son has been walking for two months and she hasn't gotten to see it yet.
8. She makes time for me. And she usually initiates our getting-together.
9. No frills.
10. Helen does this thing when she wants you to be quiet where she just points her finger and yells "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah." Oh, wait... that is something I hate. And the next time she does it to me, I will probably deck her. :)
11. Helen can laugh at herself.
12. She does the right thing, even if it ain't so comfy.
13. She (and her husband Jeff) don't have every material possession in the world. And they aren't striving for them either.
14. Helen is smart.
15. Helen usually drives farther than me when we get together, but she has never complained about it.
16. She listens.
17. She loves the Jackson 5 and Mr. Potato Heads
18. Helen prays.
19. Helen was once a professional back-up singer.
20. Whenever I need someone who will just "understand," Helen is the person I go to.


Saturday, May 01, 2004

This kinda bugs me

Every time I go into a book store, I always seem to pass by a book entitled "The (fill-in-the-blank) Bible." You know what I am talking about ....

There's this Bible, and this one, and don't forget about this one.

I guess when you read "Bible" in a title, you are supposed to think that this is the foremost authority on the subject, the definitive guide, the ultimate resource. Does anyone know where I am going with this?

If people really think a Bible is the foremost authority on a topic, why doesn't anyone think that THE Bible is? This contradiction angers, saddens, annoys, and frustrates me.

But that is not even the worst part. The worst part is that even people who say the Bible is their authority don't treat is at the definitive guide that it is. When we are told in Eph 4:29 not to let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, how many of us Christians still gossip, slander, cuss, lie, etc...? When the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to the Father, why do we convince ourselves that there are "different ways" to God for different people. (That doesn't even make LOGICAL sense... sorry!) When the commandments tell us not to lie or steal and when we are told that we must submit to earthly authority, why do we cheat on our taxes and laugh like it is no big deal? When we are told in 1 John that we must love our brothers, why do we allow ourselves to go to church and bible study and sunday school and NEVER concern ourselves with the people we see there until the next meeting rolls around? When we are told that we must love our neighbors as ourselves and that we must consider others better than ourselves, why are we constantly looking out for our own interests, not caring who we cut off in traffic, whining about all the work we have to do that isn't "fair," delighting in others' grief and failures, and being jealous instead of happy for those who receive special blessings?

Is the Bible the authority or not? If it isn't, why are we bothering with it? If it is, why don't we act like it?

How did Jesus Christ, God, Lord, etc... all become swear words?

Can I use Buddha, Muhammed, (or a like figure... all DEAD, of course) as a swear and get away with it? Wouldn't that be considered religious harassment if I used a central religious figure as a swear word? (Somebody call the ACLU!) It seems like lately harassment is only harassment if you're not a Christian. If you ARE a Christian and want your views or rights respected you are out of "luck."

Of course, this phenomenon is not all that phenomenal, since Jesus told us this is exactly what would happen. It seriously doesn't make any sense whatsoever, but those without Christ don't always see it that way. I can accept it. But I don't have to like it.