Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wrap it Up

Today was our last session of Beth Moore's Daniel study at church. I learned a ton, about myself, about history, about prophecy, about God. Beth encouraged us, especially through the second half of the study, to keep with the learning, even though it isn't about "me."

To a large extent, this is true. The second half of Daniel is all prophecy (to him,) much of which is now history (to us.) But even in learning about those prophecies which aren't about "me," God was speaking to my heart and encouraging me. Studying those prophecies and their fulfillment has made me so much more aware of God as a Man of His Word. What he says he will do, he will do. And I get the benefit of seeing, 2500 years later, that in many ways (MANY) he has already done what he said he'd do.

I love the Thursday morning study at church. Particularly precious to me is our Bible study leader, Stephanie, who has a heart for God's Word and a passion to living it out in her life... even when it hurts. And she has shared those hurts with us often, as it seems that with every new study she leads, she is put through a new challenge or struggle.

Stephanie has told us on more than one occasion that she has, at times, dreaded the thought of leading another study because of the challenges she knows are awaiting her. Yet she does them anyway, simply because God has lead her to do it and she desires to be obedient. She is also quick to share the the abundant blessing that God bestows upon her as she lives through those challenges.

I love her heart, and I love how that enables her to lead our class.

I mentioned in a previous post a little bit about working out our faith when we are at church. I guess I was referring specifically to small group studies. Those should, in my opinion, be the places where we can encourage one another in the living out of the scriptures we are studying. It should be the place where we can ask questions and share our shortcomings. It should be the place where we strengthen one another with scripture, encourage one another with the love of Christ, and bear burdens for one another as we prepare ourselves to walk out the door and live out our faith in a challenging world.

Stephanie allows for all of this. She allows for it even if it means that we don't have time to cover all of the material. She is sensitive to the possibility that the scriptures we study may be a great challenge to someone, and we must therefore take the time to build her up before she leaves the room.

My previous post was about the times when people's needs get squelched in a small group setting for the purpose of getting in all the material. It saddens me.

That is why I am so thankful for Stephanie's leadership of our Thursday study. She never squelches. She is a blessing, indeed.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Can You STAND the Excitement?

My to do list for the rest of this week:

Pick up the last part of the gift for the baby shower on Friday night.

Wrap said gift.

Get directions to said shower.

Get a sitter for Saturday night.

Make a dessert for Saturday night.

Make a dessert for Thursday lunch at church.

Make soup for Paul's carry-in on Friday.

Determine if tan clothes will work under Ms. Boo's donkey costume for her Christmas play. If not, go find brown ones.

Get Boo to rehearsal on Saturday morning.

Finish four lessons for Thursday's Bible study.

Yes, thank you. I do feel better having gotten that all out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You know what? Well I don't Either

Is it me, or does it sometimes feel like there is nothing worth writing on the blog? Life it good. I could tell a story or two, but I have no Deeper Meaning to offer from those stories. Just life.

Somehow I feel obligated to have Deeper Meaning. A post without Deeper Meaning is not worthy of the blogosphere, right?

So, I offer you some of my thoughts. Just thoughts. Unedited. You supply the Deeper Meaning.

- kids who, upon learning that orange juice comes from oranges, exclaim "that's COOL!" are cute.

- There should be ample opportunity in a church for each person to exmine and rehearse their faith so that when we leave we are more prepared to live out our faith in the "real" world. Squelching peoples' questions as they work out their faith in the name of "covering all of the scriptures" makes me squirm.

- I'm torn about leading a Bible study at church. I wanted to do "Through the Bible in 90 Days" and open it up to anyone who was interested. But someone has asked me to consider leading Ruth Graham Lotz's "Revelation" study that we are doing as a follow-up to Beth Moore's "Daniel." The Revelation study won't be offered at a time that is convenient for everyone. That's why I was asked to consider doing it on Thursday mornings. I am not worried about teaching per se. But, given the fact that I have done an entire week's worth of homework the night before Bible study (three times, I might add,) I don't know if I will be disciplined enough to prepare the lesson adequately.

- Though the reality is, I CAN be prepared. It's just a matter of my own willingness to do it.

- I need to do a post about my attempts to lose weight. I could probably write up something humorous or possibly encouraging. But you know what? When all is said and done, I'd still have to tell you that I haven't lost any weight. And the mental energy required to decide if I wanted to take the "poor me" angle or the "I'm so mad it makes me even more resolved" angle really isn't worth the mediocre post that it would amount to. And that pesky lack of Deeper Meaning pretty much seals the deal for me -this post just isn't worth all the QWERTY hopping.

- I find it odd that I really want to learn about 5 languages. I also find it difficult to determine if pursuing that knowledge is what is best right now.

- And I don't like the book I am reading right now. But by the time I had decided that it stunk, I was already too far into it. In case you are wondering, it's Teacher Man by Frank McCourt.

- The next few weeks are busy. That's fine. Busyness, however, always makes me wonder if the things I am doing are worth the energy. I want my life to be one of purpose, but sometimes it seems like the things I end up doing (all fine things, by the way,) have me a bit off track in regards to my purpose.

- Henceforth, I have thought about writing out my own purpose statement. Goals. My Mission.
- I know someone who did that.

- My blessings list is growing, but I realized this Thanksgiving that I am forgetting to actually THANK God for those things.

- Thank you God.

[Insert Deeper Meaning here.]

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh. My. Word.

Folks, let me just tell you...

I left my house this morning and won't be back until tomorrow. I have spent a good part of my day shopping for all the little things I will need for Christmas that I get all ba-humbuggy about when I have to do it with the kids.

But without them?

Fa-la-la-la-la. La. La. LA. LAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I've got stocking stuffers and stuff for the kids' Sunday school teachers. I picked up something I needed for homeschooling. Got my hair cut. Found a gift I need for an upcoming baby shower. I even BROWSED at a store containing aisle after aisle of HIGHLY BREAKABLE merchandise...

Now, I am at the library and I am going to do a little work on my 500th post (can you stand the suspense?) and I will do it uninterrupted!

So, I am going to go get to work. And then I am going to go eat. Chinese, I think. Then I am going back to my nicely appointed hotel room and I might just watch TV. I thought it might be fun to have the experience of watching it AND hearing it at the same time.

Quilting... swimming... reading... crochet... oh, the possibilities...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Off I go

We all know that I'm always a little off, but tomorrow, I am OFF. Not. On. Duty.



Doing What. Ever. I. Want.

Whenever I want.

I have no idea what the day has in store for me, except for eating two meals completely uninterrupted.

It's my day off. And I am not back on duty until Thursday morning.

A. di. os.

If you don't like Attitude, don't read this.

I am sending you some mail.

Forwarding it, actually.


Well, because I have your address. And I can.

But don't worry. I know you will LOVE it. I just know you will.

Here is a glimpse of what you might get:

Oh, you don't have kids? That's okay. I don't care. There are some REALLY CUTE pictures in here. No one should miss out.

Here, here's one we really like at our house:

I know you're single, but you're on my address list, and I can't really be bothered to take you out of the loop. This is a mass mailing, you know, and I don't have time for that.

How about this one?
It's one of our favorites. I know some of you aren't Christians, but we love this one so much, how could I possibly keep it from you?

And let's not forget these:

You will be getting a LOT of those, my friend. I know you could find these offers for yourself, but I want to send it to you. I wouldn't want you to miss out.

Oh, wait, you've GOT to see this one. This is one you are SURE to like, even if you don't find the others interesting.

You have never actually TOLD me you like quilting, but if you are ANYTHING like me, I just know you do. I just KNOW it.

Oh, oh, OH! And what home would be complete without THIS?

Trust me, you'll actually be THANKING me for this one... not that I am ever going to ask you what you think about all this mail, mind you.

Before you ask who else might be getting all of this mail, let me assure you that I have that covered. I am planning on sending a copy of my mailing list with every piece I send you. That way you'll know everyone who has been blessed with the same mail, and you can even contact them if you want. Of course, this makes it so easy for YOU if you want to forward the mail after you have finished enjoying it. Because then all you have to do is add your mailing list to mine. Soon, if enough people keep forwarding the mail (though I prefer to call it "sharing the joy") everyone on the planet will know who got this piece of mail! Isn't that fantastic? Kinda makes us feel like one big, happy family doesn't it... all without EVER asking our recipients, "how are you?" or "what's going on in your life?" (or having to listen to their answers. Gaaah!)

I can't imagine why you would, but if you ask me to stop forwarding this stuff, I'll simply tell you "if you don't want it, you can just throw it out," and act like you are being ungrateful and rude.

I mean, you GAVE me your address, for goodness sake.

Just don't tell Heather, okay? (She's one of those overly sensitive types.)


Sunday, November 19, 2006


This is a picture that Mr. Bug drew tonight. It's Jonah. He's on the whale. The whale is jumping out of the water. The thing on the left is the sun. This picture is a keeper. It's the first one where everything he drew actually looks like what it's supposed to be. (I guessed it was a whale right away.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Actual Conversation with my Son

Bug: Mom, I have a song about numbers and letters.
Me: Yeah? Let's hear it.
Bug: (Singing) Numbers, letters. Numbers, letters. Nuuumberrrrrs. Letters.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

We're not in Kansas any more, Toto.

Actual comment that came out of my mouth today:

"Have mercy, those are good."

What was I doing?

Well, eating collard greens, of course. What else would I have been doing?

(They were even better than I remember them. So maybe their personality-altering effects should not surprise me. But really, "have mercy"? I mean, Y'all...)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It should be good things that come in threes

They say bad things happen in threes. Not any more, folks. Not any more.

Two of my last three posts were about lovely recipes that I really enjoy. So, today, when I was slurping down a fruit smoothie with the kids, I though hmmm, this here smoothie is mighty fine. Dare I post my third recipe this week so my readers can enjoy one too?

Dare, I shall.

Usually I do the following:

Add about 1 cup of apple juice and half a banana to the blender. Puree. Add in about 3/4 cup each of frozen peaches and frozen strawberries. Puree. (I like the smoothies really thick, and I do NOT like dairy in a smoothie. Add more juice if yo like them thinner, or maybe some vanilla yogurt if you like dairy.)

That's how we usually enjoy our smoothies.

Today, the kids were clamoring for a smoothie but I didn't have any juice. So I opened a can of pineapple and used almost all of the juice from it, as well as two slices of pineapple. Banana, strawberries and peaches remained the same. Well that smoothie was, in the words of Maya, "super fabuloso!" (When, exactly, will I stop thinking of everything in terms of children's shows?)

Anyway, there you have it. That's how we do smoothies around here. The kids love them, and I'd much rather they have that than most other things.

Try different stuff. We did frozen cherries once and have done frozen blueberries a few times too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It is Fall, Indeed

I have been looking for a good recipe for butternut squash soup. I saw this recipe at World's Healthiest Foods. It piqued my interest; sounded so tasty. So, I tried it. Even bought the coconut milk and fresh ginger it calls for.

It was disgusting.

But the idea of butternut squash soup kept haunting me. It seemed like butternut squash would make such a delicious soup. I searched this morning for some recipes and found that there are quite a few. But, since the squash I wanted to use had already been cut open (to make that other soup) and I wanted to use it TODAY, I had to find a recipe that didn't require ridiculous incredients, like creme fraiche. (Yes, there was actually one that called for this.) Not only did I not want to go out and buy new stuff, but I also refused to try another recipe only to find that it too was disgusting, and be left with a bunch of ingredients that I will never use again. (I have coconut milk in my freezer right now. I'll NEVER use it, but I just can't stand the thought of throwing it out...)

I was delighted to find a recipe that fit these criteria, and also used apples. This is appropriate considering the season, but for my needs as well, since I have a few apples that have been sitting around for almost too long. The recipe that I found also says you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This is an added bonus for me, of course, because my poultry-allergic husband could conceivably try the soup, and, provided Venus is appropriately aligned with Mars, he might like it, making this recipe a KEEPER in my "trying to serve more healthful foods to my family" repertoire.

I cooked up a batch much smaller than this recipe yields, so there is a very real possibility that I didn't get the ingredient proportions correct (I didn't measure.) But, folks, it is downright tasty. Delightful, I tell you. In fact, I have already eaten two bowls.

I have yet to consult my astrological charts to determine the future of this recipe around my house. But for now, it's a winner.

If you would like to try it, you can find it here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Note To Self:

Going four days in a row without doing laundry....


Very. Unwise.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Friday

I just made a dessert for a dinner this evening. It is a real crowd-pleaser AND it's super easy. So, in the spirit of public service, I thought I'd share it with you.

Williamsburg Bread
2 packages of cream cheese, 8 oz each.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 packages crescent rolls
cinnamon sugar

With electric mixer, cream the cheese and sugars. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. Spread one package of rolls onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Press seams together. Pour cream cheese mixture on top. Place remaining rolls on top of cheese mixture. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 oven.

Super delicious.

Happy Friday, all.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not that we ever doubted she's my daughter...

I took the kids to Dunkin Donuts tonight. I don't know why, but I have been craving one of those powdered sugar donuts with that rich chocolate cream inside (almost like cake frosting you'd buy at the store.) I have long been a fan of Dunkin Donuts, but as far as my favorites go, those donuts (which I found out are called "chocolate kreme") never even made the list. Cravings are never logical...

ANYWAY, as we were sitting in the DD enjoying our donuts, Lainee turned to me and said, "Mom, do they do parties at this place?"

I knew what she was thinking. She was thinking birthday party.

If only I had been wise enough to ask for a Dunkin Donut party when I turned six. Could you just imagine it? A box full of bavarian cream, sorrounded by eclairs. Candles stuck right in the donuts.

I had to tell my daughter that no, they do not do parties at Dunkin Donuts. But don't think for a minute that I haven't considered tryng it anyway.

Who would have more fun at THAT party? Me or her?

Just by way of information, I will now post my top five favorite Dunkin Donuts
1. Absolutely, hands down, Bavarian cream.
2. Eclairs
3. Boston cream
4. French crullers
5. Cinnamon sugar

(Okay - Bavaria, Boston, France? Do I have to state my obvious international flair here people?)

This seems like a good time for a (long overdue) unofficial poll.

Unofficial Poll: What is your favorite kind of donut?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

That's JUST like a mom

Lainee has been on this kick recently in which she wants to be and mom. She wants to do all things mommy. So, a few weeks ago, just as I was saying goodnight to her, she said, "Mom, I want to put away all the toys tomorrow. And sweep the kitchen floor. And mop."

With a raised eyebrow and a sideways glance, I just said, "okay."

"Can you write those down?" she asked, "I don't want to forget."

Again, me: "okay."

I left the room and I wrote them down. Pick up toys. Sweep floor. Mop.

Several minutes later, I had to go back into the room. Before leaving, she added to the list. "Mom, I also want to fold the laundry and do the dishes and dust and vacuum [and, and, and...]" She instructed me to write all of these down too.

I did not.

The next day I reminded her of all the things she wanted to do. And she got to work at a few of them. She completed one or two, saying, "you know why I am doing this, don't you?"


"Because I want to be a mommy."


That night at dinner, she told Paul "I was being a mommy today," to which Paul replied, "yeah? What did you do?"

The very first words out of her mouth were, "Well, I didn't get done everything I wanted to do, but...."

"You did it, Lainee," I interrupted. "That's EXACTLY what mommies do."

So, in honor of motherhood, I would now like to list for you the projects that are on my list; the things I would like to do, but never seem to get to.

1. Finish my watercolor quilt.

2. Start that awesome blue and yellow quilt.

3. Finish Bethany's Christmas stocking... which has been sitting around since last year.

4. Get some video of the kids before they become teenagers.

5. Finish the baby blanket I started crocheting. (I just pulled about 15 rows out because I realized I made a mistake. If I had the digital camera, I would take a picture so you could see the disgustingly large pile of yarn that has been removed.) I don't have anyone to give it to, but maybe I will some day.

6. Finish two scrap albums for the two newest babies (one born last week, one to be born this week) at church.

7. Go shopping for a decent pair of pants.

8. Read those last two books.

9. Figure out some lesson plans that play better to Lainee's interests and personality.

10. Focus on more learning time with Jonathan.

11. Finish piecing a rail fence quilt.

12. Try my hand a crocheting a wrap.

13. Learn to play the piano.

14. Finish Bethany's life book.

15. File all the papers for Bethany's birth certificate and change of name on her certificate of citizenship.

Some day, I suppose, all these things will get done. That or I'll decide they are no longer that big of a deal to me. But for now, I just feel like I have too much stuff I want to do, and not enough time to do it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Help a Girl Out

Now, I realize that any blogger who wants to maintain any sort of readership needs to post regularly. I'm figuring I have lost a few readers over the past month or so.

See, life is a little crazy right now. Homeschooling. Daniel study. A few projects that I would like to get done. Sue's fate. And, of course, all this confounded reading.

Currrently, I am two books away from my twleve book goal. With two more months left in the year, I think I am well within striking distance.

But here's the problem:

Of the books left on my reading list, the library either: doesn't have them; has them, but they are checked out; or has them but they happen to be the ones that are five hundred pages long.

So, I either need to forget about homeschooling, housecleaning, and, well, sleeping, and get cracking on one of those five hundred pagers, or I need to find a new book to read.

I choose the latter. No pride here, folks. Just wanting to get the last two books read.

This is where you all come in (those of you who still read this thing, that is. Those of you who will continue to read even though there is no end to my inconsistent posting in sight...) I want to know how you all decide what books you want to read. Seems like everyone has this list of 100 books they want to read. I struggle to pick out twenty. So, what do I do? Where do I get ideas? Does anyone want to recommend a book?

Work with me, people. I cannot read 1000 pages before 2007.