Monday, June 30, 2008

My shoe horse...

I think my daughter is what is referred to as a "shoe horse." She loves shoes and desires to collect as many pairs as possible. She also loves bags too (we affectionately call her the bag lady) but that's for another blog. We can't go past the shoes in Walmart without her screeching, "Shoooes, shooes--I need shooes!" We are working on the need vs. want concept. She also feels she needs "chalk lett!"

So, I counted the other day and between play shoes, garage sale finds, and good shoes she has (are you ready for this?) 12--TWELVE--a DOZEN pairs of shoes. Good grief. I guess she comes by it honestly--she gets it from me. Although, I have to point out that I do NOT expend a large part of our income to this shoe fetish.

Actually, as gruesome as it may seem, I get the majority of mine from Goodwill. I say gruesome not because it is Goodwill (cuz I LUV Goodwill) but because my feet are small, really small. Gruesome means that the shoes I find are most likely from the estates of our dearly departed little ole grannies! I have some of the coolest most colorful heels ever! He he he he---ha ha ha!

Don't worry, I'm teaching Emma to be cost conscious too--she gets most of hers as hand me downs or from garage sales for no more than a quarter. At most garage sales they just give her the shoes cuz they think she's cute. Humph!

It is funny. She has a bag of shoes---and she carefully selects which shoes for the day--if I'm letting her choose. Snort--like I said, "NO CROCS at the zoo!"

FYI--if any of my girlfriends need girls shoes size 5-6 I'm going to be passing on a treasure trove!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mothering Matters--to GOD!

This article was so wonderful (it made me cry) that I had to share it with ya'll. Mothering matters--to GOD!

The Significance of Dog Hair and Trash Cans by Shannon Popkin

Monday, June 23, 2008

God Makes No Mistakes

God Makes No Mistakes by Mac and Beth Lynch

My life I give to You, O Lord.
Use me, I pray.
May I glorify Your precious name
In all I do and say.
Let me trust You in the valley dark
As well as in the light,
Knowing You will always lead me;
Your will is always right!

I know God makes no mistakes.
He leads in ev’ry path I take
Along the way that’s leading me to Home.
Though at times my heart would break,
There’s a purpose in ev’ry change He makes:
That others would see my life
And know that God makes no mistakes.

And when someday in Heav’n above
I see His dear face,
May I then be counted faithful
As a runner in this race.
But now I’m trusting in the Savior
To show me the way.
In His righteousness He guides me,
As I seek to please Him day by day.

I know God makes no mistakes.
He leads in ev’ry path I take
Along the way that’s leading me to Home.
Though at times my heart would break,
There’s a purpose in ev’ry change He makes:
That others would see my life and know that God...
Our God makes no mistakes.
I know....

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Lyricist I am NOT!

Just for fun, I thought I'd try to create another verse to some well loved hymns. It is HARD--and a lyricist I am NOT. However, this is a good creative tool for anyone wishing to stretch the ole thinker out a bit! HA HA HA!

For The Beauty Of The Earth
Folliot S. Pierpoint 1864

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.


Lord of all, to Thee we raise,This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of the flowers
For the glory of the stars,
For the safety at all hours
Trav' ling on and in our cars.

Lord of ALL, to Thee we raise, THIS our hymn of grateful praise.

This Is My Father's World
by: Maltbie Davenport Babcock (1901)
This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world, and from my mouth doth flow
All praises sing, and with me rings the choir in its rows.
This is my Father's world: I glory in my heart
Of bugs and bees, of kids and kings; His hand does all impart.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flowers with Dinner?

I have another fabulous dinner recipe to share. I invented it so you can blame me, and not a cookbook, if you don't like it. I also had some pics of my garden flowers to share so thought I'd give an added bonus of flowers with dinner for ya'll.

My Red mini roses and creeping myrtle.

My coral mini rose.

Perfect Pork Chops with White Salad

Perfect Pork Chops:

1 c. Parmesean Cheese
1 T. dried Rosemary
2 t. onion powder

Coat thawed pork chops (I bought four in a pack) and shake off excess. Grill on low!
1 romaine heart lettuce (I chop into ribbons)
1/2 c. motz. cheese
1/4 c. parm. cheese
2 t. rosemary
1/2 well minced small onion (object is to get very tiny pieces that no one can crunch into)
1/8 c. minced pepper rings (mild)

I toss mine in a gallon Ziploc for easy thorough mixing. That way the parm. coats all lettuce. Enjoy!

The only peonies I could salvage after the horrible hail storms! Argh! Poor pretties!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Too busy to be grateful?

The lost art of thank you writing. The lost art of gratitude. Ahhhh--it drives me mad!

I know, I know--I am way off the other end of the spectrum on this and I know many think I'm crazy. I write thank yous for thank yous. Don't freak out and think I'm suggesting you should be like me. I know I'm extreme but I choose to err on the extreme because I view the other end of that spectrum with horror.

Let's begin with weddings. If you can't attend you might send money. The thank yous don't arrive and you begin to wonder. Hum, did they get it?--- but ooop there it is, you see it's been cashed. Huh?

You obey the "registry" determination of how you should express your congrats (yes, that is sarcasm you detect) and buy something on the registry only to learn later that they returned everything for the cash gift card. No thank yous were purchased with said gift card so you heard that from the chatty bride herself. Ouch!

Or, maybe you hand make gifts for close friends or family. When no thank you arrives you wonder if they liked it, if it arrived safely, etc.I just love Miss Manners response to the following.

Dear Miss Manners,

What is the appropriate way to say "thank you" for a gift, even if you may not fully appreciate it? In other words, how can one acknowledge the sentiment without being too effusive?

Gentle Reader,

You want a second class thank you to go with what you consider a second class present? Charming.Miss Manners hopes that it is only that you don't want to gush about the item itself, fearful that this would encourage the giver to give you similar presents for the rest of your life. In that case, you should state your thanks but direct your gushing to how kind it was of the person to think of you.

I've tried to gently ask close girlfriends if they've sent their thank yous. I often hear that due to so much drama after the wedding, honeymoon, etc. they simply didn't get it done and feel it is now too late. Here's another good piece of advice from Miss Manners regarding just such an issue.

Gentle Reader,

Miss Manners can offer you some comfort, but not much. It is to assure you that originally, you did have a virtuous excuse for not having written letters of thanks. Now here is some discomfort: The letters are still due. Write a letter with no excuse (the vague one of "being busy" is insulting to people who were not too busy to be generous to you) but plenty of self blame and effusive gratitude: "I have been hideously remiss in telling you how much we adore the whatzit, which is as useful as it is beautiful. Every time we see it we think of you with gratitude and pleasure…" blah blah blah.

I am aware of the hideous thank you notes that came to media light when poor Harriet Meirs was running for office. Perhaps the advice of the good old etiquette cops,

"Whenever anyone does anything nice (like, say, give you a ride in the gubernatorial plane) you should dash off a handwritten note of thanks and send it along post haste. The point is not to compose a masterpiece, but to get the darn thing in the mail."

should be changed to "express thanks in your own words and if you are bad with words get a preprinted card and put a few sentences at the bottom!"

Honestly, I thought her thank yous were a bit immature but truly endeared her to my heart. I guess that politicians don't respect such things as common corteousy or invading other's privacy. They were private thank you notes for Pete's sake. Come on!

My newest irksome issue regarding thank yous is the awful "self addressed thank you notes" given out at showers. I'm sorry but if you aren't grateful enough for my gift to address the envelope yourself than just don't bother. I get the point, you can't be bothered. It might slow you down or cramp your style. I try to simply accept the thank you at the event but almost no one opens presents at the reception anymore. That would take too long--or away from the party. What are weddings about anyway--just the couple???

I'd be curious to know how "American" this is or if it is internationally an issue. It just fits the American way of busy busy busy. Like the Veggie Tales song goes,

"I'm busy, busy--dreadfully busy. Much, much too busy for you!"

For shame. Buy some cheap thank yous, or use an index card and write those thank yous! If postage is your major hang up, write an e-mail thank you. I'm going for genuine gratitude here! If e-mail is a hang up to you than get over it because some gratitude is better than none!


Thursday, June 12, 2008


I think God was testing out how I really felt about my last blog. Our modem was struck by lightning and we were without internet access for four days! WOW! Anyway, we survived and I stand by my analysis of the situation. The parameters have been set! Thought I'd put this out there in case anyone was wondering where I went--ha ha ha!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Laments on a blogging idol...

I really had to take a serious look at my blogging motives recently. I had already realized that there was an addictive side to this whole experience. The computer can get in my way--and take up too much of my time--just like anything.

I put parameters on how much writing I was allowed to do--only one, per blog, per day max. I decided I would only check my facebook and blurf once a week. All these things helped but I just didn't feel at peace with it all. Something was nagging at me and I think I've finally pinpointed it. I had started to seeing blogging as something to succeed at in my SAHM, lacking social support, sort of way. I was seeing blogging not just as the "fun outlet, chance to write, chance to share with family and friends my family and friends" sort of thing but as the "how can I become featured, link to cool blogs, bling up my blog" sort of thing.

We're all kidding ourselves if we think this blogging world isn't competitive. Many women use them to advertise crafty businesses, to outlet their stifled dreams and goals, to vent where they feel they have a voice. That's not necessarily a problem but it is if it gets in the way of God.

Things so easily become idols. Mine might be blogging, yours might be sports or shopping.

On this the Bible is clear...
Deuteronomy 5 (New International Version) emphasis mine
1 "Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
... 7 "You shall have no other gods before me." 8 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

On that note I think that I need to set some motives for my blogs that are good and God based. I blog to...
1. Keep friend and family abreast of the many happy happenings in our growing family (mostly on MomE blog) and to let friends and family know my quirky thoughts on funny and not so funny issues.
2. Make new friends and gain insight from the wisdom of others out there in the blogging clouds.

Parameters of Caution...
1. God is God and I am not. Only He can meet my needs for encouragement, comfort, and outlet. He should be the first one I present these blogs to--to assure that they honor Him and bring glory to His Name.
2. Each time I am on this blog, I should first have assessed if I truly should be doing this and not something else. Therefore, ya'll may see less of me but that's all good.

I'm so thankful for God's conviction upon my heart. Although it is unpleasant and gives me no rest, I do know that Proverbs 3:11-12 says, "My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Youth Rallies in the Catskills...

When I was a young girl growing up in the Catskills we went to youth rallies. They were put together by the churches in our fellowship once a month and were foundational to my Bible knowledge and Christian friendships. Each church had a quiz team that would be paired off throughout the year to quiz each other on various passages of Scripture. There were three buzzing (rigged) seats and three alternates per team. The question would be asked and whoever popped up the quickest and gave the correct answer got a point for their team. It was very exciting and yes, competitive! It was a great way to get young people to study and memorize God's Word. I worked really hard one year and scrapped by with third highest scorer. The prize was a honking big Ryrie Bible Study Guide--signed in the front by the DelSaGo Fellowship. It has served me well for years! I wish churches did these fellowships nowadays. It helped me connect outside of my small town with other Christian young people, to memorize scripture, to build lifelong friendships. I found some questions below that were connected with an Awana graduation that made me think of all these things. Test yourself and see how you's fun! The answers are at the end.

1) What kind of clothes did John the Baptist wear?
1. camel's hair
2. sheep skin
3. buffalo hair
4. woven cloth

2) What is the fourth book of the Old Testament?
1. Deuteronomy
2. Numbers
3. Exodus
4. Leviticus

3) Joshua was the son of?
1. Jacob
2. Esau
3. Nun
4. Sihon

4) How many feasts did God tell the people of Israel to keep?
1. 2
2. 3
3. 4
4. 5

5) What language was the Old Testament written in?
1. Latin
2. Greek
3. Hebrew
4. English

6) Blessed are the _____ for they shall see God.
1. merciful
2. pure in heart
3. meek
4. peacemakers

7) Blessed are the _____ for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1. poor in spirit
2. they that mourn
3. persecuted for righteousness sake
4. merciful

8) Which one is not a son of Noah?
1. Shem
2. Ham
3. Moe
4. Japheth

9) What kind of wood did Noah use to build the ark?
1. gopher
2. cedar
3. pine
4. dog

10) Who is Elohim?
1. Old Testament prophet
2. sick person cured by Christ
3. a king of Judah
4. one of the names for God

11) Who did Herod cast into prison that was saved by an angel from the Lord?
1. John
2. Peter
3. James
4. Mark

12) Who wrote the book of Revelation?
1. John
2. Paul
3. Jude
4. Luke

13) Abstain from all appearance of _____.
1. wrong doing
2. drunkenness
3. mischief
4. evil

14) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will _____.
1. forgive
2. cut off
3. have mercy
4. judge

15) The hope of the righteous shall be _____ but the expectation of the wicked shall _____.
1. gladness/perish
2. pleasure/wander
3. joy/destroy
4. gleesome/fail

16) When the righteous are in authority, the people _____ But when the wicked beareth rule, the people _____.
1. cheer up/groan
2. brighten up/lament
3. rejoice/mourn
4. make merry/weep

17) The curse of the Lord is in the house of the _____ But He blesseth the habitation of the _____.
1. wicked/just
2. guilty/lawful
3. ungodly/righteous
4. bad/good

18) Who was king when Ezekiel had his first vision?
1. David
2. Darius
3. Shealtiel
4. Jehoiachin

19) I love the Lord, because He hath heard My _____ and my _____.
1. voice/supplications
2. call/prayer
3. cry/intreaty
4. proclamation/petition

20) Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep His _____, and His _____, and His _____, and His _____, alway.
1. commandments/judgments/statutes/charge
2. charge/statutes/judgments/commandments
3. statutes/commandments/judgments/charge
4. judgments/charge/statutes/commandments
Answers to Bible Trivia
1. a Matthew 3:4
2. b
3. c Exodus 33:11
4. b Exodus 23:14-17
5. c
6. b Matthew 5:8
7. a Matthew 5:3
8. c Genesis 6:10
9. a Genesis 6:14
10. d
11. b Acts 12:1-10
12. a Revelation 1:4
13. d I Thessalonians 5:22
14. d Hebrews 13:4
15. a Proverbs 10:28
16. c Proverbs 29:2
17. a Proverbs 3:33
18. d Ezekiel 1:2
19. a Psalms 116:1
20. b Deuteronomy 11:1

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mom's pretties!

I took some pictures of the pretties at my Mom's house this past week. These water irises were blooming their hearts out. So pretty!

Emma was being silly in front of the rhododendron--also blooming wildly! Isn't she cute...and pretty! *Note: the key word in today's blog is pretty!
The porch trellis had Clematis blooming on it--at least that's what I think its called. I closed in on this very pretty star flower!
Awwww, isn't that a pretty little pond! That poor goose used to be in my Mom's guest bathroom. It scared the daylights out of people and probably saw waaayyy more than it ever wanted to--and its reward is to now overlook this little pond and be "pooed" upon by the birds. Poor 'ole goose!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Marriage Monday

I was inspired to join the bandwagon on Chrysalis' site. She says June is the month of weddings...but not for us!
This was me and my sweetheart December 21, 2003! We joke around that it seems like it's been forever...but in a good way!

We were married at my parent's church in the evening by candlelight. It was beautiful--everything had a golden glow! There were lanterns on the aisle and candles in all the windows. There were huge oil lamps to light the front and a big white wreath in the front behind the altar.

My Dad officiated...and I figure that's pretty unique. When I mention it, people often ask me if he walked me down the aisle too and yes, he did! We walked down the aisle and he joined our hands and turned around and said that it was his honor, along with my mom, to give my hand to Darren in marriage. Something like that...I actually have the whole thing, his notes, in my wedding album!
We had a super small wedding party...just my good friend, Jill, Darren's brother, Dan and a sweet girl from my Dad's church, Mary Kate. The colors were red and gold. We used silk poinsettias and candles.
We took the pictures before so we could give our attention to our guests after the wedding. It was so late in the evening that many people had to go home right after the reception. My wonderful roommate from college, Becca came with her folks and my buddy Kyle--I think it took them something like 10 hours one way. How wonderful to be loved like that--she did the same thing for my baby shower a year later too!

A humor note: Right when we were supposed to be wrapping up the pictures to seat people for the ceremony, the photographer accidentally stepped on my train and ripped it off of my dress! Thankfully, my Dad ran up to the house and grabbed a needle and thread for my Mom to sew it back on again! Kudos to me for not crying!
We had a nice reception in the church basement with cake, punch and sandwiches. It was tight but I'm of the opinion that a crowded room is better than a sparse one! They rang little bells when we came downstairs and sang songs with "love" in the lyrics to get us to kiss. We opened all of our gifts at the reception. I'm sort of a "phob" about that whole issue. It irritates me to no end that presents aren't acknowledged at the wedding and very often no thank you ever arrives to let you know if they got it, much less liked it but...that is a blog for another time.
We took a short honeymoon to a neighboring city--went to museums, etc. cuz we're geeks like that--and returned to spend Christmas with our families. Another funny new husband was rough housing around with my Dad at Christmas and accidentally broke his rib. He felt horrible and well, so did my Dad! He'd call us weeks later to tell us he'd been thinking of us, "every time he breathed." HA ha!