Wednesday, December 17, 2008

R.C. Sproul on your IPod!

My Dear Hubby just sent me a link to some great Christmas messages by R.C. Sproul. Click here and download your own copy for free! Stick it in your MP3 Player and have a good listen.
Good stuff people, enjoy.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Costly Lessons Learned

Today started out so well...

I had a list. I was a Mom on a Mission. Armed with Notebook, checks and cash to deposit, bills to pay, prescriptions to pick up.

Ah, the pleasure of a day well planned.

But God...

(I said this the other day, when it was in my favor, but today although it wasn't in my favor, He was still in it.) But I digress.

I stopped at the military post to deposit some money so I could pay bills and then zipped over to my friend's house to see if she'd like to accompany me on the rest of my errands. It's so much fun sharing trips with a friend.

Checking things off, we got a new calendar, got a great sale on a new coat, had lattes and lunch, got glasses adjusted and headed home. Sweet!

On the way back to post, I got pulled over at the gate. My tabs were expired on my Suburban. Akk! I knew that! I had forgotten that! There was nothing I could do. I was sure I was facing a ticket, it was 16 days past due. Sure enough, 35 minutes later, I drove away with a $75 fine. The reason it was 35 minutes, (I know! That was a long time to sit!) the MP that was "helping" me, was having OJT, On the Job Training and his SGT was doing things "by the book" and they both kept stumbling around. (Get it right, Gents.)

Anyway, back to the "but God..." part of it all. You see, I could blame God for throwing crummy stuff my way, just when I thought they couldn't get any worse. Or I could try and figure out what I had done wrong to deserve this punishment. But when I look back on my day, God had nothing to do with the fact that I had forgotten to pay my registration. I don't have an excuse. I volunteer on Thursdays right across the parking lot from DOL. When we received the notice, we didn't have the money, but about two weeks ago, we had enough money to take care of it. But I didn't.
Consequences will get you every time. It isn't that God is heaping punishment for sinning. But there are consequences for sinning. Even unknown sin, (or forgotten sin, like misplacing a bill.)

It's taken care of now, I'm driving legally. And my Suburban is sporting a new sticker, and new clean shine. (I'm surprised the gate guard could even read the label through all the road grime.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

God Keeps His Promises

As we look ahead to the seemingly bleak future and all that it holds, I am frightened. I said it, there. I'm scared that we won't make it.

What will our future hold? I feel like Evil Knievel looking across a great chasm. I can see the other side and the pathway there is straight and true. But in between me and the clear path is a dark and foreboding place. My earthly frame tells me I need to find a way over it, through it or around it.

But God...

Aren't those fabulous words? We find them over and over in His word to us, the Bible.

But God will provide a way. I don't just hope that he will, I know that will. Not only because he has provided in the past but because He says that He will in His word.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

To me this means, I don't need to worry about my mortgage payment, clothes for my kids, or food for my table.

God will provide if I only trust wholeheartedly in Him.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A New Movie and a New Chapter...

I never go out on Black Friday, it's just too crazy out there, but this year I had some items that I desperately needed at Wally's. While I was there, the $2 movie kiosk caught my eye. There were some great titles there. "Hope Floats", "Pay it forward", "Take The Lead", and "Two Weeks Notice" Love this one, Hugh Grant is a cutie, and Sandra Bullock is just so funny and glamorous all in the same breath.

Ironically, Bear came home with one of his own yesterday. Please keep us in your prayers, this comes at a bad time financially.
We are however, trusting God in all of this. We know that it is not Barry's supervisor who controls the tides. He is not the one who makes the waves stand still nor is he the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

We knew when Bear started this job that it was only temporary. He's going to seminary to finish his MDiv. so that he can return to active duty as an Army Chaplain. That is the goal, not spending time in a job that is clearly going nowhere, or becoming so frustrated with the supervisor that seminary study is comprimised.

We know that this is God's will and His perfect timing and we are trusting Him with the outcome. It will be about 7 months before graduation, (take a look at the ticker on top of my page,) and then a short transitionary period. The trial here is staying afloat while all of this happens. We still have a mortgage payment, a car payment and utilities to juggle.

I do like having my husband at home, and if I could just find a way to make money doing that we'd all be happy.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tea Party Update

Here's a few pictures of the "Giving Tea" we had for Chels. We had 8 girls here for cucumber sandwiches, mini quiches, tea, punch and cupcakes.
They brought and donated lots of items for Health Kits for the needy. Our church will be passing these kits out to the homeless throughout the Christmas season.
We also played a fun tea tray game where you look at a bunch of items on a tray and then try to write them all down without looking at them. These girls were good! They got them all! Little smarties.

Tonight we had our family birthday celebration with cake, ice cream and candles. Ace informed me that even though her birthday was on Thursday she doesn't turn 11 until we eat cake.

If that's the case, I think I could subtract a few years from my age.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chel's Birthday Party

Tonight I'm having a tea party with a bunch of giggly girls. I know, I should have my head examined. Chels loves to hold tea parties for her birthday and since it is so near Christmas, we tend to "do it up right!" We get out the pretty tea things, lace, doilies, white gloves and hats.

Instead of presents this year, she wants to collect items for health kits for the needy. (What a sweetie!) So instead of horsey things, or books, or new CD's she'll be getting toothpaste, socks, and shampoo for her birthday.

I'll post pictures of the actual event soon.

Have to run, dah-ling. I need to iron some Battenberg lace, brew up some Earl Grey, and dig out the punch bowl.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fish and Houseguests...

We had company for Thanksgiving; dear friends whom we have known for about 12 years. We were stationed at Fort Leavenworth together and have some kids the same ages.

We joked about each others' blogs and how, after they had all left, I would be posting the analogy of how fish and house guests are alike and should only be around for a couple of days.

But then I tore the pages off my Mary Englebreit calendar, (ok, I really tore off about two weeks worth of pages, so now you know, I procrastinate,) and this is what I found on today's page.
This fits the weekend so much more than the fish story.

We love you, Stripes!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Need a little fiber?

The girls and I were cleaning the kitchen tonight. I asked Chel's to put away a can of condensed beef soup. I told her I was going to have it for lunch but changed my mind. She replied, "Why? Because it was constipated?"

I would rather...

be doing fun crafty things with this...
and this...
and maybe this...
But instead, I'm faced with this...
and this...
Go ahead, feel my pain. Give me some bloggy sympathy.

And by the way, who wouldn't love a girl who would show you her messy sink full of last night's dishes, I tell ya!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boo is getting it!!

and Thomas the Tank Engine is happy not to get tinkled on!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Here's a good start!

My dear friend Amy, (the one I Shop Hopped with,) came over last night and helped me cut out outfits. She also brought along some sweaters and "outgrown" things from her closet to use. We went through my girls' closet and picked a few things that they just LOVE, so we could make patterns and copy them.

Amy brought 4 darling turtleneck sweaters. We cut out skirts to add to the bottoms to make sweater dresses.

My girls also have this darling pair of gaucho pants in a brown velour fabric. We laid them out on pattern paper and traced a new pattern to cut out of this gorgeous red Ultrasuede/knit stuff.

Today was also a potty training day for us, so I wasn't as productive as I had hoped, but I got two items finished to add to their fall wardrobe with about a half dozen or more cut out ready to sew.

And on a side note, Boo is tinkling in the toilet!! Not all the time, but I think he's getting it! Yay, Boo Boo!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Because I'm the Kind of Mom that I am...

And because my children have nothing to wear...

today, I'm turning this...

Into this...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ok, I have nothing fabulous to talk about. I'm not sure if I even have any readers anymore...
(crickets chirping...)
Ok, I think I'm just posting for my own benefit.

I've been making a fabulous quilt! Ok, I think it's fabulous because it's something I never thought I could do. I've been so fed up with my lame sewing machine lately, I've decided to go on strike and not use it! So there!

I've been doing hand applique! I LOVE it! I'm going to do a tutorial here on my blog so keep watching!
Here's a sample to keep you excited! Aren't you excited? I am!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shop Hop - Day One!

What fun!

I took the girls out of school to drive all over the countryside getting free fabric! Now what could be more exciting than that!
Miss Busy, Chels, my friend Amy, (not her real name) and Belinda, (not hers either, I'm all about anonymity.) started out on our little crafty jaunt.

The deal is this, you get a Shop Hop "passport" and at each shop you visit you get a stamp, a fat eighth of fabric, and a pattern for a quilt block. Our first stop was in Ocean Shores. What a nice store! And fabric on sale! This is the Ocean Shore's Block. Pretty isn't it? The shop owner added her own touch and threw in a little green bug fabric. Isn't it cute?

You can't go to Ocean Shores without driving on the beach, so we did, took some great pictures, (didn't get out, too cold in October!)
And then drove past the Judith Ann Inn. I'd love to stay here some day. So picturesque. Can you imagine watching the sunset over the ocean from the window in your room. Ahhh...

This is a picture of the Shop Hop quilt in the shop in Aberdeen. Most of the other shop owners weren't so nice about letting us take pictures. Too bad, not that I would cheat them out of a pattern or anything, they were just all so pretty!!

Anyway, I snapped a cute handbag I'd like to make for Miss Busy out of polka dot and pink shoe fabric. Just her style!
Chels got some horsey fabric to make a pillowcase. We'll have fun sewing!

Gotta rest up for tomorrow. Seven more shops to go!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Togetherness lasted all of ten minutes; but it was a happy ten minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Penny wise and dollar foolish.

I'm a big, ol' stupid, careless idiot and God saved my family from my carelessness last night.

But I'm getting ahead of myself... It is dreary here, cloudy and starting to get into the rainy season which I hate. I burn candles so that the light and the fragrance stimulate my brain and I feel better about this weather. Yesterday I had some candles burning in various rooms and last evening I had a meeting to go to with a friend. I went around the house before I left and extinguished all the flames, or so I thought.

We have a small powder room downstairs and we keep the door closed most of the time to keep Boo (who's 2) out of the cupboard and the TP roll.

I left a 3-wick candle burning there on a plate on the bathroom counter. It was a short 3-wick only about an inch tall, and I am so dang frugal I couldn't possible just throw it away when it was that short, no, I have to go burn the life out of it, until there is just no wick left. (Please just ignore my personal berating, there is a point to all this.)

So, I left the house forgetting that that particular candle was still going. The door was closed, and I forgot. (NEVER, NEVER BURN A CANDLE THAT YOU CAN NOT SEE AT ALL TIMES!!)

When I came home from my meeting, the house was quiet, everyone was asleep and the lights were all out, the candle was still burning peacefully in the powder room with the door closed. I did not, for some reason, open the door when I went to bed as I usually do, but only set my things down and went to bed myself.

Sometime in the night, the candle got down to the bottom, lit the paper label on fire, burned the wax, broke the plate, spit hot wax all over the tile and burned a hole in the counter top.

God spared us! This could have caused the whole house to go up in flames as we slept, and it would have been my fault!!

I can not believe how stupid I was. I feel like pitching all the wax- burning items and all lighters and matches in the trash. I am so ashamed at my carelessness, I can't get over it.

I have no idea how much a new counter top is going to cost us. At least, thankfully, it wasn't a whole bathroom. And thank God I'm not trying to figure out what the life of one of my babies is worth.

Please learn from my costly lesson.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This is today

I look out my window to this...
It's a good day for staying inside with a cup of steaming cider and my lap quilt in front of the fire.

So those errands I needed to do in town? They get put off another day. I really didn't want to run to the post office with a two year old anyway.

Thanks for the rain, God!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Quilt Project

This quilt was commissioned by a friend of my husband’s. We were in the army together at Fort Leavenworth, KS back in 1993.

Ann and Paul, well, mostly Paul, wanted a red, white and blue bedroom and he asked me to make him a quilt for their bed. He and I picked out the design and shopped for fabric. I was very excited about this project because red white and blue is a favorite theme of mine. I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to make it, but I only had one child at the time and we had a small apartment off post and only one car. So what is a stay at home mom to do all day with only so many carpets to vacuum and nowhere to go? She would make a quilt.

We discussed a price, but then, while we were visiting their home, we discovered that they had once owned an antique store, (very small, from their home) and were looking to get rid of a few pieces. I discovered, under a pile of boxes, a Singer treadle sewing machine with a gold leaf sphinx on the front. It was beautiful! I told Paul that I wanted the treadle machine in trade for the quilt and he agreed.He borrowed a few quilting books because he wanted to learn quilting, then he and Ann were stationed in Germany and I never saw them again. I lost my quilting books and I wish I could have kept the quilt too. I can always make another one for myself, but I did get a beautiful antique machine, (which really works, by the way) out of the deal. I still think I got the better end of the bargain.

I’ll post a picture of the sewing machine and cabinet later, it’s, um, buried under some stuff right now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quilt Projects

Because I have nothing finished right now, and nothing new to post, I'm going to show off some of my older finished projects, in hopes that it will inspire me to complete some UFO's.

This quilt was purchased by my sister many, many years ago to complete her trousseau. (That's an ancient thing now days isn't it?) I believe it was made by a great aunt or some female relative. It was only the quilt top, and sat in her cedar chest for a while until she met the man of her dreams. I offered to quilt it for her, (upcoming wedding-double wedding ring quilt, get it?)

I don't recall how long it took me to quilt it, but I believe, true to family tradition, I think it was late, at least before her first anniversary anyway.

It was wobbly, the football shapes inside the rings weren't flat at all and as I quilted it, it required pinning and flattening. It did turn out relatively flat, but the footballs are all a bit poofy.

I'm pretty proud of the quilting, it was all hand done with a bias border around the scalloped edges.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quilt-y Name

I've been quilting alot lately. It's getting colder and quilts keep me warm, inside and out. I love looking at patterns, curled up in my cozy brown wing back chair.

I love browsing through fabric stores seeing new designs.

I love the patterns as they emerge from behind the needle of my sewing machine.

I've sort of neglected my blog during the past few weeks, but now that summer isn't keeping me so busy, I thought I'd pay a little more attention to my readers, if there are any of you left.

Just for fun, check out my new Quilt-y name, I'm Her Grace Pincushion Collector. Oh, how true!! Fit's me to a T. I love making pincushions, (small project, easily finished) and they are so pretty.

If you are crafty, check it out and tell me your quilt-y name.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm still here!

I'm here, I'm alive, I'm just swamped!

As I have said before, I volunteer at the food bank in our little town. Yesterday, Larry, the manager, got in several pallets of tomatoes, loaded with boxes of beautiful red fruits needing something done to them at once. So although canning tomatoes wasn't on my list this year, (I still have about 30 quarts from last year,) I did tell myself that anything that came my way free, I would put up. I spent too much last year buying fruit to can, so my goal this year was "nothing purchased." Well, 100 pounds of free tomatoes is nothing to turn your back on. So I brought home 5-20 pound boxes.

Then near the end of the food bank time, (we're open from 1pm to 4pm) someone brought in 6 "banana boxes" of pears from trees on their property. Unfortunately, these pears wouldn't last a week until the next food bank day, so they needed to go out as well. Larry gave me two boxes.

Larry is generous to a fault. He will often ask, "how many do you want?" And if you say, "Two, please" He'll ask again, "how many?" When you repeat the number, he adds them together and says, "Oh, you want four!" After working there for 8+ months, he still catches me off guard sometimes, and I come home with double the amount of stuff I had intended.

My neighbors know that on Thursday evenings to be aware of my Suburban cruising the neighborhood. I always share unusual things with them.

I count all this as gifts from God. And as such, I will freely share what I have been given with others. So today, I'm working on gifts. Gifts of tomato sauce, herbed Italian tomatoes, tomato soup, diced pears, Christmas pears, pear butter, banana bread and zucchini bread.

I'll be back when the steam from my canner clears and my hands, feet and back recover.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


That's the sound of my own horn!!

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me-ee!
Happy Birthday to me!

Yes, 41 years ago, it was a red letter day in my family's lives. Their blue eyed, blond haired little adorable baby sister was born. I was the cutest thing they had ever seen and spoiled me accordingly.

Just see for yourselves. I always speak the truth.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Am I so mean that you had to do this?

I took this picture yesterday of my new roses. It's a Jackson & Perkins variety called Rock and Roll. I love the red and white variegated petals. They remind me of a peppermint geranium I had as a young girl.

I try and make the best of the crummy ground in which I plant my garden. And I hate it when those around me don't seem to care about their yards.

Yesterday I kindly asked the neighbor tween-age girls who were hanging out at the end of the driveway if they would please pick up the trash they left lying around the yard. I even provided them with the garbage can.

Then I asked them to not hang out at the community mailbox so that the neighbors could easily come and get their mail.

And now this is the thanks I get. Someone yanked all the blossoms off my roses.

Dear Neighbor Girl, I hope the thorns poked your naughty little fingers.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Frugality and Thirty Days of Nothing

Edited to add one more "Nothing" to the list...

Frugality is something I think a lot about. I don't always get around to writing about it, but it is on my mind constantly.

Last year my sister went through a great personal challenge, to do without for thirty days. It was an economic challenge to be more frugal, to take a look at what she spent her money on and try to cut back considerably.

I decided to take this challenge I just discovered at I have read her blog before, but recently been redirected here again. She is a great writer and has much to say about being frugal, living cheap, making do or doing without. And her life is not easy, she is a Homeschooling Mom to 10 kids, 6 of them adopted from Korea and Ethiopia. She often compares her life to those of the families and countries from where she adopted her children. Things like the amount of clothes in her closet compared to the "outfits" an Ethiopian child has, the vehicle she drives, or kitchen equipment, etc. It is humbling to me to think that we in this country have so much, yet are often dissatisfied with what we have and want more.

So this brings me to my challenge, 30 days of nothing, and how I will incorporate this in my/our lives here. I already volunteer at the food bank and I get first pick from the food of the day. I work there each Thursday and often come home with enough food to feed my family and share with several neighbors too. Groceries, praise God, will not be a challenge at all. The challenge will be for me to stop running around wasting gas and coffee shop drive throughs. I do love me some coffee and if you make it a Grande-Sugar-free-vanilla-non-fat-latte, iced or hot, it is nearly impossible to resist. To top that all off, my little po-dunk town now has a drive through Starbucks. Sigh...

So, in list form...
1. No drive through coffee expenditures.
2. No drive through fast food.
3. No unnecessary trips in the Suburban.
4. Use the clothesline, not the dryer. I have two wonderful retractable clotheslines in my back yard, there when I need them, zipped out of sight when I don't!
5. No trips to the grocery store unless it is to pick up WIC items, (Women Infants and Children Federal food program. Boo Boo still qualifies, Robby just graduated he's now 5.) We get milk, eggs, cheese and beans.
6. Money spent will ONLY be for paying bills and catching up accounts.
7. Necessary car repairs will be made. Sorry, we can't be without our vehicles.
8. We purchased pre-paid oil change cards for each vehicle last fall, so those will remain on schedule.
9. NO turning on the furnace until October. Bear mentioned this the other day when he saw steam and smoke pouring out of a neighbor's furnace flue. He commented that he thought we could go until November without turning it on, I think October might be a more accurate estimate. It has gotten down to 45 degrees or so most mornings, but highs are in the 70's during the day. As long as the sun shines in during the day, we can cuddle up at night and be toasty.

I do need to pick up a box of diapers for Boo, but maybe I'm ready to try the yucky store brand instead of Huggies. But when I've gone that route before I tend to use more than I would have, because they don't seem to work as well. Any ideas? I've gone cloth route before and I have all the stuff, but without my dryer and the humidity around here this time of year, I don't think they'd get dry. Ahh, still torn on this one..

I guess that is about it. I'll add more if I think about it later, I'm starting this kind of late, she started on the first of September, so I think I may continue into October as well.

The tough thing will be, this is my birthday month, and Bear's is next month, so I'll have to think creatively about how to celebrate birthday's cheaply.

Here goes...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How I saved $40 yesterday and our new chore chart.

The boys’ ears were disappearing and I almost couldn’t see their eyes, so after dinner I had Ace go get the clippers and I trimmed, no, mowed their heads. I could see them again! They actually had ears! Maybe that’s why they didn’t follow directions so well, they couldn’t hear me!

Then after the boys’ heads, I did Bear’s hair too. So I’m calculating $11 per kid’s haircut and $7 for a military cut. That saved me $40 in haircuts last night. The girls need their bangs trimmed which I’ll do when I get brave. Miss Busy’s isn’t so hard, but Chel’s hair is so thick and coarse, it is hard to get them straight. Maybe I’ll tape it to her forehead!
We also implemented a new chore chart; I stole the idea from a friend of mine. Amy uses clothes pins to write the chores, then the kids clip them to their shirt hem until they finish the job, then they have a constant reminder that they have a job to finish. My kids have a tendency to “get lost” while they are working so I thought we would give this a try.
The problem with chore chart is that whenever we start one, Miss Busy wants to write absolutely everything on the list so she can “check it off” She is very much like me. If I did something that wasn’t on the list, I’ll write it down so I can check it off. I know, I need help.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ABC meme

Gayle over at Grace for Gayle was having the same problem as me. No original blogging material. So I'm grabbing her meme. You can check out hers.

A. Attached or single? Very attached! 21 years, swee-eet!
B. Best friend? Well, my Bear, the one I'm attached to.
C. Cake or pie? Pie. Chocolate cream, with a touch of espresso thrown in for good measure.
D. Day of choice? Friday night, date night.
E. Essential item? Chapstick. hate dry lips.
F. Favorite color? Pink, pink, pink.
G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither, licorice jelly beans.
H. Hometown? Po-Dunk, Idaho.
I. Indulgence? Um, chocolate anything.
J. January or July? July, lower power bills.
K. Kids? Six. Jewels of my life.
L. Life isn’t complete without? Jesus!
M. Marriage date? May 13th, right in the middle of finals week in college. I know, silly.
N. Number of brothers & sisters? Four brothers, two sisters, I'm the baby.
O. Oranges or apples? Hmm, oranges.
P. Phobias? Public places with all my kids, they run, and there are scary people out there.
Q. Quotes? My Momma's, "Kill them with Kindness."
R. Reasons to smile? My sweetheart's sense of humor.
S. Season of choice? Spring, new life, love to see tulips and crocuses poking their little heads out of the cold earth.
T. Tag seven peeps! You!
U. Unknown fact about me? I know the alphabet backwards, courtesy of my brothers.
V. Vegetable? Tomatoes
W. Worst habits? Nail biting, my nails are in rough shape.
X. X-ray or ultrasound? I tend to agree with Gayle, x-ray = bad news, ultrasound = baby, so I choose ultrasound.
Y. Your favorite food? Pizza.
Z. Zodiac sign? The Virgin.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Movie and Pizza Night on the Grill!

Well, the pizza, not the movies.

Each Friday night, the kids and I have movie and pizza night. It started when Bear was deployed about 5 years ago. It gave the kids something to look forward to while Daddy was away.

Back then I called and had it delivered or got a take and bake from the store. It was also a break for mommy, not to have to fix a meal each night.

Now that Daddy is home again, we still continue the tradition. But not so much with delivery anymore, now we make our own at home.

Making homemade pizza is not a new thing for me; I’ve been perfecting my own crust and sauce for quite some time. My sauce usually varies by what I have in the cupboard at the time, tomato sauce or paste, chunks or smooth, sometimes garlic, sometimes not; spices always.

The pizza crust is usually the same each time but I don’t go by a recipe. I start with one cup of water for each crust I’m making. Then I add one tablespoon of yeast for each cup of water. A tablespoon of sugar or so, and then I shake the salt into my hand until it covers about a quarter size area of my slightly closed palm. (About a teaspoon and a half if you are measuring.) Then I add a good sized drizzle of olive oil and a generous shake of Italian seasoning. Then I add a couple scoops of flour and start it mixing in my mixer. I add flour until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and then let it knead for about 5 minutes.

I spread it out on my pizza stone and add the sauce and toppings. My kids like turkey bacon cut into triangles and half pineapple, topped with two big handfuls of mozzarella cheese.

Tonight I had no desire to turn on the oven at all. Our house was 97 today. Bear suggested I do pizza on the grill. So I googled it and found a bunch of recipes. I followed the examples and used medium heat to preheat my grill.

I rolled the dough out in a rectangle on an oiled piece of foil and had my toppings ready. I had a yellow pepper and an onion, sliced, the turkey bacon and some tomato slices too.

The instructions said to oil the grill grate. Carefully use a brush or spray Pam BEFORE you preheat the grill. Don’t make flaming torch out of the spray can. Then flip the rolled crust onto the grill and peel back the foil. Close the lid but keep a close eye on the underside. The dough will start to bubble and firm up.

Carefully using two pancake turners flip the crust over and oil the top. Spread your sauce, (it should be thick) and add your toppings quickly, close the lid until the cheese melts.

We pushed it off the grill onto our cutting board and brought it inside. The kids dug into it so quickly I didn’t have a chance to get a good, uncut picture. We made two pizzas one with lots of veggies for the grownups. Here’s what was left after the first round.
Fabulous!! Do this! This is the only way to make pizza in the summer! The kids loved it; the grill imparted a fabulous outdoorsy taste to the pizza.
We’ll be enjoying pizza like this until the rain starts to fall in October, no more hot kitchens!

Friday, August 8, 2008

OCD Family

I am the youngest of 7 children. I have two older sisters and 4 older brothers, we have all married and have anywhere from four to seven children each. So there is a great number of nieces and nephews thrown in the pot as well. We are all a bit quirky in our own way. The other day there was a quite a bit of discussion about our quirkiness amongst our family email list.

The discussion centered on who might have been the most Obsessive Compulsive. It went something like this:

Sister Silver: “Doc says I have sleep apnea, so I’m sleep deprived OCD. He wondered how I manage to function at times.”

Nephew Joe: “There’s nothing wrong with OCD, I function quite well. My bed is rarely made, but God help the one who messes up my movies, cd’s or music. Or refolds my washcloths or bath towels!”

Brother CLC: “My wife says I’m OCD because I organize the dishwasher when loading it. But it is not compulsive; I do it because the dishes get cleaner if they are in just the right place. I can stop any time I want. No, really I can.”

Nephew Lee: He has a compulsive obsession with disorder. (Psst… he’s just a messy, but don’t tell him I said that.)

Sister Silver, (again): “I have to say that I also organize the dishwasher and I redo how other people put stuff in it—but only because it works better having all the plates lined up at the back and all the bowls in the front and all the glasses on the right of the top shelf and all the knives handle up in the first basket and the forks and spoons handle down in the middle basket and all the serving utensils biggest end up in the third basket.

And I don’t fold the towels in fifths anymore, (this is in reference to how Mother has folded the towels for 50 years)—as of last year I am able to fold the towels in fourths, however you must fold the towel in half lengthwise first and then in half crosswise and when you put them on the shelf the folded side has to be out and all the towels have to stack the same direction—and all the green ones in one pile and the blue ones in another.. But that’s not OCD—that’s just organized.

Nephew Joe, (again): “I have to fold my bath towel the same way, so that the tag is in the same spot every time while it's hanging up. No matter how late I am. It must be done this way. My washcloth too. The tag must be in a certain spot. I've been late to work a couple of times because of it. But that’s not OCD…”

Mother’s turn: “Okay, I guess it's my turn. When Dad and I lived in a trailer house from 1949 to 1954 we adopted the axiom of "A place for everything and everything in its place." We only had 20 foot by 8 foot and that included the tongue on the trailer. So for us to have any semblance of order in our lives, we had to eliminate the excess, throw out the junk and keep everything put where it belonged. We could not afford extra "things" and we had no room for extra "things" so we didn't collect any of those extras.

Living more simply certainly has its benefits…And this, it seems, is the time for confessions. I am the guilty one, because I began folding towels in five because they fit the drawers that way. My drawers in the bathroom were small and I had to fold the towels to fit. So, my recommendation is that you adapt to your own needs and whether it’s the dish washer or the towel drawers or hanging your clothes in the closet or whatever, I feel the important thing is keeping your priorities in order. And those "things" that do not have celestial consequences are closer to the bottom of the priority list in my book. But, remember that "mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord." And you don't have to be OCD to keep your house clean and to have your life orderly and under control. So, am I OCD?”

My towel folding technique has changed in this latest house we live in. They fit the drawers, they are in sixths. But they must all face the same way, the colors stacked together, and the folded side always out. But that's not OCD, that's just visually calming. Right?

Brother G: “You people are all crazy.” (whispered: He’s in denial…he’s related, he’s got it, I’m sure!)

Brother CLC: In defense of his dishwasher loading technique: “One day I noticed 2 spoons that were kind of stuck together in the dishwasher because they were both side by side in the same basket. Neither spoon got completely clean because the water did not get between them. Rather than take my chances and risk not having a clean spoon, I now distribute the spoons, forks and knives across all the baskets, and when two have to be together, I try to scatter them so they don't touch. I maintain that is not OCD it is efficiency. My wife and daughters claim it is OCD because, they say, a non-OCD person wouldn't have noticed there was a cause for the dirty spoon.” (He’s an engineer, there is always a cause and effect.)

Me: “Well, I don’t have OCD, at all. I have CDO. Because it’s alphabetical. The way it should be.”

Please tell me I'm not alone in all of this madness!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Pluots to do...

Last week at the food bank where I volunteer, I got two more boxes of Pluots. These are little larger than the first boxes, (the fruit themselves, not the boxes) so I decided with Sadge's recommendation, to just dry these this time.

I have dried fruit in the past, in fact, I love my American Harvest Snackmaster and use it all summer. I have expended it to 12 trays and love to hear it humming away on the counter, filling the house with warm, fruity smells. (I recently did a bunch of onions though and moved it to the garage, ha ha!)

I halved the fruit and then sliced them into 1/4 inch slies so they would uniformaly dry.

One batch took about 8 hours in the dryer, then I picked about one tray-full that needed a few more hours. The rest were done; chewy and full of flavor.

One box of pluots is finished and filled a gallon size ziplock bag.

We are going to make fruit leather out of the next box. I have the solid trays that fit in my Snackmaster and the kids are excited to help with this project.

I must admit, though, I am a bit disappointed in only seeing one gallon size bag for my efforts on Saturday, I do love to see the rows and rows of clean labeled jars after a day of canning. Sigh...

Thank you to all the comments on my recent canning project. I do appreciate all the advise you have given. I live about 15 hours from my mother and sometimes I just need a second opinion in the kitchen. Lately, more often than not, ha ha!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

They've moved in!

Here's the link to my neice's news update. They have now moved into their new apartment. I'm so thankful for organizations like Operation Homefront.

Moving in and up!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Canning Season Starts

The foodbank where I volunteer got in pallets of Crimson Heart Pluots. They are a cross between an apricot and a plum, with slick skin like a plum. They are sweet and juicy without the pithy taste you sometimes get from apricots. I adore them!!

I canned them all, doing 33 pints of jam and 33 quarts of pluots in a light syrup just for eating.

The jam turned out beautifully, the pluots alone? Not so much. They boiled over each time I removed them from the canner and the fruit rose to the top badly. While they won't win any blue ribons they will feed my family, and that is my ultimate goal.

I spoke to my Mom and she said maybe I was boiling them too hard, so the last batch I turned down to just a simmer and left them in the canner to cool a bit before I pulled them out. They didn't boil over and spew forth like the first batches did, but they still rose to the top and looked like they had had the life boiled out of them.

Any canners out there have any recommendations? I did a raw pack, and followed the directions for apricots in my Ball Blue book.
Oh, well. They still taste good.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Operation Homefront Village

Eighteen months ago my nephew-in-law was injured in Afghanistan. He has been recuperating at Walter Reed ever since and has undergone numerous, (like nearly 80!!) surgeries to repair his pelvic bones, spine and legs. He has a long road of recuperation ahead of him.

His wife, my niece Stephanie and their daughter Maddie have been with him during this long process. They have been staying at the local Fisher House. It is very convenient for them, right down the street from Walter Reed but cramped, and when you have a rambunctious toddler, it can be very difficult.

Operation Homefront has built an apartment complex in Maryland that will house recovering soldiers and their families while they transition back into the army or into civilian life. They are completely furnished and will be provided free of charge to the families. I’m just amazed! What a blessing to these families, not to have to worry about those expenses and can concentrate on getting their soldier better.

It is good to see our wounded veterans getting the care they so desperately need.

Here is a link to the article: Apartments Near Walter Reed
And here’s a link to Operation Homefront

Go donate if you feel led, but at the very least, pray for our troops, pray for the wounded, pray for those in theater, (oversees), pray for our leaders, and pray for their families.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another Shameless Self Promotion

I'm involved with a company which helps people restore and preserve their memories. They might be called scrapbooks. The company might have two initials, which are the same as my daughter's. And the founder might have appeared recently in an interview with Donny Deutch on The Big Idea.

I love this comany, I love what it stands for, I love taking photos and making them into "histories" of my family. I love creating special books that my kids enjoy perusing. I love it that a favorite past time of their's is to drag out "their books" and read the stories about themselves.

I was surfing, (imagine that!) and came across a few you tube videos. (I haven't quite figured out how to imbed them here, but you can always click on the link and watch them on youtube.

Another cool thing I just found, a movie about it! !!

Where was I when this came out? Man! How do I get a copy? Sold out, he says! Gotta have it, anybody have one collecting dust somewhere?

Ok, go watch the interview with Rhonda, (oh, whoops, wasn't supposed to say her name!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Miracle on Pendleton Avenue

Because my husband is only a Chaplain Candidate and hasn’t finished his seminary yet, he has a civilian job while he’s in school but gets to do some active duty work and “play army” periodically. He loves it, he’s a good soldier and really loves ministering to the troops with which he is working.

I long to be full-time army, all the time. We are an army family, we have been for nearly 18 years, and our kids have grown up with secure gates, ID checks and the commissary. I feel at home in our army community, and my truck wants to turn in when we pass the gates to post.

But in the meantime we are a family without a city; we straddle the fence, neither here nor there in a constant state of change. Transitions are hard, I hate the “limbo” feeling of not belonging and I had to deal with the effects of it yesterday. Well, rather, it started the day before at the pharmacy. I had tried to refill a prescription using our civilian insurance. Of course, since Bear has been on active duty our civilian insurance has lapsed and they refused to pay for the script. Oh, duh! I thought, try it through Tricare, he’s active duty now, it should go through. I handed the pharmacy tech my military ID card and she tried processing it that way. No go. Turns out, each time he goes active, we have to go through several steps in order to get medical coverage. Why it can’t be automatic is beyond me, but it isn’t.

So today, I had the privilege of driving to my beloved post to take care of some errands. (At this point, I’m going to use some acronyms that the army uses, I talk this way, sometimes my civilian neighbors can’t understand me, but it is my life. I’ll try to clarify, or you can always Google it.) I needed to go to the DEERS office at the Welcome Center and verify our enrollment. Now we’ve been in the DEERS system for 17 years, so this is where the frustrating part comes in. I don’t know exactly what they see on their screen when they look at my husband’s file, but we are always there, 7 dependants, all in order, spouse, and 6 kids. But each time, we re-verify. Yes, we’re still living; we still need health care, blah, blah, blah.

As I turned into the Welcome center on Pendleton Ave, I could see we were in trouble. Every parking spot was full. Summer is a big time for PCS-ing and ETS-ing, scheduling household goods shipments, and clearing quarters. The housing office is in an adjacent building and they share the parking lot. I could see the throngs of soldiers and family members funneling through the doors to the ID office. Oh, no, that was right where we needed to be.

I squeezed the suburban into a “compact” space, (I’m good at maneuvering that thing,) and loaded the little boys into the double stroller, with strict instructions to the “walkers” that they were to stay with me at all times and maybe we could stop at the park later.

We got to the counter and read the sign, wait times today were running 2 ½ to 3 hours. No. I needed this prescription, (I have asthma and can’t go through the night without my medication.) I was disheartened. When the receptionist got to the counter to “field my request” I told her what we needed, knowing that I would not like her answer.

These are his orders? Yes.
Do you have a Power of Attorney? Um, no.
(I get the look over the glasses.) Yes, I know, I should have one.
I can’t do anything without a POA ma’am. Well, he’s in training from 0500 to 2200 each day. (Zero-five-hundred to twenty-two hundred = 5 am to 10 pm.) I know his commander is supposed to give him time off to take care of such things, but how’s he supposed to do that when he’s in training all that time.

Deep sigh from across the counter and a glance at the swarming masses filling the waiting room. (Here's the miracle--)She then took her little stylus and started tapping the screen, then with her inch long acrylics, tap, tap, tap on the keyboard, more dabbing with her stylus, and flip, she passed Bear’s orders back across the counter. Go see the people at the Tricare office.

That was it? Done. We were out of there. I felt like crying. I could not believe it; I had witnessed a miracle. Truly, a miracle.

Now, those of you in the civilian world may not realize what just occurred here, but the red-tape was cut, the red-carpet was rolled out and I moved to the head of the line. I went from being third class reservist family member to “President’s Own.” We were passed through the gate without an ID check. Come to think of it, she never even asked to see my ID card.

Definitely, a miracle, I tell you! I have never, in all my 17 years of Army-Wife-hood, had anything like that happen. Typically, we wait, in lines here, in lines there, suffering along with the thronging masses. You just get used to it. But, not today. Today, God’s blessing shined on us, and we were providentially passed through the crowd, and brought to the head of the line and given the go-ahead.

Now, I just have to draw an analogy here, this is what happens when we are saved by Jesus’ blood. This is what happens in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

When you follow the steps in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”, you get a new ID card, you go the front of the line and the get the red-carpet treatment. When you confess your sins to Him, He draws you into His arms and won’t let go. Your name is forever written down in His Book. There is no receptionist at the counter to glare at you over the top of her glasses, or to tap her computer screen to see if you are who you say you are. When you get your marching orders, you don’t become one of the President’s Own riding in a stretch limousine with a uniformed chauffeur, and flags waving. No, it’s better than that; you become a Child of The Most High, riding in a golden chariot, clothed in Jesus’ Righteousness, driven by the Lord, Himself.

The elation and relief I felt as I walked out of that mass of waiting people, was nothing compared to knowing that you are clean in God’s eye’s, knowing that you are His Own.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Multitasking gone awry

I don’t multitask very well. Brain malfunction, I guess, or maybe there’s just too much going on in my life. I’ve read that people who multitask are less productive in all areas of their life. I guess I should just stick to one thing at a time.

I tried to stick a dirty diaper in the mailbox once, and I’ve been known to put milk away in the cupboard and not the fridge.

Today was no different. I’ve been trying to cook better meals for my family and my crockpot is wonderful for getting things started early in the morning and forgetting. I fixed my coffee and just poured my favorite creamer, hadn’t even taken a sip, then got out the ingredients out for this sloppy joe recipe. I snipped off the end of the “sausage roll” wrapper of ground turkey, when plop, it flew right into my freshly poured brew.

E. coli coffee, anyone? Sigh…

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hospital Update

Thank you, dear readers for your prayers. Here is a quick update on my family members.

My mother in law, Nana is still in the hospital and will undergo tests today to see where the blockage is exactly and what can be done about it. They may or may not operate pending the outcome of the testing. Pop may move her to a bigger hospital, (they live in a small town, with one small hospital.)

My friend Larry from the food bank is home now and recovering from his 6-bypass surgery last Saturday. I'm going to volunteer today, and I better not see him there! He has a tendency to overwork and not recuperate enough. Last Thursday while he was supposed to be resting, he called 6 times to remind us of something he was sure we had forgotten. "Yes, Larry, we know." "Yes, Larry, you left us a list." "Yes, Larry, Fran will take care of that, she's already gotten it out of the freezer." "Yes, Larry! Quit calling! Go lie down!" "Goodbye, Larry!" See, he's pointing and telling people what to do?

Some people just don't know how to delegate very well. Sigh...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Urgent Prayer Needed

Our family life has been a bit hectic to say the least over the last few days. I have barely had enough time to catch my breath, let alone write funny, inspiring things on my blog. But a couple if things have come up that I would like to share with my readers and ask for special prayer.

My dear mother in law, Nana, is in the hospital. Several years ago she had her entire lower intestine removed, and now she has a blockage due, the doctors think, to scar tissue from the original procedure. Nana has fibromyalgia and a bone deficiency as well. She has nerve damage from pinched nerves in her vertebrae and has had multiple surgeries to correct her crumbling disks. This nerve damage has affected her bowel movements anyway and now to have this blockage problem, she is in serious condition.

Please pray that the doctors can find out what is wrong and correct it quickly and efficiently, also for comfort and pain control. She is also a smoker and it probably suffering from withdrawal symptoms as well.

And the next prayer request, the man who runs the food bank where I volunteer in our little community, is having a 6-way bypass tomorrow. His wife works with me in the office and has taught me all I know. Sue will be with Larry during the surgery obviously and I will be in the office by myself tomorrow. (That is a small prayer request for me to be able to handle everyone by myself.) But the real need for prayer is for Larry and Sue. Larry is everything to those people at the food bank. He is such a joy to work with. Please pray that the surgery goes well, and for quick healing for him. Please pray that he will be comforted and not feel like he is letting anyone down by not being there. I’m afraid that he won’t rest and recuperate as he needs to and will try and do too much, too quickly.

Please let me know if you are praying for them, I’d like to pass that on to both my mother in law and to the folks at the food bank.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reply to Anonymous

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wrong Way":

“if you say so”

I have thought about just deleting this and not commenting, but my blog is my witnessing tool and I feel I should address this person’s comment. Apparently Anonymous thinks that this is my opinion only, and I want to assure the reader that it isn’t.

We all hear about boycotts and people spending their money wisely. If you were an environmentalist and a company that sold a product that you wanted used environmentally unfriendly practices in their testing for example, you wouldn’t use their products. You would use cruelty-free products. You spend your money on companies that support your beliefs. We all do it, and no one would say anything about it to anyone else.

As a Christian, I believe that this kind of marketing and consumerism is even more important, we aren’t just talking about saving owls or manatees, we’re talking about eternal life, and I for one will be more careful where my money goes.

I just reread both my previous post and the Anonymous comment, and maybe the commenter took issue with me having to pray over my laminating project. This gets into an area of Theological issues that is wide and diverse. Let me first give a little background into my beliefs. I believe in a spiritual realm. I believe in angels and demons. I believe that God uses angels to bless and comfort others and that Satan uses his demons for destruction and to lead people astray from the truth. It is real and I have felt the presence of both angels and demons in my life.

I also believe that prayer changes things and that it is a great source of comfort to the believer. I felt that I should pray over the cards not because the cards themselves were bad. No, the cards are an inanimate object and are inherently neutral; they are just paper and plastic. I guess what I said wasn’t exactly true, I should have clarified what I meant by that. I felt like I should have prayed about the whole issue so that I would receive comfort from the Holy Spirit about spending money in a store that was not pleasing to God. The cards didn’t need the prayer, I did.

The anonymous comment has made me think about some things however, and that is a good thing. 1) I need to be very clear and plain in what I say so that my thoughts and words are not misconstrued. 2) I need to be very sure of what I believe as a Christian and have support for my beliefs and not just thinking that I know what I believe.

The comment that I wanted to just delete and pretend wasn’t there will stay so that anyone reading my blog knows that I know what I believe.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wrong Way

Yesterday I had some laminating to get done. I’m making BINGO cards for my kids’ activities over the summer, to help my pre-K learn some stuff before he starts school.

I heard from a neighbor that there was a place in town that did laminating. (We live in a small town, population about 3500, not a whole lot of choices available for specialty stores in the area.) I was looking forward to saving on gas and time; I didn’t want a trip to Kinko’s, a drive of about 45 minutes.

In our town, there is a strong New Age influence, and I should have been more aware before my trip out. I got to the mini-mall where the mailbox-laminating store was and I guess my desire to get my BINGO cards done was overwhelming my discernment, because I could see that this was not the kind of place I wanted my money to go, yet I went in and had it done anyway.

When I walked in, I felt all creepy inside, and strange. I could feel the Holy Spirit trying to tell me to leave but I ignored the sensation. Not anymore.

As a Christian, I believe that I can witness, (so to speak) with my money, spending it wisely where God would have me to spend it. Supporting those who are believers is a good way to do this, and not supporting those who are against Him is a good way to show others how I believe.

This friend that told me about the store is not a Christian and I blew a good witnessing opportunity when I did not tell her right away why I would rather drive the 45 minutes to another store instead of “buying local” because the local place was a New Age establishment. (And I did have an idea beforehand that it was, based on the location in town.)

I need to be more bold in my walk with Jesus. I guess knowing this and actually doing it are two different things sometimes.

I feel like my BINGO cards are dirty now and need to be prayed over.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Contrary Comments

Yesterday was the first full day of summer break, and we had errands to do. I went several places with all the kids in tow, 5 of them, two in the double stroller, and three walking beside me. We went to the PX, the bank and the commissary, then my beloved Wal-Mart! (Hehe!) I know that 5 kids may seem like a lot to some people, it must, everyone kept commenting. "Are these all yours?" "Wow, you have a full house, don't you?" "You must be a busy mom."

I kept thinking, why don't we ever hear comments to the contrary, "My goodness, don't you have any children?" "Wow, your house must be empty!" "You must sit around and eat bon-bons all day, with no children to raise!"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Last Day of School Already?

This really snuck up on me, and I feel totally unprepared. I'm usually so full of great intentions for doing special things for the teachers and then they fall through until the last minute when I pull something out of my hat and astound everyone with my creativity. How much better could I do if I actually planned ahead, I wonder!?

So, three teachers need some keepsake that will actually prove to them how awesome I think they have been in my kids' lives.

How do I do that in the space of a weekend. Which already happens to be filled to everflowing.

I don't want these poor teachers to think that they have not made a profound difference in my kids, because they truly have. Chels' teacher has brought her out of her shell by commplimenting, and encouraging her to be a great reader and creative writer. Miss Busy's teacher has shown her that it's ok to get your hands dirty while catching bugs and daily excercise is good for your body as well as your brain. Ace's teacher has helped him to love books and want to get inside them and read. He knows much more than the girls did when they graduated from Kindergarten.

I truly am impressed with the learning they have absorbed this year and I want some way to show my appreciation.

I do pictures, maybe I could do a quick throw together scrapbook, I'd really have to work fast. That would be a meaningful keepsake, not just an apple paperweight, (I'm sure they have drawers-full!)

Ok, I'm off to start scrapping, much more fun than slicing onions for my food dryer anyway. I may still shed a tear, but it would much more meaningful.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I heart my American Harvest Snackmaster

Every year about this time, I pull my Snackmaster food dehydrator out of the garage and give it a good scrub.

Suzy Snacky is one of my servant-girls. She will sit on my counter faithfully humming away to preserve the foods we find all summer long.

Last Thursday while I was volunteering at our local food bank they had a pallet-full of organic bananas. I brought home a whole box.

Now, the organic part is better, I’m sure, but it doesn’t make that much of a difference to me one way or the other, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want pesticides on my foods any more than the next mom, but when I was growing up and we raised much of our own foods, vegetables, fruits, chickens, hogs and beef, it was pretty much all organic anyway and we didn’t pay more for it, I guess that is the part that is my gripe.

But, alas, I digress.

So I brought home my box full of bananas and immediately filled Suzy with all the trays I could find.

My kids love dried bananas, they call it banana candy. One batch, 9 trays, fills a gallon size storage bag. It will last about a week and a half. I wish they would stretch it out longer, but they love the stuff, and who is going to quibble about them eating fruit instead of Smarties and bubble gum?

Not this Mom.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To sing or not to sing...

My Miss Busy brought a paper home from school from her music teacher announcing that the community youth choir was holding auditions.

She's a pretty good singer for a nine-year old. She love to sing and does so with many of the songs we listen to on our Christian Radio Station.

I called the director last week and left a message that we were interested in an audition for her.

The director called me back yesterday, unfortunately we were out of the a Doctor's appointment...for both girls...for strep throat.

They won't be singing any time soon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I've been Published!!

This morning in my email I received a notice that I was being published. I had submitted a story to Heroic Stories and they accepted my entry. Pretty exciting I think. Check out their site, and sign up for their e-newsletter, my story will be in the next edition. It is about the Chehalis, Washington flood cleanup I did. Then come back and read more of the story here, here, here and here.
If you have come over from heroic, welcome to my blog and leave a comment so I know you’re reading. Hope to see more of you soon.
Your comments are my “salary,” I’d love to get a “pay raise!”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Today I discovered that someone has used my debit card, or rather used both Bear’s and mine. The transactions only add up to about $20, but that’s not the point. Someone has been getting in and I feel violated, privacy lost, security stifled, angry, depressed and just plain cranky.

For the record, I have cancelled both cards, alerted the bank and contacted the merchants to whom the transactions were supposedly made. One of them said it couldn’t have been them, they don’t take credit cards, one was a discontinued phone number and the other one had a full mailbox and couldn’t take any more messages. Hmm, strange…

I know that I didn’t take a hop over to Pistakee Heights, NY and get something printed, but someone used my debit card there and I don’t appreciate it. I don’t know how to snap out of this funk I am in, I’m short with the kids, cranky and downright down. I feel like smashing something!

When we were in SC, I lost the page that I photocopied from home that had all my passwords and logins for all my online accounts and now this. We just got a large amount of money and I feel like digging a hole in my backyard and burying it all.

EDITED TO ADD: Mrs Grits and I were having an email conversation and she commented that this kind of stuff just consumes your life when it happens. I think that this is the most annoying part of it all. Things that I took for granted, my debit card for instance, or the way that I pay some of my bills, my insurance company automatically withdraws from my account, makes me scared and upset. I can't even think coherantly right now. I'm constantly trying to figure out where my credit card number is floating. Did I use it there and the site wasn't secure? What about people looking over my shoulder at the ATM, can it be scanned in the parking lot when I'm using it inside a store? Am I being paranoid? Do I go back to cash only? I know some people who do that but what about things that I can't get locally? I do a fair bit of shopping on line, and in my scrapbooking business I place orders on line and take credit cards. How can I be sure that everything is safe. Argh!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Belated Mother's Day Treasure

Just today in the mail I received a treasure I thought I would never get. I had held out hope for years that it would come, but it never did. I had given up and turned toward other ventures, forgetting that I had started something nearly 20 years ago. Today was the beginning of the gift I had read that other mothers often receive. The gift is this, “…her children will rise up and call her blessed.”

In the mail was a Mother’s Day note from my 19 year old son, a tribute to his mother. Here is what he thinks of his mom. (In his own words, complete with spelling errors, apparently I didn’t do too well in the spelling-teacher department.)

“A mom is:

A friend, companion, cradle rocker, hug giver, cooky baker, girl scout leader, business woman, band-aid giver, guardian, listener of stories, songs and dreams; nurse, doctor, maker of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spilt milk wiper-upper, hair braider, molder of personalities, chief chef, laundry service, teacher, coach, play mate, wiper of noses and tears, calmer of fears, healer of cuts and scrapes, bedtime story reader, quicker-picker-upper, home work helper, dance instructor, singer, mender of broken hearts and bruised egos, chauffeur, potty-trainer, story teller, bed-time tucker-inner, rich, full of soul, problem-solver, shopping partner, sharrer of secrets, laborer, lagher [laugher], spider-killer, diaper-changer, driving instructor, side kick, partner for life, wise beyond her years, hand holder, fashion consultant, advise-giver, role model, authority figure, peer, love.

Thanks Mom, Love “Gadget-Boy” Happy Mother’s Day 5/11/2008”

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Where am I?

Just a picture…because I have a serious fabric addiction and company coming to stay this weekend and this is the guest bed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

For Whom the Truck Tolls

Today Bear walked with Robby out to put some stuff in the truck after church, it was high noon and the bells in the bell tower started ringing.
Bear asked Robby, "What was that?" He replied in his all-knowing 4 year old voice, "It's an ice cream truck, Daddy!"
Um, no, not exactly.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

4-H Modeling and the Wardrobe Malfunction

Kristen over at We are THAT family has a blogging carnival going on Thursdays, and she asked for bloggers to share a story from our past, something that won't probably make it into a scrapbook because we can't find our crinkle-cut scizzors or some mouse peed on the pictures or whatever reason.
Apron Queen also has a carnival goin on called Vintage Thingies Thursday, I thought since I am so good at multi-tasking, I'd roll two posts into one and call this story both; an embarrassing story from my past as well as vintage. Now if you think that those bangs aren't vintage, and that, "Oh My! Would you look at that zipper!" I don't know what is!
So, this is my story...

Fall 1978, it was the beginning of my modeling “career.” It all began at the Western Idaho Fair, on the exhibitor’s building main stage, or rather behind the main stage. There I was waiting for an absolutely dreamy Junior Future Farmers of America member to escort me onstage to model, or rather, show off for my friends, I mean, the judges, my latest sewing creation.

Mom had purchased me the-niftiest-shoes-imaginable from the JC Penney Catalog. They had thick rubber soles with two slits going through the thickness from right to left, one under the arch and one under the ball of my foot. Through these slits you could insert white straps or brown straps and snap them into place with a heavy-duty snap. My choice for the day was white. In hindsight, and remembering now that it was after Labor Day, maybe if I had chosen the brown straps and not committed such an obvious fashion faux pas, the following story wouldn’t be an embarrassing part of my history.

Like I said, there I was waiting for that foxy Jr. FFA dreamboat to escort me up the steps and onto the stage for my turn. I rehearsed it all in my head, I was to cross the stage in a “w”, head to the front mark, pivot on my left foot, head to the back of the stage, left-foot pivot, back to the front, pivot and off to the stairs on the opposite side of the stage, where the dreamboat-in-waiting would escort me down the stairs. The judges sat with their tables even with the level of the stage so they could see every detail of our sewing and how we carried ourselves with all the poise and grace an 11-year old could muster in her pre-pubescent-awkward body.

My turn. Dreamy offered me his arm, and up the steps I trod, stopping to smile at the judges, went to the front mark, pivot, gracefully gliding to the back mark, pivot, back to the front, pivot-SNAP! The adorable-change-the-look-of-your-shoe-wardrobe strap came undone! Right in front of the judges, and only 10 strides away from Jr. FFA Dreamboat, who by this time in my mind had already asked me to the prom! Ugh! Major wardrobe malfunction! Gag me with a spoon, I was going to absolutely DIE right there! Mortified, I turned and step-slop, step-slopped my way to the stairs and took the arm of Mr. Dreamy himself, who now looked more like an embarrassed puppy dog.

My 11-year old world was shattered, spinning out of control all for what? A pair of shoes! Sandals that I had thought were the answer to too many shoes in the closet. HA! I know now the error of that kind of thinking; trust me! But I digress; I anxiously awaited the decision by the judges. I already knew that my sewing had brought me a gold ribbon, and I wanted another gold ribbon to go beside it. It was my best project ever; I had done it all by myself; topstitching and everything! But because of my vain love of a cute pair of sandals, it was all going down, I tell ya! Silver was the best I could do modeling, maybe even, (gasp, dare I say it?) BRONZE! No! Not that!

Time ticked slowly by while the rest of my friends modeled their creations, they had wisely chosen sturdy oxfords to wear with their outfits. Then we were to meet back in an hour for the results. Could I even live that long? Surely by now, Mr. Dreamy thought I was the clumsiest oaf in the whole state of Idaho.

We went back to the exhibitor’s building to return our outfits to be displayed for the remaining days of the fair, and there it was; hanging next to my first place gold ribbon for sewing; a beautiful rosette ribbon, a full four inches longer than its cousin, in GOLD! The judges had smiled on me. They had sympathized with my wardrobe malfunction; they were after all women; women who understood the importance of cute shoes.

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