Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last entry for the day

Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! Yesterday, while I was drinking my iced coffee at Starbucks--I needed to go get a new travel mug for my husband because the bottom fell off of his--I pulled my fingers through my hair. And--yuck--I found a huge black tick attached! I pulled it out easily, but it freaked me out for several hours. I wash my hair every day, so it couldn't have been there long. But, it still gives me the creeps! I'm going to call the doctor today and find out what I should do--if I should get a blood test or antibiotics. I always wondered when, not if, that would happen to me. I miss California where I never saw a tick!


My husband and I had a really good talk about pride last night. We both acknowledged that when he tells with people that I'm a stay at home mom with our 3 kids (1,3, and 5) and a puppy and that I homeschool, he always feels like he has to add on that I am a teacher by trade. I do the same thing at times--depending on who I'm talking to. It's as if I have to justify who I am or tell people that to feel better about who I am. It's not true. It's really a matter of pride on both our parts.

I homeschool because it is the best thing for our kids. Autumn is doing well and so is Sami. I am a stay at home mom who homeschools, period =)

New Computer

So, we got a new computer. Our old ones were clearly dying. We learned a lot of lessons from them though. Never again will we buy a really expensive laptop or get a refurbished floor model desk top computer (that one's a bad story in and of itself). Both not what we are choosing this time. We decided to get a desktop attached to a big tv. It works well, but it's hard for my eyes, so we're also going to get me a laptop that I can do all my word processing and spread sheets on.

I learned a few things. We have internet through our cable. I thought it was just the cable internet that was the problem--no! It was our computer! I watched the same show on the internet yesterday that I watched last week. Last week, our old computer locked up and I couldn't even watch half of it. This week, it was amazing! It played the whole show without breaking up at all! It was really nice.

But, now the kids need breakfast and my day has begun--so much for computers =)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On a Lark

Yesterday, I was in Walmart and I bought a cd--completely on a lark. I try not to be an impulse purchaser. But, I heard the sample song, and I thought "Hmmm. I might like that." It was a CD put out by Fisher-Price of all companies, but what I say next will really surprise you--it was a Lullaby CD by Jewel. For some reason, though, it really appealed to me. I hesitated, but still bought it.

I had to take a drive to the airport yesterday so I put it in the cd player and started listening. The girls weren't so crazy about it--but it's not exactly Laurie Berkner. But, I enjoyed it. And then came song 11. Gloria. It was beautiful. Amazingly beautiful. Please go look it up on Amazon if you get a chance and listen. It blew me away to realize what a beautiful voice she has! I hope you enjoy it too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A good way to lose weight =) to eat at bad restaurants. Tonight the kids and I ate at what I think is likely the worst Chinese buffet I've ever eaten at. Over half of the food was cold, not luke warm, but between luke warm and cold toward the cold side =( Yuk! I said something to the manager and just wanted to let him know in case the case isn't heating enough. He took $2 off the total. Hmm... $2 So, now I'm home and I'm hungry! So, I need to stop writing and go eat some food!

A good quote

"Change has to start in the mind...Once the mind gets correct, the rest becomes simple...(The) mindset begins with a sense that one's life, choices, and actions matter to the whole country." Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda

Wouldn't it be incredible if people here in the U.S. really began to understand this and took their eyes off of themselves?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A little Thank You

I was driving to church when I realized I wanted to write a thank you to everyone who has had a garage sale this summer. I garage sale every Saturday morning come the beginning of April through October. Rainy days and other things often preclude me going, but I love to go whenever I can. It gets my shopping out of my system. But, it's a lot more than that for me. I'm able to help provide for my family and stretch my husband's income through garage saling.

So, this is where my thank you comes in. Last week I had a garage sale of my own. It's a lot of work, but I was so excited to get things to people that wanted them and we couldn't use anymore. I was especially excited that a man came by looking for old cell phones for a woman's shelter and old eyeglasses for the Lion's club. I've been trying to donate them for 2 years and just haven't been able to find a place to do it!

Anyways, back to my thank you =) I know it's a lot of work and so I'm so thankful for all the people that have hosted or plan on hosting garage sales this summer. They really are a blessing to a lot of people--like us! =) It's your garage sales that help me to find the things I need for my children and husband at prices that I can afford. And things that I want, too. =) My girls are still thrilled 36 hours later with the My Little Pony playset that we brought home yesterday and the purse full of play necklaces!

dinner conversation

So, this was my daughter's dinner conversation tonight...
Autumn "Let's guess the number game."
Sami "Okay."
Autumn "Okay. You guess how many fish sticks I have."
Sami "1?"
Autumn "No."
Sami "2?"
Autumn "No."
Sami "3?"
Autumn "Yes! You're right!"
Sami "Okay. Now, it's my turn, but you have to guess 3 last."

I come back a minute later.
Autumn "3?"
Sami "no."
Autumn "2?"
Sami "no."
Autumn "1?"
Sami "Yes! You're right! One frozen strawberry."

How did they get from fish sticks to strawberries without me noticing? Was it telepathic that they just switched guessing games? And what's really, really funny is that it really isn't guessing at all--they can see each other's food! =)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

June Bug

I like the name June Bug. It is affectionate and cute. It's also the title of a new book by Chris Fabry that's being published by Tyndale. I really wanted to read this book. The description intrigued me. And I'm glad it did.

June Bug is the story of a little girl and her dad who live in an RV. They travel around the U.S. spending the nights in Walmart parking lots. At the very beginning, June Bug sees a picture of herself on the missing picture wall right inside the Walmart where they are staying. Knowing just that much is enough to make you think,
"Hmm, this could be an interesting story."

I don't want to give away any of the plot, because that's what's best about a good book--you don't know where exactly it's going and when things are going to happen. So, instead I'll describe the writing and the book itself.

One complaint many writers have is that a lot of Christian fiction books write books that can be compared to Nancy Drew books. I love Nancy Drew (the old ones) and my husband teases me for this. They are written at a fourth grade reading level with entirely predictable plots with only a little character development. There are just as many secular writers that write this type of fiction, but good books that draw you in are so much more satisfying, memorable, and enjoyable to read.

This book is a good book. It is written well. I enjoyed the characters. The descriptions of physical appearances were minimal, but the feelings conveyed by the characters allow readers to picture them in their minds. The plot twists and turns and never gets too slow or too fast, for that matter.

I would recommend this book. If you enjoy Angela Hunt's books, you'd likely enjoy this book!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The strongest coffee--ever!

This morning, I made the strongest pot of coffee I've ever made before. Oh, my goodness! I felt so bad because it was for my Bible study. Oh, well =( It was only the second pot with my pot and at least it wasn't bad, per se, just way, way too strong! I'll definitely know better next time. =)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A creature of habit

Yesterday, I opened up the box of my new coffee maker. I read all the directions (which I never do!) because I had read the Amazon reviews that said--DO this! This morning I made my first pot of coffee. It tasted just like it did from my old maker. That's a good thing. The problem is, though, that I didn't like this brand of coffee in the old maker either. But, I suppose that the fact that it brewed it the same and that it was just as strong is a good thing. That's what I was looking for.

And on the plus side, it was actually still hot after I added whole milk to it! Usually, I have to reheat it in the microwave after I've added cream to my coffee. I add so much! I know, horrible, isn't it?! But, I do really like my coffee.

Anyways, back to my coffee maker... I realized that I was so used to my old coffee maker (a Krups) that it is going to take me a little time to get used to our new one (a Bunn). I wouldn't have thought it would be such a big deal, but I guess I have become a creature of habit with my coffee making!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eli's new habit

So, my son has a funny little habit. He likes food, but if he's chewing something and something else is given to him that he wants more--he'll just spit it out and commence eating the new thing. It doesn't become a projectile (thank goodness!), but it just dribbles out. No compunction at all. What's funny is that it's not that he doesn't like whatever is in his mouth--it's just that whatever he sees he wants more!

Autumn and the piano

Autumn started piano lessons 2 weeks ago. It's been interesting to try and get in the habit of having her practice every day. I'm realizing that I need to find a way to begin teaching her to take responsibility for it. She can read the theory book and do it all on her own. I think her reading level is a solid second grade now. But, I had a thought today about her practicing.

When I have sat down with her, we've taken time to do all of it until she got it right. It was as if I was trying to tackle all of the issues at once. Playing it, getting the counting right, the words right, etc. Today, I had the thought that it would be wiser to just tackle it bit by bit. Get her fingers used to the songs, then add in the rhythm (the count) another day, and then add in the words another day. I think that will make it more fun for her and spread out the work =) I really want her to enjoy it and not for it to be work that she doesn't look forward to.

I realized that's how most of us are, I think. I want to be able to work on it and get it right the first time and quickly to boot! But, really, life is never like that =) Everything takes time =)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cookbooks and God's Grace

I have been dreading today all week. I was not looking forward to Molly's spaying. But, from the beginning of my day, God showed me grace that I didn't deserve. But, of course, that is what grace is, isn't it? =) So, let me start at the beginning.

Molly couldn't have any food after midnight last night. I was careful to keep it from her. I had to go change Eli's diaper so I left my food at the back of the counter. Just as I finished him up, I heard the sound of my plate in the kitchen being knocked--not to the ground, but just clattering on the counter. I knew exactly what Molly was doing. I raced to the living room to see Molly running away from me--she and I both knew what she had done. I opened her mouth and found my zucchini bread--all in one piece--on the roof of her mouth. First baby miracle of the day--I got there in time and God helped me hear Molly! The spaying would have been postponed if she had eaten it.

Then I took the kids down to my friend's house and took Molly in. Everyone there was very nice and it was very quick. And, praise God, Molly was 41.4 pounds--under 50 pounds. When the dogs are over 50, the price jumps by $50 or so. And then I got some very good news! I was told I would have to carry her down the stairs for 14 days. The vet said no, she should be fine from the beginning, just take it slow. It was such a relief to get that news!

So, I left and went to the pet store and got myself a cup of coffee in my own cup from Starbucks. I don't get to enjoy it very often while running after everyone. So, I took a few minutes for me.

I went home and took care of the kids until lunch. Then I got a call and was told Molly would be ready at 3 p.m. Which was perfect because the oven repair man was coming between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. So, I ran over and got her (with my kids dropped off at my friend's house) and came back. The oven man came and fixed my oven. And, we still had time to dress like cows and go get free Chikfila to bring home for dinner since it was Cow Appreciation Day. What a huge blessing! No cooking tonight!

So, that was my day. A far better one than I had expected!

Oh, PS... I thought it would be fun to make a list of my favorite out of the way cookbooks. So, I did =)

Pouring and Bunn

When it rains, it pours. Everything always seems to happen at once. Have you noticed that? Goodness. This is my week or at least part of it. Wednesday morning, I discovered that when Molly gets spayed I will have to carry her up and down the stairs of our deck for 2 weeks--14 days. =( And she will have to be kept away from the kids so she doesn't get hyper or jump. =( Tricky.

But, then I heard a pop in my oven on Wednesday night and it turned out that my oven has broken. Today the service man is going to come and check to make sure what's wrong is what it most likely is---amidst me taking Molly to the vet.

I know it will all get done, but it's just not fun.

And it's not just the things that are happening as much as how I feel amidst all of it. We're studying Let Go in my Bible study. I'm leading the study in my home. So, this week it became my turn to be challenged to Let Go of the past and give it to God. Something happened that brought up a lot of old pain. Yuckiness. And so that's hovering around me while trying to tackle everything else.

Oh, and I also discovered my vacuum is broken (hanging on by a thread) and my coffee pot was leaking and needed to be replaced. The coffee pot is replaced and on its way =) Of everything, that's the one thing that was the least painful.

Which by the way, leads me to my rabbit trail. I read a lot of reviews on Amazon. We love good strong coffee. So, I really debated whether to go with a basket (a Bunn) or a cone type of machine. I called Bunn and asked them about it. Their customer service was wonderful! It turns out that they have a slower spray nozzle that they will send you for free! It doubles the 3 minute brew time and allows for more saturation of the grounds. I also learned from her that I should use the Bunn filters because the sides are higher so you won't end up with grounds in your coffee. And finally, she pointed me to two Bunn websites. The retail site is On the site, you can buy the filters for $10.95 for a box of 1000. Shipping is $7.95. But, still that works out to be the same price that I've been paying at Trader Joe's for the Melitta Cone filters that we've been using for 2 years. And buying them online saves running around.

Pros: Hot, hot coffee. It should brew a strong pot with the low flow sprayer. Cost comparable to a Krups ($100) instead of a Capresso ($180) or a Thermovax (?) ($300) The pot style will be easy to clean (instead of the capresso that has a very narrow top). A 3 year warranty and as you can tell I think the customer service is great!
Cons: The thermal carafe version would have cost $150, but we've had a thermal carafe for 2 1/2 years and they're really hard to clean inside. Basket filter instead of a cone filter--hopefully it will be okay. But, I'll keep you posted!

My husband was concerned about breaking the post, but if it breaks I'll be able to order a new pot for $10 on the website. Not too bad. One other interesting thing. The customer service told me that all the models are basically the same, they just have a different look to them.

Well, it's time for me to get ready for today! Hopefully, it won't be as bad as I'm fearing.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July and the Fire Department

A few random thoughts and a story...

Last night the fire department almost came to our house. We filled the house with smoke because of something in the oven. I couldn't remember how to bypass the fire alarm so the alarm contacted the company. I tried to call them and couldn't get through. But in the meantime they called 911 and my mom in CA! Goodness! 911 called me and thankfully, they were able to call off the fire truck before it arrived. But, the crazy thing about it is that none of my neighbors came over to check on us. That made me very sad, honestly. But, also thankful for the security company that monitors our alarm system. At least I can feel comforted that someone will be watching out for me.

Parades. I grew up going to the Rose Parade. It was wonderful. That is what a great parade is! Great floats and bands. Today, the kids and I went to the little 4th of July parade in my town. I don't know quite how to put my reaction or my feelings about it. I do not understand how a band could think that it is appropriate for its cheerleaders to wear bikinis while marching and shaking pompoms. (Honestly, this will sound horrible, but they looked like hookers.) This isn't the NFL. These were little girls, middle school girls, and girls who looked a little too old to be doing this still. It made me very, very sad. I didn't want to say anything in public to the girls, but Autumn thought they looked beautiful. How do I explain to her that they weren't? I believe God desires for us to be modest--not homely, but modest. It made me very very sad. And I wondered if I would feel comfortable taking the kids next year. Sadly, probably not.

My best friend from high school came to visit me and the kids this weekend. We hadn't seen each other in 5 years. We had a great visit. She knows me well. As she ought after being friends for 20 years. Thanks God for such a great friend!

So, those are a few random thoughts. =)


In 1950, Philis Krasilowsky wrote a book called "The Man Who Didn't wash his dishes". I usually can remember where I've gotten every book that we own, but I can't remember where I found this one. I know I've had it for over 8 years, but nothing more than that. Anyways, have you ever read it? If you haven't, it's a fun one if your children are complaining about the dishes! Or if you know someone who doesn't like to do them =)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Many thoughts

Busy, busy. I have been thinking a lot of things lately that I've wanted to write on my blog, but I never seem to get to it. And now that I'm here--I can't remember them! Ay ay ay!

I think the first is that 3 kids and a puppy is just plain busy! I realized at breakfast yesterday that there are some optional things that I do for my kids that I need to stop doing--to stop me from being so busy. I literally don't stop moving for hours =) But, most of it isn't optional. I just have a lot to do =)

I have been reading John Piper's marriage book and really thinking about forgiveness. I realized how wrong it is that when Sami has talked back or objected or cried or whined for the umpteenth time, I get absolutely frustrated. It never seems to stop. But, I haven't been forgiving her. I've been keeping a record in my heart and that makes the umpteenth time feel like the umpteenth time instead of the first or even fifth time. I'm going to start praying that God would truly help me forgive her and love her better than I have been!