Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Least Among Us

Matthew 25: 
40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

This scripture has been resounding in my mind all day today.

I was running errands, and as usual, was running late.  I stopped at the Post Office to check our post office box.  I was on the phone when I entered and noticed a woman, with desperate eyes, standing at one of the counters where people sort or prepare their mail/packages.  We made eye contact and I kept walking to check my box.  When I was on the way out, I had to pass her again.  She said something to me, but I didn't hear what she said.  I gave her my attention, and she quietly told me that she had surgery a few months before on her brain and that she was feeling awful.  She looked sick and thin.  She told me she didn't have any money for food.

Now, I know what you're thinking....  She could  have been scamming me. She could have concocted a different story for each person who walked in hoping to get a handout.  She could have been a drug addict.  How could I know for sure what the true situation was?  But what if she was truly in need of a meal?  There was a beautiful, brand new church right next door so I asked her if she had been to see them yet.  She told me that she had walked there first, but that they had told her that they had no food to give.

I told her I would go and get her some food.  She seemed very grateful, but also a little worried that I may not come back.  I went to a local fast food restaurant and purchased a meal and brought it back to her.  She was extremely grateful and proceeded to dig into the food there in the post office.  I again asked her if she had been over to the church and she said, yes, but they said they didn't have any food.

I told her that I would pray for her and her situation, and that I hoped she felt better soon.  This sort of thing happens all too often to me and/or my husband.  We seem to run into people in need more often than most people.  I know that we could do more and I also know that there are many great organizations out there that do have wonderful ministries for the needy.

As I was leaving the post office, and driving by the beautiful new church it really hit me.  How is it possible that this shining new church, with its beautiful steeple and perfectly manicured grounds could actually tell someone that they have nothing at all to give them?  How is it possible that a place proclaiming to be a house of God can actually turn people away without so much as a pack of crackers or a bottle of water?  So, I decided to call them and verify the woman's story.

As soon as the receptionist answered the phone, I felt the anger in me rising.  I kindly asked if they had recently had a woman come in that was looking for food.  The receptionist immediately went on defense, and said yes she was in here, but we just don't offer food here.  She said she was told the woman may have come in for help before, and that the church "board" has decided to make donations to other organizations and they contributed to a group Thanksgiving meal, but it was held at another location.  She went on and on with a litany of excuses as to how they could turn her away empty handed and had suggested to the woman that she go the food bank - which is located on the other side of town.  

I asked to leave a message for their Pastor to call me.  The receptionist refused to let me leave a message and then seemed to get really agitated with me as she proceeded to give me a lesson on how "these people" work the system and how they should learn to help themselves.   She sounded totally disgusted that she even had to deal with them.

I ended the conversation with two points.  1.)  With the economy the way it is, it's only going to get worse and every church should have a plan as to how to help people (not direct them to places across town that they can't even get to!) 2.)  I appreciated her speaking with me so I could verify the needy woman's story, and I was sorry that their brand new building did not have a kitchen. :)  After hanging up, I really got emotional.  I was deeply affected by hearing the words from the "church" lady, and I felt the shame that the people who are sincerely in need must feel when they are looked down upon.

Luke 7:36  Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.

37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.”

I am not naive. I am fully aware that there are people out there who are too lazy to get a job and would rather live off of the charity of other people.  That being said, what method of measure does a church use to decide who is worthy of help and who is not?  What beautiful building did Jesus have?  What standards did Jesus have for saving and healing people? How many signs and wonders would we witness if the "Houses of God" truly opened their doors and said "Come as you are! God loves you!" 

I know there is so much more that I could say on this subject, and SO much more that I could do myself as well.  I would just ask that anybody who reads this please talk to their own Pastor about how their congregation deals with people who need food or clothing.  It should be a priority for every single church to have a plan to help NOW because the needs are only going to grow.  If there is no plan at your church then do what you can to get a plan into action.  

Do we quietly accept what the church "board" has decided if it contradicts what God clearly tells us in His word?  If the goal of the gospel is salvation, what is the goal of the neat and tidy church that doesn't welcome or help the sinner, the broken, and the hungry? 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ebates ~ Save Your Sanity and Shop Online This Year!




If you've been following my blog, you already know that I'm somewhat obsessed with saving money.  I am a coupon clipper and a thrifty spender.  However, this doesn't mean that I'm walking around in thrift store rags or scrimping on the things that I like to buy.  I love to shop and I do it often.  I just happen to do it well. :)

With this in mind, I thought I'd share a great site that I use for all of my online purchases called EBATES.  If you click on this link http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?id=axobtVvchowIxcDxNEqiNQ%3D%3D and register, you'll start your account and get a $5 bonus just for signing up.  I have used this website for about a year now, and have received two checks in the mail for a total of $23.  I am due to receive another check for $26 in about a month.  

Here's  how it works:  Before shopping at any online retailer, Target for instance, go to Ebates.com and click on Target.  This will bring you to the same Target website, but it will keep track of your purchase total, and will give you a percentage of that total back in cash to your Ebates account.  Most major retailers are on Ebates including Car Rental places like Budget and Alamo, major retailers like Target, WalMart, Macy's and Dillards, and even wholesalers such as TireRack and 1-800-Flowers.  Sometimes there are also extra savings coupons and special shopping days, like today (Cyber Monday) where the cash back is doubled.  I just purchased a gift for somebody online and instead of getting 3% cash back, got 6% for this special promotion.

Check it out!! Every penny counts right? http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?id=axobtVvchowIxcDxNEqiNQ%3D%3D

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stranger ~ Sunday Scribblings

This week's writing prompt from  Sunday Scribblings is the word "Stranger".  I immediately thought of the great song by Billy Joel (currently playing on my blog's playlist) called The Stranger.  The song is about how we all really have more than one personality, the one we show everybody, and the one we don't.   The lyrics are below.  How often have we accidentally been caught showing our darker side without meaning to let it be seen?  How often have we been forgiven for being the nasty version of ourselves and how often have we extended forgiveness for others who have done the same?  We are all guilty of sometimes being a "stranger" to those we know and love.

Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and show ourselves
When everyone has gone
Some are satin some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They're the faces of the stranger

But we love to try them on
Well, we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger

Did you ever let your lover see
The stranger in yourself?
Don't be afraid to try again 
Everone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it, why can't someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

Once I used to believe
I was such a great romancer
Then I came home to a woman
That I could not recognize
When I pressed her for a reason
She refused to even answer
It was then I felt the stranger
Kick me right between the eyes

Well, we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see
The stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it why can't someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

You may never understand
How the stranger is inspired
But he isn't always evil
And he isn't always wrong
Though you drown in good intentions
You will never quench the fire
You'll give in to your desire
When the stranger comes along. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Friends Retreat





The children and I just got back from a two day trip to the mountains of Virginia with my best friend Lori and her children.  The trip was way too short, but so nice!!  The leaves were at their absolute peak of fall colors and the weather was perfect.  

I absolutely love trees!  Our house is surrounded by trees, and I am always "oohing and aaahing" over the fall colors.  I hate to see the leaves go because winter is my least favorite season, but they sure do go out in style!  The song I have playing today on my blog is one of my favorites and seems an appropriate song to go with the beautiful fall pictures.  I've included the lyrics at the bottom of the post.

We were blessed enough to have free lodging thanks to a certificate that my parents gave me so we only had to pay for gas and food.  We both brought snacks and drinks so we didn't have to spend too much.  

We both voted absentee and didn't have to wait in lines to vote on Election Day.  I usually spend the entire Election Day volunteering and then anxiously awaiting the results.  This time, I am very glad that I was able to bypass the emotions and exhaustion I usually associate with Election Day.  It is always great to get away, even if just for a couple of days, to refresh and have some fun.  Here are some pictures that I took of the scenery and one of our 10 year old Mini-Schnauzer Smokie who came along!


In our days we will live 
Like our ghosts will live:
Pitching glass at the cornfield crows 
And folding clothes 

Like stubborn boys across the road 
We'll keep everything:
Grandma's gun and the black bear claw 
That took her dog 

When Sister Lowery says, "Amen" 
We won't hear anything:
The ten-car trains will take that word 
That fledgling bird 

And the fallen house across the way 
It'll keep everything:
The baby's breath
Our bravery wasted and our shame

And we'll undress beside the ashes of the fire 
Both our tender bellies wound in baling wire 
All the more a pair of underwater pearls 
Than the oak tree and its resurrection fern

In our days we will say 
What our ghosts will say:
We gave the world what it saw fit 
And what'd we get?

Like stubborn boys with big green eyes 
We'll see everything:
In the timid shade of the autumn leaves 
And the buzzard's wing 

And we'll undress beside the ashes of the fire 
Our tender bellies are wound around in baling wire 
All the more a pair of underwater pearls 
Than the oak tree and its resurrection fern

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bragging ~ Sunday Scribblings


How Great Am I?

I suppose I could think of a thing or two
to brag about myself to you.
But why would I even go there?
To speak those words as if you cared

To brag of things that I've achieved
though, in my life I've both loved and grieved.
I have a great list that I've compiled
but, if I shared, it would take a while!

I'd love to brag, oh can't you see?
One of my favorite people on earth is Me!
If you really insist I brag of one quality,
that I love about me
It would have to be..... my HUMILITY.

*Of course what I've written above is untrue
But it was so fun to share with you.
though we all have things of which we should be proud,
I have a hard time saying them out loud.*

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Style - Sunday Scribblings


Style
Style is the attempt
 to dress yourself
and fix your hair
in a way that says
I am not back there
in the past 
where I came from
But I'm here and now
ready for fun
The problem is
that your style today
will be the joke
of those years away
Remember when making
the effort 
to stay "in tune"
those lovely white shoes
on the "stylish" Pat Boone.

1960 Slacktime Casuals

BJ's Wholesale Club - Cut your grocery bill

After my recent post about saving money, I was contacted by somebody affiliated with BJ's Wholesale Club.  I was delighted to find out that BJ's not only sends you a coupon book each month, but they are the only discount club that allows regular manufacturer coupons.  

Even better, I learned that they allow coupon "stacking".  That means that if you buy an item at BJ's that includes more than one item labeled for re-sale, as many of their items are, you can use up to that number in coupons.  For example, if you bought a multi-pack of spaghetti sauce with three jars,  you can use up to three coupons on that item!  This is a great money saver!  

Before I posted this I did try it out to be sure it works.  I clipped my coupons from the BJ's coupon book, printed some from www.eversave.com and www.coupons.com, and went to BJ's to buy my regular groceries.

It worked fine and I saved $35 with the coupons and was able to use multiple coupons on multi-pack items without a problem at all.  

**For those reading from BJ's Wholesale Club, feel free to mail me some gift cards in exchange for this wonderful plug that I'm giving you on top of all of the money that I spend at your store!  Thanks!**

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Purse Speaks - What Does It Say?


I have been tagged by my blog friend, Jamey at Walking-By-Faith with a fun Meme.  

Here are the rules:
1. Dump the contents of your handbag in a pile.
2. Take a photo of your handbag and the contents.
3. Be brave and explain to your fellow bloggers what lurks inside the handbag.
4. Tag others who might want to embarrass themselves.
5. Answer the questions below in your blog.

What's in your handbag?
I have a big fat wallet (just like Jamey's),keys, a lot of pens (and I can never seem to find one!), my new cell phone, certs mints and cinnamon mints, loads of receipts and papers, my beloved sunglasses and polishing cloth, my lipstick and lipgloss, carmex lip balm, hairbrush, camera, pepper spray and two 4-H pins from the State Fair two weekends ago.  You can see why I always carry a huge purse!

What's the most important thing in your handbag? 
My cell phone which is my lifeline with email.

What's the most embarrassing thing in your handbag? 
I'm sure you can guess that one.

What's the smallest thing in your handbag? 
Mints and 4-H pins

Is there anything illegal in your handbag? 
No, but I actually had, and didn't photograph, three canisters of pepper spray in my purse in varying sizes (small, medium and large) because I had just gone to a conference a couple of weeks ago.  I ended up getting some extra canisters as samples from a vendor that we use in our business. I had been carrying them around all this time and this exercise helped me to remember to take the extras out.  I pity the fool who tries to mess with me! :)

I will now tag:
Mom at DREAMSWEPT
Brooke at More Than Me

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Time To Deal


I guess we're stuck with higher prices on everything! Let's just admit it's happening and stop whining about it. Now, are you ready to deal with it?  What's your plan?

Even when prices weren't as high, I was a coupon clipper. I never clip coupons for items that I don't already purchase to avoid overspending on novelty items.

As I've posted before, I have a daily planner that has some zipper pockets in it and I keep all the coupons that I collect in it. I carry this planner in my car so whenever I go shopping I check to see if I have any coupons for that store. I have signed up for every discount card at every store I frequent that offers them. Some that really pay off are Staples, Office Max, Best Buy, Petco, Petsmart, Ukrops (grocery store) and Food Lion. For example, at Petco, for every 10th bag of dog food I buy, I get one free. My dogs go through a 40 pound bag of food every 2 1/2 weeks! I am one bag away from a free bag. I have to buy it anyway so why not?

Another good way to save is discount club shopping. I am a member at BJ's Wholesale club and I go twice a month. I get a coupon book in the mail every month which I faithfully go through and clip out the appropriate coupons. I buy pretty much the same things every time I go and don't deviate very much.

My kids get to pick out one item each (usually a sugary cereal, ice cream or pop tarts). They know that if they ask me for something ridiculously overpriced (like "Lunchables" or frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without crusts -"Uncrustables"), I'm going to give them a quick economics lesson on how much money we would save if we bought the cheese, crackers and luncheon meat or peanut butter, jelly and bread ourselves and made our own! They also know I'm going to give them a quick lecture on fake food versus real food. :)

I always buy toilet paper and paper towels at the wholesale club, as well as milk, eggs, meat, juice and frozen foods. I usually save between $15 - $20 with coupons. I usually make only one or two trips a month to the regular grocery store for quick items here or there. If they have a decent sale on something, I'll stock up. A couple of weeks ago they had 2-liter sodas for $.89 and half of them had $.50 coupons on them so you know I got a bunch of those!

Those who know me will tell you that I hate grocery shopping and I hate running out of things! I try to get as much as I can in one trip so I don't have to go back for a while. Also, I always have my children with me when I grocery shop so I am usually exhausted by the whole thing.

Some other little things to do to save money:
  1.  Take all loose pocket change and put it in a jar or piggy bank at the end of the day (who still spends cash though?), after a few months you could have enough to pay for a round of groceries.
  2. Shop at the local book exchange instead of Barnes and Noble.  They will give you credit for your old books and you can pick out second hand books at a substantial discount.  I have shopped there for many years and my credit always exceeds my purchases. 
  3. Use the public library.  Our public library is great and has many of the latest dvds and music cds to check out and of course there are tons of books!  We love books around here.
  4.  Instead of going out to the movies (so expensive!), join Netflix.  We love Netflix and I never have to worry about late fees.  It also saves on gas.
  5. If you or your spouse travel for work, make sure that they are a member of a hotel rewards club.  Our favorite is Marriott.  We collect Marriott Rewards points and usually have enough for several free nights every year which we try to use for a family trip.
  6. Think about energy efficiency.  Every little bit counts right?  We have those energy efficient light bulbs.  It's been great not having to change a light bulb in over a year!  Plus, there really is a cost savings in the power bill.  If you don't want to take the plunge to change out all of  your lightbulbs, remind everybody in the house to turn them off when they're not in use!  That helps too!
If you're feeling blue about the economic times we currently find ourselves, gain inspiration from those who have come before us! Imagine what the pioneer days were like, or the time of the Great Depression. The folks who lived through those times would take one look at us fat cats and have a good long laugh! We have been through nothing compared to those who have forged the path before us. My advice? Tighten up the purse strings and do the best you can. We'll all be stronger in the end.

Salad Perfection

If you live in the Midwest, you know WaWa. Here in the South, WaWa gas stations and convenience stores have started popping up all over the place. Each location is still shiny and new.

Between business, errands, and kid's activities I drive all the time. WaWa usually has the better prices on gas and the convenience store has the best food you'll find in such a place.

I love their Chicken, Cherry, Walnut salads. If I could eat one every day I probably would. It has mixed greens, diced chicken, walnuts, dried cherries and feta cheese. At just $4.00 and 380 calories, this salad fills me up and tastes sooooo good. Plus, compared to fast food, it is obviously a much better choice. I usually get the Raspberry vinaigrette dressing (fat free!) or the Caesar vinaigrette (not so fat free).

If you're ever at a WaWa give it a try!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Forbidden - Sunday Scribblings


Forbidden

Being human, we want what we can't have. As Americans, we have literally everything we need. Don't even try to argue that we don't. We do. We're spoiled.....rotten!!

Just take a look at how our government operates, especially this past week. It's a sad state of affairs. I guess the place that this writing prompt takes me is to the attitude and lifestyle of the American people as a whole. There are plenty of people who live and act responsibly, borrowing only what they can afford to pay back, living within their means, and even giving charitably to those less fortunate. But for the rest of the people, including the banks, the borrowers, and the government, who thought that it was somehow a good idea to borrow, lend, and oversee financial transactions without the responsible wisdom required for such things, you have left the rest of us to bear the burden of your stupidity.

A few months ago, when the financial crisis was just beginning in the news, I posted a funny blog post called "The Financial Crisis - How Did We Get Here?". It included a clip from the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" where Ben Stein was teaching economics and the class was barely able to stay awake. The clip includes his famous "Anyone? Anyone?" line. The point of my post was, that we got here, because nobody was paying attention. Over the last month, my blog has been inundated with hundreds of hits by people google searching the exact words "Financial Crisis - How did we get here?" It is so sad, that we have been blindsided by the irresponsible acts of other citizens, businesses and our own government. But, we are also partly to blame for not paying attention!

Back to the writing prompt of "forbidden". Nobody likes to be told no, especially when we really want something. But, just as we have to tell our 2 year old child "NO" to running out into the street, so must we say "NO" to many things in life.

Here are some things which should be forbidden for the good of the nation:
Giving mortgages to people who can't afford them, paying CEOs millions of dollars even though the company has collapsed, filing for bankruptcy "protection" so your company can go out and continue the exact same practices that got you there in the first place, government bailouts, tax increases and wealth re-distribution plans, socialized medicine, wasteful spending by politicians, more plastic surgery for Nancy Pelosi, rushed time lines for legislation (as if this problem just appeared suddenly!), and Presidential debates without lie detectors. Oh, and we can't forget the encouragement of outsourcing jobs and illegal immigration!! Whew - that's obviously my abbreviated version of this list.

God, as always, has it right. Forbidding some things, for our own good, saves us from a lot of pain down the road.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back Home


The kids and I just got back from a trip to New Jersey.  I had to go for a conference for our business.  We were able to go visit hubby (Superman) after the conference since he is also in New Jersey, just outside of NYC for work.

We spent two days in Cape May, two days in Clifton, and one day in New York City.  It was a great time and we really hated to leave Superman to come back home.  Of course, once we got home, we were happy to be here too.  

Here's a picture that I took in Times Square.  Have a great day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Invitation ~ Sunday Scribblings

This week's writing prompt from Sunday Scribblings is "Invitation".

Just two words.  Two words that can make you feel a part of something!  Two words that can take you from the outside looking in to the center of the action.  These two powerful words?

You're Invited.

When you receive a wedding invitation, the couple is saying "you're invited" to witness our vows to one another.  When your Mother gave birth to you, she said "you're invited" - come into the world!  When your significant other proposed, or said yes to a proposal, they were saying "you're invited" to go on this journey of life with me as my partner!  When Yeshua gave His life on Calvary, He said "you're invited" to have everlasting life if you just believe in Me.  

Just two simple words can make a huge difference in the life of somebody else.  From an invitation to a special event to an alter call, the words "You're Invited" are some of the most heart warming, welcoming words one can possibly hear.

So, be sure to R.S.V.P. and join the celebrations!  An invitation is a precious gift to receive, and to give.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Coffee? Sunday Scribblings


This week's writing prompt is coffee.  Yuck!  Since I hate coffee (it does smell divine), I thought I'd write about my favorite, can't live without, must have, beverage - iced tea!

I was born and raised in Virginia.  For some people, just hearing the word Virginia makes them think of the country for some weird reason.  I grew up in Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach is far from "country" and is actually the largest resort city in the world. Growing up, the population was probably around 200,000 or so.  Now, there are about 450,000+ and it still seems to be growing!!

My point is, I grew up in the south, but in a very "non-southern" town.  However, I do love traditional southern sweet iced tea.  I make a gallon of fresh brewed iced tea at least every other day.  It is the first thing I drink in the morning, and the last thing I drink at night.  Everybody who comes to my house, knows that I will always have cold, sweet iced tea in the fridge.  Always.

In the summer, neighborhood children come to our house and claim that they are so thirsty they cannot possibly make the trip back to their own houses (across the street or next door) and please oh please can they have some tea?  Of course, I pour the tea freely and they always come back for more.  To me, iced tea is the essence of southern hospitality.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Is Almost Here...


Today, my husband and I were talking in my office.  We both noticed something moving in the front yard.  Much to our surprise, we saw a big group of wild turkeys!  It appeared to be a couple of Moms and their babies.

We live in a subdivision surrounded by a nature preserve and forest so I guess we shouldn't be that surprised. However, it was a first for us.  We called the kids to come take a look and I got a few pictures.  





Saturday, August 30, 2008

Somewhere - Sunday Scribblings

This week's prompt is "Somewhere".  What came to my mind first is the beautiful song from West Side Story.  I have always loved musicals and West Side Story is one of the best.  I think it is a wonderful illustration of how things have changed so much in the last 40+ years. 

Tony and Maria's somewhere is quite possibly here and now.  I am very happy to live in a much more diverse time and place where my multi-cultural children (my husband is hispanic/filipino and I am caucasian) are not subjected to the injustices that they might have faced just a few decades ago.  I live in a beautiful, diverse community with many races and cultures represented.  I live in a time where it is possible for an African-American to run for President and a strong, beautiful mother of five to run for Vice President!  I think I just may live "Somewhere!"

Before you watch the video, scroll down to the playlist and hit pause so you can hear the audio.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Five Quotes

I've been tagged to list five of my favorite literary quotes.  This is not easy since I love reading all kinds of books and I had a really hard time narrowing them down but here goes:

1.  "Wealth is not the same as income.  If you make a good income each year and spend it all, you are not getting wealthier.  You are just living high.  Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend."   
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D, and William D. Danko, Ph.D.

Cover Image


2.  "Is there a single person on whom I can press belief?  No sir.  All I can do is say, Here's how it went.  Here's what I saw.  I've been there and am going back.  Make of it what you will."  
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Cover Image

3.  "All our work and money and it's just away like that?  To stand forty years empty, and then go in a flicker of an eyelid!  Just when we had it fixed up."  The aunt in her shop, sniveling into a tissue.  A silence.  "What about the outhouse?"

He could hardly believe what he heard.  The house gone and she asked about the crapper.  
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

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4.  "In our television age, when pictures without context immediately influence our emotions, when cause and effect are deemed irrelevant, when only suffering is important, human sympathy and a deep desire for peace can turn into a weapon of tyranny."  
The Case for Democracy by Natan Sharansky

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5. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  
John 3:16
The Holy Bible







Saturday, August 23, 2008

How I Met My Superman ~ Sunday Scribblings

I don't believe there are "accidents" when it comes to meeting people.  I believe there are "divine appointments".  

I was just 18 years old when I met my husband, a.k.a. "Superman".  He actually lived in the same neighborhood as I did.  But, we met at a church more than 30 miles away. His parents had met my Pastor (another amazing story) when I was in High School and they started attending our church every once in a while.  I got to know his Mom a little bit and usually chatted with her briefly when I saw her.  I found out that they lived in our neighborhood which was one of those "small world" moments since the church was in another city.

If I saw them outside when I drove by, I would wave hello.  One day, their youngest son came home from the Air Force.  I would see him in their driveway waxing his car all the time.  I would wave, but he rarely noticed and had no idea who I was.  I started to get a crush on him.

I actually wrote a note to my best friend that year, that I wished he would notice me and ask me to the prom.  I told her that we would then fall in love and I would be Mrs. G. and we would have three children.  It was all fantasy of course!

A year after I graduated from High School, I had moved on and gotten over my little crush. I was sitting in church and noticed him walk in and stand at the back of the room.  I had never seen him close up.  He looked a little bit nervous about walking in, so I got up and asked him if he would like to sit with my parents and I.  I was just being neighborly!  :)  We walked out into the hall and started talking.  After several minutes of conversation, he asked me for my phone number so we could go out sometime.  I was really surprised and gave it to him expecting him to call in a few days or maybe a week later.

When we got home from church, the phone was ringing.  Guess who it was?  He asked if I'd like to go out that night.  I said yes and then he asked me for directions to my house.  I laughed and said "well, you pull out of your driveway, turn right and then make your second left, my house is on the left!"  He had no idea I lived in his neighborhood, or that I already knew his parents, or that I used to wave hello when I saw him outside!  He was there within five minutes to pick me up.

We went on our first date that night and had a wonderful time.  The next morning as I was getting ready for work, he arrived at my door with roses in hand and wearing his Deputy Sheriff's uniform (I love a nice uniform!).  He had worked the night shift after our date and came to my house after work.  I was hooked! Our second date was that night, and we went out again the night after that...  We were inseparable from then on and were engaged within six months.  We got married two years later and we have three children. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

Memories of Grandma

One year ago today, my beloved Grandmother passed away.  She had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and also had breast cancer surgery a few months prior to her death.  She was very sharp, witty and loved to use her mind.  Alzheimer's was the worst thing for her to have had to suffer because it diminished her most prized possession - her mind.  She played crossword puzzles and Upwords daily (sometimes for hours) to keep her mind sharp until the last few months when she could no longer formulate the words.

She really liked to tell a good joke.  Every week she would come to dinner at our house (we lived in the same neighborhood) and she always tried to have a new joke to tell us.  

Just before she passed away, my parents took a very much needed break from the 24 hour intensive care that she required.  They went out of town for a few days and I stayed with Grandma.  I have some great memories of the time I spent with her but I thought I would share one of my favorites.

One night when I was sitting with her watching television she looked up at me.  "What hotel is this?" she asked.  I explained that we weren't at a hotel, but that we were in her bedroom at her home.  She looked confused and then said "No wonder the service here is so lousy!"  I laughed so hard and she just looked at me with a twinkle in her eye, knowing that she had said something funny but not necessarily sure of what it was.  
Less than two weeks later she passed away.  I was so blessed to have spent that time with her and still miss her very much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Unspectacular Quirks - Hmmm Do I Have Any? Oh yeah..

My "God Sister" Kristi, has tagged me on this little challenge to list six unspectacular quirks of mine.  I hope I can narrow it down to six because I am a walking "quirk fest"!  :)

1.)  I cannot touch paper after my hands have been wet, especially after I have washed dishes.  I can use paper towels, but even when my hands are dry, they are so sensitive that I can't touch any paper for at least 5 minutes or so.  It's like fingernails on a chalk board to me.  Weird!

2.) You wouldn't think so if you looked at my desk, but I have a strong need to have things in some kind of order.  I recently helped somebody move and had to restrain myself from taking over and giving orders to everybody as to how it should all be done.  Hmmm, control freak?  I don't know, I think it is more of an ability to see things in a big picture view.  I dissect things in my mind.  I should probably harness this and turn it into a business, but I don't think I'd have many friends.  Everybody hates the organized person...look at that poor Martha Stewart.

3.)  I sing all the time.  In the car, my children retreat to their Ipods so they can drown out my constant singing.  I doubt that I sound very good, but I just can't help it!!  I love music!!

4.)  I rarely go outside without sunglasses.  Does this count as a quirk?  I can't see outside without my sunglasses because my eyes are very light sensitive (and blue) and they water in bright sunlight.  I'm sure some folks wonder if I think I'm some kind of  Supah Stah!

5.)  I am a very annoying news junkie - especially political news.  Rarely a day goes by when I don't say to somebody "did you hear about such and such?" I feel I must relay the latest news to my friends and family, especially my poor husband.  I know it probably drives them crazy.

6.)  When I laugh really hard, I cry.  There have been some occasions when something hilarious has happened and I end up with a look of anguish and tears streaming down my face.  This always baffles my kids. They usually stop laughing and ask me if I'm okay.  

I now have to tag six people.  I'll tag MomKimberlyKarla, and my new blogging friends, Jamey, KGraham, and Beth. Here are the rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Confession Tuesday


This week I've done several new things with my blog.  I added music, changed the background, joined Entrecard, and started using Sunday Scribblings for writing inspiration.  I hope to write more and get more people reading my posts.

Now, for my confessions for this week:

1.)  In just three days, I will be 35 years old.  Wow!!  I used to think 35 was ancient.  I have said before that I don't feel any older than I did in High School and I hope it stays that way.  I do take my health more seriously now and I will try to start eating better and exercising more.  I said try so don't expect me to throw out the Oreos just yet.

2.)  I am really looking forward to going out of town with my family next week.  We are tagging along with my husband on a work related trip.  We haven't seen him in over a month so we are very excited to go.  We are heading to Branson, Missouri.  This will be our first time there so if anybody has any suggestions of what to do feel free to share them.

3.)  I hate leaving my dogs behind.  It really wouldn't be a vacation if we brought the dogs.  They are a lot of work and they take up a lot of room too!  But, we will miss them terribly and of course we worry about how they'll miss us too.  Thankfully, this time, we'll have a neighbor watching them so they can stay in their own home instead of the kennel.  I hope that it will help them miss us less. 

4.)  I'm having a really hard time getting my act together for school this year.  I have almost gotten everything done for the curriculum but I still haven't decided about the co-op.  Our homeschool co-op is an hour away and I really wasn't looking forward to the drive, or the gas costs.  I just found out that they are moving the location even further away so I really can't decide if we're going to go this year or not.

5.)  My sons are getting phone calls from girls already and I'm freaking out!  My oldest is 13 and girls are text messaging him frequently.  My middle son is 11 and he gets phone calls from girls almost every day.  How did this happen so quickly?  I'm sure when my daughter starts getting calls, the whole house will be in an uproar.  :)  The kids have been told that there will be no "dating" but rather, "courting" so we can avoid the pitfalls as much as possible until they move out on their own.  So far, of course nobody is arguing this position.  We'll see what happens when they're 16... 

I hope everybody has a great day!  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ask


Ask

If you do not ask
there is no answer.
If you do not dance
You are no dancer.
If you do not sing
You are no singer.
If you do not love
You are no lover.
If you do not believe
You are no believer.

Ask
Believe
Love
Live

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Confession Tuesday



Okay, so I skipped last week.  I have been very busy with all that keeps me busy and pretty much forgot about it.  Last week, my best friend Lori and I got all the kids together (her 2 + 1 friend, my 3 + 2 friends) for our first annual "Camp Gesundheit".   

It was basically a two night, three day sleepover/camp where we just let the kids have fun.  We went to the pool, park, played outside and made a few crafts.  There was also a movie night and I broke out the giant popcorn machine.  It is a very big movie style machine that we bought for Joshua's bar mitzvah but haven't used since because it is so difficult to clean.  On the last day we went bowling before saying our goodbyes.  It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again next summer.

On to my confessions for this week:

1.)  I am impressed with myself!  Amazingly, I've actually completed a few of my "to do" items before my husband returns home.  I cut the grass again, I purchased the deck seal (though I haven't applied it yet), I pruned the hedges and started to work on the weeds, and I got my office somewhat organized.  I still have several things left to do, but all in all, not half bad considering my kids have had three sleep overs in the last two weeks for a total of 7 extra children plus all of the normal day to day tasks.

2.)  I am addicted to books.  I love summer because I have a little more time to read.  I just love going to the library or the book store to pick out a new book~it is one of life's joys.

3.)  The farm dream is back on.  The pictures above are from a farm that we toured a few weeks ago during "Farm Tour" day here in our County to promote agriculture.  There were several wildflower fields and different types of produce and livestock to see.  Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them.

The entire family is in agreement that we would like to have a farm one day.  We have all spent hours talking about what we would like to do or have on our farm.  Today we talked about animal names.  Josh decided that he would want a miniature donkey named "Eddie the Ass", a pot bellied pig named "Kosher" and a miniature cow.  Havilah decided she would like to have some rabbits and Gabe decided he would like to have an ATV to drive around.  

4.)  I already have Obama fatigue.  Lord, I hope that man does not get elected or I'll never be able to watch the news.  I am already so tired of hearing his voice with his contrived accents!  He seems so fake and comical to me that I'm becoming cynical over everything that comes out of his mouth.  At least with Bush, I didn't get "fatigue" until about his fifth or sixth year in office!  I am looking forward to the debates, however, and hope that John McCain will wake up in time to close the deal. 
 
Lazarus arise!!





May I help you?

Super Man and I at Jamestown Island

Schnauzers!

Schnauzers!
Our 2 Giant Schnauzers and our Mini Schnauzer (Smokie) hanging out in my office. Notice Smokie rules over the big ones.