Thursday, January 31, 2008


A while back I bought and read the book "17 Lies That Are Holding You Back, And The Truth That Will Set You Free" by Steve Chandler. It's a great book that points out many lies that we tell ourselves, or find ourselves believing, and dismantles them with the truth. Here are 12 of the 17 lies from the book, and one truth.

LIE-- It's Who You Know: "Everyone says, 'It's who you know.' But it's not who you know. That's a lie. The truth is that it's wht you do....In the world of success, who you know is nothing. The doing is the thing that brings success." {pg. 27}

LIE-- There's Something Wrong With Me: "You've failed at some things, but there is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. Not in any way whatsoever. It takes courage to hold on to this truth. But once you learn to hold on to it, it will give you your life back." {pg.44}

LIE-- I'm Too Old For That: "It's not your age that determines what you can learn, it's your energy. Your energy does not depend on your age, it depends on your sense of purpose." {pg. 51}

LIE-- I Can't Because I'm Afraid: "The truth is that every human has as much courage as the current purpose requires. Courage is always in us, like a heartbeat, like a breath. It's in all of us in equal measure." {pg. 65}

LIE-- I'm Sadder Now But Wiser: "It is simply not true that sadder and wiser are related to each other!...The real truth is that the wiser you are, the happier you get. Because wisdom does that. If one is becoming sadder, it's not because one is becoming wise, it is because one is quitting." {pg. 99, 100}

LIE-- The Longer I Have A Habit, The Harder It Is To Break: "Whether I've had my habit for two years or twenty years, the process is exactly the same. How long I've been doing something means nothing. The action I take to create a new self-perception means everything." {pg. 112}

LIE-- People Really Upset Me: "To say that someone upset me is a lie I'm telling myself. Because I could, if I wanted to, choose not to be upset. The reason I don't want to choose that is because it's easier to feel than to think...The lie is that she upsets me. The truth is that I can respond to her any way I want." {pg. 124}

LIE-- Winning The Lottery Would Solve Everything: "The reason that unexpected horrors fall upon so many lottery winners is that they have tried to equate their discipline problems with money problems. They tell themselves that money is the answer when it's not. The answer is action.... (P)eople could win the lottery, or theycould lose their legs.The two events would have the same effect on their happines in life. I think that proves that happiness is a separate thing. It's totally separate from outside events, good or bad. It's an internal adventure, and it's based on our ability to grow a sense of purpose that we can fulfill." {pg. 133, 134}

LIE-- You Hurt My Self-Esteem: "Self-esteem is a result of our own opinion of our own actions. There is no limit to the actions we can take. Even if the actions initially fail to get an immediate result, self-esteem can increase, just from taking the action! Self-esteem is always related to action, to what we do, not to what people think of what we do." {pg, 149-150}

LIE-- It's A Shame We Didn't Capture That On Video: "(T)o me, it's not really a shame that I didn't capture the past on video. It's a shame when I do not capture the present. That's the only true shame." {pg. 161}

LIE-- That's Just The Way I Am: " Selling myself on 'the way I am' keeps me locked in my own fearful childhood. I become heavy with a false claim of permanent personality... Self-imposed immaturity is when we deliberately lie to ourseles and become frightened children in the face of adult challenges, instead of becoming brave men and women who are simply challenged by the tasks ahead." {pg. 169, 170}

LIE-- What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger: The truth is, it just kills me! (That's my personal summary of the lie Steve presents. I'd like to quote the entire chapter here, there's such good stuff in it about the banality and death that is addiction.)

TRUTH-- "Look, you can stop lying to yourself any time you want. Your past is your past. You have a choice. You can live out your past. Act it out. Reenact it everywhere you go. Or you can create your future. It's up to you. But I think it's time you start creating the life you want. {pg. 224}

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Six Quirky Things

I have been tagged by Cricket's Hearth for a list of Six Unknown/Quirky Things About Me.

It's taken me a few days to think about this one, because I don't consider myself a quirky person. I've always been the plain jane, adaptable person in the group.

I remember reading teen magazines many years ago when I was a teen, and finding out just how boring and uninteresting I really was, and probably still am. There would be articles featuring the teen of the month, and they would always be about girls who made their own clothes from old curtains and fabric scraps and vintage jewelry. They wallpapered their rooms with paisley scarves and seashells, and ate oysters with peanut butter for lunch. They loved obscure folk musicians and planned to major in The Use of Sculpture in Counseling.

Me? My clothes came from K-mart, or the most recent sack of hand-me-downs. My room was decorated with bargain store curtains, and posters that I pulled from the center fold of Pioneer Girls magazines. ("Smile! Jesus Loves You!" "Today is the first day of the rest of your life-- Start it right with Jesus!") I ate grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and listened to my Bill Gaither Trio record that I won at a bible club. I hoped someday to be a teacher, because it seemed like cheating to say I just wanted to get married and have kids.

I've seen the same kinds of articles as an adult, where the interviewer asks some famous somebody all about their "Favorites." They actually had a favorite food, a favorite restaurant, a favorite recording group, a favorite famous person they'd love to talk to, a favorite book character, someone interesting they'd like to get stuck in an elevator with.

Me? I don't have a favorite much of anything. That's because I like pretty much everything, and even what I don't LIKE, I don't mind, so I have very few things I despise. (um. Let me think. I guess I don't care for raw onions. Or raw mushrooms.) Which makes me feel like I have no personality. Isn't personality defined by your likes and dislikes?

And I would freak out with shyness and embarrassment if some famous author/speaker/whatever would spend a few hours with me. (What do I say? What should I do?)

As for getting stuck in an elevator, please let it be my Hubby, or possibly one of my kids, or maybe even one of our friends. It would be a good excuse for catching up on conversation. But some stranger, just to have a captive audience? Never.

ANYWAY. As I started out to say, I had a hard time coming up with six quirky things. I mean, how do I know they're quirky? Maybe everyone does those things. Or what if they're not quirky, as in endearing, but quirky, as in just plain weird? I guess I'll just have to take that chance.

Six Quirky Things About Me

1) I loved school as a child, and one of my favorite things to do was play school. That playacting came true when I grew up and was able to homeschool all four of my children. I got to play school every day for many years! (Too bad my kids didn't like it as much as I did.... Oh well. Maybe this one IS "just plain weird.")

2) I read a lot, but mostly books I've read before, unless it's non-fiction. I like to go back and visit those familiar worlds I've come to know. It's a safe little vacation from life. Non-fiction is different-- I like learning new things. I rarely read a non-fiction book more than once or twice.

3) I like kids' movies and books better than the stuff for grownups. Kids' stuff is less complicated, and usually has a happy ending. Isn't that a great grownup fantasy?: more simplicity and more happy endings?

4) The music I like is not limited to a particular style. I also don't like everything of one style, just because it's that style. I tend to like songs for their message and if they "grab" me. So I have lots of favorite songs that sound strange back to back.

5) I can't stand it when what someone says and what they do don't match. It's confusing and disturbing to me. Or when their mouth says something like, "no, I'm not angry," and their eyes look like murder.

6) Most mornings when I wake up, before I open my eyes, I spend time writing in my head. I find myself thinking out essays, or letters, or emails, or just organizing my thoughts. I don't always get those thoughts actually down on paper, but I do a LOT of mental writing.

Now I need to pass it on, but first, here are the rules:

~Link to the person that tagged you
~Post the rules on your blog
~Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
~Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
~Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website

Six Five people about whom I'd like to know six things:

Michelle at Heart of the Prairie
Carrie at Chocolate The Other White Meat
PrayerMom at Green Room Serenade
Lizzy at My Ice Cream Diary
Ornery's Wife at Thoughts From Miller Manor

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Energy Drink from Hell

Early this morning, while it was still dark out, I found myself in a dream, where I was with a large group of people, and we were all sitting around tables in a restaurant. One woman was trying to talk a young man into trying what she was drinking. It seemed that he was known for being a very picky eater and drinker, so when he actually drank some of it, everyone cheered and clapped, and he made a show of standing and bowing.

While the commotion was going on, I asked, "What was it that he was drinking?" The woman showed me. It was a large energy drink-type can, very flashy. She said, "It's my absolute favorite drink. I drink it all the time." I looked closer at the can, and saw it was some kind of cola. Very clearly it was labeled with the flavor: Catsup.

I said, "I'll try it." I poured a little into a spoon and tasted it. It was oddly sweet, not exactly a bad taste, but it made my stomach feel queer. It had little white, powdery clods of something in it, which was really strange, and when I asked what it was, I was told enthusiastically that it was cheese. It reminded me of feta cheese.

I took two or three sips out of my spoon, and declined more, against the insistence of the woman. I told her the drink was triggering my gag reflex, and I didn't feel so good.

And then I woke up, and discovered I felt nauseous and dizzy. At first, I thought it was purely the power of suggestion, but the feelings have remained all day. I have been treating myself with homeopathic cold & flu drops, and by now I'm feeling almost normal.

So my question is: which came first? The gag-gy dream, and it made me feel sick all day? Or was I coming down with something in my sleep, and it affected my subconscious?

Either way, I'm glad I'm feeling better, and I will NEVER again drink catsup-cheese flavored Coke!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Telephone Tag

Here's an interesting twist on an old game. Someone started a sentence and it's getting passed around the internet being changed one word at a time, and morphing into strange things along the way. Now the hot potato is in my hands, and I'm gonna play my part and pass it along quick!

***Fracas created this game, and because only one person gets to play at a time, consider yourself a real fraccer Here's what you gotta do. See those 3 asterisks at the start of this paragraph? Copy from there to the three asterisks at the end of the post. Then, add your line and change one word. JUST ONE. It's like playing the telephone game when we were little. Then tag ONE person and pass it on. If the game gets stalled at someone who doesn't play, fracas takes it back and sends it on its way again. For playing, you get links… and you get to take this badge and display it with a link back to the telephone page so your readers get to see your contribution!

If you want to be part of it, please leave a comment at the telephone page at fracas and fracas will add you the next time it comes back around to her, but please don’t just start doing it yourself as that will ruin the proper flow.

1. Fracas writes:
Never continue dating anyone who is rude to the waiter.

2. Mark @ Blogitude writes: Never continue dating anyone who is nude to the waiter.

3. Wiggy writes:
Forever continue dating anyone who is nude to the waiter.

4. Froggy @ The Road Less Traveled writes:
Forever continue dating anyone who is nude under the waiter.

5. InTheFastLane @ That's Life writes:
Forever continue dating anyone who is nude under the water.

6. Treadmillista @ Just Treadmilling Around writes:
Forever continue dating everyone who is nude under the water.

7. Christine @ Watch Me! No, Watch Me! writes:
Forever continue watching everyone who is nude under the water.

8. Candace @ not that i don't love my kids writes:
Forever continue scratching everyone who is nude under the water.

9. Fracas @ fracas writes:
Forever avoid scratching everyone who is nude under the water.

10. Bluepaintred @ Bluepaintred writes:
Never avoid scratching everyone who is nude under the water.

11. Shelli @ Shelli's Sentiments writes:
Never avoid kissing everyone who is nude under the water.

12. Judy @ Sugar Queen's Dream writes:
Never avoid kissing everyone who is nude under the blankets.

13. Trish @ Not Your Typical Granny writes:
Never avoid spanking everyone who is nude under the blankets.

14. Amy @ Amy's Musings writes:
Never try spanking everyone who is nude under the blankets.

15. Tense @ A Tense Teacher writes:
Never try shagging everyone who is nude under the blankets.

16. Chili @ The Blue Door writes:
Certainly try shagging everyone who is nude under the blankets.

17. O'Mama @ Life and Times of Organic Mama writes:
Certainly try shagging everyone who is nude under the bleachers.

18. Grammar Snob @ Grammar Snob writes:
Certainly try judging everyone who is nude under the bleachers.

19. Prof. J. @ Professor J's Place writes:
Certainly try judging everyone who is rude under the bleachers.

20. Shrieking Lizzy @ Shriekinglizzy's new digs writes:
Certainly try juggling everyone who is rude under the bleachers.

21. Fracas @ Fracas writes:
Certainly try ignoring everyone who is rude under the bleachers.

22. Linda @ At Linda's writes:
Certainly try ignoring everyone who is shagging under the bleachers.

23. Rotus @ Rotus writes:
Certainly try joining everyone who is shagging under the bleachers.

24. Linky Love @ Add Your Link writes:
Certainly try joining everyone who is linking under the bleachers.

25. Fracas @ Fracas writes:
Certainly try joining everyone who is leaking under the bleachers.

26. JD @ I Do Things writes:
Certainly try drying everyone who is leaking under the bleachers.

27. Jeff @ View From The Cloud writes:
Certainly try drying everyone who is moist under the bleachers.

28. Pat @ Annoyingly Boring writes:
Australians try drying everyone who is moist under the bleachers.

29. Fracas @ Fracas writes:
Australians try drying everyone who is moist under the barbie.

30. Carrie @ Chocolate The Other white Meat writes:
Australians try frying everyone who is moist under the barbie.

31. momhuebert @ Chocolate After Supper writes:
Australians try frying everyone who is caught under the barbie.

That’s all for now folks, but visit the telephone page later, and there’ll surely be a new twist! ***

And now-- I tag Miss Sniz!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welcome Aboard

I would like to welcome my friend PrayerMom to the bloggy world. She has been blogging for all of six days!

You can visit her at her blog, Green Room Serenade, or at her forum AloneTogetherHope.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

TT#20: 13 Household Hints That Work For Me

Thirteen Household HInts

Last Thursday I listed thirteen ideas for a TT list, and a someone requested to see one of list particularly: 13 Household Hints. Well, I'm not sure these are traditional household hints. They probably would work better for a Works For Me Wednesday. But here they are for you, Thursday Thirteeners.

1. Each person has his or her own laundry basket. This means we do not have a general family hamper. If you undress in the bathroom for a shower, you take all your clothes back to your room with you and put them in your basket. The reason this is so helpful is because of tip#2:

2. Each person has his or her own laundry day. This means that today is LovelyDaughter's wash day, and she does her laundry. Tomorrow is my day, and I'll do my laundry. On the boys' days they do their laundry, with help according to their ages. No longer do I dump everyone's dirty clothes into an enormous pile and then sort by color. If any sorting needs doing, it gets done according to person. Do you realize what a time and sanity saver this is? No more sorting white socks! No more trying to remember whose shirt this is and whose jeans these are! And no more fights: "Hey, that's MY shirt!" "Who keeps stealing all my socks?"

3. I use clear plastic sandwich storage containers for leftovers. They are clear, so I can see what's in them. They are flat and square, so they stack nicely in my fridge, and seem to hold a lot in a small space. No more containers rotting away in a sour cream container because I thought it was sour cream. And no more sour cream rotting away because I thought it was leftovers!

4. Use cheap paper towels to clean the bathroom instead of rags that have to be washed. I know this sounds wasteful, but it has revolutionized my bathroom-cleaning habits. When my paper towel gets full of hair, I THROW IT AWAY and get a new one. When it gets dirty from wiping the base of the toilet, ditto. No germ worries.

5. Related to the last one-- Wipe down the bathroom after someone takes a shower. In our bathroom, everything is wet with condensed steam after a shower, and it is totally easy to quickly wipe dry every surface with a cheap paper towel, and the bathroom looks amazingly clean. Then every so often I'll do a deep cleaning with disinfectant cleaner, but the bathroom stays pretty presentable between major cleanings.

6. Here's a tip I used a lot when my kids were younger: Make chore cards. I still have a stack of colored index cards with chores written on them, like "take out trash," "vacuum living room," "sweep kitchen," etc. On cleaning day, I would sort through all the cards and choose which ones needed to be done that day. Then I would put them in stacks for the kids according to their ages-- fewer, and simpler, chores for the younger ones; more, and harder chores, for the older ones. As the kids grew, I adapted it and sometimes I'd just put all the cards out in a stack and everyone drew one off the top to do. When that job was done they came back for another. Each child had a number of cards they had to finish. This worked really well for quite a few years.

7. Five Minute Pick Up This is another thing I used a lot when the kids were younger. When the house needed straightening, I would gather the kids together, set the timer for five minutes, and then we'd all race to see how many things we could pick up and put away. I would keep a tally on the chalk board to see who "won." Sometimes I'd give prizes, like, a chocolate chip for every item. Forty-two chocolate chips is quite a snack...!

8. Room Inspection Once a week I used to inspect the kids' rooms and rate the job they did cleaning. I printed up some play money we called "Dino Dollars" and they could earn up to five bills, by cleaning to a list of standards I would check off. I kept a "Tuck Shop," which was a selection of treats that could be bought with the Dino Dollars; things like fruit snacks, or gum, or ice cream bars. Some of them cost only two dinos, but others cost five, and others cost up to ten, so there was some incentive to earn the full five dinos, while keeping instant rewards available. This worked very well for us, till the kids got old enough to no longer be motivated by earning play money, even for snacks.

9. Here's a homeschool-related tip: Keep each child's school books and supplies in their own container. I bought each of them their own Rubbermaid organizer tub, and in it went each child's text books, workbooks, notebooks, paper, pencils, math manipulatives... whatever they needed. This was another one of those time and sanity savers, because the school stuff stayed organized and put away, and each child knew exactly where their stuff was. And no more fights over pencils!

10. For the kitchen: I put my most-used recipes on index cards and then put them on metal rings. I have a ring of cookie recipes, a ring of dessert recipes, a ring of quick bread recipes. To use them, I bought a little stand for business cards and attached a ring to it as well. Then I got some magnetic hooks to hang on my fridge, and I hang the rings of cards, and the business card stand, on them. When I want to use a recipe, I flip through the cards and use the stand to display the right recipe. I love using my recipes this way.

11. Related to this: I also keep recipes in photo-organizer books. I have three slim volumes that have clear pockets for photos, in which I slide index cards with recipes on them. One book has main dishes, one has salads and side dishes, and the other has miscellaneous, like my chocolate syrup recipe. These are all my old stand-by recipes that have been culled from many cookbooks over the years.

12. Fold laundry directly from the clothesline. This tip is probably not helpful to anyone but me. We hang our laundry on our clothesline when the weather suits, and I've found that folding the clothes as I take them down is very handy. I grew up under the system of just throwing everything in the basket till I got inside the house, and THEN folding them. But folding things directly from the line is so efficient. Everything is already smooth and unwrinkled and laid out straight, and I've perfected the technique of folding things against my body. Plus, it's another excuse to stay outside for a little while.

13. Deal with mail immediately. I know this one is a tip all the organizing books recommend, but, incredibly, I was doing it before I knew the books were saying it. I bring in the mail, and immediately toss the junk mail. I put the catalogs I want to look at into our catalog basket. I put the bills into the bill section of my organizing basket. I put the begging letters in another section. I didn't realize how helpful this was till Hubby and I went on a trip and left the kids in charge of the house. Yes, they were old enough, but they didn't know how to sort the mail, and after a week, we came home to piles of papers and catalogs and junk mail and bills, all piled together, and it was a MESS! Since then I have been pretty pleased with myself and my one little bit of efficiency.

What's your best household tip?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Happy Birthday, MB3

Sunday was MB3's 17th birthday (my baby....oh, my BA-by.....), so Saturday evening we invited Swede and his daughter over for supper. The teenagers all watched a DVD while the grown-ups sat and talked. At midnight we realized we had a big day coming up on Sunday, and we'd better start getting ready for morning.

Now, when we're on the worship team on Sunday morning, we have to be at church by 9:00am for practice, so we have to leave home by 8:15 at the latest, and it takes 15 minutes to load instruments and get out the door, and 15 minutes to snarf a bowl of cereal, and then --how many people need showers in the morning, at 15-20 minutes each-- and then allow time to put meat and potatoes in the roaster, let's see, borrow 6, put down 2, carry the one...mumble,, that's... 6:30am! Set the alarm for 6:30!

Which I did, on my pda.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 5. Checked the clock. Five o'clock. Got an hour and a half till the alarm goes off. Go back to sleep. No-- go back to DOZE. Doze, worry, sleep (sorta), doze, worry, sleep, dream weird dreams. What time is it? When is that alarm going to go off. Any minute now..... zzz.

I suddenly bolted awake to check my pda. Time: 7:10am!! ????? Ack! I had set my alarm for 6:30PM instead of 6:30AM!

I'll spare you the frantic rush. We did remember to say "Happy Birthday" to MB3, but I didn't have time to put food in the pot to cook while we were gone. Rats. That meant dinner would be really, really late, because we don't usually get home till 1:30, and then to make food from scratch means we don't eat till 2:00 or 2:30. Or we end up eating burgers on the way home, if there's a little extra cash. Poor MB3. What a birthday.

We made it to practice just a few minutes late, and the morning went well from there. I cornered the pastor and told him it was MB3's birthday and asked him to embarrass him. What I meant was, go find him and shake his hand and tell him happy birthday and ask him interested, embarrassing questions, like "How does it feel to be seventeen?" What he did was this:

At the end of the service, right before the closing prayer, while everyone was still standing from the last song, he said "Where's MB3? Stand up MB3!" (MB3 doesn't always stand up when everyone else does, because, one, he's a teenager and must remain COOL, and, two, he's taller than everyone around him and he feels conspicuous.) From my spot on stage I watched MB3 stand up.

The pastor continued, "Raise your hand, MB3!"

Sheepishly, MB3 raised his hand.

"Happy Birthday!"

MB3 turned slightly red and grinned.

Afterwards, MB3 came up on stage while we were packing up. "So," he said. "Where're your wings?"


"Your wings. Don't you have little birdie wings?"

I still didn't get it.

"Well, obviously, a little bird told SOMEBODY it was my birthday today...! YOU must be the little bird."

Quite a few people came up to us then and asked if we were having birthday parties (yes, plural...what's up with that?) that day. At that point I didn't know if we were having even one party, but I became convinced we needed to somehow find the cash and take MB3 out for a birthday dinner, and Hubby agreed.

We invited Swede and his daughter, and MandoNut (and a friend of his), who all were in church that day, and we took Swede's suggestion to go to Godfather's Pizza. And once we were there, Swede whipped out his card and insisted on paying for it. Thank you, Swede! What a great party we had. We all get a little silly when we're together, and I think people think we're drunk, even though all we're drunk on is Pepsi, or the euphoria of being with friends.

A couple of hours later we were the only customers left in the restaurant, and we decided it was time to leave. But the party didn't stop. We stopped off at Swede's house on the way home --at Swede's daughter's invitation-- and settled in to watch a movie. GuitarGeek went with MandoNut back to BigCity to take his friend home, and they took along ANOTHER friend from church so they could hang out together. Does this sound crazy to you? No? That's because you don't know that BigCity is an hour and a half east, from the town we were in, and MandoNut had just committed to driving out there, and back, and to another city 45 minutes west from our house, and then back to our house-- all in one short afternoon.

About six o'clock, Hubby and I were ready to go home, and realized it was supper time, and we also hadn't had birthday cake yet. So we asked Swede and his daughter if they wanted to come on over for supper and cake. It would probably be an hour and a half before time to eat, so DrummerDude and MB3 stayed there to play pool while we went home to make preparations, and they would come later with Swede.

When I got home, I called MandoNut in BigCity and told him the plans, and he said, "Right, we're leaving now."

With MandoNut and GuitarGeek (and a friend) on the way, scheduled to arrive in about an hour, LovelyDaughter and I kicked into high gear. I worked on supper, and LovelyDaughter made the birthday cake. (And let me tell you, that cake was AWESOME! Can you picture a rich gold cake with fudgey frosting, sprinkled liberally with chopped pecans and dark chocolate shreds-- all completely homemade....drool...)

When everyone arrived, including the friend who had gone along for the ride, we had a birthday party.

At nine, the friend needed to go home, and needed a ride. MandoNut had already planned to do it, but Hubby stepped in and offered to go, so he could have an excuse to drive our Z3, and of course, friend was not averse to that!

The rest of us played card games--with the new cards MB3 got for his birthday-- till he got back, and had a BLAST! It's so fun to laugh with friends.

Then MandoNut stayed for the night, so Monday morning felt like an extension of the party. It feels like we had a two-day party for MB3.

It's funny, because Sunday morning when I was worried about how to plan the day, I prayed and asked God if HE would plan a party for MB3, then all we'd have to do is carry out His plans. And you know what? He did! Thanks, God.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Award!

I am so  honored to have been chosen for this "Excellent Blog Award" by Project Mommy.

This award has also been bestowed on a long list of other --I assume-- wonderful blogs. I've checked out a couple, and am looking forward to visiting the rest soon. Go see for yourself here. You, and I, might find some new friends!

And now I've been asked to pass the award along to ten other bloggers. Here are my choices, along with why I like to read their blogs.

To Antique Mommy-- for her wonderful writing and humor and poignant thoughts about motherhood.

To Pleasant View Schoolhouse-- for beauty and inspiration.

To Lulu's Laundry Blog-- because she's interesting and entertaining.

To Jeana at Days To Come-- for her thoughtfulness and humor.

To Big Mama-- because she's just plain funny!

To Slouching Past 40-- for being interesting and thought-provoking.

To Confessions of a Pioneer Woman-- for silliness, romance, and great photos of her life on a ranch.

To My Ice Cream Diary-- for being down-to-earth.

To Carrie at Chocolate The Other White Meat-- for her friendliness.

To for transparency, craziness, and audience participation.

Congratulations to all of you. (Project Mommy asks that you please pass it on to ten other blogs.)

Thank you, ProjectMommy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just Like Real Folks

In the process of our re-decorating and re-arranging, we found room for a little piece of useless decoration. Just like real folks.

LovelyDaughter set this up for Christmas, and it's still up, because I like it.

In the background you can see our Golden Margarita-colored wall, with the new sage green curtain panel against it. The cloth under the arrangement is a dishcloth I got for Christmas.

The little book is something I got from my MIL many years ago, a book of recipes for Peppernuts. Peppernuts are a Christmas/holiday treat, usually made with anise. They start out as a stiff dough that is cut into tiny little cookies, and I do mean tiny. Years ago it was source of pride among homemakers how tiny their peppernuts were. Some people rolled the dough into ropes and cut off pieces with scissors. Others rolled the dough out flat and cut out the peppernuts with a thimble.

When Hubby and I got married, we decided to beat everyone, and we use a funnel! -- a Tupperware funnel, with a teensy opening. It makes cute little crunchy bites, and I think we've won the unofficial "Smallest Peppernuts" contest.

Anyway. Stay tuned for more updates on our re-decorating, adding photos one or two at a time as Blogger allows.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TT#19: Thirteen Ideas for Thursday Thirteen Lists

Thirteen Things from mom huebert

I'm not recovering as quickly as I'd hoped from our week of late nights. Probably because I think I also contracted some sort of virus in the aftermath. It's something that makes me ache pretty much from head to foot, and makes me tired and a little weepy. It's sad that as soon as breakfast is over it feels like I've put in a full day's work.

I realize that Thursday Thirteen is upon us, and I want to participate, and I can't do less than the US Mail-- rain, sleet, snow, and aches and pains, and all that.

However, try as I might-- all day in fact, in between cooking, laundry, and sitting around being tired (and staining some trim and bandaging Hubby's bloodied, injured, cut-up thumbnail that he got working on the trim)-- I've tried to come up with a list of thirteen things that might be at least slightly interesting.

I now have a list of 26 ideas for lists. Twenty-six! And I can't think of more than TWO things for each idea. Sometimes not even one.

And now inspiration hits! I have a list! A list of Ideas for Lists!

So here is a list of Thirteen Ideas for Thursday Thirteen Lists. (Feel feel to borrow, plagiarize, or otherwise incorporate these ideas-- assuming they are worth borrowing and plagiarizing.)

1. Foods I like to eat (or make)

2. Places I'd like to vist

3. Things I'd like to do someday

4. Things I wish I'd done differently

5. Favorite bible passages

6. Things I never want to do

7. Pet peeves

8. Things my kids loved --or hated-- about homeschool

9. Things I remember

10. Best gifts I've gotten

11. Nice things hubby has done for me

12. Favorite songs

13. Household tips

Now, I have a whole week to try to flesh out at least one of these lists! See you then!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snapshots Of My Life Lately--NOT!

Okay. I have been trying all day to upload photos to my blog, and Blogger is being a pain. It just refuses to oblige me. Even after I went to all the trouble of throwing a fit so that finally someone loaned me their card reader so I could transfer pictures from the camera to my laptop.

It has not been a good day.

First of all, last week was exhausting. It was the week our church chose to have their yearly 24/7 Week Of Prayer. Only this year, instead of having the church open for worship and prayer the entire week, they decided to take a busload of people, starting Sunday afternoon, on a "prayer tour" across the state, holding a prayer meeting in a different city each night. Our family, as part of the worship team was invited, and at first we wanted to go. But several things caused us to change our minds. One, we would be riding in a jouncy, rough bus for a week. Two, we would be sleeping on concrete church floors every night. Three, there would be no shower facilities for most of the week, unless we rented a hotel room.

On their own, those three are not necessarily grounds for refusal. But number Four did us in: the expense. Do you know how much it would cost to feed six people on the road for an entire week??! We had to gracefully decline.

Then, on Tuesday morning, we got a call. The prayer team desperately wanted musicians, especially a drummer, for that evening's meeting, and could we come if they paid our gas and fed us supper? It took us about two minutes to decide that under those circumstances, even though it was a two hour drive and we had to pack up the drum set, that we would love to go.

So we did. And had a wonderful time. After the meeting we had a lovely time talking about God things, and making friends with some people from the church we'd never gotten a chance to get to know. It was lovely enough that we didn't leave till one o'clock in the morning. If you do the math, you'll discover we didn't get home till three. Ouch.

The next day was Wednesday, and the prayer team was back in our home church, and we had already promised at the beginning that we COULD be there for that meeting, so we went. That night we didn't get to bed till two.

Thursday, the meeting was in the Big City, an hour away. We decided we could attend that meeting as well, since MandoNut lives in Big City, and he would go to the meeting if we were there, and we'd have a chance to visit. This time, the meeting was exhausting and disappointing. However, we did get to go out for a midnight supper with MandoNut, which was great fun. We had the restaurant to ourselves, which was interesting. We got home between one and two, after leaving DrummerDude to camp out with the prayer team on the church floor.

By that time, we were all getting very weary. The late nights, the driving, the packing up of instruments, the standing on stage for hours, the playing. Of course we love to play our instruments for the worship team, but it IS tiring, nevertheless; especially since we usually play for several hours at a time.

The next night, Friday, the meeting was in a Larger City farther away, and Hubby and I were not enthusiastic. Gas is still expensive, after all, and the late nights were starting to pall. However, our friend Swede has a son and daughter-in-law and baby granddaughter in that city, and wangled himself a supper invitation, so he went, taking GuitarGeek and LovelyDaughter with him. They all got back home at midnight, and oddly, we were still up, our games with MB3 having caused us to lose track of time, and by the time we had hashed over all their adventures, it was once again after one o'clock.

Saturday we were up late, and I can't even remember why. Probably force of habit. We were all so exhausted we ended up staying home from church Sunday to recuperate. (Fortunately, it was our Sunday off for the worship team. I hope we didn't miss something good.)

So today I woke up extremely grouchy and tired and ache-y. Why? I wish I knew. After all, we spent the day yesterday recovering. I should have felt GRRRR-REAT! today. Everything made me frustrated. I wanted to upload pictures, but I don't have a card reader and couldn't find one to borrow. When I did, Blogger wouldn't cooperate. Our trim project is not getting done (too tired last week). Our bills are waiting to be paid (have to do the work first). Our tree work is not getting done (too much snow). Hubby needs me to be happy, cheerful, cooperative, hard-working, and enthusiastic, and I'm just TOO BLAME TIRED!

So you have no nice pictures to look at. And I'm too tired to write any of the wonderful, meaningful things I've been thinking about writing. Where's that wine we keep trying to like?

Oh my, would you look at the time...ten o'clock. Only four hours till bedtime....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TT#18: Did you ever dream you'd say these things?

Thirteen Crazy Things Parents Say

Today's list is sort of filched from Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer. She wrote a post this week about the unbelievable things she couldn't believe were coming out of her mouth. According to the comments, lots of other women have kids just like hers, and end up saying lots of the same kinds of things, like "Did you use SHAMPOO?" Can you guess which ones were said to young children, and which to older children? You'd be surprised! (There were so many that I couldn't limit myself to just thirteen.)


When you change your underwear, you take the old underwear OFF

Please don't put a cushion over your sister's face and then sit on it.

Do you have underwear on?

No, we can't put your baby brother in the microwave and see how long it takes to cook him.


Brush your hair, all of your hair, even THE BACK!

Put the dirty clothes in the hamper, NOT THE CLEAN CLOTHES

Please do not lick your sister's face

Put your pants on. Put your pants on OVER YOUR BOTTOM. PUT THEM ON AND KEEP THEM ON.

We don't take a bath in our clothes

Stop salting your sister!

Put your clothes away neatly in your drawer. Then shut the drawers. Please do not unfold it before you put it away.

Take a shower and wash your hair...and get your hair WET!

Don't bite the kitty

A hanger is not a bow and's just not!

Pancakes do not go on your head. They are for eating, they are not hats.

Did you comb your hair? TODAY???

Wash your hands AND USE SOAP!

Did you clean it MY clean or YOUR clean?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, January 7, 2008

What's The Word?

I saw this post and I was inspired. Here are a few excerpts:

Several years ago, my friend Kathy and I decided that, instead of making resolutions, we would pick a word that would guide us throughout the year. It would be our touchstone....

...Get quiet over the next few days. And pick a word for the year.

Just one word. That’s all.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action....

...(for instance,) You spend a few days pondering words that will inspire you. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you tend to cling to lots of things. You’re scared to let go. So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”

So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go. Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself. You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.

What's MY word for the year? I'm not sure.

But now that I think about it, I've been using words and pictures for a while now myself, as I grapple my way back from depression. Last winter I learned to Rejoice In Femininity, after reading stories of transsexuals who were born feeling like women in a male bodies. The things they went through, the commitment they had, the determination to do what it took to be true to themselves-- all these things made me realize what a wonderful blessing I have to feel like a woman, and to BE a woman, and I should rejoice in it and enjoy it. That's why I started wearing makeup last spring. That's why I lobbied for Hubby to give LovelyDaughter his blessing on getting her ears pierced for earrings. I even bought myself a "big girl" watch, a dressy gold watch, instead of my practical one with the black band.

Another word I've had in my head is ATMOSPHERE. I've been inspired to create an atmosphere in our home, an atmosphere of sunny cheerfulness. That's what inspired me to re-paint, and re-arrange.

That word got its start in a picture I have that LovelyDaughter drew. It shows a little girl dancing with God in a circle of light, while all around them it's dark.

All around me in my home for a couple of years, it's gotten darker and darker. GuitarGeek has had heavy struggles with adrenal fatigue and mononucleosis and other nasty things, keeping him exhausted and discouraged. Hubby has been slowly collapsing under the weight of depression, so our self-employed finances are not doing well. DrummerDude is also fighting depression, partly because he never really bounced back from the year of the broken ankle and his own bout with mono. Our son MB3 is suffering normal teen angst, which, I think you'll agree, can be a heavy load under normal circumstances! Therefore, I have felt terribly weighted down and worried, and, because I'm not strong enough to carry everyone else's burdens, falling prey to depression myself.

But now I have that picture on my wall, and I look at it every day. I say to myself, "I'm dancing with God in a circle of light. It may be dark everywhere else, but it's light when I'm dancing with Him." I envision myself as that little girl, happy, trusting, with the darkness at bay. I hang on to that picture, because Mama may be sad when everyone else is down, but if Mama is happy, everyone else feels better. I want to walk in an atmosphere of contentment and joy and peace. Maybe it will spread to those around me, and maybe it won't, but that's okay.

Now I'm rolling more words around on my tongue, tasting them for inspiration.







and my previous words:



How about you? What word would you choose to inspire you for the coming months?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

TT#17: Thirteen Ways to Use a Giant Squash

Hubby's parents grew squash in their garden this year, and the squash grew to enormous proportions. One of our boys brought one home for us, wearing it around his neck! I think it weighed over ten pounds. What's more, the folks have about thirty more just like it, and they are telling us, "Eat! Eat!"

Therefore, I am trying to become creative in ways to use squash. It's been interesting since we're not all that fond of squash, but money has been a little tight this winter, so free food is not to be scorned. These are ideas I have actually used, and we have liked. There are probably other ideas I haven't discovered yet, and if you know some, you are heartily invited to tell me about them. I still have at least 150 pounds of squash to use up!

I know this list would be a lot more interesting with pictures, but I just thought of it now, so I hadn't thought to photograph all the things I've cooked; and to accumulate photos starting now sounds daunting. So here's the list, plain and simple. You'll have to use your imaginations.

1. Shredded, and fried in butter, like hash browns. Incredibly good! (I thought this one up myself.)

2. Shredded or chopped, and sauteed with other vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, peppers, cabbage, or just about anything. Season and serve over rice.

3. Mashed, like potatoes.

4. Pureed, and added to macaroni and cheese. Makes the mac and cheese super creamy and colorful and filling.

5. Pureed, or shredded finely, and added to cake. Makes a very moist cake.

6. Sliced in rounds, brushed with oil, and baked.

7. Pureed, in potato soup (or cauliflower soup). Makes the soup pretty and tasty.

8. Chunked, and added to vegetable soup.

9. Substituted for pumpkin in pumpkin pie.

10. Pureed, and used for the liquid in biscuits.

11. Stuffed. I guess haven't done this with the enormous squashes we have this year, but I suppose you could just put a pile of stuffing on top of a thick slice of squash and bake it.

That's it. But here's a couple more ideas I bet I could use if we get tired of actually EATING the squash.

12. Use a whole one for a door stop. Or as a decoration, as part of an arrangement. I could even paint a face or design on it...

13. Cut in chunks as spud gun ammo.