Friday, March 30, 2007

Birthday thoughts

Just a couple of random thoughts today. Did I mention that I don't really like birthdays? It isn't the getting old part that bothers me, but just the whole idea of being the center of attention. I am actually quite introverted and could stay in my house for days quite content - this really freaks out the husband.

Back to my birthday. We were really busy with church and all - so I suggested that we celebrate a different day. Well, in Roger's family that just didn't work. It was done on the day! In my family, you were lucky that someone even remembered - sort of like the movie "Sixteen Candles" with Molly Ringwold. My husband loves me very much, but birthdays are just not fun for me. He bought me very needed and practical gifts - because I just wouldn't get these things for myself - a hairbrush (mine barely had any teeth left), a coffee mug for the car (I broke my last one and haven't replaced it) and a folding chair for camping (the one I had lost a screw and didn't really work anymore). So, these were good gifts - I just didn't want them at the time he offered them. It isn't the gift for me - it is the people giving the gift that gives me pleasure. I love to give gifts and see the joy. What is wrong with me anyway?

I have patched things up with my husband and we are looking forward to our spring break. We are going to be tourists in our own city. It shall be fun. Look for blogs later.

Thanks for reading


Thursday, March 29, 2007

I just couldn't stop laughing

I had some time on my hands today and through a few links, found this blog. It is not for the faint at heart, but she says it so wonderfully. So, if you need a laugh, go, read and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Something fun

Here's sort of a cool Meme I stole from Susanne. I thought it appropriate since today is my birthday - let's see what happened this day in history.

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday Month and day only.

2. List 3 Events that occurred that day.

1799 New York State abolished slavery

1929 Democratic constitution goes into effect in Ecuador

1936 Birth of Bill Gaither, contemporary Gospel songwriter and vocal artist. Together with his wife Gloria, he wrote some of the most popular Christian songs of the 1960s-1970s, including "Because He Lives," "The King is Coming," "The Longer I Serve Him" and "Something Beautiful."

1961 English apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to American Lady": 'The main purpose of our life is to reach the point at which one's own life as a person is at an end. One must in this sense "die," relinquish one's freedom and independence... "He that loses his life shall find it."'

3. List 2 important Birth days

Reba McEntire - 1955

August Anheuser Busch Jr. - 1898

4. List 1 Death.

1969 - Dwight D Eisenhower, 34th pres/gen (WW 2), dies in Washington at 78

5. List a Holiday or Observance. (if any):

American Chocolate Week - Last week of March

Constitution Day in Serbia

Czechoslovakia : Teachers' Day

Libya : Evacuation Day

Thanks for reading -


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before...either into a creature that is in harmony with God,...or into one that is in a state of war with God. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other."

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I decided to try this at Fruit in Season. The quote was very convicting for me.

I am a high school teacher and end of the term grades are upon us. It is at this point that they ask if I can give them an "A". I tell them that they always earn what grade they get. Or sometimes they will come in to class and ask if they have to do any work today. I tell them that it is always their choice whether to do the work in my class or not. I cannot force them to learn or finish class work. Doing well in school is all about choices - at least that is part of it.

On a more personal level, my choices and attitudes to bring me closer or farther from God. I can choose to sin and face the consequences of that or I can obey and face the consequences of that - one is a blessing and the other is not.

I struggle with telling the complete truth. I can blame my alcoholic mother for this coping mechanism that I learned. As a young adult I was not really encouraged or allowed to say what was really happening. For example, it was me that had to come up with an excuse why my friends could not stay the night because my mom might come home drunk.

Yet, as long as I keep blaming her, I never claim responsibility for my own sin and it continues to spread and draw me away from my Jesus. I am trying to confess every time I twist the truth or simply cover up. I have been away from home for 20 years now and I am still paying the price for my own sin. I have confidence that by making that choice to identify my sin that Satan (or his minions) will have less control and I will be heading in the right direction toward God.

Thanks for reading


Phone Envy

My husband and I qualify for a "free" phone upgrade if we renew our 2-year contract with our cellphone provider. We had renewed it anyway when we added Charity to our plan, so the new phone would just be a bonus!

We looked on the website and found a bunch to choose from. Roger picked one with all the bells and whistles and when it arrived - Charity just drooled over it. You would think that she had never seen a cellphone before the way she carried on! It was a "Razor"!!! Roger actually didn't like it and ended up exchanging it for something different. Charity just couldn't believe that he would want to return it if he could have a "Razor". She had Phone Envy.

Roger and I try to be practical - and didn't jump into the whole cell phone phenomenon until recently. We really just want a phone that is a phone. That is all we use it for. Charity is much more adept and uses it as a planner, with alarms and all. I find that taping notes to the dashboard of my car works much better than trying to figure out how to post a memo on my phone? I must be showing my age again...

Thanks for reading!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekend Reflection #3

This was an uneventful and relaxing weekend - I needed one of those for a change.

Friday - Charity had a synchro friend stay over and they continued to write the moves for their duet. Enjoyed an evening at home and grilled for the first time - it was actually 60 degrees today! Spring may have come to MN early this year (but I am not putting the coats away yet!).

Saturday - Charity had early morning synchro practice and then went to a friends for a carnival. She is definitely more popular than I ever was. Why do I mention her schedule - well, I am the chauffeur of course! Spent most of the day doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, etc. Saturday night church was an emotional drain - with very touching music videos. I am still carrying the baggage from my dysfunctional family....

Sunday - Raceday in our house. I finished folding laundry, and put together a lasagna for dinner, since I will forget about it otherwise. Took a walk without a coat - hit 70 degrees today and Eli played outside all afternoon in shorts. He was so excited. The girl was bored so she made chocolate chip cookies - when all else fails, make cookies...

Thanks for reading


Friday, March 23, 2007

Spring reading thing

I am not really into surfing blogs, but thought this might be fun since reading is one of my passions. I found this through this blog. I mostly read fiction with an occasional nonfiction thrown in for my spiritual growth. Here is my short list:

Karen Kingsbury - Firstborn series:

Fame: (From the cover) Spin off from her best-selling novel Reunion. Dayne Matthews is a star, but his passion for Hollywood is fading. Can a former actress ignite in him a new passion - a passion for God?

Forgiven: (From the cover) Dayne Matthews tries to piece his life back together while Katy Hart struggles with a deadly tragedy. Will they both be able to let God have His way with them?

Found: (From the cover) Dayne gave up his family for fame...can the power of prayer bring them back? Dayne Matthews is undergoing a personal crisis - hefeels unfulfilled despite his fame and wealth. Will a desperate escape to Mexico bring him close to God?

Family: (From the cover) John Baxter finds his son, only to be confronted by his terrible past. Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart learn the hard way that Hollywood and love don't mix.

Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver:
Like Mary at Bethany, Christian women of today love Jesus and long to sit at his feet...but the demands of a busy world just won't leave them alone. And like Martha, they love Jesus and want to serve Him...but they struggle with weariness, resentment and feelings of inadequacy.

9 Things You Simply Must Do by Henry Cloud: My Husband finished this last fall and comes highly recommended by him as well as my Pastor. I thought it might be something interested to read.

I am sure that I will add to the list - if I even get through these with work and the kids.

Thanks for reading and check out my other posts if you are visiting for the first time.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Discipline and Children

Greetings once again. I borrowed a computer from school and I am sitting at Caribou using their wireless network while I wait to get Charity from church. WOW! I could get spoiled compared to my dial-up at home.

Anyway, our church is doing a three week series on parenting called Parenting Paramedics. The first week was about setting limits and that we often feel guilty by the lack of time that we spend with kids and lavish them with gifts. Kids thrive with equal amounts of love and limits. See the video of the sermon for all the juicy details.

I know that this is a skill that I need to work on. I tend to set limits without love - I have the opposite problem. So, last night when I used my "go out for dinner" card - pretty sad since it was only Tuesday-we experienced a discipline issue that we would have handled totally differently. A little girl about 3 or 4 years old was whining and demanding to sit at a different table then the table the server put them at. She refused to go sit with her parents. The dad was trying to negotiate with the child to get her to sit with them. The mom was on her cellphone and the grandparent was just staying out of the whole thing. The dad picked up the girl and she immediately returned to the other table, pointed and said "Sit here" repeatedly. What would you have done?

We were amazed when the entire family moved to the table the little girl wanted to sit at! Who is in control? Just imagine what is going to happen to this girl at age 14 when she has no boundaries! I just remember when Charity would throw a tantrum at the grocery store if I said no to candy. I left her screaming in the aisle one time - just walked away! I am sure the other customers enjoyed the screaming - but she stopped as soon as I was out of sight. Kids thrive with boundaries. Just something to think about.

Thanks for reading!


Easter Letters Sent

We (my husband and I) send out and annual Easter letter/picture. We have more time to think about what to write, besides, Christmas time is already busy enough without adding the stress of that.

So, for those of you visiting for the first time, leave a comment, let me know you visited. Maybe we can stay connected better.

Take some time to browse - and see what I have been doing and share what you have been doing.

Thanks for reading


Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekend Reflection #2

Friday- Usual busy day at work with the students being excited about it being Friday. Came home and wasn't sure what to make for dinner - almost opted for the "eating out" card. We are really trying to save money, so we had breakfast for dinner instead. I figured that I should cook something since I was leaving the men to there own devices and going scrapbooking. Charity was spending the night at a synchro friends house to work on her routine. It is all about synchro now.

Saturday - Our usual clean the house kind of day. Since I am gone all week, the cleaning is left for Saturdays. Roger does the floors and I do bills and laundry. It took longer this week since I did sheets. I just don't have time to do sheets every week, so I get around to it about once a month. I really should find some time to dust - the kids are starting to write their names on the coffee table again. I just hate dusting. We went to church and as always it was a blessing to her Steve Duede play and her a great sermon on Parenting.

Sunday- We really try to keep the "Sabbath". It isn't all rest, but during NASCAR season I sit and watch the fast cars drive in a circle. We usually have a nice dinner - since I have time to cook. This day was super fun - we went to the NEWSBOYS concert at the Target Center as a family. Two bands opened for them, Stellar Kart and Kutless - very good christian rock bands as well. The funniest comment was made by one of the concession ladies, "I didn't expect it to be this loud". It cracks me up when christians are put in a box - I guess that we do the same with God all the time. Even christians can rock the house. Eli was dancing and playing his air guitar - all in worship! Charity was pretending not to like it, but her lips were moving - since she knew every word! It really was fun.

Thanks for reading


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Charity's BFF

Charity (like many teenagers) have adopted this abbreviated way of talking with letters - for instant messaging and text messaging purposes. Like - LOL for Laugh out loud. I have tried to keep up with her common phrases, but sometimes my age shows and I can't quite comprehend what she is talking about.

Anyway, she went on this junior high church retreat this weekend. Her last one in Jr. High. It was a bittersweet trip. My daughter just loves music - christian pop mostly, like Reliant K, Hawk Nelson and her most recent favorite is Stellar Kart. She loves to move and jump around during worship - like a christian mosh pit. It is such a freeing thing to see her praise and move to the music in worship.

The worship leader for the junior high and high school group has noticed her exuberance and somehow they are now BFF after the retreat. If this was in a different setting, I would be greatly concerned that a lead singer of a band - much older than my daughter was even suggesting this. But, because I know the character of both - it is an encouragement to me to see her connecting with God through the music created by this leader.

Just yesterday, her BFF, was awarding the best worshipper the use of his "rockstar" hat. Charity just loved the song, Forever and ever and ever... by David Crowder, and set out worshipping in her usual style. She now gets to keep the hat until next Wednesday.

God is so good and will reach us in many ways. I am so thankful that He continues to have his hand on my daughter.

Thanks for reading


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

First day of School Picture. Don't we look polished and ready to go.

Thanks For Reading


Synchronized swimming

Synchronized swimming has starting once again for the spring. Charity has fallen in love with this sport - having both music and swimming combined - nothing that she likes better. So, as a synchro mom, here is a list of things you will need to do:

1. Learn how to "cut" music for a routine. Which means purchasing software and learning how to use it as well as assist in the process with teammates watching on....

2. Be an expert at finding cheap swimsuits in appropriate colors for the routine. Also, having some talent in attaching sequins in several colors for decoration.

3. Drive your daughter to 7am practice on Saturdays (yikes!)

4. Be willing to sit through the figures section of the meet (this is long and boring when they only do one movement for a panel of judges over and over again - no music or fancy costumes for this portion)

5. You must learn how to "gel" her hair for the show and sections (unflavored knox gelatin poured over the hair that is in a bun - once dried it is hard and won't fall down). Must also like the smell of wet dog - because this is what is smells like.

I am sure the list could go on and on. I am sure that any parent with children in a sport have the same kind of list. I am ultimately greatful that she has an activity that keeps her busy and involved.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Matthew 4:1-11

1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.

3And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."


5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,

6and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,

7Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'"

8Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;

9and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me."

10Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"

11Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

I just finished listening to a podcast series by Andy Stanley called "Pause". The sermons (4 of them) examine the temptations of Christ during his 40 days in the desert. Here are a couple of the main points that I got out of it.

1. We often think that if we are doing God's will that we will not be tempted. In the passage before this, Jesus is baptized and God the Father speaks to Jesus and says that his is well pleased. Then he is sent into the wilderness for 40 days. On Jesus' best day - he is tempted. How should we approach temptation?

2. When (not if) we are tempted, it isn't so much about us, but about how much we trust God. Do we truly believe God will do what He says he will do? Or, do we take all we can get when we can get it?

3. After 40 days, Jesus was hungry (duh?). He was able to be sustained through the first temptation by trusting that God would sustain him. He was able to put off instant gratification knowing that his purpose (saving us) was his goal. He had to stay sinless to be our perfect sacrifice. This momentary hunger was worth it because of us.

4. The second temptation, Andy Stanley asks if we are a manipulator of God or a follower of God. Do we do things - maybe stupid things - and then ask God to rescue us or save us from ourselves? Or are we following God's lead in the direction we go in his life. God will not be manipulated.

5. The third temptation. New revelation to me, put the earth was given to be ruled by man - name the animals, etc. God's authority over that ended when Adam and Eve sinned. The last temptation is offering Jesus the very thing he came to earth to do - to have authority over the earth once more. This was Christ's purpose - that is why he was sent. Yet, Jesus could not sin and lose it all for the sake of a shortcut. He remained faithful to God the Father and did not compromise His integrity.

I truly like listening to Andy Stanley. Highly recommended.

Thanks for reading


Monday, March 12, 2007

Weekend Reflection #1

Friday night - Took Charity to her weekend church retreat. She didn't even want us to wait for the bus to leave. Used a gift certificate to go out for dinner.

Saturday - Took advantage of having only one child and went to the auto show in Minneapolis. I got to sit in my Miata. I could get lots of tickets in that. We went straight to church from there. I love our Edge service. Lots of loud music! It isn't for everyone, but we like it. We were celebrating our involvement as a church in helping establish a relationship with a village in Mozambique. Our goal in working with World Vision is to meet there physical and spiritual needs - clean water, food security, education and learning God's word. It is such a blessing to be able to give of the huge blessings that God has given us in America.

Sunday - Got up "early" (8am, 7am with the time change here last Sat) and took Eli skiing one last time before our mountain of snow melts. It is suppose to be 50 degrees today! The snow was starting to get slushy by the time we left at about 1pm. Came home to watch NASCAR while the husband went to get Charity from her retreat.

Overall, a good and fun weekend. Thanks for reading.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Snow Day Picture

This is a picture of Eli next to the snowbank by the end of our driveway. He is 42 inches tall. He is having so much fun! Thanks for reading.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lady at Wal-Mart Photo Kiosk

I had a busy day yesterday that started when I left for work at 6:45 am and did not end until 8:45 pm when I returned home. This is a typical Wednesday schedule since my husband and I split kid duty and take the kids to separate locations for church (we have two campus' and the kids program is at one building and the Jr. high program is at the other).

I was trying to get some errands done before I picked up my daughter from synchro practice. I wanted to scan 7 pictures and make some extra prints. I approached the kiosk and it turned out that this lady was using both of the photo machines. I could see this being a possibility early in the morning when nobody is shopping yet, but not around 5pm in the evening. It gets busy with us working moms stopping places without the kids before we go home. I tried not to huff and puff like I wanted to. I guess that it is not something that I would do.

In the midst of this, my husband calls and asks if I want the Caribou Card for tonight while I am waiting for my daughter. I don't really get good reception in Wal-mart anyway and I didn't want to lose my spot in line that this lady had created. I just said "I can't hear you, I am in Wal-mart, I will call you back". I was assuming he was on his way to get Eli, dinner and then church. So, a few minutes later he calls again and says, "Where are you?". I said, "I am in Wal-mart". "Where in Wal-mart?". "By the photo machine", I said. Click. I have been waiting about 15 minutes for this lady to finish burning 2 CD's with 200 photos. Why would you do this at Wal-mart? Don't you have a computer at home? I was by then getting a little judgemental. I just figure that if you have a digital camera, don't you have a computer to store those photos on? Otherwise, why make the CD?

My poor husband arrives as I am thinking these wonderfully Christian thoughts and I was about ready to blow. I just didn't want to be spending my time this way. I quickly grabbed the card from him and told him to go get our son because he was running late because he stopped to give me the stupid Caribou card. The poor guy - he didn't even see it coming. I called later (from Caribou) to apologize and explain my frustration about this lady.

And yes, I finally did get my pictures scanned. Thanks for reading.


Taking Blog Risks

I don't have many readers, but to those of you that do visit, I hope that you notice that I am taking baby steps in changing the look of my blog. I have taken the ideas from other bloggers - so thank you for the great ideas - see links to blogs I read (new!). I "met" these ladies from the blog party. I might even start getting brave enough to post some pictures of the snow. So, keep checking in as I expand my blogging skills.


Made in His Image

Genesis 1:27
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

The past snow day has allowed me some extra time to reflect. Did you ever wonder why we make snow men? Why not something else? We have plenty of snow here in MN to make any snow sculpture you want and yet we try to make an image of ourselves - people. That got me to thinking on a more spiritual level (I told you that I had some time on my hands).

God made the entire universe, animals, plants, etc. Yet, his best work came on the day he created Man/Woman. Why? We are made in His image. We are a reflection of God. Now, I am not saying that the stars, animals and plants are not a reflection of God, I truly believe that you can find out amazing things about the creator through the natural world. But just look at the human being - such a thing of wonder. The way all the parts work together - how we can imagine and create such great things. So, even in a snow covered land, we - like God - create images like ourselves - snow people.

One of my favorite devotional sights is at Purpose Driven Life. I get a daily devotional sent to me via email. The one today was about "discovery". If you need a spiritual lift, this site will give you some words to help you see that just by being in the world and living for God is the best thing to do.

Have a blessed day!


Monday, March 05, 2007


I wish that Charity liked to ski. We have gone to Trollhaugen (a local midwest hill) the past couple of Sundays. Roger and I enjoy it and Eli seems to like the speed and risk of it. He is done with lessons for the season and skied with us this Sunday. We were on the green hills all day, but he was having a great time and didn't really fall. Charity ends up staying at home - alone. I don't want to make her go, she just doesn't like the cold and would rather be swimming.

Because of our new found family (almost) activity, it was time to get new equipment. Roger originally bought me used ski's when we first got married 12 years ago. So, my equipment is a little old and probably unsafe. The boots are probably okay, but nobody will take my old straight skis. So, with our income tax money we decided to get me new equipment - ladies shaped skis and new boots. It hasn't really helped me ski any better, but I have seen worse. My whole idea is to not get hurt as my body ages - I am not quite as flexible as I use to be. Next year will be Roger's turn for new skis - his bindings aren't quite as old as mine.

We are just trying to stay active and skiing is a great winter activity. The new snow was also great to ski on this weekend.

Thanks for reading


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Snow day

Remember not too long ago I was complaining that we did not have any snow? Well, that is a memory. School was actually released early on Thursday and we (my husband and I both teach) got the call that school was cancelled for Friday very early Thursday evening. We are like the students - eagerly watching the scrolling names on the news to see our districts name. So, we spent Friday digging out the drifted 18 or so inches of snow. The kids slept in and I actually made eggs and sausage for breakfast. I figured that since most days they only get cereal that a snow day should be special. We watched all the movies we rented and the kids made a snow tunnel. That reminds me - remember to get more gloves for the kids. They kept coming in and going out, but didn't want to put the wet stuff back on - imagine that.

Thanks for reading.