Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Psalm 51:10

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.
Like many of you, I've been spending time reflecting on the past year, and wondering what the next year will hold for us. I know many people sometimes enjoy coming up with a New Years resolution and beginning or renewing a commitment, but I've never been much of a fan of starting something on January 1 just because it's a new year. I do, however, encourage you to start something new, something better, something healthier just because it's time to do it! It could be today, it could be tomorrow - or maybe sometime in March, but when the time is right for you to change something, then start immediately!
My request each day is for God to renew me, and refresh me and to make my heart more like HIS.

Have a Happy New Year!
Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For the Love of Snow

(we should be back home tomorrow night sometime, even though we'd RATHER stay here)

(because I'm obviously quite relaxed)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday John 3:16

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse

As I took this photo during the past week, I was reminded of the PERFECT GIFT that God sent to us in his Son, the baby Jesus. He was sent to us to pay the price of our sins, to make us whiter than snow, and to make us new again.

My hope is that you remember this gift that was given, the most wonderful, eternal gift of all... and share it with everyone you know!

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do not leave unattended

Who swiped my camera while I was sleeping???

What YOU lookin' at??


I found the criminal.

My family has issues

Here's the scene that we left behind in our own back yard...

Our family wanted to go somewhere with certain snow this year for Christmas. Well, that and we really wanted to avoid the whole tug-of-war around the "who gets to spend the holidays with us" thing. Since I'm a people pleaser, and would rather torture myself than make other people unhappy, it really stresses me out. I don't get along well with stress. My method of fixing things is to run away. So, since we are owners in this little timeshare thingie, we made reservations a year ago at Running Y Resort. It is our family Christmas present. The idea was to spend a week in solitude, forcing ourselves to spend family time together and be happy and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
So far, it's been good, but it has really shown me that our family has serious issues.

For example, we left a bunch of snow that was ALREADY AT OUR HOUSE, go to find more snow. Where's the sense in that??
Then, we were only a few miles into the surprisingly relaxing treacherous trip through the mountain pass, when my husband decided to give our Suburban a makeover.
Meet: The UNI-BURB!
Icicles aren't just for snacking on, it appears. They are also used for prodding the person ahead of you to go faster.

Then, my issues shone brightly when I attempted to plan an impromptu picnic. I found the perfect place!

But then, I tried to retrieve my icy cold drink *haha* and lookit what I did...

Yes, that there is evidence of my clumsiness.
Running Y is an absolutely GORGEOUS place in the winter. It's nestled near Klamath Lake outside the town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Since it was pitch dark when we finally got here on Friday night (school had been cancelled, the kids' Grand Jury appearance got cancelled, but we STILL managed to arrive much later than anticipated - more evidence of "issues") we didn't get to see any of our surroundings until the next morning. That always gets me out of bed fast though, I want to SEE stuff!!
Here's what greeted me when I opened the door onto the balcony.

Does anyone else see that woman walking past? What the heck did she think she was doing at that hour - and with snowshoes on?? Well this is good, I have a nice warm place to sit and watch people doing strenuous things.
Our farm store back home had a 70% off sale. We bought redneck toys for real cheap. VERY entertaining for all of us.
Oh look, a buck in a trunk. I told the boys that if they didn't put their toys away before bedtime, they would come to life and run away. Apparently, this stuff really happens! Even I was surprised!

The boys believed me for a little bit, until they noticed that the rack on the little buck standing outside our window had a smaller rack than the toy they forgot to put away. What kind of children notice things like that?

The next day was a miserable one for Pirate Boy. He wasn't feeling so hot. The bad part, is he shared it with his little brother.

The icicles around here are really cool. Really, they are COOL. haha (Hey, I already told you I have issues, ok?)

I'm all set up. My cell phone doesn't work so well, but the computer works FINE!

We're stocked up with goodies and stuff to keep us warm.

Wow, someone did the dishes. That doesn't happen at my house!

Mmmm... blueberry scones. Something tells me that the snow isn't the only thing that ends up fluffy around these parts. Maybe me and my issues should take up snowshoeing. For now, we're going to just stick with making paper snowflakes.
More pictures to come, I promise!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me Monday What day is it?

Since it wasn't me that did any of this stuff, I see no reason to blog it... but I'm pretty bored and all, so here goes...

This past week, it was NOT me that went crazy like a mad-woman to get her house cleaned up just to go on vacation. It drives me nutso to think I'm coming home to a really messy place, so trust me, my kids do NOT think I need to be committed.

I also did NOT squeal out loud with excitement when I learned that the kids' Grand Jury appearance AND school had been cancelled which meant we got to leave early for our trip.

I most certainly didn't have SO many things left to do that we ended up leaving after school would have gotten out anyway *sigh*

I did NOT fall asleep while my husband was driving through a blizzard even though I knew he needed my eyes to assist him in seeing what was ahead of us. Heck, I was tired from all that packing!

At NO TIME did I thoroughly enjoy the fact that we were taking a rather lengthy trip to go enjoy a snow-filled Christmas vacation even though there was plenty of white stuff in our own back yard.

You did NOT see me stop at a snow covered rest area, attempt to stage what I thought was a really funny photo, only to end up flopping down in the snow with my camera when I misstepped. (It's hard to see what's under a foot of snow!)

I also did NOT do the same exact thing while taking a walk with my kids to the lodge. Of course I was guiding them carefully and the area between the sidewalk and the road had a ditch that you couldn't see in all that snow so of course I wouldn't have tried to step there. I'd look like a flailing idiot if I had!

One more thing I didn't do - I didn't get up early this morning and spend over an HOUR trying to get my daughter's new iPod functioning so she wouldn't think I was a lousy gift-buying parent trying to save a buck or two and passing of shoddy junk as gifts. What is that number to Apple anyway?? This super cool shiny new equipment is a pain in the rear, and mine is already bruised!

I also didn't forget that today was Monday because I've been gone from home and have absolutely NO clue what day it is until I look at other people's blogs. I'm probably going to miss Christmas if I don't be more careful!

For more public admissions of non-guilt, head on over to MckMama's place.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Matthew 2:2

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.

Matthew 2:2 Where is the one who has been born king of the jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.

As my son (the wise guy in the red) played his part in the kids' Christmas special at church, I realized just how amazing it must have been for a bunch of Magi (not really sure how many) to spend such a LONG time on the road in search of the Christ child. Could you just imagine the anticipation, the expectation and... how NERVOUS they must have been?

"We are going to see the KING!" I would have just fainted. Instead, they bowed at the feet of the young Jesus, and brought precious gifts for him (do you think he got to play with them?), and they just worshipped! WOW. The chance to worship before the Lord of all. The really cool thing, is we have the chance to do this every single DAY! We bring our gifts to Him, we bow at his feet, and we worship. This year, our Christmas celebration will include much worshipping, and bringing gifts to Jesus in the form of helping out others. I pray that your celebrations include the real reason behind gift giving, and that you are blessed by the gifts of others, and most importantly, the gift of Jesus himself.

Have a very blessed Christmas!

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

In the middle of things

Have a seat, won't you? *snicker*

Just a little update from frozen farm country.
Here's what I've been spending my time on (instead of blogging, like I should be!)
1. Thawing out frozen rabbit water bottles.

2. Buying new rabbit water bottles when the other ones shattered.

3. Shopping for snow pants in four different sizes for four different children.

4. Returning snow pants because a size 16 at one store is too BIG and a size 16 at the other store is way too small.
5. Finding little gifts to spread out over 12 days of Christmas for my kids. (A brand new tradition for us this year)

6. Doing the multiplication on 12 gifts x 4 kids.

7. Skipping the math and just buying stuff that they need anyway, but will be really happy to get... like, warm boot socks, long underwear and snow pants. They have been thrilled so far, I'm happy to say. I'm sure they'll enjoy the dollar store specials this coming week too.

8. Splurging on a bright red union suit for my 8 year old son because I think the drop down rear flap is just TOO much to pass up.

9. Scooting laundry through as fast as possible so we can pack the Suburban with stuff BEFORE Friday afternoon when we'd like to be leaving town. (And when we also have a Grand Jury appearance to make *sigh*)

10. Buying chains for the tires that are too big to fit the ones from the last Suburban (who's idea was THAT?)

11. Arranging details for a bunko party that was supposed to take place last night but it never happened because the roads were solid sheets of ice.

12. Playing with my new cell phone. It TOTALLY has unlimited web access so I can read all my comments and blog from the ends of the earth! (Just a taste of heaven, I believe)

13. Shopping for a new coffeemaker. You read earlier (somewhere or other) that my coffeemaker died. My backup coffeemaker got put to use, but the hot plate didn't work, so my Mother in law dropped off a new one for me as an early Christmas present. (She's a coffee addict, so she felt unusual amounts of sympathy for my plight). It was nice, but it had no timed brewing or auto shut off. Just the basics - it MADE coffee and kept it warm. But, realizing my family needed to be safe from my inability to unplug anything or turn it off, we returned it and bought a different one. Mr Nice Guy convinced me to buy the one that was cheapest, and since it was only half the price of the one I took back I convinced him to throw in a coffee grinder too. I am tricky like that. And now I have a coffee grinder, but no beans. hahaha!

14. Saying hush, quiet, calm down and WILL YOU PLEASE QUIT THAT! about 7,098 times per day. Snow days are nice, but they sure are noisy!

15. Realizing that I have very little time to ship Christmas presents so I'd better get on it. In a BIG hurry. Like... right now.

What are YOU busy doing? If you're not busy, maybe you could come over and have some burgers with us... it will only take a minute to chip off all that frozen stuff *tee hee*

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me! Monday The Kids Did It

"I did not do it!" That's the theme at my house today (and every day, if you ask me). So, just for fun, and since I never do anything worthy of a Not Me mention (again, just ask me!) I am sharing with you all the things my kids did NOT do lately.

My 12 year old did NOT spend all week collecting laundry, only to place it on the FLOOR of the laundry room and then proceed to tell me that she did the laundry. Hello? It was all over the floor and not in our closets... what part of "Yes, I already did it" do you think I believed?

My 10 year old did NOT decide to pout about having to sit with me in church yesterday through TWO services. She wouldn't pout. NO siree she would not! After all, it was her choice not to participate in the children's choir and be a BIG girl. Big girls don't pout. (And neither do their mothers)

My 8 year old son was NOT overheard saying things like, "Come to my party or die!" I mean, good grief, that would be creepy. He also didn't practice kissing the air. What's with THAT?

My 5 year old has NOT ever been seen being a cow (or a "moo moo") in a childrens concert. He also didn't spend the whole time doing strange antics and attempting to pull the horns off his costume.

While we're the topic of people who didn't do things... my husband did NOT drag me outside at 1 a.m. this morning to put chickens away who were hiding out in our carport. He also did NOT get a kick out of me hauling straw around and tucking in the animals who were exposed to the snow. I would NEVER tuck a turkey in and say goodnight, or bundle up the bunnies in little straw forts.

Just to gross you out, I did NOT catch my daughters out in the field (where the CHICKENS live) having a snowball fight. After all, the chickens do NOT poop all over that area, and the snow would be perfectly clean for flinging! *gag*

For more public humiliation, head on over to MckMama's place.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Matthew 1:21

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.

Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.

HOPE is the word on my Christmas tree! God sent his son, in human form, to us here on Earth to give us all HOPE! Hope that our sins will be forgiven and to know that we will live eternally. What greater blessing is there?

My hope and prayer for you is that you share the real meaning of CHRISTmas with everyone you come in contact with.

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas details you might not want to know

Halloooo friends! Lea from the Shabby Olde Potting Shed tagged me before I could get away from her. This is a fun meme, and she's a fun daughter of the King, so take a gander at her lil' place and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I LIKE eggnog but I am a hot cocoa snob, and I really like the GOOD stuff.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Our presents are always wrapped and placed under the tree

3. Colored light on house/tree or white? Brand new blue LEDs on the house this year! But our tree is always covered in white lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I would if I had some. Do ya got any?

5. When do you put your decorations up? The house lights go up during Thanksgiving weekend, the tree just went up a couple days ago, and I'm still working on the rest of the box of STUFF.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Oh, definitely the relish tray. YEAH RIGHT! I'm a turkey and mashed potatoes girl. Yuuh-huuumm! Coming in a really close second is my momma's raspberry stuff. Is that the name of it? Raspberry STUFF?

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Getting up in the middle of the night, to just sit and stare at the sparkling Christmas tree. It was (and is) just a neat feeling.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My parents didn't really push the Santa thing, so I never really had any sort of disappointment about him not being for real.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We always open just one!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? White lights, blue/white ribbon, snowman ornaments, and then lots of other ornaments that have sentimental meaning. Usually a couple from good friends, some we bought when the kids were little and then the handmade ones from the kids are the best.

11. Snow. Love it or dread it? LOVE it!!

12. Can you ice skate? I can! But I only ever do it on accident, never with actual skates, and it usually hurts, so I try not to.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Two gifts stand out in my mind right now - one year my brother and I woke up to huge (in our minds) matchbox car setups. Mine had a shipyard! It was so cool. The other most memorable gift was a doll I named Jenny.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? That my children grow up to understand the REAL meaning of a gift. That it's not something they deserve, it's something given because we love them. JUST LIKE GOD DID FOR US!

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? CHEESECAKE with Cherries!! Or maybe it's Mom's Stained Glass Cookies. It could be my Aunt's 7 Layer Bars... oh my goodness, I just gained 5 more pounds.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Orange peel fights, right Dad??

17. What tops your Christmas tree? A white star

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? GIVING! I love giving gifts that are thought out and personal. I'd do it all the time if only my husband could afford it. hahaha!

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?Yummy! Now I know what I forgot.

21. What do you want for Christmas? I want a new coffeemaker, but it's not exactly my fault that it broke the day AFTER the kids and Mr Nice Guy went shopping. Could you imagine? I also want my family to be happy together, and make a zillion memories!

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? Not usually, but it seems we host something at our house about now every year.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's? Well, since I'm usually at CHURCH on Christmas Eve, I tend to stay away from Pajamas lest I embarass the poor old folks!

24. Do you own a Santa hat? There's one rolling around here somewhere. I just caught Kid #1 folding laundry while wearing it earlier. She looked so jolly.

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? It isn't normal for us yet. As a kid, we ALWAYS went to my Aunt & Uncle's house after our gifts were opened. Since my family is a blended family, we do something different each and every year. It's always a surprise! This year, we're going away on a vacation for Christmas! Just the six of us.

Now, I get to tag five others.
I'm pointing at:

Beth :: Outnumbered, Three to One
Dana:: From Chaos to Grace
Paula:: The Fraker Farm
Heidi:: Sacred and Profane
Livy :: Livy's Cafe

I'm also pointing at MOM and DAD! Now get on it... or I'll blog about it. (No pressure or anything)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Not Me! Monday I was hungry ok?

There's no required court appearance THIS week - so the following is all true, to the best of my um... thinking... and uh... abilities or whatever.

Being brutally honest, and living to tell about it

This is NOT my 151st post! It is not, I've only been on here a couple months... I'm sure of it.

It was NOT ME that let my husband talk me into getting that One Day Sale Only TV yesterday after I had told him no in front of three salespeople and made it all the way out to the car. I am a strong-willed woman, and he can't push anything over on me, oh no siree!

It wasn't me that snickered (silently, of course) and gave the clerk (who giggled that I'd been drug BACK into the store anyway!) a big thumbs up sign behind my husbands back after I found out they'd been sold out for hours - which caused her to burst out laughing and have to explain our little story to half the cashiers.

I wouldn't dream of skipping breakfast on a Sunday morning, and being so hungry, I did NOT actually sneak pieces of the muffin from my purse into my mouth during the sermon at church. That's just not right.

There's no WAY I would jump up and run out the door to pick up the girls from youth group to avoid making dinner. Nah, I'm a happy homemaker. Love to make dinner ... love it! Love to clean up too. Oh yeah. I'm going down in flames for this one.

For more public humiliation, head on over to MckMama's place.

If I Was Homeless

If I was homeless... I would want you to visit with me, to say Hello and say How are ya?, and really be interested in what I had to say when I answer you honestly. I wouldn't mind if you asked how I was doing - even though you probably think I'm feeling pretty crappy right about now and you are probably right, and you are also really outside of your comfort zone.

If I was homeless... I would thoroughly enjoy it if you came by and fed me and my peers a nice meal while we all hung out under the bridge. I think it would be really cool if you actually sat down and joined me, and tried to find out a little more about my life. I'd love it if you weren't judgemental, but just accepted me for where I'm at right now and loved me like Jesus would.

If I was homeless... it would be a major joy to get my hair washed in a tub with warm water followed by a haircut by someone who's doing it just because she loves people.

If I was homeless... I think I'd be really confused about why you asked if I wanted my nails painted. I haven't had my nails painted since I got fired from my job this past summer and lost my house. Getting my nails painted would make me feel wonderful!

If I was homeless... I'd be so incredibly humbled if you got down on your knees and washed my feet with soapy water, and placed ,warm socks on them. I would be amazed at your efforts to serve me and treat me with dignity and respect. I would want to know more about why you love people this way, and why you are thanking God for bringing me into your life.

If I was homeless... I'd be feeling really cold outside at night right now, and sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the warm blanket you gave me and the coat that someone from your church sent with you. Knowing that you are thinking about me, and saying a prayer for me like you promised you'd do makes me want to face another day.

If I was homeless... I'd want to know this Jesus that shines out through you and spills onto me. Maybe then being homeless wouldn't mean being hopeless.


For going on four months now, Mr Nice Guy and I, along with different friends each time, have gone to Portland, Oregon to minister to the homeless under the Burnside Bridge - with Bridgetown Ministries. I have struggled with how to "tell" people what we're doing - because I'm one of those "anti-tootmyownhorn" kind of people. I don't want to come across the wrong way, I guess, but the need to let you know that doing something as a individual CAN matter, has outweighed my feelings of wanting to stay behind the scenes. We are doing work that we feel really good about!

Our eyes have been opened, and a passion is burning to do something for "the least of these". Christmas gift-giving has taken on a whole new meaning in our family. When we go to Costco, we throw in an extra package or two of big, warm socks. We might make cookies, but we're really thinking about the time we took umpteen dozen cookies (made by my dear friend Peggy) to Portland with us, and helped a couple hundred people find chocolate chip happiness. It's all about a change in perspective. A perspective that I am very grateful I have the opportunity to participate in frequently.
This season, when everyone is making lists of things that they can do for others and contributions they can make to certain charities, just try to remember that the BEST thing you can do is to LOVE others as CHRIST LOVED US. No matter where your donations, your volunteer hours, or your random acts of kindness land - just make sure to include a gift tag that says "Love, Jesus!"

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why do they set themselves up?

Big Sister:
"Mom, I have a question for you. It's serious. If my sister and I both got arrested and were in jail, and you only had enough money to bail one of us out, who would you choose?"

Little sister and big sister stare me down.

"Well... "[very lengthy, dramatic pause while trying to appear worried]
"I would take the money and go on a vacation."

The girls:

Apparently that wasn't the answer they were expecting?

Warning to kids everywhere:
Do not mess with your Parents, they are not the stupid ones.

A Subpoena! How FUN!

I'm so excited!!

Ok, you know I'm not serious, don't you? Did you see my nostrils flare? Did that give me away?

If you've been following my blog for ANY length of time, say... about 2 months or so, you would have stumbled across this heartbreaking story of the terrible thing that happened and when you read it, you felt the effect that it had on our whole family and the community around us. We have been asked off and on since then how the girls are doing since then, and I can happily say FINE! But the USPS delivered three neatly printed subpoena's the other day, requiring my daughters (and my husband, don't ask me why) to appear before the Grand Jury within 2 weeks. NOW I know why I had put off the request for me to write the newspaper article - because the story wasn't FINISHED yet. (Thank you God, for helping me out there, I'm very much appreciative)

Ohhhh kayyyy... it's no big deal that the date is set for the same day we were going to be leaving to go on our "family" get away for the Christmas break. Our little excuse to go away from the stress and anxiety of trying to please too many people - and now we're really going to be looking forward to it, let me tell ya!

Don't think that I'm upset, because I'm not. Worried a tad bit, for my kids? Yep. Their response when they found out: WHAT? We were already getting OVER that! We don't want to have to remember it all!

Exactly my feelings, my dear ones. But we'll be ok. God is in charge here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Exodus 14:14

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.

Exodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.

Whew, what a week! This verse really speaks to me - the LORD sits in His place to do the unthinkable. It is my job as a Christian - a "Christ Follower" - to do only things that please Him. That bring Glory to HIM. God reminds us that as long as we are doing His will, that He will fight the big fights for us. He will bring victory if we are serving Him! Here in Exodus, He's speaking to the Israelites who keep whining and moaning to Him about their problems (much like I am prone to doing!) and He tells them that they have no reason to be afraid or to falter, because they will not be facing their problem much longer. Isn't that a wonderful feeling? To know that no matter what life throws at us, whether it's a struggle with a family member, or a spouse, or a co-worker, or someone like Pharaoh, that HE will fight the fight for us as long as what we are doing is following Him. Stand FIRM and HE will bring you deliverance!

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not Me! Monday - No Gravy for You!

Being Brutally Honest, and Living to Tell About It

I really don't think I need to go any further, do I? Did you NOT read my post on how to NOT make gravy? It was embarassing enough to last an entire century. Or two. Go read it.

If you really need more not me's, then I'll throw you a couple bones:

I did NOT spend a kajillion dollars on new Christmas lights for my house today. I also did NOT really REALLY enjoy them, because they are all LED and did you know you can string FORTY THREE strands together instead of SIX?? DID YOU KNOW THAT?? Well, I did not either. And, I guess I don't have to say how (not) excited that I am.

I also did NOT skip church today. We are home this long SIX day weekend having a stay-cation and I would never intentionally miss church because we are just so danged wiped out from NOT making gravy. Hurry up and read it already - you can leave your comments over there too... no need to waste anyone elses time seeing how humiliated I can be for any longer than necessary.

For more public humiliation, head on over to MckMama's place.