We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This and That's

    While talking to Brian yesterday, I had commented that I was going to eat a sandwich while reading Tracey's blog and then probably go back to bed for awhile. I said "I'm doing better today, but I'm not all there yet".



"Wait. That comment didn't come our right. Please delete that previous comment ..."

But his smirk and low chuckle told me that the recall had gone out too late .... 8-/

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     I sent an email out to some friends about one of Tracey's postings. I got this reply back from Lipstick Jen, "YES, they are so cute Tracey is a friend of mine, she is the whole reason I started blogging! I am getting ready to post some crocheted necklaces my mom made! LOVE them!"

S-m-a-l-l world!!! WOW!!!

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      I had called my doctor's office yesterday and left a message requesting another 'refill' of the prescription they have me on for the Vertigo. They called me back later saying that yes, another prescription had been called in a-n-d that my doctor was referring me to the 'Vertigo clinic'.
      Probably a wise move. O-kay, so I know it is ... but yet clinics equal more $'s and more testing and .... On the other hand, I REALLY want to clean my house!!! And after what I heard Analyse doing in the background while talking to Byron yesterday (another posting will be about that ;-}), I R-E-A-L-L-Y want to go there again - and soon!!!!! {surprised? o;-p}

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Friday, January 29, 2010

smart guys ;-p

     After having gotten up the second time yesterday, I commented that before I came down, I'd had this thought of how "the guys" had all worked together and thourally cleaned the house ....
     Kayla (Brent's girlfriend) responded with a very sympathetic sounding "Aw ww www..." :->
     Brent interrupted her with a, "Obviously you were still asleep and dreaming mom" 8-p
     And Benson's voice floated in from the other room with, "What kind of pills did you say they have you on mom?" 8-p

     A bit later, after admitting defeat (the spinning was winning), I stopped in the living room for a second where Benson and Brandon were. I commented, "You know, it would be really great if you guys did all pitch in, and when I get back up the house was all picked up" {all hints fully implied and intended!!!}
    Benson - "It's not really possible for us to pick the house up, seeings how we don't really know where most of the stuff goes, but we could tidy up a bit."
    Me - "While you might not know where some of the stuff in the dining room should go, you could put away the clean dishes and even wash the dirty ones, and you could clean this living room to the point of even vacuuming it, and you could go ahead and do the laundry yourself ...." (again - all hints fully implied and intended!!!)
    Benson - "well, we could tidy up a bit, but shouldn't vacuum since dad is sleeping, and if we did pick the house up, where would we put it?"
    While I was contemplating what I should and shouldn't say, Brandon piped up with -
    "Right back down on it's foundation - - DUH!!!" chuckle chuckle

     I started laughing - right out loud - couldn't help myself. Nor could I stop, which meant I ended up holding my head because laughing hurt!!!! But it was really good for my spirits!
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Thursday, January 28, 2010


      You know how you read something and then your brain says w-h-a-t?!?!!!! I've shared a bunch of those kind of incidents with you before. Well, this morning, I had another one.
      This morning I came down to take some more med's and found yesterday's mail laying on the kitchen counter. The top headline for the 'Schoolhouse' news caught my eye. It says, "Kindergarten Registration for the class of 2023". So what about that goofed me up?
      Well, see, my brain brought to mind how for so many top notch private schools, you almost have to register your kid at birth in order to get them admitted for kindergarten. So then the papers title was talking about enrolling kids now, to start kindergarten in the year 2023. Goodness!!! Like you'd know this far in advance that your going to have a baby that would be ready to start kindergarten that year. Let's see, if they were to start kindergarten at age five, that means you wouldn't even be having them for eight years yet ... Heck, lots of people who will be having kids ready to start kindergarten that year, haven't even met the person they are going to marry yet, let alone be "planning" their children's births (as though you can always count on that method 8-p).
       Are the schools really THAT packed/full that they need to make enrollment lists this far out?!!!
       How far out was that again? Oh yeah, thirteen years .... goodness, your usually only in school for thirteen years ...
        And then it clicked - OH!!! (<-- H U G E letters there). They're referring to enrolling kids in kindergarten who will be graduating in 20 23 ... geesh Cheryl!!!

        I took my pills and went back to bed .....

         I'd like to blame this incident to the current headache mixed with tilting swirling, pin-balling going on inside my head .... but yeah, we all know better ... it's not just that, it's me.

        Ya gotta love me! Your contract as 'friend' says so!!! Besides, I do-o-o provide you with such great laughing material ....

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I'm filing this under "Wondering"

The "wondering" file shall contain things such as: "okay "Lucy" 'splain it" 's , mis-read things, "wondering about myself" incidents, etc. . Yeah, it'll probably turn out to be a really full file o;-p
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

not a fan of pinball

     Well, I am yet again headed back up to bed. As most of you know, I have Vertigo. Originally (this round) it had hit like a sledge hammer blow on one of those muscle man shows. 8-/
      Then I got to the point that I was hardly feeling any symptoms. Even actually got a few things accomplished around here. And seeings how they had said to take the medication every 8 to 12 hours on a 'as needed basis', I stopped taking them.
      I did pretty good for about 24 hours. Then started feeling it again. Not horrendously. But definitely feeling it. :-{ So I not only went back on the pills, but also called the Dr. for another prescription, seeings how it is not a refillable one. No way did I want to get half way through doing the food for last weekends snow camp, only to have it turn really bad again.
      By Sunday afternoon, I was back to only the slightest of symptoms, so I stopped taking the pills again. Monday I did wake up with a headache, but due to how it felt, figured it was all weather pressure change related. It probably was. However, late Monday afternoon, as I was leaning into the basement fridge, getting more leftovers out to make part # 2, it felt like something in the top of my head rolled over, three times. Yikes!!!
     The world immediately started tilting again, and spinning, and the stomach was trying to empty itself upward, and ... not good! NO, I had NOT again hit my head on something!! Not at all. Just leaned in and everything broke loose. :-<
     Since then, it feels like there is a pin ball game going on in the top of my head. And I'm not a fan. Never been that big of a fan of pinball, whether it's the little hand held game types we had as a kid; nor the big loud, game room styled ones. Did kind of like Elton John's 'Pinball Wizard' song though ... but that's totally different ;-p.
      Right now, watching the screen scroll down is making my eyes swim, and not in tears. And having Boo walk in and sit beside me for a sec., then turn and leave the room is making my head sway. And discovered that we didn't seal the den window up good enough, because the window shade is moving a small amount, not sure I had even noticed that before. But right now, it's affecting my balance - and I'M SITTING STILL IN A CHAIR!!! Gee-sh!!!
     I know that this too 'came to pass'. Definitely voting for sooner not later!! Very soon! Actually, very, very, very soon!!!! In part, because it's just not pleasant. But also because 'the plan' was for me to head to the out of state 'kids' in about two weeks, but I am so horrendously behind here as it is, and ... . Patience is a virtue I'm currently running low on my supply off.
     So I'm headed back up to bed. To lay on my right side and hopefully not forget and turn towards the door. That hurts!! And hopefully I'll again go to sleep. Laying there for hours doing nothing but feeling the pin ball game going on inside my head, even though the ONLY muscles being used are the ones to breath with, yeah, boring!! Frustrating!!! I've got so-o-o much I want/need to accomplish!!! Oh yea, patience .....
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

made from leftovers - part 1

       Brian and I went out for lunch Friday before totally switching into 'food for middle school's snow camp' mode. I got inspired while reading over the menu, an idea that I hopefully could make out of some of the leftovers. If there were some. With middle school kids, ya just never know. Sometimes they can totally wipe you out, and other times, well you'll get ones that "have decided they no longer eat that stuff". Yeah.
       There were enough of the ingredients I had particularly in mind, to make the recipe I had been inspired with :-D This posting then is that meal. But you'll notice that the title says "part 1". That's because I've since been inspired with additional ideas. {Hey, you don't have to hold on that tight!!! o;-p} Stay tuned, they shall be coming soon.

                       Chicken Burritos made from leftovers :

          The desired leftovers - chicken fajita meat*, shredded cheddar cheese, tort. shells, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion (after I took the picture I remembered that there had been some leftover chopped onion, so I went and got the little container of them out), and lettuce (which was a 'at home' leftover).
          * Chicken Fajita meat. We buy it by the case at the GFS (Gordon Food Service) store. It is a Tyson product. For around fifty dollars, you get ten pounds of chicken meat, already boned and skinned; already cooked and seasoned with fajita seasonings; already cut into nice sized small strips; in four sealed bags inside of one box. When your feeding large numbers, that price beats making the fajita chicken meat from scratch hands down!!! At least we think so.

         Next came assembling the Burritos. Lay out the tort. shell. First put down some 'shaved' (chopped thin pieces) of lettuce. Top that with the chick. fajita meat (which I chopped into smaller bits). Then a little bit of the finely chopped onion. Then quite a bit of the shredded cheddar. And then the chopped tomatoes.
       Seeings how I was using 8" tort. shells, I couldn't put much of any one item in them. Twelve inch shells would work ever so much better. But I was using what I had on hand. So I filled them quite a bit, not bothering to tun in the ends, and threaded a wooden toothpick in the tops to help hold them together (did I list that as one of the uses for toothpicks in that posting?).

        Place the filled shells, toothpick side up, close together in sprayed baking pan. Once the pan(s) were filled, it was time to make the sauce for on top.

       Very finely chop up some more of the fajita seasoned chicken meat.

       Make a medium thick basic white sauce. Just as it's about to reach your desired consistency, add the extremely finely chopped meat.

        Using a sprayed* ladle, pour the meat gravy mixture over the burritos.
{*Remember, spraying beats scrubbing and helps lots of ways!} (and yes, the chicken broth was a 'at home' leftover too ;->)

     Before covering the finished burritos, I placed a few saved "lifter uppers" on top. Don't you like my technical name for them? ;-p Two of my nieces use to call them 'Barbie Tables' ;-}. They are the little plastic things that some pizza places use to keep the top of your pizzas from hitting the box. There are other ways I use them too ... maybe I'll do a posting on them sometime ....

       Everybody gave the chicken fajita meat burritos a "thumbs up / keep the recipe / make them again" rating :-D The only recommend change came from my husband. He does not care for lettuce baked in things. "Leave the lettuce out and serve a salad on the side". Noted! ;-} This time, I had just served them with chips and salsa - yes they too were leftovers.

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:

~ "Tuesday is Food Day", hosted by Byron, at 'A Lord, A Lady, and a cute little Princess' (http://byroncyndi.blogspot.com/) .
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", hosted by Jen, at 'Balancing Beauty and Bedlum's' (http://beautyandbedlam.com/).
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Tightwad Tuesdays with Canada Girl", are hosted by Mary, at 'Raising 4 Godly Men' (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/canadagirl).
~ "2nd Time Around Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Diane, at 'A Picture is Worth 1,000 words' (http://diane1876.blogspot.com/), (now true, they usually aren't featuring food - but this is made from 'leftovers' o;-p)

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Monday, January 25, 2010

ways to entertain children

    Back on Oct. 5th, 2009, my 'Mexico friend Jen' did a posting about entertaining young children for a long period of time. I had left her a bunch of additional ideas, as well as saying that I would be adding my post later ... to which she had replied, "Cheryl, these tips are awesome! You should just link this as your homemaker monday post! Thank you and I will be using these ideas!"
     While I didn't do so that day (link to my comments), I did store the idea away to do 'sometime' as one of my 'Hopefully Useful Tips' on Monday's (again, not an actual linkable to "Theme Day", just a thing I do). This then is the designated Monday for that particular stored away idea.

"Ideas I have used for similar situations in the past:

~ Make your own 'rope necklaces' - which they then turn around and eat ;-} Use THIN rope licorace, Cheerios, Fruit Loops, dried fruit with a hole punched in the middle, etc..

~ Portable tape players with head sets, a variety of kids cassete tapes. Some kids want to make sure they've tried every single one. By variety I mean - a couple of different ones were church type sing-a-longs, a couple from Disney which contained Disney Movies theme songs, a couple of ones which have stories read on them, etc.

~ Duplo's and Lego's - such wonderful inventions!!!!

~ Homemade (edible) Playdough, accompanied with child size rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.. Parchment paper taped to a coffee table via the blue tape they use when painting cars, works wonderfully!! {if you need the recipe - just ask ;-})

~ "Break time" every half hour. Serve small portioned nurshing snacks - cheese and crackers, fruit, breakfast cookies, etc.. This breaks up the time and they look forward to it. Once they finish one snack, you then start the half hour count down to the next one. It helps to have a timer they can see but not touch, so they can check how much time is left for them selves. Yes, even the 19 months old - show them they have to wait till the arrow points 'there'.

~ Have the Lego's and Duplo's in one back pack, the Playdough in another, the makings for necklaces in another .... then after snack time, they have to put away everything from the previous bag in order to discover the treasure awaiting them in the next backpack ;-} "

That was the end of the ideas I had offered her that day. Here are a couple of additional ones:

~ Kids LOVE making bubbles, whether it be via blowing them through little wands, or making them in a sink. Save and wash out the pumps that come in things such as shampoos, or hand soaps, etc.. Tuck them away to use for 'special' fun times. Make your own bubble solution via: 1 cup water, 1/3 cup DAWN liquid detergent, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Put a double layer of oversized bath or beach towels on the floor next to the kitchen sink. Place sturdy, easy to get on and off of chairs next to the sinks. Fill the sink with about three cups of the above mixture and let them use your saved hand pumps to start creating all kinds of bubbles!!! Make sure you tell them that if they turn the water on in the sink, the bubbles will NOT work right!!! Hey, it is true :-}

~ Colored Macaroni. The kids ages determine what they can do with the colored macaroni. Older ones can make necklaces using yarn. Or glue them into picture patterns. Younger ones can use a muffin pan to sort them into color piles. {if you need the recipe - just ask ;-)}

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Happy Homemaker Monday('s)", are hosted by Sandra, at 'Diary of a SAHM' {SAHM = Stay At Home Mom} (http://familycorner.blogspot.com),
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Mom2my9, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Boo scores again

     As you by now know, Boo loves to play. Play as in the interactive type. The interactive type as he desires more than just a little bit of your attention a-n-d he wants to (ab)use a whole lot of your energy. And he is VERY persistent in pursuing play time when he wants it!!! Oh yeah!!
     Last evening he wanted to play. And he had come to me in pursuit of play time. Often he comes to me knowing I cave into him easier than others do. And currently he has also been coming with questioning sad eyes, 'why won't you really play with me anymore'? Hard to explain Vertigo to a dog, and how tug of war with him makes me all kinds of dizzy and spinning and while I really do enjoy playing with him, right now I just can't handle doing so. Yeah, hard to explain to a dog.
     So after quite a few of his repeated attempts to get me to play last evening, I said, "Brent's here, go get him." He did turn his head and glance Brent's direction, but then just looked back at me. Bother. This happens a LOT! And very often ends up going no where. But I tried again anyways. "Brent's home tonight, make him play with you Boo!!". Benson was also encouraging Boo likewise.
     Boo then glanced Benson's direction, then back at me, and then with a couple of big lopes, rounded the end table trunk and sprung onto the couch beside Brent, putting his face right into Brent's. :-p The rest of us started laughing!! Brent said, "What do you want, huh?!" and sort of pushed Boo away. The thing is, that is often Brent's opening line to wrestling with Boo.
     But instead of backing off and growling at Brent as he usually does, with a big leap Boo lounged forward, landing with his feet firmly planted in Brent's lap, his face facing me, and his tail whacking Brent in the head ;-b. Our laughter definitely increased in volume!!!
     Boo won! Brent could not still watch the show with Boo attacking him such ;-p He's such a smart dog :-D

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Friday, January 22, 2010

"Called Byron - funny story there!!!"

     Back on Dec. 4th, my posting was tittled, "'sort of' catching you up -" and near the top I had written, " I decided to 'sort-of' catch you up with what all that's been going on in my (still) crazy life, via a sketchy outline. You know me, this is just a sketchy outline, I WILL be telling you lots more details about parts of it (hopefully) soon."
      I admit that I am way to good at leaving you hints about things, with the promise of more info. to follow, and yet never actually doing so. I truly have been working at changing that habit!! If you go back and read that posting, you will notice that several of the 'promised' things actually have been posted about. :-D. Yes, there are also several which have not, but I AM working at it!!
     Today's posting then, is about one of the promised ones. It was under the section, "~ Wednesday, Nov. 25th - " and stated, "Called Byron - funny story there!!! ;-p Didn't finish prep work, chose to play instead o:-D"
      That evening I was definitely in a jolly mood. After all, I had been on a date with my husband that day (:->), I did have a good start going on what I wanted to fix for our Thanksgiving dinner, and my 'out of town' kids were coming in. It was a jolly great night!
      After having helped Brian dig out the guns, I went back to the kitchen to work on more dinner prep. But I also decided to call Byron and see what time they thought they would be heading out. I know that sometimes it depends on predicted traffic at certain time slots, and other times it depends on Miss Analyse's temperament that particular day. Well, actually, it's usually a mixture of her temperament and the fact that her car seat has to be in the back seat, facing the back of the car. Two downers as far as she is concerned. Actually three. First is the car seat. W-a-y to confining!!! And it does not bounce!! Second is that it has to be in the back seat. She wants to be really close to where ever you are!! Thirdly is facing the back seat. B-o-r-i-n-g!!!!! And she can't lean quite far enough forward to see out the side windows (again with the confining issues), And even if Cyndi sits back there beside her, well, she doesn't just let Analyse out when Analyse notifies her she wants out. Not acceptable!!!!
     So I dialed his number planning to inquire when they'd be heading here. But I was in a really jolly mood, so when he answered his phone I asked, "are you here yet?!!". He had sort of snorted and said, "We're on our way, but I just hit really bad traffic., Can I call you back?" "Sure".
     Not four minutes later, through the kitchen window, I had seen Brent pull in. Thus I didn't turn around when I heard somebody come through the back door. I mean Boo was greeting him. ;-p . But then Brent said, "Umm m-o-m" so I turned. Standing beside Brent was Byron and Cyndi, who was holding Analyse. :-D !!! :-> !!! :-) !!! :-} !!! Can you tell I was thrilled?!!!!! {Brent just happened to arrive home at the exact same time they pulled up - God and his humorous timing ;-p)
    Turned out that they had JUST pulled onto our exit ramp when I had called him ;-p. They had wanted to come early and surprise us, and then I called .... so he 'faked it' ... "will you forgive me for lying to you mom?" Their beaming smiles along with their actual presence made it okay, "this time" o;-p.
    But then Analyse was beaming at me too :-D !!! Usually it takes her a bit to warm up again .... so how could I just go back to prepping food? o:-} We played!!!! An ever so thankful grandma, a thrilled to be free of her car seat granddaughter, and a relieved daughter-in-love. A wonderful evening!! That was also when we introduced Miss Analyse to her BoUnCiE seat. Good times!!!

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about filed under "the grandchildren"  - true, we only have one so far. No, there are no more currently on the way. But someday ....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

another Boo story ~

     We all know that animals communicate with one another. Both in-species*, like dog to dog, as well as inter-species**, such as cat to dog. And we also know that animals communicate to humans***. But have you ever wondered about what an animal in a movie**** is actually saying?
       An example of in-species* is how you hear your dog bark at the neighbor's dog, and that dog barks back, responding. Or how you hear some dog in the distance bark, and then you hear a closer sounding dog bark, and then your dog barks, which is followed by a dog barking in the other direction from whence the original barks came, and then a bark even further away in the new direction barks, and you shudder because your sure that means Corella De-ville is back in town (;-p).
      An example of inter-species** is vividly played out in our house via Rascal continuing to hiss at Boo, as well as doing stunts such as walking less than an inch from Boo, yet crying hideously when Boo turns and approaches him to investigate/sniff/ try to coax Rascal to play, thus attempting to place all blame on Boo. On a couple of occasions, Boo has turned and low in his throat, said something which has usually sent Rascal scampering either up the stairs or under the table.
     Many people 'swear' their animal/pet(s) talks to them***. Rascal will sit at the top of the steps and start saying "H-E-LL-O?!?!!!", repeatedly, rising in volume till he either gets a response, or continuing till he gets the response he is after. MOST annoying at two a.m.!!! 8-/ . The 'Funniest Home Videos' TV show is continually featuring peoples pets talking or singing to them. Some are cute. Others, well, pass.
     We know that the animals which play roles in TV shows and movies**** are trained to bark/meow/whinny/whatever at particular times. But I've often wondered just what exactly it is the animal chooses to say during those times. I mean, are they actually saying something in their animal language that other animals can understand?
     Rascal will occasionally look up at the TV when there is a meowing cat on it, other times, he can't be bothered. (yeah, typical cat). Boo on the other hand usually does at least cock an ear in the direction of the TV when another dog is on it. Sometimes he starts barking madly straight at the TV, as though he is arguing with the one on it. There have been times that after hearing a dog on the screen start barking, he madly rushed towards a door, loudly informing us there is a problem. We're always curious just what exactly the TV dog has declared. But the other night, well, it was amusing!
     Everybody except the pets and I had left the house. Balance and dizziness were still HUGE issues for me (they are now down to frustrating issues). I was tired of laying on my right side in bed. I was tired of laying on the couch. I was tired of weaving while standing. Yeah, I was tired of all of it!
     I decided to go up to bed, try propping myself up with pillows, and watch a movie. Yes, I could do that from the couch, but then Boo couldn't easily sit beside me. And he was making it clear that was his desired place!!!
     Since I couldn't decide which of my movies I wanted to watch, I chose a two dollar rental fee one off of U-Verse. I settled down, Boo cuddled in, Rascal left the room, all was calm and good.
     The movie had a dog which appeared frequently in it. A large sized dog. Always appearing to be all wound up due to one of the human characters activities. The first couple of times, Boo started to rise while looking at the screen with a concerned expression. {Yes, this dog of 'ours' definitely does expressions!!! Very much so!!!} But after a brief moment, Boo would sigh and cuddle down again. After that, he barely even moved his ear when the dog was barking. But then, quite a ways into the movie, after the TV dog had been on numerous times, yet been totally ignored by Boo, the dog was on again.
     This time however, Boo responded. He sat straight up looking at the TV. Boo cocked his head one way, then the other. His ears were tilting every which way, like he was trying hard to adjust his antenna to better pick up what was being broadcast. After what seemed like a couple of minutes of this, he sat still, with his head tilted to one side, his ears standing tall, but wearing the most comical of bemused expressions! After a moment, he turned and looked back at me with the most confused / quizzical expression on his face. I replied, "I don't know". He gave me kind of a little scowl, then returned to the exact same position and expression as he had had while facing the TV. Whatever the dog in the movie had been saying, had made totally no sense to Boo what-so-ever!!!! I found it v-e-r-y funny!! My laughter made Boo even more confused. That in turn made it even more comical to me.
      I'd like to insert a tip here. Do NOT let your head move while laughing when you have Vertigo. Seriously!!!! Takes the fun right out of it!!! 8-/
     Thankfully, Boo very willingly forgives you if you pull him close and start cooing at him while petting him :-D (that's a bonus tip in case you ever have cause to need it ;-p).
      I am still curious though as to what exactly the dog in the movie had been saying at that particular point in the script. Curious indeed!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"your time is coming" ;-p

    There was an email in my in box this morning, from my husband. When I opened it, I saw that he had actually just sent me a copy of what he was sending to Byron and Cyndi (our son and daughter-in-love). He had written "your time is coming" in the subject line. O-k-a-y.
    I started reading, and chuckling, and chuckling, and chuckling!!! The only reason I was not laughing right out loud, was due to Brian being asleep in the living room, right around the corner from where I was chuckling to the point, I had tears running down my cheek's.
    Last night when I headed up to bed, I was debating which thing I was going to post today. Those things are still 'on hold'. I know that to not share a good laugh, is just wrong. Actually, it's depriving others. And I sure don't want that on my record!!! ;-p Enjoy -


By W. Bruce Cameron

My eyelids snap open at exactly twenty-two hundred hours, responding to an inner alarm that sounds whenever a daughter is out on a school night. Curfew has darkened the land, and any children caught outside the perimeter are now subject to arrest and the torture of telephone deprivation.

I pad down the stairs to my daughter's bedroom. Every light is on and her stereo is blaring, sure signs that she's not home. It is now two minutes after ten o'clock, and normally I'd call 911 but those people got surly with me last time because I phoned it in as a "possible child abduction" due to the fact that my daughter's date wore an earring.

I glance out the window and freeze: The boy's car is in the driveway.

Well okay. I flick on the outside lights, helpfully flipping them on and off a few dozen times so the occupants of the car will know what time it is.

There's no reaction. I peer at the vehicle, but the windows are dark and pitiless, coated with the light mist that is falling. What are they doing out there?

Well, that was a bad question to ask myself! I try another burst of light-flicking just to give myself something to do, but I know the only way I'm going to be able to settle this matter is to go out there, knock politely on the window, and spray the two of them with the garden hose.

I'm not garbed for such a diplomatic undertaking--I have on a pair of pajama bottoms and nothing else. What I need is some protection against the elements, something waterproof. With chains and hooks hanging from it. And grenades.

Okay. I open the coat closet and discover where my son put all the junk last time he cleaned the living room. I could try my own bedroom closet, but I don't want to take the time. For my bare feet I find a pair of duck slippers--big, puffy clunkers with plastic duck heads on them. There are no umbrellas, but I do find a hat--one of those hunter caps with ear flaps that tie under the chin. This one is an incandescent orange so that fellow hunters won't think that maybe they ought to open fire on the thing wearing the ear flaps in case it is a deer. The hat is so bright it seems to be giving off its own light--I look like a cross between Elmer Fudd and a road flare.

Naturally, even though I am searching through a coat closet in my house, none of my own coats are available. I finally decide to struggle into one of my kids' old jackets, a nylon job with a picture of Daffy Duck on the back. I have something of an outdoors motif going.

I survey myself in the mirror before heading out. Regrettably, the tight hem of the jacket falls a couple inches short of bridging the gap to my pajama waist, creating the odd illusion that my stomach sticks out in a roll of belly flesh. I toy with the idea of tying the ear flaps under my chin, but decide not to go that formal. I grab a flashlight and step out into the rain.

I'd forgotten that my duck slippers quack when I walk in them, which threatens to ruin the element of surprise. Actually, it is less a "quack" then a "wheeze," as if the ducks are lifetime smokers.

I  bang on the implacable car windows, wait a moment, and then yank the door open, the car alarm splitting the night air.

No one is inside.

When I get back into the house, my daughter and her date are standing in the kitchen, looking concerned as I quack in out of the rain.

"Hi!" I call cheerfully.

"I just needed to use the telephone..." the boy stammers uncertainly. With a quick glance back at my daughter, he scampers out of the house.

"Oh, Dad, how could you do that?" my daughter demands, whirling and bolting from the room.

I stand there in the middle of the kitchen, scratching my head.

How could I do WHAT? "

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Monday, January 18, 2010

cookies - the edible kind ;-p

     I did 'some' baking a week ago last Thursday. 'Some'? Okay, I did a LOT of baking that Thursday. I'll explain.
     Insert here -> Notice I did not say I'll " 'splain". That's because this time, this 'Lucy' isn't in any trouble what-so-ever o:-}.   Hey, it's not that uncommon 8-/ ....
    That Wed. evening, I had returned a phone call to Paula H. (our church secretary). She wanted to know if I was available and willing to help her with the meal the church was providing for Pastor Gordon's family between the two visitation times that Friday. Yes.
    She had also voiced concern, hoping that people would rise to the occasion with donating cookies for during the visitation times, and how they were expecting about one thousand (yes - 1,000) people total to attend them. She had only heard definitely from a couple of people ... but hopefully many more would just bring them.
    That Thursday morning I got up rather early and headed to GFS. I was going to bake up a lot of cookies. If they ended up not needing them, no problem. We are doing the food for the middle school snow camp now next weekend and could just tuck some of them away till then. And Byron had called while I was in the midst of baking, and he's r-e-a-l-l-y hoping a whole bunch of them would be left so they could head his way. And the 'in house boys' were hoping certain ones would never even leave here. 'Too many cookies' wouldn't be a problem.
    I called Brian that Thursday evening, shortly before the first visitation was to start. Brandon had stopped by and before he headed off again, was wondering if I needed anything run out to 'dad'.
    Brian had forgot to take nicer clothes with him, when he had left the house very early that afternoon and was glad Brandon had offered. A-l-s-o, 'did you get any of that baking done yet? Because there was only about six or seven plates of them in the kitchen last time I checked, probably not even enough to make it through tonight.'
    Yup, I had cookies done. I quickly loaded them up into containers and sent them off.
    "Okay Lord, what other kinds can I make out of what I have on hand?" I had choc. chips on hand, but didn't really want to use them for this, so-o many people usually send that type.
    And the ideas came.
    I had already made oatmeal butterscotch chip ones, and oatmeal raisin ones. Then the idea came to make my chocolate chip recipe, but instead of adding chocolate chips, use both the whole and particle institutional sized containers of sprinkles we had on hand, which had been left over from doing ice cream from something. They turned out oh so pretty!!!
    And then an idea came for another type. But I'll tell you more about them in a minute.

    I have often wished I had a large rolling rack like the caterers and camp have in their kitchens. But there is absolutely no room for such an item in this house. Not at all. So for years now, I have improvised. This is a wooden bench my family was given many years ago by the elderly lady whom had lived beside us in our first MI home. Years later my parents gave it to me. We use it at our table. Many times it's occupants have squeezed together to get one more person at the table! As you can see, it also makes a wonderful baking rack!!! Across the top is for pans waiting to go in. Once they come out of the oven, they go on the bottom. After there are four pans cooling on the bottom, the two cooler pans are then emptied onto {stacked onto} my wire cooling racks.


     The racks are meant to be stack-able. But sometimes, well, the legs just aren't long enough to actually be stack-able. ;-p (The racks sit on the counter, I just moved them to the bench for picture taking)

      So what are the 'green' cookies? Brian asked the same question when he came through the door that night. This is the note I handed him.

     He busted up so-o-o hard, and then said, "Well, I guess that explains that ;-p. Care to explain any further? ;-b "
     See, it went like this. I wanted to make Laurie W.'s recipe for butter/sugar cookies which I like so much. But they require three hours of refrigerating after mixing the batter together. But I needed to get them done that night, and it was already 8:30. So I improvised. Added a bit more of this, a bit less of that, tested the batter, it tasted fine. Okay, these should bake up all right. But I hadn't wanted them just plain white. And I had these various small bottles of colored sugars left over from buying them to get one particular color. {You know, back before I learned that Michael's carries larger sized bottles which they sell individually. Also back before I read 'Tightwad' Mary's posting of how to make it yourself .} So I had added them in place of some of the white sugar. I had added two bottles of the green and one of the blue. At first it looked exactly like I had imagined. Greenish dough with dark blue specks here and there. Pretty. But by the time I had finished mixing in all of the other ingredients, the blue specks had completely disappeared. :-{ So I just added a small bit of leftover multicolored sprinkles. And then, while the cookies did bake up good, they didn't flatten out at all! I had thought they would. Probably should have added a bit less of ... but you can't go back in and remove it! So there, that explains the green cookies.
    For the record, the cookies you saw stacked on the wire racks - well, those did not include the ones I had already sent on to church. Honest. In-fact, the picture only shows just under half of the total amount I baked that day. The total number? Seven hundred and sixty. Yup, 760.
    No, they did not all get used for the visitations. In-fact, hardly any did. Most people just brought their cookies with them when they came for the visitation time. True, they did arrive a bit earlier than the scheduled time for it to start ....
    So we had l-o-t-s of cookies left. Served some for a luncheon that next Monday. Don't tell Byron, but yes, some will be heading his and Cyndi's way (yes, I DO expect him to share ;-p). And next weekends middle school snow camp will be getting some. And ya just never know what else I might decide to do with some. o;-}

     Oh, and the reason I didn't need to 'splain all of this? Because Brian says he takes full credit/blame for it. And yes, he has admitted it to others too. ;-p

I 'plan on' linking this particular posting to:
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Save Room For Dessert Wednesday('s)", hosted by Joy, at 'tHe KrAzY kItChEn' (http://www.thekrazykitchen.blogspot.com/).

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colors and dots coding

      In the 'Monday Tip' posting about "empty prescription bottles", I mentioned that our family is 'color coded'. Then I mentioned it again in the 'Monday Tip' titled " 2 Calendars & a File Box". I 'think' I've written all about it sometime in the past ... ? ... but didn't come across it while scanning back words through July of '09. Therefore, even if I have posted about it before, it was long enough ago now that it's okay if I do so again. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;-p)
     Back at the time that I originally started our calendars system, I did everybody in the same color, just wrote their name by the event. But sometimes that pushed a particular day's square from rather full to squished. After some thought on it, I bought a pack of multi-colored erasable markers and assigned one color per person. That worked great!!! 'The boys' could tell by just a glance if they had something going that day. And via the color coded method, they could tell that way before they were capable of reading what exactly was written in their color! They liked that!
     Seeings how that worked so good, I started implementing it to other areas of our life as well. Every time I bought new toothbrushes, I searched for 'their' colors! The small sized back packs they had for 'travel' (toys when they were young, CD players and Cd's as they got older ...) were also in each person's color. The perscript. bottles I put that day's pills in on the counter, were also marked accordinly. Etc.. In-fact, I took it to the point of color coding every-body's socks.
     Yes, their socks. Once a year, when the good brands were nicely on sale, I'd buy up new socks for everybody. No, I didn't just throw their current ones away ... I waited till they had holes to do that. But some from the previous year, never made it until the new years supply arrived anyways. 
     Shortly after all of the new ones were bought, I'd get out all of the appropriately colored spools of thread, and a good pair of scissors, and a needle, and put all of the new bags in (a) paper grocery bag(s) by my chosen seat, and while either watching a favorite movie, or listening to some preferred music, I'd start marking socks. On one corner of each and every sock, I'd do five or six stitches, super close together, of the color of the person that pair was intended for. Yup, it took/takes a bit. Thus the movie or music. Oh, and a glass of Pepsi ... o;-p
     But this method had proved itself worth the time and effort after having done it that first time!!! A basket of underwear and socks to 'fold'. W-A-Y easier when matching socks up by color!! Oh yea!!! And on the 'rare occasion' (8-/) when you find a pair just lying someplace, it's pretty easy to tag the guilty party.
     While this methodology worked great on socks, it wasn't as effective on the inside bands of underwear. And some of their colors hardly showed up at all on the inside bands of certain colored clothes. Bother!
    Then one day my friend Becky VW called, a-l-l excited (she is the mother of five sons). She had just heard this most wonderful idea on the radio show she was listening too, and KNEW I would want to start doing it too!!! She was right!! After she told it to me, I got as excited as she was and thought of another mother of several boys we should share it with.
    The idea? The 'dot system'. Seeings how we had only boys, we went to the fabric store and bought permanent fabric markers in bright pink color. Then we started marking the inside labels/tags of all of our sons clothes. The eldest son got one pink dot applied inside the back wait bands of all of his underwear. And on the inside of the collar/neck, of all of his shirts. And all of his pants. And any and every thing else clothing wise that was his.
    Then two dots were applied to all of son number two's clothing.
    And three dots to son number three's.
    And four on son number four's.
    And Becky did five on her fifth son's .....
    What a wonderful difference that made!!! Folding clothes and putting them into the right piles got ever so much easier!!! :-D
    And when an item got passed down to a younger sibling, you just added another / or more dots. Bonus!!!
    Our boys tell the story about how one time up at I think it was a snow camp, the counselor was hollering over the top of everybody, wanting to know who's pair of jeans a pair was he'd found on an empty bunk. Somebody asked him if it had a name stitched on the inside. He'd answered "no, but it does have two pink dots on the label ?!!???" About half the guys there answered, "Then it's either Benson's or Luke's."
    Between two VW brothers, and two B. brothers, and some VW cousins, and some B. cousins .... yeah, everybody knew how the system worked. ;-p
    And it's still working.
    As a matter of fact, Brian and I gave all four of our sons matching coats for Christmas this now past year. Why? No, not so they'd all match. Rather, they had all commented (re-peat-ed-ly) about how they would like to have a short waited/elastic waisted, hooded, heavy, work type coat. Well, shortly before Christmas we found them on sale. Down to half price. And we could top that, since they were at Meijer's and we got an additional ten percent off due to Benson working there. :-D A definite 'sign' in our book!
    But they only had them in two colors - tan, and this grungy looking gray. Blah! But we needed three XL's and one L. Hum mmm. They had them - in stock - at the same Meijer's - all in tan, and yet it was the end of that weeks sale.. What are the chances?!!! A definite 'God thing'!!! So all in tan is what we went with. And when I started to explain why all the same color to 'the boys', they declared that part didn't bother them in the least!! (:-D !!) Brent went and got a black permanent marker and was going to put four black dots on the inside, right above the zipper on the inside pocket. But then he decided to just stick with "B4". But that way, when he went to grab a cot, he could verify that he had his own. And the others followed suit. Nice!! (<- Not the 'Onslow' type ;-p)

    All of that then is what I'm talking about, when I refer to either 'color coding' or 'the dot coding' system(s). All of you are more than welcome to copy them. In-fact, you are encouraged to do so!!! Yup, it helps t-h-a-t much!!!!

I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", hosted by Mom2my9, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).

~ "Tightwad Tuesdays with Canada Girl", hosted by Mary, at 'Raising 4 Godly Men' (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/canadagirl).
~ "I am Blissfully Domestic", hosted by Kim (from 'Up North Mommy'), at 'Blissfully Domestic' (your life, your bliss) (http://blissfullydomestic.com/i-am-blissfully-domestic/).

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

dizzy !!!

     o/~ "I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning" o/~, quite like a tilt-a-world on top of a merry-go-round. 8-/ Yeah. Definitely NOT my kind of a ride!!! NOT AT ALL!!!
    Yes, I again have Vertigo. I had it back in August, and of course (o;-}) I posted about it then .
     What is Vertigo? It turns out there are little 'stones' (yes, that is the medical term for them) in your inner ears. They (at least are suppose to) sit down in this little pocket. They help you maintain balance, etc.. So yes, people whom naturally don't have very good balance, might have smaller sized stones, or some such.
     Well, mine have not stayed sitting in their little pocket. Yes, I have "a stone loose". And yes, "I'm a bit off balance". And yes, "I'm a bit sloshed". And yes ... Can you tell what type of lines I've been dealing with this week? I've also had my loving caring husband stand beside me at the funeral service and start slightly swaying side to side. And I've had people put one finger up in front of me and start slowly moving it like a pendulum. And ... . I am yet again feeling Rodney's pain - "I get no respect". ;-p
     Around five a.m. Tuesday morning, I had been laying in my bed with my brain rushing a mile a minute about things I wanted to post. So the logical thing to do, would be to get up and go write the thoughts down, right? At least that's what I had thought .... but gracious, during the night somebody had definitely done something to the world!!! Goodness!!! I wanted to just stay in bed, but somebody had notified my bladder that I was getting up ... 8-/.
     I weaved my way to the bathroom, then back to the den. While I'm up, and since all of my lower organs are not handling this spinning very well (in other words - it was now also affecting my stomach, etc.), I might as well start typing, right?
     I didn't even get signed on to my sign on screen. I weaved back to the den door way, and sat. Then grabbed a bucket full of misc. stuff which was (thankfully) sitting nearby and managed to dump it's contents onto the floor just in time. Then crawled the two feet to where my purse was sitting on a bench and called Benson via my cell phone.
    "? Hello ????!!"
    "I'm in the dining room. I need help"
    "I'm on my way!!"
     Immediately I heard him coming down the stairs. :-D. And he helped me back to the bathroom. But then he didn't help me the way I wanted him too. Yet according to Debbie G. he did exactly the right thing.
     See, the day before I had (yet) again hit my head, twice. How? Oh never mind. L-o-n-g story there. Just suffice it to say it REALLY hurt! Benson was v-e-r-y concerned that my being so dizzy and sick was due to a severe concussion. So while he wouldn't help me back up to bed, he did help me to the couch. But he wouldn't let me lay down on my retrieved pillow, he insisted I needed to be propped up with it. And he would not let me go to sleep!!! :-{ That IS what I desperately wanted to do!!! But he sat on another couch and would occasionally talk to me. Debbie says he did it exactly right ....
     I called the Doctor's office and left a very detailed message. They called back, the doctor (of course) had a couple more questions. They then diagnosed it "Vertigo" and called in a prescription. Oh, and in the meantime, your not to drive for at least three days. And ... . And ... . Blah.
     They said that the "popping" I was feeling in the top of my head, mixed with how sometimes it felt like part of my brain just fell over, mixed with both dizziness and tilt-a-world symptoms, all fit "Vertigo". "Nice". (For those of you familiar with Hyachine - that "Nice" was an impression of Onslow. ;-p!!)
     I have only been able to be on line for short little visits. Otherwise, yeah. I told Julie E. about how I had started to work at/on the kitchen sink, but that involves looking side to side and it made me so-o dizzy and ... . She reassured me that she usually gets sick and noshes doing the dishes too o;-p. And walking a straight line has been totally out of the question!! And usually Boo is only a small challenge. But this week, gracious dog!
     So I take the little blue pills they gave me (which by the way, are NOT Viagra!! ;-b), and sleep quite a bit, and only lay on my right side (even laying on my back is out - as you start to drift off, your head will of it's own accord turn to the right - NOT good!), and pretty much do absolutely nothing. I have watched a couple of the two dollar rental fee movies available on U-Verse.
     You know all of those postings I had had running around in my mind, they've gotten rather jumbled together. Our Cyndi loves jigsaw puzzles, as does "my" Kate. Perhaps the two of them working together (while eating choc. of course) can straighten them out ....
    Well, my head is informing me it's time to head back to bed ... Hopefully I'll be back soon! o/~ "Here we go loop-di-loo, here we go loop-de-li ...." o/~ far longer than just Sat. night!!!

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Monday, January 11, 2010

the last three words

     Yes, today is Monday and I usually post some type of a "hopefully helpful tip" on Monday. No, my "hopefully helpful tip('s)" are not an actual participatory "theme day", though you are welcome to make it into one on your own blog should you so desire. {Let me know if you do!} They are always just various 'tips' that I link up to any of the actual Monday or Tuesday "theme day's" where that week's might fit in/apply.
    And yes, today's posting is about one particular tip. One which I think is highly important to stay focused on. But it's not the 'usual' type of 'tip' I share. There are also a few other things I should tell you about today's posting right off the bat:
     - Today's posting is going to be long. {But I really encourage you to take the few minutes it will take to read through it!!!!}
     - Today's tip has a whole lot to do with coping with life. Life happens. Regularly. Lately, far too frequently. Today's tip is about coping with that.

     Not that long ago, I shared with a friend about how important it was/is to stay focused on the last three words. M-A-N-Y of us quickly cite the beginning of the line - "I can do all things through Christ". And yet the beginning without it's all important three word ending is futile. In actuality, using the beginning of it without also heavily applying the ending, is setting oneself up for definite let down and/or failure.

     Above, I mentioned that Life happens far too frequently. Today is only the tenth day of this year 2010. What a ten days it's been so far!! Golly!!!!!

       ~ Pastor Gordon died on January 1st of this year. Both of our families started attending the same church, on the same day. His, as new pastor and family. Mine, as new parishioners. That was back in ' 67. I knew it had been a l-o-n-g time ago, but actual numbers/dates sure can be surprising, can't they?!!
     Before coming to that church, he had not only pastored other churches, but he (and his wife) had also started Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya. A camp I grew up attending. First I attended it as a camper, then as a camper and as a Jr. Counselor in the same summer(s). Then as a Sr. Counselor. Later I returned as kitchen help while a son was a camper. And then more times as kitchen help, which morphemed into 'head cook'. And not only during the summer. But averaging out to two weekends a month year round, during retreats, etc..
    After coming to our church, they started Maranatha's Day Camp. I attended that too. As a camper and then as a Jr. Counselor. And then as an adult I returned there with my sons as well.
    Pastor Gordon was 85 when he died. And yet he was anything but a "do nothing little 'ole man". My gracious no!!! The family shared the story about how just this past fall he had been up on his roof removing all of the leaves. The ladder hadn't stayed up, trapping him up there, with out the cell phone they had harped on him to always carry. In the end, he had jumped the three feet over to a sturdy looking tree and shinned down - with out obtaining a single scratch!!!
    Yes, there are things from his life which I could share that prove he was an imperfect human. But I'm choosing to remember the love he blessed so many of us with. The shining real person example he was. The 'work right along beside you to get things done' style he exemplified. And the fact that he stayed focused on those all important last three words!!!
    But my heart is heavy in knowing he shall never again bless me with one of his eye contacts and smiles like he did the last time I saw him, walking out during the service the Sunday before Christmas, while carefully monitoring those whom were helping his wife walk out. {His wife from his youth. They had been married just three weeks shy of 63 years, and yet were regularly spotted about town holding hands, and sharing warm loving glances.} Man was I ever floored when I learned that he was the one they had taken straight to the hospital!!!

     ~ On Thursday, Jan. 7th, Benson was told that "in keeping with store policy, we're going to have to dismiss you". Yes, he was fired. In the second meeting with the store manager over something he had done. "Something" being a technicality. But also could have been a misunderstanding. Misunderstanding what exactly the fellow employee had said for him to do. But something which the manager stated she had told him was a 'never do' on the day she had personally interviewed and then hired him - didn't he remember it?!!!
    No, he didn't. First of all, he was very nervous during that interview. Secondly, this particular thing had to do with cashiering, and he was being interviewed and hopefully hired on as tech support. And thirdly, they never covered it again. Nope, not even during the short little cashiering training they gave him before he was put on a lane due to the holiday busyness.
    So now all four sons are un-employed. Two were permanently 'let go', the other two were "hopefully only laid off". Yes, Brian and Cyndi both (at least) currently still have their jobs. But Cyndi's mom doesn't. And one of her sisters is still off on a medical leave due to when she had been rear ended in a car accident. ...

     ~ When Brian came through the door after church yesterday, he asked if I had been on line yet. I had earlier in the day. But the expression on his face and the build up of tears in his eyes told me that I had not stumbled across what ever this news was. Help!
     {insert here -> I had done yesterday's posting while I had been on line during that earlier time. Yesterday's posting had/has nothing to do with these events. Or at least the reason(s) I posted it didn't. It's totally about other things. ...}
     No, it was not Pastor Gordon's wife as many of us have feared. There had been a snowmobile accident during the night, and a nineteen year old girl had been killed. WOW!! I had just shared beaming smiles with her the day before during the life celebration ceremony for Pastor Gordon. WOW!! I have know her mother since my high school days, and we are still definitely friends!!!
    My heart dropped. Even further. It was already so heavy....
    And the pain compounded when my brain registered that the girl's mom and one of Pastor Gordon's daughter's have been (still are) 'best friends'. And that one of Pastor Gordon's grand daughter's and the now deceased girl were very close friends.
    Today is only the tenth day of this year 2010. What a ten days it's been so far!! Golly!!!!!
    That's why I must NOT loose sight of those last three words!!! What are they? Like I shared, the beginning of the line is - "I can do all things through Christ". The last three words are "who strengthens me".
    Without doing it in His strength, I can attempt to do things. I can attempt to deal with these losses. The losses of dear to the heart friends. The loss of yet another son's job. But without doing them in His strength, the chances of Satan winning in my battle with depression is almost a given.
    But if I constantly and continually focus on the line as a whole - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", then I shall make it. Plain and simple. Why? Or is that How? Because Christ will then, moment by moment, give me the strength that I need to fight Satan and his shoves towards depression. Christ is the source of strength. The type of strength to deal with / cope with life. In His strength, I can do all things.
     I can not imagine going on without it. I am ever so glad that I don't have to. If you do not know that you can access His strength, send me an email. I'd be happy to talk about it more with you, and hopefully show you how too.

So today's 'tip' was not the usual type of 'tip('s)' I try to share on Monday's. But hopefully you will still find it very useful!

I am 'planning' on linking this particular posting to:
~ "Share Your Life Your Blog", hosted by Sarah, at 'Real Life' (http://www.reallifeblog.net/).
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Miracle Monday('s)", hosted by Beth, at 'A Mom's Life - Just taking it one day at a time' (http://beth-amomslife.blogspot.com/).
~ "Happy Homemaker Monday('s)", hosted by Sandra, at 'Diary of a SAHM' {SAHM = Stay At Home Mom} (http://familycorner.blogspot.com).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", hosted by Mom2my9 (Jen), at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).

~ "Gratituesday('s)", hosted by Laura, at 'Heavenly Homemakers . com', (http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/).

I hope all of the hosts think this was an okay 'tip' to share.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

my view -

 I would much rather give God the glory,

than to believe in coincidence.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"I get no respect" ;-p

     My eldest niece came by last evening, to hang with B2 for awhile. You know, talk, play video games, be silly together. Excuse me - the son says that guys in their twenty's don't do "silly". Hum mmm ... guess it depends on your perspective. o;-p
     Both of them had invited me to come in and "hang too", once I got done with the cookies* ( * 'nother story/posting there). I knew that they both knew I had no intention of playing their game with them, but their laughter was inviting!
     At one point on the nieces half of the TV screen, her video man was wading into the water. She quoted a line from some movie to B2, which meant absolutely nothing to me, yet they both found very funny! I reassured them they didn't need to 'splain it. She then questioned where she (her character) was ... Looking at her screen I said that it reminded me of the islands off of Hawaii. She shot me a quizzical look - like how and why would I think that? I asked her if she had ever watched "Magnum". With her face all scrunched up quizzical like, she shook her head and said, "No, who's that?!" B2 inserted, "it's a guy on one of mom's favorite TV shows, played by one of her favorite actors, Tom Selleck". Her face got even more quizzical as she said, "Who's he"??
      "He's tall, dark haired, good looking ... um mmm ... have you ever seen the movie 'Two Men and a Baby"?, I asked.
      "Only a few parts of it ... is he the one with that over sized kind of creepy mustache?" B2 EXPLODED with laughter, while sticking his fist out in her direction. She shot me a "oh no, I'm in trouble here look" but with full laughter struck his fist with hers. Geesh!
       B2 expounded further, "Yeah, we're (as in the brothers / my irreverent sons) convinced that the reason he can be shot so many times and yet never die, has something to do with a protective shield provided via his mustache. We bet that if you shaved off his mustache, he'd be the biggest wuss ever." (I told you those boys are irreverent!!!)
      Both of them were now laughing grandly. I cast both of them "a look" and stated, "I get no respect!" (Rodney Dangerfield - I feel your pain! ;-p)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the BoUnCiE seat

     Back on Nov. 20th, I had told you about visiting the consignment shop called 'Once Upon A Child' while on one of our 'date day Friday's'. Click HERE if you want to see that particular posting. Yes, it was on our xanga site.
     In that posting, I also promised you that later I would post pictures of our purchase. This is 'later' you know o;-p
     About ten minutes after they arrived here at the end of that week, we put Analyse into her new seat. She had only slept a short while en-route here, and ab-so-lute-ly  h-a-t-e-s being confined in that car seat for very long!!!! She views the thing as a torture seat!!!!! !!!!! I think it is compounded (not only for her, but for many of our young ones) by the fact that until she gets quite a bit bigger, her seat must not only be in the back seat, but it must also face the back of the car. Therefore, all she can really see is the back of the back seat. And the way she is strapped in, she can't lean forward enough to look out the side windows. B-o-r-i-n-g!!! You mix total confinement with that much boring and you get a most unhappy child!!! 8-/
     Once she gets free of the seat, especially if she's been in it for more than twenty minutes (and riding here is w-a-y longer than that!), she wants to move, move, move!!!
     Another thing I should tell you about our little sweetheart, is that she is a lot like her daddy and uncles, in the fact that she gets bored with things extremely quickly (and according to the other grandma, she's also a lot like her mommy in this). Oh my goodness does she. It was 'the norm' that something only entertained her or kept her attention for under ten minutes. Then she was all done with it. Period. Gracious.
     So they had only been here about ten minutes when we put her in the seat thing we had picked up. She moved once. Got a quizzical look on her face and tentatively moved again. And then beaming to the max, that girl took off!!! BoUnCiE, BoUnCiE, BoUnCiE .... for fifty minutes!!! Okay, so she did slow down a bit here and there. But she made no indication what-so-ever of tiring of it for fifty minutes. FIFTY minutes!!! We were amazed!!! Grandpa and Grandma were thrilled that their find had scored like that!!! Her parents were passed thrilled when they learned that 'yes, they could take it home with them'. :-D We just asked that they give it back once she out grew it. They too got kind of bouncy ;-p
     And as for the out-growing it part. The frame is adjustable. It can be set to four different heights. It should last for a while yet. ;->
     When I was there after Christmas, I was totally amazed with how high that six month old girl gets that thing going! Gracious!! She is so-o-o-o strong!!! And there is no denying that BoUnCiE, BoUnCiE noise. Grandma Connie says she can always tell when Analyse is in the thing, by the type of noise coming down through her ceiling ;-p. She told me that she also always says, "That other grandma knew what she was doing when she bought that thing!! :-D W-a-y better than hearing her screaming!"
     I knew that Analyse enjoyed the thing, but just how much she does was made apparent one morning. I had gotten her up, changed her, gotten her dressed, played with her in my arms a bit, etc.. Then she started bouncing a little in my arm. Okay. But then she leaned in front of me looking me straight in the face. I grinned. She moved back and bounced some more. Then leaned forward looking me in the eyes again. She then again moved back, bounced harder, stopped, and leaned forward looking me in the eyes. "Aww ... okay, Grandma gets it, you want to be put in your bouncy seat." She turned her head towards her bedroom door, anticipating us leaving the room. That girl is just too smart for only being six months old!!! She is going to keep us on our toes!
     {Yes Byron, I realize that as of the 4th of Jan. she is now seven months old ;->}
     We went into the kitchen where the bouncy seat currently was, and off she took, beaming ear to ear. So adorable!!!
     Okay, I've talked long enough. Wait. (o;-p) I had forgot to take pictures of the seat, or her in it, when they were here at Thanksgiving, so I took these when I was there after Christmas. Now for the pictures.

Watch out world, I'll be driving soon ;-p

     The toy she is chewing on did not come with the seat. Her smart parents linked them to it. There is no hesitation what-so-ever in her eye to hand (to mouth) coordination. Yup, she keeps us on our toes, already, gracious. ;-p

For the record, Yes, I filed this under the label "the grandchildren". And yes, we currently only have one. And no, there are not any more currently 'on the way'.  This grandma is just sure that someday, there will be more. some-day .... Yes, I can wait. Honest! Right now I am having no trouble following Paul's advice in being content with what I have o;-p

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yesterday -

     Yesterday turned out to be "one of those day's". You know, one of those that made me very sorry I had gotten back out of bed. Remember, I originally had been up super early ... then went back to bed. I had then slept wondrously. But shortly after getting back up, things just started unwinding ... and heading the wrong direction ... and going from challenging to being in tears .... and I went from not just snapping at people - but S-N-A-P-P-I-N-G at people .... and then not just being in tears, but out and out crying .... and it seemed like I could not do even one single little thing that I was suppose to do right .... and 'circumstances' were interfering left and right .... and ....
     I won't bore you or bring you down with all of "the details". I know you 'get' what I'm talking about. In-fact, I know that at least most of you will admit to having been there yourself before.
     Last evening someone asked me about it. I just answered, "I'm clinging to "it came to pass! It didn't come to stay, it came to pass", and I'm ready for it to pass right on out of here!!!!"
    The person had chuckled from their heart and said, "Cling to that!! We've all been there! May it pass soon!!!"

    Before heading up to bed, I had stopped at the computer desk. My eyes were drawn to a book sitting on it that Robin P. had given me quite awhile back, and yet for whatever reason, I had not yet started reading. Honestly, I know the reason - God's amazing, wonderful, provision filled timing. He is just so-o cool!
    The name of the book? "Through the Rocky Road and into the Rainbow Sherbet". The subtitle reads, "Hope & Laughter for Life's Hard Licks". Hum mmm do ya think that fits? Like I said, God's timing is amazing. And yes, I had been pondering fixing a bowl of ice cream. o;-p
    Oh, the author of the book is 'Laura Jensen Walker'.
    I had it in my possession as I headed upstairs, and yet I was seriously questioning how much of it, if any, I would actually read last night. Why? Quite a length of time spent fighting tears, crying, c-r-y-i-n-g, and then back to fighting tears, makes for weary tired eyes. Wasn't sure they could even handle reading.
    But then, God had pointed the book out to me, right?
    Okay, I'll at least read the introduction. I read the introduction another author had written. Then I read the authors introduction. And then ... well, I ended up reading the first six chapters last night. The word laughter being in the subtitle is very appropriate!
    In the book, the author shares tales from her life. But the tales are always told from a humerus perspective. You know me, I LIKE that! And yet while I was laughing, I was still getting the points she was using the stories to make. And she includes these wonderful quotes from varying sources both before and after every chapter. And she ends each chapter with a reference to some type of ice cream that totally ties in with that chapter. Very creative! And yet also still very realistic. I love seeing God's whit and humor via the talents he has blessed his people with!
    I also appreciate the encouragement he gifts us with through those same sources. He is just so amazing!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blog news

~ I am both honored and yet rather embarrassed to tell you that I was featured yesterday by one of my blogging friends named Jen. Via blogs, I have met and interacted with some really wonderful / real people. 'Real' as in they don't put on pretenses to glorify their lives. But also 'real' as in they really do exist. :-}. Certain males in this family (actually, I think it's been all of the males in this family 8-p), have teased me about whether or not my 'blogging friends' really exist, or whether they are just made up people. I have tried (although my attempts have not been totally successful) to reassure them that "my blogging friends really are real people, not just figments of my imagination as some of your friends have been o;-D".
     While I have met and interacted with a lot of people, there are a few which I have actually struck up friendships with :->. Two of them just happen to be named Jen. So in conversation (yes, in real life, I talk about my blogging life friends o;-p) I refer to them as "Jen from Mexico" and "Lipstick Jen". "Jen from Mexico" is an American living in Mexico, and the name of "Lipstick Jen's" blog is 'Lipstick and Laundry'. You can click on the names I refer to them as (in parenthesizes above), to link straight to their blogs ;-}.
    P.S. here, your being able to link straight to their blogs via that method, is a blogging first for me. :-D :-> I finally understand the 'how to' that people had told me, as well as got brave enough to ... always scared of shutting everything down / goofing everything up ... .
    As I started to tell you, I am both honored and yet rather embarrassed to tell you that I was featured yesterday by my blogging friend 'Jen from Mexico'. Honored that she chose my posting about different uses for pastry blenders to feature for her "Yours" section of her "Homemaker's Monday's" "theme" day. {You can click on the words "pastry blender" above, to take you straight to that particular posting of mine ;-)}. The "rather embarrassed" part is actually combined with more of the "honored". I am rather embarrassed and yet definitely honored by what she said about me personally. Definitely both. Click HERE to go to the posting of hers that I am referring to.
     While your there, make sure you click on and read the comments left for that particular posting. :-p

~ Recently while I was visiting Byron and Cyndi (aka: B1 and C2), I had Byron help me look into and then set up our new blog site via blogspot.com. While I like our xanga site, and have learned how to set things up on it all by my little ole self (;-p), via emails I have heard from numerous ones that xanga is not 'visitor friendly'. In other words, other people whom visit my blog can not easily leave me comments. You know me, I love to talk (o;->), and no I don't always want it to be one sided conversations!
    Byron was the one whom originally set up our xanga site for us. Originally, it was so that we had an easier method with which to communicate with and get information out to all of our "part time kids". Then it grew from there into oh so much more. And as you know, I got to where I really enjoyed it. And yet I, like 'Johnny 5', "need(ed) more input". {;-p}
    So with Byron's help, we looked into a blogspot blog site. Turned out that they too were free. :-D. Definitely an important feature ;-p. He totally understood how to set it up, explained everything to me as we went along, and didn't get upset when I'd say, "your going too fast", or "slow down", or "regular English please". What a blessing!! THANKS Byron!!!
    Another important feature is that blogspot blog sites are much more 'visitor friendly'. Anybody can leave comments on a posting, whether or not they personally have a blog site of their own. If they don't, all they have to do is start a "google account", which is so easy I had already done that all by myself (o;-p). {Also, (another great feature) is if somebody crosses the 'dumb line' and leaves an offensive comment, the blog owner has the ability to delete that particular comment :-)}
    And yet another important feature is that any and every body can sign up/subscribe to get notified when you post new postings. They don't have to have a blog site of their own to access this feature either. I like that.
     Later in the same day that Byron had helped me set up our new site, he told me that he had just started a site for them as well ;->. I figured those of you whom know them "in real life" might be interested in visiting their site too. Then again, those of you whom just feel like you sort of know them due to my talking about them, might be curious and want to visit them too. Here then is their new blog site: "A Lord, a Lady and a cute little Princess" (click on their blogs name to go straight to their site). I LOVE the name he gave their blog!!!

p.s. - the heartburn pills I took when I got up due to that burning problem have now kicked in, so I'm headed back to bed. So-o-o glad I no longer have to get kids up for school in another couple of hours!!!!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

wrapped prettily

     When "our boys" were young, they thought that wrapping gifts was "stupid!!". "You buy paper, or use the paper from dad's work, buy tape, take the time to wrap it up, which in the end only takes that much longer for us to get to the present. Dumb. And then the paper gets thrown away any ways. Double dumb."
    So we went to putting their gifts inside paper grocery bags, and they had to carefully un-staple them so I could use the bags again ;-}.
    Over the years, different uncles made comments about how guys didn't care if their presents were wrapped or not, and they really didn't need bows. "But if you are going to bother wrapping them, use the Sunday comics as your paper, so at least we can read them. ;-p".
     But the grandma's didn't approve of that idea,and we don't get the paper delivered, so we stuck with wrapping paper, just omitted bows.
     Grandma's and aunts always appreciated prettily wrapped presents. How they would ooh and aww over them, while the guys would be rolling their eyes. ;-b! And then the year that we followed our 'in house' tradition with girlfriends, we learned that it was fine to keep giving "our (now grown) boys" gifts in paper bags, but the girls preferred actually wrapped gifts.
    And so it is done.
    Way back when, my father-in-law provided me with end rolls from the paper mill he worked for. A huge printer machine (can't think of it's proper name / terminology) prints off of these huge rolls of paper. However, it always causes trouble if the machine operator lets it run to the very end of a roll, so they would change the rolls before that point. However, there was still quite a bit of good paper on those rolls! So my father-in-law brought home some, and I used them for all kinds of things. After he retired my husband worked for awhile at a place that also had similar machines, so he continued providing me with paper. Nice!!
     The rolls were white paper, and I used them for gift wrap (just add pretty ribbon, or twine for more down home style, or have the kids use stencils to color themed pictures on them, or what ever hit my fancy for that occasion). But I also used them just to let the kids color on (one time in fact, when I was heading up watching a larger group of kids during the adult practices at church, I used duct tape to attach the paper along the cement brick walls of one of the church rooms, used a marker to divide the papered walls into sections, and the kids had a blast being allowed to "draw on the walls" ;-p We then cut the sections apart and sent them home with each child - easy clean up!). And I wrapped it (the paper) over zip-lock bags to store certain meats, etc. in the freezer. And on the uses went.
     Now-a-days, I no longer have access to those rolls, so I had to start actually paying for gift wrap. You know me, ever the "frugal to the max" one. So I'd wait till a week after Christmas and buy up rolls of paper when it hit 75% off or more. And I always scanned clearance bins, and if I stop at garage sales, and I followed a tip I saw on some blog (sorry, do not at all remember which one, or I would give the appropritat credit!) and found that rolls of wall paper work great as gift wrap! You can often pick those up at Goodwill, or garage sales, or even in clearance bins.
     If I happen to get good deals on seasonal gift wrap, I use it for the appropriate season. But if I don't, no big deal. You can pretty much use lots of different solid colors of paper and just use ribbon if you want them to look seasonal.
    And of course, the ribbon too I only pick up when it's very much on sale!!! Anytime I enter a Jo-Ann fabrics, I check their clearance bins!!! As well as when I go to some place such as a Michael's store, or even Big Lot's. And I don't only buy seasonal ribbons. Just cleanace priced ones that I'll be able to use 'sometime'.
    Below is a picture of the gifts which were headed to the out of town relatives this now past Christmas. Even though all of the paper and ribbons were a few years old, I think they still made up pretty gifts!

     You can sort of see that there is something red in the middle of the white bow on the silver package (I forgot to instruct the person snapping the pictures for me while I hurridly got dressed, that I wanted a closer up shot of that .... sorry!).
     A couple of years ago I got inspired (yeah, hang on). I kept spotting these seasonal lapel pins at the missions stores. While I never bought one if it was priced over a dollar, I did nab a whole bunch of them. I then started pinning them onto the middle of the bow for grandma "honey" and a couple of the aunts gifts. The oohs and awws increased greatly!!! The pins added a personalized 'zing' to the gifts - all for super inexpensive prices. Bonus!!! Bingo!!! ;-p
     Grandma "honey" then made the ones she'd been given into a display of sorts, on a small bulleton board in her front entry. But then grandpa "honey" took advantage of them. He pulls (different) one(s) off on Sunday's and uses them as tie tacks :-D While Grandma still is unamused about it, people at church have been complimenting her on grandpa using them ;-p!!!

      Your 'assignment' (o;-p) is to start looking for papers and ribbons that you too can use to make prettily wrapped presents. And yes, you are most welcome to also use the lapel pin idea ;-} And yes ("Aunt" Billie), soon I will show step by step instructions on how I make my bows. I will share however, that it is the "easy cheat method" (<-- as one woman told me once, and she wasn't being complimentary. Aw well, I still use it and like the end results ;-p).

I 'plan' on linking this posting to:
~ "Make-Do Mondays", hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).
~ "Happy Homemaker Monday('s)", hosted by Sandra, at 'Diary of a SAHM' {SAHM = Stay At Home Mom} (http://familycorner.blogspot.com),
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", hosted by Mom2my9 (Jen), at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Make Your Monday('s)", are hosted by Kim, at 'Twice Remembered' (http://twiceremembered.blogspot.com/).

~ "Tightwad Tuesdays with Canada Girl", hosted by Mary, at 'Raising 4 Godly Men' (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/canadagirl).
~ "Make it from Scratch", are held at 'Make it from Scratch ... Where creativity and frugality intersect'. (http://makeitfromscratch.blogspot.com/)

previous blog site: www.xanga.com/thehousethatlovebuilt
current blog site: http://thebzhousethatlovebuilt.blogspot.com