Friday, August 31, 2007

Flapping Lips

There are some days when I feel like I can say something over and over - until the cows come home - but the kids ain't hearing a word of it. Like... "chew with your mouth closed Eli" ...or "you're too close to the TV Savannah" ...or "you have to write your 8's the way the math book is showing you - you can't do it your way Jacob" ...or "quit screeching Seth" ...or "i'm on the phone, you can't ask me now, can't you see that i'm on the phone?" It's like they look at me funny 'cause my lips are moving, but nothing's coming out. I think the fancy word for this is Selective Hearing. But let's be honest, as grown-ups, we have selective hearing as well. There have been times when Chris has been telling me some extremely important football statistics and my thoughts were in a whole different dimension. And there are also times when I sit down to have my devotions when my thoughts are busy on what I need to do after devotions are over. That's why God tells me, "Be silent, and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10)" Be still in the presence of Jesus ... and listen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Free Lunch?

If you just want to have some fun on the 'net, you should check out Bid4Prizes. It is a fun reverse auction game where the lowest unique bid wins the prize. And the cool part is that anybody can bid on these items, but no one has to actually pay! Bid4Prizes even pays the shipping/handling if you should be so lucky as to win the auction. There are multiple free gifts, sweepstakes and cash prizes. And even if you don't win with your bid, you get "tokens" for each bid you make that you can use to play in their arcade - where you accrue points that you can save up to "cash in" for other rewards. Their site is very user-friendly and easy to figure out.
The only thing I can't figure is where does all the money for their prizes come from...unless it's from the ads on their site. Standard membership at Bid4Prizes is free, but if you want to play with no ads, then you pay a small monthly fee. Since I tested it out before writing this, I put in a few bids. I'll let you know if I win...

brought to you by your friends at Bid4Prizes

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Blanket Ache

The other morning, I greeted Jacob as he came stumbling out of his room. "Good morning, buddy. Did you sleep good?" In a sleepy voice, he replied, "Yes. Except that one time I woke up in the middle of the night because I had a blanket ache on my legs." A blanket ache? That's a new one for me... He followed that comment up with, "I think it might have been because my legs were growing, but it felt like my blanket was hurting them." Yes, it probably was growing pains; Jake's been waking up with those off and on for years.
Then I started wasn't the blanket that was making his legs hurt, but that's what he thought. Have I ever had what I thought was a problem or an issue - and it turns out that it wasn't the real problem or issue at all - it was actually something else? I know I have. There have been times when I've been angry with someone because of something I thought they did or didn't do to me, while in reality, I'm just majorly sensitive because I've got worry, fear, bitterness, etc. inside of me. Chris is good at knowing when something is bothering me - even before I can put my finger on what the issue is. I've learned to take his word for it, ask God to show me what it is that I need to deal with, and then resolve whatever issue I'm facing. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right (2 Timothy 3:16)."

Tag - You're It!

I got tagged by Drea...

Here are the rules: You have to post these rules before you give the facts. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

(I'm going to cheat and use my screen name instead of my middle name...)
E - Extra. I almost always need extra sour cream at a Mexican restaurant.
L - Lemon. I like lemon in my sweet tea or iced water.
I - Ice cream! I love ice cream, any flavor... I like to eat it plain, with toppings, and in my mug of hot chocolate or coffee!
S - Summer. My favorite season...with my favorite holiday - 4th of July!
A - Asking questions. I'm not afraid to - that's the only/best way to get answers!
R - Roast beef. That is my favorite lunch meat, but I also like honey ham, too.
O - Olives. Black ones are definitely yummier than green ones.
S - Shopping. It's so much fun to find the best bargains!
E - Easter eggs. The only kind of Easter eggs I like to eat are the candy ones!

And here's the ones of you that I'm tagging:
3 Magic Oranges
And if you have a blog that I haven't mentioned, please leave a comment...I'd love to visit!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Rock and a Hard Place

A Jacob Quickie Quote:
Jacob sat down to watch the football game tonight after church. He asked which teams were playing so that he could pick one to root for. I told him the teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. He must've heard me wrong, because he replied, "The stealers and the evils? Oh, man, they're both bad guys!"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Car Speak

We switched our car insurance company last year to one that could save us lots of money. Well, recently with the addition and deletion of a couple of cars/vans on our policy, their billing system has been very wacky. So Chris told me to shop around again - for an automobile insurance policy that has better billing service and that still has low rates. One of the questions that insurance companies ask is if you've had a ticket or a traffic accident within the last five years. Chris has had a ticket and I have had the traffic accident. So we don't usually get the best rates!
One automobile insurance company that I just heard about is Advantage Auto Quotes. They sell all types of car insurance - including policies for students, bad driving records and good driving records. They might even have better rates than what we've got now... So I'm headed over to their site to get my insurance quote online!!

*brought to you by your friends at

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Work At Home

I recently found out that I can make money by blogging. How cool is that?! All I have to do is apply at Blogsvertise, get accepted, then they will send me a list of products/companies to write a post about. I don't have to endorse the product, just mention it, relate it to life, or even complain about it. Then Blogsvertise pays me the moo-lah! So I am in the application process right now. But don't worry, I will continue my regular posts, since that is the real reason I started this blog in the first place!

Legend of the Deranged Camel

A long time ago, in the country kind of near here but not really, there was a tribe of people who lived in cabins and tents. There were old people, young people, mommies, daddies, babies, boys and girls who lived in this tribe. In one tent, there lived a little boy named Joshua and a little girl named Sarah. Now all the children in this tribe loved animals. Joshua and Sarah had a pet dog and a pet cat and a pet mouse. One day, there was a big thunderstorm. As soon as the thunderstorm passed, a scared man came running down the road, hollering, "AAHH! I saw it! AAHH!" Joshua and Sarah said, "What did you see? Why are you so scared?" The man said, "AAHH! I saw the Deranged Camel. It was big. It was white. It had red eyes. It had drool coming out of its mouth. It only comes out during thunderstorms. And if you get close to it, you will disappear. AAHH!" And the man went running and hollering down the road. That night, Joshua and Sarah put their pet dog, pet cat, and pet mouse to bed. They looked down the road, and thought they saw something big and white. They ran as fast as they could into their tent. In the middle of the night, there was a thunderstorm. The next morning, when they went to their pets, the dog was gone! They spent all day looking for the dog, but it had completely disappeared. That night, Joshua and Sarah put their pet cat and pet mouse to bed. They squinched their eyes as they scurried to their tent so all they could see was a blurry shape with red eyes across the field. And that night there was another thunderstorm. When they got up the next morning, guess what? Their pet cat was gone! Now only the pet mouse was left! Joshua and Sarah spent the whole day searching for their dog and cat, but they had competely disappeared. That night, Joshua and Sarah tucked their pet mouse in bed. They ran as fast as they could into their tent with their eyes squeezed shut. And later that night, there was another thunderstorm. In the morning..., you guessed it..., their pet mouse was gone! Although they spent all that day looking for their dog, and cat, and mouse, they were nowhere to be found. Their pets had completely disappeared. Joshua and Sarah were very scared that night, but there was not a thunderstorm. There was not anymore thunderstorms while they lived in their tent in the country kind of near here but not really. Wait...did I just hear some thunder??

Supper in the Dark

It's been so hot around here - between 95 and 105 for the last several weeks. Well, the other day, one of those big afternoon thunderstorms that come in August blew through right at suppertime. I was cooking "breakfast" for dinner; the grits and fried potatoes were halfway cooked and I was going to make the scrambled eggs as soon as the potatoes were done. Enter the storm and the power is OFF. So I kept the lids on the grits and potatoes so they could finish cooking with whatever heat is left in the burners, and pawed through the refrigerator for something more to accompany the meal (since we couldn't have eggs now). At the same time, the kids are frantically digging through toys to find their flashlights and Chris is getting candles out. We sit down to have a candlelight supper - and tell scary stories... We each take a turn. Chris tells about when he was a boy on a camping trip and saw a hooded figure crossing a bridge at night. Jacob tells about a skeleton wearing a ghost costume (as if a skeleton by itself isn't scary enough!). Savannah elaborates on Jacob's story. Eli tells about a monster biting in the closet. And I tell the legend of the deranged camel that only comes out during thunderstorms, and if it gets close to you, you might disappear! We had a great memory making time! And the power came back on right after supper was done!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Contest Entry

I haven't done this before, but Drea is having a contest on her blog, and the winner will win $75 worth of stuff from Playskool. I would personally like to win one of the sippy cups because all our sippy cup lids are all chewed up! So if you'd like to enter her contest as well, follow this link to Fina' Drea.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

In Her Steps

As I grow older, I find that I understand a lot more about my mom. Why she did, said, and acted certain ways. And I find myself doing some of the same things. I vividly remember thinking that when I grew up and could be on my own, I would live in a high-rise apartment overlooking a major city, watch TV all day long, and melt and eat caramels to my heart's delight. Now that I am grown up and on my own, I realize that childhood dream was unhealthy, lazy, impractical and impossible! I understand now why she made us eat healthy, learn good manners, do household chores, and be nice to others. And although my methods and lifestyle may be different than my mother's, I am trying to teach my own children the same basic things. One of the things my mom did was homeschool all four of her children. She started when I was in 5th grade and her youngest was 2. Today, he has one more semester left in college. And I find that, due to certain circumstances, I am going to follow in her path and start homeschooling Jacob for 1st grade (my youngest is 11 months). A lot has changed in 20 years - curriculum, education philosophies, schedules, fads & trends, support groups, opportunities - but there remains one constant. We want the best for our children; and will do whatever we need to towards that end.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Instant Cows

Have you ever tried to explain where instant milk comes from? I mean, really, we all know that milk comes from cows in the form of white liquid that we drink. So how does the milk turn into powder? And why would people want it to be powder? I explain that powdered milk is really just milk that's been dried and when I add water to it, it turns back into real milk. And people want it to be powder because it keeps longer that way. Why do we buy milk powder instead of buying "store" milk? Because of the price tag! I can buy a box of powdered milk that makes 20 quarts (5 gallons) for 10 bucks. That's $2 a gallon. I haven't found regular milk for $2/gallon in years. And my big family can go through a lot of milk! Personally, I don't care for the taste of powdered milk, but when I start talking about the savings, it starts to taste a lot better!
P.S. Elijah is the only one who doesn't drink cow milk. He drinks soy milk; don't get me started on the price of that!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Breath of Fresh Air

Elijah is having another "asthma" attack. I put that in quotations because he has not "officially" been diagnosed with asthma since he is only 2 years old, and that is too young to give him the lable of asthmatic, according to his pediatrician. He started yesterday wheezing and coughing - which continued all night - and now into today. He tolerates his nebulizer because of the relief it gives him. We wonder what triggered this attack. Could be the poor air quality in the atmosphere, or the 30 minutes we spent yesterday morning playing outside (the neighbor's cats are constantly in our yard), or there could be mold or mildew somewhere, or maybe there is an unknown allergen causing this. Ugh. I question why does little, funny, happy, mischievous Eli have to have so many health issues. But at the same time I rest in the sovereignty of God. He loves my Eli much more than I do, and whatever His plan is for Elijah's life, I can trust Him. Jesus tells me, "I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid (John 14:27)."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grocery Store Pit Stops

We took a family shopping trip to Food Lion. They have these really fun carts that the kids can ride in with "cars" in the front of the buggy. Eli and Savannah got to ride up in the "race car" front while Seth sat in the usual seat in the buggy. Jacob is too big to ride, but no problem! Every time we stopped to pick up a grocery item, he would run around the "race car" doing a 4 tire change and fuel. As Chris would start pushing the buggy again, Jacob would pump his fist in the air with the imaginary gas can and yell, "Go, go, go!" On one aisle we happened to pass another family with the "police car" buggy. The little girl riding in the "police car" was rubbing her hand carefully over the sticker "wheels" tricking her ride out with some fancy rims. It's interesting to notice the family influences when I watch children play. I hope that what my children learn from our family's influence is kindness, honesty, patience, integrity, courage, wisdom. "...Encourage the young men to live wisely in all they do. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching (Titus 2:7)."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kitchen Ants

I realize that I seem like I've been on vacation since I haven't posted in quite awhile. But, believe me, it's been no vacation! We were given a lot of garden vegetables - and I've been busy snapping beans, grating zucchini, slicing tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, and generally canning and freezing anything that looks like it would belong in a salad in the kitchen! I showed Jacob and Savannah how to snap green beans; they thought it was really fun, especially because they were allowed to eat the beans as they snapped them! Jacob says that we have so many pickles now that when we eat them all, we're going to get fat and then have to hibernate for the winter. I don't think you can get fat from pickles...can you? I told Jacob that we were being like the ants in Bug's Life by preparing our food in the summer to be able to eat in the winter. He thought it was really cool that the Bible tells lazy people to watch busy ants. "Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter (Proverbs 6:6-8)."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Celebrate Good Times - Come On!

My mom recently went to a wedding shower where each guest was invited to give the bride-to-be a piece of advice. Mommy asked what advice to give; I told her to tell the girl to "Have fun being married!" When Chris and I were engaged, most of the advice we got was serious advice about various issues that might come up and try to ruin our marriage - all good advice - but NOTHING was said about consciously having fun being married. I was even told by a well-meaning person, "Marriage is just basic survival!" So I talked to my mom tonight and asked how the shower went. She told me that everyone else's advice was very serious. One lady had even told this bride-to-be that "Marriage is not about happiness, it is about holiness." How dismal to say something like that at a party celebrating the fact that this girl is getting married! Marriage IS about holiness and growing closer to Jesus. But it is ALSO about happiness and joy! The Bible talks about spouses rejoicing in each other and about celebrating marriage numerous times:
* "Rejoice in the wife of your youth" - Proverbs 5:18
* "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favor from the Lord" - Proverbs 18:22
* This whole book is about a bride and groom reveling in each other - Song of Solomon
* "I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!...I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels" - Isaiah 61:10
* Jesus attends a wedding celebration and even miraculously provides more wine for the party when the supply runs out - John 2
* "They will say it is wrong to be married...Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts. For we know it is made holy by the word of God and prayer" - 1 Timothy 4:3-5
* "Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a huge crowd,...: 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself...' And the angel said, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.' "-Revelation 19:6-9
* The wedding/celebration of the bride of Christ and the Lord - Revelation 21 & 22
The ladies at this shower love the bride-to-be very much and want the best for her. But I think it is vital to enter a marriage knowing about and being prepared for not only the tough times ahead, but also the joys, fun, laughter and sweet companionship that God intends us to have. Passion and Purity, by Elisabeth Elliot, is full of wisdom and advice about living a holy happy marriage! "Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God (Jim Elliot)." And I would have to agree wholeheartedly!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Veggie Webs

Last night I finished up some quilting and put away all my quilting tools, but left the sewing machine set up on the sewing cabinet (in the living room) so it would be convenient to sit down later on and sew again. Fast forward to this morning... I am helping Jacob get a few things together for his new memory box, when a giggling Elijah zips past me. Out of instinct, I reach out and snag him - then I see why he's so giddy with happiness. He has pulled the thread from my sewing machine and gone twice around the loop of living room/dining room/kitchen, hooked the thread around the recliner, fireplace, and back to the kitchen to entangle the exersaucer! My 2 year old son has effectively spider-webbed the house in the space of @ 15-20 seconds.

At lunch we had a bowl of raw vegetables. Of course, Eli asks for a tree. Chris hands him one while I gently explain that it's called broccoli. Eli looks right in my eyes and declares, "It IS bwoccwi, but it IS a wee (tree)." He holds his "tree" with both hands and asks, "Wheere is da buhd (bird)?" No birds, Eli. It's broccoli. Eat it. He points to a spot on top of his "tree". "Dere (There) is da baby buhd." Good grief. Next he lines up 5 pieces of cauliflauer (also trees). Now he looks up and says, "Aftah da monkey eats da wees, he will eat a dabbot (carrot). I a monkey. Ooo ooo ahh ahh!"