Saturday, December 27, 2008

Me and my MP3

My husband bought me an MP3 player for Christmas. It's so neat! (I know, I sound like a 13-year old) I can download songs to my heart's content as well as pics and videos and also have the option to listen to the radio. Now I can listen to Rick and Bubba, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity without torturing my kids (or worrying about Rush saying a bad word every once in a while). So far I have about nine CD's worth of music on it, but no pics or videos yet; I'm still trying to figure out how to do that stuff. Also, I'm not really sure what sort of videos I want on the thing. My daughter liked mine so much that she spent most of her Christmas money on one for herself. She got a different color so we wouldn't get ours mixed up. I told her I didn't want to plug into one and hear Hannah Montana - lol! I know you're wondering what music I've chosen to put on my MP3 player, so here's the list so far:

  • Josh Groban - Closer
  • Josh Turner - Long Black Train and Your Man
  • Eddie Money - Super Hits
  • The Doobie Brothers - Extended Versions
  • Kansas - Super Hits
  • America - A Horse With No Name (and other hits)
  • Martina McBride - Greatest Hits (my husband chose this one, I don't really like it)
  • Tom Petty - Free Fallin' and I Won't Back Down (just the singles)
  • James Taylor - Greatest Hits

I plan on adding Eagles, Third Day, Celtic Women, Elvis and more. I have a coupon for one free download from Wal-Mart. I can choose from "millions of songs"! That's a bit overwhelming, actually. How am I supposed to choose from "millions"? *sigh* I guess I'll be searching for quite a while today. Any suggestions? Oh, and what did you get this year? Before I forget, I want to mention something that really made my Christmas. It wasn't a gift, but a note that my daughter wrote to me that went along with the gift she gave. She wrote, "I love you and thank you for all you do for me". That brings me so much more pleasure than any old MP3 player. My son was also sweet in that he gave me a $5 gift card to Starbucks (he used his own money). Does my son know me or what? ;0) My kids are such a blessing. God is so good!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I made it through another Christmas

Well, there's another Christmas without Mom under my belt; that makes two now. It came and went rather smoothly. My dad and brothers came over Tuesday night. I made a couple of Mom's recipes - a chicken casserole and home-made rolls, along with sides of green beans, corn and mashed potatoes. The preparation lasted longer than the actual dinner and visiting. Later than night I cried. Christmas Eve my husband worked, but the kids and I went on to visit with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins anyway. Today we spent Christmas with his parents, sister, brothers and their kids. It was nice, but when my brother-in-law and his wife were leaving to go to her parents house, I cried again. Now I'm home, sharing my pity party here on my blog, watching TV and eating -again! Tomorrow my husband and I plan on taking the kids out shopping. They received money for Christmas and are eager to spend it. I don't relish the thought of waking up early again, but I don't want to be home alone, either. Even though I cried a couple of times, I will admit that this year was easier. I couldn't help but wonder if people in heaven remember those of us left here. I think so, because in Hebrews 12 it talks about a cloud of witnesses. I hope my loved ones remember me. I'm reminded of the song, "I Will Remember You".

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another reminder of why I homeschool

Last night I was watching the History Channel, one of my favorite channels. The show was called "Decoding the Past". This particular episode was discussing the Garden of Eden. Most of the time I really enjoy watching the History Channel, and for the most part I consider their information to be factual. However, when it comes to Biblical matters, they are sorely lacking. Of course this comes as no surprise, but it does disturb me. While discussing the Garden of Eden, numerous times comments were made that suggest the Bible contradicts itself. Historical myths were mentioned and compared to the Bible's account of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. I have no problem with that, except when it is done in a way that demeans the Word of God. In fact, I've taught my kids about the Epic of Gilgamesh. I do so in way that helps them discern truth vs. myth, not to confuse them. Confusion seems to be the intention of this particular show on the History Channel. They made it seem as if the writers of the Bible (men inspired by God)took the mythical stories and twisted them into their own version. In fact, it was the opposite. Satan is the one who twists the Word of God to fit his needs. If a person truly studies the Bible, word for word, precept upon precept, he/she will find the Bible does not contradict itself. In fact, it's amazing to me to this day to see how the New Testament lines up with the Old Testament. The tabernacle, the feasts - they all point to Jesus Christ being the Messiah. No man, especially several men, could accurately write these things without contradictions arising - there's no way! So after watching "Decoding the Past" last night, I was reminded of why I homeschool my children - I want them to know the truth, and know how to recognize it on their own. I want them to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," I Peter 3:15.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

mark of the celebs

Let's see if I can verbalize here what's going on in my head today after reading a bit of "news". There was an article about celebrities and their tattoos. So many of them have tattoos these days. Not only celebs, but your average Tom, Dick and Harry, oh and Jane, Suzy and Cindy, too. I know, that's not news, is it? One of the celebs had a bar code tattoo on the back of her neck - a bar code? Weird. I couldn't help but think of the mark of the beast. I know, you're probably thinking I'm weird, but that's what came to my mind. In years past when I would hear about or read about the mark of the beast and how those who don't have it will not be able to buy or sell life-sustaining food and drink, I pictured in my mind how those WITH the mark would definitely stand out. I mean, not long ago having a tattoo was considered taboo (he! he! that rhymed, I always tickle myself when I rhyme). These days so many people have tattoos that one hardly takes a second glance. So, if in the days of tribulation one doesn't have a the mark of the beast, will it be as obvious as I used to think? Of course it will be noticed to an extent, after all people will be checked, but - oh I don't know what I'm trying to say.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend

Whew! What a crazy weekend it was for me. You see, I was on a search committee for our church to find a children's minister. Friday afternoon I went to purchase the items we needed for Saturday's church-wide pancake breakfast, which we held so the church members could come meet the candidate and his family. Friday night was a dinner for the candidate, his family and the church staff to meet. Saturday morning was the pancake breakfast. I awoke at 5:30 a.m., which is EXTREMELY early for a night owl like myself. I was there for the prep, the breakfast, the Q&A time and then clean-up. Then I had to be back at the church that evening for a Christmas party for the AWANA workers. Sunday morning rolls around and it's the day of the vote, so I was a bit tense. We have two church services and I was there for both. All went well, however, and we now have a new children's minister! Praise the Lord! But today I feel like the guy from the 80's Dunkin Donuts commercial (this video has an annoying message on it that won't go away). You know, he would be all sleepy-eyed and moping around, tired from having to do the same thing day after day, "Time to make the donuts" he would mutter. Yep, that's me. I'm so physically and mentally tired today that I couldn't even comprehend my Bible reading this morning. I'll have to go back and read it again later when I'm more clear-headed. Tonight I have ANOTHER Christmas party to attend at my husband's fire station. I'll be so glad when this Christmas is over. Whoever called it the "most wonderful time of the year" was demented. I know, I know, I shouldn't feel this way. Afterall, it's the celebration of the birth of Christ. Well, it doesn't feel like that's the reason for the season to me. It appears to be all about gluttony, commercialism and greed! No matter how hard I try each year not to get caught up in that, I still do. It's like a riptide - you just can't fight it. There are a few things I've managed to enjoy so far, though. Our worship leader at church has introduced a couple of old Christmas songs that I've never heard before, and they are becoming new favorites for me. One is called "Sing We Now of Christmas". You can hear the song from this link. We aren't doing the "noel" echo, thankfully! It becomes tiresome to me. Also, the arrangement is different, but you'll still get the idea of the song's "flavor" for lack of a better word. The other is "Pat-a-Pan". You can hear a snippet of the song with this link. However, I noticed the lyrics are not all the same lyrics we've been singing, but the tune is the same. I will warn you that once you hear one or both of these songs you might be singing them in your head all day long.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"turning 40"

Today is my 40th birthday. WOW! I never saw myself being 40 years old. My daughter doesn't understand why I'm making such a big deal out of it. I guess I am making too big a deal, but it just feels weird, is all. When I think of 40, I think of my mom, not me. I've been teased by a few friends, which is fine, I can take it (I can dish it out well enough, so I'd better be able to take it). Then there are those who have tried to encourage me and remind me to be thankful God has given me another year. My grandmother always made the comment, when speaking of her age, that God had been good to her by letting her live so long. I know that's how I should see it, too, but I've always leaned more toward pessism. Well, anyway, as a 'Happy Birthday to Me", I've posted a Mark Lowery skit. He made me chuckle, which is always a good thing. Enjoy.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Second Guessing the Holy Spirit

Well, I have another confession to make. Friday when I went to meet some friends at Starbucks, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to buy coffee for the man standing in line behind me. I told my friend this, and then I started getting nervous, you know, second guessing the whole "conviction" thing. I felt awkward and I worried whether the man would think I was hitting on him or something. Then I saw him talking to a lady beside him and thought that she might get upset with me (you know, if he was her man and all). So, I talked myself out of buying the guy's coffee. I told my friend that later on in the day I would "share the love" with someone else. Well, I didn't. I didn't see another opportunity that day.

Last night our church had a deacon ordination service. The men being ordained were up front and their wives were seated across from them. The leading pastor requested that all other ordained men in the congregation come and pray over the men who were being ordained. While this was going on, I again felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This time I felt that I needed to go forward and pray over the wives (my husband is an ordained deacon). Well, once again I didn't do what I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to do. This time my rationalization was that I wasn't invited to go forward and pray over the women as the men were, so since I'm a woman, I'd better not do something like that. Instead I prayed for the women where I was seated. So why am I second guessing the Holy Spirit? I pray so often for God to speak to me, so when He does, why am I ignoring Him?
I'm currently reading through the book of Hebrews because a friend of mine, Ninfa, is reading through it as well. I thought it would be nice for us to read it together, even though she is way south of me now since she recently moved. Anyway, today I read in Hebrews 3:7 "So as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did'." Again in verse 15 it says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." I feel like crud because I didn't obey Friday or yesterday, when it was my "today". I really hate that I hardened my heart. Thankfully, God is merciful and kind, and will give me another chance. I guess I shared these things because hopefully whoever reads it will be encouraged to listen and obey "today".

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hot Topics

Lately there have been a few blogs that have opened the doors to what I consider to be "hot topics". Now, I'm all for a great debate, but recently for some reason, just reading these posts has been stressful to me. Maybe it's because the holiday season has begun against my wishes, or maybe it's because I've tried to implement a budget at the worst possible time of the year, or maybe it's because I'm about to turn 40 years old. I dunno! But hot topics stress me out these days. So, what are these hot topics you ask? Well, I'm not sure I even want to tell you. That's how stressed it makes me! OK, I'll tell you, but remember that I'm only sharing with you what I've read, and I'm not personally opening the doors of discussion regarding these topics on this blog. If you care to join the debates, I'll share the links with you and you can go to those sites. The first blog hot topic is regarding the recently released DVD "Expelled", which broaches the subject of Intelligent Design vs. Evolution. I didn't comment on this subject because simply reading the other comments physically made me tense. I couldn't mentally relax enough to join in on this discussion this time around (I've shared my views on this before). The other hot topic that was opened up just today is on Santa Claus. Enough said, right? And then there's the potentially hot topic of using i-phones in church. Now, like I said earlier (at least I think I said it), I'm usually not one to run from a great debate. However, for some weird reason(s) I'm just not up to it of late (hey, that rhymed!). What about you, do you jump in or do you run from a 'hot topic'?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Template boo-boos and Christmas movies

OK, I tried to change my template yesterday. Bad idea! It turned out I deleted all the extras I had, so I'm in the process of trying to get things back to the way I like them. I am trying some new stuff, but I'm not sure I'll keep 'em. Thanks to my friends, Dean and Tony, for helping me get my page. I can always count on those guys to help me with technical difficulties. THANKS GUYS!

So, now that Thanksgiving is behind us, Christmas is on the mind. Of course the retail stores were pushing BEFORE Thanksgiving to get Christmas on the mind, but I resisted with every fiber in my being. OK, maybe I didn't really. I'm almost done with the Christmas shopping. While I was hanging out at another friend's blog (Brenda Beside the Sea) I started sharing with her some of my favorite Christmas movies. I thought I would go ahead and spark that conversation here, too. Some of my (our) favorite Christmas movies are:

A Christmas Story used to be one of my favorites until I started watching it with my kids one year and realized how much foul language is in it (one foul word is in the clip, so be warned)! Funny how we don't notice stuff like that until we're surrounded by innocence, huh? What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

Monday, November 24, 2008

In Between

Since I'm in between group Bible studies, I've struggled with what I should be reading in the Bible on my own. I know that probably sounds a bit silly, but it's true. It's saddening to me to realize how trivial, daily things come between God and me if I'm not involved in a structured group study. In the past I've tried to read a Psalm and a Proverb each day, and that helps most of the time. However, this time I've just been getting splices of the Word here and there, you know? I recently received a copy of My Utmost for His Highest, or is it My Highest for His Utmost? I don't even remember and I'm too lazy to go get the book from my bedroom. Well, it's a nice devotional book, however, the Scripture given for each day is extremely minimal, so I don't really feel fed after using the book. Well, this morning I decided to ask God what I should read - imagine that! I believe He told me to read James, so James it is. I've done a precept study on James before, so I'm very familiar with the book, but that was years ago. God's Word is so amazing in that a person can do a deep word-by-word study, and yet STILL learn something new every time it's read! I love that about God and His word! So today, after reading James chapter 1, I'm asking God to help me keep a tight reign on my tongue (verse 26) I know that is one of my many faults. So, what are you working on these days?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

what the?

Anyone know why there's now a 'snippets' thingie on my blog? Where'd it come from and how do I get rid of it? I looked through the "Help" stuff, but didn't see this one addressed. I googled it, but am still confused. I look forward to any advice, but I dread it at the same time because I seriously doubt I'll understand any of it. I don't like my blog being invaded! Has this happened to you before?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fun with Word Verification

Have you noticed on some blogs people are making up definitions based on their word verifications? There are a lot of clever and funny people out there. Let this post be a challenge to you to use your word verification (WF) today. Here's an example of one I did earlier.

WF barbagge.
What happens when your Barbie doll is too old to enjoy. "The girl could no longer enjoy playing with her aged Barbie. Therefore, she threw it in the barbagge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I wanted to discuss what most people may consider to be a touchy subject - re-gifting. I, for one, think that it is perfectly acceptable to re-gift. I mean, if you receive something that makes you think of someone else, then why not pass that gift along? Isn't it better to give than to receive? I think so, and evidently I'm not alone; read this article. So, with all this being said, let it be a gentle reminder to you that if I give you something that looks familiar, just smile and say, "Why, thank you!". I'm kidding, of course. Yeah, that's the ticket - I'm kidding!

Footnote: According to my research, the term "re-gifting" was made popular by a Seinfeld episode titled "The Label Maker". Why am I not surprised?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just so you'll know... are a few things you should know about me.

  • I'm not a morning person. I've tried and tried to change, but it just ain't gonna happen.

  • It might take a while for me to consider you a friend, but once I do, there's no changing it (unless, of course, you're a complete and total jerk, which if you were, you wouldn't be my friend anyway, so the point is moot).

  • I'm not very trusting, so if you tell me something I will probably google it later when you don't know about it. Why I trust google is beyond me.

  • I'm an avid reader, a book to me is great therapy.

  • I love, love, love to sing. It makes my soul skip like a little girl.

  • My children keep me humble. They call me out on things I don't think people notice.

  • I feel like the luckiest woman in the world every time I realize who I married.

  • Coffee and chocolate are two of THE most wonderful things in God's creation. I just know He was thinking of me when He created these heavenly treats.

  • My greatest weakness is sticking to a budget. Just thinking about it makes me want to go on a spending spree and buy DVD's and purses.

  • I still cry during some scenes of the "Lord of the Rings" movies, "Titantic" and "Passion of the Christ".

  • Large crowds unnerve me.

  • I have a short-term memory problem.

  • The piano is my favorite musical instrument.

  • Josh Groban music puts me in a trance.

That's probably enough for one spell. Actually, it's probably more than enough. I would enjoy hearing some things about you, too, so feel free to share in your comments.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Very important post!

I'm having a slight dilemma. I need more checks - but what design should I choose? I know, it's a tough one, isn't it? Well, here's my thought process on my choices: Wonder Woman - I really want the WW checks, but I'm afraid people will think I'm a total dork for having a comic book heroine on my checks (especially if I were to opt for the matching checkbook cover, which looks really cool, BTW). Natural scenery - not quite as exciting and fun as WW, but quite peaceful to look at, which might be good when I'm paying out the wazoo for utilities and groceries. Gone With the Wind - now, this is my favorite movie of all time, so it should be a given, especially since there are 8 different scenes compared to 4 for WW and the nature scenes. I just don't know, too many choices. I didn't even mention the cute Bambi checks or the ever so holy-looking checks with the crosses, or the Thomas Kincade designs! What if I chose the Thomas Kincade designs WITH the Scripture verses?! I'd really look all righteous then wouldn't I?

Monday, November 10, 2008

taking off

We are going camping for one last time this year. Yeah, it's cold, but not as cold as it will be soon. I will not be posting for several days. I know, what WILL you do? Don't despair. Feel free to browse through my older posts... or not. ;0) I will catch up with you all when we return, Lord willing. I hope we can enjoy our last outing. The kids both have colds, so it might not be the greatest. ta ta for now!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church?

I still can't figure out how to show a video here, but I think this link will take you to the video I wanted you to see. It's very clever, I think and I think you'll really like it. Well, maybe not like it, but appreciate it. Anyway, let me know. I should give out a shout out to my friend who showed it to me via facebook. Thanks, friend! ;0)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What have I done now?

Well, I did something today that I swore I would never do again. I offered to teach a class. Yep, I did. Starting next semester I will be teaching 7th-10th grade kids American Sign Language (ASL) for beginners. What possessed me to do such a thing? I have really, really been enjoying having Fridays all to myself from 9-3. Now I've obligated myself to teach in the afternoon. No more "me time", well at least not as much "me time". I have to admit that the reason I decided to do this is because every now and then the crazy idea would come to me, and so today I figured it must be God telling me to do this. Not so much for the kids, necessarily, but for me. Does that sound selfish? I think God wants me to do this so that I can brush up on my ASL and not be so fearful when I plunge back into the Deaf community, which BTW God has been telling me to do again for quite some time now, but I am conviently busy so I haven't done it yet (again with the run-on sentences!). So anyway, there you go.

On a different subject, my husband told me the good news today that 24 will again be on TV November 23rd!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Frugal Frustration

OK, so there are many people who swear by coupons and such. I hear stories of people who use so many coupons that the store owes THEM money at the end of check-out. How in the world? I can't tell you how many times I have tried to clip coupons and save money, only to save maybe a buck fifty, which really I didn't save anything since the Sunday paper cost me that much! So what am I doing wrong? Today I searched several sites recommended to me by a friend. These sites are dedicate to the coupon seekers, the freebie finders and the rebate queens. I even went to the sites they had linked, but ended up so frustrated. The site where you sign up for freebies was a waking nightmare. I had to accept or decline a slew of "offers" and I don't even think I ever got to the end, so I don't suppose I'll get any freebies. It reminded me of when I tried to win all four or five seasons of 24, but never finished the mountain of offers, and I somehow ended up being a member of a dumb DVD club that obligated me to buy a certain number of DVD's at a "discount" and I still didn't get 24 because I never got to the end of the survey or whatever you wanna call it (whew! how's that for a run-on sentence?). Another freebie site wanted me to give them the names and e-mails of four friends. I didn't want to do that, because I wouldn't want someone giving out my information that would lead to extra junk e-mail in my inbox. Alas, no freebies there either. Another thing, I always find the store brand even cheaper than the name brand item with the coupon. Also, most of the items that have coupons, we don't use. I guess it's hopeless in my case. The only way I'll be able to save money is when it's gardening time again. I already miss the fresh vegetables.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Revelation Update

I didn't want to leave you hanging, so I thought I'd fill you in on what the kids and I have learned about the last two churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. Isn't that thoughtful of me? ;0) Philadelphia is a faithful church. They received no reproof from Jesus Christ! How cool would that be, huh? The believers of the church in Philadelphia kept His word and did not deny His name. Jesus promised them that He would make those of the synogogue of Satan bow down to them and know that He loves believers! Jesus tells the Philadephians that He has put before them an open door that no one can shut, so they need to take every opportunity He gives them to serve, tell others about Him. Then the last church discussed, and this one always gets me, is the church of Laodicea. This church, sadly, did not receive any PRAISE from Jesus. Instead He told them that because they were neither hot nor cold, He wanted to vomit them out of His mouth! He told them that they weren't even aware that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. This church really made on impression on the kids (like it has me all these years). Just thinking about making God want to vomit you out of His mouth is a huge wake-up call. At least it should be. Jesus again promised the overcomers that they will sit down with Him on His throne, just as He sat down on His Father's throne. It's amazing how merciful our Saviour is. No matter how far we stumble, He still gives us the chance to turn back to Him. Praise You, Jesus! All of the Scripture I've referred to so far is in Revelation 1-3. As a fun activity, the kids made a model of one of the seven churches. They both chose Smyrna because Jesus had only praise for them. I can see why they chose Smyrna. Next the kids and I will study on what it means to be an overcomer. Good stuff! Well, that's your Revelation recap for the day. Have a blessed one!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Answer me this...

Should someone's belief be challenged even if you already know their answer?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things I just can't forget

I'll try not to draw this post out because it's a downer. For the past few days I have been reliving the painful period of when my mom collapsed from a ruptured brain aneurysm and the followings days in the hospital. These are things I would rather forget, but can't. Naturally I've been really down and out lately. I miss my mom so much it hurts. I miss just being able to pick up the phone and call her for no reason. I miss our Friday shopping days. I miss seeing her in church. I miss her spaghetti. I miss my kids getting to be with her and having her spoil them rotten. She's been gone a year and a half now. It's cliche to say, I know, but it seems like only yesterday and yet it seems like forever at the same time. She was my best friend. The picture is of us in 1989. I keep it on my computer desk.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Revelation Study

I mentioned in a previous post that my kids and I are studying the book of Revelation together. I wanted to share a few more details about this. We are using the Precept Ministry children's study, Bible Prophecy for Kids. It's an inductive Bible study. It is such a joy to share this way of studying God's Word with my kids. So far we are still learning about the letters to the sevens churches of Asia. The first church, in Ephesus, left their first love and were told to repent and do the deeds they did at first. The second church, in Smyrna, was commended for the persecution they endured and were encouraged not to fear and promised the crown of life. The third church, in Pergamum, was reprooved for allowing false teaching to remain in the church. They were instructed to repent. Those who were not willingly allowing this false teaching, the overcomers, were promised to eat of the hidden manna and a new name written on a stone, which only they and the Giver would know (I think that's pretty cool!). The fourth church, in Thyatira, was scolded for allowing sin in their church. They were told to repent as well. The overcomers in this church were promised authority over the nations and the morning star. The fifth church, in Sardis, was commended for the few people who had not soiled their garments. The others were warned to WAKE UP and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die. The overcomers were promised to wear white garments, not have their names erased from the book of Life as well as having their names confessed before the Father and His angels. WHEW! That's where we have left off. I wanted to let you in on some of the observations my kids have had during this study so far. I hope you understand that I am not boasting about my kids, rather I am boasting about GOD and how He helps even the youngest of children to understand His word (even the book of Revelation!). When we were discussing the church in Sardis, I asked the kids what they thought it meant to have "soiled garments". Without hesitation, my nine-year-old son said, "That means you are living in sin and it's making you dirty". WOW! How did he, a nine-year-old, get all of that from my simple question? I expected them to ask me, "What does 'soiled garments' mean?" and then I would have to explain. But he understood without my explaining it! I was amazed. Later on, my 12-year-old daughter asked me, "Is our church like that?" (talking about the church in Sardis being told to "wake up"). I said that was a good question and why did she ask me that. She went on to share with me some observations she has made on her own. I asked her if she had overheard anyone talking that way, and she said, "No, not really". So I have to assume that this is a Spirit-led conviction. I then told them both that we really need to ask God to show us in His word the truth about ourselves and our church. I said that God will answer us if we study and pray. There are a few places in this study where the kids are instructed to draw a picture of what they've learned. This is a copy of my daughter's drawing the description of Jesus from Revelation chapter 1. (I hope you take the time to read this chapter)

I think it's amazing.

I am thoroughly excited about this study and can't wait to complete it. I am humbled by the observations God has given to my kids. I am thrilled that His Spirit speaks so clearly to them and pray that they will continue to grow in His word. I also pray for our church(es) to WAKE UP and strengthen the things that remain before they die.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raw meat and a wild hare

Actually, I'll start with the wild hare thing first (isn't that what you say when you do some unexpected, crazy kind of thing? You got a wild hare?). Well, for some weird unknown reason I decided to clean out my refrigerator, pantry and three extremely cluttered drawers! This has not been attempted pretty much in years - too many to admit to without thoroughly disgusting my readers. Part of my cleaning included throwing away out-of-date items and junk food. I am bound and determined for my family and me to eat healthy food - LIKE IT OR NOT! OK, sorry about that. So the good thing is I now have a sparkling clean fridge and a well organized pantry that no longer harbors Skittles (sorry, Jon), sugar loaded cereal bars, three-year-old Tootsie rolls, Movie Theatre buttered popcorn (sorry, Dean), who-knows-how-old Italian bread crumbs that were waaaaay in the back collecting dust, and generic powdered hot chocolate that was extremely gross but nobody thought to throw away. Oh, and don't forget the five or six boxes of opened cereal that was stale because nobody liked that either. Of course now I have to go to the grocery store to restock, only this time with more healthy alternatives (let's see how long THAT lasts).
And now to the raw meat. Have I ever expressed to you how much I detest handling raw meat? Well, I HATE IT! Tonight I thought I would surprise the kids with hot chicken wings. I thought it would be simple. However, the wings were frozen (b/c this was a last minute decision) and after I thawed them in the microwave and opened the packages I noticed they weren't seperated yet, so I had to cut them apart. YUCK! I cannot stand the feeling of raw meat in my hands, much less trying to cut through bone and cartilage! Then after I get them out of the oven (they were the kind you cook in a bag with the seasoning) and onto the table, I'm not totally convinced that they are all thoroughly cooked. If the thought ever enters my head about uncooked meat, my appetite totally hits the road and doesn't look back. So I didn't eat dinner with the kids tonight. Let's hope my kids don't end up in the hospital from my cooking. If it were to happen, it would be tonight when my hubby is at the fire station. All bad things happen when he's at the fire station.

Well, time to go. The kids are pestering me to watch the movie The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. I've had enough of chicken tonight, but oh well.

BTW, the picture of the dog has nothing to do with the post, as I'm sure you guessed. I just liked it. ;0)

Blogging from the heart

Today I want to talk about how difficult it can be at times to write a post to share. I'm sure all you fellow bloggers out there know exactly what I'm talking about. There are times when I desperately want to let you all in on some struggles that I'm going through, however I hesitate; part of me is concerned that my struggles might be a hindrance to others or even come across as divisive. So, I keep my blog shut! (LOL!) Today is no exception. I am refraining from sharing a rather big issue that's been on my heart and mind for months now. Of course I talk to God about this situation EVERY DAY, but He's making me wait for the answer. Don't you love it when He does that? It's amazing how when I'm doing a Bible study, God is working on that exact topic in my life. Presently I'm studying the fruits of the spirit, so patience is one God is working on with me. Oh, and love, kindess, goodness, faithfullness, and don't forget self-control! The peace one - yeah, that one's still up for grabs in my life, too, but I'm working on it.

Have I said "THANKS" to all of you who come by here to read my rantings? No? Shame on me!
THANKS! I appreciate your comments and input so much. You bring a smile to my face. ;0)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Going back in time - all the way to the beginning

I don't know which trip I should start with first, both trips go back in time. I think I'll start with the first trip, which was a field trip to the Burritt Museum. We went on Native American Day and learned about their history and way of life back in the day. It was very fun and informative. The first picture is of the method of canoe making. The second is of White Deer playing the flute.
She has an amazingly beautiful, soothing singing voice. The music was absolutely mesmerizing.

Our next trip was to the Creation Museum in KY. The Creation Museum has a huge building and grounds, which was paid for by contributions, as noted by Ken Ham, the founder, “Because the museum project will be built as donations come in, it’s not possible to give a specific timeline for its completion,” declared Ken Ham. “It will take many months of planning and securing the necessary building permits, but my hope is that God will lead His people to support the museum. Perhaps by the fall of 2001, this facility will be open to the public.” Image that! Raising money BEFORE building. WOW! What a concept! Sorry, little tangent there. Back to the trip -we rode a charted bus with 36 other passengers, none of whom we had met before. The ride was exciting at first, since none of us have ever ridden a chartered bus. The bus was huge and very nice. The trip was a bit long, but worth the travel. We stayed at a very nice hotel, Comfort Suites, or something like that, Friday night. Saturday morning we toured the museum. It was a wonderful museum. The Word of God displayed EVERYWHERE. The creation account being explained and proven through the Bible, displayed in various shapes and forms. We started the tour by watching a movie in the planetarium. The movie explained our place in the universe, as we know it today. It was very humbling to see just how small we are in the vast scheme of things. My son said after the show, "So, we're like a Who speck?". I said, "Well, yes!". Have you heard of the movie/story "Horton Hears a Who"? It's a great movie. Anyway, after the planetarium we began our tour. The displays were top of the line. There was no expense spared in this museum. The models were extremely life-like and all the special effects amazing. I was also impressed with how smoothly everything went. Even the bathrooms were spotless! There was a lot to see and take in, so I'm sure we missed out on some things since we only had the one day to tour the place. What we did see and take in was amazing. The food was delicious and not extremely over-priced like most amuzement parks/museums. Everyone was polite and thoughtful, which is a good thing assuming that most everyone who was there was a Christian. I don't really know what more to add, except a few photos, so here you go. If you have any questions, leave it in a comment and I'll try to answer.

Haley, Dawson and Dwight on bus.

Display of archeological dig. Discusses the perspective of a Christian and an athesist using the same facts but different views.

Garden of Eden. Adam naming animals.

Kids with dinosaur in Eden.

Adam and Eve before the Fall.
After the Fall.
Cain kills Abel.
Animals boarding the ark.

Dawson and me with T-Rex.

Outside in the botanical garden.

Zonkey in petting zoo. Yes, I said "Zonkey". There was also a Zorse.

Dwight and me. Dwight told Haley to take a picture of the donkeys and she took our picture!
Kids on swinging bridge. I did NOT like the swinging bridge!
All four of us at entrance. That's our bus behind us (hey, that rhymed).
It was a great, but exhausting day. We didn't leave the museum until after 4:00 p.m. Our arrival at home was near midnight, and we still had to go pick up Dixie, our dog, from my brother's house. We didn't go to church today, but that's OK. We had a Bible study at home, which was very good and challenging. We are studying the book of Revelation and we are really enjoying that. We've all been challenged about forgetting our first love - but that's a topic for a different post.
*I should note that Haley took most of the pictures.

Friday, October 17, 2008

CS - I can't see anything, and a little whine with cheese

Last night for the first time in ages, I watched an episode of CSI on TV. I had forgotten how dark this show is. I'm not only talking about the storylines, which were all quite gruesome, but I mean the lighting they use for the show. I think they've either forgotten where the lightswitch is, or they're trying to save money by not using as many lights. How in the world do the actors walk around the set without bumping into each other and/or the walls? It's ridiculous.

OK, so now for the cheese and whine. I have really been beat up in my dreams of late. For some strange reason I have dreamt about my past, the part that I'd rather forget. When I awaken I feel drained and defeated. What a way to start out the day, huh? I probably try to over analyze things like this, but I can't help but wonder, is God trying to reveal something to me, or is satan trying to beat me up again? Either way, I'm one tired girl this week. Hmmm, this thought just occured to me, maybe it's because I've given up caffeine and sugar this week, coincidence? May-Be, may-Be not! (I know there's not a hyphen in 'maybe', I'm just trying to 'say' it like my son does)
Well, today we are heading off to the Creation Museum just for a short two-day trip. I'll have a lot to catch up on blog wise when I get home, so all of you try not to write too much while I'm away, okie dokie? I'd appreciate it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Verses that hit me this morning

I don't usually begin reading my Bible with the intent of finding verses for someone else. I sincerely want the Word to speak to me. This morning, however, I couldn't help but think of our two presidential candidates and the way they have fallen short of their promises to run a positive campaign. They are both guilty of this, BOTH! Also, they both claim to be Christians, so this morning I prayed these verses over them (italics mine):

Titus 3:1-8

1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

I don't know about you, but I'm weary from all of this "He did/said this", "No, he did/said this" junk. I really wish that our nation's leaders could be worthy of the title "leader" and that they could act like responsible, caring adults.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Clutter, Clutter Everywhere!

My house is closing in on me. Everywhere I turn there is clutter! It's beyond your usual leave-your-purse-on-the-counter type of thing. It's books, blankets, knick-knacks and more that I don't care to mention. I've decided that it's time to clear this stuff away. I just can't get myself to actually DO IT. It's difficult to get started when I don't even know where I'm going to put all of this junk. Afterall, I MIGHT NEED IT someday, right? If I put it in the attic, I might as well just toss it out completely, because my attic isn't a place that I enter except for Christmas stuff. But if I toss it out completely I just know that someday down the line I'm going to be looking for that something and then it'll hit me - and I visualize the act of tossing that something out in slow motion while screaming NOOOOOO! So, there you go. My little insignificant dramatic dilemma for the day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Copy Cat

I'm going to copy a post idea I've gotten from a few other bloggers out there. I would like to know what you readers are reading these days. I'm currently reading Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. I am enjoying it, but it's taking me a while because, like David Copperfield, it's a long book and I have to steal a few minutes here and there to read. No leisure reading for me these days, except of course when I'm camping. Charles Dickens is an excellent author. I thoroughly enjoy his humor. So, what's on your list of great books? I just joined a book club and I'll need more ideas of books to read. The book club is basically free, so I can afford it! LOL! I found out about this club from a comment on the SCL blog I read.
On another note, my kids have found a really funny website with silly videos. They're not allowed to watch all of them, though, because of content. The ones that we enjoy are about Superman, Willy Wonka, Spiderman 3 and How to Survive and Alien Attack. I would post the videos here, but you know I don't know how to do that yet.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pictures from our most recent camping trip

Haley, Dawson and Dixie on rock at entrance of David Crockett State Park.
This was the view from our camper! We didn't want to come home.
Dawson standing on rocks.
Haley hanging in a tree.

We had a blast camping at David Crockett State Park! It was breathtakingly beautiful. We were able to relax and enjoy the scenery and sounds. Our first day there the kids played in the stream, actually swam in it since it was still warm enough. Good thing they did that on the first day, because a cool front came through and day 2 was quite chilly. They played in the stream for hours while I sat on the bank reading a book. I was in heaven! Dwight took a nap because he had been awake since 5 a.m. doing whatever he does at 5 a.m. Around 6:30 or so we went on a drive to spot the many deer that live in the park. We weren't disappointed, except with the quality of the photos, they didn't turn out so well with it being at dusk. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. Later that night Dwight started a camp fire and we sat around just talking and enjoying the warmth and sound of the fire.
Day 2 we went geocaching and found a few, but mainly enjoyed the sites while we were out.
Lawrenceburg, TN has an Amish community nearby and we were fortunate enough to spot a gentleman out in his horsedrawn buggy. I don't think he liked my taking his picture, though.
We ate lunch at the restaurant there in the park. It wasn't that great, but hey, we didn't have to cook. Then we went searching for more caches, went to the falls and chilled out there for a while. Back at camp the kids played in the stream again, this time catching minnows and crawdads. I read some more and Dwight napped again (he never gets to nap at home). We ate leftovers, only this time the kids roasted hot dogs over the camp fire. According to them they were the BEST hot dogs EVER! ;0) Day 3 we went geocaching again and had to head home after lunch (which we had at La Hacienda in town - yummy Mexican food!). I know, it doesn't sound like we roughed it at all. That's because we didn't! LOL! But we had such a great time, and we didn't want to come home. But alas, work was beckoning Dwight back, so we had to answer. He said that today he is having withdraws from us (he's working at the fire station, so we won't see him for 24 hours). We made some great family memories, now it's back to regular ole life.

Let us pray - NOT!

From today's headlines, prayer and Christianity being "sued" once again. I can't stand it! I mean, what's the big deal that the US has a national day of prayer? No one is forced to participate. It's not like we all have to stop right where we are at a certain time and pray. Prayer is a very personal thing that can be done anywhere at anytime without anyone else even knowing it. But because there's an actual day set aside for national prayer, the atheists and agnostics whine about it and now are suing people over it. It just doesn't make sense. Yes, I've asked myself, "What if it were a national day of Muslim prayer?". Well, I wouldn't have to participate in it because so far the US is still the land of the free. There's no way I'd go out and sue anyone over such a thing. Of course I'm not surprised by this attack on prayer and Christianity, I'm just annoyed.

On a different subject - the only thing that I'm enjoying about this year's presidential campaign is watching all of Hollywood's celebrities get their panties in a wad over Sarah Palin! It's so obvious that the darkness can't stand the light and seeing them all shriek, wail and lash out just proves it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On tithing

I've been thinking about tithing lately. Not starting tithing, my husband and I already do that. I've been wondering about whether or not our tithes are Biblically required to go toward our local church, or is it OK to delegate the money toward other things, like charities or those going on mission trips, or people we know of in need? I found an interesting article on tithing and whether or not it is an Old Testament law we no longer are obligated to follow or if it is indeed still taught in the New Testament. Personally, I think tithing is something God wants His followers to do even today, mainly as an act of worship for Him. I know from personal experience that when I don't give God my tithes, my finances are not any better off. Is God punishing me when I don't tithe? I don't think so, but I do think that when I put my trust in Him with my money He makes the rest of my checkbook balance stretch farther. He's not going to let the righteous go begging for bread Psalm 37:25. My struggle lately is what I mentioned already, where should our tithes go? The article mentioned above touches on that as well. I'm still not convinced it has to go to the local church body, though. More research/study on my part needs to be done. As Bill O'Reilly would say, "What say you?".
UPDATE: After I initially wrote this post and upon reading the first comment, I decided that I had better go ahead and research this subject more. I did a word search on the words "tithe" and "offering". Tithe is used in the Old Testament, and the word means "a tenth". Offering is used in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and means "a presentation, oblation or sacrifice". There were several New Testament incidences of offerings being made. I noted the ones given and received by the apostle Paul: Acts 21:25-27 , Acts 24:16-18 , II Cor. 8:18-20 , Phillipians 4:17-19. To me, it's obvious that giving to the Lord and His work is something we as believers should continue to do. I guess the word "tithe" is what gets everybody all worked up. I don't know. But why wouldn't a believer want to give back to God to worship Him and acknowledge His mercy and grace upon our lives? Does it have to be monetarily giving? I think it should be somewhat, according to the verses I read and listed above. Of course our sacrifices are not limited to money. Romans 12:1-2 instructs us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. I hope I've opened up an area of discussion that will help us all increase in faith. I do NOT wish to stir up dissension within the body of believers. If you comment, and I hope you do, please be kind to me (and to each other). I am not a Bible scholar by any means!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

spontaneous field trip

searching for crawdads
searching for crawdads,
originally uploaded by dcellis3.

The kids and I went on a spontaneous field trip the other day. It was just too beautiful outside to stay in with our heads in the books. We went to a nearby greenway nature path. I have actually never been there, even though it's so close to our house. The path is four miles long. We only walked one mile of it (two counting the way back, of course). There were a couple of bridges where we stopped and waded in the stream. The kids looked for fish and crawdads. They found both and were very excited. Dawson actually found a bright red crawdad, which clamped down on his finger when he picked it up! The water was refreshingly cool and it felt good to kick off the shoes and walk in it. The leaves were beginning to fall all around us and the beauty of watching them fall into the water and float away was therapeutic. The sounds of the water falling down over the rocks was memorizing. All in all it was a great day. Dawson was saying afterward that he was praising God for the day. What a sweet boy. I know that it makes Abba so happy to hear the little ones praising Him in everyday worship! We definitely enjoyed God's creation and made wonderful memories that day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Right Brained vs. Left Brained

I'm currently reading the book RIGHT BRAINED CHILDREN in a LEFT BRAINED WORLD, Unlocking the Potential of your ADD Child, by Jeffrey Freed, M.A.T., and Laurie Parsons. I decided to give this book a read because of my DS. He is such a boy! My husband and I elected to homeschool our kids, and every day I realize more and more that it's the right thing to do. If my DS were in public school he would be labeled ADD or ADHD, and would constantly be in trouble. I've no doubt about it. However, having him home and being the one responsible for his education is not an easy task. It's up to me to keep him focused and make sure he completes his work. Some days I feel like hitting my head against a wall. My DS is an awesome person. He is caring, sharing, smart, giving, and is eager to please. He is also easily distracted, bored with paper work (he acts like it is torture) and he can't write eligibly to save his life. So what's a mom to do? Well, I'm reading this book to try and figure him out. I want to know what's going on and on and on and on in that mind of his. So far he does fall into the category of those who are labeled ADD/ADHD, which according to this book simply means he is a right brained thinker/learner. I think that for the most part I am also, according to the short quiz given. So why can't I understand him? I think it's because I'm still far too attached to the way we are 'supposed' to learn, which according to the public school belief system, is books, worksheets, memorization then regurgitation. That just doesn't cut it for my DS. He wants to DO things. I have yet to get to the chapter in the book that will supposedly give me ways to work with my DS. I sincerely hope that I will be enlightened and able to better connect with him on a day to day basis.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"No comment"

I've come across a few blogs where you can't leave comments. What's up with that? Why would someone want to write a blog and not have feedback? I find that odd.

BTW, I've noticed that my blog status has been low lately. I need to think of some good stuff to write about, huh? I guess it's a good thing in a way. I mean having nothing to write about could mean that my life is fine and dandy. Well, it pretty much is, thank God. There are several bloggers who have more than one entry per day! That's too much pressure for me. It's all I can do to have a new entry every other day or once a week. I really admire those who can write so freely and often and keep things real and/or entertaining.

So where do you get your blog ideas? It's OK to tell me; I'm not gonna steal 'em. I'm just curious is all. Come on... tell me. I've blogged about my family, my garden, dreams, memories, the news, shared poems - several different things, but lately my mind has been, well, blank (no comments on that one!). There are things I'd like to blog about, but I'm not sure it would be wise to discuss certain topics, so I've been biting my tongue (or should I say fingers? You know, cuz I'm typing).

Speaking of my garden, I think it's finally capoot. The only thing still producing is bell peppers and a few watermelons. I'm mad at the watermelons, though. They took over the entire garden and now it's all yucky looking again. Next time I'm sticking with only vegetables.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm so frustrated!

Earlier this month I went to my family reunion. Every year my mom's family spends a weekend together. It's the time of year, other than Christmas, that we all eagerly await. This year I was very diligent in taking pictures of pretty much everybody. In fact, it was really bugging some of them. I was taking so many pictures because I'm trying to get our family tree organized , and I wanted some current photos. Well.... I can't find them! I KNOW I downloaded them from my camera onto the computer, but I can't find them! They are gone! I downloaded them the same day I downloaded Lenny the Amazon Penguin, but somehow my family pics disappeared. UUUUGGHH! If I didn't know better, I would say it was my cousin, Caitie, who was aggravated with me for snapping so many candids of her! Oh, well. I guess I'll just have to use old baby pictures and high school portraits - yeah those are much better!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Check It Out

I tried to post a video on this blog site, but I couldn't figure out how to do it. So, I the video I wanted to share with you is posted on my facebook page. If you have time, I hope you'll check it out. It's a very powerful story about a woman who is a botched abortion survivor! Amazing testimony. She mentions a website I'm about to take a look at it.

God bless.

Monday, September 15, 2008

confession time

Well, I have a confession to make. I haven't had a consistent 'quiet time' with God in over a week! I know, that's horrible. I don't really know what kept me from reading my Bible, other than reading too many blogs. There are several blogs that I keep up with, but that really shouldn't be the cause. I mean, I wake up before the kids and that's when I should have my QT. After the kids wake up and we do our homeschool for the day, there is usually plenty of time for me to catch up on the blogosphere. So WHY have I been such a schmuck? I dunno. (Is 'schmuck' a bad word? Cuz if it is I need to know; I've been saying it a lot lately). I've been thinking about the verses where Paul says something like this: the things I want to do, I don't, and the things I don't want to do, I do - cuz that's where I am lately. Am I the only one who's in a spiritual slump?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a poem I wrote

Words misspoken without thought.
Hearts broken, left to rot.
Sorrow exposed and poured out.
Forgiveness granted, but still doubts.
Wounded relations cut to the core.
Suppressed memories from days of yor.
Careless words spring from the mouth.
Pierced emotions, tears flowing out.
Sincere regrets displayed out loud.
Tomorrow can't remember what it was all about.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Amazon Penguins and Superheros

So our homeschool group decided to make a scarecrow to display at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Our school mascot is the penguin, yeah, penguin. That's what the kids wanted and that's what they got. So, our scarecrow was, naturally, a humongous penguin. The kids gave him the name "Lenny". There they are standing proudly with Lenny the Penguin. While we were at the gardens, I was surprised to run into my favorite superhero - Wonder Woman! It was very exciting seeing her in person - a life long dream of mine (not really). I knew she was a skinny, but good grief! Next to me she looks like a stick! LOL! She's been a very busy woman. Who knew she had a baby? Is Superman the dad?