Friday, January 30, 2009

My corner - Can you spy w/ your little eye ...?

Sometimes I wonder where my blogger friends do their blogging from. This is the corner of my world...or is that - my corner of the world? Either way, I love this place! It's fairly organized - but I'm not obsessive that way (other ways perhaps - but not that way). It's the corner where school & home blend (actually that's the kitchen, dining & front room too) - What you don't see is a shelf full of books & stuff to the right - but when I want to "shut off" school & just have our house be home, I can tuck most of school neatly into this corner. It's where I study God's word, pray, journal, blog & it's where I connect w/ far away (& not so far away) family & friends - & to the outside world when I'm not out in it - which is much of the too cold for me winter! Brrr.

Can you spy w/ your little eye...

- Amazing Grace (framed hymn) w/ a BIG pink eraser - for BIG mistakes - in front of it?
- Sign - "I chose the road less traveled - now where the heck am I?"
- Sign - "We each leave our mark on the world every moment of every day through the choices we make & the actions we take." (gave this to Playmaker on her 1st day of High School)
- Sign - "I can't clean house and save the world at the same time!"
- Look Alikes Poster .... where things aren't always as they seem!
- My favorite books (some propped up like pictures - others on a shelf)
- Pics of my kiddos
- Butterfly collection (amazing gift from my husband! The Artist is incredible - awesome really! )
- Sign - "THYME BEGAN IN A GARDEN" (My friend gave that to me - love it!)
- Tree in full Bloom Pic (sometimes I just wanna jump into that pic - & be there!)
- Sign - "Guidance" my friend gave that to me too (She's a REALLY GOOD friend :)
stands for God, You & I dance (G-U-I-dance) - get it? :)
- My household notebook where I attempt to keep things All Together in One Place (that's the title of one my very favorite books ever too! by Jane Kirkpatrick)
- Long Term & Short Term savings banks...(Dachshund & poodle kissing :) - just had to have those...too bad they're empty!
- Microscope
- Thermometer
- Bible
- Sunflower coffee mug - this mug & I are practically one :)
- Games - love games!
- Sunflower pics my girls each drew for me. - They know what I like! :)
- One thing's missing.... a pic of me & my man! I must fix that! .. & I just threw that plant in there for looks - or m/b it's a pride thing. I'm not very good w/ plants...but this one's growing mid winter! I must be doin' somethin' right ;)
- It's simple - but it does have one luxury feature......the space heater beneath my desk -- that you can't see.

Seems like when you've been invited into someone's home, you instantly feel like you know them so much better...& your friendship is kicked up a notch - so - it's toward that end that I share this post w/ you :) Perhaps I'll share other stops on the nickle tour another time.

100 bucks, books & chores

When I was a kid my Dad gave me some medicine bottles (you know - the brown plastic prescription kind) to use as banks - & encouraged me to budget this 10%, savings 45%, & spending 45% . The percentages didn't stick quite as well as the budgeting concept did. My parents also saved cash over time in an envelope to buy misc. things they wanted. The "envelope thing" didn't stick - but again, the budgeting concept did! With the exception of a house, I can hardly stand to buy anything...including a car(!) that I can't pay up front for.

Strike wants an IPOD Touch. Pricey! If she gets it, we'll expect her to take VERY good care of it - so - we've decided to help her earn it by giving her $1 for each chapter book she reads (recycled idea from our friends :) & $1 each for certain chores (in addition to others that are simply expected/required).

She's not a huge reader...tho' recently she's finally started reading books for her own enjoyment rather than b/c I push her & I want to encourage that spark that's taken so long to ignite. And I've seen how well she cares for/appreciates something she's purchased w/ her own money in the past so - given the expense/time/effort involved in this challenge, I'm confident she'll take good care of her IPOD if/when she finally gets it.

By requiring her to earn money & tithe, my hope is that the return on our investment will yield self discipline, fiscal responsibility, personal satisfaction from reaching a long term goal & ultimately - that making good choices & hard work will become more habitual for Strike in the whole process (ie. I hope these "stick!")

Truth be told, this challenge will likely be as challenging for me as it is for Strike - b/c I'm a product of the same instant gratification society (my parents spoiled me & hubby does too) that makes parenting (tough love/discipline) so difficult at times. So - if/when Strike reaches her goal - I'll likely be every bit as thrilled about it... as she is :)

Presidential Prayer Team

Wanted to pass on this link to the Presidential Prayer Team. Great for homeschoolers - as you can sign up to receive a weekly e-newsletter containing a mix of current events & America's godly heritage - including impt. meetings & decisions to be made, & pressing prayer requests. You can also sign up to receive daily prayer e-prompts to cover the President and new administration during their first 100 days in office - & church bulletin inserts can be downloaded too. - Check it out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Passing on some humor from a long time friend in sunny AZ. - Oh how I wish I could trade places - even for a she doesn't have to be concerned about stepping outside her door & doing the splits on ice... :)

Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
A. Ruthless.

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany?
A. German Shepherds.

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh's daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden ?
A Your mother ate us out of house and home.

Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?
A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.

Q. Which area of Middle East was especially wealthy?
A. The area around Jordan . The banks were always overflowing.

Q. Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the Bible?
A. David. He rocked Goliath to a very deep sleep.

Q. Which Bible character had no parents?
A. Joshua, son of Nun.

Q. Why didn't they play cards on the Ark?
A. Because Noah was standing on the deck. ( Groan.)

PS... Did you know it's a sin for a woman to make coffee?
Yup, it's in the Bible. It says . . 'He-brews'

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jewels $ can't buy

This weekend my husband received a couple of handwritten letters from two beautiful young ladies for his birthday. Wrapped in their own words was time spent trying to find just the right ones (words) & effort as they tried to be neat, spell correctly & to say what they meant in a way that would help their Daddy understand how very much they love him. - Also, tucked inside each letter was an "exquisite jewel". Every now & then we find one where & when we least expect to. These jewels are unique but we have no doubt when we've found one! They're bright (seen in the smiles they create), they sparkle (in the eyes of the beholder), are SO clear (in the understanding they convey) .. and - they look like --- well - like ... we're doing something right...priceless! :)

P.S./cut & paste from a comment my husband made after reading this post:

Please place the notes from the girls somewhere safe… they are keepers… the notes too

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Unexpected Gift

Our family received yet another unexpected pkg in the mail - this time from my brother & sister-in-law who live in Africa. As I pulled out the dolls one by one I didn't realize the significance at first...but it wasn't long before I realized just what it was. Can't say I've ever seen a Nativity scene quite like this. I think it's so neat and I plan to leave it out all year. Just wanted to share.

A Gift Certificate ....

Gift Certificate

TO: The man who has given me everything I ever dreamed of and SO much more


GOOD FOR: 2 snowshoe rentals + 1 backpack picnic + you + me - (minus!) anyone/everyone else = one romantic trek to a view to behold while holding each other! (aka: yet another memory to be made together & added to our collection :)

and P.S. - Have I ever told you how much I enjoy this hobby (making memories ) that we share .... and ------ whoever said I wasn't good at math!? :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Honey!

I have a little present here...
The tag says from me to you!
I hope that you will treasure it
thru'out your whole life through!

This gift is wrapped in - so many memories...
The happy & the sad ones - & all the in betweens
They blend into the life we've made& somehow they've managed to
go way above! Beyond! and on to - surpass our wildest dreams!

I've tied it with a hug
& sealed it w/ a kiss
& I hope as you unwrap it,
the significance you won't miss's all my love my darling
it's yours for the taking!
& here's to all the future years
- & memories we'll be making :)

Happy Birthday Honey!

OX (x 45)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back & Forth (Journaling)

I'm in the process (have been for about 3yrs!) of journaling back & forth via e-mail w/ a friend as together we read through the Bible - in hopes of having journaled thru' the entire Bible when we finally get to the end. We've put this on hold at times to do other studies together this way too. Love the accountability, insight, companionship & record of how The LORD continually meets me where I'm at, that journaling this way provides - & how it forces me to wrap words around things I'm beginning to better understand for myself as I try to explain them in a way that someone else can understand (no small task at times!).

Along that line, I'm restarting something I started a while back but let go by the wayside -- sharing a journal w/ each of my daughters (one teen/one wanna be teen!). - Just writing notes & keeping them all together in one place as we pass the journal back & forth. I started this w/ Playmaker & really enjoyed it. Got as far as buying a journal for Strike but we never actually put it to use. My friend has done this w/her daughter for years & is the one who originally inspired me. Love that it encourages communication here & now & captures memories for the future....b/c just the tho't of how much I might have already forgotten (tho' how can one know just how much that is...if indeed they've forgotten it?!?) is scary even to think about.

Also love that it gives us a way to "discuss" tough stuff in such a way that forces the other to think - & provides time to do just that - before responding (rather reacting!). If you're a mom, chances are you know kinda stuff I'm referring to ... the stuff that major arguments (& regrets) are made of.

Given that I'm not crafty but really enjoy making memories & friends, hope is that these journals will allow me... to do both.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Please join me in.....

Yesterday I learned how to.....

They say you learn something new everyday --- & yesterday, of all things, I learned how to......snowplow! A man at church got wind that I tho't snowplowing empty parking lots looked like great fun! The wknd snow & the holiday brewed up "the perfect storm" - for my wish to come true. I siezed the moment when he called. Strike tagged along - & I had a ton of fun shovin' tons of snow around his BEAUTIFUL Tree Farm. Couldn't ask for a more beautiful day! The snow glistened as if diamonds were sprinkled like sugar on a cupcake! Managed to stay out of the pond & not hit any stakes --- so all in all, I guess I did ok :) Altho' apparently my brain could use some exercise in the hand/eye coordination dept. ... as I can only seem to drive OR direct the plow --- to do both at the same time demanded way more concentration that it seemed it should have required - based on how easy he made it look.

It reminded me of an aerobics video .... Lift! & Lower! Lift! & Lower! And - I imagine it's kinda like flying a helicopter....which looks fun too! But I kinda doubt that would be as forgiving of my coordination issues so m/b I shouldn't wish that out loud .... :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Yada Yada Prayer (& Book!) Group

A while back I started a book group w/ this book: The Yada Yada Prayer Group (first one - It's now a series) by Neta Jackson. The ongoing story centers around a group of women (mostly strangers) that all attended the same women's conference & were given the same number upon check-in & so were placed in the same prayer group. I love that these women are from varied walks of life, different cultures, ages, economic & marital status, professions, different! One woman received a "mom's worst nightmare" kinda phone call & these women bond so tightly as they get to know each other & lift this particular woman & her circumstances up in prayer. Their bond transcends the time limit imposed on it by the weekend retreat - & this new group takes on a life of it's own - as they continue to keep in touch & share prayer requests via e-mail, to meet together & to meet each others needs, visit each other's churches, etc.

This book holds a prominent spot in my office (not banished to the basement bookshelves) - where I see it daily - as I love how it reminds me of my dear book group friends, how The LORD used it in my life, how it motivated me to start the book group - which we ended up calling "Yada Yada" & it's where this blog derived it's name (see the definition in my blog heading).

Our group begins each new year by reading the next book in the Yada Yada series (we're on # 3) & different books during the year. I look forward to this annual reunion w/ the characters ...feel like I know them - & like I'm one of them in particular (Jodi! ... not always a good thing). Love how this story is so true to reality....the women are so very different but they share so much in common simply b/c they're women - and even moreso b/c they're women who are striving/at times struggling - to stay on the straight & narrow path as they seek to better know God & His will for them.

Perhaps it's b/c I was lonely at the time I began this group & reeling from the most difficult circumstances life has dealt me to this point ...or b/c my heart bends towards women's ministry - or for some reason unbeknownst to me, that this book & book group have been one means God has used to bless me with some of the closest friendships I've ever enjoyed. For whatever reason .... I'm grateful.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The stethoscope

Click here:

Dear President Bush - they say hindsight is 20/20

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for your service to our country.

Last night you said if you could go back & do some things differently - you would. If it's any comfort, I would too. In fact, I'd probably do more things differently than I'd do the same.

They say hindsight is 20/20 - but unfortunately difficult decisions (& you had SO many of them to make) are never made with the advantage of hindsight.

Just wanted you to know that I decided to vote for you in both presidential elections ....& - in hindsight...given the same candidates & circumstances surrounding the elections....I'd do it again - because I trust that it is in the very same God (The One & Only!) we trust.

Seems we have a lot in common - & therefore my prayer for both you & I is that God, in whom we trust, will right anything we may have done wrong...& bless anything we somehow managed to do right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Secret Sisters

Our Women's Fellowship group at church is gearing up to do Secret Sisters w/ plans to kick it off near Valentine's Day. Love the concept so tho't to share:

What is Secret Sisters? -- A number of chances to bless someone in creative, personal & practical ways over four months - & be blessed in return in similar ways - & hopefully/ultimately w/ the friendships of two new sisters in Christ (the one you’re a SS to - & the one who is a SS to you)!

How Does Secret Sisters Work?

Complete a short questionnaire ...favorite color, interests, b-day, etc.

A random drawing determines SS pairs

For the next 4 months you bless the socks off your SS any number of ways…. we'll have a table at church to secretly leave SS surprises - or they could be mailed or stealthfully delivered (ie. candy, bookmark, Bible verse, card, flower, a cut-out comic strip/poem/article, a joke you heard during the week, remember their b-day &/ or anniversary creative w/ your own ideas

Later - an event - & the silence will be broken! The cats will be out the bag! The mystery will be get the idea :)

Our Menu...trying something new

Trying something new: Meatless Mondays & Simple Saturdays....(Sandwiches, soup &/or salad). In addition to Crock Pot Sundays (Love this!) - hopefully we'll save some money & time & eat healthier. Would love to try some new recipes too so if you have a favorite in any of these categories that you're willing to share, please do :)
My camera & my pc are experiencing some trouble in their relationship at the moment...but I hope they work things out soon...b/c I wanna post pics of Spoke's 21st b-day :( Hopefully their marriage counselor (Spokes) will be able to help.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enough said? - (Homemade 21st B-day Card)

Dear Spokes. Happy 21st Birthday! This is my feeble attempt at a homemade b-day card:

click here: front

now - click here: inside

Personal/"handwritten" note:

In the words of your Dad, I was just wondering...who grew up more ( in the past 21 years) ...
him (you)? - or us (your mom & dad)?

Love ALWAYS, Mom

Monday, January 12, 2009


21 years ago about this time (11 PM) ....I was trying to get my husband to drive faster!!! Then soon was clinging to a lightpost in the hospital parking lot ... then keeled over in the elevator as I waited out yet another painful contraction. At 1:49 AM on 1/13, Spokes was born!! ...It's strange having a child who is older than I was (19) when I had him .

21 words that describe him: Quiet - smart - gentle - focused - cyclist - Christian - wise - helpful - compassionate - funny - disciplined - thoughtful - athletic - kind - dedicated - student - brother - responsible -respectful - curious - resourceful .
21 things he's enjoyed over the years: Dinosaurs (loved that phase!), marine animals, Ninja Turtles, Big Wheel, rollerblading, skateboarding, skiing, hockey, reading, video games, aquariums, dogs, roller hockey, drawing, technology, music, camping, computers, cycling (mountain & road racing).
21 things I hope he'll enjoy the rest of his life... Strong personal relationships ... w/ God, family & friends - True joy & peace - Gainful employment doing what he enjoys - Wife & family who love him as much as we all love his Dad :) - Good Health - Adventure - Contentment - Friends who like him for who he really is - Respect, Home of his own shared w/ those he loves most, simple pleasures - encouragement - learning - wisdom - continual sense of wonder & excitement resulting from a holy curiosity.... (in summary: LIVING!)

Happy 21st Birthday Spokes! May you find, at the very least, as much joy in life as you have given me!

I love you & I'm SO proud of you.

Sledding on Sunday

Pond Hockey .... GREAT FUN!! Note to self...those pucks
are HARD - OUCH!
Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! Somebody stop me!!!

Now THIS is how it's done!

Look Honey....NO HANDS!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Goodnight Sun

From time to time I plan to post some of Strike's (11 yrs) pics taken w/ her new camera she got for Christmas. She's our little photographer. It's fun to see her get excited & make a beeline for her camera b/c she looked outside & the lighting was JUST RIGHT!! :) So - w/ this photopost - I'm initiating a new category of posts called "Kodak Moments" ....b/c "Canon (PowerShot SX10 IS) Moments" just doesn't have the same ring to it :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The ABC's & 123's of ADHD

This is just my hypothosis...but - I think it's been tested more than enough to surpass theory status & declare it an (un?) natural law.

HDTV + MP3 + Wii + PS3 + IM + DVD + DSL + MTV + AIM + HBO + IPOD + X-BOX + PC + ETC. = ADHD

and ...

ABC (Reading/Writing) + 123 (Math) + ART (Creativity) = a C-U-R-E! (ie. imagination!)

If you add discipline (L-O-V-E!), the possibilities are endless!

Any thoughts re: my philosphy? -- Feel free to RSVP :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From the inside out

Today is an icy, sleety, rainy, cold, slippery mix day (aka - yet another snow day!) - the kind w/ potential to make people look like Bambi on the icy pond scene when they step outside their door haphazardly. Hubby took my (AWD) car to work & I'm enjoying the storm the best way I know how - from the inside out :)

* declared it a no TV day & am interested to see how the kids spend it
* slept in & let the kids do the same
* dressed in the comfiest of comfy clothes - that don't qualify as PJ's :)
* listening to the freezing rain clicking on the window as I type

Planning to:

- bake something/anything(!) to cozy up the place
- enjoy breakfast for dinner - complete w/ hot chocolate! :)
- Read at least one chapter of a book
- perhaps a family movie or game night...ugh! Spokes just reminded me he's working tonight :( It wont be the same w/o him - but if it's Scrabble we play, all of us will have a much better chance at winning :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is the place! - if it's me you're lookin' for :)

You may think you're at the wrong blog...but, if it's me your looking for, you're not :) My fresh new bloglook is thanks to my son. I've never had a custom design before! I'm enjoying how well it "fits" the me I want/try to be....fresh, clean, simple, cheerful :)

Thank you, Spokes!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Project 365/New Year Resolution

I enjoyed celebrating Advent this year more than ever....b/c of how I did it differently! In fact, I enjoyed it so much I don't want to to stop! It was hands down more meaningful that candy calendars! So - I'm resolving to make it a way of life in '09 - by intending to practice at least one random act of kindness/be a blessing to at least one unsuspecting person every day. I love how it shifted my focus off of me & onto people's smiles brightened my day (yep there's a selfish root in it all :) - how it helped me remember that it really is more blessed to give than to receive. Once again - I'm off to a late start .... but I'll enjoy to playing "catch-up" :) Hopefully eventually it will come more naturally & I'll become more of the person I want to be - w/o having to try so hard! :)

Ending ('08) w/ a fresh start ('09)...

The historic ice storm is history & after an extra long "Christmas Break" b/c of it (to the tune of about 3 1/2 weeks) - today we're back to the grind. Just a quick wrap up to end it all w/ a fresh start :)

- Celebrated New Year's eve w/ our house full of friends. Learned how to do - simple - my kinda craft! The kids hung out/played spoons. Enjoyed some live entertainment (one guy played the guitar) & we all packed into our living room & watched the first episode of John Adams (one of my all time favorite movies/series!) w/ plans to watch the others together down the road. Welcomed in the new year w/ sparkling cider/juice & noisemakers :)

New Year's Day - slept in - then lunch/meatball sandwiches & chocolate fondue (Yum!) w/ friends at their new/old (long story) house.

Yesterday/"First Sunday": Church - coffee/fellowship afterwards - rest & relaxation after a simple crockpot lunch - made gift boxes from old Christmas cards (was inspired here - it's not the first time she's inspired me :) - & a b-day one for my friend out of a notecard - that doubled as both the box AND the card in her case :) - Light sandwich dinner at church - puppet show - fun & worship.

Today.... hubby's back to work (miss him already!), Playmaker's back to school (miss her already too!) - Strike & I will be back to school shortly & I'm looking foward to it :) I like the fresh start afforded by the beginning of each new year - it just seems like a natural prompt to pause & stop doing some things (I quit my job) & start/restart doing others.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! / It's about time....

There never seems to be enough of it! You can try to buy some -- or carve some out -- or to find some -- or to save some...but all to no avail. It's valuable! Precious! Priceless - b/c no amount of money will ever purchase one split second - yet the only thing one can really do w/ time - is spend it. Ecclesiastes 3 (NIV) says There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: - yet too often I find myself saying "I don't have time!".....

This first day of 2009, I'm reminded of the value of time...& praying for wisdom in how to spend mine.

- and also reminded of this poem below:

Poem About Value

To realize the value of ten years :
Ask a newly divorced couple .
To realize the value of four years :
Ask a graduate .
To realize the value of one year :
Ask a student who has failed a final exam .
To realize the value of nine months :
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn .
To realize the value of one month :
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby .
To realize the value of one week :
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper .
To realize the value of one hour :
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet .
To realize the value of one minute :
Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane .
To realize the value of one second :
Ask a person who has survived an accident .
To realize the value of one millisecond :
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics .
Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have .

Poem by anonymous author - excerpt from 'LifeManual' by Peter H. Thomas. Copyright 2005, 2006. All rights reserved.

Note: the site above is only the source where I found this poem I was reminded of...not a site I would endorse for any other reason tho' :)