Monday, October 30, 2006

More About The War On Terrible

Thank you for all of your comments about this post. This is what I love about blogging- exchanging ideas with each other. I am so grateful that we can discuss and not debate. When the world sees us bicker over things, we totally damage our witness for Christ. So, thanks for being honest and loving!

After posting about Halloween, I have been extra sensitive to the subject while in stores today and even while surfing channels on television. This entire issue has just really forced me to think and to search down deep to find where God would have me stand. To tell you the truth, I am looking forward to November 1. (I realize evil doesn't come just one day a year dressed in a cheap costume. Nonetheless, I will be glad when it is over. )

Last night I was surfing channels and stopped cold at ABC's Wife Swap. In case you aren't familiar, the show pairs two families together (or pits them against one another) who are usually complete opposites. The wives switch families for two weeks. The first week, the "guest" wife must abide by a manual of household rules left by the "real" wife. During the second week, the guest wife applies her rules to the running of the household. At the end of the show, the two couples sit face to face and talk about their experiences. There is much angst and gnashing of teeth, which makes for exciting, dramatic television.

I have watched the show before. Most of the time I am just interested to see how others live their lives as wives and mothers. I am also interested to see how they handle the swap itself.

This particular episode really disturbed me.

In the tradition of Halloween, last night's episode was about a rural/conservative mom who does everything for her husband and kids, and a mom who leads her family into W*CCA (witchcraft). I am purposely leaving out some words to avoid some searches to my blog.

In the very beginning, I thought "Should I just turn it to something else?" But then I decided to see how the W*CCA wife/mom would share her religion and how the media would portray it. I was most interested in how the rural/conservative mom would react to the witchcraft of the other family. Seeing this show in the past, I thought I knew how it would pan out- Good vs. Evil.

I was wrong.

The rural/conservative mom was portrayed as the slave-type wife who does everything for her husband and kids, has no money "of her own," must ask her husband for money, cooks, cleans, and the whole 1950's nine yards. The media loves portraying what I call a "traditional" wife as a woman trapped in an archaic world, ignorantly living in the dark in need of immediate rescue. (I don't know about you, but I do not need to be rescued. Jesus was the first to liberate me long ago.)

This particular rural/conservative mom was not really traditional, in my view. The balance of respect and equality was not there. Of course, one only sees what television reveals but, overall she was definitely more conservative than the W*CCA wife.

What initially disturbed me was when the rural/conservative mom read the W*CCA mom's manual. The manual outlined plainly that the family was "magical" and that their lives were immersed in witchcraft. The rural/conservative mom said, "Well, I don't see anything about Satan yet," and she read on.

Wow. As long as the magic and witchcraft did not specifically recognize Satan as the power, it was perfectly benign. (For me, there are only two powers. If the power isn't from God, then it must be from Satan.)

This is when I knew I had to keep watching the episode. I kept thinking the rural/conservative mom's eyes would be opened, that she would begin to cry and want to leave. Even more disturbing is that she never thought about her own family, her own children being influenced 1000 miles away by a woman who proclaims herself as a goddess.

It never happened. It ended up being a battle about power- who had it, who should have it, and who would end up with it by the end of the show. It was a battle between women and men. It was never about good or evil.

The rural/conservative family never presented themselves as Christian. For all we knew as viewers, they could be believers or lost. What saddened me was that I knew, right then and there, sitting in my comfy chair, watching this show, that I underestimate the number of people who may not know Jesus.

Not just about Jesus. To know Jesus. I believe, at least my hope is, that if this rural/conservative family had been Christian, rooted deeply in The Word of God, there is no way they could have gone on to participate in the show, surrounded by witchcraft and magic. (I have to add here that the W*CCA family was portrayed as nice, loving, earthy and harmless. Are you surprised?)

After being saddened by it all, I remembered a comment by Grafted Branch. Then it dawned on me- the battle of good and evil is about power! Satan wants it and God has it. Eve wanted it long ago in the garden! Nothing has changed. Women are still deceived by the great deceiver today, October 30, 2006. He appears to us as an angel of light, hiding himself as inappropriate political correctness, women's "rights," and the "I'm Ok. You're Ok" mentality that is rampant today. He doesn't show up on our shoulders as a red man with horns and a tail! That would be too obvious.

So now I have to decide what to do with this sadness and disappointment. Blog about it and let it go? Pray about it today and forget about it by the end of the week? I think there is a real reason for the Halloween discussion and the fact that I saw this particular episode of Wife Swap.

If nothing else, it has taught me to stay alert, stay in The Word, and not to stay in my little niche of life. I have to remember that there are people out there who still need to hear the Truth in the Gospel. They may not hear it from anyone else, so I need to be prepared to tell them myself- me, the mom and wife who does the laundry and cleans the bathrooms. Me. Regular. Plain. Me.

Only Christ adds to the Church, but surely I can be His Feet, His Hands, and His Mouth sharing the only saving power in existence- the blood that He shed for the world. He did command me to share the gospel with all the world. But, sometimes I think He meant I am only suppose to give to missions or volunteer at church. Sometimes that is exactly what He wants me to do, but other times I get too comfortable there and forget that He may want me to actually share the gospel with someone myself.

Makes me want to squirm in the proverbial pew for a moment. That's uncomfortable. And, you know what? Maybe it's time for me to be a little uncomfortable in the pew. Only then will I wake up and pay attention to the message.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5: 22 KJV

I learned this Bible verse as a child. My mother taught it to me, not as a memory verse, but as a tool to live by in times when I was unsure of what is right or wrong. I can remember her quoting it before I even knew its reference. Later on, I learned the verse could be found in 1 Thessalonians. This verse still comes to mind in times I am trying to discern truth.

So, why do I, a professing Christian, still allow my own child to dress up and take part in activities on Halloween?

We do avoid scary costumes like witches and ghosts. We try to avoid spooky events. We do, however, dress up and go to a church or school festival. Perfectly innocent, right?

Sometimes I wonder.

My parents allowed me to trick or treat. I was never allowed to dress in anything ghoulish (hence the verse), but they did let me go door to door and plead for candy. Daddy usually went with me and Mama stayed home to pass out candy. Everyone knew their neighbors, and, frankly, the world did not seem so evil back then. I am beginning to sound like my parents' generation, but doesn't it seem that the world becomes more and more evil as time goes by? (In fact, the Bible prepares us for this.)

When I was a kid, Halloween still had some haunted elements, but it was not as haunting or as successful as it is today. Did you know that Halloween has become the second largest grossing holiday for the retail industry? It is second only to Christmas. (Thank goodness for some victories.)

There are two major concerns I have about this "holiday"- I will use that term loosely.

1. Where should Christians draw the line at Halloween when deciding what is "evil" or off limits?

2. Should we, the Church, not participate in any festival (even benign carnivals) at this time of year?

To address the second question, one must search deeply and ask for guidance from The Holy Spirit about the first question. As I said, 1 Thes. 5: 22 has become a lifelong quick reference, so to speak, for me. Of course, you should never take a verse out of context, then name it and claim it. So, I encourage you to read the entire chapter. This particular passage outlines the model walk of the believer. And, ironically enough, when I looked up various versions of this verse, they all pretty much said exactly the same thing, give or take a few words. It seemed to be pretty "cut and dry."

For a Christian, evil is real. It isn't pretend.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6: 12 KJV

This passage goes on to instruct us on putting on the whole armour of God. Armour is used in battle, so I believe The Lord wanted us to fully understand that we are truly at war with the deceiver, Satan himself. As a believer, I know that I am not alone in this war, and that I am protected through Jesus Christ.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels , nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 37-39 KJV

So, evil is real and I should avoid it. Now, on to the second question: "Should Christians avoid any type of celebration at this time of year?"

Don't misunderstand me, I am very thankful that churches have stepped up and provided alternatives for children at Halloween. But, sometimes I wonder if we should avoid any kind of celebrating on that day.

Let me explain. If Halloween is such a huge retail success, aren't we participating in that success by buying candy and costumes for our "festivals?" What message does this send to the retailers who promote and profit from this "holiday?" Also, are we sending a clear message to the world about why we choose these festivals and carnivals? Are they seeing them as simply a safe alternative for their children or as a stand against the evil of Halloween?

I propose that we begin a new trend, a new season of celebration. Let's continue these fall festivals and events, thanking God for the wonderful harvests He has provided. Let's just offer them at another time of year, in September, other times in October, or in November nearing Thanksgiving. And, then on October 31, let's just stay home.

This post could go on, but I would like to close with a Bible verse that I hope will be a guide for me on October 31 and every other day of the year:

"Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.
Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil;
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men." Romans 14:13-18 New American Standard

Are pumpkins evil? No. Are all costumes wrong? No. Are fall festivals and hayrides sinful? Of course not! But, I have to be very careful about the witness I live out in front of others. Simply put, I should prayerfully consider all choices I make, on October 31 and the other 364 days of the year, trying not to hinder the spiritual growth of other believers or the understanding of the gospel by nonbelievers.

By becoming a warrior in prayer, searching daily in the Scriptures, and listening intently for the Voice of The Holy Spirit, only then can I know the path The Lord would have me to take. As for the war of good vs. evil, we may take part in the battles, but ultimately Jesus Christ has already won the war. Praise God! He told us of His Victory over 2000 years ago:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 KJV

All Praise to God Who is the Only One to triumph over evil! Amen!

* As always, I welcome your open and honest comments.
And, to let you know in advance, we are going to a church festival this year. We had already promised our daughter before I posted this. As for next year, I don't know. This is something we will have to pray about together. Also, I wanted to add that I had a lot of difficulty with my computer and blogger this morning while trying to write this. :>)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The New Elmo TMX - Elmo reads BooMama

I can watch this over and over. Santa, this is what I want for Christmas!

Seven Things That Have Nothing In Common

I was going for Thirteen, but my brain is 47 % empty. Call me a pessimist.

1. On the way to school this morning- "Mommy, how much horsepower does this thing have?" (FYI- I drive a Camry.)

2. For those who are wondering, I am 35 years old, I do not hunt, and I haven't fallen down. When I get my roots done, I promise I'll post a photo so you will- without-a-doubt- know that I am not Hank Hill.

3. While watching a new commercial yesterday about a car with GPS, it occurred to me that we always stop at gas stations for directions. Why is this? Do we assume that just because they supply fuel for the car that they also know the direction the vehicle should be going? Was the attendant sitting at the register studying a map until we drove up?

4. Which leads to this...I grew up in the age where gas and food were sold separately- like across the street from each other. The only food you could get from the gas station was a Coke and a pack of malt crackers. Now I have to pump my own gas, but the assortment of junk food is quite refreshing.

5. My childhood hero- Chris, Miss Charlie's Angel herself, Cheryl Ladd is now on a commercial about menopause. Jaclyn Smith is still lookin' good at K-mart, so maybe there's still hope. I guess this means Charlie is... dead? And I never found out who he is!!

6. I would love to win on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire so that I can walk in Dollar Tree and freak out the cashier.

7. Ok, and give some of it away. And buy a few things.

Like something with some horsepower.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Because I don't want to read about you in the paper.

Update: Thanks for your comments! This was something I had on my heart and wanted to share and discuss. Glad to have your input.

How careful are you about what you post on your blog? Have you blogged so long that you have become too comfortable?

To my knowledge, no one has suffered from a violent crime due to content they have posted on their blog. There have been cases of stalking and verbal abuse. Thus, I would like to share a few tips I have read and some of my own with you, my fellow bloggers, in an effort to remind all of us that we cannot be too careful.

1. Never post your full name or your home address.

2. Never use your spouse's full name.

3. If you choose to correspond with another blogger via email, do not assume they are who they say they are.

4. Carefully reconsider posting your children's pictures. This is hard. We love our kids and we love to share precious moments. Here's a tip- would you put that particular photo on a billboard on the interstate? The internet is just another type of highway. (Remember- more people are reading than are commenting.)

5. How much personal information do you share? Sports and church activities? Times and dates? Locations?

6. Consider past posts while writing your current posts. Have you given out information previously that may be connected with this information? If so, it could fall into the wrong hands.

7. Just because someone comments regularly on your blog, does not mean you KNOW them.

8. If you ever fall victim to a stalker or inappropriate, unwelcomed comments that make you uncomfortable, report it to the police and your internet service provider.

You can also vist the Federal Trade Commission's website for a wealth of information about online safety for parents and kids, as well as other consumer related tips.

Before you leave a comment that I "have put ideas in someone's head," please remember that these people are several steps ahead of us. Offenders and violent criminals outwit trusting victims every day.

These are personal choices that we all must make. Let's respect each other's choices, stay safe, and have fun!

I welcome your comments and discussion on this topic!

Monday, October 23, 2006

My apologies to my vegan friends.

It's that time of year again. The air is cool. The leaves are falling. Moms are making soup for dinner.

And every catalog known to man is in my mailbox.

I must admit that I enjoy looking at catalogs. My grandmother always had a Sears Roebuck and a Spiegel in her home. We would sit around together looking at bedspreads and drapes from Sears. Sometimes Granny would order some curtains or a pair of pants.

She never ordered anything from Spiegel. She lived in a small town where there was one red light, two drug stores owned by two families, and one place to get barbecue. I had no idea where Spiegel was, but I guessed it was in New York City, on the same street as the Macy's parade. The clothing in Spiegel looked fancy and even odd. Still, Granny bought their catalog every year and we would look and dream.

These days you can order everything by catalog or online. I order online for some things, but I still love to sit on the sofa and flip through a real, paper catalog- the kind that comes from dead trees. So, when Fall arrives and all the catalogs are spilling out of my mailbox, I am in heaven.

Until the other day.

All year I receive mailings from normal stores like Pottery Barn and Chadwick's. This is the season when all of the unique ones arrive, just in time for Christmas shopping. Some of the catalogs are interesting and others are just downright disturbing.

I got a hunting catalog. This particular catalog is a lot like a dark comedy; it starts out perfectly normal and benign and ends up completely dark and sinister. The first few pages are full of lovely adds of fluffy slippers. How innocent and charming. Next, we turn to women dressed in warm, fuzzy sweaters and flannel pajamas. Then, we see male models in completely normal winter attire. For a moment, I thought I was browsing LL Bean.

Then, wham! Jim Carey morphs from the friendly cable guy to the creepy stalker who won't leave me alone. I turn the page and see hunting gear- not the normal camouflage print and bright orange.

Let's digress. I was born and raised in Georgia. My daddy hunted. His daddy hunted. My mama's daddy hunted. His daddy hunted. Every male in my family hunted. But, they were like most normal men who hunt- they got their gear from Sears or Wal-mart. They stayed in the woods for days, no baths and no gadgets. They ate vienna sausages and Spam, and drank coffee and sweet tea from a Thermos. They were, ya know, normal.

My husband doesn't hunt. He isn't against it. He just isn't interested. I am sure if we were stranded in the woods with no food to speak of and all the berries and vegetation were either poisonous or dead, that my husband could kill him a barr (bear). This would be out of necessity, not for sport. (His mother would be proud.)

Which leads me back to the catalog. It was addressed to me or current resident- not to my husband. That alone is almost as disturbing as the merchandise.

This catalog offers hunters things like badger-skin caps, GPS devices (in case you get lost in the woods, you loser!), and even portable heaters for the real sissies out there. There are fancy radios and flashlights, special comfy sleeping bags, and even stuff for your dawg. There are normal items like knives and guns. What's wrong with that phrase? The list could go on and on...

As disturbing and disgusted as I was, I flipped to the very last pages and laughed out loud. The last pages of this yuppy hunter catalog advertise hams and roasts! I guess after you have donned expensive gear, gotten lost in the woods, frozen nearly to death, and driven home empty handed in your Japanese SUV, you have to just pick up the phone and order your meat. You can even purchase gourmet cheese. (I have never seen my daddy eat his venison sausage with a slice of smoked cheddar.)

I considered writing the company to express my mixture of disgust and amusement, but I thought correspondence might encourage more disturbing mail-outs. And, I just don't want to take any chances. For now, I'll throw it out (now that I've posted on it) and lock my doors at night. You never know when Jim Carey may show up in a camouflage jumpsuit and night vision goggles.

PS. I went nuts with the italics (and parenthesis.) Consider me a rebel.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Someone call Oprah!

I finally found a lady who can wear those skinny jeans!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thirteen Things I Would Add To The Next Season Of Project Runway

1. I would add those girls from the runway Corelle wear commercial. Only, I think I want all of them to slip down so I can see that every pattern is shatter proof. Of course. Ahem, that is the reason.

2. Tim would show up for Laura's delivery in a special edition of the show.
He would walk in and say, "Doctors. Can we gather 'round? For your next challenge, we will have you deliver Laura's baby in the twinkling of an eye, all the while keeping her absolutely free of pain, her red coral lipstick unsmudged, and her red hair neatly coifed. The winner of this challenge wins nothing. The losers will be chewed out by Laura. No holds barred."

3. Each designer would have to design an outfit for a new mom. The mom will model the outfit on the runway, toddler by the hand, newborn baby on one hip, and diaper bag over her shoulder. Let's see who survives that one.

4. Jeffrey would return and have to remake all of those outfits in question on camera. (I know he was found innocent, but I am a cynic.)

5. The models would have to eat the leftovers of a happy meal before each show. ;>)

6. The judges would include 3 random shoppers from Wal-mart, Target, and JCPenney. None of them below age 20.

7. As part of the new mom outfit challenge, the outfit will have baby spit-up, permanent marker, ketchup, and one unknown mystery stain applied. Then the Tide and Gain people can fight over which product works.

8. Stacey and Clint show up as guest judges.

9. Instead of going to the recycling center, the designers must go to my closet and use all of the not so fashionable clothing to create a new design. Good luck.

10. Uli broadcasts her spectacular runway show from Miami, Brandy in the audience and paparazzi everywhere. Her really fun prints make her a household name. She walks out at the beginning of the show and says (in her German accent):

"So, I didn't win on Project Runway. Second is good. They told me to move to New York, that they were tired of Miami. Miami and the Florida lifestyle are who I am. So, here I am with celebrity orders and women flocking to stores to buy my dresses. Hey, Michael Korrs! This ain't New York!"

11. Michael Knight returns as a guest judge and challenges the designers to "Make your design the bomb!" One redneck design contestant misunderstands and actually makes a stink bomb. He is aufed.

12. Finally, Laura has her baby and Tim runs out in his Georgio Armani scrubs and says, "I have an announcement to make. It's a boy! And his name is not Jeffrey or Vincent."

13. The viewers choose the winner of the final 3 (or final 4.) Period. We are the ones buying the clothes, right?

Happy Birthday, Lori!

Be sure to visit Laurel Wreath today and wish her a very happy birthday. She had oral surgery a few weeks ago and still has her mouth wired. Let's wish for her a very tasty cheesecake shake! (She usually has her favorite cheesecake on her special day.)
Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mama and Drama

I was reading Mommy Dearest's post over at Home Sweet Home. She tells the story about her little girl, a neon ink pen, and some pretty awesome carpet stain remover. Be sure to check it out.

Her post reminded me of the times my daughter cut her hair. Yes, times, not time. She has done it twice. The first time, she was about 3 years old. As soon as she had done it, she came to me and told on herself. The damage wasn't that obvious until I started to inspect her little head. OH! The stubble of bangs that remained made my jaw drop.

When I asked her why she cut her hair, she simply said,"I was hot."

The next day we went to my hairdresser and my daughter had the most fabulous bob hairdo in her preschool class. And, we also had a very long talk about how every kid cuts their hair once, and this was her one time. So, that meant she was done with the cutting hair rite of passage of childhood. The End.


It seems there was a sequel to this story and I was not consulted before publication.

It was last year. (I don't tell my child's age now due to safety concerns, but let's just say she is old enough to know better.) I was -yep- on the phone with Mama. You knew that one was coming. Kids always do these things when we are on the phone. The sequence of events went something like this-

Maggie the cat ran in my room and dashed under the bed.

My daughter walks in. "Mommy, Maggie won't let me brush her."

"Maybe Maggie doesn't feel like being brushed right now. Leave her be."

"But I want to brush her. She won't let me." Whine, Whine, Whine.

"Mama, let me call you back. I need to deal with this."

I hung up the phone and found Maggie still crouched under the bed. My daughter was in the living room.

"It is rude to interrupt me while I am on the phone. Unless you need something or you are hurt, just wait until I get off."

"Mommy, I cut my hair."

"What?!!!! Let me see! Oh, what did you do!? You know you are in trouble."

"I cut Maggie's hair, too."

"What?!!! Why?"

"She needed a haircut. She was hot."

Let me stop here and tell you the cat was fine. Ugly, but fine. Actually, because she is a long hair the gauging and chopping just looked like the cat version of "layers." Apparently, Maggie had been forced into our little apprentice groomer's fun and then ran away. The mad escape is when I saw her run under the bed.

Because my child was chasing her with scissors.

Never mind the "Never run with scissors" 11th commandment. No. We have to amend that rule to "Never run with scissors while chasing the cat."

I was surprisingly calm through the entire ordeal. My daughter had time out that evening, no tv, no movies, no fun. She also had to pay for half of the haircut that repaired the damage. I told her she would have had to pay for all of it if she had not told me. I also reminded her that every kid gets one time to cut their hair and her time had already run out. There was not supposed to be a second time.

When I took her to the hairdresser to repair the massive mess, she told the stylist "I cut my hair. And, there won't be a next time."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's A Meme, But Not Really

I am calling this post Totally Confused Tuesday.

It isn't really a meme, but it sounds like one. I was thinking about things in life that totally baffle my little, lost mind. And, of course, most of this profound cognition was in the car. It is amazing that I actually can keep my mind on the road, since it is usually wandering to other places.

1. When I put things in the recycle bin on my computer, do they end up in cyberspace on someone else's computer? Perhaps as a better, more well-written post?

2. If designers only use anorexic models, then how do they know that their clothes will look good on regular women? Ahem, they don't. So, why do they make fun of us and come up with these low rider jeans and terms like "muffin top?"

3. Why doesn't Martha Stewart ever trim her bangs?

4. If the chef at a fine restaurant uses substitutes in his recipe, then shouldn't my meal be cheaper?

5. Why can't toothpaste have an opening at both ends?

6. If you go to a buffet place for a birthday party, do they put a sneeze guard over the cake before you blow out the candles?

7. I think Santa must be diabetic by now.

8. Before the light bulb, I wonder if people had "candle moments."

9. Why does cat food come in flavors like "tuna, chicken, and shrimp?" Shouldn't it be "rat, squirrel, and bird?"

10. Why does everyone care about some guy named Jimmy Hoffa? I'm still looking for Waldo.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Madness

The last few days have been a whirlwind of events. My husband had his outpatient surgery on Thursday and we have been busy ever since. We started out great, then last night had a turn for the worse. Today has been wonderful and we are starting to get back to a somewhat normal routine. Before I get all sarcastic, I do want to thank you for your prayers!!

Here are a few things I have learned from the last few days-

1. On the day your husband is scheduled to have any type of surgical procedure, do not promise to make caramel apples with your child for her entire class. In the event that you do make this promise, be sure that this is not your very first attempt at making caramel apples.

Tip- The caramel will stick to other objects including your kid, yourself, your clothes, every single utensil in close proximity and your kitchen table. Miraculously, you will have an epiphany in the midnight hour and discover that the hair dryer will melt the caramel so that you can scrape it off the table. You instantly consider this tip as your next Works For Me Wednesday Post.

2. Barbie dolls and stuffed animals become dangerous hazards when in the path of a man on crutches. Be sure to have your child remove them promptly or threaten time out, loss of privileges or bodily harm. Whatever works best.

3. A very fat black cat is also a hazard. The only way to control this is to keep her in the garage for the rest of the convalescent period.

4. Liquid doughnuts from Starbucks (with triple shot of espresso) become a necessary measure for staying coherent and alert.

5. The patient recovering is more important than folding laundry, showering yourself, and blogging. :>)

6. In the event that the patient suddenly has a headache and vomiting, one must go to the ER. Carter and Carol Hathaway will not be there to soothe away the aches. But, down the hall, you can find a vending machine with Pop Tarts. Your daughter will think this is cool.

7. If you become irritated with the ER physician and find his tone condescending, make sure you choose your comments carefully after he leaves the room. For example-

Me- "What he said was crap. (Turn to child) Oops. Sweetie, that is a bad word. Don't say that word. It isn't really a curse word, but it isn't nice. NEVER say it. Mommy shouldn't have said it. I got upset and it slipped."

Child- "Crap. C-r-a-p. Crap."

Husband/Patient- Grin from ear to ear

Tip- When selecting a new spelling word, be sure it is a word that can be repeated.

8. Once you leave the ER, the personnel will give you a hand out about vomiting. It is, in my opinion, quite educational and helpful. (In the tradition of quoting sea monkey manuals, I just have to share. I could not, even with the many shots of espresso and glasses of Diet Coke, make this up!)

Warning. If you are having dinner, put the taco down. Come back later. The material you are about to read may, in fact cause nausea. Or make you laugh taco sauce through your nose.

"Nausea and Vomiting

What is it?
Nausea is a feeling of sickness in the stomach, usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Vomiting is the forceful ejection of the stomach contents through the mouth.

Who gets it?

What are the symptoms
The symptom of nausea is a general feeling of sickness in the stomach. Just before vomiting, you may salivate considerably and begin to retch. "

Wow! I don't know about you, but I feel informed. Thank goodness for the person who takes time out of his life to research and write these educational references. And they say patient teaching is overlooked in today's health care system.

I hope that you have benefited from this post. As always, I am here for you. ;>)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Like Mother, Like Daughter

After watching The Cheetah Girls 2 today, my daughter was working on some art.

This is what it said...

"We Love New York. This Ain't Spain. The Cheetah Girls"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'll be back...

after many cups of coffee or other stimulant. :>)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


My husband did well in surgery today. Thanks for your prayers!

God is Good. All the time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thirteen Things I Love About My Husband

My husband is having outpatient surgery on his knee today (thursday), so please be in prayer for him. In honor of him, I want to share 13 things that I love about him.

1. He has always made me laugh. Not with normal, everyday humor, but with off the wall and sometimes, just odd humor. Hmmm... says a lot about me too.

2. He is the most wonderful Daddy. I say Daddy and not Father. Daddy is just a special word reserved for the best, loving and fun ahem Daddy's in the world. And, to a Southern girl like myself, a Daddy is always Daddy- even if you are 40 years old. I bet my daughter will call my husband Daddy for the rest of her life, too.

3. I respect my husband. Sadly, I don't think some women do.

4. He respects me. (And I try hard not to lose that)

5. He loves and respects God. Ok- Can I say that I should have listed this as #1?!

6. He's smart. We can actually debate each other and laugh later.

7. He is my best friend.

8. He washes the dishes without complaining.

9. He eats my cooking, too. Even the biscuits I made when we first married- the ones where I used plain flour in instead of self-rising. Can you say Hockey Puck? I got up from the table and made another pan. Oh, yes I did.

10. He took me to a Yanni concert, even though the guys at work made fun of him. That is how he is- giving. He remembers little things I have mentioned that I love. (like the wooden cigar Indian- he would soooo get me one if he found it)

11. He accepts that I am not perfect. He puts up with my many moods, my migraine headache days, and all of the little perks and quirks I have- like the post office, the library, and so on.

12. He gave me a kitten as a present- Maggie. We saw her while visiting the shelter one day. He went back and got her days later and brought her home. She was so tiny and unhealthy. She meowed all the way home, and she hasn't shut up since.

13. I know that I can live the rest of my life with him. What an honor.

I hope my thirteen wasn't too sappy for ya'll. I do have feelings, ya know. LOL


Because People Like To Say "Salsa"

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can unseasoned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tomatoes, diced (make sure they are well ripened)

1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped (remove as many stems as possible)

1 Tbs olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

salt and pepper to taste

1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)

hot sauce to taste (optional)

Mix and serve with your favorite chips. Garnish with lime slices or avocado.

Monday, October 09, 2006

You Either Have Grace or You Don't*

It happened right in front of me.

The pain. The horror. The pure entertaining, post-worthy hysteria of it all.

It was an average shopping trip to Target. The sun was shining and the sky was a lovely blue. I am sure there were birds chirping somewhere, but since I was in a parking lot sans trees and any substantial vegetation, I didn't hear any meadowlark's song.

There were three of them- three ladies who looked to be in their early sixties. They were all dressed rather cute and looked like they had just concluded a fun day out with "the girls" shopping, laughing, and maybe catching a great lunch at one of those restaurants that offers nothing but chicken entrees on the menu (and fabulous desserts.)

One of the ladies was pushing the cart, chatting with her friend. One was on her cell phone doing some serious talking. The lady pushed her cart up onto the curb in order to unload it into the SUV. Then, in one graceful Rockettes style kick, one leg flew up into the air (she may have even pointed her Keds bearing toes), the other leg buckled underneath her, as the woman's skort caught a gust of wind like a sail on the mighty sea, and her fanny landed flat on the pavement.

One friend ran to her aid. I ran over to help, too as the fallen Rockette pulled herself up, brushed herself off, with her face blushed in embarrassment, and assured us,"I'm OK! I'm OK!"

What was even more amazing is that the friend on the cell phone didn't skip a beat in her conversation as she held the phone to her ear with her shoulder, and helped her friend with the other arm. Then she said,"What we want to know is- Martha, are you wearing any underwear? That's what we really want to know. Mama always told me to wear underwear and make sure they are clean and not torn."

This information is, of course, more important than if her friend had broken anything, hit her head, or scraped her knee. I mean, she wouldn't want to be humiliated by not wearing the proper undergarments while doing a kick line dance maneuver and landing her well dressed rear flatly on the pavement in Target parking lot.

Manners and modesty first. X-rays later.

*Seinfeld- Elaine meets Mr. Pitt.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Creativity Escapes Meme

I am so glad that Big Mama was doing a word meme today. I have serious writer's block. I also did not have enough coffee this morning to get me going, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Here goes:

1. Cowboy- My daughter. She loves anything remotely associated with horses and is convinced that all good things come from Texas. This is because her Daddy has had several works trips to Texas and has brought back some pretty cool toys. Cowboy also reminds me of the Dixie Chicks, baked beans, wagons, Wranglers, real hats, boots, and men that have to spit a lot.

2. Lemon- Lemonhead candy, lemonade, sour, yellow. And a clunker car.

3. Peace- Nancy's recent art, Christmas, what I wish for in the world. And the feeling I have in my heart because of the saving grace of Jesus.

4. Change- The thing I don't do well with. The seasons. What my Daddy always had in his pocket, along with his pocket knife and his keys.

Thanks, Big Mama, for the inspirational vocabulary! Happy Sunday, ya'll!

Sorry, guys. I forgot to add four new words:


Friday, October 06, 2006

Acts of Kindness Could Not Be More Random

Don't try to connect these. They can't be connected. There really is no telling the fireworks display between neurotransmitters in my brain.

1. In the car today, "Mommy, the name Sasha reminds me of mashed potatoes."

2. Yesterday I was wondering if the FedEx guy and the UPS guy ever drag race.

3. If blogs crossed:

Big Mama + Boo Mama= Big "Boo Boo" With A Cool Band-Aid

This Ain't New York + Living To Tell The Story= Niagara Falls

Laurel Wreath + Grafted Branch= Lovely Natural Floral Arrangement

Created for HIS Glory + The Ultimate Creator= When We All Get To Heaven :>)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thirteen Words and Phrases from Project Runway: Season 3

1. Serious Ugly

2. Boring

3. Really Fun Print

4. Pageant Dress

5. Couture du Jour

6. Make it work!

7. Angela and Jeffrey

8. Angela's mom

9. Auf

10. Rosettes

11. My design is the bomb.

12. One day you're in, and the next day you're out.

13. Please leave the runway.

Nancy and BooMama- You are right. No way I could quote Vincent on here. I care about you too much. ;>) Some things just aren't worth repeating.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Let's Show Them We Care

School shootings and violence against children have reached every corner of our nation this week, even the quiet, simple region of Amish country.

I am so saddened at what has happened and seems to keep happening to our children. We all need to pray and ask God's guidance on what we can do to prevent more terrible acts of reprehensible violence.

The Today Show has provided viewers with an opportunity to make a donation toward the funeral expenses of the Amish children killed this week. They have posted the address below.

I am encouraging everyone to send Sympathy cards. Making the donation is a personal choice. I really feel that Christians of the "outside world" need to express our deepest sympathy to those in Amish country suffering right now. They are being bombarded by the media and other secular organizations. Christian outreach would be such a blessing to them at this time.

You can visit the Today website for more information. The address they have posted is:

HomeTowne Heritage Bank
100 Historic Drive
PO Box 337
Strasburg, Pennsylvania 17579

If I find another address, I will update you.

Pillsbury Dough, Plastic Stemware, and Two Giggly Girls

Tonight, my daughter and I dined alone- just the two of us. Sometimes my husband's job doesn't always allow him to be home at dinner. We cherish the nights we are able to sit down together for a meal, but sometimes it is nice to have "just the girls."

For tonight's meal, my daughter and I made pizza. I did not make the dough myself; the little doughboy made it for me. My friend Nancy would probably be twirling her dough up in the air, pounding it, then twirling it again... until it fell in the dog food (but that's another post!)

Ours was a simple pie with the canned dough, bottled sauce and ziplock pre-shredded cheese. My, that does not sound good at all once I write it out! The point was to make it together, be messy, and just have fun. We had salads complete with croutons- a must for my daughter. The best part was our very refined sparkling raspberry/grape juice which we sipped from the most exquisite "glasses"- plastic stemware which is actually intended for the patio. But, hey, I am not letting my child drink from the wedding crystal. Not yet.

She thought it was very special, bubblies and all, and it was kind of nice. Just mom and daughter. Lots of giggles and cheese stringing from our mouths.

Very refined indeed. ;>)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Mama Daddy Meme

This meme is going around but, unlike the flu, it is quite fun and you don't have to take awful tasting medicine.

I think Barb at Chelsea Morning got it going, but I decided to take Big Mama's challenge to join in.

1. Favorite Memory of your Mother?

It is hard to pin it down to one memory. As a child, I remember making sugar cookies at Christmas, always licking the beaters and the bowl. A good mama always leaves just enough for the "licking." We also made wedding cookies. Yum.

As an adult, I remember driving around Albany with Mama one Christmas Day passing out slices of pound cake to the homeless men who lived down at the train tracks. It was perfectly safe- the tracks are next to the police station and the police allow the homeless men to live there, as long as they don't cause any trouble. I have a lot of memories like that- driving all over town passing out gifts, cookies, or cards to people who may not have received anything otherwise. Mama and I have a special place in our hearts for people who aren't always easy to love, or who tend to be forgotten. I learned a lot about giving from Mama.

2. Favorite Memory of your Father?

My favorite memories with Daddy are all in his garden. I used to help him plant his garden- sometimes from seeds and sometimes from small seedlings. I can remember Daddy tilling the ground, then using a pencil to make a hole to drop the seed in. I would follow behind him and drop the seed.

I loved helping him dig for potatoes. I was the kind of kid who liked to get dirty, but then always ran inside to wash my hands.

3. Favorite Memory of your Siblings?

I am an only child, but I have many memories with my hyper, male cousins. They were both younger than me. When I visited Granny, they came over and we would play outside. Papa played with us a lot. We have a lot of memories shooting the BB gun. :>)

4. What one skill would you like to wake up tomorrow and be able to do (though you'd never learned it)?

I would love to be able to drop 10 pounds per day while gaining muscle mass and holding a donut and a mocha frap. Since that isn't really considered a skill, I will go with quilting.

5. Which one of your dreams has come true?

I am married to a WONDERFUL husband and have a beautiful daughter. What else can I dream of?

My Testimony

I am a little late posting this. Lauren offered to host a Tour Of Testimonies on Oct. 1. (Thanks, Lauren!) I've been a little busy around here, and I just didn't want to rush through this post. After all, this post is about how Jesus saved my life.

My mama always took me to church. Daddy went too, but it was Mama who always put the fire under us to get out the door. She was the one who shared Jesus with me. She is the one I remember praying with me. Daddy's outward expression of his faith was more reserved and quiet. Daddy is, by nature, more of a quiet man. I know in my heart that my salvation was important to him. He just didn't openly express his concern.

We attended a Southern Baptist church in Albany. Mama was always doing something, teaching Sunday School or Vacation Bible School, or making dishes for the benevolence committee. She also was a stay-at-home mom, so I went with her everywhere. Often we were at the church fixing up her Sunday School room or doing some other sort of project. Most Saturdays, Daddy worked. For as long as I can remember, he worked six days a week, sometimes overtime. He later changed jobs and his hours changed as well.

I was taught a deep respect and reverence for God, His Word and His Will. My parents never had a legalistic view of God. They told me about God's Law, but they always included God's Love. I knew from a very early age that God loved me abundantly. That is a rare experience for children these days, I believe.

Talking about God and church was just natural for our family. It was part of every day living. I can't remember us every having a sit down type of devotion, but I remember God and the Bible just being a normal part of our lives. The Bible was part of our conversations.

Being exposed to the Gospel for years, I finally felt the tug of the Holy Spirit one night before going to bed. I was 9 years old. Mama and I had talked about Jesus and she must have answered a million questions. I remember going to bed and praying right there under my pink gingham canopy. I asked forgiveness of my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart. It was the most overwhelming feeling. I can still remember it. After praying, I climbed out of bed and went back in the living room to tell Mama. She must have been so excited.

That next week I went to church camp. Many of my friends accepted Christ that week. When we returned, there was an entire group of kids who were baptized, including me. I remember that too. Mama made sure I had on a dress underneath that white robe- something that would not become "see through" after I got all wet. :>)

Years later, high school came along. I have no idea when it happened, if it was overnight or a slow process. For whatever reason, I became the typical backsliden baptist teenager. So did most of my friends. We rebelled while still attending church on a regular basis. What I do know for sure is that school had a huge influence on me.

I went to college and nothing really changed. A new independence seems to fuel the fire of rebellion. All along I knew I was wrong, but I kept pushing that conviction down, way down until I almost didn't feel it anymore.

I married my husband and we didn't go to church. This broke Mama's heart. She told me so. But, I just didn't listen and continued to stay away from church.

It wasn't until I found out I was expecting that I finally decided to return to church. My husband was supportive and we visited churches until we found the "right" one for us. He was raised Methodist, and I don't really know why he didn't want to go to church before, but, now he did and I was thrilled. Many spouses don't understand why their significant other suddenly decides to attend church after so many years.

God was so patient with me. I have no idea why, except that He loves me. I am so thankful that I didn't waste more time away from church and away from His Word. I do regret the years I was away, but I think somehow I have a special understanding of those who have been where I have been. Maybe even a little less critical.

If you are reading this and you have never accepted Jesus, do it now. He died for you on the cross. He was raised again and now lives in Heaven. You don't have to do anything to receive eternal life and you don't have to do anything to keep it. It is a gift from God. All you have to do is reach out to Him, admit you are a sinner, believe He can save you, and tell Him you want Him to come into your life. It really is that simple.

God loves you.

To read more testimonies of how God changes lives, visit Lauren

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The New Cowboy

I'll be back tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy my favorite commerical!.