Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Funny

Today's funny bit is brought to you courtesy of a fellow stamper. I really like her cardmaking style, and when I read this story I was cracking up!

Last night, my friend Sheila asked me to run down to Big Lots with her.

As she was checking out, it so happened that the box of Tampax she wanted had no price. I cringed when the cashier got on the intercom and announced, "Price check on register five. Tampax; Supersize."

Now that was bad enough, but the guy looking for the price apparently mistook "Tampax" for "thumbtacks." 'Cuz, in a serious tone, his voice boomed back over the intercom, "Do you want the kind you push in with your thumb or the kind you pound in with a hammer?"


If I'd been along on this expedition, there's a very good chance that I would have passed out at the checkout due to lack of oxygen from laughing so hard.

(Original can be found here)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have you entered?

You have a few more days to enter the giveaway for this great book - the deadline has been extended until Sept 10.

I know that word "postmodern" is a bit scary, but Mary DeMuth offers godly, practical insights into how we can prepare our children to deal with the world - grounding them in Biblical truth so they can navigate through the shifting sands. Read the reviews at the link above - they say it much more eloquently than I could. So click over to this post and comment!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Self Control

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)

This is definitely a big area of struggle for me. I am selfish, and want what I want, when I want. Awfully childish attitude (especially when I spell it out like that), but that's the truth. No, this attitude didn't magically go away when I became a wife and mom. It's getting better, but still much room for improvement. I lack discipline in many areas, and I'm seeing my poor habits manifest themselves in the kids, too.

A few thoughts from Naked Fruit by Elisa Morgan:

"Self-control hems us about, protecting us from losing ground to impatience, bitterness, greed and the like... Self-control is a healthy-mindedness that watches for the holes in the walls of our lives and keeps them patched...

It's never too late to repair the wall. It may seem so. In fact, that's one of the greatest lies in our days: It's too late, it's too big, it's too bad, forget it. But because the fruit of self-control, like all spiritual fruit, is a fruit grown by God in our lives, it's not too late today and it won't be too late tomorrow... He doesn't give up on us...

The holes in our wall are patched when we learn to think truthfully about our lives in a healthy-minded fashion. What's the truth about who I am and what I do and what I want to be? A life that matters is a life connected to God. If I'm connected, I'm growing in the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control - and that reality will grow in me and through me a life that matters."

Honestly, I think self-control is the most neglected fruit (particularly here in America). It's certainly the least fun - we all happily latch on to the ideas of love, joy, peace, etc... but denying our selfish impulses? Whoa!! But I also think it's really interesting to look at the order of the fruits. It all starts with love. Anyone read I Cor 13 lately? If we don't have love, everything else is pointless. And where does it end? With self-control. It's about balance, and it sort of "tempers" the other fruits, helping find the balance of being too stingy or going over the top. I've started thinking of it more along the lines of giving God control of myself. Because as already mentioned, my self is awfully weak. But when I turn it over, things get easier.

Thoughts? Anyone else struggle on this?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Checking In

Tuesday already?! Thankfully I'm feeling better and the kids don't seem to have gotten anything. And just so you can see how healthy we all are, I thought I'd share our family picture, courtesy of our daughter. I love how she and I are pink :)

We went to D's kindergarten orientation yesterday. They have a *VERY* large incoming class. Maximum class size is 25 children, and all three teachers are nearly at their max. Yikes. Very diverse group, and it will be interesting to see how it all comes together. It was also very interesting watching the kids' reactions as their names were called. Some kids went running up to the front, others clung to mom and cried, and one actually crawled under the table and literally had to be drug out. As we were leaving, D annnounced that he liked his school and wanted to know if he could start sooner. I'm so thankful that he's excited about it!

Today, unfortunately, wasn't quite so good. This morning, I told the kids that I had a super fun surprise for them, but they had to straighten up their room first, seeing as how they'd trashed it after dinner last night. They screwed around all morning - throwing toys at one another, emptying drawers, and frankly making it even worse. By 2:00, I was DONE. I told them that they had missed out on the surprise. And after talking it over with hubby, decided to let them know what it was: a trip to Sesame Place. (This place is literally right behind our mall, and we see the giant rubber ducky every time we leave A.C. Moore/Michael's. The kids have asked to go there many times, but ticket prices are outrageous. Well, some friends of ours have season passes and the park was running a special deal for Tuesdays in Aug where we could get in free by going with them) D in particular took the news really hard, and cried for at least 20 minutes.

After having that discussion with the kiddos, I couldn't help but wondering how many blessings I've missed out on because I was set on doing my own thing, rather than following God's will. I'm telling you, parenting changes your perspective on everything...

We had Chinese for dinner, (mein fun - yum!!!!) and when I pulled the fortune out of my cookie, I started laughing and immediately called hubby. Funny thing was that they had Chinese for dinner last night, and his fortune said something about a big change. Still nothing official to announce on that issue, but the cookies have spoken :)
SmileyCentral.comAnd to end on a happy note, hubby comes home tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Summer colds are nasty things, aren't they? I've been fighting this off for a couple days, but I woke up this morning with my head pounding, cement lodged in my sinuses, and evidently my voice is off on vacation somewhere... I'm disappointed because now we'll be staying home from church (A is also running a slight fever, so that was the deciding factor).

On a side note, things have actually been going relatively well with hubby gone. Had a girls night on Friday, and it was wonderful to catch up with friends. Yesterday the kids and I pulled out the craft bin and got creative, making pipe cleaner "fairies" and painting airplanes, suncatchers, and a variety of other bits.

Tomorrow is D's kindergarten orientation, so I really need to get better. I may just pop a movie in and lay on the couch. Here's hoping the kiddos cooperate with that plan ;)

Funny quote for you - and something worth thinking about:
"A good marriage is a bit like a pet boa constrictor: either you feed it every day or bad things happen."
- Ty Wenger (from this article)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's up?

Nothing terribly exciting to report, but I thought I'd check in. Hubby is off to AZ tomorrow so I'll be single mom-ing it for a week, which is never my favorite thing. I'm already praying that I'll be patient and gentle with the kids; mean, yelling mama tends to come out after hubby's been gone a couple days.

A few funny tidbits:

I ran out last evening to purchase some things: rye bread (for Grandma in AZ, from the fabulous Italian bakery) and fish (from the Asian market that's in the same plaza as the bakery). Well, I got the bread in record time and walked over to H-Mart. Grabbed some fruit (they have great prices, plus their produce is always in really nice shape), then headed to the back. There was quite a line for fresh fish (not unsual), and since I was actually shopping for the next day, I figured I'd head over to the freezer section. Score - whole tilapia for $1.79/lb! I was in a hurry so grabbed two of the smaller ones. Well, when I got back home hubby pointed out just how *whole* the fish were. I knew I'd paid for eyes (again, not unusual at this store) but didn't realize we also were lucky enough to receive the entrails. Note to self: take 2.3 seconds to see if fish has been gutted.

The kids are really into knock-knock jokes these days, and were making up some doozies at dinner last night. Our daughter in particular was on a roll, and here's a sample:

  • Knock Knock
  • (me) Who's There?
  • Feet
  • (me) Feet who?
  • Feet in the feezy (half breath) Now you have to laugh, Mom!

She was being so goofy and obviously not making much sense, but it was the "you have to laugh" part (every single time!) that really had me rolling. Wanna hear what I came up with?

  • Knock Knock
  • Who's There?
  • Eyebrow
  • Eyebrow who?
  • Eyebrow nose, so I've been promoted at work!

(The kids definitely didn't appreciate it, and hubby just rolled his eyes. So much for my rapier wit!)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Expositional Listening

Ran across this article at New Attitude and thought I'd pass it along. Taken from the book What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile

If churches are to be healthy, then pastors and teachers must be committed to discovering the meaning of Scripture and allowing that meaning to drive the agenda with their congregations... Just as the pastor’s preaching agenda should be determined by the meaning of Scripture, so too should the Christian’s listening agenda be driven by the meaning of Scripture. When we listen to the preaching of the Word, we should not listen primarily for “practical how-to advice,” though Scripture teaches us much about everyday matters. Nor should we listen for messages that bolster our self-esteem or that rouse us to political and social causes. Rather, as members of Christian churches we should listen primarily for the voice and message of God as revealed in his Word. We should listen to hear what he has written, in his omniscient love, for his glory and for our blessing.

So what exactly do I mean by “expositional listening”? Expositional listening is listening for the meaning of a passage of Scripture and accepting that meaning as the main idea to be grasped for our personal and corporate lives as Christians.

Expositional listening benefits us, first, by cultivating a hunger for God’s Word. As we tune our ears... we grow accustomed to listening to God... His Word, his voice, becomes sweet to us (Ps. 119:103–4); and as it does, we are better able to push to the background the many voices that rival God’s voice for control over our lives... God’s agenda for his people takes center stage, reorders our priorities, and directs us in the course that most honors him. The Lord himself proclaimed, “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Listening to the voice of Jesus as it is heard in his Word is critical to following him...

Expositional listening protects the gospel and our lives from corruption. The Scripture tells us “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3–4). The failure to listen expositionally has disastrous effects. False teachers enter the church and hinder the gospel. Ultimately, the truth is displaced by myths and falsehoods. Where members cultivate the habit of expositional listening they guard themselves against “itching ears” and protect the gospel from corruption...

Repeatedly, the New Testament writers exhort local churches to be unified—to be of one mind. Paul writes to one local church, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there may be no divisions among you, but that you may be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10; see also Rom. 12:16; 2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Pet. 3:8). As we gather together in our local churches and give ourselves to hearing the voice of God through his preached Word, we’re shaped into one body. We are united in understanding and purpose. And that unity testifies to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ (John 17:21). But if we listen with our own interests and agendas in mind, if we develop “private interpretations” and idiosyncratic views, we risk shattering that unity, provoking disputes over doubtful matters, and weakening our corporate gospel witness.

Well, if expositional listening is so vital to the health of individual church members and the church as a whole, how does a person form such a habit?

...Instead of rushing off after the service is over, or talking about the latest news, develop the habit of talking about the sermon with people after church. Start spiritual conversations by asking, “How did the Scripture challenge or speak to you today?” Or, “What about God’s character most surprised or encouraged you?” Encourage others by sharing things you learned about God and his Word during the sermon. Make particular note of how your thinking has changed because of the meaning of Scripture itself. And pray with others that God would keep the congregation from becoming “dull of hearing” and that he would bless the congregation with an increasingly strong desire for the “solid food” of his Word (Isa. 6:9–10; Heb. 5:11–14)...

Choose one or two particular applications from the Scripture and prayerfully put them into practice over the coming week. If your church has an audio ministry or a website that posts recent summaries, take advantage of these opportunities to feed your soul with the click of a mouse. With your pastor’s support, establish small groups that review and apply the sermons. Or, use the sermons and your notes as a resource in one-on-one discipleship relationships. I know of several families that have a regular sermon-review time as their Sunday evening family devotional. There are a hundred ways to keep the sermon alive in your spiritual life by reviewing God’s Word throughout the week. Be creative. It’s well worth the planning... Moreover, don’t be passive in your private study; seek answers by searching the Scripture yourself and by talking with accountability partners or small groups. But don’t forget that the pastor has likely spent more time than most in thinking about that passage and is there to feed you God’s Word. Follow up the sermon with questions and comments that would be an encouragement to your pastor and a blessing to your soul...

As you dig into God’s Word, listening for his voice, you will no doubt begin to grow and discover many wonderful treasures. But as you grow, do not become a “professional sermon listener” who is always hearing but never learning. Beware of false knowledge that “puffs up” (1 Cor. 1:8; Col. 2:18) and tends to cause strife and dissension. Mortify any tendencies toward pride, the condemnation of others, and critical nitpicking. Instead, seek to meet Jesus each time you come to the Scripture; gather from the Word fuel for all-of-life worship. Instead of exalting ourselves, let us remember the apostle Peter’s words: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6).

It is hearing the message and the Word of God that leads to saving faith (Rom.10:17). Church members are healthy when they give themselves to hearing this message as a regular discipline. Expositional listening promotes such health for individual members and entire churches.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Funny

My Dodge is an awesome Dodge! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some Great Giveaways

Just wanted to share some great little goodies that are floating around the blogosphere right now:

Win a copy of Mary E. DeMuth's "Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture: Practical Help for Shaping Your Children's Hearts, Minds, and Souls" from Tekeme Studios by leaving a comment on this post! Contest ends Sept 10, 2008.

I've mentioned this book in a couple posts; it really is a wonderful resource. Practical advice, plus it's an enjoyable read. So leave a comment, and you can win one for yourself! (And if you'd like a chance at winning a free blog design, then click over here and join in the fun!)

- - - - -

{Contest is over - and no, I didn't win!} I'm working on losing weight, and odds are I'm not the only one. Want some help? How about a FREE three month membership to Weight Watchers online? That's worth $65! Enter here.


My morning thus far:

  • Break up fight between kids.
  • Drop brand new roll of TP into the toilet.
  • Dump box of cereal onto the floor
  • Listen to daughter's complete screaming meltdown.
  • Pop 4 more ibuprofen to address the post-dental mouth trauma (yes, I had another appt last night)
  • Tell son for the 3rd time that he may not have candy
  • Get hair stuck on fly strip (we have a hole in one of the window screens, and have been invaded by flying pests)

It can only get better, right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hello again

Well, we're back home. In fact, we actually came home a bit earlier than planned. The main reason was that I'm a klutz - remember how I hurt my foot a couple weeks ago? Well, we went on a little family hike and I managed to trip over a rock. Nice, eh? Unfortunately, there were several other factors as well: although we'd brought the kids' bikes, I had forgotten their helmets (Oops! And yes, it's state law here in PA); the "lake" was more of a small pond and we're still not convinced there were actually fish in it; A was (and continues to be) in a weird mood - I'm guessing that she's going to be spurting an inch or so in the next week as she's been really whiney and sleeping quite a bit. So taking all of that into account, we packed up and drove home. In torrential rain. Took a wrong turn to boot. Yeah, it was grand :) But we did see an absolutely glorious rainbow - huge and very bright.

So what's up now? Well, I'm continuing on my quest to be better organized. I've pitched a number of things from the kitchen and am sifting through kids' belongings. D still hasn't moved downstairs, and I need to rearrange some furniture to make that happen. I also did some shopping yesterday - Kohl's is doing some major clearance, so I was able to find some things for myself as well as our daughter (son is well-stocked through the generosity of friends with older boys :) We're meeting a friend later this morning for a movie; it's Clifford's Big Adventure, and I'm not sure whether it will hold our kids' attention. Back to the dentist tomorrow. Hubby flies out to Arizona next week. Still nothing definite on the relocation issue; there are still a number of details that need to be resolved, but it's looking as though we'll be headed south in '09.

Oh, and did I mention that D will be starting kindergarten three weeks from today?!?!? The reality is sinking in, and I'm definitely having a harder time with it than I thought I would. Mostly I'm concerned about him - it's a full-day program in our district, and I'm just not sure how he'll handle that. I'm also a little frustrated with the lack of communication on some issues - I found a basic calendar online, but still don't have info on his teacher, supply list, etc. And well, he's just not that interested in the whole learning thing yet; in fact, his little sister knows her alphabet better! Continuing to pray about it all, and I know that God has it under control!

And as a follow-up to Friday's post, I thought I'd share my croc obsession. So to answer your question, Jenn, I haven't just crossed over to the dorc side, I've fully embraced it! :) They truly are comfy, and I have a hard time finding shoes in my size, so have been thrilled with these. And I do want to clarify that the purple ones seldom leave the house - I'm usually sporting the brown mary janes or now the fab black sandals (my newest purchase).


Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Funny

Is this a bad time to mention that I got a new pair of Crocs sandals earlier this week?
Yep, I'm completely serious.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

And we're off!

We'll be heading out shortly to commune with nature... be back in a couple days with (hopefully) lots of pics!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday - Tag, You're It!

Shay tagged me over the weekend, and the rules are as follows:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

Only 6 crazy facts about me? I have hundreds of fun quirks! But I don't want to scare anyone too badly on a Monday morning, so here's my list:
  1. Bugs love me. Seriously, I am repellent for everyone else within a quarter mile, because I guarantee the mosquitoes will be feasting on my arms and legs!
  2. I am a klutz. If there is lint on the floor, I will probably trip on it. Sadly, our daughter seems to have inherited this trait.
  3. I adore Cary Grant movies. I was first introduced to his delightful comic timing when I was on a late night babysitting gig in high school, and My Favorite Wife was on AMC. I still crack up at the scene in the elevator.
  4. I hate Doritos. That powdery cheese coating is nasty!
  5. Two kids, zero contractions. I had my natural childbirth plans all made, but our son decided to turn after his due date, and there was no way I was pushing that kid out sideways (he was 8 lb, 15 oz). Daughter came along 21 months later, and it was another c-section. She was 9 lb, 6 oz - and she was early! Yep, we grow 'em big :)
  6. I've tried out tons of different crafts over the years - sewing, making dolls from cotton mops, embroidery, covering photo albums - but they all fell to the wayside when I discovered rubber stamping. Yep, I'm pretty much obsessed. And the best part? I'm on a design team where the owner gives me stamps and making stuff is actually a job! Bliss.

So now it's time to make some other folks come up with their own lists. So I'm tagging Jenn, Megan, InPursuitOfHisCall, Shari, Becca and Dapoppins. You're all so very welcome (hee hee) - now flaunt your idiosyncrasies for the world to see!!

Finally, some words I really needed this morning, from Andrea at The Flourishing Mother:

When I get discouraged about the future, or about waiting on God's timing, I try to imagine myself as the Proverbs 31 woman, "laughing at the future."

I definitely need to remember that, and figured there were others who'd appreciate it, too. Hope y'all have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Helloooooooooo Friday

Still a lot going on, but I am pleased to report that progress is being made!

I ran errands last night, and not only bought a new bathroom rug but also scored some cute summer dresses for Miss Thang at 75% off. Oh, how I love clearance racks! They're plenty big, so I'm hopeful that she'll be able to wear them next spring, too. Found a *cool* backpack for the little man, so he's now even more excited about kindergarten.

Oh, and I realized that I never mentioned hubby's injury - he managed to tear his bicep last week. Definitely not good! He says it doesn't really hurt, but he does have to be careful for another week or two, as if it rips any more he'll need surgery. One of his co-workers hooked him up with some Chinese liniment stuff, and the bruising looks much better now (even if he does smell like he a mix of Dr. Pepper, wintergreen gum, and nursing home) In other husband news, he's meeting with the engineering folks today to get more info on our probable relocation - I'm focused on the house, church, school etc. but he seems to want to know more about the actual position (imagine that!!). Still nothing final to report, and we continue to covet your prayers.

One last bit of excitement (for me anyway) - this evening is "Girl's Night Out" with the MOPS steering team ladies! Pizza, games, as well as laughter and possibly even some tears. I haven't seem some of them since our last meeting on June 3, so it will be great to catch up. I know I'll be tired tomorrow and my stomach will probably hurt from laughing too hard, but soooooo worth it!