Pages That Might or Might Not Be of Interest to You!

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Lisa is the winner of the giveaway.  Lisa I will get your book to you this week, maybe Wed. night.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It Can Be Done and It Is Worth It

 I started a new book tonight and it got me to thinking. The book is one that I am reviewing; it’s about marriage. Now before you get freaked out, I’m not thinking about marriage. I like being married and love to learn how to do it better, that just isn’t where my struggle is at this point.

I’m thinking about home schooling. It’s a bit of a strange leap, I admit it. But as I sat there reading the first chapter of this book, they kept repeating a phrase that I needed to hear.

Don’t get me wrong, I need to hear it in regards to my marriage. But right now, I needed to hear it more for my home schooling journey. It spoke to my heart and resonated in the deep recesses of my doubt. It gave me hope and courage.

Sound like a miracle?

Want to know what it was?

Be prepared to be wowed! The phrase that has given voice to my fears and calmed my heart is:

It can be done and it is worth it.

I know, I know they weren’t talking about home schooling. But come on, tell me that doesn’t speak to you! Drink it in. Let is rest on your heart.

It can be done and it is worth it. It is so simple and yet so profound.

Giving your children an amazing education at home can be done.

Guiding your children through this ever changing world can be done.

Shaping your children into the people God has called them to be can be done.

Surviving one more day when you are ready to quit can be done.

Your children are worth it.

Their futures are worth it.

Your family is worth it.

If God has called you to home school, it can be done and it is worth it. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. It can be done.

This is the time of year when the doldrums set in. Life has grown routine again and the weather makes it impossible to escape the close quarters of the house. That new curriculum that was so amazing in September is getting duller by the day and the kids are fighting it with each new assignment. The newness has worn off and all those new school supplies have long been forgotten.

What happened?


Life is what happens when you are going about your day forgetting to be in the moment. Living is what you do when you are counting your blessings.

So, life happens and sin happens. And we let it. We don’t mean to; it just happens so quietly and so gradually that we don’t realize how it has altered our thinking. We let our sinful attitudes run away with us and then doubt takes root. Before long we believe the lie that it is too big a task or that we aren’t up to the challenge. Our attitude is then affected even further, taking us down a slippery path to defeat.

Listen to God’s heart calling to you. He is waiting to refresh and renew you.

It can be done and it is worth it.

I think I need to print this in big, bold letters and post in as many places as I can get away with in my house. Not only is it a great statement to apply to marriage and home schooling; it is a great statement to apply to my life. God has called me to live the life He has given me. It can be done and it is worth it. He has not called me to walk another’s path. The path he has called me to is not easy. It is painful sometimes and it is hard most of the time. But it is the path that my loving Father has laid out just for him and me to walk together. My journey won’t look like yours but we can walk together and encourage one another.

It can be done and it is worth it.

Need to hear it again?

Fellow traveler, take heart and be encouraged, It can be done and it is worth it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yeah, that's nice

You know those times in your life when it all seems like it's piling up?  When one thing after another goes undone and two more get added to the list? 

You guessed it, that's my life right now.

We got behind in school this fall, not too much, but enough that I need to re-work the schedule to accomodate an extra week at the end of the year.  Oh yay, that's just what I wanted-one more week of school!  Who needs summer break anyway?

So, in the midst of getting back into the swing of school, sickness strikes again.  This time it has been Strep.  it hit hard and fast.  In the end it hit three kids and I'm still trying to fight it off.  We'll see how that goes!

Then, our 10yo fell down the stairs (again) and hurt her thumb.  Same thumb as last time.  Nice.  We waited a few days to make sure that it really was hurt and then we weren't able to see our regular doctor.  This doctor was a little perturbed that we waited two days to have her checked.  Seriously?  Did he not look at her chart?  I can't believe he hasn't heard of us, we are in the clinic enough that the front desk ladies know us by name.  I'm not kidding.  We don't have to say anything, they just pull our charts.  Come to think of it, we could be the reason that our doctor was able to take a trip to Cancun last week.  Yes, we are there that much. 

After the fear of another accusation of child abuse wore off, I was glad to be having xrays taken.  Although, I had told our dd that if it turned out that nothing was wrong with her arm, she was going to pay half of the bill.  Yes, I did. And I meant it.  So, when the doctor came out and said that there were no broken bones, this look of relief washed over her.  And not a moment later, a sick look came upon her as she realized that she would be paying half the bill.  I almost laughed out loud!  But, I didn't get the chance because the doctor started talking about ligament damage.  Oh fine!  So there is something wrong with it after all.  Whatever.

She gets to spend another 3 weeks, at least, in the splint and if it is not markedly better in two weeks we get to go back AGAIN!  I wonder if the doctor's office hands out frequent flyer miles?

Now, add on top of that my calcium falling and my tired brain not working quite right and you have the recipe for some really stinky days. 

Like today.  Yesterday we knew the snow was coming.  Okay, okay, I didn't really believe them; but it's Kansas so anything is possible.  I wasn't too worried about it though because I had done all of my grocery shopping last week and we were sick anyway.  Where were we going to go? 

It snowed.  A lot.  It kept snowing all night.  Then it kept snowing all morning.  At lunch time I started setting out things for pizza.  No, I didn't want to make pizza but we had already eaten out this week so I was stuck cooking. 

Okay, fine.

But not yet.  First, we decided to watch a movie.  The principal said we could have a snow day and I was going to take advantage of it!  The movie would have been great except for the wiggly body that was sitting next to me.  She was a constant squirmy annoyance.  Really.  I love her, I do; but come on!  Can't we just sit still through a movie?  Shoot I would settle for 20 minutes!

The movie finally ended and so did the torture of sharing a chair with the human energy ball.  I went upstairs to start the pizza and realized that it was thirty minutes before Steven was to be home.  Oh I really messed up this time!  It was going to take at least that amount of time to get the pizzas together and then there was cooking time. 

With a very dramatic sigh I shoved, I mean asked, my child to get out of the way and started slamming the things I needed onto the counter.  The dough was done at least so I went to get the sauce and !@#%#&

Are you kidding me? Nope.  It all came back to me then.  I didn't go to the second store on my list last week because my calcium was tanking because I haven't taken my meds in almost three months.  Yeah, yeah I know; let's not go there right now.

Another tantrum and a call to Steven to stop and get some sauce and I'm starting to feel better.  Then the mushrooms attacked me.  It could have been because of the nasty way I was treating them, but there is no excuse for spitting juice into my eye.  Mushroom juice really burns.

I finally got one pizza into the oven and was busy grumbling, I mean making, the other pizza when I heard the 10yo say, "You know the timer isn't on?" 

Oh that was just the end of it.  Seriously.  It was my own fault.  I let the child that had had a 103* fever yesterday set the time and then didn't check it.  Did I mention that my brain wasn't working right?  yeah...

I really needed some Pepsi at that point but had forgotten to tell Steven to pick some up for me, so he got soda for everyone else in the house except me.  (in his defense, he thought I had some alread) Niice.

Checking on a pizza every few minutes is a lot of fun.  You should try it.  Really.

We pulled it out just before it was uneatable.  They never said a word about it.  Smart family.

I got a bit of the planning done, but not enough.  I sat with the kids and played with them, but not enough.  I spent some time with my husband, but not enough. 

I counted my blessings instead of my irritations, but not enough.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Changing Seasons

I am sad.

It is hard to move through seasons in your life and see friendships and situations move away from you.  Especially when you don't want it to happen.  Now there are times when it is by choice.  It is hard to go through it, but you know that it is the right choice and you are actively participating in it.

Other times, it could be someone else going through a change that alters your relationship.  These are the rough times.  You don't have a say necessarily and that makes it hard.  Decisions are made and you wait out the changes.  Sometimes it is for the better and the relationship blossoms. 

Sometimes it doesn't.

There have been so many seasons in my life and a wise woman told me to hang in there and wait them out.  Seasons change and then you will look back wondering where the time went.  That is so true with our children.  Sometimes I feel frustrated because there are things that I can't do because we choose to homeschool or because we have young kids.  I can start to feel resentful but then her words come back to me and I try to live in the moment.

Women are so relational that when one of our friendships changes or even ends, it is heartbreaking.  Especially when you don't understand the reasons for the loss.

I don't think I will ever get used to this kind of season change, it just hurts too much.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blog Tour Tea with Hezbollah and GIVE AWAY!!

Tea with Hezbollah

by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis

from the publisher:

Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as readers join novelist Ted Dekker and his co-author and Middle East expert, Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room conversation as they sit down one-on-one with some of the most notorious leaders of the Arab world. These candid discussions with leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas, with muftis, sheikhs, and ayatollahs, with Osama bin Laden’s brothers, reveal these men to be real people with emotions, fears, and hopes of their own. Along the way, Dekker and Medearis discover surprising answers and even more surprising questions that they could not have anticipated—questions that lead straight to the heart of Middle Eastern conflict.

Through powerful narrative Tea With Hezbollah will draw the West into a completely fresh understanding of those we call our enemies and the teaching that dares us to love them. A must read for all who see the looming threat rising in the Middle East .

My opinion:
To be honest, I’m not sure why I signed up for this book. I don’t normally read Ted Dekker’s work. I don’t like to read his books. I’ve tried and they make me angry. His books are in the Christian Fiction section and I disagree with that heartily. But that is another topic.

Tea with Hezbollah is an interesting idea. Can we really “love our neighbors”? Can we “love our enemies”? Can we be the Good Samaritan? Those are the main questions that this book poses and tries to answer.

But I think that it goes about it all wrong. For most of us, the Middle East isn’t our neighbor. They are in a manner of speaking and if you want to play with semantics the way the author does, then I guess it would work; the same way that the author says that the meaning of being a Christian depends on who you ask. Well, that is true to a point but then the witness of your testimony and the life of Christ living in you should make the meaning of being a Christian pretty clear. For most people, loving the person living right next door to them is challenge enough; let alone being made to feel bad because they are Americans.

For most of this book I felt the need to apologize for being an American. It is pointed out often that America is the aggressor and that America is wrong. I take offense at that. No, I don’t think that America is always right. But, I do think that it is the best country in the whole world. When the attacks of 9/11 were referred to as an accident I just about freaked out. That was no accident. It was planned intentionally by people who wanted to cause harm because of the freedoms we have in the United States. Does that mean that every person from the Middle East is a terrorist? Of course not! But the truth is the truth and it was Muslim terrorists who did these atrocious things. I would never assume that every Arab is out to get me just because of the part of the world they are from.

This book makes assumptions and generalities and makes them out to be the way everyone thinks. I don’t think that way and I don’t know anyone who does.

Some things that I enjoyed about the book were the history of the Middle East countries. It is such a rich and varied history that I love to read more about it. To understand the history of a people is to understand them better. This book does a great job of presenting their history in an entertaining way. I also like the stories of the different people who were sprinkled throughout the chapters. It’s like seeing a little piece of their lives!

Another interesting subject was the fact that just about everyone in the Middle East considers America a Christian nation. The reason, of course, is that we were founded on Christian beliefs and the Bible; everyone else in the world knows it and we are trying to deny it. Very interesting, indeed.

I may try to read this book again in a few months and see if my opinion changes. I’m not holding my breath though.

I do have a copy to give away if anyone wants to read it. It is worth it if for nothing else than the history lesson. Maybe it was just this overly opinionated woman who had a hard time with this book and someone else will absolutely love it.

So if you would like to have a copy, leave a comment and if I get more than one comment I will have my 4 year old draw a name out of a hat!  We will draw names on Saturday morning, Jan. 30th.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, January 25, 2010

More birthday pictures because I can't remember to blog on time!  Mom and David were here for her bday but for some reason I didn't get any pictures that weren't blurry.  :(

My yummy lunch.  Chipotle meat, rice, black beans, and a tortilla shell. 

My girls...

Robin and I were going to put a puzzle together.  This is as far as we got.  It was a 3-D puzzle and it was awful.  Our eyes hurt and we only got this much put together...after and hour and forty-five minutes!!

Aren't we awesome?! lol

Sunday, January 24, 2010

He is so handsome!

roflol  She is such a silly girl!

Nothin' like Aunt Bobbie LOVE!

This was a 'shadow' on the pantry door.  The sun was shining through a cut-out in one of our chairs and this is what we saw!  It was pretty cool :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My new bathroom rug.  Eventually, the walls will be painted to match.  But, don't hold your breath it might take a while!

Maggie afte she got in trouble for something!

Um...yeah, I got nothing for this one!

My beautiful sister.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

These are squirrel tracks on our shed.  The squirrels come and chew on the corners of the shed.  Occasionally I can be heard shrieking through the house and out the back door in an effort to cause one of the vile little creatures to have a heart attack and die.  It hasn't worked yet, but I'm still trying!

Or oldest turned 12.  I wasn't that creative with her cake.  At least she got one, right?  ;-)

A broken nose...Well, probably broken anyway.  She is going to have to have reconstructive surgery when she is older, so we might as well add one more thing to the docket! ugh

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blog Tour: Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

I have to admit that I was looking forward to reading this book so much. I really enjoy apologetics; especially when I can understand it easily! So when I read the subtitle of this book, “Unearthing What I believe and Why It Matters” it sounded like a tall order to me.

He delivers.

I admit that I haven’t read anything else by Joshua Harris so I was unsure of his writing style; but, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to read and how well he related the topics to things that I could relate to.

On the back cover, the author states: “I know from experience that it’s possible to be a Christian but live life on the surface.” He goes on to say, “The irony of my story is that the very things I needed, even longed for in my relationship with God, were wrapped up in the very things I was so sure could do me no good. I didn’t understand that seemingly worn-out words like theology, doctrine, and orthodoxy were the pathway to the mysterious, awe-filled experience of truly knowing the living Jesus Christ.”

Honestly, that frightened me a little. I could relate to what he was saying, but he threw in three pretty big words that are a little daunting to the average non-seminary student. I admire people who can read and understand the meaty books that explain the whys and wherefores of the faith. I really do. But I have four young daughters and can’t sit for hours on end deciphering every sentence that I have just read.

So, it was with a little trepidation that I started this book. Much to my surprise the first chapter was entitled ‘My Rumspringa’. I’m not Amish, but I have heard of this and had always wondered about it. I was intrigued as to how it would relate to my life. Surprisingly, it resonated deeply.

Chapter two is entitled “In Which I Learn to Dig” and it hit me squarely between the eyes. Mr. Harris uses the parable of the two houses that have been built and one is on the sand and one is on the rocks. He states, “I’ve read this story about the two builders countless times. I’ve read it so many times that I almost don’t read it anymore when I come across it in the Gospels. I skim it. I gulp down three sentences at a time because I already know what they say.” Ugh Has he been sitting and reading over my shoulder? I was convicted before I read any further. He goes on to discuss the passage further and draws out Truth that was waiting there to be discovered by the careful reader. He calls that digging down deep; into the Rock. Amazing! No, it’s not that I hadn’t heard that before, it is just a new perspective given at just the right time in my life.

The rest of the chapters have catchy titles that make you want to read them just to figure out what he’s talking about. I also enjoy the definitions the author gives for those three daunting words he used on the back cover. They are broken down and made understandable in my life; right now, right where I’m at. They are made attainable and understandable. Mr. Harris cites many theologians and authors that I admire greatly, such as Spurgeon, J.J. Packer, R.C. Sproul, and others as well as giving us some history lessons along the way. I highly recommend this book and will keep it around for my daughters to deepen their faith and their understanding of that faith.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What is she trying to say??

This morning, we decided that it would be a pajama day.  Ok well, My two youngest and I decided that; it sounded good at the time.

I was trying to check on some emails and help the 12yo with math when Maggie decided that I wasn't giving her enough attention. 

She did this to get my attention...

She tried to get up further by burying her head between us and lift her back leg up.  She never quite made it all the way up, but she put enough pressure on my chest to stop my breathing for a few seconds!! lol  She's only around 70some pounds!

Next time, I'm going to fix my hair and put make-up on to stay in my jammies! :-D

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

She's Twelve!!!

I can not believe that twelve years have gone by so quickly.  I vividly remember when we found out we were pregnant with another baby.   We had lost five and had been told not to expect to have any.  They just didn't know what was wrong.  Then a woman told me that she had been praying for me and had had a word from the Lord.  He told her that I would be healed(I had Lupus) through the birth of a child and it would be a girl.

A few months later we got pregnant even though I wasn't ovulating.  (We were testing for it!)  The nurses and doctors ran all kinds of blood work and found no trace of Lupus.  It was gone.  Our beautiful baby girl was born nine months later. 

God is amazing.  His timing is perfect. 

My Sunshine is such a caring, sweet, loving, thoughtful, and LOUD child!  She has been talking since the moment she was born.  She said her first words at four months old and hasn't shut up since! lol  She sings like an angel with a true gift from the Lord.  She has a tender heart towards others and loves fiercely.  She is such a joy to be around and the older she gets the more I am looking forward to being her friend.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for her.

Love you, Sunshine. :)