Tuesday, December 30, 2008

a quick update

This has to be quick. I have five minutes. I want to be in bed by midnight tonight. Last night I stayed up waayy later than I should have, chatting with Rob, seeing how his Christmas was.

It sounded like he had an okay time, even a good time, but it's so strange to think that the boys are going to have good Christmases when they're not home with me. For heaven's sake...I need to get a grip on myself! He's not eight anymore, for crying out loud. He's twenty-eight.

Okay, now that I got that wet noodle slapping out of the way.

We have one boy back in the house, at least temporarily. Hooray!!! I miss all the boys so much more than I thought I would. I thought I would be fine. Are you tired of hearing this tune yet? Then turn up the volume and listen to the other tunes. I put them on for something different. :)

Johnny is back for now...his hours got cut a little, money was tight, so he moved out of his (first) apartment. Boo hoo...but on the bright side, there's another reason, too: he is saving up to buy a ring for his sweetie!! They picked it out, but he hasn't asked her yet. But it's coming down the pike. His will be the third official wedding in the family...and I'm assuming the relationship is going that direction. So that's why I say he's here for now at least.

It's amazing and scary to watch your kids get into relationships. Amazing because it seems like just yesterday he was playing with Legos and K'Nex toys, and today, he's a man with a woman. She is such a sweetheart, too. They're so cute together. And it's scary because we adults, older adults I should say, know how many things could go wrong, and in how many ways their hearts could get broken. We just have to hang onto faith after we teach them good judgment. You have to let them go.

Anyway, so that's the scoop.

I didn't make it into bed by midnight...I'm ten minutes over right now. And I'm three days past due for a review of the coolest study Bible ever. When I first started trying to study Scripture, I wanted a concordance, a Bible dictionary, and some Bible history stuff to give some context...this has it all and then some. And it's in chronological order, as much as the editors could come close to. So you can kind of read it how it happened.

Okay, that's another post, but it's coming real soon. Right along with my fruitcake post. Right before it, actually.

So there you have the sneak preview along with the update. Ta ta, and g'nite. Or as I've been saying to the kids, G. Noit. [G'nite with a British accent] LOL. I know. I'm a dork. And it's okay. I know you won't laugh at me. Much.

Friday, December 26, 2008

still quiet...somewhat

There was absolutely no structure to my day. The lack of chaos and lack of busyness or hurriedness gives me an uneasy feeling, almost like the calm before the storm. That's the thing about too much unstructured time for me. It gives me too much time to think, and I get a little weird. I feel like I've forgotten something and it's making me nervous.

The only thing I really did was do a few chores, buy milk, and go to Archiver's with Gee. We're both going to make scrapbook calendars for 2009. That's something fun to look forward to.

Gee had a sucky day before we went to Archivers, though. She took X-man to Target with her and bought some things with her gift card. She paid for her stuff, put her wallet back in her purse, and someplace between the register and the car, the wallet disappeared.

Poor girl. She was just beside herself. She's usually so precise and so careful. She thinks it may have happened while she was waiting for little X-man to stop having a fit about having to go home. She's not sure if it fell out or if someone snatched it. There were keys attached, so you think she would have heard it.

She retraced her steps, several times, asked everyone she could think of if they had seen it, and finally she came home, in tears.

She had to cancel the cards, alert the credit reporting bureaus, and now she has to get new dorm cards and keys, new credit/debit cards, new driver's license...what a pain. It's going to cost her a little moola to fix this.

Say a little prayer for her that things go as smoothly as they can. I know she'll appreciate them.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

the house is so quiet...

...I can hear the cat pee! What a far cry from yesterday at this time.

Yesterday the house was full of noise and little running feet. T-boy let out some mighty screams when he opened his Star Wars Lightsaber. He was dancing up and down, and his curls were bouncing so hard I thought he might put his momma's eye out with one of them. He has the most adorable hair.

And D-boy got a Nerf gun. It's a good thing for the cats that we didn't load it up right then and there. Saving it for home was a better idea.

Cindy (D-boy and T-boy's mom) was thrilled with a wok--she's a regular little domestic diva. She cooks up a storm.

Pearlie tried to take a picture of herself and some of the kids, and she ended up only getting her own head in the picture. We laughed so hard.

John and Jessica were cuddled up on the couch--so cute.

Frosty and Nichole had to make an emergency detour to the doc to check out Dominick's rash...but it wasn't chickenpox. Just an allergic reaction to something. So although they were a little late, they still made it.

Dee was happy with the books she got, and Little ChiChi boy was completely enthralled with the dinosaur book Gee gave him--it's almost as big as he is.

It was the funniest thing. Momma Dee went to bed when she finally couldn't take any more fun, and she took him to bed at the same time. About twenty minutes later, here he came out of the bedroom. He was holding his little finger up to his lips and shushing us, "Sssssssss. Mommy." He totally sneaked out on her after she fell asleep.

He had to go back into the room, though, and here he came staggering back out, carrying the humongous dino book. He paged through it for about a half hour! "'Ma! Dinosaur!" Five seconds later, "'Ma! Dinosaur!"

Erica was pleased with the huge Get Fuzzy book from "Juan and Morticia" (oh, I mean Jon and Melissa--who missed the second holiday in a row, I might add), and she was ready to go out in the snow right then and there with her orange snow goggles and mitts.

Gee got some of her favorite music, and Casey was pleased he had another pair of sweatpants to wear to school.

"Papa" and I got spoiled by the kids this year, as always. Gift cards for Barnes & Noble were the theme of the evening, and I'm looking forward to finding a nice book about cardmaking or scrapbooking...maybe even a cookbook.

I wonder if I can find one with recipes that take no time at all, and taste like a million bucks. And don't cost much to make. I don't want much. I just hate to cook.

And tonight, I'm thinking about the boys out in Wyoming, and hoping that their Christmas was okay. I miss them so much right now.

Gee brought her webcam home from the dorm, and I got to see Lewie online. I had to laugh or I would have cried. My eyes have been so lonesome for their faces.

So, how was your Christmas?

Monday, December 22, 2008


This is for a program in education that's close to my heart. This button is for TRiO, a group of programs that helps low income, first generation students access college and succeed.

I fell into both of those categories when I enrolled in college for the first time. Student Support Services got me on track, told me what I needed to know, kept me from falling by the wayside, and gave me the tools to help me succeed.

I can't say enough about it. Go and vote for it, won'tcha?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

review of 'the voice'

I've been reading The Voice - a retelling of the New Testament.

My take on it is that it is extremely readable, and what I find particularly helpful is that footnotes are inserted in text boxes throughout the text, rather than all being at the bottom. That way you don't have to jump your eyes back and forth...it's easier to just keep going without losing your place.

It's written much like a screenplay, where dialog is clearly indicated. It has the feel of a fine work of art, and that, I think, is due to the fact that it is a collaboration between scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists. It completely draws me in, and I find myself learning much more about the context and background of each book. It has a very personal flavor, and I love that.

Here's a quote from the introduction to the book that I think sums it up nicely: "The Voice is a collage of compelling narratives, poetry, song, truth, and wisdom, ...[and]...will call you to enter into the whole story of God with your heart, soul, and mind."

I'm so glad they gave me an extra copy so I could give one away and keep one for myself! I might have had a tough time giving this one up very soon.

So, here's the deal. Leave a comment, get a chance at a copy of this for yourself. I'll draw a random number at the end of the week. Think of it as a belated Christmas present. Christmas will be over, and you'll be getting a little extra sompin' in the mail from me! I have the extra copy sitting here, not lost in the black hole, not put in a "safe place" (so safe I can't even find it)...just sitting here, waiting to go to your house! Make sure I have a way to contact you.

You're going to love this. Good luck!

Friday, December 19, 2008

it's snot much

Some people will buy anything.

You've probably heard that Scarlett Johansson blew her nose on a tissue when she was on the Tonight Show, and Jay Leno gave her a baggie and told her to put the tissue in there and put it on eBay. Give. me. a. break. Are you kidding me??! Well, the last time I looked, the bidding was up over $4000!! For a tis-sue. A used one.

Oh my gosh. Who are these people? Have they lost their minds? How many idiots morons people are out there with that kind of money to blow (no pun intended) on a used nasty tissue? Sorry...I have to keep reminding myself of what I tell my kids. Don't make fun of people. Even when they make it easy for you. They can't help being like that.

Yes, yes, I know they're donating the money to the food shelf. Still. Don't you think they're taking this celebrity thing too far? Would people buy some toenail clippings in a baggie, too, if they said they came from some football star's feet?

But it was originally Samuel L. Jackson's cold, she says. And? It was someone else's before him. Who cares?

It's still snot in a baggie. Eeeewwwww. Eeeeww again! What in the world will you do with it? Reuse it? And then never wash your face? Until you get that cold...

I'm pretty sure if I put a snotty tissue in a baggie and tried to sell it anywhere, someone would be calling the men in the little white coats to haul me away. Or they'd have me arrested for attempted contamination or something.

The only difference is that I'm a little older (a lot, Gee would say) and not nearly so cute. And I'm not famous. Except in my own mind.

Still. What would you be willing to buy from your favorite celebrity? And who would it have to be?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

today was sluggish

I had to drag myself out of bed today, whapping myself with a mental noodle. My brain kept saying, "Get up!!" And my body said, "What? Already?" *snore*

I walked around in a fog all day. I sat in a meeting for three deadly hours, taking notes. I hope I can make sense out of them tomorrow.

I went to pick up E-girl from practice, and fell asleep in the car waiting for her. Practice did not get over early as I thought, and I napped for almost an hour.

I came home, put a quick chicken and rice dinner in the oven, and curled up under the covers because I was still tired, and I was freezing. The next thing I knew, it was done. Just like that. Well, not really, because I actually slept for an hour until my sweet Dee told me the timer was going off.

I think my candle might be running out of wick. Too many late nights and early mornings. Time to turn over a new leaf, just in time for New Year's.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions because I only usually keep them for about three days, and then it's like they get wiped out of existence.

But a new habit...they say it takes about three weeks to develop a new habit. If I think of it as a habit, it might work. (I can too trick myself, Gee. I do it all the time when I turn my clock ten minutes ahead so I think I have extra time. LOL) But I think if I get into the habit of going to bed early, many other things would fall into place.

I wish I was in the habit of being timely. I try to cram too many things into too short a time and it makes me run late.

I wish I was in the habit of being cheerful. Even if I sound cheerful on the outside, I find myself being cranky inside for no reason sometimes.

I wish I was in the habit of not procrastinating. I'm tired of doing everything at the last minute in a hurry. It sucks all the fun out of my day.

What habits are on your wish list?

Monday, December 15, 2008

life is meant to be shared

I spent much of Saturday with Mugs. We went shopping for baking stuff, and then we went to buy yarn. My honey made venison steak for dinner, and Mugs and I sat up half the night crocheting. For all of the time I spent trying to make this little dinky practice hat, as I called it, I only got this much done before I went to bed.

I worked on it a little more on Sunday, and the rows kept getting shorter and shorter. It was supposed to be a square, but it was looking more and more like a trapezoid. What's a trapezoid, you ask? Think waaaayyy back...it's like a squished square.

I think I have to do it when it's quiet so I can concentrate on how many stitches I'm putting in each row. I gave up and ripped it out. I'll try again when I get a quiet minute. Maybe that won't be until the next time she comes over again. LOL

I stayed up pretty late Saturday night, cleaning up the kitchen and clearing off the counter so we could have plenty of space to work. It makes it so much easier, and less stressful, if you ask me.

Clutter makes me stressed, have I said that once or twice? So why do I have so darn much of it? I guess it's like doing steps six and seven over and over again. You've taken the inventory, you know what you need to do, but you keep doing the same thing over and over again until you're so sick of the results that you're ready to do whatever it takes to change them.

So when I got up Sunday morning, the kitchen was blissfully clean. Well, not spotless everywhere, but the dishes were done and the counters were clear and clean. Just beautiful. Do you think it means that I'm getting old if I get so much satisfaction out of a clean kitchen? My kids think I'm absolutely weird because of the things that make me happy. I can hear them roll their eyes even when their backs are turned. I can.

That reminds me of two ladies at work who were having a discussion about age. One of them was telling the other one about how she was trying shoes on at one store, and she forgot to roll her jeans back down after she put her hiking boots back on, and she had these woolly socks on, besides. She went to a few more stores dressed like that, and didn't realize it until she saw herself in a mirror! She was mortified.

The other lady said, "Well, you know, people expect a certain amount of eccentricity out of a woman of a certain age. Don't worry about it."

The first lady spouted back. "Well, I'm not that age yet!"

Well, I think I am getting awfully close to that age! Here's my theory. Many women spend much of their younger years being responsible, taking care of a home, and raising their children. Once the bulk of that is done and their responsibilities lighten up, they want to have a little fun and be a little silly. That's what Marguerite and I did this weekend.

We made our fruitcake, laughed a lot, took pictures of every stage along the way--I'll post them soon, I promise--and we had so much fun doing it together. It was no grand party night out, but it was satisfying. It wouldn't have been half as much fun doing it by myself.

If you're lucky, you have friends to share the good times and the bad, and friends who will be silly and have fun with you any time you get a chance. If you're even luckier, you'll be friends with your family.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

off to a GREAT start

The weekend is in full swing already--I'm loving it!

Last night I rearranged the things in my room, and everything fit where I had imagined it. This will work. It's not the prettiest, but it's fine.

My sister-in-law Marguerite came over for the weekend so we could hang out and make fruitcake. She is so fun to have over. She brings Odie, her little dachshund, and he gets Augie Doggie all livened up. They chase each other through the house, and then they always do this little stiff-legged dance around each other, nose to tail. And then, like they have a secret signal, they're both off and racing around again.

And then, Mugs (that's her nickname) and my honey will tease the daylights out of each other, just like they did when they were kids. Only it's so much funnier now.

So we have to make a quick trip to the store this morning and buy our ingredients, and another stop to buy some yarn. I'm going to give crocheting a try again. I want to try to make some hats. Barb over at A Chelsea Morning had a super easy-looking hat pattern on her blog a little while back that I saved, and Mugs knows how to crochet. So I can ask her if I get stumped.

Speaking of Barb, I WON something from her blog! Have you visited her yet? I'm always hopping over there to get ideas for crafty things, and to get new recipes to try for our crew here. Her broccoli beef stir fry is a universal favorite over here.

But I got an email from her this morning telling me I won the Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove Christmas book!! You have no idea how tickled I am! Thank you, Barb!

I'm off to head out into my weekend, but I'll check in later and let you know how all the projects went!

Friday, December 12, 2008

a weekend in Boulder?


Ya gotta love this logo:

and this...

Those are some cute chicks!!

Seriously? If I won these tickets to Boulder to the Chicks Who Click conference, I would do back flips. Oh. Wait. If I did that, I'd break things on my body, and then I couldn't go. I would do mental back flips. They'd be so much more graceful anyway.

And chicks who click is a group whose time has come! We women need to take some ownership in this techie world. No more of this, "I can't do that" stuff.

Kirtsy is a sponsor of this get-together, and is giving away some cool stuff! Go check it out. But don't enter the iphone giveaway--I've already got my name on it. =)

weekend plans

I'm looking forward to this weekend. I have high hopes of it being a fun and productive one!

Mugs is coming over to help make fruitcake! Yay! We are going shopping Saturday to get the goods for them. I think I'll have to do the rest of my grocery shopping then, too. I have five more meals to buy for.

I've been inspired by Karen over at the art of heart to create my own holiday wreath. Hers is simply gorgeous. AND it was free! I'm going scavenging in the yard to see what I can come up with.

The Nester has a Mr. Linky going where bloggers can show off the garland they've created--there are tons of ideas here! Go and visit a few of them for more inspiraton.

Off the top of my head, I can already think of a few things: grapevines from the neighbor's fence--the shoots that did a sneak attack on my lilacs, a few snips from our Douglas fir, some rosehips from our Rosa Rugosa bushes for a nice splash of red, and maybe some brass decorations, if I didn't already throw them all away. Wrap it up with a shimmery cream and gold taffeta ribbon that I have in my scrapbook supplies, and who knows how good it could look! Maybe Mugs will want to make one, too.

I'm rearranging my closet, one more time, because the last change is just not working. I've thought of a new arrangement, and I have an empty tote for the books I'm not reading yet, but don't want to toss. I'll add that to the stack of totes in the...garage! That's where the mess is migrating to, once again. We'll have to do a spring clean sweep of the garage.

I wonder if that's enough to put on my list. I always have way more on my list than I have time to do. I think it fills some deep psychological need in me. Ha! If I got everything done, what would I do with myself?

If the promised ice storm shows up Sunday morning, I don't think we'll be taking D-boy and T-boy to church. We'll be sitting tight until it blows over. If it passes us by, we'll go.

I wonder if I can fit a little scrapbooking in somewhere this weekend--or would that be the splash that makes the bucket overflow? And where, I wonder, are we going to fit in some Christmas shopping?

A happy Friday and a pleasant weekend to you all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

was this addressed in the employee manual?

I knew there were more good reasons not to eat at KFC. I already don't eat there because of the flak that came out a while about chicken brutality. Okay that sounds kind of funny, but it's not supposed to. There were videos published about the way the workers abused and tortured the chickens at the KFC "farms" -- horrible! You can google it, I'm sure, but I have a hard time writing about it. It makes my stomach feel throw-uppy to think about it. I haven't eaten there since that came out.

So I always say to myself when I drive by a KFC, I say -- "Kentucky Fried Killahs" -- and yes, I say it with a Southern accent in my head.

Then today on the news, didja see this one?

Three employees of KFC decided to take a bath at the end of the day in the kitchen sink at the KFC they worked at (notice the past tense--worked) and posted the pictures on their mySpace sites. Can we just say a collective "eeeewwwww"? Yuk. Double yuk.

Here is a goofy KFC Bathing Beauties slideshow that someone already threw together:

Apparently they don't make enough money working at KFC to be able to afford an apartment with a tub?

Maybe a new meaning for the acronym KFC: Kentucky Fired Cuties? Okay, that was bad. Maybe you can think of a better one.

People's stupidity lack of forethought never ceases to amaze me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

i feel like scrooge

So I'm thinking that it sounds really nice to NOT put up a tree this year. I don't think I'll get away with that, though. I can hear it already. Wails of protest.

It's like the little red hen, you know? Whooo is going to help carry the stuff in from the garage? Whooo is going to straighten out the lights? Whooo is going to make sure all the ornaments have their little hooks? (Sounds more like an owl, really.) But seriously. I have so many better things to do.

Part of the problem is that I want my tree to look Martha Stewart-ish...something like this:

And by the time the cats get done with our tree, it usually ends up looking more like a Charlie Brown tree, like this:

So really. Why?

Are you shocked? It's not a stretch...you just combine my characteristics of procrastination and being lazy and before you know it, it's the new year already!

There you have it: my energy-saving tip for the day. Just say no.

Monday, December 8, 2008

school holiday concerts

I found myself at a high school holiday concert tonight, and none of my kids were even in it! I'm not quite sure how I got myself into that, except that E-girl was supposed to help at it, and I just stayed there instead of dropping her off. Not that I saw her at all the whole night...miss social butterfly herself. She had Dee curl her hair before we went. And what a nice job she did on it! E's growing up too darn fast.

Have you been to one (some) of those concerts? You know what I'm talking about, then. But you have to go and be supportive. You go to hear your kids, but you have to be polite and stay and listen to two hundred other people's kids, too, and it takes foreeeeeeevvvvveeeeeerrrr.

The highlight of the whole night for me? The drumline. The band teacher is quite creative. The principal had been requesting a drumline all year. There was only one problem. There was no money in the budget for drums. Did she let that slow her down? Not in the least.

They used galvanized metal garbage cans, and it was simply fabulous! They were great! And just for fun, they used...balloons! You had to be there.

And the theater group put on a one-act play: Rapunzel Uncut. It could have been entertaining, had it not been for the fat jokes that pretty much took the fun out of it for me.

As for the rest of the concert, well, let me just put it this way. It was like many Christmas concerts I have attended. It was about two hours long, so by the time we could stand up and move around, my tailbone had become one with the chair. I wasn't sure if my legs were going to hold me up, because they had fallen asleep, the lucky dogs.

The students were talented, they sang beautiful Christmas songs, but they were too quiet and I only slept about four hours last night. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a snowy mess!

Well, we're finally into winter for real. It's snowy today, and there are a few inches on the ground. I actually had to shovel the sidewalk. It's been cold for a while, now, but this is the first real snow to speak of.

We were driving back from church today, and there were cars sliding into the ditch everywhere! So we're driving slow, and there's people getting all up on our back bumper. What do they think? That they'll just magically glide over the icy spots at their sixty miles an hour?

Dee said a truck went crashing right into the guardrail right next to her when he tried to pass her too quickly. It's like every winter, everyone has to re-learn how to drive in the snow. Everyone doesn't have as old a brain as I do...you'd think they would remember for more than just one season.

Just watch this. LOL. I want to know what is with the people with their doors open, for crying out loud.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

single mom ministry

Gail Showalter is on a mission, and she wants to share it! I was asked if I wanted to review her materials on her blog tour, and even though I didn't know a lot about it, I said, "Sure, why not?"

Gail was a single mom for many years, and she remembers how difficult it was. She took her experiences and turned them into a ministry for other single moms. Her materials are inexpensive and easy to use. If you check out her website, you'll find a plethora of resources for churches or groups wanting to do something more (s'more) for the single moms they know.

Here is more from Gail.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my passion for single mothers. In the United States, alone, there are over ten million mothers raising children alone. Over one third of them live in poverty. After years of being on my own as a mother of three, I came to realize how little is done in our communities and churches for this group of children with absent fathers and women with no husbands. The vast majority does not attend church, but our neighborhoods are filled with single moms.

I’ve created and implemented, along with an eleven member board, a detailed plan for encouraging, inspiring, and blessing single mothers. If you have ever wondered what you could do to make a difference for even one of the moms, this is the answer. It is easy, inexpensive, and exceedingly worthwhile.

Interview Questions

1. You have established a ministry plan for single mothers. What motivated you to do this?
A. For sixteen years I was a divorced mother with three children. I was fortunate to have family support and yet the disappointment, emotional pain, and daily difficulties were devastating. I’m happily remarried now for twelve years and my passion for the over the ten million single mothers remain strong.

2. Why do you think a ministry plan is needed?
A. Single mothers have a difficult time day-in, day-out. I think churches want to provide supportive programs for them, but –though there are some successful ministries—much still needs to be done to minister to single moms. Often what you see on the outside doesn’t reveal the heartache and fear she is experiencing on the inside. Church leaders I’ve spoken with have expressed genuine interest in implementing this plan.

3. What do you call the ministry?
A. SMORE for Women. SMORE is an acronym for Spiritual Ministry Offering ReTREATs and Encouragement. Our program assists churches in providing Saturday reTREATs in a home or intimate church environment.

4. What is the ultimate goal of SMORE for Women?
A. Our mission is to inspire and encourage women, especially single mothers, to discover and develop their abilities and inner strengths. Ultimately I hope to see churches across the country implement these programs. And in the process develop ongoing programs and activities for single mothers in their communities.

5. How do you convey this information to church leaders who want to provide a program for single moms?
A. The plan is laid out in detail in print in a guidebook titled Encouraging Single Moms to Grow Their Strengths and with forms on CD’s. I serve as a facilitator when a church implements their first reTREAT.

6. Tell us why you prefer that the reTREATs be in homes?
A. Homes provide an intimate, friendly, and non-intimidating environment. Homes also have the amenities for several of the pampering areas. A reTREAT can also take place in a church or other facility.

7. What do you mean by pampering areas?
A. At each reTREAT each mom is treated in several areas. Depending on the home she may use a hot tub or swimming pool. She will receive a brief massage, and even have a quiet private prayer time.

8. Is there any charge or fee to the church for you as a facilitator?
A. I am available as a facilitator via long distance conference calls. For as long as I can I only ask for a love offering which helps sustain my expenses. If I must travel a long distance I ask for travel expenses. AND if a reTREAT date is on the 2009 calendar by January I will facilitate (via long distance) free of charge. The guidebooks are $20 and each of the Seed Packet booklets for the moms is $10.

9. What are the costs of implementing a reTREAT?
A. There is a nominal budget. It is similar to hosting a dinner party. Usually the volunteer hostesses contribute food. Church members donate gifts and invitations can be printed on a home computer, ordered, or printed at church. The ministry is a collaborative endeavor. Our reTREATs are very small with only six to twelve guests.

10. Are all reTREATs the same?
A. No. We have eight themes for encouraging moms to discover her inner strengths.
They are
• Personality Predicaments
• Money Matters
• Bonding and Boundaries
• Job Jump Starts
• Dating Do’s
• Nutrition and Manners Matter
• Family Fun
• Grieving a Loss.

11. Where can we go for more information about the SMORE for Women ministry?
A. We have a web site which is www.smoreforwomen.org and a blog which is www.seeinguthrough.wordpress.com.

In closing, a reTREAT can be hosted by a small group of compassionate women. The guidebook, Encouraging Single Mothers to Grow Their Strengths, includes step-by-step guidance for planning and hosting a reTREAT. Once you’ve experienced one Saturday reTREAT filled with joy you will want to plan another and another. In the process you will get acquainted with some remarkable women and you might inspire them as they see Christ in you. Please visit SMORE for Women at www.smoreforwomen.org.

Friday, December 5, 2008

happy Friday!

I remember when Pearlie taught me this one. I don't care if she calls it the Cha Cha Slide, I call it the I'm so glad it's Friday dance!

Or, as it's titled, Your Tax Dollars at Work.

Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up!

yes, I am crazy

They say you inherit insanity from your kids. It could be...they drive you to it! I was thinking about that last night.

E-girl is in basketball, now. I'm finding out how much fun it is to be a sports mom. Well, only about a couple of weeks' worth of fun, so far. My part has consisted of picking her up after practice. There's a home game tonight. I think I'll go.

But she's hardly ever home now. I have to get all my words out when we're in the car or she disappears into her room to do homework after she gets home. Or she gets on the computer and goes into zone-out mode.

So anyway, I was feeling a little goofy on the way home yesterday, and she was tired. So of course, she was giving me these half-hearted answers when I'd ask her something. Yeah. Um hmm. Nope. I dunno. Looking half asleep. Doesn't even look at me.

And I'm like a little kid. If I don't get a reaction, I just get crazier. So I'll sing her little songs, or just do things that make no sense. I finally got her when I wasn't even really trying to. We had just pulled into the driveway, and I yelped. "Ouch!"

"What?" she says.

"Oh, no big deal. The elastic on my waistband must have caught one of the hairs on my back and pulled it. It hurt!"

She gave me a long stare. "You have hair..." her voice trailed off. And then, "Yeeeaaah, the weather sure is getting cold. Think I'm goin' in the house, now."

Laughing, I got out of the car and shouted after her, "It's only baby peachy fuzzy hair!"

What will the neighbors make of that?? I crack myself up sometimes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the black hole

How about a lighter note after the yukk from yesterday?

I would way rather have this black hole than the one that lives in my bedroom closet!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

what gives?

Did you hear about the girls in Albert Lea who were abusing the Alzheimer patients in the Good Samaritan nursing home? Here are two of them. You can read all about them on their myspace pages if you click the links below. They look like your normal everyday popular high school girls.

. . .
Brianna Broitzman (Myspace) and Ashton Larson (Myspace)

Callousness is a common characteristic in our society, and yet, people are surprised because these girls look like your average cutesy cheerleader type. Some people chuckle. Or think that it wasn't that bad. Some people seem so shocked that they would do things like the ones Brianna admitted to. I know I was appalled. She said once she... "hocked a loogey from her throat and spit it into a resident's mouth..." Isn't that how you would like your family member treated?

I wonder if people think that pretty girls aren't capable of being vulgar, rude and crude? It's like reverse discrimination.

I hesitate to say this, but if they weren't pretty young little things from a small town, if they weren't dance team sportsy kind of girls, do you think some people would laugh it off the same way? If they were homely, if they were heavy-set, if they were immigrants, or if they were open lesbians, say...would they be treated the same? Looked at the same? Would it have taken seven months from the time it was reported to hit the national news? Would they be out walking around free?

And would people be less surprised if the perpetrators were men? Only then, they wouldn't chuckle about it behind their hands. Would they be saying how lucky the guys were to see "Brian's" bare derriere? Would they have the prosecutor already saying that they would probably get off with a suspended sentence and probation, like Craig Nelson, Freeborn County Attorney has already said?

And if the men were men of color? God help them. They'd be like the Jena 6: buried in jail as deep as officials could find paperwork to cover them.

It kind of reminds me of Abu Ghraib. It was nowhere near as severe, but it's just because the girls were so open between each other about what they were doing to the residents. Taking pictures of the residents when they were vulnerable, when the girls were teasing and tormenting them. It was just for fun, they said, or because the residents made them mad, or who knows why else. But the residents were dehumanized. They were powerless. They didn't even have a voice because the girls chose patients who couldn't remember or verbalize well enough to tell on them. And none of the young workers who knew about it wanted to be the one to tell the truth about what was happening because they might put themselves at risk.

It makes me want to ask where the distinction between right and wrong has gone? What is it that makes people think they can do these things to people? What has happened to compassion and character? Why do some people get it, and others like these girls, really don't?

I guess for me the bottom line is that people make mistakes. These girls made some. Heck. I've made some, too. Not exactly the same, but who's to say what anyone could do? We're all flawed. I don't think any of us could say without a doubt what we might do in a particular situation, given the wrong circumstances.

Now the question is, what will they learn from it? What will we all learn from it? Any thoughts on the situation?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

off to a slow start

Ooooh. Missed blogging on the first day of the month. Not a good thing when your child has been harassing you about being a slacker. Have you seen her comments on here? "Mom. You're fallin' behind. How'm I supposed to keep up on the daily dirt when you only blog catchup posts on the weekend?"

Sorry, Gee. It's been a little busy, doing things like GOING TO GET YOU A MATTRESS, and working and cooking dinner...you know, all those inessential things. :) No, I'm not really shouting at you. I'm em.pha.si.zing. Ok, maybe I'm just a tad PMS-y. I'll try to tone it down.

Let's see. What's going on today? Well, this is nothing new, but I was talking to Gee on the phone tonight, and she let me go because she couldn't tell when I was talking to her and when I was talking to someone here. You know how they say dogs are color-blind? They can't see colors? Well, people in this house are phone-blind. When I'm on the phone, people just walk up and start talking to me. I'll do the exaggerated pointing at the other side of my head where the phone is, mouthing silent things like, "Hello, I'm having a conversation here. Do you think I'm talking to myself?" They look at me like I have given all my marbles away.

So I fling my hands up in the universal "whatever" sign, plug my open ear, and squeeze my eyes tightly shut. They finally shrug their shoulders and tromp away, asking each other, "Why is SHE so crabby?"

And the person on the phone can't hear the other conversations. All they hear is my conversation with them, punctuated by the bits and pieces I throw out to other people to try to satisfy their need for information. So I get, "Are you talking on that phone that doesn't work again? I can't understand you."

I'm caught between two conversations and I don't hear either one. My brain can't handle it. I'm going to give up talking on the phone. In fact I'm going to move to a little cabin in the woods that doesn't even HAVE a phone. Ai chi wa wa. Well, actually I'll have to save up for it first. I'll put an envelope for it in my Dave Ramsey budget plan. Escape Cabin.

In the meantime, don't be surprised if you call and I answer the phone with, "WHADDYA WANT??!" Don't worry. It's nothing personal.