welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

A Hedge of Protection

OK, so I think I am a pretty liberal parent in certain areas:

  • hair styles
  • piercings (no lip, chin or any other crazy place)
  • tattoos (gotta be 16 and I have to approve it)
  • extreme sports participation such as motocross (although it's caused many of my gray hairs)
  • drums and screaming guitars in our home......constantly.
.....you kinda get where I am going.

Now things I am not so liberal on are:
  • car riding (I only allow them to be in cars with certain adults/parents and need a confirmation of destination arrival every time)
  • sleep overs (each kid only has ONE friend that I trust them to stay over. These homes have had my interrogation of firearms, drugs/alcohol usage and I can guarantee that I have offended some parents.......the ones I have offended are now off my list if they cannot appreciate the reason behind my bold questions)
  • curfews (10PM for my 17 year old)
  • media influences-music/TV/etc with excessive sexual, violent and drug content (I know they are exposed to the crap when they are at school and in this world. I am not naive to think I can shelter them from it in this life.....but I don't have it in the house and I hope they are being raised up to know it's garbage)
....... so those are just a few.

So here is the deal......I *am* super protective of my children. Some think I am over the top in my rules.....others call me paranoid. Call me what you want, there are no second chances when it comes to my children if I screw up and make a bad judgment call. And I may be pretty forgiving to others......but am wicked when it comes to forgiving myself.

And I won't lie.....I am a worrier. So as many times that I read Luke 12:24-26 (Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?)
I still have a hard time letting it go and fully turning it over to God.

I am a worrier.......I am a mom.

God gave these children to me to take care of and raise them up the best way I can. He expects me to sow seeds in them. To live their lives glorifying Him and make the right choices. He expects me to protect them.....believe me, if you knew me....I am pretty laid back and carefree, but if you mess with or hurt my children.....I am like a mama lion.

Are you wondering why I am rambling about this? OK, so last night.....I got overly consumed with mama protection and concern. My little girl was having a sleep over at my parents.....so I had the icy roads and idiotic Friday night drivers in my head. H was sleeping at that "one" friends house that he is allowed to. Then, at G's basketball game.....one of the star players on his team got pretty hurt. Like back injury needing to stop the game, don't move him off the court and be taken away by ambulance kind of injury. While he was laying on the court with his parents and coaches around him.....I began to pray for him. I asked God to please place His healing hand's on him....and on his parents who stood there helpless. I couldn't help but think about the severity of a back or neck injury. Then I started to think about how that could have been G. It started to suffocate me to think of my son laying there unable to move. About how in one moment, your life can be flipped upside down. I needed to talk myself down and focus back on praying for this boy.

Well this morning.......I was blog hopping.....and came across a link from RocksinMyDryer. It was to this woman's blog. She has a heartbreaking prayer request, please head over there if you can. She sowed a valuable seed in me by this statement she made.

"I am learning that our Heavenly Father protects us from the dangers that are real. He worries over the destruction of our souls, the separation from Him, the eternal dangers that so many of us ignore like naive little children.

But He does not protect us from the living of the bad dreams and from feeling we are lost. He whispers to us through our pain that there is a life beyond the present suffering. He sits silently with us in our anguish--in the nightmares so real and heavy and terrifying, the ones that we cannot escape or blink away. He reminds us that the seemingly endless grief is but a moment that will fade in the vast expanse of the Life to come."

These words really burned into me......and helped remind me about how God is in utmost control. And while I can do my best being a parent and keeping my children in the safest of environments, He has His hand on their lives, He orchestrates it and knows the number of days they (we all) will be here on Earth. Believing and trusting in Him does not guarantee that we will not be faced with accidents, unpredictable life-changing events or a scary health report. He does not promise that we won't have days of grief and sadness.

But He does promise that He is with us all the time......every step of the way and He loves us........more than we can comprehend.

So I am sure I will always worry......and I will continue to pray for that hedge of protection to surround my children and family.....and loved ones/friends. But I am thankful to be reminded this morning about how they are in the best of Hands when I place my trust in The One who is ultimately charge.


Edited to add: We just found out that G's team-mate did have a pretty significant muscle injury, but is expected to fully recover. Praise God.

Three Things This Thursday.......(featuring thoughts on LOST)

1. To get prepared for LOST.......the kids helped me with this:

I mean how funny is that?!? I saw this at another Lost fan's blog and promised to give her credit So if you want to jump into the Lost Mania and make your own labels, go here. They have so many Dharma products' labels complete with nutritional value, right down to being distributed by The Hanso Foundation

.......wait til Josh goes to take his prescription this morning, the kids even slapped an Rx one on it.

So let's get into some LOST talk......I can only make single sentence comments as my head is still trying to figure out what is going on.....but I think I did get a little bit of headway into the time travel situation.

First, can I just say how cool I thought it was that Desmond named his son, Charlie? The forceps delivery made my girlie parts cringe, though. ouch.

My jaw dropped when we found out about how Whidmore funded Faraday's research......and it fell a few inches lower at the end when Richard said......."Put the gun down Whidmore".

So Whidmore must have gotten off the island somehow, but def. was aware of Ben's status. But Ben only came to the island in the '70s and probably was in the late '80s/early '90s before he flipped sides and wiped out the Dharma People , becoming the Other's leader. (holy run-on sentence, Batman)
But Whidmore would have been gone by then (to have Penny for a daughter in England), right?

I am going to go find the clips of the episode where Richard shows up at the hospital when John Locke was born. Locke tells him his birthdate to prove something right before that big flash came. (Last week, we went back to watch the clip when he visited John as a young boy, remember when he showed him those items.....the compass, the knife, the sand?)
I remember the hospital scene vaguely, the mother of Locke's real mother was smoking the hospital and that stuck in my head.......but I want to watch again to see if I can pick anything else up. I know Richard talked to one of them. Gotta love YouTube.

I laughed when Juliet said Richard was very old. Then it got me thinking......if he has the capability of never aging......why isn't he the leader of "The Others"? Unless his ultimate job is to keep these people/island safe throughout time........hmmmmmmmmmmm.

And lastly.....I am not sure if he has a bad side, you never know........but my heart broke for sweet quirky Daniel Faraday when Charlotte starting bleeding/dying.

Also, what was up with that woman who was on life support...obviously an experiment he did left her in that condition.....and then he left her. She was in that photo, looking like a girl friend, or at least someone close to him. Did anyone catch her name? I am gonna watch it again today.

Edited to Add: I just read this comment over at RocksinMyDryer and I think this mama is onto something huge:

"And what about Ellie, the woman with the gun on Faraday, actually being his mother (Eloise) which is why she looked so familiar to him? Does that make Widmore his father? Are Daniel and Penny siblings or at least half-siblings?"

Oh wow! I can't wait for next week.....please scroll down and entertain me with your ideas and theories with your blog link or leave a comment. :)

OK.....here is two more "things" this Thursday~

2. If you homeschool.....you should check out this national co-op that is free to join. You can take advantage of group buying rates on so many different items. So far, I've taken advantage of grabbing Answers in Genesis and God's World News subscriptions at a significant lower price. They also are going to be offering Rosetta Stone which I think I might grab for N for next year.

3. Oh, and my last random thought is actually a request......does anyone know of a good anti-virus program that is FREE to download (trial downloads OK, as long as they are longer than a week or something). My Windows One-Care trial version is just about to run out (the daily pop up keeps reminding me in a creepy count down kinda way.....like "WARNING" 4 more days and your life is in jeopardy if you don't buy the protection we are offering). I don't have the extra cash to swing it this week........so I need a buffer until I do.
Thanks in advance!

So please join in to this Three Things fun........especially if you have some LOST thoughts and theories to share! Even if you don't share the same addiction/sickness that I do......recipes, bragging pics or something funny will keep me happy too.

Just post your link in this handy Mr Linky dealio and spread the word!

itchy itchy

So N and E both suffer from eczema and it gets worse certain times of the year.

Certain things trigger it to get even worse, such as the dry air in the winter (from the heat kickin on.....this also triggers our bank account to take a nosedive). Other factors that cause nasty flare-ups are environmental mold, too much citris, wool.....the list is random.

It is frustrating to find out the cause of this condition.....we've done extensive testing which comes up with vague results. We've tried the exhausting route of elimination diets. We've had prescriptions offered to us, but have politely refused due to my own personal view on prescription strength steroids or Rx medications for this particular condition.

We've gotten to the point of eliminating and controlling what we can.....and have switched our efforts to treating the symptoms, calm the flare-ups and keep things bearable. We avoid scented detergents, shower after swimming in a pool and wear breathable fabrics. Another thing we noticed is that stress can cause a nice patch to sprout on the palms of her hands.

Here is a great tip I got from a naturopath that has helped us treat eczema and also any dry skin/itchy skin situation.

It's very simple and you probably have all the ingredients in your home.

  • 1 cup organic oatmeal (doesn't have to be organic, we just buy it by the scoop/pound at the local health food store)
  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • old pair of nylons, knee high (do they still sell those?) or a very thin sock would work
Grind the oatmeal to a powdery state. We use a small coffee bean grinder. works perfect for one cup. If you are using the nylons, cut them at the knee area to make a tall sock. Pour all the ingredients in and tie the top.
Now start a warm bath (not hot) and tie the sock to the spout so that the water passes through it like a tea bag. You will see the milky liquid come through. This is great so you don't have a ring of paste in your tub to clean up after. You can encourage the kids to squeeze it while they are bathing too. A drop or two of lavender, chamomile or another nice essential oil can make it even more relaxing.

Let them soak for about 15 minutes or so. Pat them dry, no rubbing. Now slather them up with a moisturizer, the purer the better while they are still damp. No scents. We use Aquaphor (the store brand version works fine too).

Now, when N's eczema gets severe.....we bring it up a notch. As I mentioned, I am not huge into steroid treatment, but I also do not want the area to get infected with her scratching and having it have open areas. We add a small amount of low dose hydro cortisone cream into the Aquaphor. We also might give her a dose of Benedryl to help with the itchy.

And in even more extreme cases.....we put a layer of damp pajamas on under her dry pajamas. I know this sounds crazy but a neo-natal nurse told me that they do this for the babies in the NICU. It's called a wet-to-wet dressing.

The ultimate key to treating eczema is to keep lotion on all the time, even when it isn't flaring up.

So there you have it.....our little tip of the day. Not sure if I should post a disclaimer as I am not a doctor, nor claim to be. (I guess that I just did)

Check out more Works for Me Wednesday tips over at We are THAT Family


pass the salt.

So Sunday we had a great pastor visit and preach. I am always so excited when I see Pastor Felix sitting up front knowing that powerful stuff is coming.

He got into a great message about how Jesus came to mend the broken-hearted.....not so much in the sense of broken heart associated with a break-up or personal relationship. But talking about the broken center or core of man. He talked about how we must be secure in who we are in the outside without the need to be assured/noticed/honored on the outside. It was a deep, but easy to understand message as this man knows how to preach it.

But what really pierced into my heart, was how he started out his sermon referencing to how as Christians.......we are to be leaders. The city on the hill, the light in a dark place.....the salt of the earth. He made this excellent reference about how when you cook or bake....you don't need a large amount of salt as you would other ingredients. A little bit of salt goes a long way. It is very influential and can affect the whole recipe.

So, I started thinking about how I want to make sure I am doing my best to be the salt in this life. I want to be that addition in people's life and season it. I don't want to just go through the motions, but really live the life that God has called me to live.

I want Jesus's love and glory to radiate through my everyday life.

Even better.......I want people to see Jesus when they see me, but not because I am wearing a cool Christian t-shirt (even though I do have some pretty awesome ones)

Wow, that seems like such a huge unobtainable feat, doesn't it? But you know what? This all can happen because He is in me!

And He tells (commands) me to love and treat people the way Jesus did (would). As His servant, I am commanded to go out and teach others about Him. And who am I to doubt what He says I can do (and that He expects me to do). This is something that I cannot let my own insecurities or junk that I am harboring in my heart to stop me.

So I am jotting down just a few things that I want to hold myself accountable for:

I want people to "meet" Jesus when they meet me.

I want teachers to know there is something different about my children.

I want to choose being kind over being right.

I want to give that stranger a smile when they didn't even realize that they needed one.

I want to inspire others to keep the faith, even when it looks like there is no hope.

I want to be kind to that cashier, even when she if she is rude to me.

I want to radiate God's glory, even when I am in a dark place.

I want to encourage others to seek Him when they are the furthest away from Him.

I want people to ask me why I have such a burning desire for God.

I want to show that you can see God's artistic ways in every insect to the highest of mountains.

I want to lead the broken hearted to The Ultimate Physician.

I want to be able to have the perfect words land on someones' heart.

I want to display the confidence God gives me to face anyone or anything that tries to bring me down.

I want to do all these things (and I can, The Word tells me so....Phillipians 4:13)
......not to get any personal satisfaction/reward.

My reward has already been given to me.
Eternal life.
Jesus living in me.
The joy.
The peace.
The forgiveness.
The hope.
The strength.

......the love of Christ.

I want to be the perfect dash of salt that God has created me to be in this world.


ps. I mentioned that I own some pretty cool tees that can spread The Good News AND look wicked cool/trendy at the same time.....here are just a couple to check out. My friend Jen sent me a link to this place, Jesus Branded, that is having an awesome sale to keep their doors open and donate to The Orphanage Project .....and NOTW has some awesome designs too (you can still find some closeout One Truth tees there.....my absolute favorite). And the best part......both have rockin tees for only $10! WOOT!

I jinxed myself.....

OK, so I really don't technically believe in "jinxes" (or would it be "jinxi"?).....but remember when I was extra thankful for 99.99999% of my body working the way it should work?

Well, I woke up this morning with that .000001% on overdrive.

Not sure if I went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson in a dream, but somehow I must have twisted and contorted myself enough to tweek my neck to the point where I couldn't move it. Or my shoulders for that matter. I felt like John Locke when I was staring up at the ceiling unable to move. Yes, I am still taking Lost to that unhealthy level where I compare myself to characters and wonder what they would do in my situation. Sometimes I am Kate, Juliet or Claire.....I even see a little bit of Hurley in myself. (although please visualize me with Kate's thighs instead of Hurleys......thankyouverymuch)

OK, back to me and the paralyzed state I was in.....Mufasa was snorting in my face and licking/nibbling in my ears. If this was Josh......it would mean he was frisky. With a 100+ Rottweiller.....it means his bladder is full and he needs to go out, NOW. I normally would have given Josh a shove to get up, but seeing as though he came in super late last night from work and has a wicked head cold......I had to suck it up and do it myself.

I am sure if my departure off the bed was caught on film, it would be YouTube worthy. Basically I moved the parts of my lower body that I was able to control off the bed and hoped that with momentum and the law of gravity..... the rest of my torso and upper body would follow/slither off too.

In my Frankenstein state, I walked into the bathroom. As I passed by the mirror, I realized that my neck was not the only thing that needed a compress.....yikes. Holy puffy eyes, Batman. (yet another factor that I am sure Mike Tyson and I had a brawl).

So I managed to go to the bathroom without use of anything remotely flexible. I then proceeded to left Moof out who appeared to have his hind legs crossed in desperation. I made my way to the kitchen where I grabbed our trusty husk pillow and popped that badboy in the microwave for three minutes. In the meantime, I plugged in my coffee pot (prepared it all last night.....dontcha love that!?)....and reached in the freezer to grab the corn filled bag/pillow that N made at the last homeschooling craft day. We actually have many styles of ice packs such as a special bag of frozen peas and various styles of cold packs that were sent home from our frequent trips to the ER. (remember.....there are three boys born with the "X-treme" gene and a firecracker little girl in this house......we have our own parking spot at the hospital)

So, looking like a whiplash victim, I made my way back to bed and landed like a ton of bricks. I am really not good at being sick or laid up in any way, shape or form. I am stubborn and I don't like giving in to anything.....so to be laying there feeling so helpless was quite frustrating to me.

I plopped the cold pack on my eyes and adjusted the hot pack on my neck. Apparently 3 minutes is way too long as I think I smelled the hair on the nape of my neck singeing. But I was determined to get this kink out as fast as possible. So even though it was wicked hot and a little painful, I turned it around to a "no pain-no gain" thought process.

I started to laugh out loud after envisioning what I must have looked like.

Of course that woke up Josh and prompted him to roll over. He saw the pathetic condition I was in and started laughing as well. We have this weird sense of humor that we cannot contain ourselves when the other gets hurt. (of course we are not talking serious afflictions, just minor injuries that don't require stitches or a cast.... like you see on that new show Wipeout)

So while I was laying there in between the Land of Icy Head and Scorched Neck Island......I morphed into John Locke. You know.......the scene that is shot from above where he is just laying there injured?

So with that.......my brain starts spinning with my Lost questions. I am hoping that some of my Lostaholics friends can give me some of their theories and input. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your head about it all:

  • Could that little baby in the opening scene be Miles Straume?
  • Who ordered the bloodwork from Kate? It could be Ben to scare her back to the island.....or is Sun?
  • Speaking of Sun.....who side is she on right now? She is acting very devious. What did Charles Whidmore propose to her?
  • When is that childhood friend of Ben........Annie.....coming into this story? You know she has to at some point.
  • I think that Charlotte Lewis (aka "Ginger", gotta love Sawyer) was born on the island for some reason.
  • Who else wants Mr Eko to have guest appearances this season?
  • Jag my memory about who Neil was.....blank space in my brain with him.
OK, so that was just the few that came to mind for the 15 minutes I allowed myself to be laid up.

The thoughts of piling laundry, taxi cab duties and my promise to take N to Claires to spend the $10 she's had stashed since Christmas was the force that strengthened me to suck it up and get my day and duties started.

So I will leave you with this funny clip directed towards people who have a hard time with separating themselves from the world of Lost, like myself:


Be well.....enjoy your weekend and all your flexibility, as I envy you.....Advil is my new best friend today~


Friday Fun-Giveaways!!!

OK, so it seems like there are quite a few giveaways I am coming across.....so I thought I'd list a few and ask if you know of any.....please post in my comment section to share the giveaway love!

I will admit that I actually am hesitant to share this first giveaway.......as it will cut into my chances of winning even more.....but I just have to let you know about Big Mama's latest giveaway if you haven't already heard about it. I am not a huge monogram person.....no particular reason why.....it just doesn't "do" much for me for the most part. But these personalized plaques (I almost typed plague) are just awesome and I think I seriously need to win this giveaway. So on second thought.....just visit Engraved Uniques and buy your own and leave the winning for me. :)

Another giveaway I stumbled upon this morning......was from His Heart's blog.....it a brand new copy of a book that she recommends as a great instrument of faith and hope in Jesus Christ. And to be completely honest......I am in a little valley right now and this looks like something I could really use.

I do pop over to A Giveaway a Day blog where Liz has fantastic giveaways every day!!! :)

And lastly.....there is a great giveaway going on for a wicked Canon camera and other awesome stuff.....but the best part is that your donation/raffle ticket is raising money to bring a sweet little girl home from Korea.....Visit A Sister for the Bean for more details. :)

OK, signing off for now.......Happy Friday!



Three Things This Thursday.......

YAY for the premiere of LOST, which btw......BLEW my mind.....more on that in a bit.

We had a special LOST Mexican night (not that Mexico and this fascinating addictive series about plane crash survivors have anything to do with each other, but....) to prepare for this most anticipated night. We have been waiting for over 8 months......this was going down with all our favorite food and treats!

1. First I made chicken fajitas for dinner, then we had nachos loaded with salsa and sour cream for the "viewing". My newest favorite tortilla chips are these from Target.....they are so yummy, not too salty.....super fresh. I really love that when you buy this bag of organic chips, you get a bag of organic chips and not half a bag of air. That really miffs me. Oh, and they are on sale this week, 3 for $7. They have all flavors, our favorite is the blue corn with flax seed. I also whipped up a quick batch of G's favorite spinach dip that I probably used half of the family-sized box of Wheat Thins to shove scoop in my mouth.

2. I scored this CD for only $3.99 at Newbury Comics.....used but in great condition! This has so many great artists/songs on it, such as TobyMac, Skillet, Kutless, Superchic[k], Jeremy Camp and John Reuben. This has just fueled me into my overdrive excitement for The Soulfest this summer! Have I mentioned that our camping reservations and tickets are already bought and paid for?!! If you ever can get to New Hampshire and go to this amazing week of worship, music and just pure LOVE and JESUS.....you really should. The first year we went, we were just blown away. The only way we could describe it was that it was like a Woodstock for Jesus.... without the drugs or acid trips.
In fact, if you plan on coming up.....you can crash with us! How cool would that be?!? OK, well not so sure how many more people we can cram in our camper, we are pretty maxed out as it is. But hanging out and making s'mores is definitely doable, right?? We are also investing in a large tent this year so the kids can each bring a friend with them and Moof the Doof (Mufasa) can come too.

3. I don't think I can continue with my Three Things This Thursday and not babble about LOST each week...so if you are a LOST fanatic.....*please* leave a comment with your input....I love to hear theories, opinions and catch things that I might have missed. If you are not a Lostaholic.....I encourage you to go to Blockbuster or Netflix and start watching it from Season One. I will bet my left ovary that you will be hooked. I cannot be held responsible for what this addiction might lead to......late night marathons leaving you hagged out the next day. It might also lead you to ignoring phone calls, avoid making plans at night, and possibly neglecting your family's needs. (well, not that severe, I hope......but you get my drift)

So last night was just so much for my brain to absorb. I will admit that physics was not one of my strongest subjects in class and it looks like it is going to play a huge part in this season. So yeah, this time travel thing is gonna be a little bit of a struggle for me at times. I can see that the pause button will be used often and I will be annoying Josh by asking him to explain exactly what is going on. We all know that I have a hard time following movies that have a normal sense of time, so this time hoppin' craziness is definitely going to be a challenge!

So just a few things to point out. I am happy that Daniel Faraday is going to be a key character this season too....there is something about his quirkiness that makes me like him. I hear Sawyer is also going to be a prominent "shirtless" character.....no complaints here :) I am going to venture that Jin is still alive somehow, by the way thing were worded with that first hour narrative.....which btw, was an excellent recap for people who are just jumping in.

So my favorite characters are pretty much Hurley and Desmond. Of course I love Jack and Kate, Turnip Head (Aaron) is such a cutie.....I crack up with Sawyer's nicknames......I miss Mr. Eko, Charlie and Claire. I hope they make some appearances this season. I have a soft spot for Juliet. I think that Michael Emerson is brilliant playing Ben. In fact, I think all the characters have been perfectly casted.

I will say that I am not a fan of Anna Lucia. Not just her character, but just something about her irks me. I don't know why, well I do know why, but I'll keep it to myself.
OK, but did they think that we wouldn't notice her new big teeth in the more recent episodes? (go check out flashbacks/older episodes and you will see what I am talking about.....sorry, I am not being very nice right now, am I?)

So, I could ramble on and on.......and then I would start to sound like I know these people in real life, or in fact that I really believe that they exist in my life......then you might think that reading my blog is not such a good idea and quietly exit out the back door. I will admit that I was truly disturbed when Ben's daughter was shot last season. I walked around in a fog the next day and couldn't stop talking about it. I was just devastated. I actually had to keep telling myself that it was only a show. uh wow.....not so sure I should have admitted that.

So please post a Three Things This Thursday blurb on your blog and come back and post the link......extra credit for Lost entries! ;)

Wordle (works for me wednesday)

So I decided to join in on the Works for Me Wednesday fun today from Rocks in My Dryer. net

I stumbled upon this cool site, Wordle, that has this little gadget, toy, whatever you want to call it.....but it's cool. You take a post, email, story.....anything with text and create a word cloud. Not exactly sure of the original purposes of word clouds are.......but they look pretty cool and I bet you could print one out and slap that badboy in a frame for some cool art.

So I took one of my posts and this is what came up:
Wordle: Untitled
(pretty sure if you click on it, it will enlarge for ya!)

I think this totally "works for me" as a beautiful representation of thoughts, emotions, reflections on what is important to me.


Oh oh oh.......and another bonus works for me..........

(yes, I am shouting!)

Making history.....

Father, we give you thanks for this special day to celebrate the inauguration of our new president. While he was being formed in his mother's womb, you charted every day of his life. You knew from his beginning that one day he would be elected president of our great nation. We ask that your hand of guidance, protection, and blessing will follow him all the days of his life.

Today, he stands before you and before our nation with his hand on your Word to pledge his allegiance to you and to us. We need his help, he needs our help, and together we all need your help, for without you we can do nothing. Will you protect him, and his family today from harm and from evil? As we pray for the new vice president, we ask that your guidance and direction will fill his mind and heart as he assists our new president. Will you protect him and his family today and keep him mindful of all that you are?

From the beginning of the opening prayer, to the end of the celebrating, may your name be praised in the heart of every American. We are so blessed, Father, and we need to remember that our freedom, our security, and our provisions come from you alone. Thank you for a government that is by the people, and for the people. May we acknowledge your presence in all that we do and say this day with thanksgiving and praise.

We ask these things in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Inauguration Day prayer from The Presidential Prayer Team

N's art for today
(sorry Obama for cutting your ear off)

So no matter who you voted for.....it is time to pray for our new leader......may God give him wisdom, strength and protection as he leads our country.

Tag, you're it!

OK, so I guess I can stop doing the parade wave and it's time to pass along the spotlight of being tagged to some fellow bloggin' friends. I hope they enjoy and appreciate the honor half as much as I did.....

So I pass the taggin' torch onto.......







and anyone else who has visited and commented here in my little random world (like Claire, Tina and Aisha......let's go mamas~)......feel free to do your own version of a "no rules meme" :)

adios! (have no idea on where that urge to say that came from)

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.....

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

I found that prayer on GodWeb.org, along with a powerful letter from MLK Jr's wife, Corretta Scott King.

"I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."

This taken from his I've Been to the Mountaintop speech, King boldly likened himself to Moses and foretold his own death prior to blacks'/Hebrews' entry into the Promised Land. wow....so amazing and powerful.

Today we are going to read a couple of books about MLK Jr........if you have younger kids, you might want to check them out. Martin's Big Words is an awesome biography and has gorgeous illustrations. We also have The Crayon Box that Talked which deals with getting along with others, despite difference (teaching tolerance).

Other things that we have planned for the day that are not MLK related.......We are going to go to G's basketball game, bringing E and N sledding for a bit (if their snowsuits have thawed from yesterday) and tackling the laundry pile that resembles Mt. Everest. With Josh having the day off, I also am going to treat myself to a little retail therapy. I will be taking a shower, putting on deodorant/lotion and wearing pants that don't have a drawstring. Yes, I will be going to Pier One, ALONE, with the gift card I got for Christmas. It doesn't matter if I score some of the wicked clearance items they have advertised, although I am sure I will......I am just in dire need of 45 minutes to an hour of mindless browsing. I need to escape into the world of shopping for items other than industrial size shampoo or value packs of generic cereal. I need to smell yummy candles and touch lush fabrics. I will fantasize about having one of those nice lamps on a "real" nightstand in my bedroom rather than the guitar amp that has an alarm clock and a pinch pot for guitar picks. (you know those clay pots that every child makes)

Ahhhhhhhhh, delusions of grandeur......

Oh OK, back to MLK....

If you ever get a chance to go to Atlanta.....you have to go to MLK's memorial. We went in May 06 and also got to see where he lived and preached. So of course we felt the need to snap a pic of us in front of his house, like we were just dropping by for a visit. If you click on that photo, you'll get a close up view of the enthusiasm on my sons' faces.

OK, I gotta jet..... as G needs to be brought to the game.......and my other kids need to be pointed in the direction of getting dressed and ready. I hope you enjoy the day today.

I will leave with this other MLK quote that I found and I really love:

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. ~MLK Jr.

Happy MLK day~!

I've been tagged!

Oh my! I have been "tagged" by a sweet mama who has since become my new friend.....and I am not going to say that I stalked her into submitting into this friendship. Truth be told....I stumbled upon her blog, 4under3 and I just connected with her humor, her general take on life......and her love of Jesus! (def check it out, you will see what I mean)
So, I shot her an initial email and now we are best bloggin' friends. Well, not really.......but I do feel close enough in our relationship to know her laundry schedule and her favorite bath bomb scents. In my world of online friendships, I see that we will be going to Barnes and Noble together for coffee soon and some "fancy book reading". She will encourage me to put on my big girl panties, guide me out of the juvenile fiction section and send me over to the "big people" section.
(of course I am teasing......just wondering if she is squirming a little in her seat with a little concern while she reads this)

So being new to the bloggin world.......I am not exactly sure what being "tagged" is all about. But I am guessing it is something cool and I feel honored. In fact.....I feel compelled to do a parade wave right now. It doesn't matter that I have morning coffee breath, or that I am in my husband's oversized hoodie with smears of pancake batter on it and Hello Kitty jammie bottoms.

I also am not too clued into what a "no rules meme" is......I am going to assume that I can just babble about random things......which, as you can see by my blog tag line......I do alot. But I will admit that being half Canadian French, I can't shake the word meme (mem-may) as an image of an very old grandma with a perfect roller-set coiffure (French for "hairstyle"), her cheeks displaying a perfect circle of "rouge" (French for "red") and shouting out an occasional "sacré bleu" which I later learned is really not a nice thing to say.

* I noted the French translations to sound multi-cultural. Did I mention I was half Portuguese too? I'll impress you with the six words I know in that language next time.

OK.....so here I go....I am a virgin to all of this, so I hope I don't disappoint:

If I was rich, I would hire someone to scratch my back.

I smell everything when it comes out of the dryer.....yes, even my teenagers boxers. The smell of bleach/detergent brings me to a euphoric place of Heaven on earth. I feel like I am a domestic goddess with a cherry on top.......not only are my whites super WHITE, they smell like the blankets/linens you get with your newborn baby at the hospital. total bliss.

I smell my husbands armpits. Again......bringing me to a different euphoric place. (yes, I know I am a little weird, and I am starting to wonder if I should have signed something that protects me from anonymous psychiatric solicitations). I am talking clean, just outta the shower, and good deodorant smellin' armpits. And for what it is worth.....we have been together for over 18 years and still proudly say "when the camper is rockin.......don't come knockin" (oh, we go "camping" alot....and with four kids of all ages.......we have to get creative.....is that TMI for this?)

I sometimes freak out my friends or aggravate my kids with my conspiracy theories.

My house can be upside down (which it normally is) but my kitchen sink has to be clean and all the blinds/shades must be drawn at the same height if they are on the same side of the house.

I have a pretty good case of unmedicated ADD, (if you haven't picked up on with my excessive use of "......", "so", "/" , "( &)"and run-on sentences)...... which causes me to get overwhelmed very quickly. The inside of my head is like a pinball machine most of the time, but somehow I manage to run a couple of online businesses, homeschool, work part-time and keep this family of six running as smooth as possible. The curse of being creative is that your brain never turns off. I have a "back burner list" that is a mile long and an even longer "bucket list".

I have three tattoos with my next one (actually two) already sketched out.

I am not a good cook.....I only have a few good dishes that people rave about.....my chili, my homemade salsa and my granola. Maybe if I become the recipient of another award such as this.....I might be inclined to share my secret ingredients. (this is an award isnt' it?....because I have since brushed my teeth, braided my nappy hair and put on a bra to be more presentable)

I torture my husband by only wearing one sock around the house.

I occasionally will pull a pay back maneuver with my older children for some of the embarrassing times they have put me through, such as when they have acted obnoxious in public places. I, in turn.......have greeted them at the bus with a sombrero, mismatched clothes and a fishing pole. I also have been known to do "donuts" with my super cool minivan, music cranked to 10, in the school parking lot while they wait for me to pick them up. Of course, this is front of half the school and I enjoyed every minute of the horror on their faces.

I have irrational fears that I won't get into....but trust me.

I lose my keys and debit card often.

And lastly, wrapping it up...I am doing the best I can to enjoy this one life that God has given me......I love Him and everything He has blessed me with. As you can tell, I laugh......and often. Another precious gift from Above. I have my share of rainy days........it's not all Beaver Cleaver here and I don't have all the answers. I yell at my children at times. I can be selfish and a control freak. There are nights that the kids have to have cereal for dinner because I was too lazy to make dinner. I have let the TV be a babysitter for an hour so I could just have some "me" time. (apparently more often than I lead you to believe if you read this) I have a hard time keeping my opinion to myself although I try to respect others' choices and decisions.

But, I am so thankful to serve an awesome God and know He loves me even when I fail and fall....which happens more than I care to admit.

All I know is that I will continue to praise and trust Him as He is with me all the way in this journey of life.

peace, love and stay barefoot~

ps. I would like to thank the tens of fans that have brought me to this plateau of blogging fame....I couldn't have done it without you all. Well, OK.....thanks Tiff for the five minutes of fame and making me feel special. Not sure if I did it right, it kinda was all about me.....but then again, that is something I know alot about, so I went with it.

I think I am supposed to pass this award on and tag other bloggers.......right? Can I please relish in the spotlight for day first? I am still doing the parade wave, btw. Aw come on! Cut me a little slack, I am a newbie. ;)

My thoughts exactly, Mufasa......

It's been a long week.........thank God it's Friday!

Hope your weekend is filled with peace, love and warmth.....this coming from someone who has to venture out today with predicted high temps of 9 degrees (with wind chill feels like 10 below). yay!
On second thought...... Do we really need food this weekend? I think I could get pretty creative with those last packages of Ramen Noodles and a can of cream of mushroom soup. whaddya think?


Three Things This Thursday.......

In light of my recent loss.......I want to note three things that do I have......and am so thankful for.

1. My family and good friends who surround me~

  • A marriage to my best friend that is strong enough and worth enough to go through any trial that comes our way. Knowing and believing that if we can persevere through the valleys.......we will come out on top of the mountain.

  • My friends who don't judge me for my decisions, offer encouragement and never grow tired of comforting me during the sad times. Online friends who I have truly felt their compassionate hugs even though I have never physically "met" them.

2. My health~

  • I reminded myself that even though one particular "part" of me hasn't been "working" the way I want it to......99.99999% of me is. When I was waiting for my doctor to call me back about my bloodwork results.....I thought about how I could have been waiting for the call to see if cancer spread. I will also umbrella this "thanks" to include my husband and children's health as well.

3. And most of all.....My Savior!

  • Once again.....I am reminded that the God I serve in my darkest times, is the same God I serve in the bright sunny days. He is unchanging. In fact.....I have witnessed His Glory the most in the midst of my rainy days.

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

~Casting Crowns
-Praise You in this storm

So no matter what the weather is......I hope you have "SONshine" today!

Now it's your turn.......share three random things (make me laugh, prayer requests, photos, recipes,.....sporadic thoughts/ideas) and join in on the Three Things This Thursday ring. Add your blog link here:

A new day......new hope.

Thank you all for your prayers, comments and thoughtful emails......today is a new day.

I have so much to be thankful for.....and I will continue to praise God for what I do have instead of what I don't have or lost. (healthy children, a loving husband, awesome friends, a home, food in my fridge.......and most of all.......Him!)

I know He is the ultimate One who heals, comforts and gives peace/rest.

And with that.......this family needs more prayers than ever. I posted before about sweet Abby and her fight against a very aggressive form of leukemia. She has an amazing family who are faithful servants of Christ. Please join me in a prayer force to take her through these next few weeks of intense treatment and bring her out whole and healed........giving all the Glory to God.

And if you could spare a couple more minutes while in prayer....please keep Kyle, Michael Sweet's (Stryper) wife in your prayers as well. Last I heard, she was undergoing an aggressive new treatment. Michael posted this yesterday (I think on MySpace blog....I got it c/p from a friend via email) and my heart breaks for him as well.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Note From Michael......

I’m sitting here by Kyle’s side in a room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and I felt led to write this letter as some form of comfort as we walk through the darkest time of our lives. As you all know, my wife Kyle was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in February of 2007. Standing by her side and seeing her physically and emotionally face this horrible disease, I’ve realized that not only is she the love of my life, she is an angel and the most inspirational person I’ve ever known. I’ve stood faithful and hopeful in prayer through this battle, yet to see my love suffer and endure the pain and discomfort that she has over the past two years breaks my heart into a million pieces. No one deserves this, especially Kyle.

You see, she is the backbone of our family, a pillar of strength, and as unselfish as one can be. She doesn’t want any credit for anything she does but truth be known – she deserves all credit. She is the perfect wife, mother and such a blessing to everyone she meets. I constantly wrestle with the reality of this monster that invades her body and I can tell you that it’s been a tremendous struggle to see my wife so sick. I have felt so helpless and at times completely hopeless, but I know I must be strong for my family and be that pillar of strength too, as she’s been throughout our marriage of almost 23 years.
When our son Michael was born, Kyle was hospitalized for over 2 weeks due to a severe blood clot in her leg. I was on tour at the time and I would fly home after shows to be with her and then fly out to catch the next show. I remember that time as if it was yesterday and I recall how brave and strong Kyle was then. It was a testament of her courage and an example to me. She never complained and she picked up the pieces and carried on with taking care of our newborn son, Michael.

Kyle is also a very accomplished and successful makeup artist. This is actually how we met. She drove from Cape Cod to LA in the early eighties with a degree in child psychology but once there, she decided to pursue a career in makeup. Through hard work and perseverance, she went on to work in film and television. Her career had not even peaked and she chose to give it all up to spend 100% of her time raising Michael and Ellena as I toured the world. She sacrificed everything for us and again this was a testament of who Kyle is – a loving, caring, unselfish wife and mother.
She wouldn’t have it any other way. She has given me so much joy and I guess I just wanted to give all of you a glimpse of who Kyle is and the character that she bestows.

We covet and cherish every prayer from everyone of you and I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts as I sit here by my love. If you can, pray for Kyle’s body and immune system to gain enough strength to fight so her body can get back to some sort of normal state, specifically her digestive system. She hasn’t eaten for days due to nausea and it won’t pass. She’s very weak and I just want to take her home.
I’ll update as time permits. Kyle sends her love too. She lit up when I told her that I would post and ask all of you to pray. It means so much.
More than you know.

"All You Need Is Love"

And with that.......I leave you hoping your day is filled with sunshine and hope.

the gift

So this is gonna be a long one......but very powerful, well......at least for me. You might want to grab a cup of coffee. It might ramble a bit....I have a whirlwind of emotions going on in my head, so I'll try my best to pull it all together.

OK, I guess I can start with this funny thing that I heard Nev say around the Holidays......she asked me if she had been naughty this year. So in an effort to always remain truthful to my children, I turned it around and asked her a question instead. I asked her why she wanted to know. And with a concerned look, she said that her friend told her that if she had been naughty......then she would get clothes for Christmas instead of toys.
Of course I was expecting her to say "coal" instead of "clothes".......so I explained to her that first, that was not true.......and second.....getting clothes is far from a punishment. How she could use some new clothes such as a winter jacket and snow boots. I went on to also explain that sometimes we get things that we need instead of the things that we want.......even when it comes to gifts.

So here it comes.....about a week ago. I was given the ultimate gift. A gift from Heaven above. I found out that I was pregnant.

I fell to my knees in total thanksgiving to God the moment I saw that second line come up. I kept saying how I knew God was so faithful. He put this desire in me for a reason.....and He always hears our prayers and follows through in His timing, discretion and ultimate will.

I also had this amazing peace over me from the very beginning. Another gift.

The "old" me would have called my doctor right away to order bloodwork, make appointments, and take control of the situation. I would have been peeing on a home pregnancy test everyday scrutinizing the lines and making sure they were getting darker to convince myself.

This time around.....I had no desire.

The "old" me would have told everyone right away in excitement. Believe me, I could hardly contain the joy and wanted to shout it from the rooftops......but I just wanted to keep this beautiful little bit of joy to myself for a bit. I guess I wanted to be a teeny bit selfish and not share any of the joy. It was like God and I had our own intimate secret.

Another reason I didn't want to tell people......and it might sound silly, but I didn't want to be the "woman who cried pregnant"......as I said, I have a history of early losses.....like 4-5 in the past couple of years....so sometimes I wonder what it must look like from other's perspective in terms of "why does she keep doing this?". Maybe I am over analyzing.....I dunno.

I was reminded on many occasions that this was absolutely a "gift". I mentioned in a prior entry that I was reading a book called "The Gift". What I didn't mention was that this book slid out from the middle of a pile of clutter on Josh's bureau. Only nothing else came down. There should have been an avalanche of envelops and random papers following it. But only this book slid down to my feet.

I would just randomly see or hear the word "gift" everywhere. Store signs, songs, etc. Call it coincidence. I call it angels' comfort.

Of course I poured my heart into this gift.....figured out the due date, picked out possible names and never even wondered if boy or girl. I didn't care.

When you are filled with pure joy from Above......I guess it is hard to conceal. Josh figured it out in a day. I was only due for my period to show up the following day, but he called me on it. Of course I could not deny it, as I giggled.

Men are complex creatures.....God wired them totally different than women, that is for sure. And I am sure for all the right reasons as He surely knows what He is doing. Some of the reasons and their quirks we can figure out, others.....we will only find out when we go to Heaven and can ask all those burning questions of life. And even then, I am sure men can stump even the smartest of angels watching from Above.

So after Josh got the color back in his face.....he proceeded to go in the bedroom and play Taps on his guitar. He always has this twisted sense of humor when dealing with "this kind of news".

After the initial shock wears off.....he goes through a series of emotions. I cannot say I truly understand, as I am not a man.....but I do know they are valid and his right.

Josh is a man who tends to carry the world on his shoulders at times. He is a Type A person to begin with and being the sole provider of our family carries it's own mountain of burden and stress. Ultimately, he knows and believes that God always provides.....but he has a hard time letting go of the reins at times. This becomes a vicious circle of stress and turmoil.

Satan's job is to divide. Divide marriages, homes and families. Divide people's connection/trust with God.

We have to be careful to keep the doors in our minds shut tight. When we have doubt and worry, we start to lose a little bit of faith, that door becomes slightly ajar......the enemy will slip right in.

Well Satan snuck into Josh's brain and started poking around. I can picture him questioning his ability to provide.....feeding him lies about how he is not gonna be able to do it. Telling him that he is going to be losing more of himself with this new responsibility coming. Just junk. Pure garbage. He kicks you when you are down. Being in that vulnerable state, he takes full advantage and piles in on. He is good at what he does.

But God is mightier.

Walking around bound in despair and feeling defeated, Josh came clean to me on how he was feeling. Of course this devastated me. Here I was on cloud 9 and he was on the other end of the spectrum.....in a pit of hell.

At this point, there was nothing I could do or say to change the way he was feeling. I knew the only One who could pierce through the wall that was built up was God Himself. I prayed....I asked God to release him of this prison and grant him peace. The same grace and peace that He has given me.

*I want to point out that even with our best intentions....we can never do the job like God. When I was trying to explain to Josh about how I have really turned over everything to God the peace that He has granted me.....I am sure I came off as "look at me and how awesome it is to be like me".....and I hope I don't sound like that, but I can see how it can be interpreted that way. Only feeling it firsthand can bring total understanding. And it's not something that you brag about in the sense of what you have......it's a different kind of "possession".....because you only want to share it. Hmmmmmm, OK......it's like when you taste the most awesome food and you just HAVE to insist that someone you love tries it because you want them to enjoy it as much as you do. Well, I guess that isn't the best way to compare, but it's all I can think of right now.

So we were brought to a pretty dark place for a few days and it was ugly. But again.......God doesn't allow things to happen randomly. There was a reason and a purpose.

It brought me to a place of understanding that this wasn't truly all about me. This gift was given to both of us, as parents. I had to step out of my little bubble and truly reflect on the big picture. Everyday I was praying to keep this little gift one more day (with my history of early losses) and thanking God that He trusted me with it. But during this darkness.....I turned my prayers over to Josh's peace and happiness. I prayed that God would rise up and kick the Enemy out of my husband's spirit. Then, I felt something different come over me..... this request came from out of no-where...my prayer changed to "Thy Will be Done".

*backing up a few steps, in the midst of this blend of excitement, I had confided in a couple of special friends about the pregnancy. My dear friend Claire, sent me a written prayer and the message of "Thy Will be Done". She will never know how God spoke through her......

I told God (ha, like I was in charge, lol).....that I trusted in His will for this pregnancy, baby and our future. I knew that He made no mistakes and this baby was sent here for a reason. I trusted Him and what He was doing. All I wanted was my husband to find peace and I knew the only way was to lay this all at His feet.

The next morning.....Josh woke up and apologized. Not only to me......but to God. He said that he was sorry he didn't see this blessing the way it was meant to be seen. He told me that he realized this wasn't his child, it was God's. And He was giving it to us for a reason. He felt peace and knew that everything was going to be OK.

Take that, Satan!

Yesterday I woke up to a little bit of spotting...of course my heart sank when I first noticed. This was an all too familiar place to be. I tried to not look inward and worry, but continue to look UP to God. For this is His will.........His Gift and He has a purpose for this life that was given and placed in me. I had to continue to trust in Him and what He has planned......no matter if it isn't what I think is best. For His ways are not my ways.

At church, Josh and I went down to the altar for prayer and had hands laid on us. Not just for the obvious, but for peace, healing and wisdom in our marriage and what the future holds for us. I prayed to God to help me let go of the reins that I seemed to started to grasp at in a "knee-jerk" worrying reaction to the spotting. I had to continue to "let go, let God".

So last night.....I wanted to rest and went to bed early. I was reading "The Gift" and there was a section called The Fog of a Broken Heart. It was talking about Jesus's night in the garden before he was betrayed. He knew what was coming.....

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:32-36

Wow, even Jesus was troubled and distressed. He was struggling with fear.....so of course He knows what I am going through. He even asks His Father to change his mind......but heard the gentle but firm "no".

Well this morning.....I am hearing my (our) Father's gentle, but firm......no.

I am losing this baby. I am crushed of course.......I am human.

I know I am a little hurt, confused and feeling a little bit betrayed. Not from God.....but my body. Like why can't I carry life past five or six weeks.

Jesus felt hurt, confused and betrayed.....obviously on a monumental larger scale......but this assures me that He knows what my heart is feeling right now.

I know I read that story for a reason last night......I needed to be reminded that God did give me a gift. It was different than the gift I wanted. It was a gift of bringing Josh closer to me.....and closer to Him. And for that........I am so thankful.

I won't say that the next few days are gonna be easy.....but I still feel the gift of peace, strength and trust that God is right beside me all the way.


Amazing Grace

On my side bar you will see a link to a blog that I follow....Bring The Rain. It is Angie Smith's blog and she is an amazing person, Servant of God. Along with her husband Todd, they are an awesome testimony of finding God's Grace in the center of their grief. I cannot imagine what they went through this past year.....but I can tell you that Our Lord was with them every step of the way.

Angie has decided to share an amazing video of her story and the precious day they were given with Audrey Caroline. If this doesn't show the Glory and Grace of our Father......wow, I don't know what can.

Audrey Caroline~ Bring the Rain


But wait! There's more.....

I am almost embarrassed to admit this.....but N is an As Seen on TV product junkie.

I am ashamed because it goes against my standing on how the majority of things on TV is garbage, a conspiracy, or really just a bunch of negativity. I don't want to waste what little time I have on watching "crap" and I certainly don't want to fill my kids' head with it either. They get enough of that in this world.

OK, so I not going to lie........we do watch some TV in our home....in fact, I pay the little bit extra to get all the Discovery Channels and Green Channel lineups. I won't go on my tangent on how ridiculously expensive cable is, though. I have suggested to Josh that we lose it for a few months to eliminate it from our budget....but he had that "deer staring into headlights" look before I could finish my explanation. I guess football season isn't the time to make such an insane request.

If I was only granted one TV show to watch.....of course it would be LOST. Hands down. If you don't watch it......I encourage you to start from Season One and don't be surprised if you start marathons with your eyes hanging out of your head because it is addicting. But you really have to start it from the beginning or you won't appreciate how awesome and intricate this show is. The writers are brilliant.......and the cast is phenomenal. (ain't too hard on the eyes, either!)

JJ Abrams (writer) has a newer series that we have been watching......Fringe. It kinda is like that old series X-files meets CSI. Josh is definitely more into following it (he likes sci-fi), I usually fall asleep and ask about how it ended in the morning.

I do have a few other shows that I enjoy and try to catch them when I can (and you gotta love the DVR). I have a small list of shows that I have set to record as a series, such as Oprah and Ellen. Josh questions me why I have them record everyday and then I end up deleting 90% of them (without watching them) at the end of the week when I scan through "my list". It's because I never ever am in front of the TV in the afternoon.....but I seem to always run into someone who says, "hey, did you see that Oprah show on *insert such and such a subject/person that I am interested in*? Now, I have my bases covered. I tape (man, I gotta get into the current lingo here) record Ellen because I think she is pretty funny and will watch a show if there is an actor/person that I like scheduled to be on.

As far as other shows.....I like stupid humor like Scrubs, The Office and The New Adventures of Old Christine.....I still enjoy watching the reruns of Friends and Seinfeld.

I am wicked at Wheel of Fortune. I could totally rake in some serious cash if I went on that show.....and I will boast that I can answer about15% of the questions in the first round of Jeopardy too.

I am not a fan of reality shows.....mainly because they are really not reality. People KNOW (and are getting paid) that they are on TV, come on! I have watched a few seasons of Survivor, but once you've seen one......you've seen them all. Just different people, different place. *snore

Lili is determined to get us on The Amazing Race. I've caught an episode or two, but I don't watch it. But Lili swears we would be great on it and is planning on submitting an application. I can see it now......the tag line for us will be The Two Middle Age Hippie Jesus Freaks with almost a dozen kids between them. She has already declared that she will eat the gross things and I will do the physical challenges. great.

OH, so back to the "But Wait!.....there's more reference" (this ADD is killin me)

So on the random occasions that N has on "regular" TV (meaning the channels with commercials) she is exposed to the random commercials for those obnoxious products. You know....the ones with the horrible acting and the flashing phone numbers on the screen. She gets sucked into their sales pitches and truly believes that she needs these items as they suggest she does. Not only does she believe that these are necessities......she has the sales pitch memorized. (can you say mind control? LOL)
Here is a typical conversation

N: Mom, we need those Aqua Globes.
Me: Really, why?
N: Because you'll never have to worry about over or under watering your plants again.
Me: (worrying more that she sounds like a robot).....hmmmmmmm, well we really only have cactus here and they thrive on neglect.
N: What is neglect?
Me: well.......it's like when you ignore something and don't take care of it.
N: EXACTLY why you NEED these Aqua Globes......you just fill em up and let them do the work.
Me: yikes.
N: and if you act now, mom......they will send you 4 of them for only $15.99. You get blue, green, red and multi color.....oh, you have to pay for shipping and handling, whatever that is.

Another incident that should have tipped me off was sometime last year....it was early morning and I was getting the boys ready for school. N woke up early, so I put on the TV in my room to keep her occupied. H happened to go in my room for something and came out and came to get me. He said that he heard N on the phone. All he heard was, "Man, this guy asks lots of questions". So I walked into my room and asked her who she was talking to. She gave me the
"hold on a minute" gesture with one finger up (ugh, a mini me). I looked over at the TV and noticed that it was paused, thanks to the DVR, on the commercial for those remote controlled helicopters, Air Hogs. She timed it perfectly to display the toll free number.....which she called and was navigating her way through the prompts.

Thankfully, she didn't have my debit card in her other hand.


So yes......I am the victim of living with a walking/talking infomercial.....I am reminded how I need that Buxton Bag pocketbook when I can't find my keys......or Mighty Putty when something in the house needs fixing. When we do our occasional spa night (baths, manicures and pedicures as a little girl night).....she constantly recommends that disgusting Ped Egg. (I think I had a little stomach acid come up in my throat thinking about that gadget, sorry TMI)

And then, again yesterday morning.......N woke up and walked over the the couch. She curled up into a ball and commented on how cold it was in the house. (we keep our house pretty cold.....I've mentioned on how Josh is anti-oil and is determined to use as little as possible....so yeah, we walk around in a couple layers of sweatshirts all day). I suggested she put on a sweatshirt because she was only wearing a thin pair of jammies.
She picks up her head from the little ball she's curled into and says.......*this* is why we need a Snuggie.
OK, I don't know if you've seen this ridiculous product they have advertised.....The name makes my skin crawl to begin with......the SNUGGIE??? They couldn't think of a better name for it? It is basically this butt ugly fleece blanket that has arm holes. They show people of all ages using this thing, even as ridiculous as at a football game...and basically inform you that you can do amazing things with the Snuggie......like enjoy a snack, use the remote.....talk on the phone!

Seriously people....

OK, For your viewing pleasure.....in honor of N....I will leave you a chance to get your own Snuggie. Don't forget to order now for that special bonus book-light that they offer on TV that retails for $15 even though I've seen it at Job Lot for 99 cents.

The Snuggie


OK, this has GOT to be a joke......


Porn industry seeks federal bailout

*shaking head in sheer disbelief*

I was expecting a pop-up from Ashton Kutcher to say this was a new online version of PUNK'D .....but he never showed up.

Three Things This Thursday.......

1. I finished reading Live Like A Jesus Freak!! I did it! I read a whole book! ROCK ON! And I even started another.....woot! It's just a short book of Max Lucado's writings that I got last summer at The Soulfest......it "randomly" slid off of a pile of clutter on Josh's bureau yesterday when I was continuing on my quest to de-clutter....it is coincidently titled "The Gift" which is totally not random OR coincidental.....more on that later. ;)

2. Sales and Deals! There is an inventory reduction sale going on at the Bath Artisans Soaps shop over at Etsy. We got in that last order and I was really impressed with the quality of this soap. The chunky generous bars last forever and the scents are awesome. Not too heavy.....but just enough to leave a hint on your skin. YUM!
Leann also is offering an additional 10% off your purchase if you mention in the "note to seller" section that you are coming on by from my blog. She also wanted to mention that the shipping charges listed are quoted based on Priority shipping, and that she always refunds the overage if she is able to ship First Class.

Also.....There is another awesome sale going on at Scholastic Books. This is a teachers' special sale, but home-schoolers can take advantage of this sale as well. It is going on until January 31th or while supplies last. Here is the link:

Scholastic Teachers' Store Annual $1 Sale

I ended up getting 10 books/items for $12.26 shipped. Score!

3. Less than two weeks until LOST begins...........there are some great sneak previews and interviews at ABC.com for this upcoming season.........EEK!!!!!!!!! I am so excited I already have Jan 21st planned including the snacks I will be eating. So for all you LOST fanatics........here is a little treat I came across to get you fired up!

So that's it for me..........how about you? Surely you have three random things to share or shamelessly brag about! Join in!

pick a preacher.....any preacher......

Yesterday our church started fasting to bring in the new year. I have heard so many people testify on how powerful it is to be part of a fast and how close you can be brought to God. Many people are doing a traditional fast where they abstain from most food where as others just eat small portions of fruits/veggies to sustain their energy. The main purpose of fasting (from what I perceive) is it helps turn inward and fill our spiritual needs (instead of filling our physical needs) and help us find God's will.

I decided to do a quick research on fasting and found this on new-life.net:

God said, "When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you" (Jeremiah 29:13,14). When a man or woman is willing to set aside the legitimate appetites of the body to concentrate on the work of praying, they are demonstrating that they mean business, that they are seeking God with all their heart.

At our church, there are nightly services of prayer. For more than one reason, we are unable to participate in the fasting as far as attending church every night and the traditional fast. So we decided to do our own version. I am sure it is not "religiously" correct and quite possibly frowned upon by more seasoned church folk.......but our intentions are good so I trust that God will know this.

So part of my "fasting" is limited internet, no message boards, online groups, etc. I am disconnecting from as much as possible and substituting it with digging deeper in my faith. Well, for the most part,.....I will still be blogging as it is my spiritual/creative outlet. I want to press forward and see what God wants from me this year, in all aspects......my direction, my children, serving Him. So the time I usually spend surfing around the internet, in my early morning uninterrupted hours......I am getting back to learning, reading and prayer. Because I am not tapped into checking in and/or keeping up with other stuff......I can focus all my energy on God.

So tying into my "pick-a-preacher" title..........there is a great site called Lightsource.com that has the video broadcasts of many well known preachers. There are some that I really enjoy watching....Beth Moore and TDJakes to name a couple.....and then others I choose to pass on. So this morning, as part of my "daily bread"......I watched a sermon on children/parenting by Jeff Shreves that was really good. It was about 40 minutes long and I feel that I am starting my day more prepared ingesting God's word/teachings.....far more prepared than checking out the latest deals from WOOT.com, FatWallet.com or some of the other sites I have bookmarked for my daily check-in routine. (which btw, are great fun sites to check out!)

G and H, on their own decision........chose to give up things that they value for the next couple of weeks. G is giving up the computer all together.....(that is huge). He also is going to commit to reading a few pages of Live Like a Jesus Freak each night, along with a daily devotion book. (if you know G.....the fact that he is reading anything is a huge "leap of faith", HA!) H is giving up his guitar and using his video/camera equipment. Another huge sacrifice on his part. I have a family devotion book that I purposely placed on our coffee trunk in the hopes that someone would pick it up..... I saw H flipping through some pages last night, so I hope he continue with that as well.

I am not one to force the kids to do anything against their will (in obvious cases). I don't want to shove the Bible down their throat as well all know where that will lead. I never even told them they had to fast. In fact,.....they came up to me and told me what they were doing. Again, so thankful that they are involved with the youth group where serving God is the norm.....and expected.

Oh, so when E and N heard about what their brothers were giving up.....I decided to ask them if they would like to give up something for God for the next couple of weeks. N thought that giving up being a "pesty little sister" would be a good thing to try giving up. (so now apparently, this confirms her intentional pestering)........E suggested homework.

*sigh* I guess 3 outta 4 ain't bad.

I hope this finds you smiling and well......

peace and love~


prayers for The Travolta Family

John Travolta and Kelly Preston's son Jett died yesterday....at 16. Please pray for this family. They are not only going to be grieving for their firstborn child, but I fear they will be under attack and speculation based on the fact of being avid Scientologists. Jett suffered from seizures in the past and also was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease at age 2. From what I have read, Scientologists believe that upwards of 80% of illness is psychosomatic and that most illness can only be cured by addressing the spiritual problems that are causing it. (my own Googl'ing research). So the media is reporting about how it was unclear whether Jett was being treated for the seizures or any another medical condition that he had. I am just sad that we live in such a judgmental world, that is quick to point fingers rather than lifting fingers (and hands) up to God for prayer instead.

It is not my job or desire, as a Christian, a mother, etc......to judge the what ifs, could've, should've, would've...... or if anyone is responsible. I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow they are going through. I just want to pray for this family as they have lost their child and need prayers for strength and comfort right now. No one should outlive their child.

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