Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Do...

So here we go...

BEFORE:



and AFTER:



Oh, yea...I'm bringing sexy back! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Peace ya'll!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grateful from my rising up…

So much of our lives is about getting to the next thing…as I lay in bed this morning (in the wee hours as God often does in my life) I started to think of all the amazing things I have to be grateful for…simple, everyday things that I take for granted…that somebody else in this world doesn’t have. So…I started a list right there in bed…Here’s how it went:

I’m grateful for my warm cozy bed with my warm cozy covers.

In this amazing home.

In this amazing neighborhood.

For clean running water – both hot and cold.

For warm pjs and the glasses I have to wear to see the coffee pot.

For my Bible – in my own language – one of SEVERAL that I am allowed by my government to own and read every day.

That I can have that written word for very little money – less than 1% of my weekly pay check.

For a cupboard stocked with foods that don’t spoil and a fridge to keep them fresh.

For coffee and cereal and creamer and sugar…all luxuries.

For lights that go on when I flip a switch and hair driers and styling gel and makeup that makes me feel great…again, all luxuries.

For the fuel efficient, paid for car that gets me back and forth to my amazing job working for a Christian company.

For gas under $4 a gallon.

For the radio that can play me great morning shows and uplifting music and laughter and information.

For paved roads lined with scenic trees and gorgeous homes on my way to work. I’m grateful my car has heat that works…and a defroster…

For comfy chair in my semi-private cubical – I’m not digging up my own food, walking miles for fresh water or existing on one root veggie a day.

For work that allows me to thrive, not just make it, or get by, not just survive or subsist…but THRIVE.

For phones – cell phones and land lines – they allow me to speak with my associates and my family easily, in the moment, when I want to.

For my amazing family

For my wonderful husband, who is supportive and creative and maddeningly funny and fresh.

For my beautiful son, who is smart, caring, sensitive and cool.

That my amazing job gives me the resources to provide for them, to put food in their bellies and a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.

For my amazing friends...I have the most wonderful friends...I wish I could give every woman on the plant friends like I have!

For electric ovens and stoves to cook my fresh and healthy foods – food that I did not have to dig up or kill myself.

For dishwashers and detergents to clean my dishes and home so that my family can remain healthy

For inexpensive bathtub toys and amazing bathtub conversations with Jay.

For toothbrushes and toothpaste.

For a room full of cozy little boy furniture and books that tell amazing stories.

I’m grateful I have the kind of life that makes it possible for me to read to my son.

I’m grateful I can read.

Every second of every day, I have something to be grateful for, thankful for…I’m amazingly blessed and mightily favored.

How about you?

Peace, ya’ll!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Call and a New Kit Club

I scrapbooked most of Saturday…but I cannot show you because the layouts are for my VERY FIRST design team call…I was so excited by concept and the community that they have at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out that I couldn’t help myself!

If you are in the mood for some really amazing challenges and a very supportive community, I recommend this site…the challenges are for everyone, even people who don’t get their kits. BUT I just got this kit and I’m in LOVE with it…its exactly what I would buy for myself at the LSS if I went there all the time!

Peace, ya’ll!!

Oh…PS…more to come. I got a new hair cut…I want to see what you think!!

COMMENTS

I've had a little difficulty with my new template and comments...I've got it fixed now.

So sorry to anyone who tried to comment and couldn't! I had my blog set to embed comments, but apparantly my template doesn't support that(its new to Blogger!)

Finally, all that day job stuff comes in handy!

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bo-Bunny is BOOing!

Bo Bunny is having a delightful little give-away on their blog. You can get there by clicking their link in Scrap Challenges and Manufacturers section over there

------------------------------------------>>>

Or you can click HERE to take a look!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heard at our house:

Language once again is astounding at our house. I look back just six months ago and cannot believe how far his verbal skills have come. I have read that typical two-year-olds speak in two word non-verb sentences…really? Mine is ready to write a dissertation..and WHEW does he listen to us! Mommy has to be CAREFUL with her words…HA! HA! Looks like we have a talker! Lol..

While listening to daddy heat his milk:

An daddy put in da micwowafe!

While watching daddy and I hug and kiss:

I wan in da famlee too!!!

After coughing particularly hard:

I nee mecine. JUS owange!

After mommy brushes his hair:

I hamsome! Daddy too!

After listening to mommy cough:

Bwess you, mommy! Bwess you!

While driving by Panera Bread:

How ‘bout a tuhkee san-wich?

After Grandma and Grandpa went home:

Gramma an Grampa go home. On a JET.

After being asked to sing a song:

Woah, woah, woah you bote
Nenty don da ream
Mer, Mer, Mer, mer
Wife’s budda ream

Peace ya'll!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Birthday Cupcakes

I promised myself that there would be a handmade cake for every one of my son's birthdays...

This year, we had pound cake cupcakes and cream cheese frosting...






So loving this whole cupcakes and sprinkles thing...SERIOUSLY easy deliciousness!

Yummo!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Line-up

Evidence of my organizational influence on my dear little boy...



hmmm...

Do you think I might be damaging him?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Required Pumpkin Patch Photos

I LOVE autumn. The colors are astounding and - since we moved to North Carolina - I can actually get out into the fresh air and enjoy it without roasting to death...

Pumpkin Patch has been a tradition for me for quite some time - even before I had children. And while we do not carve them nor celebrate what would be considered the traditional Halloween things, we do love to take a trip to a farm and enjoy the things of autumn.

We did the pumpkin patch with Jayden's class and his Grandma and Grandpa from Minnesota got to come along with us



He got to pick a pumpkin of his own to take with him...this was the third or fourth he picked up - and the smallest, interestingly enough.




I didn't try to pose him all that much, just really let him do his thing and tried to capture his spirit...He likes to line things up. Pumpkins are not exempt from organization.




There were lots of signs for picture opportunities...I really tried to get some cute ones, but he was really interested in all the things going on around him. While he SAYS "cheese" he doesn't really look at me for the photo opp.



My brave boy had NO problem going in and out of the corn maze...he really liked going in and then saying "now go weft" and "now go nudder weft" and "now go wight."



All in all a fun trip to the farm.

Peace, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two peas in a pod

This is such a "my boys" moment.



Popcorn on the sofa...and obviously something compelling on TV...probably Mickey Mouse.

I'm struck by how simple this moment is, and how happy it makes me to see it.

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Boys

This time two years ago I was recovering from a C-section while these two were getting to know one another...



Happy Birthday to BOTH my boys...one is TWO (can you believe it?) and the other is...more than two!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!



(ps...I know its not the greatest picture, but it IS so Scott and Jay - one is wearing a silly crown and the other is on the move and missing a shoe...yup...just another day in our household!)

Peace!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Learning Links

After my post a couple of days ago, I thought it might be interesting to find some sites to learn about different things. I suppose wiki would be good too, but I understand that the information there can be questionable…so…I found these interesting little places to get good information. I steered clear of opinion journalism and went straight to the source as much as possible.

The Constitution

The Federal Reserve Bank

The Electoral College (since its an election year)

World Religions (this site has references and information to the top six world religions)

Your Social Security Items (this includes a history of the social security number)

the IRS (some things you might not realize)

Happy researching and peace, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Religious

I watched this interview in the wee hours of the morning

I was glad I’d read Matthew chapter 7 before hand…specifically these passages:

13) "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14) But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

17) Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.


While I hate to give press to something like this, I think that people need to realize that this is out there.

For starters, Bill Maher says that he is concerned about the capability of leadership to lead if they believe in a “talking snake.” - reference Adam, Eve and the serpent. Really? We've reduced the fall of man to Satan to "a talking snake?" For all his liberal, open-minded ways, it seems awfully arrogant and condescending. Do people who don't believe in God really think that people who do are somehow stupid for having faith? Well...the Bible does say that God uses the "weak" to lead the "strong" and also that we should have faith like little children. Its just infuriating that somehow I'm relegated to the "idiot" class because I believe that there is a God and that the things in the Bible are true.

He also asserts that anyone who is religious is an extremeist.

Since I don’t think of myself as an extremeist and have not yet marched on Washington, staged a sit-in, blown anyone up or cast them out of my circle of friends due to their personal beliefs, sexual orientation or political affiliation, I thought it a rather broad stroke for religious people.

Also, I think that by definition, atheism – or the belief that there is no god, is by its very nature a “religion” – it is the religion of the self. And it is remarkably close to Religious Science in terms of the self being god or at least god-like.

That said, the definition of extremist apparently covers us ALL – since we all believe passionately in SOMETHING, even if it is only ourselves. And if we are all extremist, then none of us are…because that wouldn’t be “extreme” in any context. You see the circular thought that can happen when you follow this out beyond just the end of his sentence?

But the most disturbing thing about this interview and perhaps the documentary is something that is COMPLETELY true and should be the shame of people of nearly any faith. They interviewed religious leaders who did not know their own religious doctrine – specifically a leader professing to be Christian who did not know the Bible. I shudder to think how many people like that are out there.

Do you identify yourself as a Christian? Why? Do you read the Bible?

I’d venture to say that the majority of people in this country are spoon fed their religion – they don’t read the Bible (or many other texts for that matter), but they go on Sunday and try to be good people. Or they celebrate Christmas and Easter and funerals and weddings...and thus, believe they are Christian. Matthew 7 has some words about this too:

21) "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22) Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23) Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

It’s the same with politics and finances and many many other things. We don’t read. We don’t learn for ourselves. We don’t go seeking truths and important information. Instead we take what they’ve said on the news or in the paper or at the coffee shop and we run with it. We add our own twist, we sift and filter out what we want to use and throw the rest away.

You’re invested in the stock market? What do you know about it? Or do you just trust your broker?

Are you Christian? Or Muslim? Or Buddhist? What do you know from the texts of your religion? Or do you take your preachers word for it?

Are you American? Have you ever read the Constitution? The Bill of Rights? The Ammendments? Can you even name 20 of the 50 states? Do you know what it means to bea an American citizen? Or do you believe what the camps of McCain and Obama tell you about you?

If you believe in something, you should know what you know…and what you don’t know! What you need to learn, where gaps are. Be able to DEFEND your position with more than just passion…because a LOT is at stake! And I bet some might change their position if they knew the truth instead of the propaganda...

You see, MANY larger institutions bank on the assumption that we are bunch of sheep. At some point, don't you have to ask yourself if you are, indeed, a sheep?

Humanistic thinking – which is to say I’m ok, you’re ok, we are all ok – and the high level of tolerance we have as a nation has led us down the wide path. We are so watered down and diluted in terms of knowledge and belief that we often run on pure emotion and nonsensical trivialities. We watch TV dramas and the partisan news and are being led by the nose ring right to destruction.

And to quote my driving instructor – not knowing won’t stand up in court.

So, anyway...give it a listen, and then go find some answers...really look for the truth. Its worth the effort to not be decieved.

Peace, ya’ll!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I go back…

Have you heard that song: Every time I hear that song, I go back…?

It’s surprising to me how little it takes to bring back a flood of memories…A song, a letter, a souvenir…or a picture.

I was clicking around the internet, came across a musician friend…I clicked into his MySpace page, and then clicked into the profile of another friend, then another, then another….clicking away and then all of a sudden, there was the ex-husband.

It’s been a long time since I saw his face.

He looked happy. REALLY happy….which made me REALLY happy.

Some part of me carries around the deep regret that I hurt him, that I caused him pain. Never mind who deserved what and what reasons we each can come up with to justify our behavior back then…I still deeply regret being the cause of his pain.

Amanda Marshall has a song called “Beautiful Goodbye” that makes me think about all the things I could have said, should have said, but never did.

When I think about my life, I think about it in sections. There is a conservative, tentative period; an exploring, seeking, edge-of crazy period; a really crazy, wild period; another seeking period that brought me back to Jesus; and then now…a period of family and stability. Between the periods there are transitions, some of them difficult, some of them seamless.

BUT as I look back, I realize that I have dramatically changed as a person since that first period, that first time I was aware of myself and who I was and who I wanted to be...and I realize most of that change is by the Grace of God. If I had never searched for that completeness and never had a man fail to fill that hole and never had friends who hurt me, I never would have gone to church and I never would have gotten to know Jesus. I'm so certainly a better person for the hurt, for those other lives...

But back to the flood…seeing a face, one small picture, from one click, on one day, in one moment…and suddenly I’m flooded with memories, both happy and sad.

Memories like nervous dates, Disneyland, long drives for bagels, my first view of the ocean, frat parties, all-nighters to study, country line dancing, tiny apartments, a Honda Civic hatchback, singing in a stadium, Hollywood walk of fame, turn-around trips to Vegas, lunches at the 7-11, Leadville, and the list goes on and on...and not at a trickle - at a deluge.

It was pleasantly paralyzing, remembering things, in no particular order, and breathing…just remembering and breathing. With no judgments really, just a realization that I’ve lived a happy life, saying a prayer for those who deserved better from me and moving on to the next memory.

It was truly delicious…truly a feeling of making peace with myself over thenall of then…

And, much to my surprise, I thought of my own parents.

I have several lives about which my son will never know a thing…he will never know his rock-n-roll mama, or the college girl who had never been away from home, or the “first” husband. He will see things – like tattoos and pictures, souvenirs and song books – but will never know who that person was…because she has grown and changed so much.

There is certainly a piece of that girl in here, but this woman is so very different from that girl. And I wondered what I don’t know about my parents…what their life was like before they met each other, before we came along, what happened when we were not around. It’s an interesting thing to ponder…who your parents really are.

So, why the blog post about an ex-husband’s picture , who my parents were once-upon-a-time and my random memories?

Because I don’t think we slow down enough in our lives to take stock, to count our blessings, to remember why we are here and who wwe wish we could maybe see again one last time, to enjoy the coffee and the view, to just breathe out over pleasant memories and let go of painful regrets.

It’s been a rough few weeks in our country…and it looks as though it will get worse before it gets better…but the stock market is not what life is about. Before we hurry up and get on with our day, work, work, work, drive ourselves to worry and distraction, before we spend one moment looking forward and trying desperately to control what is coming, we should look back and remember.

We should spend some time thinking about what we remember and checking our agenda today against what was meaningful enough to get space in our hearts back then.

And then we should re-arrange the agenda today to focus some time on the meaningful stuff…on the get-to’s instead of the have-to’s. We should re-arrange our lives to put priorities in a different order and make the people we love right here, right now important enough to get the best we have to offer.

And we should say what we mean to say before the moment has passed and its gone to us forever.

We are but vapor...

Happy, peaceful day everyone!

Friday, October 03, 2008

WHAT!?!?!?! You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

THIS and THIS combined outrages more than I can even express in words.

Seriously...SPITTIN' MAD!

I have a few questions for our pathetic elected federal officials…

Where is Mrs. Polk’s "bailout"? Why do the businesses and individuals have to come to HER aid?

Do you have an incentive in your little package for HER? Or ME? Or anyone else that is actually going to have to LIVE with this decision? PAY the taxes and still try to find HEALTHCARE and FOOD and GAS!!

These big corporations are a mess because they choose to be a mess…they could have and should have done the right thing…instead they did the GREEDY thing…always more more more…

And now look at what we have become…

Its pathetic!

I’m, more than ever before, a fan of THIS kind of fix…at least this way, the Mrs. Polks of the world can stay in their homes, the economy can get back on track and the free handouts can make their way to the DAMN TAXPAYING FORGOTTEN MAN who foots the bill for the whole thing. Hey, America…you should seriously think about seeing how YOUR elected officals voted…and consider voting for ANYONE other than them the next time they come up for re-election.

If you have kids, tell them now that their GREAT GRANDCHILDREN will still be paying for the GREED of these corporate monsters and that of the officials we call a flippin’ government.

While we are voting in new laws, we should also think about something else…you want government to bail you out of every bad decision you make? Think about changing the name to the USSA…United Socialist States of America…because that’s where we are fast heading, folks.

Oh…and one more thing…neither McCain NOR Obama are capable of fixing this. Even an 8 year term isn’t going to erase $700 billion in debt. Somewhere along the line Washington has become numb to what a number like “billion” means to US!

No matter who you are passionately voting for this time out, you will not win…even if your candidate does. They are among the greedy elected officials…and if you have any doubts about that, you should find out when was the last time either of them HAD to eat Spam, Food stamp bread, and wic cheese for a meal…my guess is NEVER!

Welcome to the reality of electing LITIGATORS into government…THEY are LAWYERS people…LAWYERS!!! If it smells like a horse, looks like a horse and sounds like a horse, it’s a HORSE! It isn’t going to start acting like a civilized citizen simply because you elect it to sit in a fancy office in Washington.

I’d say peace, but I’m too angry!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

High Expectations

I’ve been digesting this in little pieces:




Its primarily directed at teens…but honestly, there is wisdom in it for all of us, either because we need to rise to the challenge of a brave new world, or because we need to prepare our children to do the same.

I love the premise these kids were raised with…their parents in some sense expected something as phenomenal as this from them…I want to do the same – of myself, of my husband, of my children, of my grandchildren.

I was raised with high expectations and hold myself to a high standard. Some people in my life believe its an unnecessarily high bar. I don’t think so…I DO think that I’m harder on myself following failure than I should be…but not on my initial expectations of myself. I want to leave a legacy.

At any rate…I love the concept that the teens live up to our low expectations of them. And further, I propose that ALL of us are living up to the low expectations of our culture.

I think that the current financial crisis in America is a testament to where our culture places importance. We tie an unprecedented amount of importance to money in the bank, stuff in the closet, being better, and richer, and faster, and more. We all want to at least appear to be wealthy and able to throw it around like confetti…so, as a nation and, despite repeated warnings from experts, we’ve all over-leveraged ourselves. The only people who have come out the better are those who were already rich…

And if you have doubts about what our teens see in terms of how the “should be” according to our culture, watch My Super Sweet Sixteen, Cribs, Paris Hiltons BFF or any of the other purely drivel shows marketed by the MTV crew.

A few years ago, my husband and I decided to get out of debt. We wanted to stop being slaves to 9-5 jobs, to seek the call of the Lord on our lives and to have the resources to do what He called us to do.

Last year, we took a Crown Financial Study and had our eyes opened to what the Bible says about money that affirmed our beliefs, an spurred us to greater levels of honesty and restraint financially. We started managing our money instead of letting our money manage us. Our goal: To be able to do more for the Kingdom of God.

Ok…but THIS BOOK…seriously…it can and will change your life. It encourages us to take on new challenges, to free ourselves of what society says we can or should do and to really listen to the call of God in our lives. Its amazing and really, really liberating.

I often wonder if we are unnecessarily hard on our two-year old. We have pushed learning with our son…the basic foundation of his larger education – letters, colors, numbers, shapes, animals, etc – and social skills – please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, feet on the floor, gentle hands, ask nicely, use your fork, etc. We understand that he, in his way, is an exceptional child. But no more and no less exceptional than any other child. We have had and will continue to have very high expectations for him. And this book…this book affirms that children, people, rise to the level of what is expected of them.

Its refreshing to see an approach where the importance is not on how old somebody is, but on what they can accomplish if they set their mind to something.

These two boys have also got an amazing blog called theRebelution. Its SO worth subscribing to the feed.

And check out their reading list...I think I'll be working on a few of these books myself...I'm embarrassed to say that there are MANY I've not approached yet.

Peace ya'll!