Friday, February 29, 2008
So, I am going to present the Group VBS information.
In front of a bunch (anywhere from 5 to 100) of people I do not know. (Although truthfully, after almost 20 years here, I suspect I will know some of them.)
I have been reading Chuck Swindoll's Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication lately and some of the things that he has been talking about are really speaking to me. One thing that he talks about is how God stretches us and grows us so that we will be ready to do the job that He set before us. He then goes on to say, "So when the call comes, his only response is a quiet and reluctant, "I'm here." Believe it or not, that's all God wanted to hear. It's still true today. That's all He wants to hear from you when He speaks."
So I have to wonder if this is God having me do this.
To stretch and grow my speaking skills.
Of course, I don't want to think that it really might be. Because if it is a God thing, His will, then I have to obey.
Without the grumbling or whining.
The silver lining to this whole VBS thing though just may be the same as what happened to Moses when he turned to check out the burning bush. As Chuck puts it, "Moses did just that, (referring to his checking out the burning bush) and when he did, he came face to face with his destiny." Not that my destiny is necessarily tied up with Group VBS. But just maybe my destiny is tied up with small steps of obedience to my Lord.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
On a strange note, apparently yesterday was National Spay Day. Hmmm....I'm kind of sorry I didn't know that yesterday. I'm not sure how I would have celebrated but I'm sure I could have come up with something.
As you can see from the picture, it snowed again yesterday. This is normally the frog that sits in the front yard. Today he is pretending to be the abominable snowfrog. We like to encourage imagination around our house. I am pretending to be getting ready for work. But I don't think I'm fooling anyone!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Our furnace stopped working properly this afternoon. The pilot light wouldn't stay lit. After I did all I could, (which consisted of taking the cover off, looking inside, and saying, "hmmm...the pilot light doesn't appear to be lit.") I called the furnace repair people. Bless their little hearts. I got an immediate call back (hurray!) and was told that since today was a Sunday, overtime rates applied and that he had two other calls before me. So, in desperation, I asked if there was anything I could try. Well, guess what?
There was. And I did.
And by the time Mr. Furnace Repairman called back to check on me, I had fixed the furnace. I sure did! (And I thought it was so nice of Mr. Furnace Repairman to call back and check on me. I thanked him profusely for his money saving advice. And simple instructions.) Apparently there's this little rod thing in the furnace thing that senses whether or not heat is really needed. This little rod thing gets black really easily and when it's black and not shiny silver, it won't let the pilot light thing light and stay on. Who knew? So all I had to do was get the screws off the front of the furnace with a 5/16 nutjob (honest to pete, that's what he called it. I always thought a nutjob was a crazy person.), remove the little rod thing on the far left (not the one with the two white wires and the little plug...those break really easily) and scrub on the rod part with steel wool until it is shiny and new looking again. Then you just put it all together again and flip the switch and voila! The pilot light thing lights up and you have heat! And no overtime charges!
To celebrate my mechanical prowess, I fixed chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter syrup. Since this is one of the childrens favorite dishes, I am being lauded as cook extraordinaire as well. It doesn't get any better than this! (she says as she's looking around for the other shoe to drop....)
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Let me give you a couple of situations first. Then I'll pose my question. And I really would like to know what you think. Because I continue to struggle with this. And I am getting nowhere.
Situation A: I have this relative. Let's refer to this relative as X. X is currently on his third marriage. X also has a history of unfaithfulness...lots of affairs. X used to be a minister but decided that he didn't believe in God anymore. Mainly because God wouldn't approve of his chosen lifestyle. X has a son who was encouraged to lie to X's wife so that she wouldn't find out about his affairs. X's son has made comments like, "what's the big deal? It's just adultery." Although X is a close relation, we do not have a relationship with him anymore.
Situation B: Cinderella had a classmate who was an exchange student. Let's refer to the exchange student as Z. Cinderella and Z were close and had lots of fun together. Z returned to her native land and she and Cinderella kept in touch for awhile. Then Cinderella's letter's went unanswered. In the meantime, Z's host parents got divorced. Papa host parent was a minister, but left the ministry. Cinderella was very good friends with host boy. Host boy went crazy around this time, got kicked out of school, never graduated, never went to college, was thrown out of his house and bounced from job to job. This made Cinderella very sad. Yesterday, Cinderella discovered that Papa host parent followed Z to her native land, proposed marriage and married Z. Over a year ago. Cinderella is upset, shocked and overwhelmed by the "ick" factor. She wants to talk to Z but doesn't want to talk to/about Papa host parent.
So here's my burning question. The one that I struggle with all the time. How do you have a relationship with someone without giving the appearance that you are condoning what they have done. In the case of X, I am angry. I loved X's second wife like a sister. I hate what he has done. And continues to do. He sets a poor example for my children. I don't want them to grow up thinking that it is okay to live their life this way. And I know that his choices have affected his children. And yet I know that God wants me to forgive him. And I know my responsibility is to reflect Christ's love so that maybe someday he will find his way back to God. I am angry over the choices that Z and papa host parent made. I realize that their poor choices will continue to reverberate for generations to come. And yet, I know that God offers forgiveness if only they ask. On the other hand, I don't want my children to think that this is an acceptable way to live their life either.
So how do you do it? How do you love the person but not the choice. Especially when their choice makes them the person that they are? Any thoughts?
Friday, February 22, 2008
In a HUGE way.
They're practically dancing across the floor. And they haven't figured out how to get traction to jump on things. Which isn't a bad thing. Elwood has it the worst. He is afraid of everything and all these strange sounds coming from his foot area is scaring him to death. He keeps leaping and running and that sound keeps following his feet wherever he goes. (He's been a wonderful source of entertainment but I hope this passes soon.)
I will have to post some pictures as soon as I get a chance. I'll try to capture "dog" expressions too.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Forty slices of pizza, one sheet cake, two tubs of ice cream, six bags of chips, an order of cheese bread, two pounds of peanut m&m's, three dozen donuts, and three dozen donut holes later. I am amazed at how much sixteen year old boys can eat.
Anyway, The Boy is sleeping it off and we are trying to restore order to the rest of the house. And dh seems to have picked up the only version of the flu that had not yet infiltrated our house. It's a good thing that I bought a new "industrial" sized can of lysol. I am so ready for spring! Or the end of cold and flu season. Or both.
Only three more days left in Jona-palooza. The festivities are beginning to wind down. Actually, the only other planned event is on the actual day of his birth, which would be Wednesday. I know, you are thinking, "hasn't that boy had his birthday yet?!?" I told you, he believes that it should be a week long celebration and somehow he has convinced us of the same thing. Oh well, life will get back to normal soon. No, wait, The Boy will be getting his permit and learning how to drive. Sigh. I think I will have to find a new normal.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Remember when we vowed the vows
and walked the walk
Gave our hearts, made the start, it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt
Remember when the sound of little feetwas the music
We danced to week to week
Brought back the love, we found trust
Vowed we'd never give it up
Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookn' back it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
Where we've been
Said we'd do it all againRemember when
Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when
Happy Anniversary Joshua! I love you...
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Look at those curls!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I normally close the book store where I work on Monday nights. Yesterday I woke up to the news that we were expecting a winter storm, complete with ice and snow. All starting around five and continuing into the night. Driving in snow and ice is not my favorite thing to do. I have done it before so I know it's not my favorite thing. Anyhow, I started praying for safety and a delay to the storm and all the other things that I pray for when snow is involved. Well, my prayer was answered. In a round about way. And certainly not how I asked for it. Less than an hour later, I found myself "hug the toilet" sick. Bleck. So I did not go to work. And it did snow. And ice. I felt guilty for causing someone else to work my shift. And I prayed for them as well. Hopefully, they did not get "hug the toilet" sick too.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
He is normally a happy kid so he headed off to the game and had a good time (although he was hot in his suit) and then headed to the dance with his two dates. Yes, I said two. He had the priviledge to escort two lovely young ladies to the homecoming dance. He's such a charmer. (snicker, snicker) Anyhow, later that evening, I snuck up to the country club with a friend so we could spy on him. (what a mom!) We had the opportunity to observe him in action for a bit. And it gave us a giggle. After we were discovered, I made him pose for more pictures. That's what a mom is for.
Aren't they just too cute?
Friday, February 8, 2008
We survived the storms. If you know anything about my family, storms are big things for us. Both my children deal with acute anxiety when tornadoes threaten and it is difficult for them to deal with any type of storm. I really dreaded Tuesday evening because dh was almost certain we were going to end up in our "storm cellar" (the downstairs bath). Sure enough, at 12:25 am, the sirens went off and downstairs we went, waking both children and moving them and the dogs and cat to the bath. Even though they were upset, Cinderella and the boy handled the excitement well. (Maybe they were too sleepy to get upset.) We had heavy rain and wind and loud outdoor sounds but no damage. We were blessed. So many are dealing with the loss of property or loss of life and our prayers go out to them.
I mentioned earlier this week that God spoke to me through Annette, Patty, and Amanda. He also used a post by Lysa to touch my heart. I am so grateful for this blogging community. It allows me to make new (smarter) friends (who have more spiritual depth). They are a blessing to me as well.
My prayer for this upcoming week is that I will look more for the blessings of God and He will get to listen to less of my complaints. I'll let you know how it works out. (And aren't I glad that God is ever so patient with me!)
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Anyhow, I digress. We tried this recipe last Wednesday and it was a winner. So without further ado, I give you:
Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 package (8 ounces) no cook lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano; mix well. In the interest of saving time, because I have no time in the mornings, we prepared the meat mixture the night before and refrigerated it.
Spread a fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased 5 qt. slow cooker. Arrange a third of the noodles over the sauce (break the noodles if necessary.) Combine the cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender. I came home at lunch and put this together and it was ready to eat by six.
This recipe was brought to you by Taste of Home Slow Cooker Classics.
Note to all parents of small children who may have an upcoming spirit week in their future. Plan ahead. Make sure you have an elephant costume on hand for those occasions where you need to dress up for circus day.
Never let it be said that we are not creative people though. Cinderella and dh came up with the idea of him being a popcorn vendor. So The Boy went to school today in jeans and a t-shirt, with the cardboard carton from a case of water bottles strapped around his neck, filled with popcorn containers and leftover granola bars that no one in our house would eat. I suspect that the carton and it’s contents will soon be abandoned and he will be content just to roam the halls in “normal teenage boy” attire. And don't forget, one other plus to spirit week is a pep rally every day. That means an hour less of class work each day. Every 15 year old's dream.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008