Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Things Marketers Say

Ben began seeing things the way Ashley (see blog roll) does. He saw the following warning on two things around here. Enjoy.

The above sticker is on a scooter. It says, "This product moves when used." Really? A moving scooter? Who knew?
This box states "REAL sunlight. SUNLIGHT lamp. Natural SUNLIGHT." Then it says "simulated natural sunlight".

We both thought these were pretty funny. Thanks, Ashley, for helping us see the ridiculous in the everyday!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Funny Newspaper Headlines

That's just cruel.
I'm no expert, but I'd have thought that after the age of 20, the teen pregnancy would have dropped off to nil.
Guns found in a gun shop? hmmmm...

Please if you've seen this man (or woman) notify the authorities.

Great timing, I was just about to take poison!

So now we get to choose?

Bodies found in a mausoleum? Odd!

That was some amazing paint job!

Civil War planes? Let me know how that works out.

Why do we elect these people?

What goes around comes around.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Be a Friend

I read a quote from George Eliot this morning. It touched me greatly.

"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

I have three people (Ben, Lisa A., Janie) in my life who are like this...they let me vent then know that I normally don't even mean most of what I am saying. They take the good things I say and seem to wipe their conscientiousness of the bad things I say. They are that kind of friend.

Am I that kind of friend back to them and others? I hope so!

Do you have such a friend? Are you such a friend?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Atta Boy!

You know how you do things that you really want to do--you don't need kudos--you are just serving and happy to do it? Well, every once in a while, God gives you kudos anyway! Every once in a while, He builds you up, lets you know you are making a difference, you are touching lives. He doesn't do this to puff you up, give you a big head. He does it to help you keep going. He knows we are human and need an occasional "atta boy". It helps inspire you, it helps spark more energy to get at it again.

Well, I must say Ben got that tonight and I couldn't have been happier to witness it! Ben had a meeting with the three other couples who were instrumental in starting this new Sunday school class. The other men were God's conduit to give Ben his "atta boy". They related how much they loved his teaching. They stated that during this current study, they didn't even want Ben to carve out time for small group discussion, they only wanted him to take the time to teach!

How Ben loved to hear it, but I must say, that it made me even happier I think! What an infusion of energy Ben received to keep going, don't give up, give his all because he is making a difference! I love you Ben!

The Beauty in Laundry and Every Other Menial Task

I was reading the following in my quiet time this morning:

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. " Ecclesiastes 3:9-12

After I read this, I felt such a sense of relief! My days can be hard, as can yours, I know! Actively homeschooling three kids, having a three year old running in the midst and needing consistent discipline, a college-age one who still needs guidance, and a husband who deserves much more of my time than I am able to give most days....then the house, the laundry, the Bible study, the ministry, the neighbors, the family, the bills, the grocery could go on and on. But to read that He will make it all beautiful in time...that I am only fulfilling one piece of the puzzle and can't quite understand what the whole picture. But I can be assured that it's going to be beautiful.

I might have to read this everyday to remind myself that doing the laundry will be made beautiful, but for today I am assured of it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Neighborhood SuperHero

Who knew the Incredible Hulk wears rainboots and rides a tricycle?

Happy Birthday Darby!

Darby and her "haul"! We had lunch as a family with some of her favorite foods and then she opened her presents. I think she liked them. :)
Opa and Oma showed up just as Darby was getting ready to open her gifts. The kids love it when they come over.

Darby and her two friends at Macaroni Grill the other day as part of Darby's birthday weekend.
Amazing to think that 11 years ago today, I was in the hospital having her. I remember being so thrilled to be able to say "the girls" after having just Bailey for so long! I felt very blessed and must say, that I feel even more blessed by Darby today! She is growing into a wonderful young lady. Happy Birthday Darby.

Free Monday Movie Code

Free Movie Monday at Redbox! Here is the code:


You have to push the button that says "rent with a promo code" and then follow the directions from there. This gives you one night rental. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quest Update #3

My week of WiiFit and being even more careful with what I ate was a success! I lost 1.4 lbs. last week. I made sure last week that I worked out on the Wii for at least 40 minutes a day and made better choices with my food. I had to make sure that I had better snacks on celery, green peppers, mushrooms. That was very helpful.

I am continuing my determination this week. I will report back what happened after I weigh in.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Keeper Recipe--Make it Now!

I was on Melissa's blog (see blog roll) the other day, and as usual, she had a fabulous recipe posted that I had to try! I tried it tonight and it WAS fabulous! Everyone of my kids asked for seconds, two asked for thirds, and one asked for fourths! I thought I would post it again here and encourage you to try it.

Chinese Chicken Wings (but I used breasts)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 t. salt
4T. ketchup
1 t. soy sauce
2 lbs. chicken wings (breasts)

Flour the chicken and put in 9x13 pan. Mix sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken. Bake at 400 for almost an hour. (If you used wings, you wouldn't bake for so long) I tripled the recipe and doing that worked also.

Melissa's recipe called for browning the chicken after flouring (which I didn't do and it was still a success) and also I was supposed to heat the sauce before pouring over the chicken. Again I did not do that, but it worked anyway. This is definitely a keeper and one that I will have Darby make as part of her once a week cooking for the family.

Rush out and get the ingredients, make it now! :) Thanks Melissa!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Hear the Darndest Things!

I know that I post a lot of conversations...but I hear a lot of funny things around here. Today I was driving Darby and two of her friends (all 10-12 year olds) to shop and take them out to eat as part of Darby's birthday weekend. As usual when I drive, I keep pretty quiet and just listen...and I get to hear some really interesting things. Here is what I heard today:

#1: How old do you wish you were?
#2: I wish I were married.
#3: You wish you were married?
#2: Yea! Jesus is coming back soon and I want to get married, uh...have some fun with my husband, and then have children. I want to experience all of marriage before Jesus returns.

I can't really add anything more to that. Just picture me driving with my mouth wide open, not knowing what to say to that. I chose not to say anything. (Let me assure you that #2 was not my daughter!) You probably don't care, and I am just assuring myself...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sun (Son) Does Wonders

It's been one of those days. Bright sunshine, my favorite kind of sunshine! A bit breezy...a bit cool. What could be better? I have felt all day long as though it was a great day! From the moment I awoke, I have been happy. I love that.

I can't pinpoint exactly what has been so great about kids have still been bickering (yuck!), the meals still had to be made, the laundry was waiting for me as it has been the last three days (not that I haven't been doing laundry, I have been doing it everyday, it just seems to keep growing!), the school work wasn't any more pleasant than any other day for my kids. So, it has been a regular day, but my reaction to the regular and mundane has been different.

Why? Two reasons that I can think of...the Son and the sun. Jesus is very active in my life recently...very close...very dear...very encouraging. When the sun is shining, I find that life is better for me. The bright, cheery, warm feel on my skin, shining through my windows (dirty though they may be), lifts my heart, and seems to say to me that all is well.

So--there is the common link I am discovering--with the Son and the sun all is well! It is a good day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Atheist Next Door

The parents of our neighbor moved in with her in October. We have spoken with her father, John, several times. He is nice enough...weathered face, ex-special forces, long gray hair pulled back in a ponytail. You probably have seen the type. I think he has probably had many interesting experiences in life.

Today is a fabulous day...proving that Texas really is God's country...but that's beside the point. I was outside watching the kids play and soaking up the sun after two days of Seattle-like drizzle. John came over and started talking.

Once again, he brought up the fact that he is an atheist. As a believer, I know the cure for the disease of atheism, but how does that play out when I am actually talking to an atheist? I enjoyed the conversation, and John actually brought up a lot of things to which I could give Christian answers without beating him up with it. But I kept praying the whole time for God to give me the right words to speak...the right actions to display...the right heart and attitude to exude.

I want to be who God wants me to be. I want to make God smile. I want to make a difference. I guess we will see if John is part of that plan. I will keep praying.

Quest Update #2

So my journey to lose a little weight is filled with obstacles. What are they? I can't even pinpoint exactly what they are....a wee bit frustrating. Last Saturday when I weighed in I had gained a bit over a pound. What? Four sticks of butter? Really?

So...I walk out of Weight Watchers determined to have a different week this week. I have been writing everything down ( I DO mean everything!), measuring, keeping track of points, and working out on WiiFit for at least 40 minutes every day. I am drinking my water, adding more times I go up and down the stairs, and NOT eating things like brownies, cookies, etc...that I find around me at all times and in all places.

I could get depressed about the whole thing, but I am trying to put the whole thing into perspective. People have much greater issues than my weight issue. A friend of mine just had her seven year old daughter airlifted out of a ski area with injuries to her head (things are looking better now), Darby has diabetes that she has to monitor with every bite she puts into her mouth, a relative close to me has Parkinson's, my dad has dementia many things going on that put my desire to lose weight to shame!

Still, keeping that in perspective, I'd like to be a bit successful on the weight front this week. I will keep you posted...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday School Class Fellowship #1

We made it over so very many hurdles to have our new Sunday school class' very first fellowship! What an accomplishment! We completed the Fireproof material this morning in class, so tonight we had a potluck and watched the Fireproof movie on the big screen. It was great! There were 32 people there, lots of wonderful food, and more laughs (and tears after the movie) to count.

The biggest obstacle was the childcare, and God certainly smoothed the way for that. There were 29 kids in childcare and all was well at the end of the evening. I am so proud of Ben for teaching the material so well and getting all of the arrangements taken care of for the fellowship. Hopefully this will be the first of many.

It reminded me of all our great fellowships in Little Rock. Same results: great food, great fun, and great childcare. Hopefully we can take some of the awesome fellowship ideas from LR and bring them here and continue the fun.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How To Get a Free Valentine Meal

Ben was given a gift card to Macaroni Grill for Christmas. We decided to use it today, Valentine's Day, for lunch while my parents took the kids to a special V-Day lunch. We both order and the meal comes. Mine is really great, just what I ordered...and since I have had it before, tasted just as I knew it should.

Ben, on the other hand, orders a meal that sounds really wonderful on the menu. It arrives, and it looks really wonderful. He takes a bite and casually mentions that it is quite a bit more spicy than he was anticipating. He takes another bite and says that it really is hot. (he loves hot things). He gives me a bite, and it is hot enough that I decline further bites.

He mentions it to the waitress and she takes the plate and begins a discussion with the manager. The manager comes over and asks for a description of the problem. She then takes the plate to the kitchen, saying they will fix the problem. A few minutes later, she returns and says that someone in the kitchen had refilled the paprika container with cayenne pepper! What was supposed to be a "zesty" dish with a pretty layer of paprika on top became like Mt. Vesuvius with a strong layer of cayenne pepper!

We ended up getting the entire meal, both of ours!, for free! Now we can still go back and use the gift card another time!
Last night Ben and I were watching a movie in our bedroom. In comes Rainey (pretty obviously sleepwalking), walks to Ben's side of the bed and takes off his clothes, and then walks out to his room. I ask Ben to follow him to see what is happening. This is what I hear:

B: Rainey, buddy, what are you doin'?
B: Hey, Rainey, why are you in the closet? Go ahead and turn the closet light off.
B: No, Rainey, let's get out of the closet.
B: Lisa! Rainey just used his closet as a toilet!

I was dying laughing as Ben, so wonderfully, cleaned up the mess, got Rainey to the real bathroom to see if he needed to finish anything, put his clothes back on and got him back in bed. What a guy!

This is most definitely a story to tell at the wedding reception!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fun Valentine Craft...and Cute Too!

My sis-in law showed me how to make these really great "sour cream" containers. They are like the sour cream containers you get in a fast food restaurant, except these are filled with candy or whatever you want to put in them. I am making them for teacher gifts for Valentine's Day for AWANA, homeschool co-op, and Sunday School.

To start, you need a sheet of scrapbooking paper. You can use any kind of paper really, but I like the thickness of scrapbook paper. I use the 12x12 size.
Then you measure out six of them on the back. I divide the paper in half and then in thirds on each half. Then cut out the rectangles.

You will need double-sided tape that has the paper on one side. Stick a strip of tape to one end of the paper as shown. On the back side, you will need to put one strip of tape on each side. I couldn't get a picture because the tape is white and so is the back of the paper.

Then roll the paper into a tube. You will then have two strips of tape on the inside of the tube.

Take the paper off of one of the inside pieces of tape and seal together.

You will do the same to the other side, except that you seal it going the opposite way. Before you seal it up, you will fill it up with some candy. You can put in Hershey Kisses. It fits about three or four. I have also put in the small Reese Peanut Butter Cups...again about three. I thought this time, I might put in M&Ms. It would take more of them, but fun to open. Just think of what the sour cream containers look like.

Here is what the almost final product looks like. You can leave them like this and they are cute as can be, but I am going to borrow my sis-in-law's crimper and crimp the ends. (At least I hope she will let me borrow it again!) If you are a big scrapbooker, you probably have one already.

They are fun to make and awfully cute to give! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rainey's Poem

One bright Texas day when the sky was so blue,
A sweet boy named Rainey was looking for something to do.

He climbed up on Papa's truck, sitting on his catoot.

And made this "the" outfit, when he put on the boots!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I was driving my almost 11 year old daughter to a sleepover just a few minutes ago. On the way, she and I were talking about a friend of hers. The friend is lovely and an answer to prayer in so many ways. But as with all people, there is a quirk or two. So here is the conversation we had:

D: I really like her and have a good time with her. But she can sure talk.
Me: Oh really?
D: You know how a conversation is supposed to be like a tennis match, where one person says something and then the other person says something?
Me: Yes.
D: Well, she just keeps the ball!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pause for the Paws

Kally, Rainey, Rawley, and I were watching the movie The Night at the Museum tonight. Rawley is on my lap and a lion comes on the screen. Here is the conversation that Rawley (age 3) and I had:

R: Mama, did you know that lions have paws? (he points to his own feet)
Me: Why yes, I did know that.
R: They have paws so that they can pause the TV.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

He Is Willing to _____For Me!

I'll say, "Two blogs fawning over Ben? Really? We need to keep hearing this?" You might not need to keep reading, but I need to keep saying it, for my own good and for Ben's encouragement. So...

Ben and I often joke about how he would be willing to die for me. I know he is not joking, he really means it, but how often is he called to die for me? So far, over 21 years, not once. But the real question is: is he willing to ____________for me. I can fill in the blank with whatever I want like change a diaper, do the dishes, clean something up, watch the kids, etc. You get the idea. I must say, that when it comes to this question, Ben fulfills it daily!

I wrote yesterday about how Ben takes the kids to the park most everyday, allowing me to stay home for an extended period by myself. Last night he did it again...we had rented videos that needed to be returned by 9pm or else we would owe money. I hate paying extra money for rented videos, don't you? Anyway, Ben got out of his warm, comfy chair at 8:45pm and found the movies, and without complaining, whining, mumbling under his breath, he went out and returned the videos. I know, you might think, "so? what's the big deal?" Well, Ben hates to get back out of the house once he is in and settled for the night. He sacrificed himself, giving up what he wanted to do, to follow the example of Christ and die to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.

I am trying to catch up to Ben in answering that same question also. Am I willing to_______for Ben? I am sadly, woefully inept at not being selfish and actually thinking of others, but God has given me the perfect example in Ben!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How He Shows Me Love

After over 21 years of marriage, there are certainly ups and downs. Especially after us meeting in November '86, becoming engaged in December '86, and then getting married in August '87. Also for the 8 months of our engagement, we were apart from each other for almost all of it, minus a couple of weeks. So...all that to say, we have spent the last 21 years actually getting to know each other and becoming friends!

What a ride it has been! I must say, though, that the last year has been the best so far! Ben is really such a great husband! He loves me so much...I am his best friend. He values me and my opinion and makes our children show as much respect for me as he does! (which is a lot!)

There have been times after the kids came along that I gave them much more attention than I gave him, much to my dismay. I have spoken to him over the years about how and why this happened and have worked really hard to correct this. I finally figured out the other day ( I know, I am slow!) that by loving, caring for, and doing things with the kids, Ben is actually showing me love! It makes me happy to see him interacting with them. So, to honor me, and be the best dad he can be, Ben has started taking at least an hour, most days, to take the kids to the park and play with them.

What a joy that is for me. It's two-fold really. One is just that I love that he does that with the kids, but the second (which is much more selfish) is that he gives me that hour or so as a gift. I stay behind and have a little time of quiet and peace. I grab a book and head to our bedroom and our comfy chair and lose myself in the words. It's great fun to see them walking back home after their playdate and begin life again...noise, chaos, and laughter.

Though I am not required to have this time, and Ben is not obligated to take the kids by is a true gift and probably one of the best ways he can demonstrate his love for me. Thanks Ben...I love you so much.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blessing Box-January

Thought I'd show you the blessing box as of the end of January. I will update it every month! It's awesome to see how many blessings there are in this box. The kids love putting blessings in almost every day.