Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something About Submission

I am learning something. Submission is the way to go. Hear me out, ok?

The other day Philip "called" me on something. He asked me to undo what I had done. Now, I don't usually make mistakes. Not usually. I wasn't convinced I had this time. But he felt strongly that I needed to take specific action.

I yielded to his request. (Still not certain I had tainted my near-perfect track record for general correctness:) I did what he asked sweetly and immediately.

Then I began to think about it. What if he's right?. What if I'm right. Then I wondered what impact my submission would have on either of the two discoveries. Let's say he thinks about it, and later, figures out that he was totally wrong. Won't it be easier for him to approach a sweet, humble wife in order to apologize. My choice to unify my actions with his thoughts, will have paved the road to real unity. Cool.

And let us imagine -if not merely for the sake of argument - that I was indeed wrong. (That was painful to type, really) My decision to heed his warning would in a sense "right" my "wrong" long before I would have - on my own accord - even acknowledged my mistake. I would have been protected from prolonged unrighteousness by choosing to submit to his leadership. Very cool.

Either way the cookies crumble (yes, there are always more than one cookie), the wise thing to do is submit. I know it can seem hard sometimes. I heard a woman ask once, "How am I supposed to submit to this man who can't even drive across town without my help?". I know. I know.

Dear Father, help me be ready to admit when I am wrong. I long for Your righteousness, and I know a big chunk of that is going to come as I humble myself before You and those whom You've placed in my life to lead me. I can be hard-headed. Forgive me, please. Soften my heart and even my head. And every once in a while, when You and I both know I didn't do anything wrong...I'll be quiet and let You work it for Good. I trust You. You have made me glad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

EZ Peasie


If you feel swamped when it's time to come up with a menu or grocery list, you will rejoice in this resource. (The cost is just $1.25 a week!) I usually love coming up with menus and shopping lists, but I was feeling like a I was cooking the same several dishes over and over again. And my food started tasting the same. My spaghetti sauce was only about two clicks off my chili. You know?

This site allows you to download pdf files that you can use as your weekly menu/shopping list. Two pages: one with seven meals & simple directions; the other lists ingredients by aisle with approximate cost -also includes necessary staples.

Out of the seven meals, 1 or 2 are what I would consider "snoozers". Like DiGiorno Pizza or Eggo Waffles with scrambled eggs. 3 of the recipes are usually run'o'the mill kid-friendly fare. The other 2 or 3 will strike me as main dishes I would never, ever prepare. But without fail, the kids gobble them up. Also, Landen can cook almost any of the recipes. He is THAT talented and they are THAT simple.

If you're doing e-mealz already, feel free to leave a comment whether positive or negative. We can handle it:)

Thank You, God, for e-mealz. Are You tired of hearing me say this? Thank You.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, August 25, 2008

Outside My Window...some guy is test driving his 4-wheeler round and round and round his back yard. Only a thin layer of wooden fencing separates his backyard from my backyard. Only half an acre and a thin wooden fence separate his backyard from my bedroom window. (vroom, vroom, vroom)

I am thinking...that even though I committed to blog this meme in the daytime, I now realize why I only blog at night. I'm thinking that I really don't have time to be here. Moving on...

I am thankful handsome husband who leads our family well. I simply adore him!

From the kitchen...children are cleaning up their lunch mess. And for tonight, I'm making Asain salad. One bag of salad, one can of mandarin oranges (drained), one can of chow mien noodles, breaded chicken chunks (homemade or frozen) and catalina dressing. Crowd pleaser, for sure!

I am wearing...gray shorts and a pro-life tshirt.

I am creating... a schedule for children's choir, and Bible studies for a retreat in the Fall.

I am going...up and down the hallway between typing. Mari's down for her nap, two misbehaving children are out running laps, but somehow the other two still need me to answer questions and help them with stuff. So I've got to hurry and finish so I can offer them my undivided attention. I'm also going to include this simple woman link.

I am reading...lots of scripture! It's refreshing to come back to the Truth after reading & hearing human thoughts & opinions. Oh, and on my last trip down the hall, my 10 year old announced that he could type without looking. "I just looked at the keyboard for like five minutes, and now I can type anything I want without looking - even capital letters!" I read his letter he had typed. Not bad, Mr. Photographic memory.

I am hoping...that we get to go swimming a few more times before it begins to cool off. Mari came in this morning asking, "poo? zhump poo?" Yes, honey, I wish to jump in the pool, too!

I am hearing...the sweet muffled words of an emerging reader down the hall. From the patio, I can hear the quiet, calm conversation of two out-of-breath runners who are resting for a moment in sibling restoration.

Around the house...laundry waiting patiently to be put away, children waiting impatiently to finish lessons, and a mom who is learning to wait upon the Lord.

One of my favorite things...the fresh flowers that greet each of my trips through the living room. They are from a friend. The beauty of both the friend and the flowers bring me great joy.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Last meeting of Summer Bible Study, Choir Rehearsal, Mari's 2-year check-up, baseball and a family getaway to Dub-Town to see the "buds".

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

My girls created this in Microsoft Paint for their beloved uncle.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wonders Never Cease

Wow! I feel like I celebrated my birthday for three weeks here in bloggerville. I believe the festivities have drawn to a close. sniff, sigh. Ok, just one more: My cousin sent me a card that said, "Girl, we're not over 30, we're just 29.95 plus shipping and handling!" Love it.

We had some family friends over for dinner Friday evening. It was wonderfully fun. Mari ate at the little tikes picnic table with four for her 2 & 3 year old friends. She opened a few gifts and just enjoyed the fellowship.

Saturday Philip and Luke took Ardyn and Ashli to Tyler to play a double-header. Grandpa & Grandma met them at the park and they finished up their day at Cici's.

That left LP and Mari with me. "Luke&Anna" went with us to spectate Landen's game. The weather was strange. Sunny & humid interrupted by gusts of dusty wind and random showers. I would get hot, begin to sweat, then a breeze would blow sand from home plate. Rain would douse us then rapidly dry in the high-ninety heat. At one point, I scratched the back of one of my calves with the top of my other foot. Exfoliation, anyone? I felt like I was at the beach, but the only salt water in sight was dripping down my forehead and soaking through my ponytail. Yuck-ee.

We taught our last Sunday School lesson in the college class today. It is sad that we'll miss out on sharing this year with them, but we look forward to being "fed" on Sunday mornings and then giving our all in leadership in MP3 and AWANA.

I have needed a nap since Wednesday. I finally grabbed me one today! I'll probably be up until 2:30, but it was a good, little-league-world-series-in-the-background slobber-slumber on the couch. Mmm-mmm-mmm.

Thank You, God, for restoration and relaxation. You are wonderful!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweet Thoughts

I know my mom spends a lot of time each year picking out just the right birthday card for me. This year's greeting was so sweet, I wanted to share it here.

My heart overflows with thankfulness to God for you, my daughter.

As happy as I was the moment you arrived, and as [pleased] as I am of you for all that you've become, I have even greater joy in knowing the assurance of your faith in Christ.

Not only are you a beautiful reflection of God's love, but you are my daughter - my crown of rejoicing, and a delightful proof that God answers prayers.

Happy Birthday
Love, Mother

One thing I've known forever is that my mom has always prayed for me and continues to pray for me. She is consistently lifting her concerns for me to the Lord. However, I don't think I've contemplated the notion that my mom might have prayed FOR me. Like, "Lord, please give me a daughter..." What a beautiful thought.

Thanks, Mom!

Dianne & Cari 1971

(Mom, You are beautiful, and no worries; I put it back in the scrapbook safe & sound)

Pop Quiz from the world of "forward"s

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you scroll down.

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

Wrong Answer.
Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals
attend .... Except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer : The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.? This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and
You do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer:? You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.'d ya do? Kind of aggravating how simple life can be and how complex we are determined to make it, huh? Hope you're enjoying your day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, August 18, 2008

Outside My Window...darkness and rain. And a patio that needs sweeping.

I am thinking...that I'm tired of thinking because it's late and I've been thinking all day, it seems.

I am thankful friends who are wonderfully helpful and supportive and fun. OOH! And for my fabulous brother who bought a plane ticket for my fabulous sister-in-law to come visit me. A purchase made merely moments after he read of her wishes on a blog comment. Moral of the story: There's power in blog comments, people. No, I mean: A kind brother is a rare treasure (and a kind comment written in bloggerville can prove advantageous for all).

From the kitchen...nothing but quiet tidiness. Praise the Lord!

I am shorts, red t-shirt, ponytail & glasses.

I am creating...I WAS creating a design for kids'choir t-shirts, but after two hours of concentrated effort, a computer glitch caused me to lose the whole thing. I was finished, too. I just hadn't saved a draft. Not smart. Not happy.

I am Bible Study in the morning. I've missed the past two weeks, so I'm missing the gals. I have plans to dine with some fellow homeschooling moms tomorrow evening, so it's definitely going to be a "hair & make-up" day! I'm also going to include this link from last week. I probably did that wrong...Rebecca, chime in, anytime, sistah!

I am reading...nothing new. Haven't finished "Divine Embrace", but still being blessed every time I open it. I have been reading my children's writings all day, if that counts???

I am hoping...that a miracle of sorts might happen on my computer and I might wake up in the morning to find my beautiful t-shirt design has mysteriously been saved into my documents. Stranger, less helpful, things have happened...

I am hearing...the Olympics being televised in the living room, the air conditioner running, and the sweet, sacred silence of children sleeping in peace.

Around the house...there is laundry waiting patiently to be put away. Next week, I should try to write one of these Simple Woman dealies in the daytime. I'll bet it would prove more interesting.

One of my favorite the pair of rosebud printed, size 2T cotton training panties that Mari Alice was wearing after her bath. So adorable and soft. Symbolizing such accomplishment and securing hope for a dry, hassle-free future!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Bible Study & dinner tomorrow, Choir Rehearsal on Wednesday, then Thursday is my birthday, Friday night we're having friends over for supper, and Saturday is Mari's birthday. School lessons, baseball, and plenty of dress-up will likely fill in the gaps.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My buddy, Kathy, is the queen of greeting cards. She sent this one to me today. I laughed out loud. I'm still laughing, hours later. (word to my "hubby's buddy-- buddy's hubby", Lee: I got mail from Kathy... and you probably didn't...neener, neener, neener!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Family Day Rocks!

After our walk, we decided to go swimming. Our neighbors had granted us access to their "hidden oasis", so 7 Johnsons and 1 J-dub went swimming. We had a grand time! We raced each other across the pool. We had cannon ball contests, stick diving contests, and breath-holding contests. (Johnsons & dub's might be just the tiniest bit competitive) I played it cool (literally) for a while, but could stand it no longer. I sat on the steps took down my hair clip, pulled off the mascara from my lashes with pool water, then smeared the last of it off with a towel. Then it was on! I proved myself in the 5 meter freestyle and played all time defense in the stick dive. Landen and I perfected the duo cannon ball, and Mari and I cuddled and "chilled" on the steps. (It only got up to high 80's today) Silly, silly, swimmers.

Then, as though the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and I in the shallow end simultaneously, we looked at one another and whispered, "Domino's?" Not the game tiles, the dinner delivery! Ashlin wanted to eat by candle light, so we dried off, and walked home. I made a veggie platter to offset the pizza, and Ashli gathered all our candles from the last power outage. The dining room was warm with the glow of the gathering. We sat together at the table for the second time in one day! I said, "This is a lovely meal." Ashli agreed, "Yep, 'cause I thinked of it!"

Broiler s'mores, a little more Olympics, and one more little blog concludes this evening.

Thank You, God, for family day! Thank You for lavishing Your love on us and calling us Your children.


"They are new every every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord, great is Thy faithfulness!"

I went to a ladies' Bible Study class during Sunday School and was so blessed. The teacher used an analogy for my struggle to progress that is so much better than anything I could come up with. She said that sometimes we shift into "neutral" in our lives, thinking, "I'll just hang out here for a while, let the dust settle, bide my time until the next big thing...". She continued to explain that those thoughts might not be so bad if we were on level ground. She said that the Christian walk is on an incline. Therefore, if you're in neutral, you're actually slipping backward.

That's what I've been trying to say!!!

Corporate worship is good for the soul. I NEEDED to worship standing near my husband. We were together - in the Presence of our Loving, Patient Father. We were focused on God and His Love. It was good.

The devil apparently thought it was good, too. By the time we were in the car, we were already struggling to be "of one accord". Soon after we arrived home, I went to the kitchen sink to start lunch and it smelled like death. Before church, Philip had found a tupperware dealie from Wednesday's lunch in his truck and tossed it in the sink. I was gagging. I rinsed it out, but it was BAD. I asked him to please wash it out so the smell would not ruin our lunch. From there it was a devilish blur. I might have actually called my husband an ass on the Lord's Day. Mercifully, God's love [to which we are wholeheartedly devoted] prevailed. By lunchtime, we were good. Smiling, giggling, good.

The whole family lingered at the table for SkipBo and Folger's Creme Brulee'. Now we're headed outside to drive some golf balls and take a stroll. Plus on Family Day!

Thank You, God, for hearing my prayer. Thank You for never sleeping and always listening. I trust You to keep molding me and making me into who you intend for me to be. Thank You for my family. Draw us closer to You and give us a hunger for Your Word. Thank You for Your AMAZING faithfulness. I love You!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Home Improvement

This is probably not going to be a cheerful post. If you're not in the mood, I understand. Come back later and I'll have the hap-hap-happiness up and running again.

Before I begin, I must say, "I love my husband. I chose him out of all the people in the world. I love him. I WANT to be married to him. Sharing our lives together brings me joy"(for the most part). I just don't know where the line is. That very fine line. The line between being quietly content and silently complacent. There are things around my house with which I am not pleased. Some related to resources, and others related to...well, the people I'm related to. Do I just go on living or attempt to change?

I have had the same carpet remnant in the middle of my living room for five years. I paid $90 for it then, and believe I've gotten more than my money's worth. So I bought a new, twice as large, twice as expensive remnant. I am now able to spread my furniture out and enjoy the freedom from the 12x7 anchor. But I feel guilty. I love it. I love the layout that it affords. I wonder if I really needed to replace the rug, though. Perhaps I could've gotten another year or two out of the other one. Was it wrong to want to improve? Was it time? Was I not willing to be content? Isn't it wonderful to have the extra space for fellowship among friends and family? Couldn't I have had that same space with no rug? Contentment or Improvement?

During the past couple months, our family has been characterized by separation and lack of unification...geographically at times, but more often spiritually & emotionally. I keep waiting for things to "get back to normal". But I feel like I'm chasing a runaway train. It's speeding toward the dark, distant horizon with my entire family on board. They seem to be having a moderately fun time, in an oblivious sort of way, but they don't seem secure. So now who's disharmonious? Me? Why am I not on the train? That might be a life size cardboard cut-out of my likeness propped next to the cute, bald guy. They think I'm playing SkipBo with them, talking about the four baseball games from today or the Cowboys or the Olympics. I'm not! I'm back here. The exhausted runner, panting and waving. The muted screamer, impatiently waiting for things to change.

What else? The paint in the kitchen and bathroom that I applied two and half years ago when we moved in, is chipping and peeling. It has had quite a bit of "help". It bothers me when I see it. I know my kids did it. By the transitive property, I am bothered by my kids. Yuck. I am willing to repaint. I want to repaint. I suspect someone will mess it up again. That will bother me greatly. Double-Yuck. Do I commit to endure or seek to improve?

Philip and I don't pray or read the Bible like we have in the past. I want to be patient. I want him to lead out. I want him to want to. We are each reading and praying. But we're just leaving each other out. I have big stuff coming up. I NEED him to "wash me in the water of the Word". He NEEDS me to pray for him WAY more than I do. Why do other things take priority? Why do we GIVE other things priority? What are we modeling for the kids? Am I content to submit? I want to press on! Would contentment bring endurance? What would I have to ignore to be quiet? Maybe I need to shut my eyes to the things that bother me. What if the Lord is trying to open my eyes to them?

Baseball. You know I'd end up here. Besides hormones, nothing negatively affects my mood more than baseball. Practice 3 nights a week. Two games per son per Saturday. Hundreds of dollars. Months of kingdom living. For what? Since Philip is coaching Luke's team, that leaves Landen needing to travel to games and practices. I didn't go today. I sent him with his coach. I felt awful, but not awful enough to go. I halfway thought I might need to watch a friend's children today, so I used that as an excuse. The truth is that I did not want to pay for gas and drive an hour and a half to sit with three girls for five hours. Selfish? Sensible? I don't really care about Luke's team...I just let Philip handle everything and I basically write them off on those evenings & weekends. But I feel like Philip signed Landen up for this and then said, "Yeah, you're gonna have to be with the girls fifteen hours a day with no help from me AND you'll have to load them up to go with you as you follow Landen around East Texas."

It's not like we're busy with other stuff. We're not juggling music, karate, dance and equestrian lessons. We -and by that, I guess I mean they - just do baseball. Ten months out of the year. And the two months that overlap are deer season!!! What really disturbs me is that I'm sending some warped message to my daughters that women just sit around making sure everyone is clothed and fed and men get to do whatever it is they "need" to do. Heck - I'm sending that same message to my boys. ARGH!

We have one weekend in the next 10 in which there is no baseball. I recently learned that Philip plans to fish a tournament that weekend. A night tournament where he'll be gone all evening/night and when he returns, he'll need to sleep most of the day to recover. Lovely. Stuck at home with the kids AND we need to be quiet. I cannot endure if there is no hope for [an even brief] return to normalcy. Is this our new normalcy? (For the record, he asked me before he solidified the plans. So technically it's my fault if I'm upset. I don't know why I need him to make selfless decisions on his own. If I make his selfless decisions for him...well I guess they are purely outside himself...ironic?? I don't want to be the bad guy, the parade rainer, the bubble popper. I want to be a fun girl!)

I thought this might be therapeutic to journal, however, my blood pressure and dull headache would indicate otherwise. Not sure where to go from here. I know that scripture indicates that there's no middle ground. You're either gathering or scattering. You're either hot or cold, for Him or against Him. When I feel like our family is not advancing -being transformed by the renewing of our minds, then I fearfully assume we're regressing and being conformed to the world. I want to fight for what is right. But I want peace. I want joy.

Is there a divine way to do both: go on living and attempt to change; be constantly content and be consistently progressing. Is that it? How? I need help. I need prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.

Father, hear my cry. Help me see with Your eyes. Help me receive Your instruction and Your forgiveness. Help me share in love. Help.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Hope You Dance

Here is an excerpt from "The Divine Embrace: An invitation to the dance of intimacy with Christ" by Ken Gire, Tyndale 2003. I hope you enjoy...and I hope you dance. cdj

Dance lessons would help, wouldn't they?
But maybe it's not so much lessons in dancing we need as lessons in loving, because the Christian life is about intimacy, not technique. The Lord of the dance doesn't want us worrying about our feet. He doesn't want us wondering about the steps ahead. He merely wants us to feel the music, fall into his arms, and follow his lead.

There are places he wants to take us on the dance floor, things he wants to show us, feelings he wants to share with us, works he wants to whisper in our ear. This is what the divine embrace is - an invitation to a more intimate relationship with Christ, one exhilarating, ennobling, uncertain step at a time.

We have a choice, you and I. And it's a choice we make every day, throughout the day. The choice is this:

We can dance.
Or we can sit it out.
If we dance, we may step on his toes. And he may step on ours. We may stumble and bump into other people. We may fall on our faces and make fools of ourselves. People may talk, they may avoid us, they may even ridicule us.

If you fear those things, you may want to sit it out.
If you do, you won't have to worry. You'll be safe in your seat along the wall.
You'll also miss the dance.
More importantly, you'll miss the romance.
At some time or another, I have chosen to sit it out. Fear was a big reason. Fear of the attention it would bring - and perhaps the criticism. Fear of embarrassment and possible estrangement. Fear of not being in control of my life, my career, my future. Fear of being led to places that would be uncomfortable, even painful.

There are two things I have learned from the divine embrace.
That perfect love really does cast out fear.
And that I would rather dance poorly with Jesus then sit perfectly with anyone else.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

She Can't Carry a Zune in a Bucket

About my birthday gift. Philip got me a Zune. It is Microsoft's version of the iPod. It holds 80GB of song, photos, videos and podcasts in addition to tuning in radio stations. I've been wanting one since my last birthday. But last August we were "committed" to Dave Ramsey's plan to live debt-free and Philip was on board. I just felt kinda goofy saying, "I'm so glad we're focused on getting out of debt. This is the answer to all my prayers. But real quick, right before we get started, could you charge an mp3 player to Discover?"

At Christmas we were still "gazelle intense". No Zune. Both the IRS refund and the stimulus check were allocated to keep "Dave" happy. No Zune. Ah, Hurricane Dolly. Now we're talking. Pay off the Suburban to keep Dave pleased, then sneak over to Longview and spend the bit of surplus before September's budget kicks in.

The justification has been mounting over the last year as well. At first, I merely wanted a device on which to download my brother's sermons. And we all must realize how that purpose alone would provide justification entirely. But there might be other preachers, other sermons, even other songs...not any that I would pretend to appreciate or enjoy as I would Tim's offerings...but I might have a gig or two to spare.

Then I received an invitation to lead a women's retreat this Fall. It's not a huge deal, but it involves 3 Bible study sessions- each introduced by 15 minutes of worship. When I've gone to previous "gigs", I'm embarrassed to admit that I've carried a small wicker basket full of Cd's and even "CASS-ette" tapes with which to sing. I realized that in this day and age...or even a day and age during the past five years...there is bound to be a more efficient, less conspicuous manner in which to "share in song". In the past,our Worship Leader at church led with tracks loaded on a keyboard, but recently switched to an iPod. All the tracks are loaded. He puts them in folders for each service and there ya have it. I was inspired.

With my new gadget, (in addition to Tim's sermons which I'm busily downloading as we speak) I can load all my accompaniment trax, plus any trax to which I would lead worship from the piano. I can organize them ahead of time, but still enjoy flexibility either last minute or even mid-service. With a small direct box and two adapter cables, I'll be able to walk in, plug into a mic jack and run my trax from the stage. Cool, huh? I'm excited. And the next time I'm asked to lead worship or sing, I'll be loaded and ready to go...loaded as in "prepared" not "sloshed" or "filthy rich".

And that's all I know.

Two New Blonds on the Block

I've added two links under friends and family.

Amy Burrow is the "schilly schister" to my oh-so-silly-sister-in-law, Rebecca. (We were all roomies many, many years ago.) I'm so excited about Amy joining bloggerville because she has moved with her darling family back to East Texas and now I can lock in that oh-so-close feeling by catching up on a regular basis.

Christina Peteet and I met at MOPs...or in Kathy's driveway that was next door to "Mark'n'Christina's"'s all one big word that you have to say together...I can't remember the chronology of it, but I majorly enjoy this chick. She is a very fun girl who tells the tales of her family's adventures with great skill and gifted humor. I travel vicariously through her. What a trip!

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, August 11, 2008

Outside My the dark, calm of nightfall: crickets, tree frogs, and fireflies.

I am thinking...I'll just type the answers to these neat-o questions and then later, I'll figure out how to do all the linky mess. Despite my newbie nerves, I'm excited about joining in the fun. (Did you see that link? I did it, people!)

I am thankful wonderfully strong, handsome husband who loves me well.

From the kitchen...the fading, fragrant hint of beefy noodles hiding behind the blessed aroma of creme brule'.

I am wearing...brown shorts, orange v-neck, nothing on my tired feet, but cool, stylish glasses on my slightly tired eyes.

I am creating...a design for kids'choir t-shirts.

I am bed too late AGAIN!

I am reading...Mrs. Peggy's instructions on linking over and over and over again! I CAN do this. Other than that, I've just started Ken Gire's "Divine Embrace" while finishing up Linda Dillow's "Calm My Anxious Heart"...which I may need to re-read after I tackle the previously mentioned techno-marvy wonderment.

I am hoping...that my husband -who just got called to work - returns home safely in time to get sufficient rest for tomorrow's workday.

I am hearing...the fan of my computer tower, and that's about it. I'll soon be hearing freshly downloaded mp3 files on my freshly purchased Zune. Happy Birthday to me! (Thanks, Phil)

Around the house...the main rooms are tidy, the children are sleeping, Philip is not at all "around the house" which will undoubtedly extend my computer time this evening. Since his movie with Philip got cut short by the phone call, James is waiting for me to finish blogging so he can coach me through my first Zune experience.

One of my favorite datenite! Philip and I had a super time this evening. We walked, talked, rode, and shopped.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: the children's lessons, a little swimming, the t-shirt design, more Ken Gire, and hopefully a chat with my sister-in-law in WA.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

All my little darlings!

PS: I was considering retro-posting this for monday (8/11) in concordance with the regulated guidelines, but my potentially helpful brother (who is concentrating more on being all up in my blogger biznass) offered that my credibility, if not my integrity may be tainted by such an alteration. Plus also it gets really confusing since datenite was tonight and not monday night.

PSS: Said brother would like to additionally express his disgruntlement with the apparently more-than-perfect post-dating of "Crazy Eight". Direct Quote: "Crazy Eight: Rigged!"

Welcome to bloggerville! (sorry for all the goofiness on my first SWD post)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Not to Us, O Lord...

Friday evening I caught a few moments of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. It was absolutely spectacular. My words will not be enough. Intricately choreographed grandeur. Mesmerising, rhythmic beauty. Pageantry and grace. Resolute unity blossoming into celebratory harmony. Truly a wonder of sights and sounds. I literally stood amazed.

My stance in the middle of the living room -holding the mac'n'cheese serving spoon in one hand, cupping for spills with the other; entranced by the televised beauty -attracted a bit of a crowd. My girls and their friends gathered around me and shared in the awe.

As we watched, hundreds of men extended an enormous expanse of thick fabric above their heads and marched it around the temporarily transformed track in the stadium. Just then, a radiantly elegant woman dressed in fantastic layers of sheer vibrancy began to dance along the top of the pliable platform in motion. It was breathtaking.

Ardyn was so excited.
Full of amazement and hope, she asked,

"Are they worshipping Jesus?"

...but to Your Name be glory, Lord of Heaven and Earth!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Crazy Eight

I’m really not normal. I’ve been weird for years. I see patterns where they barely exist. I just love for things to make sense or have a rhythm, or better yet – a rhyme! Or even better still – rhyme with incorporated alliterations! That is sheer happiness.

I remember glancing through my calendar one day in the spring of my junior year of high school. I freaked out and immediately began to convince my youth minister that we HAD to plan a Crazy Eight party for 8/8/88! He, and the majority of youth council, failed to see the “once-in-a-lifetime” kind of opportunity we were facing. I moved across the country that summer and had to work quickly to persuade a new group of stranger youths to schedule a celebration for the second week of August. To all my Pullman peeps: I meant “stranger”, like “didn’t know ya yet”, not “stranger” meaning increasing oddity. (I was the one doing all that) As I remember, I was able to charm a few guys and girls into at least coming over to my house to play cards. I just could not let a matchy-matchy date like that go by without notice.

Well, this week the Olympics are upon us and I am absolutely thrilled that someone on the global scene saw the marketing benefits of 08/08/08. Every time the rainbow colored peacock posts a blinking reminder across the bottom of my TV screen, I grin with satisfaction. “Summer Olympics from Beijing…8.8.08” Yes! The perfect balance of being significant and memorable. Brilliant!

Realizing no “Crazy Eight” party of mine could compete with the International Olympics, I have no choice but to blog a little celebration. (I find it hardly coincidental that this will be my 188th post).

Eight Reasons Some People Think I’m Crazy, But Others Love Me Anyway
1. The idea that it would even enter my mind to make a colossal commemoration of a random date & time.
2. My consuming desire for de-cluttered living spaces: “Mom, can we finish the picture we just sat down to color, before we put the crayons away?” “Cari, honey, I’m just gonna fold back these sheets and put this throw pillow right over here on this chair until morning, ok?”
3. My obvious love and appreciation for the vast “outdoors”. (The fact that this is fiction in my God-given household is the crazy part)
4. My communistic meal prep regimen: “Plate, plate, plate, plate, plate, sandwich, sandwich, sandwich, sandwich, sandwich, chips, chips, chips, chips, chips, apple slices, apple slices, apple slices….”
5. When folks ask the old “If you were stranded on a desert island alone…” question, I just start daydreaming and drooling, because I think I’d love to be stranded on a desert island alone for a while…assuming I was stranded near a quaint little shack with plumbing and climate control…just the bare necessities, you understand. Alone, though. I suppose Philip could fly in and be stranded with me occasionally, but for-the-most-part, blissfully quiet & alone. (Who am I kidding? I’d miss everyone and come swimming back, but it would be fun for a while!)
6. I paint my own toenails and drive an old car so I can stay home with my kids…and many days it causes me to want one more baby.
7. I believe (with all my heart) that cabinet doors should be closed. It really doesn’t matter if you’re unloading the dishwasher and there may be something else to put away in that cabinet. Close the door, please. Seriously. Now.
8. The fact that I take this goofy blog so seriously that I’ve sat here forever trying to figure out what an appropriate “numero ocho” would be.

Some not-so-crazy 8’s.
Genesis 8:8 “Then [Noah] sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.”
Zechariah 8:8 “I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”
Matthew 8:8 “The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
Mark 8:8 “The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
Luke 8:8 “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When [Jesus] said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Acts 8:8[after Philip had preached and healed many in the power of God] “So there was great joy in that city.”
Romans 8:8 “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

I just read this draft to Philip. He smiled and said, "You're a very funny girl." which we all know is code for "You're crazy, but I love you anyway!"

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I could not make this stuff up. He absolutely makes me belly laugh.

(When ordering Canadian Bacon pizza at the youth building) "Yes, I'll take one of those European slices."

(In response to meeting a persistently friendly girl at the youth building) "I can't handle pretty girls...not when they have lip shine on."
[Landen, what do you mean 'you can't handle' them?]
"Well, for one thing, my legs get all wobbly. Then she wanted to do the secret handshake and I was like 'dude!'"

(Addressing his friend who is a twin)
"Cool, so you're old is your brother?"

(Lamenting his scholastic burden)
"You know those 9-week tests we take every four or five months?"

(Concerning the breeding of certain canines)
"That one is a mixed breed, you know, just like a German Shepherd is part German, and part Shepherd."

(In response to the stranger chatting in the McAllister's restroom)
Stranger: "Where do you live?"
LP: "I don't know."
[Landen, did you not remember what town you live in?]
LP: "Well, I was gonna be nice, but then I remembered I'm not supposed to tell our information to strangers, so I just said, 'I don't know.'"

(Strategizing for a future encounter with the previously mentioned girl)
"Next time I see her, I'm just gonna say, 'hey, I'm gonna go hang out with some guys and I'll catch you later.' because she might think 'later' is in like five minutes, but I wouldn't really be lying if I didn't come back for like four years."

(In continued process of the infamous pretty girl)
"How do I get that girl out of my brain? I'm telling you I can't do 100% pretty girls."
[Land, aren't there 100% pretty girls in your Sunday School class? I think (so-n-so) is 100% pretty. God thinks she is 100% pretty..]
"Ok, she is 100% pretty. This chick is 150% pretty!"

Thank You, God, for my little boy, Landen. Thank You for his purity and honesty. Thank You for the humor he brings into our lives. I can't wait to read this when he's twenty-two. I pray for his wife. Keep her safe and pure in Your loving arms. Thank You for continuing to shape him into who You're calling him to be. Please grant me patience and wisdom as we learn together. Thank You.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Back on Track

Philip is back! He arrived Sunday evening and was able to spend ALL day Monday with us. Wow, was that nice! Since his convoy stopped over in Austin, he was able to meet with Josh & Kathy and finally get his hands on Baby Johnathan.

Johnathan Ward & "Uncle Phwop" (as Matthew would say)

Tomorrow Landen, Luke, and Philip leave for FISH camp (the ichthus-inspired children's camp with church) I'll be driving up to camp to teach the Bible studies, but will return to my Sealy Posturpedic each night as specified in my kid's camp contract:) This means the girls will get extra special girlie time with J-Dub. By Sunday night FISH camp should be drawing to a close, and we'll gear up for another week of home bound fun.

I'm hoping to add some photos to the girls' "luncheon" from last Friday while we pack for camp. (Green Chile & Beef Stew in the crock pot for tonight. Yummy!)

Thank You, God, for bringing Philip home. See ya at FISH camp :) I love You too!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Party On

As I thought of the lady in Bible study who just saw her husband off to Iraq for the year, I was shamefully convicted of my whiny, pouty attitude. My husband has only been gone a week, and he'll surely be home soon. All our needs are provided and he is being compensated quite well for his energies. So, we're done.

Now that I shut that pity party down, let me tell you about the festivities de jour.

Two of my friends came over earlier to drop off daughters. They both stayed for a cup of coffee and I warmed up some banana bread. The toddlers played in the middle of the living room floor while we chatted. So nice...

Our neighbor invited the boys to swim just as JW and Landen were leaving for Longview. After the ladies left, I went to work preparing "luncheon" for the girls who were already dressed and adorned in various combinations of ballet garb and my old silk nighties, complete with hats and gloves.

The boys came in from swimming around noon, saw all the "froof" and quickly asked to pack a lunch in order to remain outside the rest of the day. What a fantastic idea! I slapped together 4 turkey sandwiches, tossed in a bag of chips & some clementines, and added bottled green tea and diet dr peppers (just 'cause). They were completely satisfied and grateful. "Buh-bye!"

Now back to the party at hand...
I invited the girls to come frost & decorate the cookies Mrs. Kimberly had sent over. What a fun project! By the time they finished, I had "luncheon" prepared.
I heard the girls discussing their fictional countries of origin.
"I'm from France!"
"I want to be from London!"
"No, you can't, that's France and I'M from France."
"No, Paris is in France, she can be from London."
"Great! I love being from London!"
"I'm from Hawaii!"
"I've heard the food here is faaaabuous!"
"I do hope the maid brings those darling little sandwiches I adore!"

As I served the platters of freshly diced fruit, potato crisps, and sandwich rolls, the girls reminded one another to keep their pinkies up at all times. I poured their drinks and Ashli asked in her fanciest voice, "Is this gatorade?" Feeling pulled into the vortex of make believe, I submissively replied in my French housemaid accent, "Oui, Oui, Mademoiselle, et es Ade de la Gator" (and I rolled the 'r' in Gator for a few fancy seconds). All four girls looked up at me and smiled. With a wink and a curtsy, I disappeared into the kitchen to pour more potato crisps out of the Frito Lay bag.

BBQ roast beef is simmering in the crock pot and whole wheat buns await the dinnertime tasty embrace. I was able to sweep & mop the floors after "luncheon", so I may serve dinner a la fresca -- isn't that "outdoors" or "with cheese on top"...either way, we're good. We will be gone tomorrow, so there's a chance my floors might stay neat for 24 hours. woo-hoo! Ummm, I smell BBQ...wanna come for dinner? If you're real sweet, I'll let you eat at the table inside ...

Thank You, God, for today.

Fun For All

Philip called. He sounded pretty tired, but he had good news! No, he is not coming home this weekend; the OTHER good news: cable tv has been restored and he is able to watch the Rangers! Thrilling? Indeed.

James held down the fort this afternoon so Ardyn and I could run to the grocery. We had a fun, chatty time. We printed off e-mealz and bought the stuff without even reading the menu. Shopping & Cooking by can't beat it.

Megan and the darlings in her charge came over to swing & visit...or was it visit & swing? They took Ardyn back into town with them, then Luke's friend, Cody, arrived to spend a couple days. Both boys had [the 'B' word] practice tonight. James & Ash handled carpool to preserve what's left of my sweet, accommodating attitude.

That left Mari and I to walk 3 miles, put away the pantry groceries, and add stuff to the blog. She is the coolest kid. She makes me laugh out loud. When she talked to Philip on the phone tonight, she responded to his "I love you" with "NO WAY!" She kills me.

I told the boys they could stay up until midnight. At 12:03, I went in and they were still wired...literally: PS2, cd's, computer, etc. I asked them to turn everything off and head for bed.

At 12:09 I heard thunderous laughter and two or three yelps from their room. I prayed for patience and calmly walked toward their room. As I turned the handle, my prayer was answered. [cue: wisdom from on high]

"Hey,'s the way I see it. Cody is scheduled to leave at 5pm tomorrow. If you need more time tonight, it's gonna have to come off of tomorrow's time. I'm gonna turn this light off and if I hear you again, I'll drive him back at 4:30. If I have to come in a third time, I'll need to drive him back at 4. K? Are we clear?"

[clearing of the throats] "Yes, Ma'am."

At 12:17 I heard a horrible boom, followed by a bang, a crack, and three muffled giggles. As I opened the door, Luke locked eyes with me and pleaded, "My pillow fell off the loft bed and knocked my trophies down...that totally doesn't count...does it?" I maintained wide-eye contact until I had silently pulled the door closed.

I haven't heard from them since. 5pm it is! Thank You, Jesus.

The girls have two friends coming over in the morning. This is how we cope with loneliness...we just have as many people as possible rotate in and out of the house until we're so distracted by all the friends that we barely remember we miss our daddy. (It's barely working)

I better go lay down. Or is it lie down? I know it's not lye down.
I better go hop in bed. It's LIE! I promise...6th grade grammar drills just flooded my thoughts. It would be LAY, had I better go lay my head down. See the direct object? But if I'm the one lying then I lie. Truly! ooh, that was very fun.

Father God, thank You for continuing to bless and keep Philip. (I know in his heart he gives You credit for the Ranger game) Thank You for being near us as we can't be near each other. I love that about You. Thank You for hearing me when I cry out to You. Thank You for Your rest. Bless all the dear children...