Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Tender Tennessee Christmas

Yesterday, I came down with a case of displaced homesickness. Displaced because I'm homesick for Buford's home in Tennessee. Have I lost my mind? Because the only way to get there is 23+ hours in the van...with the children...across Kansas...with NO Starbucks until St. Louis! (Dear people of Kansas: There has been a marvelous invention! It is called espresso. You can mix it with some foamed milk and a dash of flavoring and serve it in a cute red cup with a festive green sleeve. It is amazing stuff and it would make weary travelers much happier to be in your state!)
At any rate - I'm not missing THAT part but I am missing the being there. Buford's sister, Lulabel, would welcome us to her house and show us all of her 15 Christmas trees. Lulabel's husband JT, Jr., would hug me and say, "How's my favorite sister-in-law?" Never mind that I'm his only sister-in-law, I like being his favorite. Lulabel would have some of her yummy peanut butter balls stashed in the fridge...just right for sneaking one and popping it in your mouth.
We would take the kids to see Nina and Grandaddy at their pharmacy and she would squeal and tell the kids how grown up they are. Then it would be off to lunch at The Bean Barn. There is absolutely no place like it on earth, it is a Southern anomaly. The children would eat their cheeseburgers like they were the only cheeseburgers on the planet. And I would slurp up a large sweet tea and a bowl of beef stew. Buford, of course, would get his "heart attack on a bun", a Hobart, which is a cheeseburger with a slice of fried ham.
While we were there we'd sit on Lulabel's back porch, drink coffee, and tell the same old stories. I'd cook fajitas with all the fixins for JT, Jr. And we'd take the kids to Pigeon Forge to shop and see all the Christmas lights. Then, maybe to Gatlinburg where Buford and I got married. We'd eat pulled pork at Stan's (with more sweet tea). We'd visit with old friends and just slip into the slow pace that is the South.

So, all ya'll in TN - we miss you. And isn't it cool that this song is about Colorado and Tennessee...just like us!

Tender Tennessee Christmas by Alabama
Come on weather man give us a forecast snowy white
Can't you hear the prayers of every childlike heart tonight
Rockies are callin', Denver snow fallin'
Somebody said it's four feet deep, but it doesn't matter
Give me the laughter, I'm gonna choose to keep

Another tender Tennessee Christmas, the only Chirstmas for me
Where the love circles around us like the gifts around our tree
Well I know there's more snow up in Colorado than my roof will ever see
But a tender Tennessee Christmas is the only Christmas for me

Every now and then I get a wanderin' urge to see
Maybe California, maybe Tinsel Town's for me
There's a parade there, we'd have it made there
Bring home a tan for New Year's Eve
Sure sounds exciting, awfully inviting, still I think I'm gonna keep

Another tender Tennessee Christmas, the only Christmas for me
Where the love circles around us like the gifts around our tree
Well they say in L.A. it's a warm holiday, it's the only place to be
A tender Tennessee Christmas, is the only Christmas for me

Well I know there's more snow up in Colorado than my roof will ever see
But a tender Tennessee Christmas is the only Christmas for me
A tender Tennessee Christmas is the only Christmas for me

Monday, December 17, 2007

Learning to Fight

A few nights ago, Buford and I caught part of the movie, "The Kingdom of Heaven" with Orlando Bloom. I was working on a sewing project so I was doing more listening than watching, but I caught one scene that has just stuck with me and caused me to, well...ponder. It was a hand to hand combat scene focused on Orlando's character. He had a sword and a large round shield and was felling the enemy right and left. At one point he took the shield and blasted this guy across the head with it and then turned and thrust his sword into someone behind him.

Push the pause button...the shield as a weapon???

Ephesians 6:10-18 talks about the armor of God and every teaching I've heard says that the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is our only OFFENSIVE weapon. But wait, could our shield of faith be used as a weapon as well? The verse says the shield is to extinguish the fiery darts or arrows of the evil one but this is what I always pictured: Me (or the Christian) cowered down behind the shield while fiery darts were being furiously shot at me from the enemy. When you are cowering, you are not advancing. You might be protected from those fiery darts, but the enemy is still on your territory firing them. Paul talks about "standing" in this passage, but I think some of us need to advance and take some territory that the enemy has claimed. What if we stood up and took it back?? What a concept! Shield in front, sword in hand, take a step comes a fiery dart (what is your dart? fear, worry, the lie that you will never change?) - raise your shield, extinguish the dart by saying No! Strike with your sword - the Word, "God has not given me a spirit of fear...,"or "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Know the Word - know your weapon - whatever the Word says about your situation - you tell that to the enemy. That's how you wield your sword. THEN, (see we always stop there - but here is where I think we can use our shield offensively) THEN, whack the enemy with your shield of faith in a follow-up blow to the sword and say, "And I believe it!"
So let's pull it all together: Put on your armor, stand up in Christ, begin to walk forward to posess your land that the enemy is standing on. He fires a dart, "You know, you are never going to change. You are always going to fall back into the same old habit. You're probably not even really saved." Raise your shield and extinguish the dart by believing that the enemy is a liar and what the Word says about you is true. (Don't catch the dart and study on it for awhile - giving consideration to its possible truthfulness - PUT IT OUT!) Then wield your Sword, "The Word says that I am a new man in Christ...that He has put my sins away as far as the east is from the west...that He has begun a good work in me and He will be faithful to complete it..." Then follow up with a whack from your shield, "AND I BELIEVE IT". Take another step forward...

Ephesians 6 - The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Sermon at the WalMart

Today the kiddos and I made a quick run into WalMart to get some cat chow and a gift card. Outside the front door was a Salvation Army bell ringer. This gentleman was in a wheelchair (he only had one leg) and was wrapped up in blankets, gloves, and a stocking cap. He was missing many of his teeth. In his lap was a small "boom box" and as we walked closer I could hear that he was singing. I assumed it was a Christmas song but soon realized he was belting out "Awesome God" by Rich Mullins. The gentleman didn't have a bad voice, inspite of his toothlessness, and he sang with such conviction. When we walked out through the same door, he was singing "He is Exalted". The kids put some money in his bucket and we got in the van. An immediate reality check came from the Holy Spirit...I'd been worrying about work deadlines and Christmas shopping and if my new haircut has enough "angle" and here he was in a wheelchair, in the freezing winter air, belting out praises to the Lord. Not ashamed, not fettered with concern or bitterness, just enjoying pure unadulterated worship in front of the WalMart. Whoa - or more like Woe! Woe is me for being a run of the mill, overextended, burnt out Christian who is half-ashamed to worship in church let alone out in public. Lord, I confess that I don't want to lose a leg or all my teeth, heck I don't even want to have a hair out of place. But I do want what he has: joy; peace; boldness; and whatever it takes Lord, whatever it takes.

Matthew 5:1-12
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Elvis is in The House

Med and Elvis...a match made in heaven. Med loves cats. Buford and I love cats. If the health department wouldn't become involved I'd have 50 of them...well, maybe not 50...think of the litter ramifications. Med brought Elvis home from a birthday party. Saved him from certain demise. He was a scrawny little wormy thing but now is healthy and happy. Our backyard neighbor thought of the name Elvis - we were going to call him Socks. That wasn't cool or manly enough for a boy kitty, so Chris suggested Elvis and it just stuck. I took this photo after we'd been to Nebraska for a weekend to visit Jo at college. He was so happy that Med was back - he just couldn't get close enough or purr loud enough!

Cowboy to the Max

These photos of Max were taken last summer (2006) at the Wrangler Junior High National Finals in Gallup, NM. I went and I slept in the back of my van, fed horses in my pajamas (tucked into boots), and took 2 showers the entire week. I was a dedicated rodeo mom. Let's just say I wasn't above wearing fake hair or the standard rodeo mom "do" - ponytail, visor and sunglasses. It was great fun and Max ended up fourth in the World in goat tying. Yee Haw!

Look ya'll, some pictures...

Hallelujah, I think I might get this figured out after all. Here is a montage of photos from Min's soccer adventure this fall. Soccer is a very interesting game for 6 and 7 year olds - much socializing and goofing around including the challenge of what body part you can get stuck in the net when it is your turn to play goalie. LOL!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ode to a Dormant Blog

Holy Cats. I can't believe how long it has been since I've posted! I've been busy, busy, busy! What with Thanksgiving and sewing and then sewing some more. I look around my neighborhood and I wonder, "Don't you people have anything better to do than to string massive quantities of lights and put no less than 3 giant blow-up Christmas thingys in your front yards?" I'm not bah-humbugging cuz Grace prayed and got me delivered from that. And now that Thanksgiving is over, by all means deck the halls...but what is it with the giant blow-up Santas and snowmen and Poohs?? I believe that Christmas brings out the inner redneck in everyone! Just please, please throw away your pumpkins BEFORE you string those lights...please. Okay, enough about that. So here are some of the latest happenings at our house:

Some funny stuff I've heard...
Med and Min have been on a roll lately - out of the mouths of babes...

Min: "If I swallowed a caterpillar, in a couple of weeks, would I fart out a butterfly?"

Med (upon hearing Min say that when he was an adult he was going to get a PlayStation and play it all day long - because his mean parents won't let him have one) said with a sigh: "Oh, Min - you'll grow up to be a proper adult."

And the cutest joke I've heard in awhile told by Med: A pit bull, a retriever and a chihuahua wanted to go on a date with a cute French Poodle. The French Poodle said that whoever could use the words "liver and cheese" in the most creative way would win a date with her. The pit bull tried first, "I like liver and cheese" he said. "Nope, not going to work," said the poodle. The retriever went next, "I don't like liver and cheese". "Nope, that's not going to do it either." said the poodle. Finally, the chihuahua said, "Leever alone - Cheez mine!"

A funny thing that happened...
Last Wednesday morning, I had filled the bathtub for Min and our kitten, Elvis, was curious and perched himself on the edge of the tub. I heard a loud splash and thought that Min had fallen while getting in the bath - I ran to see what had happened and found a very wet kitty dripping on the carpet and frantically trying to lick himself dry. Med said, "Wow, you never realize how skinny cats are until they get wet!" Elvis might have used up one of his nine lives because the water was fairly deep. You know what they say about curiosity!

An awesome thing I just read...
Our church is reading Max Lucado's new book 3:16 in conjunction with our pastor's sermon series on John 3:16 during Advent. I love it when an author can put things in terms we can "get". Not high and lofty thinking but more where the rubber meets the road living. In this quote he is talking about the word perish as in "whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
This is what Max writes: "And perish...a sobering word. We'd like to dilute, if not delete, the term. Not Jesus. He pounds DO NOT ENTER signs on every square inch of Satan's gate and tells those hell-bent on entering to do so over his dead body."
What a picture! That just makes me want to shout! Can't you just picture Jesus with hammer and nails and a whole stack of signs. He was a carpenter - he hit those nails dead on, one blow of the hammer right after another, while Satan stood by screaming - furious as Christ defaced the very gates of hell. Can I get a Hallelujah??!!

Well, that is all for now, oh dormant blog. I need to go do some ironing because, apparently, the lady who does the ironing at our house has decided to take a vacation and my basket runneth over.

Monday, November 12, 2007

We Luv Ya Peyton

So Peyton may have had a bit of a rough go at it yesterday, but he still reigns supreme as the god of football around our house. Although I love to watch him play and I love how Buford relives Peyton's TN glory days, my favorite thing is to watch his commercials. Check some of them out here:
You can even personalize one of these "Priceless Pep Talks" for a friend. These might be the funniest things since the "Real Men of Genius" Budweiser campaign. My favorite: I've got a might want to just buy some bigger shirts...PRICELESS!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Oh Look! A Post About Sewing...

Since the beginning of my sewing experience/career, I've been blessed with many opportunities, awards, privileges, and successes. I've accumulated ribbons and trophies and had my work featured on a national television show (Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman). I have made wedding garments that had mothers and brides in tears because they were so thrilled. And I am, currently, about to start a new project that has me absolutely twitterpated. BUT as I think about all this today, something in my spirit just resonates with the apostle Paul, and I count it all as worthless in order that I may know Christ. I am grateful that He allows me plenty of failures and frustrations in the mix with all the successes. Opportunities for humility. The outfit that I can never get to fit exactly right. Getting a report that a bride struggled with a bustle I did on her gown. The opportunity to serve an elderly woman who I have to dress and undress in order to fit the clothes to her.

We all struggle with the fine line between being excited about a blessing and being prideful about that blessing. The Lord has been reminding me of that lately...lest I begin to think that I'm "all that and a bag of chips". And I guess I'd rather have Him remind me gently and have my heart respond than for Him to remind me with a 2 x 4! Because as a dear Bible teacher always says (I'll let you guess who!): "You can bend the knee or He can break your legs, but either way you're going down!"

So actually, I lied. This isn't a post about sewing at all, but rather one about pride. I just needed to be reminded again today...

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
I cheat you out of your God-given destiny...because you demand your own way.
I cheat you out of contentment...because "you deserve better than this."
I cheat you out of knowledge...because you already know it all.
I cheat you out of healing...because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you out of holiness...because you refuse to admit when you're wrong.
I cheat you out of vision...because you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship...because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love...because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven...because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory...because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I am always looking out for you. Untrue.
I'm looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry...
If you stick with me
You'll never know.

~Beth Moore - "Praying God's Word"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Most Likely My Favorite Photo of All Time

A couple of days ago, I was rummaging through some boxes of old photos. Real photos printed out on paper, in little envelopes with strips of negatives included...remember those? Back before the days of digital. Back before a crash of the hard drive could erase the photographic documentaries of my kid's childhoods. (Okay - just a few pictures - not a documentary. Especially given the fact that Halloween passed without me getting a single picture of my kiddos in costume. I'm a pathetic excuse for a mother but that's another post!) Anyway, I came across this picture, and my heart just melted. Max and Med...before Min was even thought of. This was probably in the fall of 1999. As you can tell, I was still in the throes of "Martha-ism" as indicated by the pumpkins arranged in order from biggest to smallest. I totally staged this photo-op and remember snapping several shots very quickly since Med wasn't one to sit still for any length of time. I can't even really put my finger on why I like this picture so much. Could be the cherub like smile on Max's face, the rosy, pinkness of Med's chubby cheeks, or the way her babyfine hair is blowing in the fall breeze. This just typifies fall - the way the leaves are scattered about on the still green grass in the warm Colorado sun. (Although I'm sure I spent the rest of the day raking up those leaves in a fit of yard OCD.) Most likely this photo is my favorite because it is one small success in my many mis-attempts at documenting our life in pictures - and the subject matter is just as yummy as pumpkin pie!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nicole with A Horse!

So I mentioned in my list of "Favorite Things" that I like Nicole C Mullen. I found her music at a crucial time in my spiritual walk and never get tired of it. Old stuff, new stuff, Christmas stuff...I love it all. This past September, at the Women of Faith Conference in Denver, I got to see Beth Moore and Nicole in the same day. I wasn't sure it could ever get any better. Then I saw this little video...Nicole has a horse in this video. Glorious! I can't list horses in my favorite things column because I do not own one...but Max does and I love them. I love to hug their necks and breathe in all that horsey aroma. I know there are going to be horses in heaven - just check out Revelation 19:14. I hope there's a whole stable full of them out behind my mansion. While we wait, enjoy Nicole's video...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Baby Sister's Got Some Skillz Ya'll

I would like to introduce a new character to this blog-o-rama, my baby sister, Jo. When I say "baby" I don't mean younger sister...I mean BABY cuz she is 20 years younger than me. It just so happens that baby sister inherited all the athletic genes in our family's genetic pool. (I have zero - please reference Buford's comments about my ability to break toes.) Anyway, Jo is in her junior year on a BB scholarship to University of Nebraska at Kearney - yes, she has some skillz! She also is apparently working on a career in film on the side as shown in her You Tube debut:

(Jo is the short haired girl - just in case ya wondered. Her teammate, Hinkley, is the blond who does some "hang time".)

Disclaimer: Do not take a drink of coffee, Coke, or whatever beverage you may be consuming while watching is a sure bet you might spit it all over the screen or laugh so hard that it comes out your nose.

Update 11/4:
Not that I'm braggin' or anything, but here is an email my parents just got from our cousin, Dick, who attended the UNK game against UNL (Lincoln: aka the big, bad girls):

Just a note to let you know that I think Kassi played a GREAT game last night. It was really fun to watch her play. Even though we never got to see her play high school ball, it looked like what I picture made her a top Colorado All State player. (Miram was not able to go because of the commitment she had here at home with an open house for our church ladies).

Not only did she get in a LOT of playing time, but she was invaluable to the team. She was virtually the only guard who could bring the ball down the court without being stopped by the two guards from UNL. Whenever the coach took Kassi out for a rest, it was extremely difficult for Kearney to get the ball down the court unless they put two girls to the task. Kassi could always do it by herself.

Another thing she was great at was seeing who was open under the basket and getting the ball to them with long passes before UNL got set up. She has a really "strong" arm whether she was passing left handed or right handed.

A big thing in her quality of play was that she played extremely aggressively without any fouls last night. :) I would sure want her on my team!

I couldn't stay after the game, but let her know I was really proud of her.

Autumn Yumminess

Sunday afternoon there was nothing to do - seeing as how the Broncos weren't playing til Monday night. (On which occasion they were taken to the Bret Favre school of football.) Buford was napping therefore I couldn't obsessively run the vacuum over every piece of flooring in my house though I really, really wanted to. So I decided to bake something. I found a pumpkin bread recipe and lo, I had all the ingredients on hand! I was not going to the grocery store, no way, no how - so pumpkin bread it would be. I had thoughts of not having to cook breakfast all week...just slicing off a piece, perhaps slathering it with a bit-o-cream cheese, and pouring a hot cup of coffee! But alas, the yumminess of this pumpkin bread exceeded its size and as of this morning (Tuesday) only a small chunk remains. Even Min has eaten some and has not died from ingesting two fruits at once (pumpkin and apple). He is not allergic or anything, just has an aversion to most anything of the fruit family. He should be Grace's kid, she doesn't like fruit either. Or coffee, but I think I've mentioned that once or ten times.

Anyway, I thought I'd post the recipe and share this wonderful, moist, chunky, and aromatic bread. If fall had a flavor this would be it.

(Oh, and the loaf is so moist you could totally sneak in a few tablespoons of ground flax seed, wheat germ, or whatever other sneak-in type healthy items you have on hand and no one would know!)

Chunky Apple Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 c sugar
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c water
1/3 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 c chopped, peeled tart apples
3/4 c chopped walnuts
(2 T. sneak-in healthy ingredient) optional

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, water, oil and eggs; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and cloves; add to the pumpkin mixture. Stir just til combined and dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour batter into a 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (My loaf only took 1 hour and 20 minutes.) Cool loaf for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

A good use of that 10 minutes of cooling time is to brew a fresh pot of coffee so you can just slice and devour immediately. Which I'm not sayin' that's what I did...I'm just sayin' it might be a good use of the time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Holy Grounds

As most of my friends know, I am a huge "fan" of Beth Moore. Her Bible studies and teachings have had a huge impact on my Christian walk and have just flat out changed my life. Now, Beth has quite a hankerin' for Starbuck's cappuccinos and I just know that our heavenly Father is building a coffee shop right around the corner from her heavenly mansion. Now I'm quite certain that it won't be a Starbucks because, well, there won't be any weird Pisces symbols in heaven and we won't need any "bucks" either. It will be a free and unlimited supply of foaming, frothy arabica goodness! So today, I got to thinking about what this coffee shop might be called and what we will do there (certainly not mooching off the free wireless!)

Here are some names I came up with:
~Jesus' Java Joint
~Lion & Lamb Lattes
~Cornerstone Coffee
~Everlasting Espresso
~Beth's Blessed Bliss

Anyway, you get the depth of my weirdness...

As my imagination got carried away, I also began to think about who I might be hanging out with at this little piece of heaven in heaven. There would be Beth, of course, and I don't think I will have to tell her how much impact she had on my life - I think she will just know. And also, there would be my BFF Grace, because in heaven she will have glorified taste buds and be completely healed and therefore able to drink coffee...besides we won't have to have "diet" anything there! I really hope a few biblical gals stop by for a chat and a cup of joe. I'd like to sit with Jochibed and ask her what it was like to put her baby Moses in that basket. Did she just bawl while she was weaving it together and smearing it with pitch? I would have. Trusting God doesn't mean we don't have intense motherly emotions. Rahab is another one I'd like to meet. How did she find herself in her original profession? Was her heart beating 100 mph when those spies were hiding on her roof? What was it like marrying an Israelite after a life of paganism? Did she have any idea that she was going to be in the lineage of the Messiah? And then there's Martha, I'd just like to give her a big hug and thank her for serving as the first example to many of us in a line of Marthas. I know she'd laugh when I'd tell her about how my food was identifiable at the church potlucks because it had the tightest plastic wrap. Finally, three unnamed women: The Woman at the Well; The Woman caught in Adultery; and The Woman with the Issue of Blood. First, I would like to know their names and then their entire life stories right up to the point where they had their Jesus encounters. Then I'd like to hear in painstaking detail how they felt when they saw Him, heard Him, touched Him and experienced His forgiveness and redemption. What were they like after that day? So many questions - I would be a captive audience. Coffee and conversation - they were made for each other!

So, Lord, I'm sure that you can think up a much better name for this coffee shop than I can. And, I promise, us girls will only take a quick break to share a cup and a chat and then we'll be right back in the throne room singing: "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits on the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!" ~AMEN

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why the Barefoot Seamstress?

Grace came up with the name actually because I work (sew) without shoes on. I originally wanted to call the blog "Sew On and Sew Forth" but some other clever person must have already thought that up because blogspot wouldn't let me use it. So I went with Grace's idea of the Barefoot Seamstress and hopefully will not be confused with or accused of copying from the Barefoot Contessa which is one of my favorite shows on Food Network. It's just simply because I sew sans shoes!
Yes, it's dangerous given the fact that I could impale my foot on a stray pin or needle at any given moment but I have my reasons:
Reason #1: I hate to wear shoes when I'm indoors. The minute I come in the door I kick them off. Could be due to the fact that growing up my shoes were usually covered in cow manure.
Reason #2: I can't feel the pedals of my sewing machines very well with shoes on. I am always in danger of accidentally pressing down and stitching through the wrong part of the fabric or my finger. (Which I have done many times.)

Holy Twinkle Lights Batman!

Today is October 25 - there are 6 more days til Halloween, 28 more days til Thanksgiving, and 61 days til Christmas...yet my town is hanging garland and colored lights on the bridge heading to the main street. Really people, what is the deal??? I've pondered the possibility that perhaps that particular city employee just had nothing else to do today and so he was assigned decking the halls duty. "Hey, Bob, why don't you stop hanging around the office and go put up garland or something." (I don't know if the guy's name was Bob or not but that's Med's favorite name for a male adult person so I used it.)

Here's my beef: The fall colors in this area are so beautiful right now. The temperatures are still warm. The sky is pristine blue and the mountains are snow less and glorious. It is still time for oranges, golds, purples, and reds...for mums and pumpkins and scarecrows. Not holly and bells and tinsel!!! Please let us have our fall...Please don't remind us of the looming holiday insanity. I want to enjoy autumn and Thanksgiving with leaves and pies and cornucopias and pilgrims. Stop this Christmas nonsense already. It completely loses it's specialness when you have the decorations up for 6 stinkin' months! Bah Humbug! That is all...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Girl Talk

Disclaimer: Okay, this post is going to be about girl stuff so Buford ya might just want to scroll on by.

I had my yearly exam today and am proud to say that I am very healthy. There are more indepth checks that I will have to endure soon because of my age (scoping and squishing will be involved) but today's visit went well. Blood pressure was 104/64 (I so totally ROCK!) Buford said he's seen corpses with higher blood pressures but he is just jealous!
I saw a new midwife (Tracy) because Dian (the midwife who delivered all 3 of my kiddos) had a very important meeting with some hospital bigwigs. Tracy was very cool - I especially liked how she said it was perfectly normal to gain a couple of pounds a year in "bone density". Yes, that's it precisely, I have very dense bones!
Even after all the good news about me, Tracy did give me some disturbing information and that's what this post is really about - not just a brag bag about my wonderful bp. When I told Tracy the age of my daughter, who is 9, she asked if I had considered getting Med the HPV vaccine. She says they begin giving it to girls as young as 8. And then she quoted the alarming statistic that 80% of sexually active girls between 13-18 have HPV. Oh, help me Jesus! I told her that we were Christians and are doing everything possible to promote purity in our kids so at this time, the vaccine isn't really a consideration. But I've just been thinking about that statistic all day. How do we protect our kids? By vaccinating them, getting them on the pill or teaching them safe sex practices??? How about instead we teach them that Jesus is crazy about them, that He gives them beauty and self-worth, that sex is a valuable gift created by God for married people. Can we teach them that it is okay to be different and okay to take a stand? This is such a hard topic for lots of parents to talk about with their kids - me included. But let me say that if you start out with lots of prayer, asking God to bring up the right opportunities and right words, He is happy to answer. It really does work! In the meantime, here are some resources that might help:
An article in Today's Christian Woman Mag about the HPV vaccine

Family Life Today Website has tons of information/articles as well as Passport to Purity which is a whole weekend to spend with your child.

"And the Bride Wore White" by Dannah Gresch. I almost couldn't handle reading this book because it made me so sad that I didn't have something like this when I was a teenager.

And finally for younger girls: "The Princess and the Kiss". This is a beautiful storybook that even Min likes to read. It also has a companion workbook to do with your daughter.

If any of you have any other great ideas/books/programs etc. I love to hear about them in the comments!

Until then,
Keep it Pure,
Keep it Real,
Keep your blood pressure down,
And always keep it Semi-Homemade,

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Min turns 7

My little Minimus had his 7th birthday Friday. We celebrated with a pizza party for his 1st grade class, a trip with 3 friends to the Corn Maze (Pirates of the Cornibbean), and a Spiderman cake. There were lots of presents, of course, which kept Minimus and his next door friend occupied all day Saturday. Buford was also occupied as he solved every puzzle in Min's new I SPY computer game.
As soon as I can figure out how to put pictures in this blog, I will post some of the birthday festivities. I'm just happy that a few minutes ago I finally figured out how to put up the "File, Edit, View..." toolbar. I'm sure the Microsoft people get a big kick in moving stuff around with each new version so those of us who are well versed in the Jurassic version have to hunt for everything in the new Vista version.
Anyway, I digress. Min is 7...something about 7 leaves "baby" in the dust. I think when they are 6 you can still classify them as babies and get away with it. After all, Kindergarten isn't real school yet, is it? But here we are at 7. 1st grade, eating in the cafeteria, carrying his own tray. Riding his bike to school with his not following behind. Doing homework and reading logs. Not wanting to kiss his mom in front of his friends..."Is there lipstick on my forehead???" he asks in exasperation.
Min, here are some favorite things from your probably don't need them anymore but you might want to remember someday...
Guh-guh: a baby afghan made by Grammy, it's in the top of your closet if you need a snuggle.
Blues Clues: You used to watch Blue and Steve/Joe every morning. Because they're whose clues?
Sippy cups: I was loathe to give these up because of the spill proof factor, but you've outgrown them for sure.
The little rocking chair: This chair was aunt Marla's, and mom's, then yours, and now Connor's. You spent some time in this little chair...and even took a nap there on occasion.
Training wheels: You took the training wheels off your bike a year ago on Mother's day. I won't forgot it since that was the last set of training wheels at my house until grandchildren come along.

Min - you will always be my little squishy, even when I'm 90 and your 60 something.
I love you so...Happy Birthday.

Putting the Garden to Bed

We began winterizing the yard today...pulling out brown vines with mushy tomatoes hanging on, mowing up leaves, rolling up hoses. Another year of yardwork coming to a close. (Note to self...don't leave the big shovels in the garden shed at the back of the yard in case we have 3 feet of snow and can't get to the shovels! We have experienced this problem before.)
Of all the progress I've made in life, overcoming the "Martha" demons, the yard can still sometimes send me into an OCD frenzy. There is so much I'd like to do, so much that is out of my control (ie. weather, weeds, plant diseases, etc.), and not nearly enough hours in my summer, week, day. But today, on this glorious yet breezy fall day, I just enjoyed being out there. I am thankful for this beautiful yard. For trees that have purple leaves on the outer branches and gold ones on the inner...they look like they are glowing with a flame from within. YEAH God for thinking up that tree...even though I haven't the slightest idea what species or variety they are. I am thankful that I had help from Max and Med getting those dead tomatoes out of the vegetable garden, getting the carrots picked and mums trimmed. I am especially glad that Max can work the dreaded weed eater like a pro. (Flippin' sweet weed whacker skillz.) He even managed to put on the rototilling attachment and get the garden soil neat little furrows. His papa would be so proud of this Future Farmer. I am thankful that all that work got finished before the wind started tonight, bringing with it supposed 30 degree temps and snow tomorrow.
Sleep tight, dear garden, I will see you again in spring!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Grace's Top Ten

My Bff decided that her blog name should be Grace Goodenough. I love it because isn't that the truth...If God's grace ain't good enough then nothin' is. In honor of her birthday month, I decided to list the...

Top Ten Things I love about my BFF, Grace:

10. I love the way she puts clothes, jewelry, colors, and home decor together in ways that I would never think of in a million years...and it always looks funky and marvelous!

9. I love to share a big basket of chips and guacamole with her. I love how she orders quesadillas without the cheese! ;-)

8. I love how the littlest, most unexpected things can totally crack her up. (Shooting butterflies!)

7. I love how she does my hair...and then studies on it for future improvements.

6. I love how people continually ask us if we are sisters when we are out together.

5. I love her generous spirit and how she invited me to be a part of the Green Pear. She might have the only hair salon in the world that has a seamstress in the back room!

4. I love that, in spite of the fact that she drinks diet Dr Pepper and I abhor it, and I drink coffee and she abhors it, we can still be best friends!

3. I love that we didn't meet until we were almost 40. I waited all this time to have a friend so true...and it was absolutely worth it. I'd wait another 40 just to know her!

2. I love how we did Bible Study together before we went shopping or did any other typical girlfriend stuff!

1. I love how God orchestrated our move to this town, put a friend from high school practically in my backyard, how that friend told me where she got her haircut, how I needed a haircut and came to the Pear, how I just happened to mention "Breaking Free" during that haircut and how at that very moment, Grace and I were instantly bonded as sisters in the Lord.

I love you Grace! Happy Belated Birthday. You are the best friend and sista a girl could have.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Continuing on with the fake name thing to protect the innocent or the not-so-innocent, whatever the case may be, my husband shall henceforth be known as Buford on this blog. Why Buford you ask? Well, given his Southern origins, that could've easily been his name along with Billy Bob, Earl, D-Wayne, or Larry (as in The Cable Guy). What I are sayin' is that he are a redneck and pretty proud of it. His co-workers began calling him Dr. Buford sometime back as a pun...something about speaking the King's English and they didn't mean Elvis.
Buford loves biscuits, gravy, pork chops, chicken livers and pork rinds. He ain't a half bad cook but I always keep a Condemned Tag handy just in case he makes "Driveway Patchin' Chili" or "Death by Garlic" spaghetti sauce. And if you ever have a cow that needs put back together, he can do that too. Probably with his eyes closed. Like those weird guys that can do the rubic's cubes behind their backs. His scientific mind is the polar opposite of my creative one. I think we spend a lot of time looking at each other and saying, "Huh?"
All in all, he's a pretty good man to have around especially since he got this shiny new laptop all up and running for me...without it this blog would never have been born. Although I have been "pregnant" with it for some months now. So thanks honey, I love ya and Go Vols!

Max, Med, and Min

Since I am quite the blog lurker, I have learned the art of using fake names for people in your family as a means to protect their privacy. So I've decided to indicate the birth order and size of my three children by using the nicknames Max, Med and Min. We started calling my oldest son, "Maximus" because of his height. Then my husband made a comment about the names of the gluteus muscles in our posterior. Max (maximus), Med (medius) and Min (minimus). Every now and then I refer to my children as "pains" in said posterior muscles so the nicknames are appropriate!

Max is my oldest and the tallest person in our family...6 foot and then some at age 14. He caused the longest amount of pain during the process of getting him into the world (2 1/2 hours of pushing). He was also the biggest baby at 8 lbs 7 oz. Max just started his freshman year of high school. I am way too young to have a kid in high school so I just try to convince people that I'm his older sister...I don't think anyone's buying it.

Med is the middle child and my only precious daughter. She came into the world screaming and I wasn't sure we were going to be able to co-exist in the same house until she turned 5 and accepted Jesus. (You think I'm joking don't you!) Now, at 9, she is beautiful, sweet, and caring not to mention a marvelous dancer. We share an intense love for cats and she is already starting with the Starbucks thing. Med is in a 4th/5th grade combo class this year and is loving school so far.

Min is the baby of the little squishy (Nemo anyone?). I don't know what it is about little boys - you just want to gobble them up and Min is no exception. He is gone from me all day now since he just started first grade. He is a brilliant reader at 6 and has finally lost 2 teeth. I no longer have to hear, "I'm the ONLY kid in my class who hasn't lost a tooth!"

I am sure that these 3 pains will be the fodder for many more blog posts to come. And since I don't scrapbook, perhaps this blog will serve as some record of their childhood!