Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fellowship of the Unashamed

I found this bit of inspiration on the Compassion International blog. I am using it as my New Year's resolution - it is rich with recommitment which is exactly what I need as 2008 closes out.

“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.
My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”

Friday, December 26, 2008

We had ourselves a Wii little Christmas...



One big gift was under the tree yesterday morning and has provided non-stop entertainment. Blue worked up a sweat playing Wii tennis which is great since it is too blasted cold outside to do any type of outdoor playing or exercise.
Buford discovered that if you put your camera memory card into the Wii, you can draw on and embellish various photos. He added a black goatee and devil horns to a picture of me...I'm off to plot my revenge.

Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Believe in God?

Recent news reports have shown new signs going up on buses in our nation's capitol. They say:

"Why believe in god...
Just be good for goodness sake!"

These signs are to help agnostics and atheists feel less "left out" this holiday season.

My response to that can be found by watching this video: http://www.rhchurch.org/pages/cardboard-testimonies/

I think it answers the question, "Why believe in God?" quite well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Amen and Amen

I dreaded having to tell my little guy what the outcome of the election was. My children were so aware of and so involved in this one. Not like when I was little and we just wanted the election to be over so the TV programming would go back to normal! My kids knew there was a lot at stake riding on this one. We have had the discussion over and over that it is God who is ultimately in control.
This morning Beth urges us to come up higher with these words. They echo what the Lord placed on my heart this morning...we war on our knees. The weapons of our warfare are not of this world but they are might for the demolishing of strongholds! Unity in the body and revival in our nation can only come through prayer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kingdom Coming Download

Kingdom Coming

Click the widget above to download a free song from Shaun Groves. No strings attached - you can read about his intentions here.

And remember to check in with the Compassion bloggers in the Domican Republic here.


??Happy??Election??Day??

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dominican Republic

Some of my favorite bloggers are headed to the Dominican Republic and it's not for a vacation:

November 2–7, 2008 Compassion International will take a group of bloggers to see their ministry to over 40,000 children in the Dominican Republic. Known for its resort-speckled beaches, there’s another side to this Caribbean nation unknown to most vacationers. Our bloggers will visit a city dump where families scavenge for food and clothing. They’ll tour a neighborhood where drugs are trafficked and children live beside open sewers. And bloggers will also see firsthand how Compassion International and child sponsors are bringing hope to children living in these places by releasing them from poverty in Jesus’ name.


I would like to challenge my friends and family to take a look at a couple of these blogs over the next week and see the world through another's eyes...a part of the world that is so easy to ignore. In a week where everyone's focus is going to be on the election - may I ask you to focus for just a moment on the lives of children who get their food from a garbage dump - it will put life in America into perspective for all of us. Just click on the widget in my sidebar that says Domincan Republic. That will link you to the Compassion web page for this trip and then you can click on the individual bloggers to read their stories.

I would love if you'd leave a comment here about what you've read. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election

Yep - I'm just as sick of it all as you are. Sick of getting the emails warning of conspiracy and terrorism. Sick of the TV ads and biased media reports. This election and all the hoopla, hearsay, and heresy are enough to drive one to pull her own hair out by the handfuls...if that is where we are placing our hope.

I have said to several people in the last couple of weeks that the church in America is not a bride that is ready for her groom and that what might bring unity to the body and revival to our land is persecution...

Check out Shaun's post regarding this very idea.

Ponder, then pray. If you'd like to join me in prayer and fasting on Monday, November 3rd, for the election please leave a comment and I will email you with the details.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Fun

Well since I'm here and on a roll - I'll just do another post.

To make up for the past month of no posting and all...

Last Saturday I was mowing and getting the garden torn out when the neighborhood kids decided to rake up the leaves in our front yard.

Now this might look like your ordinary pile of leaves...


But look who pops out in the next frame:

Next it was Blue's turn to get buried:






Then they all decided it would be great fun for me to take pictures of them with just their faces poking out of the leaves:


Here are Min and Dan.



Here are Blue and Miss S.


Fall is Fun!!!




Oh My - It Has Been Awhile

I'm sure all three of you who read this blog are wondering what in the world has happened to me since my last post of Sept. 20. Well, let me try to catch you up:


1. I took over as treasurer for the PTO of our elementary school. This in itself doesn't seem like all that daunting of a task - however, if you add in the fact that the previous treasurer didn't keep any books, it is daunting, frustrating, time consuming and downright irritating!


2. Our dog, Duncan, of 11+ years had to be put down. The last couple weeks of his life were very sad as he became less and less able to walk and unable to eat. He is buried out on my parent's farm which is a place he loved to run around and sniff things!


3. Now for some of the fun stuff:

Max went to Homecoming. (He is in blue shirt with his date, LB. Max's buddy, "Farmboy" is in the hat with his date, LB's BF)



Min celebrated his 8th birthday last Sunday with a costume party, scavenger hunt, and 8 candles stuck into a Monster Cupcake. Woo hoo! It was great fun and beautiful weather.




And then I had him mummified so he will stay 8 forever - I'm not going to let him get any bigger! Oh no, I'm not!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Invisible Mom

A dear friend emailed this to me today. It is a blogworthy piece of writing for sure.

It all began to make sense; the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.'

That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Blessing of Starbucks

I have been severely limiting my Starbucks intake as of late. I can easily get out of control in this particular area of decadence and spend too much money. So I've almost cut back to 2 or 3 per month (Gasp, Buford - its true!)
A few weeks ago I was at our local grocery store which has a Starbucks in it. The roasty, pungent smell greeted me the moment I walked in the door but I resisted the pull of temptation and walked on past. After I'd paid for my groceries and was heading toward the car, I ran into a mom that I knew from school. She was holding two grande Starbucks cups in her hands. I smiled and said something about treating herself. She said that they had messed up her first order and made it full fat/full sugar when she wanted non-fat/sugar free. Would I like the messed up latte? - because she was going to throw it away. Oh horrors! Don't throw away a perfectly good latte! In the name of all things sacred I will save that whole milk, sugary, vanilla cup of bliss from certain trash can demise! I walked to my car savoring a warm, sweet, free blessing that I knew was straight from the Lord.
Then just this Monday, while on another grocery store excursion, I was so thirsty. I scrounged in my purse for the exact change to get an iced macchiato but when I walked in the store, I was met with the awful sight of this on a sign: "Espresso Machine Out of Order. Sorry for the Inconvenience." Bummer! I just took it to mean that I wasn't supposed to have a Starbucks that day. (You know the verse "No discipline is pleasant at the time but later yields a harvest of righteousness.") BUT later on that evening at Bible Study, my leader came in with a whole carafe of Starbucks coffee and vanilla/caramel creamer. Another blessing!
This morning, after dealing with some stressful PTO issues, I decided a pumpkin spice latte was in order. So I went to the drive-through Starbucks and placed my order. (At the same time, I was questioning if it was a good idea - since I don't want to get back on the latte-a-day plan!) After the gray-haired barrista handed me my receipt, she said, "Have a fun day! Blessings on you." Whoa, I was blessed by a barrista! But not really - I know that she was just a vessel through which came the blessing of God.
See, here is what I'm learning: I often get Starbucks (or any other treat) to bless or reward myself. But in trying to honor God in my spending, I'm fasting from something that I really enjoy. And in return, He is blessing my obedience by letting me have what I love either for free or with blessings on it! When I stop trying to bless myself, I get out of the way and allow God to bless me. That is a cool place to be.
Finally, tonight, while looking through some blogs, I found this quote and a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes that you can make at home...the blessings never cease:
“A cup of coffee, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream…such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.” - H. W. Beecher

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Something to Chew On



"There are herds of erroneous thoughts roaming across our minds, grazing upon the ever-available hay and stubble of unbelief and failure."

Quote from "The Three Battlegrounds" by Francis Frangipane

Friday, September 12, 2008

Say Hello to My New Best Friend


Today I finally broke down and bought a "store" vacuum. I've never had a "store bought" vacuum cleaner before. I've had hand-me-down Kirbys from my grandma and a Rainbow that once belonged to my mom. Pricey, super-suction vacuums sold by door-to-door salesmen who promised they would perform far superiorly to any "store bought" vacuum. But my hand-me-downs are well into their geriatric years and performance is failing. Plus they are cumbersome and heavy and I vacuum ALOT -almost everyday - some would say it's OCD - I would defend myself by saying, "We have 5 pets and I have people coming in here with wedding dresses!" I love to vacuum - it is my favorite household task. It relieves my stress and creates nice little vacuum tracks in the carpet. I believe the satisfaction of creating vacuum tracks has something to do with the farm girl in me loving straight rows of corn or perfectly swathed alfalfa. (I also like mowing the lawn for this very reason.)

Anyway - I've had my eye on the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser for some time now. (Lord knows I need some pet hair erased!) I read reviews of it on the internet and checked prices at some local stores. A few days ago a catalog from Kohls arrived in the mail. They had the Pet Hair Eraser on sale for $169 plus the little peel off coupon on the front revealed that I had an extra 30% off. It was a sign that it was time to bite the bullet and purchase that store vacuum.

And, can I just say that after its first use, I love it very much. It is easy to push - almost self-propelled feeling. And you can stop the brush from turning when you want to vacuum the hardwood floors. Plus the front edge fits all the way under the kitchen cabinets and sucks up all the little crumbs that live under there. It has this little turbo brush that did a number on my stairs - black dog + light tan carpet on the stairs=UGLY! The turbo brush got into all the little nooks and crannies and stair edges. Then there is the edge to edge cleaning - right up next to the baseboards. Oh my!! I am smitten!

How my "store bought" vacuum will hold up over time remains to be seen but right now this looks to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


PS: Dear Grace - I'm only kidding about the best friend thing. A vacuum could never replace you - unless maybe it also made fresh guacamole while vacuuming - but so far no one has thought that up. Your BFF status is very safe!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Saintana

A couple of months ago, I signed up to be a Compassion blogger along with over 250 other folks. I didn't hear anything from them for the longest time - I began to think that maybe they only picked the really cool bloggers and I hadn't made the cut! Can you say blog insecurity?? However, that was not the case at all - they were simply getting organized in order to have a measurable impact via the blogging community. So this week the marching orders for us "first class Compassion bloggers" have been handed out and our initial assignment is to introduce our readers to our own Compassion child.


Please meet Miss Saintana Civil of Haiti. Saintana has been my Compassion child since the spring of 2004 when our former church held a Compassion Sunday event complete with video presentations and a table stacked with photo cards of children who were available for sponsorship.

So, why out of all those stacks of photographs, did I choose Saintana? Well, first of all, I knew that I wanted a child from Haiti. Our church was directly sending missionaries to Haiti and some families in our church had also adopted Haitian children. It seemed like that was the area of the world we had chosen to impact. Secondly, (and this is the craziest thing) when I looked at her photo, she reminded me of my great grandmother. The simple cotton dress, the tightly pulled back hair and a seriousness to her expression that revealed a life that had been hard. I was just instantly drawn to her and knew that she was the one.

I cried the first time I received a letter from Saintana. It made my sponsorship of her seem suddenly very real. This wasn't just some money that left the checking account each month but a real child, who loves to sing and who prays God's blessings for me. The letters from Saintana are written by one of her teachers in French Creole. I can only read one word in that language but that is really the only one I need to know: Jezi (Jesus). In a country rampant with voodoo, Saintana knows about and loves Jesus because of Compassion.

It is hard to believe that four years have past since I first sponsored Saintana. Four years of her photo hanging on my refrigerator and four years of praying for God to watch over her. It is fortunate for Saintana that her serious little face caught my attention in 2004. But there are many more children who have not been so fortunate and are in great need of sponsorship. Some have been waiting more than six months - they are on the outside looking in - waiting for someone to give them hope for a better life.

Please take some time to learn about Compassion by clicking on the links in this post. Then take a look here at the photos of some kids who have been waiting the longest for sponsorship. Who knows, one of them might remind you of your great something or other! Sponsoring that child really will make them a part of your family and most importantly give them an opportunity to learn about how to become a member of God's forever family.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Gold Medal Mom


I, along with the rest of the world, am completely taken with Michael Phelps. Not because of the eight gold medals, the billions of dollars in endorsements, or even the muscles...I am taken with him because he loves his mom. And he's not afraid to tell the world that he loves his mom and she returns in kind here.

As a mother of two boys, I treasure that relationship and I think Debbie Phelps has a great philosophy -

But when asked how she resisted the urge to be a stage parent, Debbie said, “I wasn’t a pusher. I just always let the coaches do their jobs. My job was to be Michael’s mom.”

We don't have to hover and control every aspect of our kid's lives. We need to pray for them like crazy and be there for the good times and the bad. It is easy to get out of balance in this area and try to get our child into the limelight or push them beyond what is reasonable. Let's let coaches coach, let God be God, and take our place as moms...praying, loving, supporting, cooking, driving, hugging, tucking in and cheering on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You might be a Seamstress...

Last night Buford and I were watching a show that featured the funniest commercials aired during the Olympics. In between commercials we were discussing a certain convention that is taking place in a certain city very near our town. (Buford actually took this week off of work so he could avoid it - he is a very discerning man!)

Anyway, I had to stop and interrupt our deep political conversation to comment on the host's dress on the TV:

"I'm sorry to interrupt you honey, but do you see that dress? It looks like someone cut holes in a white pillowcase and stuck it over her torso - and too small of holes at that, because do you see those puckers around her armpits - that means the armholes are too small. And it looks like someone shaved down a black poodle and then glued the trimmings to her collar. I bet they paid over $500 bucks for that dress! That's horrible!"

Never mind about the potentially disastrous presidential election, poorly fitting clothes on television hosts should truly be on some one's agenda!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My New Website

If you have a small business and have never been to VistaPrint.com, you are missing out. It is an easy to navigate website where you can design your own business cards and other promotional material. They have websites available for less than $5.00/month.

I've been working on a website for Cinde Exclusives this week and I hope you'll visit it and then give me suggestions on how I might improve. Dress designer, yes...website designer, no. It's simple and basic but I think being on the internet is crucial for customers being able to find me.
Click here to take a look: http://sewingbycinde.vpweb.com/default.html and let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Collaborate

Collaborate: To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.

Each summer (for the past several) my niece and I have collaborated on her 4-H clothing projects. I'm happy to help, especially when I think of the hundreds of hours that my Auntie M. spent helping me with my projects.

Twinkletoes (my niece) is more of an artist than a seamstress, so she enters a division called "artistic clothing". Here is how our collaborative efforts work: (like how I can use different forms of the word collaborate - just to tie in with the title?)

1. Twinkletoes chooses a pattern and buys some plain white silk.

2. I cut out the pattern using her appropriate measurements and then send the pieces back to her.

3. She uses her special artistic magic, some dyes and some resist to create all kinds of unique designs on the fabric.

4. Twinkletoes sends the now colorful pieces back to me and I stitch them together to create her masterpiece.

Here is a photo of this year's creation:


Grand Champion, Artistic Clothing division.

I love it when a joint intellectual effort comes together!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Veggies of Glory

Now Buford, even though he is a pork rind munching type of guy, will eat his veggies every night. Tonight I concocted a mixture of zucchini, corn and onions to go alongside our pork chops. When Min asked what it was, Buford dubbed it "Veggies of Glory." Dang, he must of liked them. I was just trying to think up some new way to use all the zucchini that is filling up my crisper drawers!
So if your garden is prolific in zucchini or if you haven't had any veggies worthy of the term glory lately, here is the recipe:

Veggies of Glory
1 T. olive oil
1 large or 2 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen or fresh cut-off the cob sweet corn
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini and onion, saute until they begin to get tender. Add corn and continue sauteing until corn is crisp tender (about 5 minutes). Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Pesky Little Brother

Other than Buford and me, I'm not sure two people could be more opposite than my little brother and I were growing up. (Maybe God was preparing me?)

He liked to be outside, preferably on a tractor or taking one apart and reassembling it.
I preferred to be inside, reading a book or sewing something.

He liked the egg white.
I liked the egg yolk. (Nice for Mom, she only had to cook one egg!)

He liked playing farm.
I liked playing Barbies. (Sometimes my Barbies would live on the farm - you learn to compromise.)

He liked Dr. Pepper.
I detested the stuff and preferred Pepsi. (still do)

He was always making me "late" to school (ie: getting there a minute before the bell rang.)
I always tried to be early to school so I could socialize (usually with a boy.)

He liked to procrastinate and mess around before getting our chores done.
I liked to get our chores done first and then play.

He liked Chocolate Ice Cream.
I liked Vanilla Ice Cream...or any flavor other than chocolate.

His bedroom was in the basement.
Mine was upstairs.
(Until baby sister & the fire came along - now neither one of us has a bedroom at Mom & Dad's.)

These days, we have a few more things in common...we're both parents of teenagers and we both love Jesus. (Think those two need to go hand in hand - help us Lord!) We agree that Qdoba rocks and that ColdStone is the best ice cream on the planet.

AND AS OF TODAY, WE ARE BOTH OVER 40!!


You are officially old - join the club!

Happy Birthday, pesky little brother!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

For Your Listening Enjoyment...

The kids and I listen to WayFM in the car constantly. They've been playing a new song "I'm Letting Go" by Francesca Battistelli. Blue and I decided to download it to our ipods but when we listened to other selections off her CD, we had to get the whole thing.

A beautiful young woman with a message of grace...check it out for yourself!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Need to Laugh?

Just when I begin to take life too seriously, Buford emails me something like this...laughter is the best medicine!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Delusions


Delusions. Does anyone else suffer from those?
Going on mountain hikes, having dinner on the patio, taking walks with my kids, teaching my youngest multiplication, recovering seats on outdoor chairs, writing insightful and witty blog posts...these are some of my summer delusions. Things I believe I will have plenty of time to accomplish during long, warm days...things I dream about in May and then wonder about in September.
It is now the 21st of July. And while I haven't accomplished anything off of my list of delusions, the summer hasn't been a complete loss. My zucchini plants are producing well and some baby cantaloupes are on the vine. My kids are loving their summer sporting/dance activities and we have begun a redesign on Blue's room.
School will be starting in less than one month...I can already smell the bouquets of sharpened pencils (line from my favorite movie - can you guess which one?). It is time for a whole new set of delusions to begin...like how much work I can cram into the 6+ hours that the kids are at school and still have homemade cookies waiting for them when they return.
One can always dream...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goin' Green?



There is a great post over at the LPM Blog about how Christianity fits into the new trend of "green". Nice job Melissa for bringing some truth and balance to the subject.
Are you doing anything to be a better steward of the planet? For me it has been mostly financially motivated ie: fewer trips in the car due to gas prices. I've also become more aware of not wasting water - fewer rinse cycles in the washer, shutting off faucet when brushing teeth, etc. I'm sure there is more that I can do...would love to hear what you do!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Cookie Nemesis

There are certain foods - I'm sure for all of us - that fall under the category of "you can't eat just one". Or more likely, "you can't eat just 20".

Take buttered, salted popcorn for instance. Once my hand starts scooping that crispy goodness from bowl to mouth, there is no stopping until the bowl is empty...except for an occasional sip of Pepsi. Popcorn is one of my "consume all you can in one sitting" foods. Qdoba's chips and queso dip also fall under this category.

Then, there are foods that I will nibble on all day long. These are treats that are easily accessible in my kitchen that I can grab a bite of every time I pass by. M&M's, brownies, and cherry pie fall into the genre of tempters who bid me to taste a tiny little piece whenever I come within a 10 ft. radius.

However, there is something currently sitting on my counter that could fall within both categories. My heavens, I can't stop myself, I want them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Apricot Bars!

I got the recipe here at The Pioneer Woman. They are reminiscent of a cookie I made in 4-H while in search of a "healthy snack" to enter in the county fair. I don't believe these buttery, crumbly, delectable bars are the least bit healthy, but they do have some oats in them to clean the butter out of your arteries.

Try them, I guarantee you can't eat just one...

or fifty.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I am getting all adventurous in the bloggy kingdom and am now going to attempt participating in a blog carnival of sorts called "Works for Me Wednesday". Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer hosts this weekly festival of helpful hints. Sometimes there is a theme and sometimes it's just a free-for-all of tips with everything from toilet training to remedies for stinky towels!

This week the theme is 5 ingredient or less recipes. So here goes:

Broccoli/Cauliflower Summer Salad
1 head of broccoli, cut into small flowerettes
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small flowerettes
2 tomatoes, chopped or 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup of cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
Ranch dressing (at least 1/2 cup)

Place all vegetables and cheese cubes into a large bowl, pour in 1/2 cup Ranch dressing and toss to coat. Depending on the size of your broccoli and cauliflower heads, you might need to add more dressing. The salad shouldn't be swimming in the dressing, just nicely coated. Chill salad in refrigerator for a couple hours before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shackles

Sometimes you just have to get your groove on
and this song does it for me every time:


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Isaiah 58:6-9

From the NIV:
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"
From the Message:
This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Preparing to Pray with Compassion

Compassion International is not a global feeding program. It is focused on holistic development of children through local church communities. In their words: Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

Children are often fed at the Compassion centers but that is not their only focus. So when a famine or food crisis occurs in various countries, the Compassion children are not immune from that problem. Here is some more information about the current crisis:

How has the global food crisis affected Compassion families?
The global food crisis is forcing poor families to spend more of their household budgets on food, leaving little for anything else. In Bangladesh more than 90 percent of the 12,179 children we serve in 82 Compassion-assisted centers are affected. Many children are eating only at the church-based center. Compassion Haiti estimates it will need at least $2 million and up to $6 million to feed the 60,000 registered children and their families over the next few months.

What can I do to help fight the global food crisis?
Join Compassion's Day of Prayer and Fasting on June 25, 2008. This is the day we will honor the victims of the global food crisis and pray for them.

Along with praying and fasting consider giving to Compassion's Global Food Crisis Fund. Your gift will help provide:
1. food vouchers to children and families needing immediate relief.
2. seeds and agricultural tools so that families can grow their own food as well as earn extra income.
3. supplemental nutrition services offered at Compassion-assisted centers around the world.

More from Cinde:
Yesterday, I threw away some leftovers that had lived in the refrigerator past their safety of consumption date: macaroni salad, wilted lettuce, bbq brisket, watery sour cream. I used to think nothing of it - I simply wanted a clean refrigerator - but lately the Lord has been bringing to my heart the reality that I just threw away more than some might have eaten in an entire day or days. I know I can't package up the near rotten food and send it to Haiti - but I can be a more careful steward with my grocery money and a little more forceful at getting my kids to eat leftovers instead of wasting them. And in doing that, there will be more resources available in my checkbook to help a child someplace else whose stomach is growling at this very moment.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Global Food Crisis

For those of you who received my email and have committed to pray and fast, or those who are still thinking about it, I am going to provide some more information over the next couple of days to prepare our hearts for what exactly we are praying about. This information comes from the Compassion website:

What is the global food crisis?
The World Food Programme calls the global food crisis a phenomenon, a "silent tsunami," that is affecting families in every nation on every continent. Food prices for popular menu items like rice, wheat and beans have doubled in the last year. Though increases in food prices have hit all budgets, it's the poor who bear the brunt of price inflation. The higher prices are forcing people who survive on just $1 a day to spend upwards of 80 percent of their budgets just on food. As a result, many people, including millions of children, are going hungry. The longer food prices rise, the more people will be plunged into hunger and poverty.

Why is the global food crisis happening?
Food shortages have affected developing countries for generations. It's a cyclical problem. But this global food crisis is more rapid, urgent and devastating. Since 2005, food prices have risen a whopping 80 percent.
Why?
1. rising fuel costs
2. rising food demand from populous nations like India and China
3. natural disasters destroying crop yields all over the world, including the United States
4. growth of biofuels

Tomorrow I will post more about how the food crisis impacts Compassion children. Until then here is a verse to meditate on:

Joel 2:12 "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dear Friends,

Please click here to view a message from Wess Stafford of Compassion International regarding a day of prayer and fasting for the global food crisis. (Wednesday, June 25)

Americans are upset because gas is nearing $5.00 a gallon but we still don't have to eat dirt cookies just to have something to fill our stomachs:


If you've never heard of Compassion International please click here and take a look at their website. If you've heard of them but have not sponsored a child, please prayerfully consider it.

In the coming weeks I will post more about Compassion and our Compassion Child, Saintana, who lives in Haiti - one of the areas hardest hit by the rising food prices.

If you will be joining me next Wednesday to pray and fast, please let me know in the comments.

Blessings,
Cinde

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The View from Behind the Fence


Min at bat.


Min crossing home plate.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Redneck Town

I would like to add to Jeff Foxworthy's repertoire:

You might be a redneck town if you have...

a hotel named the "Cow Palace"

a used car lot called the "Car Palace"

and a liquor store called the "Booze Palace"


Lamar, Colorado you are officially a redneck town!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whassup?

Well, obviously the blogging time is going to be a bit on the short side this summer. I've been lucky to get in one post per week! So here's a little recap of what has been going on with us:

SUMMER - The season that brings a mix of yard work, gardening, dog shedding, wedding gowns, kids bored, kids hungry, and rodeos.

MIN - is playing coach-pitched baseball and is pretty proud of his "arm". He can throw pretty far and accurately for a skinny child who is made up of knees and elbows!

BLUE - had her end of the year dance recital last weekend. She did great, awesome, amazing... She will be starting a dance intensive in a couple of weeks (9 hours per week) - she is very excited! I taught her how to iron Buford's shirts yesterday - told her I'd pay her $.50/shirt. So far she has earned $1.00. Perhaps a trip to Famous Footwear would motivate her to iron like the wind!

MAX - has a job painting fence and hoeing weeds. YES! The stuff every teen summer should be made of. We are heading out tomorrow for Colorado High School Rodeo Finals in the lovely city of Lamar. Should be fun and probably hot!

BUFORD - is trying to get his new job all figured out and many days has to put on the firefighter hat to settle all sorts of emergencies and drama.

GRANDMA's - My grandmas have given me much to think about lately. Grandma J broke her hip a couple weeks ago and we came close to losing her from some internal bleeding. She has Alzheimer's and was very confused about where she was and what had happened to her. But she recognized all the family members who came to visit her.
Grandma R just had a big shindig to celebrate her 90th birthday. I told my cousin, "There are a lot of old people here, but grandma isn't one of them!"
The aging process is so fickle - why do some age poorly and others, like my Grandma R, age gracefully? I've been racking my brain to find the secret ingredient to aging well. Nutrition, genetics, environment, prayer??? Both grandmas lived clean, healthy, hardworking lives so what is the deal?? In the great genetic pool of probability I am faced with both extremes and it is bothersome to me.

ME - when I'm not dealing with everything in the categories above, I've been trying to do a little reading: Do Hard Things, The Shack, and No Other Gods. Hopefully when I finish them I can do a little book review post. While I sew I've been listening to John Piper...amazing guy. Really challenges me to think about complacency in the church. I think one of his books will be next on my list.

There's a little taste of our summer so far...no guarantee when I will post next and it is definitely time for some photos...I'll work on that!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Soothing Trauma

This afternoon, Blue was eating some Bing Cherries when she accidentally bit into a pit and one of her molars fell out. We looked at a dental chart on the internet and called the dentist, unable to decide whether or not this was a tooth that should have fallen out. The dentist suggested that we come in so he could check it out. Many tears, many questions about numbing and shots, and an hour and a half later, an x-ray showed that the lost tooth was a baby one and a new one was on it's way up.

Oh the trauma! When they were babies it was easy to fix their boo-boos with a kiss and they were unaware of what a doctor might do, so there was little worrying and fretting about potential needles and pain. You could console them with some warm milk and a blankie. Today, I chose to console with Cold Stone. (ie: the Ultimate Ice Cream Experience.)

It was pure ice creamy goodness - like none other on the planet. Complete with a mohawk wearing, ice cream tossing, spoon juggling, tip singing server. YUM!

If it's been awhile since you've checked your style...

don't ask a seven year old, "How Do I Look?"

When I came downstairs this morning, Min said, "Haven't I seen you wear that for 3 days now?"

In my defense I said, "You must be thinking about my other gray yoga pants!"

Clearly it is time to shake things up a bit in the wardrobe department, so I put on my black yoga capris with the blue stitching.

Oh, yeah...I am daring with the fashion!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some People Change

I don't usually watch CMT or listen to much country music. It's just a sure ticket to get my head thinking in the wrong direction. However, every now and then, a country song will come along that speaks some truth. I love how this Montgomery Gentry video gives credit for change where credit is due. Without coming right out and saying it, it is pretty clear that a tent revival is going on and that God is responsible for the changes made in these people's lives. Amen and Amen!
YouTube won't allow this video to be embedded so just copy and paste this link to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw6Z54FmZ1U

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So...

My original plan for today's blog was to post some pictures of the kid's field day at school. But, umm, there were some weather issues that are going to pre-empt that post. Mainly this tornado...



which I practically drove through. I was in Platteville on my way to pick up Max when it went through that area. There was hail like I'd never experienced. And after the hail there was a cow (injured and wandering in the highway) and a horse running loose up the highway and this truck...



I drove right past it after it had overturned. Honestly it was like being dropped right in the middle of a scene from "Twister". It was surreal and I am so thankful that I had stopped for a few minutes hoping the storm would pass. Otherwise I might have been smack dab in the middle of it. Scary stuff!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shoveling

I often read Christian recording artist, Shaun Grove's Blog (Shlog). This is a piece of his writing that really hit me today...

The great American prophet Stephen King writes“...stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel **** from a sitting position.”

Shaun continues: A “God thing”, I’m relearning is not necessarily a thing of less resistance than the thing you already know today. God’s way is not necessarily the way I feel most confident in or the most qualified to take. It’s not necessarily the quickest, smoothest, clearest, most reassuring thing.

Oh boy, did I ever need to hear that today! Thanks to my fake friend Shaun for speakin' some truth. Now, I'd better get back to shoveling.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cleaning off my desk...

At the bottom of the pile of papers on my desk, I found some sermon quotes that I had written down a few months ago. I don't want to forget the quotes but I do want to throw away the paper...must decrease clutter...it is my mission!

Solution is to put the quotes here and then put the paper in File 13.

At the bottom of Bach's manuscripts were the letters "SDG": They stood for Soli Deo Gloria meaning To God Alone be the Glory.

"Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
Westminster Catechism 1640

AMEN!

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

Here's a little photo journal of the life of cats at our house:








They have pretty much taken over the place as you can see!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Some Confessions and a Vent

Maybe if I write about this, I can get it out of my brain and then get some work and dinner done!
Confession 1: I have let my children out of the car while double-parked in the school parking lot...on more than one occasion. This happens because there are cars parked in the drop-off area and traffic ahead of me in the "moving" lane is stopped. To wait until the traffic moves and I can make the loop again would cause my children to be tardy. And, if police were on the scene, I would deserve a ticket for it.
Confession 2: Nothing brings me to the point of road rage type frustration more than the school parking lot. I don’t like feeling forced to choose between breaking a rule or having my kids be late. Is it because I'm a stickler for following rules? Probably not. If that were true I wouldn't have had to make confession #1. Perhaps it is the lack of common courtesy that enrages me? Common courtesy says that if you are in the drop-off lane and your child has exited the car, you don't sit there and talk on your cell phone for 5 more minutes while obstructing traffic. Common courtesy parks in the parking lot when you need to go into the school building instead of leaving your car unattended in the drop-off zone. So are the violators those who double park or those who camp out in a No Parking Drop-Off Zone???
Switching gears a bit, common sense (really nothing to do with courtesy) says that you don't put your child in danger just so you can get them picked up from school faster. This isn't a double parking issue but a crossing the street where there is no crossing while parked in a No Parking Zone issue. Which leads to my next confession:
Confession 3: I almost hit a child while driving up the road to school this afternoon. It was a child I know, whose mother I know and dearly love. However, this mother is choosing to park in a No Parking Zone and have her child run (between parked cars) across the street. She darted out from in front of a parked SUV right in front of my van. If I'd have been going the speed limit (I was going slower) I would have smashed her.
Vent: I was upset when I retrieved my children so a teacher came to check on me. I told her what had happened and she suggested that I report it to the principal and also the police. (The road that the child ran across is a city street and under police jurisdiction.) She said that the police had recently been at the school cracking down on the double parking issue. (See Confession #1). I was too upset to talk to the principal - at that moment I would have been sobbing and embarrassing my own children! So I drove home and calmed down and made my call to the police station. Officer So and So could really not have been any more disinterested in what had happened. He even had the audacity to say, "Well, did you hit her?" (I wish I would have said, "Yep, and she is still laying there in the street...here's your sign!!) But I didn't and he could tell by my silence that I was fuming. "Is there anything else I can do for you ma'am?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact, you can not just blow me off!" I really did say that (to a police officer) and then proceeded to tell him how we had meetings with other officers, school crossing guards, the principal, and city planners last year about this very issue and nothing is being done.
Bottom line is, do we really give a flip that our school parking lot is an accident waiting to happen? After all, there are meth labs and presidential elections and gas prices to worry about. Do a few violations in a parking lot really matter in the grand scheme of all there is to be up-in-arms about? To me they do. They matter because today I could have hit a precious child who I adore. A precious child who has been at my house for play dates. (I have sewn patches on this little one's Brownie vest for heaven's sake.) And for the rest of my life I might have had to live with the fact that I injured or even killed a child because a simple parking lot rule was ignored. To me that matters. I hope to her mother it matters. I wish it mattered more to the people who make the rules and now fail to enforce them.

Comments

Just a little administrative note:

I've had to turn on "Comment Moderation". This means that if you leave me a comment it won't appear right away in the comment section. I have to "approve" the comment first and then it will appear. So all of you nice friends will see your comments eventually appear. All of you evil "friends" who try to send me viruses or weird links in your comments, well, you are going in the trash.

That is all...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She's a Good Girl, Loves Her Mama


This morning I was walking and praising along with Travis Cottrell when my ipod suddenly flipped to Tom Petty's "Free Fallin". I just love how the first lines of the song describe my blue-eyed girl and her kitty whose name is Elvis...

"She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
Shes a good girl, crazy bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too"

Well, except the boyfriend part. She's not allowed to have one of those until she's 33...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Begin the Music


Max is helping to lead worship at Cowboy Church this morning (at his rodeo in Eagle).

Several of us pitched in to get him an acoustic guitar for Christmas this year and he has "bonded" with it to say the least. He can pick and sing a mean "Folsom Prison Blues" and lots of Chris Ledoux, but he has also added some Skillet and Third Day into the mix. (That's what he will do this morning - not Johnny Cash :-) )

How many emotions can a mother have at one time?? Pride, joy, fear...

I've been trying to pray for him but it comes out more like begging:

"Please Lord, please let it be a positive experience so that he will want to do it again."

"Please help a 15 year old see that worship is all about You and for You and not so much about him. "

Psalm 81:1-2: Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's Just Not Every Day...

*Disclaimer*: This post is not for the faint of stomach!


Okay girlfriends, let's face it, when it comes to getting grossed out, we females are usually on the receiving end.

Like when my little punk brother went duck hunting and then proceeded to chase me around our parents' house with the dead mallard - all the while squeezing it's throat so it would quack at me.

There was my first trip into a fraternity house in college where the carpets wreaked of spilled and rotting beer - that's a smell that just never quite leaves the memory.

And the time when I was pregnant with Blue and Buford was producing some kind of green methane fog under the covers. I had a meeting with Ralph that evening if you know what I mean.

And most recently, when my loving Buford (who works in the meat industry) said, "Hey honey do you want to see some pictures from a slaughter house in Iraq?"
"Will I be grossed out?"
"Probably." he answered.
I wanted to be a supportive wife so I looked: EEEWWWWW! (shudder)

But tonight...tonight I believe I may have turned the tables a bit. It was innocent enough. I just asked Buford to help me empty some trash cans that were too heavy for me to lift into the dumpster. The backdraft of the odor from the contents of the trash cans had him gagging and retching in the backyard. I should have warned him to hold his breath but I believe the chuckle I got was worth it. Suddenly the shoe was on the other foot and the "ungross-out-able" one was thoroughly grossed out!

Would you like my recipe? Let's call it "Trash Can Stew" and here's how to make it:

60 pounds of grass clippings and pulled weeds
20 pounds of dog poop
5 or 6 overgrown summer squash from the garden
A piece of broken soaker hose

Beginning in late summer, place the above ingredients into 2 large Rubbermaid Trash bins. Pack down real good in case there is room for some various other ingredients like leaves or mushy tomatoes. Fill the trash cans so heavily that it becomes impossible for you to lift them into the dumpster or carry to the curb for pick-up. Then, in the fall, forget to ask your husband or significant yard person, to help you with the cans. Allow the trashcans to sit out beside your fence for the entire winter while every rain and snow contributes to the moisture content of the Trash Can Stew. Then, when spring clean-up comes around, very sweetly say, "Honey, can you help me dump these trash cans? They are just too heavy for me to lift." Hold your breath but don't let him in on that little secret. The fumes are sure to trigger a quick gag response. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Free

I have a family member who has "done time". He went to jail when he was barely 18. Then, due to a minor mishap that violated his parole, he was sent back a second time. At that point he decided to serve out his full sentence so that when he was done - he was done.

I saw him last month for the first time in several years. His formerly shaved head, replaced by a gorgeous mane of hair. The scrawny frame of his youth, now filled out and muscular. His rebellious and dark teenage angst, replaced by quiet politeness.

We didn't have a whole lot of time to talk, surrounded by family as we were. But my mind has been awhirl ever since with the many things that I would like to say to him.

First thing would be: I have been there. No, I've never been locked up in an actual prison but I have been in a spiritual and emotional one. I have screwed up royally and regretted it. I have acted impulsively and then instantly been awash with the horror of what I'd done. I have been trapped in a cell of wrong thinking and destructive behavior. If God's book were the standard by which we were judged, and not the legal codes that govern cities and states, I would deserve more than one life sentence - if not the death penalty. I would like you to know that you are not the only one in the family with a history, not the only one who made some big mistakes.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

Secondly, I would ask you to not live in regret. Regret causes you to walk backward, live in the past, and repay for the crime again and again. Regret is like a constant emotional flogging that robs you of hope for the future. Regret says that we hold the keys to our own destiny and we have hopelessly ruined it. Regret is the belief that we have made more of a mess than God can clean up and we have blown it beyond repair. It tells us that, with that kind of past, we really can't expect anything good to ever happen to us. There is a way to turn around and walk forward away from regret and that is to choose to believe what God says over what your past says:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Next, I would say: Even though the cell door has been unlocked, there are some who would like to keep you imprisoned. But when you've owned up to your mistakes and taken the punishment for the offense, it's time to walk out of the cell and into freedom. The world wants you to wear the label of who you were emblazoned across your chest for all to see: "Felon" - "Sinner" - "Divorced".... scarlet letters that loudly declare our guilt. The problem is, if we believe we are what those labels say, then that is what we will continue to be. You see, I could do nothing to earn penance for my vast array of sins. I finally crawled to the cross and laid each one of them down. I sat there at Jesus feet until He declared me pardoned. Then I began to see what His Word said I was. The power of His truth peeled off those ugly labels one by one and replaced them with new ones: "Forgiven", "Redeemed", "Loved". Today I walk free, without shame, without regret, without accusation because I did some time at the foot of the cross and believe that Jesus' forgiveness and pardon is real and without limitation. I hope you can learn to walk in freedom too.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (The Message)

Finally I would say: Dear one, I love you. I believe in you. I believe that God has good plans for your life, that He has given you special gifts and talents and He wants to help you discover those. I think that you are through with childish things and I believe that you grew into a man while behind those bars. That's what I see when I look at you now. I am praying for you and have faith that my God is powerfully able to answer those prayers!


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20

April Goes Out with a Roar

April 2008 will not go down in history as one of the best months of my life. In fact this morning I found myself in Psalm 42 asking: "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?"
Recounting the major and minor events of the month, I suppose I had reason to be downcast and disturbed:

April 1: I began doing business back at home, no longer in the cute and convenient little room at the Green Pear. This change was a mix of sadness at saying goodbye to spending everyday with my BFF and frustration at trying to make a home with children and pets suitable for wedding gowns and business clients.

April 11: My dear sweet Father-in-law passed away suddenly. We were thrown into a whirlwind of preparation to travel quickly to Tennessee. The pause button on life was pressed for two weeks as we spent time with our family. A strange blend of joy and grief at the same time.

April 24: The drive home was full of sniffling, blowing, & sneezing...we were all at different stages in some sort of head cold!

April 25: We arrived back in Colorado to find all pets and house intact. I rushed to do laundry and unpack because Buford was flying out Monday to West Virginia for training for his new job. (Yes, Buford started a new job in April - it's a good thing but still adding a bit to the stress of life.) We discovered that an underground pipe for our sprinkler system had broken. Brown grass for awhile longer.

April 28: Max didn't have school so I picked him up for a bit of shopping and lunch in a nearby town. While backing out of a parking space I heard a loud scraping sound. Another car was backing out at the same time at a weird angle and neither one of us saw each other. No one at fault, just some paint scraped off the bumpers. Dang it!

April 29: I was in the midst of wedding alterations before we had to go to TN. Today, a sweet woman who ordered a bridesmaid gown 4 months ago and then found out she was expecting, came for her fitting. Big baby bump! We were about 4 inches from the zipper closing with seam allowances of only 1/4"! Yikes, what to do????

April 30: Using the matching shawl that came with the bridesmaid gown, I made a gusset for the back of the dress and reinserted the zipper...then prayed...because the wedding is Saturday and if this didn't work, it was going to take hours to re-do it.
Shortly before midnight, I managed to pull a three-drawered Rubbermaid container off the top shelf of the closet down onto my head! The drawers were filled with spools of thread that I had carefully arranged and color-coded. Not only did I have a bump on my head but thread went everywhere, unrolling as it fell. I wanted to cry but I knew crying would do no good - I put away the thread and went to bed.

Which brings us back to this morning, May 1 and Psalm 42. I think the Lord knew I'd about had enough because, in the newness of His mercies, this is today so far:
1. It is snowing - clean and wet - starting a new month afresh.
2. The bride and pregnant bridesmaid came for their final fitting. Praise you Jesus - both dresses zipped up and fit perfectly!
3. After dropping the kids at school this song came on the radio and it lifted my spirits high. After all - that stuff in April - it was only the world.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Fine Line

When I was in college, I scheduled an appointment with a photographer to have a portrait made. I had in mind something classic and elegant, not unlike the senior portraits that were taken in the 1960's, with a pearl necklace and a little bit of shoulder showing:

I intended on it being very Audrey Hepburn but was in for a surprise when I looked at the finished photos and saw this:

At that point in life, I was too nonconfrontational to tell the photographer that what I had in mind was "vintage" and not "vixen" so I just paid for the pictures and left.

I believe that there is a fine line between art and trash - often a blurry and subjective line. It's definitely a line that Hollywood continually pushes to the limit. I think today Miss Miley Cyrus finds herself right smack dab on that line and she is feeling the heat. So in her defense, I would say to her, "Even us God-loving girls with good intentions can become subject to someone else's view of art."

What I would like to say to her parents is: "Expecting Vanity Fair to not push the boundaries of propriety is like expecting McDonald's to care about your child's obesity. It's all about the money. Get a clue people!"


There comes a point when photographic art becomes less like Anne Geddes:



And more like Hugh Heffner:

As Christians and as parents, let's be careful to not let anyone, even an "artist", lead our girls across that line.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Home Again

We arrived back in Colorado Friday evening. It was good to be home and in our own beds again! The cats were thrilled to see us and tolerated much more affection than usual. Relief to be home, however, soon gave way to the overwhelming task of unpacking and laundry. Buford and kids acquired some kind of cold virus en route that requires mass quantities of Kleenex to be consumed...I won't say more. While we are trying to regroup, I will leave you with a beautiful photo from our trip. I am jealous of the South's ability to be green and lush with basically no effort on the part of humankind to make it that way.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

An Unexpected Trip

John 11:25-26: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

The "Barefoot" family is heading to Tennessee today. Early Friday morning we got word that Buford's father had passed away. It was that 2:00 a.m. phone call that you never want to get. We are on somewhat of "autopilot" trying to get ready for a trip that normally takes me two weeks to prepare for. So we covet your prayers for safe travel (we are driving) and spiritual strength to minister and be gracious once we get there.

If the East TN internet can handle blogger, I might get a post or two done while we are there...if not, we'll be back in a couple weeks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Break '08 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The "Good" was helping Papa celebrate his 65th birthday!



The "Bad" was 2 of Min's teeth needing a root canal and caps:




The "Ugly" was Blue-Eyed's toe after ingrown toenail surgery:



The fun - it never ends around here!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Humoristico

Jo - this made me think of you!
Grace - you need to show this one to Dust:


Monday, April 7, 2008

This is only a test

Guess what I just found! Dummies Guide to Blogging! And I finally found instructions for how to do links.

Let's try one for a test:

Click on Beth to go to the Living Proof Website.

Eureka! Sweet Niblets it works! You can teach a 40+ year old dog new tricks!

Well, Hello...

There are a few blogs out in the great "blog-o-sphere" that I read everyday. Nobody that I know personally, just some fellow moms who do a brilliant job of writing about their daily lives. They are witty and practical and sometimes downright hilarious. (If I knew what I was doing, I would put some links to their blogs right _______ here...but I haven't found that "Blogging for Idiots" book yet.) Anyway, I check in on these bloggy folks daily, and if they haven't posted anything new, then I am disappointed. You know, it's just really important to find out what your "fake" friends have been up to! So I imagine that all 3 of you who read this blog have been somewhat disappointed about my lack of posting as of late.
Well, I have a couple of excuses. They are called "Life" and "Spring Break".
"Life" is me trying to get readjusted to working back at home without staying in my pajamas and eating M&M's all day. Let's just say the "depression monster" has wanted to rear its ugly head. While being at home has its advantages (I can listen to Beth Moore all day as I work and get laundry done at the same time), I miss my room at the Pear and I miss seeing my best buddy everyday. (It also seems like more of an infringement when I clean up the house in anticipation of a client coming and then they are a no show. At the Pear, I didn't have to lint roller couches and clean doggie nose prints off the windows!) So when I feel like eating M&M's in my pajamas all day, I don't really want to blog about it because it might scare all my 3 readers away! Oh, that's the blog of gloom and doom...run away!
"Spring Break" for Blue and Min was last week and they got new Webkinz on Monday. Webkinz are stuffed animals that have a virtual world on the internet. The kids create homes, feed, and play games with these critters. They can even invite their friends with Webkinz to visit them in their virtual Webkinz world. Yea, it's weird. But not evil weird - just "techie" weird. What we used to do with dolls they are now doing on the computer. So every extra minute (when we weren't getting root canals and ingrown toenail surgery) was spent in their respective Webkinz Worlds. Surprisingly, they didn't fight over the computer but little time was left for Mom to blog.
So those are my excuses. I've missed everyone...leave me a comment to let me know you are still here. I'll eat some M&M's while I wait!
*update* I figured out how to do links!!!
Here are some of my favorite blogs...click on any of these to meet my "fake" friends: