Wordless Wednesday - Tall Couple

If I stood by them, I might reach a third to a half way up the calf. For more WW, go here


Word Cloud

Hey, I have a word cloud. While I've seen them before, I didn't know what they were called nor how to have one of my very own. Now thanks to Barb, I have the inside scoop. Just head over to SnapShirts and click on "custom" to get one for yourself.

You know, sometimes it's the little things that make life fun!


Elizabeth Bennet

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Who knew? I really love this movie, although I've only seen it in its entirety once. And I've never read the book! Terrible, isn't it? I'm not sure how much I have in common with Ms. Bennet - except I have dark, curly hair (yes, I color it - looks lighter and redder than reality), and I can be rather strong-willed.

Just a fun little thing for tonight, 'cause I don't think I'll be posting anything else. But I should have something tomorrow. I'm in the process of cleaning out my gajillion emails in my inbox. I have a few thoughts to blog this week, so there should be a bit more consistency.

  • a blog award

  • the concert

  • house hunting

  • the upcoming move

  • bulk cooking, part 2

  • wordless wednesday

  • a devotional at the HSBA

  • and whatever else rolls my way or floats through my brain in the course of the week

Until then, have a lovely, blessed week!


This & That

Awesome God
Imagine my surprise this morning, as I was doing my Bible study (Live Abundantly - A Study in Ephesians by Lenya Heitzig), when the issue of peace was addressed! Hmmm, this makes at least the third time God's brought His peace to my attention. In fact, some of the verses I used in yesterday's post were in today's lesson. I love it when God does this type of thing.

Even better, I just discovered that there are audio teachings for this study from when Lenya taught it at her church. I happened to pick it up at my church the other day, not knowing those recordings existed. God's so great to provide even more resources for my study!

The Moon
I got to see the eclipse last night, which was quite awesome. We had a few clouds, but they cleared out well. I did get pictures, but they're with my FILM SLR, so I need to get them developed, then I'll post them.

It's interesting that the moon has no light of its own; it just reflects the light of the sun. Reminds me of a Paul Colman Trio song, "Sun-Stars-Moon," where they sing this in the chorus:

I want to be the moon ‘cause it reflects the sun
Don't want to be the star that shines on everyone
Isn't that what we're called to be as Christians? We're to reflect the light of THE Son. Not out there shining our own light on people. Just one of those things I was thinking about as I sat outside in the cold, taking pictures of the eclipsed moon.

Hubby and I are off to THE concert tonight! Fun stuff! I don't know that I remember the last concert we went to. There was a time in my life (BC) that I went to loads of concerts. It's just not something we do so much any more. We've reached that place in life where we'd rather have the CD or download so we can listen all we want. But it is still fun to go every once in awhile.

I have like a hundred few things I need to accomplish before we head out. And the boys have bowling this afternoon, so everything needs to be done before lunch. That being said, I should probably get off the computer and get in the shower . . . as soon as the washing machine finishes running.



Do you have peace in your life? Where do you look for peace? I've spent a good part of my life seeking peace in the absence of something. The absence of clutter, a too-full calendar, or too many projects. I know that when my kitchen and dining room are clean before I go to bed, I come out to have breakfast in the morning and feel a tremendous sense of calm and peacefulness as I walk into a tidy, uncluttered room. That evidence urges me on to eliminate other things that steal the joy and peace in my life. While there's validity to clearing out visual and mental noise, God has been showing me something I hadn't thought much about.

I was recently reading The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach by Robin Sampson. She digs into some of the history of education and compares the Hebrew and Greek views. Robin illustrates how peace for the Greeks was the absence of something; noise, chaos, etc. For the Hebrews, it was the presence of something, or to be more specific, someone - God.

This was reiterated Saturday at church, as our pastor was teaching through 2 Thessalonians. (Isn't it awesome how God is so gracious to repeat things He wants us to get?) As Paul is concluding his letter to the church at Thessalonica, he refers to Jesus as the Lord of peace Himself (chapter 3, verse 16). Our pastor went on to talk about how peace comes from Jesus, not from circumstances (or lack thereof).

The amazing thing about the peace that's found in Christ is that it surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). It doesn't matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. We can have peace. Who better to offer it than the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)?
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you." John 14:27
I will certainly continue to work on eliminating the clutter and keeping my schedule under control. However, I want to be sure that my primary source of peace comes from my relationship with Jesus. It's the only true peace; the only peace that will remain and rise above the things that life throws my way.
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all."


Wordless Wednesday - Kilroy

Enjoy more WW here.


Mission: Accomplished, mostly

Well, my 2-3 hour copy job turned into about 3-4 hours on Friday, a couple more Sunday night at home, and some 7+ hours today. GOOD GRIEF!!

On a happy note, I DID get the newsletters copied. I also got the pdf file uploaded to our church's website. And I was able to complete and print the flyer announcing the changes. Lastly, I dropped off the newsletters with a printing business who can do the binding portion of this - much faster and more efficient than I can do it.

The one last, little piece is that I'll have to pick up the printed copies tomorrow (most likely) and deliver them back to church. And that's it. I'm actually done.

Okay, almost done. Rats. I still have a letter to send out to the writers. But the letter's done. I only have to print and mail them. That sounds fairly simple after the past few days.

Ha! Ha! Famous last words.

And now for something completely different.

Hubs & I are going to see the Toby Mac, Jeremy Camp, and Matthew West concert on Thursday night!! I got him tickets for Christmas (although I get to benefit, too!). Should be fun and awesome and cool and some other good adjectives!! We're really excited!

I don't know what else is going on this week - school, catching up, and whatever else shows up.


Cooking in Bulk, part 1

They're everywhere - those cookbooks that tell you how to cook many meals at once, storing them in the freezer, so you're ready to roll when it comes time to serve up a delicious and nutritious dinner. The super-organized part of me loves this idea. The lazy, slacker part of me thinks she'd rather do something else with that prep time.

But lately, courtesy of my dork jeans, I've begun to perform Inadvertent Bulk Cooking (IBC).

It was a cold and snowy night. A soup night, if ever there was one. I decided to prepare a big pot of Chicken Enchilada Soup, a family favorite around here.

While I do make a lot of meals from scratch, this is one where I use a Homemade Gourmet mix. We can have piping hot, yummy soup in about half an hour. For those of you who aren't familiar with HG, some of their products come in a "pantry staple." That means a container with enough of the mix to make multiple batches. It's economic and efficient. We like that in our food . . . or food mixes.

So . . . back to the soup. I had already poured the tomatoes, milk, and water into a big pot. It was time to add the soup mix. I opened my pantry staple package. Seven tablespoons were to go into the pot; the remainder in the storage container. Small problem. I was talking on the phone (with my handy-dandy headset), and inadvertently dumped the ENTIRE PACKAGE of soup mix into the pan!!!!

Side note: there's enough mix in one of those pantry staples to make SEVEN BATCHES OF SOUP! Not just a "small, might-feed-four-people" batch of soup. A nice, big batch of soup.

Since scooping dry soup mix back out of a pot of tomatoes, milk, and water wasn't viable - particularly because I had NO idea how I'd be able to tell if I had left just 7 tablespoons in there . . . and it was mostly wet at this point anyway . . . I decided I'd have to fix ALL SEVEN BATCHES!

Only problem? I didn't have a pot big enough to handle seven large batches of soup (hmm, the bathtub might've been accomodating). Nor enough tomatoes . . . or milk. I did have enough water. Small consolation.

Okay, I did some quick calculations and decided to make condensed soup. With the calculator in the other room, the math didn't work so well with sevens, so I changed it to six batches. I added some more water, tomatoes and/or tomato sauce and/or tomato paste, and brought it to a boil. Then I carefully measured it out into six containers. One went back into the potn, along with some cooked chicken to become our tasty dinner. The other five cooled, were poured into freezer bags, and frozen - nice & flat so they store well. I also wrote appropriate instructions for what else would be added at a future cooking time. You know, in the off-chance that I couldn't remember the specific modified recipe information.

There we go - five batches of condensed chicken enchilada soup in my freezer, ready and willing to go, when called upon for a cold and snowy night's dinner. IBC meal #1.


I'm Still Here . . . Rambling Away

If I'm not blogging, it must be newsletter time. Why, yes, it's that time again. Whenever I'm putting our women's ministry newsletter together (once a quarter), I just can't seem to squeeze in any blogging. I even missed out on Wordless Wednesday (sigh).

However, the newsletter is just about complete. It'll be copied and uploaded tomorrow, and I can shift back into normal life. Ha! Ha! I'm never sure what "normal" really means. But I haven't come up with a clever word to use in its place.

Warning: Having not blogged for so long, I'm off and rambling, so grab a cup of coffee, a soda, hot tea, or something of your choosing, kick back, and relax, while reading the mind-numbing excitement found in my brain.

FUN NEWS: The Homeschool Lounge is up and running. It's a FREE online social network community for homeschool parents; the very first of its kind! You can create your own space, participate in the forum or groups, create a blog or promote your current blog, chat live with other homeschoolers, and invite others to join in. You can visit me here (in case you don't want to visit me here). Come on over!

LIFE WITH BOYS: It seems like there must be other things going on in my life. We're gearing up for the Klondike Derby with Boy Scouts this weekend. Naturally, the boys have outgrown much of their cold weather gear so we've been trying to pick up new stuff for them. So far, so good. I think bigger gloves are the last thing on the list. That, and I need new boots. I got some great Lands End boots last year, but they rubbed on my leg and I just can't wear them (that's them in the photo). Since they're black and gray (not girly colors) and my son's feet have grown, they became his this winter. And he loves them.

The son who inherited my boots seems to be catching a cold. I'm sure hoping that goes away QUICKLY. Otherwise, that will make a mess of our plans for the Klondike . . . and tomorrow's Bible study . . . plus he's missing bowling today. Phooey.

EDUCATIONALLY SPEAKING: On the homeschool front - my oldest son's math program is still missing! While it was loaded on the computer, it's no longer working and I cannot find the disk. He was using Alpha Omega's Switched on Schoolhouse for math. I thought it would be good for him to have something he could do a little more independently. Rather than suspend his math education until the disk shows up (which could be indefinitely), I've ordered the LifePac math from AOP. This is what he used in the past and he did well with it. The nice thing is that the LifePacs come in 10 booklets for the grade and subject. So I didn't have to buy an entire year's curriculum. I was able to just buy the booklet that picks up where he is in 8th grade math. It's also much less expensive this way. So we'll go this route for the remainder of the year.

I'm also starting a different math program for my other son from Charlotte Mason. Because Charlotte Mason believed in educating via "real life," in this program, your child gets to set up a store and run it (on paper) for an entire year. They have to learn how to track inventory, fill orders, pay bills, order more inventory, etc. I think he'll enjoy it. I also hope it will build some math-fidence in him. He's actually brilliant and can do so much in his head, but he gets these mental blocks and thinks that he can't do math. Hardly. So maybe this will be fun for him and help break down those walls.

HOLIDAYS: In the past, I've done some fun things for Valentine's Day for my family. I used to make personal pizzas (heart-shaped, of course),serve red cream soda in clear goblets, have red candles and napkins, use fun Valentine placemats I made, and have a little Valentine treat after dinner. One year, I actually used my PC kitchen shears to cut the pepperonis into hearts! I also made pink heart-shaped pancakes a year or two.

Now? A big, fat ZIP! A "Happy Valentine's Day" greeting, "I Love You's" throughout the day (athough that's totally normal!), and that's it. Sad, isn't it? No cards, no heart-shaped pepperoni on heart-shaped pizza, nothing. I was trying to figure out why I fell off the celebratory wagon, and I realized that it was because I spent a few years delivering flowers for a friend of mine who owned a florist shop. I was SUPER busy for 2-3 days, coordinating deliveries, making deliveries, and by the time I got home, tired and late, we just went to Taco Bell for dinner. I did get a bit of a reprieve today on the newsletter, so maybe I'll do something fun and sweet and loving for my family. They might appreciate that.

By the way - if you get flowers delivered to you, be sure and thank that person, knowing that they may be entirely bypassing their own celebration and family in order to help make your day special.

WRITING: In addition to newsletter editing and writing, I'm still writing a devotional twice a month at the Homeschool Blog Awards site. Today's is about the Little Things in life. It's a slightly edited version of a post here from almost a year ago.

I know that I've mentioned The Heart of the Matter (like when it's published each month), but I don't think I've said that I'm writing for that e-zine as well. Silly, isn't it? I write all over the place, but don't actually SAY that I write. I guess I don't feel qualified to call myself a writer/author. But that's okay, God's bigger than my insecurities about writing.

My column at Heart of the Matter? It's about balance and organizing. Most of you have NO idea how absolutely hysterical that is. God definitely has a sense of humor. I'm so out-of-balance and disorganized that I drive myself crazy. Oh, I really work at achieving those goals, but they just never seem to stick. I've read the books, I know the ideas, I know what to do and how to do it, but life and entropy always seem to interfere. I found out long ago that God takes us through the exact thing we struggle with. Well, he does that with me, anyway. Maybe some of you have it together and He doesn't have to do that to you. One year, I asked our women's ministry director if our next event could be about the blessings of God! LOL!! I didn't want to have to live another one about contentment or whatever else we had covered. Ha! Ha!

READING: Oh, I actually have been reading as a part of the Winter Reading Challenge hosted by Trish. That gets squeezed in before I fall asleep at night. Many times I have to use reading as a tool to shut my brain down. Otherwise, my thoughts bounce around like a few dozen pinballs, making sleep nearly impossible (a little like reading this post - although sleep might be entirely possible in this case). I'll get a couple of reviews up shortly. I've read The Oak Leaves, The Scarlet Thread, and am just about done with The Shop on Blossom Street. Only the first book was on my list, but I'm just as random and impulsive in reading as the rest of life.

Hmm . . . maybe I should've separated this into multiple posts. Then you wouldn't be dozing off, and I'd have something to post another day. Nah - that interrupts my flow of randomosity.

Thanks for sticking around if you read this far. Enjoy your day. Do something fun. Or funny. Just so you smile and/or laugh. Although personally, I prefer laughing - a lot!

p.s. - no laughing about the few little scraps of unintended color in the background of my Bunny. And I don't know how to get rid of the silly box, so it's just there . . . until I can learn how to deal with it. :-)


February Heart of the Matter

HOTM Magazine

I'm so excited to let you know that the February issue of The Heart of the Matter Online is now available! Not only can you read it online, you now have the option to download it as a pdf file, so you can read it at your leisure, whether or not your computer is handy.



Wordless Wednesday - Quiet Time

Go here for more WW.


And the Winner is . . .

Terri, with her compelling "I need to lose weight in 2008." I'm with you, Terri! Maybe this will be the year. After all, we have a motto now!

The balance of the creativity went like this:

Wondering who'll gestate in 2008.
- Dawn

For 2008
I'll not procrastinate.
Is it the 12th already?
Oh, Rats! Too late.
- Cindy

Concerned about your fate?
Don't wait until it's too late.
Trust in God in 2008!

P.S. See you at the pearly gate.
- Jo

"Brevity" would be great for 2008.
- Mom

I need time to create in 2008.
- Terri

For her motto-writing efforts, Terri is the proud winner of this book:

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