It's a Mystery

What is it?

mystery bag


Wordless Wednesday - Pond Reflection

tree reflection

To see what others aren't saying, go here, here, and here.

The Ladle Story

I just realized I forgot to come back and share the rest of the story about the very long ladles from last week's Wordless Wednesday.

pond water-2In biology, the boys were required to collect pond water for some cultures. They were instructed to go down a little deeper into the pond rather than right at the edge. We have four jars that have various types of food in them - rice, egg yolk (hard boiled), dried grass, and dirt. We'll be preparing slides to take a look at what grew in our cultures probably tomorrow. I'll be sure and get some photos to share.

So the ladle was duct-taped onto a broom (actually Swiffer) handle. Some people looked at us a little funny while at the park. Doesn't everyone take very long-handled ladles to the pond?

pond water-1


Wordless Wednesday - Ladling Long



As ever, to see what others aren't saying, go here and here.

Happy Birthday to ClayGuy

This morning I was thinking about 16 years ago when I was sitting in a hospital bed, hooked up to an ever-increasing pitocin drip, awaiting the arrival of my very first son (although I didn't know he was going to be a son at the time). Hubby was flipping channels on the tv and he began to watch Groundhog Day. I'd never seen the movie before and I didn't really know the premise. However, at this point in my pregnancy, my attention span had dropped to that of a two year old. It made life rather difficult. But every time I looked at the tv, I kept thinking, "Didn't they just do that?!?" Of course, with no attention span, I couldn't focus long enough to get the theme of the movie. I just found it annoying.

Here we are, 16 years later, with an amazing young man in our house. He's creative, generous, kind, and caring. It has been a wonderful adventure so far, and I look forward to all that God has planned for him.

Happy Birthday, sweetie!!



Wordless Wednesday - Cheer Up!


Go here and
here for more wordlessness.



morning frost - 1

morning frost - 3

morning frost - 4

morning frost - 2


Wordless Wednesday - Aspen

ww-aspen leaves

For more wordlessness, go here and here.


Fall Colors

While we're on the downhill side of the colors this year, I still found some lovely, sparkling-gold aspen to photograph. Apparently the week before we took our Sunday drive (on Saturday) was the best week. Oh well. We had a wonderful time anyway. And that's what really counts, isn't it?

fall colors-1

fall colors-3

fall colors-2

Find Your Strongest Life - Book Review

Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

I’m rather torn in writing this review. One part of me says that this book was a well-written book with some good and useful information. The other part says that I need to stand for the truth of Jesus Christ and that just isn’t present. In fact, He seems to be completely left out of the picture.

Before agreeing to review Find Your Strongest Life, I searched a bit on Marcus Buckingham, having not heard of him. I found the site of his organization, along with a number of YouTube videos and it appeared that this book would fit the category of self-help. As a follower of Jesus, I’m not called to self-help. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Yes, I read books that aren’t faith-based and learn things from them as well. But I was surprised to find that this was in the Thomas Nelson repertoire. Their original goal was to “honor God and serve people.” As an example, Marcus repeatedly says that children do not bring happiness. Research shows this to be true. Of course, I think that you could find research to support just about any opinion you have. But I also think that if you’re having children to find happiness, you’re already on the wrong path. God says they’re a gift and a blessing, but He doesn’t say they’re the source of happiness.

The book is definitely geared toward career and working women. Since God’s mission for me at this time in life is to be a stay-at-home, homeschool mom, much of the material wasn’t applicable. It offers a fairly humanistic, take control, and make-your-life-better perspective. Yet I came away with some nuggets that I believe may be quite beneficial in my life.

You see the paradox here? It’s good, but not completely good. It’s bad, but not completely bad. Neither is exactly what I want to say and I’m struggling with the words to share.

If you are a career woman (or man – it’s not as gender-specific as it may sound), if you aren’t concerned with God’s role in your life, and if you want to effect change in your life, read this book.

If you’re a Jesus-loving woman, particularly one who stays home with (or without) her children, it will probably not be very beneficial to you.

If you’d like to get a flavor for what this book has to offer so you can make an better decision, you can access a very generous, 47-page sample of the book here. For more information from Thomas Nelson go here.

ps - in light of this, I want to let you know that I was provided a free copy of the aforementioned book by Thomas Nelson.


The House, Part 4

"I'll finish this up with Part 4. Sooner than Part 3 arrived. Really."

Did I actually say that?!? Like back in December of last year?! Hold on a moment while I get some salt & pepper for these words I'm about to eat.

I'll just blame it on colander brain. Or a lack of sleep. Or dork jeans. For anyone who wasn't around last year when I began this story, here's your chance to catch up. Go here for Part 1, here for Part 2, and here for Part 3.

After all the craziness of the previous nine years or so, we just went on with life, living somewhat contentedly (at least some of the time) in our little house. We switched rooms around, painted them, and brought all that stuff out of storage along the way.

Every year, hubby had to snake out the toilet plumbing two or three times. The pipes were clay/tile and ran somewhere underground. With numerous years of drought, the tree roots hunted for any possible moisture - including our plumbing. Not a great option when you only have one bathroom, but we managed (sometimes with the help of our sweet neighbors who let us use theirs).

Then came 2005. That spring, the back corner of our house dropped. It didn't just shift like it had in the past. Hubby also mentioned that the house was sitting down onto the duct work. While it wasn't a visible problem, how long would it be until the house dropped far enough to break the plumbing? Then we'd be responsible for raw sewage underground. To top it off, one of the main beams under the house was deteriorating and sagging. Unfortunately, the gas line coming into the house went through the center of the beam and it was pulling the gas meter in toward the house.

We called our utility company to check the line and ask if it was a danger, but since it was on our side of the meter, it wasn't something they would check or for which they'd have any responsibility.

So the List of Risks looked something like this:

  • Possible broken gas line. Blow up the neighborhood. Ourselves. Friends.

  • Crushed plumbing lines and raw sewage in the ground

  • With the house dropping, even more significant damage to it

To top it all off, we had exactly no funds to fix any of these problems. We felt that just living there was a risk we didn't want for our family. With what we owed on the house (we'd refinanced a few times over the years) and the condition, we knew we couldn't sell it and get any profit. But we decided that we were willing to walk away with nothing, start over, and go rent somewhere. We tried talking to our mortgage company to see if we could work something out, but that was a no-go. We contacted anyone and everyone we could think of to try and sell the house, like contractors, people who buy old houses and fix them. Again, no such luck.

Conditions just got worse and we felt that we were keeping our family and neighbors at risk. So we reached a decision. Not one we really wanted to make, but we didn't see any other option. We filed bankruptcy so we could dump the house. Not because we couldn't pay our bills. Not because we were over-extended. But because we had to get rid of the house. If we just bailed on the mortgage without bankruptcy, they could come after us for the difference in our loan and what it could be auctioned for. We could well have ended up owing a bunch of money on the house that we couldn't have afforded. We didn't know what else to do.

So we filed in early September, found another house to rent, and moved out. Because this story has gone on so long, I'll wrap it up here. God did a lot of amazing things through the entire process, but that's not to say it was all easy. But it ended up being a wonderful blessing. We spent three years at that house and then bought our current house a year ago.

There you go. The somewhat long, yet condensed version of that crazy old house we had. We've come a long way.

Kudos to anyone who actually read this entire saga. Sorry there are no photos. I didn't have a digital camera in those days. Maybe I'll go take a couple just because.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...