Saturday, December 30, 2006

Operation CAN Update

It is now 2 weeks into Operation Can and things are going great. There will be no official weigh in today it will be tomorrow when we all get together for New Year's Eve. My home scale indicates I have lost another 2 pounds making a total of 4 pounds in two weeks (20% of my goal.)

Workouts: Everyday this week including Monday. I woke up early Christmas morning so after my prayer time I went downstairs and did 20 minutes on the treadmill. The rest of the week was at the YMCA mixing up my cardio between the bike, tread and some cycle step thingy (real technical I know.) With cardio being 20 minutes with cool down. I also added weight training to my workout this week. Focusing on different muscle groups each day. This is new territory for me. I can tell you I feel ALL my muscles. I love the feeling of productivity. If I am feeling it, it means it is doing something. Because my focus is on being in shape to dance, stretching is playing a huge part in my workout time, beginning and ending with it.

Eating: This is going great. I have increased my vegetable intake by about 400%. My water intake is up and my sweet intake is down. The Holy Spirit has been designing my meals and I can say, I am amazed. He has shown me how to put different things together, scrumdidiliumptious! I am venturing out in stir-fry making both steak and chicken stir-fries this week. Good stuff. I really have been trying to listen to the Holy Spirit on what to eat, how much and when including sweets, which I do eat. Amazingly enough I am able to take two small pieces of a chocolate bar and put the rest back in the fridge for another day. This has helped me curb the sweet desire without going overboard.

Sleeping and Waking: My goal is to be to bed around 10pm. I woke up every weekday when the Lord woke me. Only once did I have to convince myself to get up. Last night I went to Visions so I did not get home until after midnight. Then I read a chapter of my current read (Troubled Waters, thanks Gina!) finally turning in at 1am. The Lord did wake me sometimes around 6am, I however did not get out of bed until 7:59am. Little girl got out of bed 2 minutes later so it made quiet time a challenge. I opted for praying walking around after I made the kids breakfast. Perhaps later I will get to sit down and read some of the Word.

Operation Can has been blessing me. I see myself getting healthy and strong. It is happening. I know I will reach my goals. I can and I will. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Yesterday as I was on my way to the YMCA I was speeding 5 miles over the speed limit. This is not the confession. I was driving along when across 4 lanes of traffic a brave squirrel, a bit fat from his fall harvest, darted. This brave squirrel quickly became a dead squirrel when he hit my front left tire. Smushed, smashed, thump, dead. The kids were oblivious to the fact that there mother had taken a life. I repented quietly and drove on. This morning as I went to the Y I had to drive past the crime scene. The evidence was still present, flat with many tire tracks, but present. As an attempt to make peace, I left our fattened neighborhood squirrel a treat on the back porch. Bird seed and peanuts.

Vision and Desire

This has been the theme of the week. It started Saturday morning when I put in CD #4 of Reaching Your Physical Goals. Vision and desire. I took notes, pausing the CD on chapter 11. I went to my brother-in-laws home church and the sermon for the day...Write the Vision. All about vision and desire. So all week I have been praying through my heart's desire and envisioning my future. I finished the remainder of the teaching on disk 4 and listened to it again. This morning I sat down and began to write out the desires of my heart. I got a good start to my list and hope to finish it tomorrow. After I wrote my list I checked bloglines and had to smile when I read this from June and Ward. I tell you it is the theme of the week.
The desires of my heart:
To yield daily to the Holy Spirit
To wake, eat, sleep, clean and play by the Spirit
To have control over my flesh
To spend 20 minutes daily in prayer
To be in the Word daily
To finish reading through the Bible
To weigh 140 lbs
To eat healthy
To have a presentable and hospitable home
To use computer time effectively
To meditate and memorize scripture
To dance for the Lord
To play my flute
To grow in encouraging others (prophecy)
Freedom to sing, dance and play flute in front of others
For boldness to pray over others
To see healings
To see people set free
To see more friends, family and people around me come to know the Lord
For my faith to increase
For the fruits of the Spirit to multiply in my life and be evident
To bless others with our finances
To see a need and be able to meet it
Wisdom and understanding
For a pure heart (holy and righteous)
To stand firm
To speak truth
To respect my husband
To honor him with my words and actions
To meet his needs spiritually, physically and emotionally
For open communication
A healthy marriage in all things

That was the list for today. To close I will leave you with a few scriptures on vision and desire.

Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Proverbs 10:24 The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

Psalm 37:3-5 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 145:16-19 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing.
17The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
18The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.

Proverbs 13:19a The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul

How sweet it is, indeed!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Horse Rescue

I had not heard about this on the news but apparently this November over 100 horses were trapped on an small piece of land in the Netherlands after being caught by an unexpected storm. This video is their beautiful rescue. Wow.

The video is 6 minutes long and worth every second of it. Incredible. My son and I watched it three times.


What's small, white and wiggles?


"I used to think I had the world's best bladder, now I know I have lived life dehydrated."-Momteacherfriend

Water. It is my favorite drink. And for most of my life I have not drank enough of it. Kidney and gall stones attest to that fact. Which I do not recommend you go seeking after. It has been three years since my last one but I can go the rest of my life without another one. To me they are worse than natural child birth. The pain level is slightly higher than that of transition pains except they do not follow a natural rhythm of intensity. It can hit and stay strong for long periods of time. Unlike child birth, there are no rewards at the end. No, I do not consider a small fleck of white stone to be a reward. After experiencing these pains, it was brought to my attention that the number one cause of them is dehydration. And I had mastered living life dehydrated.

I have gone in seasons of drinking enough, most of my life not enough and am currently entering into the time of plenty. Who knew you would have to make so many trips to the bathroom after drinking a half gallon of water? Who knew? Probably many of you who take care of your bodies. I never understood before why others had to stop on long trips. For most of my life I could seriously go 12 hours without using the restroom and be perfectly fine. Not dancing around or squirmish in pain. Now, I am trying to be conscience of my fluid intake and that makes me a bit more observant of where public restrooms are located.

Water. Usually tasteless. Yet in the city with over chlorination and additives, it does have a taste. In the country, well water, you can taste the extra minerals. At my sister-in-laws, the water is the BEST! Smooth. She has the coolest water filter....EVER! A Berkey. And I too will be an owner of a Berkey sometime in the near future. It is high on my list of investments. The thing is amazing. It can filter anything and everything out of water. I do believe you could pee in the thing and be able to drink it. Take it down to the Grand River (known for its pollution) and filter the water through and be able to drink it. Tax return cometh and Berkey I buyth.

I am tired of living life dehydrated. It robs me of strength. It makes me tired. It is not good for my body. It compromises my organs function, including but not limited to my kidney's, gall bladder and skin. I can drink more water because I can do all things through Christ. Including drink more, the good stuff that is. WATER!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas



As you remember His birth, His life and Resurrection may a peace fill your life.
This day and forever.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I can use all the support I can muster up. And you my friends and family are just that. My support. I need you. I need you to ask me how I am doing. I need you to ask me if I got up to spend time with God. Ask how I am eating, whether or not I worked out. Ask me what I am learning. Ask me what truth I am claiming for myself that day. Hold me accountable. And if you like, I can do the same for you.

I weighed in today, I have lost 2 pounds! WooHoo! 1/10 of my goal!
Overall the group is doing awesome. Out of the 5 that weighed in last week we collectively have lost 20 pounds. Go ahead and clap. This is a holiday week and look what we have already accomplished. Two more joined us this week so that makes 7 for Saturday weigh-ins. I have been intentional on stretching. Day one I was shocked how much flexibilty I had lost. I could almost touch my ankle and well my toes, forget it. As the week has progressed I have been able to grab hold of my toes in the flex position. Improvement. For me this 16 week focus is not as much about the weight loss, as it is improvement in my overall health. Am I able to breath after physical activity? I am hoping to gain complete flexibility. I am desiring to strengthen my muscles. Define them. I am desiring to take control of my flesh. To not sleep in, to eat healthy, to regularly exercise. To have self-control. I know I can do it. Especially with the accountability of all of you!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

P.S. I passed the Fire Mountain Grill test. Grand buffet! I managed to eat properly and without over indulgence. This is huge for me as when I usually go to an all you can eat buffet, I usually stuff myself to sickness. You know to get my monies worth. I had an enjoyable meal last night, so I feel I got my monies worth with no ill effects. YEAH!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Miracles In the Night

Driving home from the YMCA my son fell asleep. Not uncommon, it was dark and just after 8PM. We got home and I carried him in and plunked him on my bed. I am not fond of his loft bed in moments like these. I can climb the ladder with him and hurl him over the edge but last night I chose not to. He woke up enough to throw off his shoes and coat, then went right back to sleep. I got little girl around for bed, read to her and tucked her in. Later I went in to tuck DS in. As I did so I felt intense heat as I kissed his head. Fever and he was hot. When my kids run fever they tend to run on the hot side. Often freaking their mother out. I went about the house looking for the thermometer. I could not find it. As I am going about I am praying, Lord, help me find the thermometer. To which he replies, "Why do you want it?" Because I want to know his temp so I can monitor him. To which he replied, "It's a 103." Lord, can I still find the thermometer to confirm that. To which he replied, "Go pray over your son, his temp is 103, trust me."
So I went in and laid hands on him, he felt at least 103 and began to pray. I placed my anointed hanky around his neck and continued to pray. He stirred once, looked at me, and went back to sleep. I confessed healing over him asking that the Holy Spirit would align every cell, tissue and organ to complete and proper function. That his white blood cells would rise to fight for him. That the Holy Spirit would heal him completely and wholly taking the fever from him. And that he would awake in the morning with a normal body temp. That all sickness would be gone. I kissed his burning head again and went to bed myself.
A few hours later, my dear son rolled over to my side, bumping me and waking me up. I felt his head and it was no longer hot. I checked again to be sure. Normal. I began praising God out loud. Thank you Lord, Praise you, You are good. You heal. Thank you! My son stirred and looked at me, I told him that God had made him better and he went right back to sleep.
When I woke up this morning I kissed his sweet head as I got out of bed and it was cool. Absolutely positively NO FEVER!!!
My miracle in the night....PRAISE GOD!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


My mom is home and doing very well. I could not be more thrilled on how it all played out. She will be laying low the next few days but really does feel good. Thanks again for your prayers. I know they were a great encouragement to her, the medical team and the family as well.

The flesh won this morning, I slept in a bit. I did get up not much later, prayed and accomplished a whole bunch. So not a total failure. I have yet to workout for today but plan to go to the gym later. Lift some weights and do some cardio. Because , YEAH, I am not Rambo! There is currently no running up 10,000 steps in victory. I ran up three flights at the hospital yesterday, my heart was racing and I was a bit out of breath. Phew! Just adds to the motivation for getting in better shape. Food choices are going well. And the Operation is so far been a great success.

Yesterday, after mom was stabilized I went out shopping. I had the majority of my list still to buy for. I prayed before I went that the Holy Spirit would guide each purchase and He did! I have everyone done except one. WooHoo! Little girl and I went on a date last night. We went shopping and had dinner together. We made a list of names for everyone she wanted to buy something for. Then we went to the Dollar Store and I let her pick out a gift for each person on her list. It was so cute watching her decide what was for who. She did a great job! I did not interfere with her choices, I let her choose. I simply made sure we stuck to the list and one thing for each. I hope everyone enjoys the treasures she chose for them.

I just finished going through all the digital pictures from 2006. Let's just say it took me awhile. I have not printed off any pictures since last year so I downloaded my favorites which should be printed today. YEAH! I have lots of favorites.

Time to sign off, I have a lot of wrapping to do.

God bless! Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

UPDATE: Please Pray For My Mom

My mom is having surgery tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th. She has some blockage in her heart. The doctors will determine the best course of action once they are in surgery. This may mean outpatient if blasted or an overnight stay if stints are needed. Her surgery begins at 8amEST. Please pray for the medical team as well. Thank you!

Those checking in today, I will update as I have news. I know my mom cherishes many of you, her online community. Thanks for praying.

Prayers have been answered! Glory to God! At about 8:15 Mom was wheeled into surgery, at 8:45 the doctor was already complete and going over the results. They did not need to put her under. She was alert during the whole procedure. Which ended up being a heart catheter, no balloon, no stints! During the procedure the doctor asked my mom, "So you have people praying for you?" To which she replied yes. He said his job goes a whole lot easier when people are praying. Mom told him people were not only praying for her but for the whole room, which brightened the hearts of all, one even gave an "Amen sister." Mom also went on to share with him that it was not just local prayer but national and international prayer as well. Which we are very thankful for. As the doctor completed he looked at her, not finding the damage that they had anticipated and told her, "Looks like your prayers have been answered." How awesome is that? Mom will be home later this afternoon. Those wishing to share a prayer, praise or warm wishes may do so in the comments of the post.

Habits and Hang-ups

A couple months ago my church did a series on hurts, habits and hang-ups. Birthed out of the foundations of Celebrate Recovery, a program that bases it eight recovery principles off of the beatitudes. It began in California at Saddleback Church and has branched out all over the United States. The truth is, the church is a mess. We have addictions to porn, drugs, alcohol... We have gluttons, adultery, rage... We have laziness, jelousy, greed... We have the overweight, the underweight. We have flesh issues. Yes, we have issues of the flesh. I am not exempt. I have gone in seasons of triumph and seasons of defeat.
Growing up I was thin, as some would say, pencil thin. I was a noodle. I had little meat on my bones. So much so that it was a concern for my parents. I would sit down to eat as a 5 year old, eat a couple tablespoons of food and be "full." I know what it is like to be underweight. I remember in high school just wanting to gain weight, to have more muscle. I also remember when I achieved it, thinking "If I stayed this weight my entire life, I would be happy, this is right for me." I got married, I gained some weight. Thickened out, and some would say I needed it. I got pregnant with our first and actually lost 15 pounds in the first trimester due to morning sickness, extreme morning sickness. I put it back on by the time the baby was born but I lost all again while breastfeeding. So much so that people were concerned again. "Are you eating?" they would ask. And I was, I was eating double what I normally would yet I was nearly 30 pounds UNDER my ideal. I weaned. Got pregnant again, miscarried. Got pregnant again and gained. Had the baby and maintained a healthy weight. I weaned and continued to eat as if eating for two. Pounds were added. I had no self control in eating. If it was good, I ate until I could eat no more. When eating out, I would finish the entire entree, even if I was full with a portion. Let's not even talk about healthy foods. I have been failing terribly. It is no surprise that I have gained. That I am more than what is ideal for me. Because along with eating more, I have been moving less. Growing up I was active. I enjoyed being outside. I marched, competed in sports...physical. As in moving. Which I do move, but not nearly as much as I should.
Overall, my physical body has not been a huge struggle in my life. I have had seasons. Seasons of victory, seasons of weakness and seasons of good enough. It has not been something that Satan really has a stronghold in my life. No he has other areas of life in mind for me. Such as sickness. In pregnancy, I struggled with sickness. Today if Satan wants to knock me down he will first try to make one of us sick. Irritating but not necessary. He also tried to tempt me with sleep. A few more minutes he will whisper. Or is that my flesh...hmmm. Most likely it is my flesh saying, "come on, just a little more sleep.""You deserve it!" "Just until the kids wake up." "You need 8 hours to function so you better get a little bit more." Yup that sounds like my flesh. Sounds all to familiar. Sounds a bit lazy. Sounds like a stronghold.
And let's just throw in a little bit of ungodly rage. Momzilla, the moments when I am less than kind with my words. Taking a tone that brings tears, unnecessarily. Guilty. . Again a flesh issue. I could exhibit self-control. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. Today as I listened to disk 2 from the How to Achieve your physical goals I am struck with the first step.
1. Admit you have a problem. Honesty. Being honest with myself.
Here it is, I am a glutton, lazy. I lack self control in eating. I say sleep more than I say get up. I have moments of rage. Or shall I say...was. I was these things. I struggled with these things but I will no longer. I see what needs to be changed and I will allow the Holy Spirit to work out that change. For greater is he that is IN ME than that piece of cake. Greater is he that is in me than those few moments of sleep. Greater is He that is in me than the desire to yell to be heard. For He is in me and He is greater than me. He is my guide and my help. But he can only do what I allow him to do. So today I choose to admit that I need his help, that I can not do it alone. And that I believe that WE can do it.

We have only just begun in Operation Can but what a difference I can already see in my perception of things. I have woke up three days in a row when I was suppose to without going back to sleep. I have brought healthy foods into the home and I am choosing to eat them. I have restrained from those things that are not going to bring life. Yesterday, I yelled at the kids, unnecessarily. Today I will take that into perceptive when I say I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Because I believe, nothing is impossible for me.

And you know what, I believe in you too. Nothing is impossible for you, if you believe.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Trinity and Pastor Brad in the News

On the front page of the State Journal this morning...

For more on Pastor Brad Mitchell read this interview from this Spring.

Operation CAN!!!

All things are possible for me because I am a believer. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I CAN!
This is what I will be telling myself daily, many times a day for the next 16 weeks. As a small group we have decided to join together and strive to reach our physical goals. Inspired by the biggest loser, we are entering into 16 weeks of encouraging one another, weigh ins and healthy life change. We could call it the biggest loser but I personally do not want to confess being a loser. Conquerer YES!!! Loser, I am not. So in my own mind I have entitled this time Operation CAN!!! I will tell my flesh, you can rise early to pray. Flesh, you can eat that which brings life to my body. Flesh, you can refrain from eating that which does not. Flesh, you can move about. Flesh, you can exercise without complaint. Flesh, you will read the Word. Flesh, you will have balance. Flesh, you can drink water and plenty of it. Flesh, hello, I am bringing you under control.
I am listening to a teaching series by Keith Moore called How To Reach Your Physical Goals. In it he is teaching me, Wow! He says in that teaching we need to control the flesh and we need to say to it..."Flesh, you sleep when I say sleep, you rise when I say get up, you eat when I say eat and what I say, you don't when I say you don't." In the last 24 hours I have begun to practice this and I CAN say that WOW, it works.
For the last month or so, I have been struggling to wake up in the morning. The Lord would wake me, I would say good morning Lord and then roll over and go right back to sleep. I would sleep until the kids woke up, meaning I was lacking alone time with God. No longer! I will keep my body under control. And I will tell it to rise when the Lord wakes me. It is breaking habits, strongholds. It is a spiritual issue more than a physical one. But I will be victorious. The last two mornings I have been victorious. I have had to yell at myself to get up, repeatedly. But the flesh did respond and I did not fall back asleep. I did get up to pray, to read and excersize. WooHoo!!
This next 16 weeks I will be focusing and diligent both in spiritual things and the physical. I will get my body in shape. I will eat healthy. I will bring my weight to what is ideal for me. I will increase my endurance so that I can dance for the Lord without getting tired. I am going to do it because it needs to be done. And because I CAN!!!

Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

All things are possible for me because I am a believer. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I CAN and I WILL!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Poisonous Health Food!!?

"There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture. The ironic part is, it's a "health food," one of our most popular. "
Read more in this interesting article.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What Would You Do If...

you were a Super Hero?
you were invisible?
you found $20 at the store?
your baby threw-up on your new shirt?

You could end up finding $20 at a store and taking off your shirt and walking around top-less!

What would you do if you found yourself in a room with 6 of the best ladies in the world? I would laugh so hard I would cry.

A few years back I joined a Wednesday night bible study. I was placed with 6 other woman. From the outside we could not be MORE different, even our interests and life styles vary drastically. But I could not love these woman anymore than I do. I truly believe when you do life with someone, no matter the external circumstances, a love grows. A beautiful love that lasts throughout the years. This past year we all went in different directions for Wednesday nights. We longer met together weekly for bible study. We have kept in contact over email. But as far as seeing each other it has been very limited. Until last night. All seven of us were able to get together for a night of great food and fun. We each brought something to contribute so we had an awesome Mexican spread. And we all brought our personalities so we had more than enough fun. We played one truth, Apples to Apples and What would you do and I kid you not we laughed ourselves speechless. To tears and beyond.

Thank you ladies for blessing my life. I love you all!

Alright readers, commenter's and lurkers, for kicks, PLEASE ask a what if question and answer the one above yours.

So my first responder answer me this...
What would you do if...your computer said password denied?
Answer then ask a question of your own beginning with What would you do if...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Posts That Have Shaped

We are shaped by those around us. They live by example, we take notice and sometimes it impacts us to make change. The following posts have touched me, made me think and caused me to react. They are must reads. I hope they bless you, as they have me.

What A Year By Kelsey at Family of Ten
A beautiful tribute to her adopted brother.
Guilty As Charged By Gina at Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted
We are the keys to our homes.
Compact Lessons and Clothing By Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly
Introducing the concept of compacting and living simply.
Choosing to Forgive and American Dream vs Living For Him
by On Fire For Him
Remember my little experiment Quiet as a Mouse. Choosing to forgive is the follow-up to her situation.

Please stop in, read, be challenged, leave a comment to let them know you stopped in and that I sent you over. Enjoy!

In and Out

Written by my dear son, age 5

Once upon a time there was a bird living inside.
And it saw some yummy food sitting on a table.
And it wanted to eat that yummy food.
And it came out and it took some yummy food.
Then it came right back in for some more.
Then it came back to it's nest.
Then it came right back to the house and the window was shut.
The people were already home.
It had to peck and peck and peck.
And animal control came and catched the bird.
And then the person's that already had it.
Buyed it again.
The End

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Grandparents in Homeschooling and Life

A few years ago, when I began researching homeschooling, I bought one of the best books. Homeschooling The Early Years by Linda Dobson. I have read it many times through and have loaned it out to many friends, it is an amazing resource. In it I know she planted a seed and it was not until recently that I realized that seed was bearing fruit. So I went back and read again what she said. Here are two little excerpts of the book.

Page 53- Other homeschoolers live close to extended families, and flexible schedules provide equally important bonding with family members. Grandparents enrich their homeschooling grandchildren's learning experiences in many ways. They read with the children, tell stories of their past, teach hobbies, and take field trips near and far.

Page 314- If willing, grandparents can add a rich dimension to any homeschooling experience.

I remember thinking over that "If willing..." Would our parents embrace our desire to homeschool? Would they actively participate in our learning journey? The answer to those questions are YES and YES! And I could not be more thrilled.

Shortly after the success with the Sound Box, which I shared in this post. I decided to read through the entire series by Jane Belk Moncure. We had visited my Mom during the early afternoon and was leaving to come home and finish the last thing we had to do. DS was to read a book. Grandma asked what book he would be reading and I told her. My "C" Sound Box...and then what she did was brilliant! She asked if it was the same kind of book as the letter B when he found "all those B words." And DS said yes, excited that grandma remembered. And then here is her brilliance, she challenged him. She said, " Go home and read that book and then make me a list of as many C words as you can find. And if you find 15 (I believe her original number) I have a surprise for you." It was a deal. We went home, he read, we got out a piece of paper and he began listing words. He found all the words from the book, he got out another ABC book, he went around the house sounding out words that he saw around him. He was on such a roll, I took the job of secretary and kept quiet. Next he busted out his dictionary. His idea. He looked at all the pictures in the C section and figured out what they were trying to represent. Then he went to sounding out some words. In no time we had filled the page with words and he was beaming. 65 words that started with the C sound as in cat. And he had found them all. We headed back over to show grandma and grandpa the list. I think we were all a bit surprised, and we all realized that we had discovered homeschool gold! DS received his prize, a color scratch pad. I received something far greater, grandparent participation. My parents were so pleased with my son's enthusiasm they wanted to encourage him in the rest of the books as well. He reads a Sound Box book, makes a list of words, shows it to grandma and/or grandpa and they give him a small something as incentive. For D he got a dime, E he got an Easter egg with a piece of candy inside, F was a folder of fun. The folder of fun had printouts of mazes, coloring pages and cut-outs, it also had five pieces of Juicy Fruit. Which DS loved!
I am so very thankful for my parents involvement in our learning journey. My mom has joined us on trips to the zoo, my dad has gone with us to the planetarium. They are usually the first people to know the results of a science experiment and many times they are right in on the fun. It was my dad that taught our son about the vortex of a tornado and to watch if it turns clockwise or counter-clockwise. It is my dad who has worms in his basement as a winter project. They often ask, "What did you learn today?" And I think we are all beginning to realize that if you ask that, you get a shrug of the shoulders. But if you ask "What have you done for science lately?" You may get a 5 minutes explanation of this, that, and the other. If asked what they read that day, they may even tell you what the book was about. Yes I am very thankful for my parents involvement. I cherish our relationships. My mom and I go shopping together weekly. Countryside driving, moments of teaching in the grocery store; often led by my mother. "how much is this? How many? Do you see any deer? How about turkeys? What color is this?" As I was thinking this over, my mom and dad have embraced this life of learning, they instilled it in us as kids, they continue on in the next generation. Yes, with my homeschooled kids but to their credit with their public school grandchildren as well. They look for opportunities to encourage their development. They take interest in what the grandkids are interested in. Be it putting a hammer in her grandsons hands or playing chess with grandpa. And I think they are enjoying their journey.
That is my parents, my hubbies parents have had their own style of involvement. Grandpa Reindeer, likes to read to the kids and introduced them to comic strips. Grandma Reindeer, is very crafty and has worked on sewing projects with them. They are still working full time so their level of involvement is limited. My sister-in-law also homeschools and their flexible schedule has allowed them to make Thursday afternoons dedicated to my father-in-law, Grandpa Eagle. We have started joining her on some of her trips out to see him. At our last visit I asked him what he would enjoy doing with the grandkids. A project of sorts. Something he would enjoy that would be a good way for him to connect with them. We have yet to land on something, for now it may be a card game. In time it may develop into more. I pray that it does because when a grandparent is connecting with their grandkids, everyone wins!

How about you? Do you have parents that our involved with your kids? In your homeschooling? What does that look like for you? Are you a grandparent with grandkids? What do you enjoy doing with your grandkids?

Saturday, December 09, 2006


This morning my girlfriend called to share her first experience with a true sale. She has never done the day after thanksgiving or really been drawn by an ad, but when she saw an item for half price she figured, hey, what a good deal. So she was advised to be there when the store open; which she thought was unnecessary but she went. And as she said, "She completely underestimated the power of a sale." She got the item and was glad she was there early. As we were talking we were discussing the gift card scam. Scammers writing down numbers off of gift cards, waiting a few days then calling the company to see what the remaining balance was on "their gift card." They then turn around and spend the balance of the card on the internet. So not right.

Well, awhile back my mom and dad bought a Lego Mindstorm NXT off of ebay. It was before Thanksgiving, my mom had been searching for one as a project for my dad to do with the grandkids. It was not a gift, so when it arrived my dad and one of my nephews went to work assembling and programming it. It is a robot that you can program from your computer and it does various tasks. Pretty cool. Apparently a hot item this holiday season. So the scam....stay tuned. When my mom made the bid, it stated money order only. Now normally ones preferred method of payment for internet purchases would be PayPal. This Mindstorm was a great deal so mom and dad decided to make the bid and send in the money order. The lady had apparently put the item in layaway before Wal-Mart did away with there layaway, she had bought it at full price and then put the item on ebay to sell for profit. Not a crime. Well, at the time my mom made the bid, it was expected to be a hot item but the buyers were not yet buying, so she won the bid, for $80 less than the going price. Mom was ecstatic, she sent the money order and a few days later the package arrived. Shipped directly from Wal-Mart layaway and fully intact. The packaging lasted but a few minutes. A month later my mom received a letter stating that the seller was sorry but the Mindstorm needed to be returned. The whole letter was a bit hokey stating that she had a partner and there was a misunderstanding and sorry but I need it back and a report has already been established with the FBI. The original money order was included in the letter. Apparently uncashed. My mom was irritated, it was already being used and it was not going to be returned. They had paid the asking price and followed all the stipulations of the contract. My dad was concerned, what was it all about. As mom looked online she quickly realized that Mindstorm NXT is A VERY HOT ITEM and that some were selling for four times the original price. So it appeared that the woman was trying to get it back so she could resell it for the profit she originally planned. Dirty. My mom got curious about the money order so she went to Western Union to look into it. AND HERE IS THE SCAM...apparently you can now scan in money orders and cash them from the digital form. Leaving the original fully intact and appearing uncashed. So my mom asked if this money order was cashed or not, and it HAD BEEN CASHED. Total scam. Totally irritating. My mom contacted Ebay about the seller and has yet to hear back from them. She also made a file documenting all that transpired. Should any FBI agent come knocking on the door, ha!

Use your head, scammers are getting more creative all the time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

And the winner is....

My son with the EXACT guess of 3 inches.

I did not notice that these were the smallest growing alligators and that the record growth is 5 inches so I was way off with a guess of 10 inches. I was beat by a five year old, a smart one. Next time we will try purified water and see if we can get it to grow over the 3 inch mark.

Way to go kiddo!


Last night, our family went to a sports bar for dinner. My hubby played darts as the kids and I played a couple video games while we waited for our food. As we waited a story on the TV caught my eye. It just happened to be College Football Awards night on ESPN. And the story was about the recipient of the 2006 Spirit Award; Patrick Henry Hughes. Wow! Patrick was born with no eyes or the ability to fully strengthen his arms or legs, leaving him unable to walk. When Patrick was very young his parents observed his love for music and would often sit down with him at the piano. It did not take long to realize he had a gift for music. His story is amazing, I highly recommend clicking on this November article from ABC and watching the video clip on the left. This father son relationship is one to truly admire, they are both an inspiration. His father works the night shift so he can attend all of Patrick's college classes, band practices and football games. They are an incredible team. Go watch their story now, it will move you. I know it did me, I found myself flooded with tears as the waitress brought our food. Yes, it is really that touching.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Prayer request

Please pray for my Aunt who is having surgery today on her vocal cords.
And please also pray for my mom. She has a doctors appointment with her heart specialist, at her last visit he wanted to hospitalize her that day. My mom still feels like there are things she needs to do before she will go into the hospital for surgery.

On a lighter note, hubby stummbled across this fun little game. Eskiv. The object is to touch your circle to the square without touching any of the the blue balls. My highest is 125.

Have fun and thanks for praying.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Operation Complete

So how did it go?? I thought you would never ask.
First off I must say that our dog is the loudest dog in the world. Even just walking across the kitchen floor is a noisy endevor, put a toy in her mouth and she thrashes about, runs and goes crazy. Add a ball to the mix and she is ripping up and down the hallway like a torando. This is why I believe dogs are not allowed in apartments. Not to mention the THUMP THUMP of her tail against the wall as she walks down the hall. So today she was the noisiest soul in the house but for the experiments sake we ignored her, afterall had we been truly in an apartment she would not even be present.
Let's just say our family failed terribly!!! As in kicked out of the complex. The lady downstairs would not only rap on the ceiling and call the police; I am pretty sure she would egg our car and leave mean messages in our mailbox.
I discovered that my kids believe that to get from point A to point B you MUST run. And running as pointed out before is a NO NO in an apartment, it is not a quiet way to go about the house. After reminding them many times they finally developed a light footed canter. And remembered to use it...most of the time.
I discovered that my kids feel it is necessary and acceptable to yell my name from any location in the house at any decibal they feel fit. Especially the three year old. "Mommy!!!! I would go to the room they were in, remind them to use their quiet voice and then they would whisper until the next crisis i.e. wipe their butt. Then it was back to "MOMMY, please can you wipe my butt?" And once I was in the room it was back to whispers. I am sure the lady downstairs enjoyed hearing my child's potty needs.
As we did school I noticed the house settled into a nice quiet routine. I am sure the lady downstairs was smiling. That was until my kitchen chairs got pushed away from the table and their was a horrendous SCREECH across the floor. Yup, this is why kitchens are carpeted in most apartment dining rooms. I get it now. Then there was the throwing away of some trash and the door did a double slam as my knee brushed up against it. Wince, double wince. Thankfully our lesson plans for today had two very time involved projects. Making pretzels. Rather quiet. Next melting broken crayons into "rainbow crayons." Which involved sorting the broken from the still intact, stripping them of their paper, and placing them in a foil lined muffin tin. Again rather quiet. If you ignore the chair SCREECHING every time you move it even an inch. Then yes it was a very quiet hour. But school was far from over and our day far from done.
There were many little sounds that I tune out daily. Marbles rolling this way and the other, yeah, it would be rather annoying to the lady downstairs. And the fire truck that my little girl loves to drive around, foot powered, does not always follow the straight path of the hallway. No it runs into the wall, many many times. Again I usually tune this kind of stuff out.
I discovered today that my kids do not step out of their chairs, they jump out of their chairs. THUMP.
Recess was a welcome break and I was more than eager to shove the kids outside to run about. I perked it up by explaining that they could run, yell, jump and be very very loud outside. DS was very eager and suited up in his snowsuit and not so quiet snow boots and TRAMPED outside where he played for an hour. DD wanted nothing to do with the cold, no snow suit, no boots, no go on the outdoors. So we decided we would try and dance...quietly, go ahead laugh. I thought it could be done. I put on Selahs Greatest Hymns, nice, relaxing, slow moving, I was thinking ballerina like grace across the room. So DD tries to swirl gracefully around and trips over a shoe on the floor. CLUNK down she goes and the lady downstairs hit the floor twice. We giggled and she hit the floor again. We got back up and tried again. Yet the music was too quiet for little girl. So she turned up How Great Thou Art to the full volume of our speakers. Doh. Too loud. As if a worship song could be considered too loud. We turned it down and I whisked her around the room. Trying ever so carefully to use the tips of my toes. I thought to myself this may work for a little girl but there is NO WAY my son would go for ballerina hour for recreation indoors. Push ups and sits ups, yes, dancing yes but surely not the quiet type.
Later as DD finished her snack she put her dishes in the sink, only she did not set them in the sink, they CRASHED into the sink. My son comes in from outside, STOMP STOMP STOMP. Reminder of the quiet as a mouse, to which he rolls his eyes. Humor me kid, humor me.
We went on with our day, we did more school. We talked about On Fire For Him and her kids. We talked about the real lady downstairs for them and how she called the police because the kids were running down the hall. He liked hearing about their world. My son began to taunt the "pretend" lady downstairs at our house. If I reminded him to be quiet he would give a good STOMP and then comply. There were a few times he said, I am done playing this quiet as a mouse "game". On with school. As long as they were at the table there was relative peace. There was still an occasional scwabble, which leads me to my next point. There is no such thing as a quiet TANTRUM. A crying fit can not be hushed. I can only imagine what the lady downstairs thinks of us now, I know she is not amused. THRASHING, STOMPING, SCREAMING, CRYING, sitting on her bed, "MOMMY!!!" Yes this happens to me.
Hopscotch was the recommended activity for my cirriculm, before DS came in from outside I tried it out with little hops and found that while the thumping was not present the CREAKING of our floor was. So I passed on it, no hopscotch, no jumping jacks. Instead we made card houses and played board games.
Later in the evening I was entertained by my happy son who started dancing about. I reminded him we were still being quiet. To which he replied. "I was dancing like Happy Feet. Do I sound just like him?" I am sure he did and I am also pretty sure that the lady downstairs did not care one bit about his dancing even if it did sound like Happy Feet. For I concluded that she must be an old crab with a snaggle tooth, she must have never had children of her own or she would have compassion on a stay at home mother who is with her children ALL DAY, and she would know that it is not possible to keep a child "quiet" for such a length of time. Nor is it for the better health of a child or his family to keep them quiet all day.
I found this experiment to be very enlightening. I find that I have a whole lot of compassion for On Fire For Him and a whole lot of respect. How does one raise her family to be respectful without compromising the happiness of her children. Kids do need to be kids. They do need to play and run and jump. No not all day long. But these things are not bad, these things are good. I would be sad if my kids did not have the energy that they do. If they moved about their day in a lull, video hypnotis kind of state. I think that there are natural rhythms in a day that allow for quiet times and times of activity. I do think learning to be quiet is an important thing. One needs to be quiet during a church sermon or when their mother is on the phone. They need to be respectful around others and learn to control their impulse to act crazy. There are places where it is not appropraite to run from point A to point B. So training these things are important. But living them day in and day out I would find incredibly difficult and compromising to our quality of life.
So give me my silly, running, jumping, laughing, dancing, LOUD kids any day of the week. And the lady downstairs can either join in the fun or she can move.

My name is Sarah and I live in a noisy house and ONLY after all are asleep is it ... quiet as a mouse.

Operation Quiet As a Mouse

In this post, my online friend On Fire For Him shares her challenge of living in an apartment with young children. Did I mention young boys? While those of us with children know this is virtually IMPOSSIBLE, the neighbor below her does not. If you have not already make sure you read her post as it is what prompted the challenge of Operation Quiet as a Mouse.
I thought how would we do in an apartment situation? My husband and I lived in an apartment our first year of marriage, no children. My father-in-law lived in an apartment for many years on the first floor, so the pitter patter of feet were not an issue. We just needed voice control, which was not a big issue. And if it was we simply cut our visit short. So for today and today only we are going to pretend that we live in an apartment. That there are people living below us and we must be quiet and respectful. The challenge was acknowledged with a smiling grin. I announced the challenge and the cat jumped off the refridgerator with a THUMP! This is going to be interesting. The first half hour was their TV time so it was REAL quiet as they watched Little Bear. Then when they got up, they ran down the hallway. And if you read the post, you know this is a BIG NONO. So I asked them to please walk and try to be quiet and respectful. I got a look. Next there was dragging of chairs into another room to make a fort. And it has only JUST begun. I think this is truely going to be a challenge. DS has already proclaimed he does not want to do the challenge anymore, but I think we are going to press ahead and see what the results may be. I am already feeling a whole lot of compassion for On Fire! There is no one below us but I am pretending with every noise a tapping and a tsk tsk. And what about the water in the pipes and the running of the dishwasher? These things are not quiet. Now we are off to the kitchen table to do school, I guess there will be no jumping jacks today...

My name is Sarah and I live in a noisy house, today and today only we are going to try and live....quiet as a mouse.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The kids made a fort in DS's room.

DD: "I am the mom, so OBEY me!"
DS: "I am not playing house."

A few minutes later...
DS: "I don't have to, I am Jesus!"
DD: "OH, Hi Jesus!"


As we our switching over files we will be in and out of service. If you need to get ahold of us, please call. This may take 1-3 days. I am hoping this goes smoothly. I am very thankful for the upgrade, it will be worth every second of my computers disconnection. See you when it's complete. WooHoo!!!

Update: We have scheduled for the transfer to take place Wednesday evening so we will be operating until then.

The Owner

Before I had my babies and before I worked on barns, I worked at the same company my husband does now. So the company christmas party is often a mini reunion for me. Seeing technicians and their wives. Meeting the new employees. Many of the same employees that were there when I was there are still there and many new have come. It has been interesting for me to see the progression of the company. When I was there the owner of the company was very much involved in the daily grind of the business, it was not uncommon to see him daily. Sometimes several times a day. Fastforward to now, where the owner has stepped out of the daily operation of the business. This year as we were enjoying the company of those at our table, a new hire had still never met the owner. Another at the table had been there a year and said he had seen him maybe six times in that whole time. This really surprised me. In fact they were so distanced from this man that they didn't know his full name. Then there was my husband and I who have established a relationship with him throughout the years. And even though I personally have not seen him in a few months, it was no problem to converse with him. I know the names of his kids, his interests, his church, ect. As does he know the same about our family. There is a relationship that has built throughout the years.
Last night I was really thinking about this dynamic. And I could not help but see it in light of Christ. There are many that enter the holiday season knowing of the Savior, they have heard he exists, but they have never met him for themselves. Then there are others who have met him. They could recognize him in the room, but don't know much about him. They see him a couple times a year, perhaps Christmas and Easter. They may even call him if they need help. Then there are others still that make it a point to stay in relationship with him. They know his name, his interests, they love what he loves and take an active role in keeping close to him. They are comfortable around him because they KNOW him. A servant of the King, yet a child of the King as well.
As the evening progressed I found myself thankful for knowing the owner. That there was a relationship beyond a yearly visit. The same goes for me and my God. Ever thankful for relationship.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Letter From Jesus- Author Unknown

Letter from Jesus- Author Unknown
Dear Children:
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate my birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival - although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily
understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own.
I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate my birth just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that let me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all my followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday
tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can & may remember me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks are. If you forgot that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth here is my
wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday
is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from
home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know because they tell me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally.
They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year? Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of my birth, and why I came to live with you here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6 Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take his or her
own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes my love & good news to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.

9. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them (and I suspect you don't) buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in me. They will make
the delivery for you.

10 Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in my presence. Let people know by your actions that
you are one of mine.

Love, Jesus

P.S. Don't forget; I am God and can take care of myself. Just love me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above then get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the
ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all
those whom you love and remember, I LOVE YOU.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Steve Spangler Arrives

Since they were closed over the Thanksgiving weekend, our package was shipped on Monday. Making yesterday the day that all of our cool science stuff was to arrive. We went to my ladies morning bible study (which was beautiful.) Then as we got in our car to come home we began to sing about our package that was to arrive. We went home and did a normal school day. With the blinds in the living room up so we could quickly see if the Fed-Ex truck was here. We finished the normal stuff, took a break and I had dear son read to me. My "e" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure. These books are a bit long for early readers, nearly 300 words. Well the truck arrived about a third of the way into the book. We heard the brakes of the truck before we saw it. We all jumped up and ran to the door, doing a little dance as we went. Knowing he would not finish the book unless we did that BEFORE we opened the box, I told DS he had to finish the book before we would open it. He read the next few pages with a quick ease, then dad came home and distracted him. After a few minutes I got him focused again and he finished the book, no problem. Talk about motivation to get through a book. We both wanted into that box. And we were not disappointed. Science gold is what I think about Steve Spangler and his products. It was a matter of minutes and we had science racks with test tubes of mini experiments set-up. Then we tried the tornado tube, not knowing there was a trick the first few times, then I got smart. We made a little traveling science lab to go show grandpa and grandma, our biggest cheerleaders in the science department. The kids had fun showing them some of their new stuff. We tried the marshmellow masher with a large marshmellow but found it too tricky to get into the bottle and have a positive effect. Although we found that the pressure really was building in the bottle as I sent the top blasting into the ceiling and zooming behind the curtain. Lesson learned, slowly unscrew the pressurized bottle with a good hold on the top as you release it. Unless of course you are outside and wish to see it go zooming like a rocket. Although it would have enough force that it could easily be lost as I do believe it would go VERY high. Just a prediction for you. Speaking of predictions, we all made predictions on how big DS's alligator would grow. It started out as 2" and will soak in water for a week. The prediction is for how big it will be at the one week mark. Anyone want to make a guess?

We have science and will is so cool!