Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'
'No problem, just let me in,' says the senator.
'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.'
'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the senator.
'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.
Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.
They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.
Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy and who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.
Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.
'Now it's time to visit heaven.'
So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.'
The senator reflects for a minute, then answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.
Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above...
The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.
'I don't understand,' stammers the senator. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?'
The devil looks at him, smiles and says.......
'Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted.'
Thursday, October 23, 2008
First, news on baby Addison who will be 3 months old on Saturday. At exactly 80 days old, Addison was released from the hospital to go home with her mommy and daddy. She has done so much better than anyone could have hoped for and God really saw her through the long road from the incubator to her own home.
Now, for a much more somber update. It is an update about my cousin, Brooke, and her unborn baby girl. I can't say it better than my uncle, the baby girl's grandpa, said it in an email to my brother:
“You recall that Brooke's baby was diagnosed as having Spina Bifida open defect (without a covering membrane) with an Arnold-Chiari Type II malformation of the brain. The baby has excess fluid on the brain and the malformation causes the brain to be compressed into the spinal column.
On the 27th, Monday of next week, Brooke is to have her amniotic fluid tested. Assuming they find the lungs to be developed as expected, she is scheduled for a C-Section delivery at 1:30pm Wednesday, the 29th, at Baylor Hospital's main campus. Immediately following delivery, the baby is to be transported to Children's Hospital in Dallas. Within 24-48 hours of birth, the little girl is to have surgery on her back to close both the neural tube and the skin over the opening in her spinal column.…The truth is, we have learned a great deal about what her condition MIGHT be, but only God knows what it WILL be. So we try to prepare a best we can, and try not to worry about all the things that might be. As one of our doctors told us early in this odyssey, there is no way to know what her condition really is until after delivery.
A few weeks ago Brooke and Matt were able to escape for a few days to celebrate Brooke's 30th birthday. During that time they were able to clear their heads a bit and spend some time letting their trust and faith be renewed. They determined that they would trust God to heal her, as he sees fit. Since that time, the evaluations and reports they have received seem to have been getting better. We know God does reward faith.
Brooke and Matt's three boys, Caleb (7), Bradley (5), and Anderson (almost 2) have great concern for their sister and their Mommy. Certainly they don't comprehend how this might impact their lives. But the love and tenderness they have already shown foretells that they will be fabulous brothers for her.As Brooke and Matt look past the birth of the child they know there is a lot of uncertainty. Uncertainty calls for faith, strength, and perseverance. They have concerns how this birth may change the lives of their family, impact their futures, and create financial consequences that will be difficult to bear.
On Monday, October 27th, we will be having a special day of prayer and fasting for this baby and her family. It is a day we will set aside to ask for God's healing, God's help, God's wisdom, God's comfort, God's provision, and God's mercy. If you want to, and can, join in prayer and fasting on that day, we thank you. Prayers do make a difference. Hopefully, the descriptions in this email can help you understand and know what the concerns and opportunities are for this child.”
This is a very heart-wrenching situation and my heart aches for my cousin. My sweet aunt, Naomi, sent out a very sweet card to all of us family members with 2 bracelets in it to remind us to pray for Baby Girl Cole. I proudly wear it on my arm and intend to pray ferverently for this family. Being a nursing mother, the fasting is not really possible for me, but I will be fasting in my heart on behalf of this baby girl and this whole family.
Thank you all so much for your prayers for these babies and their families. I ask that you lift up Brooke, Matt, their boys, and baby girl this Mon-Wed as they prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally for what is to come.
Before I get into US, though, let me pause in recognition of my mother's aunt, Kay, who passed away this week prompting a trip up to North Dakota for my mom and her sister. Her aunt had been battling cancer and lost the fight Monday night. She was my granddaddy's sister. She and my mom were really close when my mom was young, but they have since seen things very differently and that effected their relationship. I know that my mom is flooded with many memories from her childhood of times spent with Kay. We pray for comfort for the family as they deal with their loss. The funeral will be tomorrow.
We are just living normal life around here, really. Mark goes to work. I take care of the kids, do laundry, that sort of thing. Conrey is STILL trying to get his first little teeth in and it has been quite miserable for him. Poor little guy! Cassie is getting used to living here at Grannie and Grandpa's house and is enjoying the extra attention. We had a play date with her cousins, Jason and Jessica, this morning. That was fun. We are easing into church here and I'm trying to help Mark meet people and feel acclimated. It is really difficult for him, so I'm trying to be supportive and trying to really keep him in the forefront of my mind when we're at church to make sure that he's not lost in the shuffle. That happens with him because he is so quiet by nature and I really want him to feel comfortable here. I think that that is about it. I have started going to the Ladies' Bible Study on Tuesday mornings and really enjoy it. It is a nice break to get out and interact with women of all ages.
I think that that is about it with us. I want to be sure and direct you to the post below in case you didn't see it. I really want to try to publicize this business and help them out, so PLEASE take a look at their stuff and if like what you see and find them competitive with other companies, give them a shot. I am SURE you will not be disappointed!
Not much to post about things at the moment. If anything amazing, incredible, or unbelievable happens, I'll be sure and post it. For now, this will have to do. Also, don't forget about this website. It's worth checking into too!!!
For now, I'm out!
Monday, October 20, 2008
As a disclaimer, I have to financial interest in this website, so don't think that I'm trying to use my blog for moolah. I don't get special discounts for sending people to them or anything like that. I just loved what I saw and want to help this company get off and running, because I believe that they have a bright future with what they have posted as of yet and what they have planned! I'm all for the small business in America!
That's all I have to say about that. Now, go support our economy! :)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Things are going alright here. My mom is being patient and trying not to go too crazy with us here. We're doing laundry and such today and will go to the grocery store when Conrey wakes up. It's just kind of normal life for us, but with an extra set of hands, which is really nice!
Mark is liking his job okay. It's always an adjustment starting at a new company. Being in a new city adds to the challenges as he has gotten lost a few times. He's taking it all in stride, though. We'll go to his parents' house Saturday night for our usual family time and I know he's looking forward to that.
The kids are adjusting well. Who WOULDN'T adjust well to being spoiled rotten?!? Cassie had trouble with nap time the first 2 days, but was much better yesterday, so I think she's adjusting and realizing that we have to go about normal life even here at Grannie and Grandpa's house.
Conrey is STILL trying to get some teeth. The poor guy is really in agony with it, but still being really good and not too fussy. He's decently close to sitting alone. He really wants to and can for 10-15 seconds before hunching over and complaining that he can no longer breathe because of his ginormous belly!
Me? I'm just trying to be helpful around here and trying to keep all of the kids messes confined to 1 room. It's a struggle, but we're managing. We'll do some fall baking next week and that should be fun.
Well, there's an update. Not too exciting, but an update nonetheless. The washer is done and I must go change over the laundry. Everyone take care and we'll "talk" soon!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Me: I love YOU!
C: I love YOU!
Me: I love YOU!
C: I love YOU MORE!
Me: I love YOU more!
(Back and forth a few times)
C: I love you BEST!
Me: I love YOU best!
C w/ a huge grin and a mischieveous twinkle in her eye: I love you best with pink flags!
Whatever that means, she won. In her little mind, that trumps all.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I was tagged by Shalee for a meme. I am supposed to write 7 weird things about myself. Hmmm...it may be tough to come up with...me being so normal and all.
1. All I ever wanted to be in life was a mommy. Some of you may be disgusted at what I'm about to reveal. The only...ONLY reason I went to college at all was for an MRS degree and to find "Mr. Right." The joke was on me, though...he wasn't there!
2. I can type 80+ words per minute. When I'm working (as a medical transcriptionist) and actually practicing, I can type 90-100+.
3. I had shingles at the age of 12. Typically, shingles is a middle-aged person disease. Typically, it lasts for a few weeks and then resolves. I had them at age 12, which was bizarre and I had them for over 6 months, which was extremely bizarre. They are usually associated with stress. My doctor said that I was the youngest person he'd ever seen with shingles and I was the worst case of shingles he had ever seen.
4. I can spout of the jingle to almost any commercial you name. It's sad, really. If I see a commercial once, I can do a fair job with the entire thing. If I've seen a commercial more than once, be prepared for the entire commercial. I don't care if the spot was from 1989, I can do the commercial! "One day, one night! Saturday's alright! Online's just fine! Nighttime anytime! Get your degree! Set yourself free! National American University!" The same goes for theme songs. "Picture Pages! Pictures Pages! Time to get your Picture Pages! Time to get your crayons and your pencils! Open up your Picture Pages! Time to watch Bill Cosby do a Picture Page with you!" That's a little blast from the past courtesy of my childhood!
5. When I was 4 months old, I almost died and had major surgery. The doctor's handed my parents my booties and said that they couldn't save me. What I had was called intusseception. It typically affects children 2 and younger. I am always a nervous wreck with my kids until they turn 2 and the risk of intusseception decreases.
6. I was in a Bugles (you know, the crunchy, cone-shaped 'chips') commercial that was all in Japanese that aired only in Japan. It was western-themed, which is strange to me.
7. I have blogged this before, but I have a secret aspiration to be either a trained chef OR...this is the new one that nobody knows about...the owner of a cupcake bakery. Seriously, I am passionate about cupcakes!
OK...there are my 7 things. Not too weird, but that's all I got for 'ya! I tag these people:
6. Bek Life
If you weren't tagged, but want to do this, please do the meme and let me know that you've done it! Thanks!
***I haven't linked to these blogs or let the bloggers know that I've tagged them yet, but I will! We're moving soon, people! Time is of the essence. Why did I even spend the time to do this?!? EEK!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
ONE MINUTE A DAY!
This is the scariest election that we, as Christians, have ever faced! From the looks of the polls, the Christians aren't voting Christian values. We all need to be on our knees. Do you believe we can take God at His word? Call upon His name, then stand back and watch His wonders to behold. This scripture gives us, as Christians, ownership of this land and the ability to call upon God to heal it. I challenge you to do so. We have never been more desperate than now for God to heal our land.
This election is the scariest I remember in my lifetime. 2 Chronicles 7:14...'If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.'
During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America.
The United States of America and our citizens need prayer more than ever! If you would like to participate: each evening at 9:00 P M Eastern Time; 8:00 PM Central; 7:00 PM Mountain; 6:00 PM Pacific; stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, for peace in the world, the upcoming election, that the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land and that Christianity will grow in the U.S.
If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along. Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.
Thank You. Please pass this on to anyone who you think will want to join us. Be sure to let your church prayer groups know and ask your pastors/priests to announce it at church. Can't we all afford ONE MINUTE with God for our country, and ourselves?
Again, these were not my words, but I thought they were well-spoken and that it is worth every second of that minute to pray on a united front for our country. Let's let God see that there ARE faithful among us, so that He might spare this great nation from His wrath!
Monday, October 6, 2008
So, what does Dopps Camp entail? Well, let me start off with numbers. 100. Typically we plan for somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 people. This is JUST my dad's side of the family. This is JUST immediate family. 100. So, you figure for crafts, we'll need crafts for about 30-ish people. That's not only a wad of cash if you're not careful, but much planning, shopping (ick!), and preparation.
Because of the large family, we rent an entire camp for the holidays...one year Christmas, the next year Thanksgiving. We spend a weekend or several days there just all being together and lovin' every moment of it! We are a very close-knit family and all look forward to Dopps Camp every year.
SO...here are the guidlines for the craft...perhaps this should have been up above...
2. Easy-ish (we usually have a few hours in which to get all 30 kids/ladies through the craft)
3. Winter/Christmas themed
So, bring 'em my way and I thank you kindly in advance! :)
Friday, October 3, 2008
There is one author, in particular, that I am most likely to pick up than any other when choosing a book...especially now that I don't get the opportunity very often. His name is Orson Scott Card. Not only is Mr. Card full of imagination and incredible stories, but his fiction makes you think, reevaluate life, and understand relationships. My favorite book is EASY to pick...it is not only my favorite book by OSC, it is my favorite book at large: Ender's Game. Now, if you google it, don't start thinking that I'm a sci-fi weirdo. I'm not. I think that it would be safe to say I hate most sci-fi. However, when you're reading Ender's Game, it doesn't feel like fantasy. It feels like it could be reality.
The story is of a boy...a young boy...a brilliant boy. When I read Ender's Game, I am not reading about a boy. I become the boy. I live his life. I feel his pain. I anticipate his actions, thoughts, strategies. I AM Ender. To me, that is the highest compliment I could ever give an author. When you become a part of the story, you become invested and you can't help but want more. Every time I read the last page of Ender's Game, I feel sad and somewhat depressed that it is over. I have read it in it's entirety 18 times. I have read excerpts numerous times. Am I obsessed or crazy? NO! It is just that amazing of a story. It is like revisiting a favorite memory. It feels like home to read EG.
I should back up a moment and mention something about Ender's Game. It was originally written to stand alone. It was written to be a single novel and it would have been an amazing story had it ended there. However, the story continued. Time passed between Ender's Game and the next book, Speaker for the Dead. It is a completely different type of story. Ender is an adult. He is a different person, yet the same. It is like reconnecting with your best friend from childhood that you haven't seen in years. There are 2 additional books in the series, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. They are all quality fiction, but I always come back to the beginning.
The most interesting thing about Ender's world is the parallel books of the "Ender's Shadow" series. It is a separate series that are from the point of view of one of the other characters from Ender's Game. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are much the same story, but from a different perspective. I do not know how Mr. Card was able to create such an incredible companion for such an incredible book, but ES keeps you involved while essentially retelling a tale. There is a large part of the story that does not coincide, but the parts that do feel new and fresh, even being the same story. There are, I believe, 4 additional books in the shadow series. My mouse is frozen at the moment, so I can't verify that and sadly I do not own all of the shadow books...there are either 3 or 4. Regardless, they are worth a read.
I've read numerous other non-Ender related fiction that has poured forth out of the amazing brain of Mr. Card and have never been disappointed. The Alvin Maker series is intriguing. Wyrms is incredibly imaginative. His fiction all captures me and involves me as sure as if I were walking beside the characters. To me, that is what makes good fiction great. When I leave my reality and become a part of the world that I'm reading.
Thank you, Mr. Card, for sharing your gift for words and your crazy imagination with the world!
Now you can say I'm obsessed. I'll accept that as a compliment! :)
As referenced in my TILT post, I love the New Theatre Restaurant. It is ALWAYS an enjoyable time with fabulous food, a great show, and amazing dessert. The food is 5 star. They have the BEST garlic mashed potatoes! I had 2 helpings. The show was The Last Romance and starred Marion Ross AKA Mrs. C on Happy Days and her significant other, Paul Michael. They have been doing plays together for like 20 years or something and are a fabulous duo. They have great chemistry and are pretty hilarious together. This is billed as a boy-meets-girl type comedy, but with senior citizens. It was just really good and really cute. The dessert...pretty much to die for every time. Mark had "Gone Bananas." It was a banana cake with banana cream cheese between the layers. It was completely encased in chocolate ganache. It was garnished with fresh whipped cream and fresh bananas that were sauteed in (and swimming in) an amaretto caramel sauce. He loved it! I had their signature dessert...chocolate cobbler. It is a gooey chocolate cake with chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, toasted almonds, and toffee bits. I as stuffed to the gills, but managed to destroy this confection!
Anyway, it was a fabulous night, though it was hard to leave the baby for the first time. No, I didn't cry, but it was difficult. :) We enjoyed talking without interruption...eating without interruption...watching the show without--you guessed it--interruption. Do you see a theme?
So, if you live in this area, you need to check it out. It's worth every penny!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
My bloggity friend, Jill, is the host of "THINGS I LOVE THURSDAY," and I thought I would participate. However, even as I'm beginning this, I'm not sure what I love...hmmm...
I thought about writing about the NEW THEATRE RESTAURANT because of the date that my hubby and I are going on tonight. I do love it. However, I wanted it to be something universal that I might introduce to anyone reading this...not just people in my area.
SO, I decided to write about an "oldy, but goody" that I love and have recently become reaquainted with...Puppy Chow!
You know, that melt-in-your-mouth, chocolaty, peanutbuttery, goodness? YUM! We went on a trip to Branson this past weekend and I indulged us in some crunchy yumminess for our travels. MAN have I missed that stuff! Jill...this might be a good one for your *ahem* moments. :)
So, if you've been living in a cave or did not grow up in my era and somehow missed it, here is the recipe for all things delish!
PUPPY CHOW (aka muddy buddies aka people chow)
*1 box Crispix cereal (the structure of Crispix holds better than Chex, but I've made it with both and they all taste delicious! Just make sure you use rice Chex)
*1 bag chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate)
*1-1/2 c. peanut butter
*1 stick (1/2 c) butter
*1 tsp vanilla
*Adequate powdered sugar to coat (I've seen recipes that call for anywhere from 1 c to 4 c)
Melt the butter, PB, and chocolate chips in the microwave. Put them all in a microwave safe bowl and micro for 1 min. Stir and micro for 30 sec. Repeat the 30-sec intervals until smooth. Add vanilla and stir well.
Pour ceral in a LARGE bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over, stirring as you go until it's all coated.
Pour 1/2 c or so of the pow. sugar into a gallon-sized ziplock baggie OR a clean, large, paper bag, but that's kinda gross to me. :) Pour 1/2 of the cereal/chocolate mixture into the baggie. Pour more pow sugar over that, then the rest of the cereal, then more powdered sugar. Seal the bag well and shake it like crazy until it's all coated and fabulous. If you need to, add more pow. sugar.
It can be stored in the fridge or on the counter...if it makes it long enough to need storing. I store it right in the baggie that I shook it in. It does taste pretty fabulous cold from the fridge.
THAT is what I love today...I think I'll go eat some! :)
Head on over to The Diaper Diaries to find out what other people are lovin'!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The theme this week is kitchen organization. Mine isn't so much organization as obsession. I have had a little kitchen-y love for Penzey's spices. It has recently become somewhat of an obsession. They are...how do I put it? FABULOUS! I love Penzey's from BRADY STREET SPRINKLE to the SANDWICH SPRINKLE to the BOUQUET GARNI and everything in between! Their cinnamon is to die for. Their toasted onion powder is FABULOUS! I LOVE PENZEYS! When we move, I'm going to miss it. I don't go often, but whenever I'm back up here...I'll be going...for SURE! Here's what I love about Penzey's: Not sure what to cook for dinner? Get some chicken...add a little something from a Penzey's bottle, jar, or bag...VOILA! You've just made something fabulous and your husband thinks you've spent hours slaving away. What else do I love? The fact that once you've got the initial container, you can simply keep filling it with their bagged product...cheaper...bigger quantity...I love a good deal and this is! Probably the BEST thing about Penzey's is that they are very competitively priced...sometimes cheaper than the quality things found in the store and they are so much more fragrant, pungent (if I can use that in good terms), and flavorful. SO, find a Penzey's nearby or shop online! If you need suggestions about what is a must-have, give me a shout and I'll give you my list! :)
KIDS: Anyone that knows me knows that I have and always have had a passion for kids. I love talking to them, hearing what they have to say, learning how their little brains think things through. They are magical and amazing little people!
KISSES: The lip-smackin' sort. There is nothing that speaks to my heart more than a sweet kiss from my hubby or kids. And yes, Physical Touch IS my Love Language! :)
KIWI: There is something about this fruit that is just curious to me. Fuzzy on the outside, somewhat slimey on the inside, with teeny, tiny seeds on the inside that are fun to crunch. The texture on the inside is unique and you won't find a fruit that is similar!
KOOL-AID: Yes, I'm a kid at heart (see above about kids)! :) I love Kool-Aid. I especially love green Kool-Aid. It not only is yummy, but it brings back a certain bit of nostalgia from my childhood. It was the "special drink" for parties, birthdays, playgroups, etc.
That's all I can come up with for "K." Lame
LEMON-LIME: I love just about anything l-l flavored. Sprite, Kool-Aid (see above), candy, sno-cones, etc. It is just a tasty flavor! As a side note, I LOVE cherry limeades, strawberry limeades, regular limeades, lemonade, cherry lemonade, lemon bars. Pretty much if it is lemon, lime, or l-l, I love it! My favorite dessert EVER is Key Lime pie!
LUCKY CHARMS: Is a comment really necessary? Adult cereal and kiddie cereal all mixed in one!
LILAC: I can't figure out how to spell that in all caps...sorry. Something about all caps messes with my brain. Anyway, I love lilacs. I guess that spelling was right, wasn't it? I love the look of lilacs. I love the smell of lilacs. I want a lilac bush! Do they grow in Kansas? :)
LIGHT: I love light. I love a pure, white light if it is artificial lighting. I love sunlight. There is nothing better when I'm not feeling well than to take a nap in a shaft of sunlight streaming through the window.
LITTLE THINGS: I love all things miniature. If you take an ordinary object and shrink it down to miniaturize it, I love it. So far, Cassie shares my passion for all things tiny. I love doll houses that have intricate replicas. I love toys that are perfect imitations only on a smaller scale. I love tiny food. I love little things!
OK...now I'm even more lame with the "L's." Oh well. I have one thought to share with you in parting:
LITTLE LADIES LICK LOLLIPOPS
My cruel parents, upon discovering that I couldn't pronounce my "L's," had me repeat this often. They have it on tape. It goes a little something like this in my version:
Yiddle Yadies Yick Yawpops.