Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pure Talent

I have talented, generous, and just plain awesome friends!

Thanks, Annette.

Merry Christmas!

No Room

It's December 23rd, and I'm officially done.

Done with anything that doesn't involve a baby and a savior.

Done counting.

Done adding.

Done worrying.

Done planning.

Done stressing.

Done crying.

Done comparing.

Unless you can save me (and that would mean you're Jesus), don't ask.

My friend Todd Agnew once again hits the nail on the head:

No room (The Innkeeper)
by Todd Agnew

from the album Do You See What I See?

There's no room...no room in the inn,

If you were someone important

we might try to fit you in,

but there's no room in here for you.

There's no room...no room to lay your head,

If you were wealthy

we might find you a bed,

but there's no room in here for you.

'Cause I'm cold, and tired of working my whole life away,

Every hand, needing one thing more,

comes knocking at my door,

I got a hundred people calling out my name today,

and you come to my door,

And I can't care no more,

unless you can save me.

There's no room for you and your little lady,

(you and your little lady)

There's a manger in the stable;

should be just fine for your little baby,

There's no room in here, no.

'Cause I'm cold, and tired of working my whole life away,

Every hand, needing one thing more,

comes knocking at my door,

I got a hundred people calling out my name today,

and I can't care no more,

And you come, asking for something for nothing,

What can you give me?

Can you save me?

'Cause I'm cold, and tired of working my whole life away,

Every hand, needing one thing more,

comes knocking at my door,

I got a hundred people screaming out my name,

and I can't care no more,

You come, needing more when I got nothing,

What can you give me?

Can you save me?

Oh, please, little baby, can you save me?

Little baby,Can you save me?

I got nothing left for anything that isn't the CHRIST of Christmas.

Funny, yet sad, that it took me until December 23rd to get there.

How many other things have I tried to fit in this season, that I thought were so important? Effectively telling Jesus I had no room? I can think of very few Christ-like things I have done this Christmas season.

No more. My heart is open. Wide open. There's room for Him.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Carolling, Carolling, Carolling, Carolling

Colton's class has been busy with Christmas fun this week.

They adopted a needy family in their class, and each child signed up to help in some way - either with Christmas Dinner or with gifts for the family members. Colton chose to sign up for treats, so we spent Tuesday night making these (thanks, Terri!):

Then, the class got to meet the family, sing for them, and deliver all their goods on Wednesday.

Today was the last day of school before break, and Colton's class went carolling in the halls. They all had little bells or tambourines, so they were very jingly indeed. They were trying to hard to be quiet in the hallways in between knocking on classroom doors!


Colton's words of wisdom from this week, which I know will serve him well:

1. Mommy, when the family comes to the classroom, you shouldn't say things like "Why are you so poor?" or even "Hey, I'm glad you're poor so you could be our Christmas family." Because that's rude. It might make them feel bad.

2. If you don't want to sing while you're carolling, you should just keep banging your tambourine against your leg like this - **insert a little rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, complete with tambourine action.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Official BooMama Christmas Tour of Homes


Funny things happen when you schedule a Gingerbread Party that no one can come to - your decorations get put up well before Christmas Day! Accordingly, you are done decorating in time to participate in Boo Mama's famous Christmas Tour of Homes. Woo Hoo!!

Dining room doorway

This little guy sits on the landing of our "grand staircase"

Ignore the pink, theater carpet - it will soon (hopefully) meet it's demise!

Santa pics of the boys from itty bitty until now

The stockings were hung by the piano with care . . .

The little, wall hanging Christmas tree. Just decorated with simple green, red & white lights.

The Wall Hanging Section

A Santa my sister-in-law made us years ago. She is a quilter-extraordinaire!

Mary Engelbriet, I love you! We are all believers around our house!
Snowman courtesy of Colton.

A Santa quilted wall hanging my mom made. It's so cool. She is dying right now because I didn't iron it before I hung it up. Sorry, mom!

Another mom original. This one is my favorite.

The Nativity Section
Apparently, I've got a bit of an addiction!

This is the kid's nativity. They pick the backdrop and arrange the figures. I try really hard not to re-arrange them when they're done. It was a cheapie, because I figured it would end up broken, but this is it's 5th year, going strong. We've come a long way from the first year, being set up in one big, long, very straight line!

A simple, rustic nativity. I think the antique radio actually makes a pretty good backdrop!

The Willow Tree Nativity.
Overlooked by our Little Drummer Boy doll - a present from Grandmother to Chance to celebrate his favorite Christmas song.

Our main nativity - we got this one for our wedding 12 years ago, and I still love it!

Another small, simple one. Goes perfectly atop a cake stand, and is perfect for the dining room.

The big picture - tree and all.

I love Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Game On!

We had a fun weekend in the Tri-Cities watching Chance play hockey. This was his first tournament of the year, and his first real competition playing as a Squirt, which is the 9 & 10 year old division of youth hockey.

It seems to be a huge step up from last year (Mites, 8 Under) - in speed, positions, physical play, and competition. I'm going to pull a typical mom move and say "he just looked so big out there!"

Last year was the first year our community had organized hockey, and it was reflected in our scores. The first tournament we went to was something like 24-0, 27-1, 25-0. Inexperienced was truly an understatement.

This time, it was 11-0, 7-0, and 10-0. Vast improvement.

In the first two games, the other team didn't score for several minutes into the first period, and our kids looked halfway like they knew what they were doing! The improvement is amazing.

Chance was still very disappointed that they lost every game, and even more disappointed that they didn't even score. But, he got a few shots on goal that were really strong shots, and blocked by a goalie that must have been a teenager. Okay, the goalie was certainly a 9 or 10 year old, but at least they had to actually play defense, if only a few times!

Our poor goalie took 61 shots the first game, and I'm sure had similar numbers the next two games. That's a whole lot of shots to have to block. And, that doesn't count all the times a shot got deflected by a defender before it reached the goalie. The kids worked their tails off!

Chance slept all the way home, went to bed on time, and still didn't want to get up this morning. He was one tired kid!

Here's to an improving team that's getting more and more fun to watch. To a great coaching staff that is both patient and tough. And mostly, here's to scoring at least one goal in our next game. As with the team last year, we are "ON THE RISE!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And so we punted

We were supposed to have a Gingerbread Party last night. The kids each chose a few friends, and we invited their families over to eat, relax, and construct gingerbread houses.

Mother Nature had other plans. Her plans called for rain, then snow, then icy fog, combined with kazillion mph winds. With us living approximately in the middle of nowhere, this was not a good party combination.

Many friends called to cancel, and I could not blame them a bit. But, with each cancellation, the tears loomed that much closer for the boys. Finally, we were down to two other families, and I called them to cancel and reschedule - not wanting anyone to brave the roads for a now less-than-stellar attempt at a party.

It was approaching all-out meltdown for two boys that had been looking forward to a veritable gingerbread village all week.

Talk of icy roads and inclimate weather did little to sooth them. I even pulled the "we don't know what plans God has for this" card, to no avail.

We re-scheduled for this Friday, and made several phone calls. This appeared to lessen the pain.

Then, we made the best of the situation.

We threw together some ham sandwiches from the ham and rolls we were supposed to eat.

We made some hot cocoa.

We put in a movie (thanks, Tina).

And we absconded one of the precious Gingerbread Party kits to make as a family.

It turned out all right.

I hadn't seen this version of Miracle on 34th Street, and we all enjoyed it.

We actually learned a couple things that will help us this weekend for the "real", albeit postponed, Gingerbread Party, which will save some catastrophes, I'm sure.

And, we had fun.
If nothing else, I'm all about the fun.

Okay, that's a lie. I'm all about the planning and scheduling and lists and such. But God laughed at my plans and threw them out the window, right down the icy roads. So, for one night, I was all about the fun. It was good for us all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

At least some of the lessons are sticking.

We had to do some shopping the other day.

To the Dollar Store for tablecloths, gift wrap, and bows.

To Safeway for Gingerbread kits.

Also, which might seem unrelated, the boys' school is doing a canned food drive. A little bit of competition was added in, where the class with the most cans got awarded a pizza party.

The food drive ended the next day, and Chance's class was 200 cans behind. His class only has 14 kids, so he had figured if everyone brought 20 more cans, they'd still have some cushion.

He also figured that someone would forget, so he wanted to bring 50 cans of food to school the next day.


So, we're making our way through our first stop - the Dollar Store.

I love the Dollar Store.

As we are perusing the Christmas aisles, Colton generously says - "Mom, it's okay if you want to look here. I'll be patient while we work our way back to the toy section. We can just work our way back there, okay?"


We finish with the wrapping paper, etc, and are headed toward the toys. They can each pick out one toy. I'm such a big spender.

Anyway, they look and look and look, undecided about which foreign-made plastic trinket that will be broken tomorrow anyway to purchase.

Colton gets a knight shield.

Chance decides not to get anything.

He wants to head to the canned food section and see how many cans he can buy for the food bank.

What a little sweetheart!

Some might think his mama's competitive nature was coming out in him. Or that he just likes pizza a whole bunch.

But, I'm going to stick to the surface on this one, and remember that my boy decided to forgo toys in order to buy food for people in need. It makes for a much better scrapbook page!

Besides, either way, he got one of two main family lessons correct:

  1. Help somebody if you can.

  2. Always try to win.

Not necessarily in that order. Even though they should be.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Reasons I love our Christmas Tree:
  1. It is the focal point of our Christmas decorations.
  2. Our family decorates it together each year.
  3. It displays ornaments that hold countless memories for me.
  4. It displays works of art the boys have made throughout the years.
  5. The boys take such pride in rediscovering each of their ornaments and hanging them for the new year.
  6. It will protect many cherished Christmas prizes under it's weighted branches.
  7. It will be the set of continuing Christmas tradition, when Matt and the boys sleep underneath the branches, telling stories and dreaming underneath the twinkle of the lights.
  8. It will stand long after the gifts are opened and flung aside, as a reminder that Christmas is not about the moment of the gifts, but endures much longer, it's true purpose revealed throughout the whole year.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your green limbs teach a lesson;

That constancy and faithful cheer,

Are gifts to cherish all the year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Love a Parade!

While it wasn't as great as last year's parade - I mean, who can beat Darla in a Mrs. Claus outfit?, it was still plenty of fun for boys and parents alike.

The boys donned their hockey gear and roller blades to glide through our community's annual lighted Christmas Parade.

Players and mascot from our nearby semi-semi-not-quite-professional hockey team walked with them, and the kids were in 7th heaven!

Both boys made it the entire parade route without needing to ride in the rescue truck, and even more impressive, so did their mom! We were all about the hot cocoa in the car, and hurried home to bed so we could wake up and hit the ice again on Saturday morning!

What a great night!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Today is my 12th anniversary.

And, I don't know if you knew it or not, but my husband's a pretty big deal.

At least to me, anyway.

Thanks for 12 fabulous years of marriage, babe.

I love you!

PS - $10 Starbucks card for the first person to correctly guess the movie reference above. 'Cept you, honey. I'm pretty sure you've got that one figured out by now :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Proud to be an American

And most of the time, even proud to be a Washingtonian.

Even when it makes me mad.

Even when free speech is speech I disagree with.

Even when I grit my teeth and wonder how many soldiers died so someone could display this sign at our state capitol in Olympia this year.

On Christmas. Between the Nativity and the holiday tree.

Because we're all about equality and such.

And you know, everyone's been going nuts, decorating, spending millions of dollars on gifts, and attending church services dedicated to the Winter Solstice for thousands of years now. Or not.

Something tells me these guys won't be standing in a line to volunteer to work in Christmas Day, since they don't believe in the reason for the holiday. I'm betting most of them still sleep in and kick back. Maybe play some good atheist carols. Does Bing Crosby sing any of those?

Who knows.

They make me angry.

God loves them anyway.


For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Statements

A quick, easy idea for your Thanksgiving decorations is a tradition we started in our family a few years ago. It's all about thankfulness.
I have each person that is going to attend the Thanksgiving meal give me 2 "Thankful Statements". Then, I transfer them onto business cards, in fall colors and fun fonts.

After I cut out the business cards, I take 4 x 6 card stock, and fold in 1/2, creating a table tent. Then, I adhere the business card with the thankful statement to one side, and either add embellishments (if I have time), or let the words speak for themselves.

Then, we just set up the table tents - there are usually 30-50 of them, in the centerpiece of the table, around the serving area, and any other flat spots that are easily accessible. It's fun to walk around and see what the kids wrote, and interesting to see how people's perspectives change from year to year.
I've saved all of our family's from each year (everyone takes home their own at the end of the meal), and I'll someday make a THANKFUL scrapbook out of all of our Thankful Statements.
Darla - can you tell I'm getting ready for Circle Journal?????

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honey - Our Golden Opportunity

So, we bottled up some honey this weekend.

6 gallons to be exact.

I hope we have enough to last us through the year. I'd hate to get to next October, and not have a squirt of the sweet nectar for my English muffin. Extra crispy sourdough, of course.

I think, if we don't give too much away at Christmas, we'll still be okay.

The boys both helped with the bottling process, and these were Colton's observations.

Matt was running the propane burner, I was ladling, Colton was putting lids on, Matt was also rinsing any drippy bottles, and Chance was applying the brim of the honey bear hat, which includes handy honey info like how much is in the bottle and how to snip the top of the squirty tube.

Wow. I'm extra intelligent tonight, aren't I?

Anyway, we had a pretty good system going. Minimal spills, and lots of honey.

Colton - Hey we're all in a line!

Daddy - Like an assembly line, huh buddy?

Colton - Yep, and we all have opportunities.

Mommy - Opportunities?

Colton - Yep. Opportunities!

Mommy - Like what?

Colton - Opportunities - you know, those things you have to do when you don't get to do the cool stuff.

Daddy - Ohhhhh. Do you mean responsibilities?

Colton - Yeah. Responsibilities. We all have responsibilities. Can we take a break now?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Multiple Hats, Multiple Glasses - at least they're both in the accessory family

I've been wearing more hats than usual the past week. It has caused my head to feel a bit cluttered and befuddled, which is the excuse I'm using for why I'm possibly losing my mind. Please promise to visit me in the asylum.

In the last few days, I have been a tourist, vacationer, wedding reader, sister, speech giver, daughter, long-distance mother, grateful student, comforting friend, wife, employee, conference call participant, blogger, at-home mother, packer, unpacker, meeting attendee, hockey mom, launderer, lunch packer, auction organizer, data enterer, decision maker, classroom project organizer, snack supervisor, computer helper, dog retriever, bible study attendee, shopper, reader, school board member, and others that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Needless to say, not one hat is getting its required face time. It's a take whatever you can get kind of place at the top of my head. And yesterday, the good mommy hat must have found it too crowded.

For, somewhere in the back of my mind, Colton's glasses probably looked too big when he was heading out the door for school, and for certain they were uncharacteristically clean.

At church dinner, I had opportunity to maybe look a little closer. They were more droopy than usual.

He requested us to go get them tightened.

Said he couldn't see very well.

Probably because I let him go all day with his big brother's spare glasses.

This morning, his exclamation of "Mommy, I can see everything!" couldn't have made me feel any more guilty.

Mom of the year - right here.

Sorry, Mrs. Cloyd. It wasn't that he didn't know it was an apple you were pointing to - he just couldn't see you. We'll do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Because I'm Always Learning

What better way to forgo "real" writing, and fall back on the handy list format, than to turn it into a list of things you've learned? Then, instead of lazy, you just look like one of those lifelong learner kind of people. So, without furether ado, I give you:

Things I Learned on my Mexico Vacation
  1. 4:00 am is very, very early. Especially when you stayed up late to finish packing the night before.
  2. The east side of our state is so much easier to fly out of than the west side.
  3. The flying fairy was somehow on our side this trip - filling all three seats in our aisle only during one stretch out of four.
  4. Most people in our group sat beside various stages of repulsion on the first flight - from smell to drunkenness to just plain weird. After our conversations during the first layover, I was glad we only got just plain weird.
  5. Mexican customs was almost unbearably long, but surprisingly simple once you were to the front of the line. I don't think they care what you bring in.
  6. Traffic laws, signals, and imaginary lane lines are mere suggestions in Mexico. Especially if you are a taxi, van, or bus driver.
  7. There are many more recognizable names (PTL - Starbucks!) than I expected.
  8. Everyone in Mexico conveniently either has what you are looking to buy, or has a very good friend who has what you are looking to buy.
  9. "Today, for you, I make special deal."
  10. The stark disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots" is only moments outside of town, if you care to look.
  11. I would recommend the dune buggies every time.
  12. If you value your camera and even your video camera, I would recommend driving with a senior citizen who is not secretly racing his friend in the buggy in front of you.
  13. Admittedly, you get better souvenir photos with the Nascar wannabes than with Miss Daisy's driver.
  14. If you are bringing your video camera because you were asked to film the wedding, which is actually the main reason for the trip, then you probably shouldn't take your video camera on a dune buggy that morning with the Nascar wannabe.
  15. But, if you take out the memory card, battery, and open all possible doors, then lay it in the hot Mexican sun to dry, it will recover just in time for you to fulfill your previously stated obligations.
  16. The still camera will still work, but many pictures will be curiously "watermarked".
  17. The Puerto Vallarta ocean is in the mid-70's.
  18. 20 degrees makes a world of difference in the ocean fun factor.
  19. I am a terrible barterer.
  20. This makes the marketplace in Mexico a very stressful place for me.
  21. Give me a mall and a price tag (with a clearly marked sale price) any day of the week.
  22. Mexico weddings are beautiful and gorgeous.
  23. So are my brother and his new wife.
  24. Mexican time is a real and true phenomenon.
  25. It takes about 1 day to get used to it.
  26. It will take about 1 week to get to work on time when you get back.
  27. All-inclusive is the way to go.
  28. No food or drink related stress - just which kind of meat to get at the taco bar. What a welcome change.
  29. While walking on the iguana path, if you jump and scream "Oh, shoot!" (or something), the iguanas will go into hiding, and punish you for your outburst. You then need to will yourself to walk very quietly down the rest of the path to enjoy more iguanas that were probably beyond hearing your first outburst.
  30. It will be worth the quiet walking.
  31. Spiders in Mexico are very big.
  32. And scary.
  33. You can make all the detailed lists you want, but your son will inevitably get sick somewhere that the list is unavailable at the time.
  34. It will break your heart that you are not home.
  35. Your mother-in-law will handle the situation beautifully (thanks, Verna) and give him all the love you wish you could do in person.
  36. It will be forgotten in the mayhem of the gifts and prizes by the time you get home.
  37. You will have your to-do list back up to about 20 items by the time you board your plane to come home.
  38. It will seem overwhelming.
  39. So, you will apply the Mexican time theory to attempt to prolong your vacation.
  40. The list will not go away.
  41. So, you will make another, much more entertaining list on your blog to further avoid impending doom.
  42. It will make you wish you were still in Mexico.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Be Back Soon

Hey all.

I'm off to the Seashores of Old Mexico to watch a weddin'.

See ya next week.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Because your best friend is not always your smartest friend

We had a pretty eventful weekend. There was a scrap retreat to attend (thanks Deb & Jane!), a bachelor party for my brother, some visiting with my mom, and some cleaning around the house.

We did the "big toy clean-out" yesterday. You know, the one where you tell your kids that if they don't make room and either give away or throw away approximately 2/3 of their toys, Santa will drive right by because he will see that they already have plenty? Yeah, that one. The not-so-subtle manipulation, it was in prime form yesterday. To include a second sort-through of the keeper pile. We were relentless. Grandmas, if you're listening, my boys do not need anymore stuffed animals - and neither does Goodwill.

The constant disarray of the house all afternoon, paired with the constant temptation for our kleptomaniac canine companion (aka Klepto-Dog) to steal anything not bolted down, resulted in Jake's demotion to "outside dog" for the day. His pathetic face gazing through the windows at our obvious toy-sorting joy was a sight to behold. He lived for the garbage runs, when the "throw away" bin would finally be too full, and Jake would have a brief moment of togetherness with whomever took the bag out.

I think his psyche took a bit of a beating, and may have interrupted the mental processes of his otherwise very intelligent brain.

As the boys finished up the re-organizing of the toy area, Matt was busy cleaning out the grill and dutch oven from our last camping trip. Yes, it's been two weeks. Yes, I've seen grosser things than a dutch oven that sat for two weeks - I just can't recall any at the moment. Grossness that led to the decision that we must sterilize said dutch oven, in a prolonged high-heat environment.

Our choice - the BBQ.

Unfortunately, the BBQ is where we store the cat food. Remember Klepto-Dog? Yeah, that's why.

In a moment of hazy mental clarity, Matt chose to set the cat food on the shelf beside the BBQ. He apparently didn't remember throwing away 7 or 78 toys that Klepto-Dog had rendered useless, nor did he remember Klepto-Dog's penchant for cat food. I'm going to approximate that it was nearing 6:00 pm.

At about 7:00 or 7:30, I went outside to feed said cats. No cat food. You guessed it, Klepto-Dog. Although, he was "smart enough" to be nowhere in the vicinity.

We finished up with showers, tubbies, and getting the boys to bed. We folded a few loads of laundry. And then I remembered I had not yet emptied the car from my scrapbook retreat. The car is one full story below our main level. My crafty room is one full story above our main level. That would make two levels which a few boxes of crafty stuff must be carried up. It was an easy thing to procrastinate.

Jake was noticeably absent during the trips up and down the stairs. I thought it was odd, due to his lack of attention throughout the afternoon. But, I quickly reasoned he was still feeling guilty about the cat food, and didn't think much more of it.

Until about 10:30.

We're getting ready to go to bed, and we still haven't seen Jake since the cat food incident. I call for him to come in, but no luck. I wait a couple minutes, thinking he is out in the far reaches of the pasture, and just needs some time to make it to the door. I call again. No luck.

Matt heads outside to make sure he isn't locked in the shop for some reason. Again, no luck.

He comes back in and puts jeans and boots back on, ready to go scour the ditches and roads near our house.

About 10 minutes later, he comes in the back door. "Honey, you need to come here." I couldn't really read his tone, and I was expecting the worst. I'm in my jammies. "Do I need to get dressed?" I breathed a sigh of relief. "No, just come here."

And this is what we saw . . .

What a dork.

To give Matt his deserved props, after I asked him what he did with the cat food in the BBQ, and we figured out he had left it in a vulnerable state, he jokingly said, "I bet Jake's already stuck somewhere and can't get that thing off his head."

Because this may have happened once before with a bucket. And my dog's long-term memory must not be hitting on all cylinders. I'm sure he's got it all figured out now, though. I bet we could leave that cat food bag right in front of his dish and he'd be smart enough to leave it along. 5 hours with a bag on your head will do that to ya. Or not.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style - Pistachio Dessert

My cousin Heidi introduced us to this dessert at a recent wedding shower, and it will immediately become a part of every holiday gathering. It's so scrumptious!

Pistachio Frozen Dessert

2 tbs butter
¾ cup cracker crumbs
¾ cup cold milk
1 package instant pistachio pudding (3.4 oz)
2 cups vanilla ice cream softened
8 oz carton cool whip
2 heath bars (1.4 oz) crushed

In a microwave safe dish, melt butter. Still in cracker crumbs, press mixture into bottom of dish. In a bowl, mix milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Whisk in ice cream. Pour over crust. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or more. Spread w/whipped topping, sprinkle w/ crushed candy bars. Freeze for 1 hr or until firm. Yield’s 8 servings.

Don't know what you're making for the holiday feasts yet? Head over to Overwhelmed with Joy, and enjoy a plethora of holiday fixin's.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Whatsoever You Do

It's rice time again. The Rice for Cambodia campaign is in full swing over at Positive Life Radio.

Couple that with a bit of drive time today, and some music courtesy of Monk & Neagle. Twenty First Time, you tear my heart out.

For us, today, that added up to a chance to make a visible, physical difference in some one's life. If you are looking for a donation opportunity that it is a one-time donation, no monthly commitment, but still a long-term impact, then the Rice for Cambodia campaign might be for you.

Every year, a radio station in our area partners with Musicianaries International to bring rice to the drought-ridden regions of Cambodia. Along with the rice, the Cambodians get a copy of the gospel in their language, and a glimpse of the hope that comes from a life lived for Jesus Christ.

It has been the backbone of some great lessons in our family. Like rice night. Which we will repeat either Sunday or Monday this week. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm toying with the idea of doing it more often, but don't tell Matt and the boys - I haven't let them in on my plans yet! You can read about last year's experience here.

If you are interested in feeding a Cambodian family for 4-6 weeks with a donation of $15, go here to make a pledge. If you are feeling flush and want to feed many, many more families (1 Ton worth), go to the same page and pledge $600.

Here's the lyrics to the Monk & Neagle song, Twenty First Time. Although I am already supportive of the Rice for Cambodia campaign, the combination of the two messages had me immediately ready to make a difference.

Check it out:

Nowhere to live, nowhere to fall

he used to have money, but he’s wasted it all.

His face is a photograph burned in my mind,

but I pretend not to see him for the twenty-first time

He sleeps under stars, that’s all he can afford

His blanket's an old coat he’s had since the war

He stands on the corner of Carter and Vine

But I pretend not to see him for the twenty-first time

He may be a drifter, he’s grown old and gray

But what if he’s Jesus and I walk away?

I say I’m the body and drink of the wine

but I pretend not to see him for the twenty-first time

She’s twenty-nine but she feels forty-eight

She can’t raise three kids on minimum wage

She’s cryin’ in back of the welfare line

but I pretend not to see her for the twenty-first time

She may be a stranger tryin’ to get through the day

but what if it’s Jesus and I walk away?

I say I’m the body and drink of the wine

but I pretend not to see her for the twenty-first time

This is a call for a change in my heart

I realize that I’ve not been doin’ my part

when I needed a Savior, I found it in Him

He gave to me, now I’ll give back to them

Drifter or stranger, father or son

I’ll look for Jesus in every one

’cause I am the body and drink of the wine

and I’m thankful there’s more than the twenty-first time

Thanks for listening. Tomorrow, I promise, no causes to support. I'll attempt something light-hearted, funny, and just plain fun. Until then, try some rice for dinner - it'll change your life.