Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Voted as Though I Were Not Voting

Because I am a copycat, I completely stole the title, link, and reference from The Preacher's Wife.

Mostly, once I read her post, and subsequently John Piper's article on the subject, I was finally at peace. I have stressed more over this election than any other. But slowly, through various articles, friends, sermons, and culminating with this reading, God has given me peace. I voted my conscience. I am at peace with that vote.

But, mostly, I am at peace with my God, and His ability to administer His plan in this world and in this country, no matter who is elected. Ultimately, all things will be for His glory.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Got My First Real Six-String

Oh. Yes. We. Did.

Ignore the dust, please. Concentrate on the screen. There is no little man behind the curtain . . .

Steve Miller's "The Joker" will never be the same.

Neither will my living room.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who Are You?

Thanks to the Pioneer Woman, I have had this little post kicking around in my head since yesterday. She challenged her readers to describe themselves in 5 adjectives. It was all based on a movie I know nothing about (maybe you do), but seemed intriguing anyway.

So, here I am. In 5 adjectives or less:

  1. Saved
  2. Loved
  3. Famous - at least in 2 little minds
  4. Busy
  5. Particular - well, except the Flat Spots

Okay, I'm noticing many of my bloggy friends have had trouble getting regular posts up the past couple weeks. And I'm with ya. Which is why I'm offering this easy, pre-made, fast, yet informative idea. Like a "Bed in a Bag", only for your blog. Consider yourself tagged!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Through the Storm - Book Review

The more shocked glances or comments I got when friends found out I was reading a memoir by the mother of Brittany and Jamie Lynn Spears, the more desire I had to get into the meat of it and find out what was really behind this family.

Not surprising, as most people from both sides find out in an election cycle, the media has portrayed Lynne and the Spears family as a whole in a deceptively negative light. After all, what sells more tabloid magazines - an everyday mom struggling to regain control of the whirlwind that has completely changed life as she knew it, or an out-of-control stage mom hungry for a bigger slice of the pie?

Good guess.

What stood out to me the most in this book was the consistent theme of the snowflake turning into the snowball. We all take that seemingly innocent step down the slippery slope, thinking we are still in control, only to find that the hill sucks us downward, and soon we are spiralling out of control down the hill.

I could see this theme in Brittany's first photo shoot, which turned into the infamous Rolling Stone spread in her underclothes. The Spears were naive enough not to take control of the photo shoot, as well as not demand oversight of the photos that would be used. So many times, Lynne seemed to allow big entertainment executives to chip away at her self-confidence as a mom, telling her that she wasn't experienced enough in show business to be making the decisions. The problem was, whether she was experienced or not, show business was making the mom decisions.

The same was true for the times when Jamie Lynn was shooting in L.A. I assume, trying to give her daughter as normal a life as possible, it seemed reasonable to let the boyfriend come over. Unfortunately, in order for the boyfriend to come over, he had to fly in and stay over. Lynne put him in the guest room, and expected the children to be respectful of the privilege they had been given. We have all seen the result in the headlines - Jamie Lynne's unplanned teen pregnancy and a mom who stood by and allowed it to happen. So, I ask again, what sells more papers? A mom who made some shaky decisions in pursuit of normalcy, or a mom who encouraged her teenage daughter to live with her boyfriend while she was shooting her TV show?

Right again.

There is no doubt that Lynne made many mistakes along the paths of fame of her two legendary daughters. She admits to them. After reading this book, I have no doubt she'd trade it all for the very normal life she could be leading - hangin' out in the church pew behind Brittany's 2.5 kids and getting ready to send Jamie Lynn off to community college or something.

I have a son who has wanted nothing more in his young life than to be a professional baseball star. Yeah, I know - chance in a million. So was Brittany.

Lynn has been criticized from the very beginning of Brittany's career - allowing her to compete in singing competitions throughout the region, perform on Broadway when she was 10, and audition for the Mickey Mouse Club when she was 13. None of these are actions a "normal" mom, as she's claiming to be, would do for their children. She should have known better.

Now, I realize the rest of this is going to be a stretch, but I'm asking you to go with me. Next summer, we will face the daunting decision of allowing our 9-year-old son to try out for all-star baseball and start living his dream. He's good - he'll very likely make it. If we decide to go down this path, every night, we will practice, and every weekend for months (as long as the team wins and isn't eliminated), we will travel around the region to watch him play. If they are exceptional, we will travel even farther. If they are beyond exceptional, we will travel to the Little League World Series. We will have done all this so a 9-year-old boy can follow his dream. Too much, too young, you say? Frankly, so do I. But, you aren't the one who has to look into those eyes, already filled with dreams of Yankee Stadium and the World Series, that his dream isn't what's best for our family right now.

So, I have to ask myself, what decisions am I making right now that are either keeping us on the path, or are the possible first step down the slippery slope? Are my snowflakes building a snowball of faith, support, good decisions, and dependability; or will they be tossed into a furious storm that is out of my control before I know it?

I am so thankful for the opportunity to read this book. I can relate to Lynne - mainly because whether or not the world agrees, I think both my children have that 1 in 1,000,000 shot. And, if they believe they are fulfilling their calling and using their God-given gifts to the best of their ability, I will support them 100%.

But, in part thanks to this book, I may guard each decision a little better. I may hold close every step I take, making sure I'm not headed toward that slope. And, I will listen to that voice inside of me that is their mother, whether the "experts" around me think I'm a crazy small-town redneck or not.

Thanks for the read, Thomas Nelson. Another winner.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Every Morning. Without Fail. Praise the Lord.

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. Lam 3:23

His mercies are new every morning. Praise the Lord. I need them today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas Card Picture - The Official Poll

<a href="">Which picture should win the Christmas Card Award?</a> <a href="">BuzzDash polls</a>

See post below for pictures . . .


It's about time to start thinking about the whole Christmas letter/card/picture thing. My kids are very used to endless photo sessions in search for the perfect Christmas card, and this year has been no exception. Except, I'm having a hard time, and I need your help.

With two kids as cute as these, how do you pick??

#1 - The Ocean



#2 - The Stream at the Cabin


#3 - Lake Wenatchee


#4 - The Family Thing


So, please comment. What's your favorite? Which picture should get the distinguished "Christmas Card Award" this year? Let me know in the comments!

PS - I'm following a professional-type photo from last year, so you can see why there might be some stress. See below. We've got our work cut out for us.

PPS - Because I'm all independent and stuff, I reserve the right to completely ignore the vote and go in a totally different direction. Please don't have your feelings hurt. But, likely, due to my usual people-pleasing tendencies, I will take your advice to heart and print hundreds of whichever is most popular. Choose wisely :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

We Call it Yummmmmmmy!

Remember this post?

Oh my, it's good. What a genius invention. Way better than sliced bread.

Try it today. You will fall in love with yourself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'll take the color wheel for $100, Alex

What do Yellow and Green make?

Or Yellow, but really Green?

Or, not quite Green, but undeservedly Yellow?

Here is Colton's account of yesterday, as told by Tina.

She was picking him up from Kindergarten, and notices a boy telling his dad that he got a yellow behavior marker that day. The boy is distraught. Maybe he's never gotten a yellow before?

So, Tina overhears Mrs. Cloyd say it was a rough day for the whole class, and everyone got their marker changed.

About that time, she overhears another first-time-yellow telling her mom what had happened. Tina turns to the mom to let her know it was a whole class deal.

So she asks Colton - Did everyone in the class get yellow?

Colton's response - Yeah! And for the first time, it wasn't me! How fair is that????

Welcome to the United States economy, Colton. Sometimes we all pay, whether we were the ones that screwed up or not. Hang in there buddy, it gets easier to swallow as time goes on. Or not.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle . . . . . . .or something

Approximately 5 hours, 1 pair of boots, 1 pair of shoes, 2 pairs of socks, and 2 pairs of jeans later, the pool is clean, down, and ready for winter.

The grass, however, has seen better days.

I finally figured out how Wal Mart can stock and sell a kazillion of these pools every summer. I used to wonder, as I wandered by the display year after year - doesn't everyone have a pool yet? Who is buying these things?

Now I know.

Everyone who buys one gets the kids hooked on the whole business. The swimming, the cooling off on hot summer days, the endless water wars etc.

Then, they go to take it down in the fall.

And figure out the drain holes are at the wrong end of the almost imperceptible slope.

And therefore commence to wrestle with an 18' circle still holding approximately 3" of slimy water.

Don't think 3" sounds like much? . . .Go back to Math 099 - it's a ton (ish)!

What a joke.

A "few" shop vac loads later, and it's ready for storage.

Next year, I'm slicing a hole at the lowest possible point, draining the slimy water out, and letting the fall wind carry the thing where it pleases. For this headache, I'll just buy a new one each year.

Reduce, reuse, recycle.


PS - In the name of saving you some trouble, it is always best to first empty the shop vac of the last few months' accumulation of shop trash before adding water to the mix. Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Inheritance Remains Secure

From The Preacher's Wife. So impactful, I just had to share.

. . . .Even if we are stripped of every material thing, even if we lose our
very lives, eternity waits. Our retirements may be dwindling but our
inheritance remains secure

Now, smile. We've got nothing to lose.

Friday, October 10, 2008

If My People - Day 15

I have embarked on a 40-day prayer quest for our nation. It was offered by The Christian Working Woman, and uses a book by Jack Countryman. Short scriptures each day, followed by a prayer. They have also sited prayers from great leaders of the past.

Today's Scripture:
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Philippians 1:9-10.

Abraham Lincoln
2nd Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continues . . .until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid another drawn with the sword . . .so still it must be said that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

I dont' think for even one second that my God is not larger than this economy, than this war we are in, than this election we are faced with. No matter what the outcome of any of the above - God is already there. He will use each and every one for His ultimate glory. May we be diligent in praying for all involved.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Of Debt and Finances

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." -- Cicero , 55 BC

You Have Our Attention, Lord
A prayer by Max Lucado – written in October 2008

Our friends lost their house
The co-worker lost her job
The couple next door lost their retirement
It seems that everyone is losing their footing

This scares us. This bailout with billions.
These rumblings of depression.
These headlines: ominous, thunderous-
“Going Broke!” “Going Down!” “Going Under!” “What Next?”
What is next?

We’re listening. And we’re admitting: You were right.

You told us this would happen.
You shot straight about loving stuff and worshipping money.
Greed will break your heart, you warned.
Money will love you and leave you.
Don’t put your hope in riches that are so uncertain.

You were right. Money is a fickle lover and we just got dumped.

We were wrong to spend what we didn’t have,
Wrong to neglect prayer and ignore the poor,
Wrong to think we ever earned a dime.
We didn’t. You gave it.

And now, tell us Father, are you taking it?

We’re listening. And we’re praying.
Could you make something good out of this mess?

Of course you can.
You always have.

You led slaves out of slavery,
Built temples out of ruins,
Turned stormy waves into a glassy pond and water into sweet wine.

This disorder awaits your order. So do we.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It takes a village . . .

We were out of town this weekend, and got to have some dinner with my brother and SIL, as well as her sister and BIL. Does this make any sense?

Anyway, it was a great dinner at Las Margaritas, who, by the way, makes a scrumptious blackberry Margarita. Aptly named, Las Margaritas, aptly named.

My favorite quote of the night:

"You knew Laurel's car got hit, right?" says Arlene to Debbie.

"It did? No, I didn't know that!" (Debbie is Laurel's mom).

"Yeah, it was in the Value Village parking lot."

"Oh Sh*&! That's no one with insurance!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family Heritage 1

A couple years ago, I made my mom a framed scrapbook page with a favorite charm of hers and some pictures of the Grandma who made the charm famous (in my mom's eyes).

While I was finding pictures, I had to e-mail mom a couple times and make sure I was using pictures of the right lady. The responses were some fun insights into my mom's side of the family, and have been kept in my e-mail for two years, trying to figure out what to do with them.

I'll scrapbook them for myself someday, but thought they'd make interesting blog reading as well.

"Grandma Grant (Emma) always bought that brand of coats (Rothmoor)...when I as about five years old(after I begged and Laura said I would just lose it) she gave me that charm..I was so excited...guess she bought one more coat before she died or Laura had some (mom ended up with two charms)..The coat was quite expensive... she bought them at a nice dress shop in Wenatchee...Grandma always dressed up just to go to Waterville and would wear a pretty hat, gloves and the grandma heels...she always had her hair done and it was in waves around her face. She had big blue eyes and a nice German nose...(rather large) her family only spoke German so she could speak it quite fluently..she was a teacher in Shakopee, those days the men would go back to school in the winter...especially if the teacher was not married and pretty...Grandpa Grant was courting Grandma and his brother went back to Grandma's school .... Grandpa never did like that brother....maybe that's where we get our stubbornness! Grandpa was an engineer for the railroad and every summer Grandma and the kids would go back to Shakopee and stay with the family.
They traveled a lot because they had free travel...Grandma was quite wealthy and she kept her own money and invested it herself...that was unusual for woman in that era. Grandpa Grant could never understand why Laura would marry Dell and live up in that "dust bowl where the wind blew every day". Back in those days the Catholics had to eat fish on Friday...when Grandpa was traveling he would ask for some odd ball fish and than would eat meat because they didn't have any fish. They lived in Leavenworth first because that was a railroad town...later moved to South Wenatchee....Grandma would always leave food out for the hobos that would come in on the trains."

Things I love about this quote:

  1. That my great-grandpa was smart/sly enough to fool the Friday fish system - I know where my food justification comes from !

  2. That my great-grandma invested her own money and travelled by herself - I know where the strain of independent Grant/Mires women may have begun, and where I got it!

  3. That she knew a Scottie Dog Charm was the best gift she could give a 5-year-old girl, whether it may get lost or not. The value of a treasure, even through the generations, is immeasurable.

  4. That she left food out for the hobos. I'm betting that if the great-grandchild of one of those hobos has a blog, she is possibly recounting the story of great-grandpa hobo, going something like - "I don't know if I would have made it, were it not for one Godly lady that left a meal in my time of greatest need."

Thanks for enduring my desire to write down some family heritage. To help me make sure I share it with my children. To make sure that the great-great grandchildren of hers know the kind of lady she was. Priceless.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lap 24, and we're still under the caution flag

Colton's top reasons for yellow behavior cards the last two weeks.

  1. I brought my gun (finger & thumb, complete with sound effects) to reading class.

  2. Abigail and I were talking to each other on the microphone on the tape player in reading class. We were supposed to be reading.

  3. We had a fire drill today, and teacher told us to line up and march like soldiers. Mom, you know you can't be a soldier without a gun . . .