Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The power of prayer

For my blog reading buddies that believe in prayer -- please add the following folks to your list.
I am only listing their names, not the circumstances. God knows the circumstances though!

Jim
Jack
Louis
Cathy
Kelly
Kari
Barclay
Heather

I have more to share later, but ballet classes are beckoning. Again.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Back from the wild

The retreat was fabulous. There were 17 of us in attendance and we laughed, cried (a lot), ate, played, rested and crafted. We see one another weekly at our co-op functions. Some of the ladies have known one another for 10+ years. This retreat brought rest, but it also allowed restoration. There were a lot of prayer requests, stories, and loving hugs. I am so blessed to have these ladies in my life. They are true friends and super prayer warriors! God's presence was everywhere this weekend.

A few pictures, but first an explanation. The original owner of the camp was a game hunter long ago (when it was still allowed). The camp has a Creation theme, with an emphasis on Noah's Ark. Youth groups from all over the Midwest come to the camp through the year for fellowship, fun and training. The owner has his "trophies" on display at the camp.

This is over the main entrance. You can see a bear, monkey, giraffe, ostrich, lion and various other animals.
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This is in the corner of the main lobby. It is a working water attraction. The hippo was incredible looking.
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This is the main fireplace area. We spent most of our time here, chatting away the hours. We nicknamed the moose, "Frank" and the bear is "Gus." It was so warm and inviting in this area. A few ladies chose to sleep out there instead of the bunk room (Yeh, that was funny! All of us grown women bunking together in the same room.....no one slept!)
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This is on the wall when you enter the building. That elephant is impressive! They placed the head at the exact height of the living animal. For some of the kids that visit the camp, this is the closest they will ever come to seeing animals like this.
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This was in back of the lodge. It is a replica of Noah's ark, to 1/4 scale. It is massive as is...imagine it 4xs bigger!! There are 2 classrooms in the ark for Bible study.
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Have a great day!

K.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Retreat time

Tomorrow I am heading to Rainbow Camp for a homeschool mom's retreat. We do this each year and always have a terrific time. There will be 18 of us, laughing, crying (?), crafting, singing, eating and resting. I haven't been to this camp, but I hear it is nice. We leave tomorrow afternoon at 2 and will be back late Saturday evening.

Last year, it was a smaller group (9 of us) and we stayed at the Stroh House.
What a gorgeous 100+ year old home. We were pampered in true bed and breakfast style. I can't wait to visit again.

K.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fun reflection


Sue tagged me with this little diddy! Thanks, Sue!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was a mom to 2 daughters, living at the beach and finding my way.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I was starting up the new Midweek Children's program at church.

Five snacks you enjoy (in no particular order, as all snacks are created equal):
dark chocolate
garlic pita chips
popcorn
peanut butter (yes, as a snack!)
apples

Five songs to which you KNOW all the lyrics:
I Believe
Amazing Grace
The Dance
Unforgettable
Butterfly Kisses

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
Have more children
Buy a ranch out in the country
Take care of college for kids/nieces/nephews
Help church with community projects
Open my own store/cafe

Five bad habits:
Starbucks. A lot.
I pick at my nails
I let worry control my life too much
I over schedule my days
I am weak at Target

Five things you like doing:
Reading
Cooking
Cuddling
Scrapbooking
Playing

Five things you would never wear, buy, or get again:
Aqua Net hairspray ( I said good-bye in the 80s)
Lipstick (I prefer lip gloss)
Tapered jeans/leggings
Oil of Olay lotion (my pores were a mess after using it)
A bikini

Five favorite toys:
My laptop
Cell phone
Scrapbook supplies
Cooking gadgets/cookbooks
TIVO

Five (okay, really only four) people to "tag" with this survey:
Tena
Lou
Carrie
Tina

Monday, January 23, 2006

Monday monologue

Ever have one of those "perfect" weekends? The kind that you strive for each week, but seldom achieve? I did it. Two wonderful, bliss filled days. Jeff gets all the credit. I love my man.

He woke me up on Saturday with some coffee and the words, "So, what do you want to do today?" I looked at him through sleepy eyes and said, "Huh?" He just looked at me. Then it came to me. It was "my" Saturday. All mine. I had forgotten.

Back up a bit. As most of you know, we are a homeschooling family. I embrace our life and family choices, but because of our schooling option, that means I have the children 24/7. I love our children with every ounce of my being -- but I need a break from time to time! During the week, I take one evening to lounge in a hot bath with my magazines. I hit the water right after dinner and don't come out until it is time for the kids to say "good-night."

Every 4-6 weeks, Jeff "kicks" me out of the house for a whole Saturday. At first, I had a hard time finding things to do all alone. I also had to battle the "guiltomies" (mommy guilts).
After talking to some wise mentors, I dumped the "guiltomies" and realized the importance of this time. Not only do I enjoy this time -- I *need* this time.

So, back to Saturday. While I finished my coffee in bed, the kids came in to snuggle with me. We talked a bit and read a couple books. I reminded them that I would be gone the morning/afternoon and they said, "Yep. Dad already told us. We are going to make cookies and play games. Have fun, mom." Alrighty then!
I jumped in the shower and prepared for my day.

While walking out the door, Jeff slipped a movie pass into my purse. I've never gone to the movies alone. It just felt weird to me. Why? I dunno.
He knew I wanted to see Tristan and Isolde (and he didn't) so I accepted the pass with a smile. Armed with my Starbucks gift card (a Christmas present) and super cute boots and purse---I was off for the day.

I ended up at Jefferson Point, a wonderful outside mall. Normally, this place is pretty much off limits during the winter --- but since our winter has been hi-jacked in this area -- it was perfect.
A quick glance at the movie times showed that I had a little over 2 hours to spend in the shops! I hit some tremendous sales! For those on the hunt for a good bargain, check Ann Taylor Loft and Gap Body. I hit the jack-pot! Lots of cute jammies, sweaters and hoodies.
I walked through Bath and Body as well. They were having a major sale but it was so crowded I couldn't enjoy myself. The money saved wasn't worth the possible injury to my person.
Before hitting the movies, I went to Panera for an early lunch. Could their broccoli cheese soup be any better? I think not!

Next to Panera is a great shop called, Rustic Hutch. They have home furnishings and other goodies. I slipped in to take a look at the new Vera Bradley line. Ohhh...the Java Blue is gorgeous. I ran my fingers over the bags, remembered my budget and walked away. What discipline!

Movie time! I took a deep breath and walked up the the ticket booth. I gave them my pass and went inside. No turning back now! Honestly, it felt so strange to be in a big theater all alone.
I relaxed a bit when I noticed several other women all alone -- comfy in their stadium seating, quietly munching on snacks. I found my seat and popped open my Jones Tangerine soda. Ahh, what a treat.

Halt! You just know something off kilter had to happen, right? Here I am, in a huge theater that is *not* crowded. Who comes bopping in.....laughing and giggling? A group of 4 teen age girls. Where do these girls proceed to sit? Yep. Right behind me. Why why why? A quick glance around the room showed plenty of other seats.

I have nothing against teen-age girls. They can be sweet, funny creatures -- however I just knew this was not going to be a good experience. I tried to tune them out, hoping they would settle down after the previews. They talked on their cell phones (grr...) - slurped soda - belched (lovely) - kicked my seat - talked loudly and pretty much made a nuisance of themselves.

I was not amused. The minute Girl "I wear low rise jeans to show off my be-jeweled thong" explained, in detail, her Friday night sex experience...I let out a sigh and moved seats.
I'm pretty sure I heard one of them say, "What's her problem?" as I settled a few rows away.
I was half-tempted to "accidentally" spill my drink so it would gather around their pretty little flip flop covered feet. (Yeh, flip flops in the dead of winter).
I decided that my Jones soda was too good to waste and cleared my head.

The movie? Ah yes. The reason for being in a dark room with several strangers. I was there to see, Tristan and Isolde -- a Medieval Romeo and Juliet of sorts.


In the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, young lovers become doomed against the forces of royal politics. English knight Tristan wins the hand of the daughter of the Irish King, but the love threatens the truce between their two countries.
Genres:
Drama and Romance
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality
Distributors:
Twentieth Century Fox
The movie was good, but I'm glad I had a free pass. I don't think it was worthy of the lofty $7.50 ticket prices.
Once the movie was over I made a quick stop at Barnes and Noble for a new book and latte (Starbucks is inside BN) before heading home.
Sunday was filed with church and lounging. Seriously, we did nothing all day. It was wonderful. We watched Swiss Family Robinson, played Spite and Malice (card game), ate way too many cookies and took a nap!
And, here we are now. Monday morning. The sun is shining and my coffee is hot. A pretty good start to the week.
Blessings.
Note: What a wacky spell check. The system did not recognize "Starbucks" "latte" "Panera" "Barnes and Noble" or "Gap."
Fortunately, I know the spelling of these words.....they are half of my vocabulary......

Monday, January 16, 2006

Four on Monday

I've been "tagged."

Four jobs you have held:
1. Taco Bell cashier -- disgusting in every sense of the word. I lasted 2 long days.
2. Book store manager -- loved it
3. Vault cashier for large department store -- I was around large sums of money day in a day out...kinda fun
4. Medical secretary for mental health/chemical dependency unit -- good job (I learned a lot)

Four movies you can watch over and over:
1. Big Fat Greek Wedding
2. Baby Boom
3. Legally Blonde
4. National Treasure

Four places you have lived:
(Just 4? Considering I went to 13 schools as a child...this is a hard one)
1. New York
2. California
3. Idaho
4. Indiana

F0ur TV shows you love:
1. Good Eats
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Survivor
4. M.A.S.H.

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Maui
2. Puerto Vallarta
3. Sun Valley
4. various locations in New York

Four websites you visit daily:
1. Two Peas in a Bucket
2. Martha Stewart
3. FOX News
4. Heartland Church (our church website)

Four favorite books:
(Oh, this is hard...I adore books)
1. 1,000 White Women
2. The Red Tent
3. Little House on the Prairie books
4. anything by Emilie Barnes

Four places I'd rather be:
Hmm. I want to be here. I'd like some snow though!
Oh. Okay. I wouldn't mind being in a quiet Barnes and Noble (by myself) with a steaming latte.

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Pizza (thin crust pepperoni)
2. Dark chocolate
3. Homeade chicken tamales
4. Rocky Road ice cream

Four people I am "tagging" with this survey:
1. Tena
2. Gina
3.
4.
So, come on ladies! Get busy on those blogs!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Gymnastic comp scores for 1/15

For family and friends keeping score (pardon the pun) on Sarah's passion:

Vault 8.8
Uneven bars 8.5
Floor 9.35
Beam 9.45

She placed 1st in floor and beam -- second in vault and third in bars.
She placed first in overall.

Next meet is up north on 2/4.


K.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tax time

Well, seeing how it is tax time and all --- I thought I would ask for your assistance. Seems I have the need for 2 other social security numbers in our household. Perhaps you know them? They answer to, "Not me" and "I don't know." I have it on pretty good authority that they also go by, "I didn't do it" and "Who me?" on any given day.

You know me, folks. I am pretty hospitable....if you want to hang out in my house, fine. But darnnit -- I want the tax benefits! Spill the numbers and no one gets hurt.

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Preparing for the Olympics (and a bit of momma bragging)

Yep! Our family loves to watch the Olympics. They start next month in beautiful Italy. We are already setting TIVO for special moments we don't want to miss (ie: ice skating). I am also putting together a study on Italy for the kids to use during homeschool lessons.

Speaking of the Olympics (subtle tie in, eh?)......several people have asked about S's gymnastics. I thought I would share a few pics.

This was taken at her November meet. She won 1st place in overall. Such an exciting time.
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This is the big banner in her gym. Not every gymnastic training center is US Olympic approved. Basically, it just means that the coaches are specifically trained and there are qualifying teams, etc.
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This was during warm up for her December meet. She is with her coach, Jodi. She ended up placing first in beam that day with a 9.40
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This is the December meet as well - during the awards ceremony. She placed first in floor...which was a huge milestone for S. She worked so hard on this goal.
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Tomorrow she has another meet. There are only 2 more comps before the City Championships on Feb. 26. I will keep you posted. For those reading, please pray for safety and fun over all of the girls.

Blessings, K.




Thursday, January 12, 2006

Boys

Boys are:

stinky
loud
mischevious
active
goofy
cute
funny

Boys like:

dirt
noise
bodily functions
taking things apart
tormenting their sisters

Boys love:

their momma like nothing I have ever experienced....

Want to see the cute, goofy, active, mischevious boys? Here you go.
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Monday, January 09, 2006

Why?

http://abc.go.com/primetime/bachelor/index.html

Travis is a 33 year old ER doctor looking for love in Paris.
He will pick from 25 single women, on live TV, starting tonight. He is looking for "The One."

I've seen Travis. He is a nice looking man with a nice smile and appears to be outgoing and friendly. He has a good job. Want to see him for yourself? Click the above link.

All this begs the question - why?
Why does a young man of Travis's caliber need to go on national TV to find a woman?
Why are there so many women in this world, ready and willing, to put themselves out there for all the world to see?
Why do so many people watch this show, week after week?

::scratching my head::

It is like I am a PBS mind living in a MTV world most of the time.......

Saturday, January 07, 2006

City slicker

So, yesterday morning S had to think about a cattle drive and write 15 nouns in her journal.
The sample showed things like "saddle, horse, cow, etc."

This is what Sarah wrote (who is *not* into camping much less a cattle drive)

1. tears
2. hospital
3. intensive care
4. leg (broken)
5. trouble
6. coma
7. nurse
8. doctor
9. blood
10. funeral
11. mud
12. dirt
13. smell
14. bugs
15. manure

:::Laughing::: apparently she has strong feelings about *not* going on a cattle drive. Ya think?

Me? I would love to go on an authentic cattle drive. Seriously. It would be one of my "dream" vacations.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Patience

From C.R. Findley

Answers to prayer often come in unexpected ways. We pray, for instance, for a certain virtue; but God seldom delivers Christian values all wrapped in a package and ready for use. Rather he puts us in situations whereby with his help we can develop those virtues. Henry Ward Beecher told of a woman who prayed for patience, and God sent her a poor cook. The best answers to prayer may be the vision and strength to meet a circumstance or to assume a responsibility.

I came across the above passage while reading my devotions this morning. It got me to thinking....in a funny sort of way....I can recall pleading with God to help me with patience.

I remember two distinct times I uttered those words.
Do you know what our loving Father did for me?
1. We began homeschooling. Bam. Crash course in patience.
2. I got pregnant with twins and was put on major bedrest. Forced patience.
3. We had six children. No explanation necessary.

Like a petulant child, I no longer pray for patience.
Instead, I pray for wisdom and clarity. HA! Isn't it just like us to try and out-wit our Heavenly Father? I should know better.

God knows my heart (and weaknesses) and still passes me the occasional "pop quiz" on patience. I am happy to report, I don't fail quite so many tests these days, but I would love to improve my grade point average just the same.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Pastels, Oils and PJ's

So, on the last day of Christmas break -- everyone lounged in their pj's and did their own "thang" today. I read a WHOLE book, watched the Rose Parade (in full) and played scrabble until me eyes bled. It's all good.

This is Sarah's newest creation. She opened her pastels for the first time today. Loved them! She really enjoys floral art it seems. A mini Georgia O'Keefe in Indiana? <grin>
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Jeff dusted off his easel and broke open some new oils. He has dabbled with oils on his own with no formal training. He does it for relaxation. I have a pretty moutain scene from him, framed in the den. It was one of his first pieces. I treasure it. This is a small canvas (6x10 or so). I love this size...so versatile. I need to find a frame.....


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Tomorrow is the start of new adventures for the clan. Jeff begins his new job (Praise God) and the kids resume their activities. We will start new lessons too.

I look forward to having a routine in place once again. I admit though, we are going to miss not having J around the house. What will the boys do without their "daddy-man" to chase through the kitchen in the morning?


Have a good one.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A resolution

I only have one resolution because frankly, I break all the others. I think I can master this one though!

I am going to get all of the art work framed and hung for the house. Jeff and several of the children enjoy this fun hobby. This beauty was done by Sarah, last week. She loves her easel and paint set. Her words, "Mom, I have to paint everyday. It makes me happy."

Paint on, girlfriend.

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And, I wanted to share the butterfly that E made. We finally found it this morning. It had been misplaced in all the Christmas hoopla. So pretty.

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