Monday, April 30, 2007

Laying It On Thick

Kelli at Living in Grace had a wonderful idea. She's suggesting an intercessory prayer coverage for Heather as she is having and recovering from brain surgery.

Kelli wrote:

The surgery is this Thursday with recovery lasting about 6 days. How about we start covering her Wednesday at 8am CT and go forward for the coming week? If you could commit to a certain time every day to pray, we can ensure that we have at least one person praying at all times 24/7.

Prayers for Heather... yeah, that's something I can continue to do for her. Only now, I'll be doing it at 9 AM to help with the prayer blanket.

Anyone else want to join in on the prayer? Head on over to Kelli's to sign up to bless the hospital gown off of Heather! (That's figurative y'all. Heather, keep your clothes on...)

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In Answer To My Message

Before leaving work on Thursday, I posted this message in my Out of Office message box:

I will be out of the office today, Friday, April 27th. I will be out playing with some friends without the slightest concern for work. However, I should be in on Monday with the utmost important concern of addressing all emails, so if you can wait until then, I will be more than happy to respond at that time.

Thanks and have a great weekend,


Since I have my blogger comments set up to come to my work email (so I can get your up-to-date comments on my stupidity or my laughable moments), a number of you received that message in reply to your comments and responded back in a great way. (See what you miss by not setting your profile to show your email address? Not only this, but often I will respond to your comments! All the more reason to add your address to your comments! Fun! Excitement! Talk with Shalee LIVE!... unless of course you don't want me to respond. Then you're pretty safe.)

Anyway, in answer to your questions about whether or not I had a great time, if the day off was an Admin Gift, if I made it back in one piece and if I had questions about returning from such a fun weekend, I'm doing a little blurb about it.
  1. I had the best time ever! (Which when you think about it is pretty hard to actually define - ever's a pretty long time and I've had quite a few moments that I would live again and again. This weekend is now added to that list.) I met with four other ladies (sans enfants) at a very nice hotel, and we did all the stuff that girls on their own usually want to do: we ate a lot of yummy foods, we painted our nails, we talked and talked about anything and everything, we stayed up too late, we saw a movie together, hung out by the pool in our bathing suits and still had great respect for each other, drank just enough (the drinking had nothing to do with the bathing suits moment) and laughed more than should be allowed. Then we decided that we should do it all over again in a few months.
  2. The day off was not my Admin gift from my boss. (I'll tell you about that at a later date.) I took the day off so that I could leave early and enjoy the full time with my friends.
  3. I did make it back in one piece despite my attempts to get lost. (I missed a turn only to realize 15 minutes later that the road did not look familiar and if I were on the interstate, it would not have crossroads. (Hey, I was listening to a book on CD - one on my Spring Reading Challenge list, mind you - and I got distracted. Oh well, more listening time for me.)
  4. Lastly, I did enjoy myself, but the nice thing about a weekend away from the family is that it can make you appreciate home all the more. I loved the hugs that were thrown on me upon my return. The kids looked a lot more lovable and Mr. Right's kisses were sweeter than honey on my lips. That old addage "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" really did ring true for me.

So that was my much needed mini-vacation. Now, you tell me something that made you smile in the past few days, with or without the bathing suit moment. Although, if it is with, then perhaps you should send me a bottle of wine first. Always best to be prepared...

(Oh, and as far as the house is concerned: No bites as of yet, but we're still not worried. God will sell it when he's got everything lined up. We're just going to keep enjoying the cleanliness that comes with a house on the market, because y'all know that it won't be that way for long in our new house, wherever that turns out to be! Thanks to those of you who are praying on our behalf. The prayers are working and are greatly appreciated.)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Undiscovered Talents

After reading about the maintenance that some people require, I turned to Mr. Right and said, "It's a good thing for you that I'm such a low maintenance gal!"

While wiping the tears away from his eyes, slapping his knees and gasping for air from all the laughter, he replied, "Oh, that was a good one, Sha." Then he proceeded to chuckle to himself every so often.

Evidently, I'm a stand-up comedian too.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Admin Professional Day (or Make Shalee Happy Day)

Yesterday was Administrative Professional Day, a day where the bosses show a little love on us worker bees, a day where we can relish the limelight of many jobs well done, a day where we can look forward to presents. (Well, I do. You know it's one of my love languages. I can't help it if I'm a greedy pig! Well, I could, but sometimes I choose not to do so. Fair enough?)

So yesterday, I received a package in the mail, and it was filled with a beautiful spa package: soaps, bubble bath, sprays, bath slippers... oh the delights of delights! I was sniffing its goodness and smiling all afternoon. However, it wasn't from my boss. (How do I know this? Story on that to follow. See there? That's called suspense. I'm pulling out all the stops on this one.) And all that came with it was a computer generated note that said "Thank you."

And all my detective skills have failed because 1800proflower - neither via phone nor website - would not reveal the identity of the sender to me, even though I used my most compelling, persuasive voice. My mom tone didn't even work. I just gave up and figured I'd start calling the managers one by one to winkle it out of one of them. I'm starting with Nate because he's the one most likely to do it. He's that kind of guy, plus when I sent them all a reminder about not forgetting to thank their Admin Assistants on Wednesday for doing their work for them helping them with their tasks, he was the only one to respond back, "A wee bit self serving, aren't you?" To which I called him and said, "Well... yeah."

(Nate just called. I said, "I think it's you I need to thank for something." He played dumb for a moment, but then he said that he sent it. He continued that even if he hadn't sent it, he'd still have claimed to have done it to get the thanks and praise. And I told him that that is exactly why he makes a great manager. Yeah, we have a playful, fun relationship so I don't worry him taking that to heart... much. Oh, and thanks for the gift Nate. You rock!)

I received this brilliant card from my friend Barb, a much better Executive Assistant than I could ever hope to be. Really I hope to be just like her - because she's really pretty and fun and has a heart of gold. The card totally had me laughing our loud. Mainly because you know that I love these guys... And if, like me, you can't get enough of them, you can go to their blog too. Their blog! I know! Who would have thought that characters could have their own blog? Oh, this blogging world is getting better and better everyday... I wonder if I could get them to come to one of our blogger lunch meets. Now THAT would be awesome! Maybe I could get Jules to persuade them to come. She's got a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who could talk them into it, I think.
And lastly, how did I know that my boss hadn't sent that basket? Because in the course of a very busy morning, he looked up at me and said, "Oh Shalee. I haven't forgotten. It's your big day, isn't it? Well, you see, I was going to get you something, really I was, but, you see, well.. okay, I totally started to think about the turkey hunt coming up (BIG hunter - if it moves, he'll look for a way to kill it -now you know why I sit at my desk all day) and then my son had T-ball practice and well, I didn't' do it, but this can work to your advantage see! It's okay if I send you to got get your own present, isn't it? I mean this way you can pick what you want, and I'll know that you're happy because all I was going to get you was the old standby Barnes and Noble card, and this will be much better, won't it?"
And, my bloggity friends, I totally loved his idea. Now... what to get, what to get... What do you suggest for me to buy for myself ? (within reason of course... I'd really like to have this job next APD too.)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


In the past week, we've had some good God moments, particularly pertaining to the cross.

  • My daughter is working on an art project at school that will be a model of them 20 years from now. They've made paper mache heads of what they think they will look at 30 years old and they've placed the heads on 2x4's that will be their body and arms. She had to lug it home on day after school so that she could dress it in the profession she thinks it would be cool to have. Later that night she told us about carrying it home, about how heavy it was and about how she just wanted to leave it there on the sidewalk. With an expression of reverence and a mind on the cusp of understanding, she stated, "I know my cross wasn't nearly as heavy as Jesus' cross, but I think I know what it might have felt like for Jesus when he was forced to carry his cross up that hill." We had a great discussion in the difference of bodies, mind and spirit between the two of them and their cross-carrying jobs.
  • My daughter, in writing a card for her Grandma's birthday, asked if she could put a cross on the top with a heart around it. I said it was her letter and she could decorate it however she chose to decorate it, but I did ask her why she wanted to do it. She just smiled and said, "I like the cross." And that was enough for me.
  • My son, while eating dinner last night, took a couple of his thick steak fries and put them together. "Look Mom! I made the cross!" Then he took another one, laid it on top and excited trilled, "Look, Mom! It's Jesus on the cross!" And then he ate them.

I'll take these "crossroads" however and whenever I can get them...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Under Construction

Our roof is being worked on as I type. The pounding and the banging from the upper side of the building is enough to give me a headache. But Jeana suggested, "You should go outside and watch. Either you can laugh at the beauty of the eye candy or you can laugh at the cracks that would be showing."

Candy? Did someone say candy? I think I have some dark chocolate here somewhere... Sorry, I get so easily distracted these days. Where was I?

Oh yes, here's what I'm forced to put up with around here... all week, mind you. The nerve of that landlord! I know, I know... I can feel your pity from here and I thank you for it. Oh the burdens of working where I do...

(And no, Mr. Right. They don't look like this... their muscles are way bigger. Kidding! I'm just kidding!)

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A large company, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO. This new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning on a wall. The room was full of workers, and he wanted to let them know that he meant business!

He walked up to the guy leaning against the wall and asked, "How much money do you make a week?"

A little surprised, the young fellow looked at him and replied, "I make $300 a week. Why?"

The CEO then handed the guy $1,200 in cash and screamed, "Here's four weeks' pay. Now get out and don't come back!"

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, "Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-off did here?"

From across the room came a voice, "Pizza delivery guy from Domino's."

Sometimes it pays to ask questions... and sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Family Update

A couple of you have inquired about our house selling and how it is going. Well, it's still on the market, and we haven't had any bites of which we are aware although we did have a good showing this weekend. All that being said, it is going really well. I told GiBee last Friday that God has given us such peace about the whole ordeal that we almost forget that it's on the market until someone asks us about the house. And I've discovered how at peace we are about it when I suddenly remember that I should pray about it, not in a "oops, I really need to bring this to God's attention" sort of way, but in a "I've already given this to God so I don't have to think about it" way. And that is a huge blessing. (Yes, we still pray about it, but it's mostly a prayer of thanksgiving for giving us this peace and for patience to wait on his timing.)


The boy had his first grade play last week. We were able to watch a play based on all sorts of fair tales threesomes: three little bears, three billy goats gruff, three little pigs, three wise men (not fair tale!), three men in a tub, three musketeers, three blind mice. The boy was the last one. He made a really cute mouse. He came home the day of the play and said, "Mom, it's so much fun, but there's one bad thing. I have to wear a headband and boys do NOT wear headbands!" (They were the ears.) Obviously he doesn't take much note of Sanjaya, thank goodness... And I thought the boy looked cute, even if he had to wear a girl's accessory for a half hour.

We took the family out for an ice cream afterwards; that seem to make up for all the disgrace of wearing a headband.


on Friday we had several couple friends over for some adult only time (in other words- we all left our kids at home), eating taco salad outside on one of the most gorgeous days I have ever seen. Food was good, the game of SWAP! was fun (I won one hand - neener neener neener to Todd), and the fellowship was refreshing to our spirits. It's been a while since I've had such gut-busting laughs over fun, silly, mothering , married stuff. And for the record, the girls laughed WAY more than the guys when we were chatting away separately. I made it a point to track down each of the couples to tell them that we've GOT to do it again... and soon.


Saturday was so gorgeous we went on a picnic to the arboretum. The day was perfect for eating by the lake and walking the trails. On our walk, we went a on a newly discovered path. We were glad that we did because we found a bird blind, a little house with lots of windows where we sat and watched all the different birds that came to the feeders. Mr. Right and I love to watch birds, even if we can never remember what they're called. Not knowing the names doesn't detract from the beauty of them.

And it turns out that the day was much more sunny than we first though. We've all got the sunburned noses to show for it. Thank you God for aloe vera!


Sunday night, I was able to visit with my friend Debbie, who has moved back from NY while her husband is protecting us in Iraq (three cheers for Dan!!!) They had only been married a couple of months before he was unexpected called up from the reserves. She's such a wonderful woman, full of life and humor and love. I hate to see her lonely like this, but she has such a wonderful attitude. She's using this away time to improve her cooking skills for her family. She called and specifically requested that I teach her how to make my strawberry pie while we had a great gab session. While showing her the pie (and later eating it!), she learned my family recipe for "Stuff" - I don't know what else to call it because it's a casserole with lots of stuff in it and Taco Soup. We ate the "Stuff" - which she really liked and she saw how easy it was to change a recipe when you are lacking an ingredient or if you want to add additional flavors. We also watched The Mirror Has Two Faces. We laughed a lot and appreciate the story. We so like a happy ending.


That's the update with us. Now enough about us... Tell me one thing that is going on in your life right now. Good, bad, ugly... doesn't matter. Give us something to talk about (but not in the Sanjaya way, please...)

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Heaven, I Can't Wait...

A few weeks ago, I was asked by Tyndale House Publishers to review a couple of books by Randy Alcorn. The author of over 20 books, including the bestseller Heaven, Alcorn is the founder of Eternal Perspectives Ministry (EPM). His newest creations, which were sent to me, are Wait Until Then and Heaven For Kids.

I don't know about you, but I think these books couldn't come at a better time. I'm sure that unless you're like me and you rarely turn your tv on, you've had to do some explaining to your kids - death, hope, sadness, heaven. We, who have shielded our kids from the Virginia Tech scenario because kids don't need to know everything and should feel safe in this world, had to explain why Chris on American Idol sent his heart out to those in Virginia and what it meant when Simon said, "You have our deepest sympathies." Heaven looks a lot more mysterious when you are trying to put it in words.

That's where these books could come into play.

Wait Until Then is a story of promise and hope, seen throught the relationship between Nathan and his grandfather and their shared love of baseball. Created to be used to help children understand heaven, following Jesus and seeing our loved ones again, Alcorn weaves a story which included celebrating the joy of living, relishing the quest for understanding God's ways and keeping hope when someone in Christ is gone.

The story is simple enough for a child, yet it is packed with nuggets information that could aid them when they lose a loved one. The book is beautifully illustrated by Doron Ben-Ami, an artist who brought the pages to life. I sat looking at the artwork as much as I did thinking about the story.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to help a child understand the hope of heaven or if someone wants to remind a sad one what and who they can look forward to seeing as members of the body of Christ when they pass from this world too.

Heaven For Kids is a treasure! It is a book all about heaven, written just for kids. It carries a Q&A format, with the questions in bold and the answer follows. The answers are well-written, yet fun. Alcorn wrote the book for kids to understand some things about heaven, so he made it easy to want to read it. While weaving scriptures into his answers (where we have definite answers), he includes other comparisons to tickle the imagination. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings - these are just a few of the things that Alcorn uses to capture their imaginations while answering the questions according to scriptures.

My only criticism about this book is at the end. Alcorn does an excellent job explaining Jesus and the importance of knowing him as our Savior in order to have a home in heaven. He details that anyone may know Jesus and become part of his family by confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing in Jesus with our hearts. But in my studies, he missed another important step: all throughout the New Testement from Acts on (and in the gospels too), the scriptures quote the need for baptism. Time and time again it is mentioned, encouraged, performed. I cannot discount its importance in the life of a Christian. However, as a parent giving this book to my child, it is my role to instruct and to educate my children with the Bible. That being my only constructive criticism, it is not reason enough to withhold this good source from them.

There you go. And these weren't even on my Spring Reading Thing 2007 list... Not bad, not bad at all. (I still get to count them, right?)

And as a reminder, today at noon (eastern time), there will be a moment of silence held for those who died last Monday at Virginia Tech. VT requests that you hold each of these families and those left behind up in prayer for comfort and strength.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Blogging Book Tour

As a stop on her blog tour, Sheila Wray Gregoire, author of To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother, let me dish some questions to her. Bon appètit!

My customers like to see a variety of things on the menu. What do you offer up as specials other than housework?

In To Love, Honor and Vacuum, I know housework isn’t the end all and be all! In fact, most of us would rather that it wasn’t anything at all, and if we could take it off the menu we would. But we do need clean clothes and something to eat, so it’s hard to banish entirely.

But what I’m looking at isn’t housework itself; it’s why it becomes such a big deal in so many marriages and families. And the answer is that we’re all really busy, and quite often the mom is taking stuff on herself that really should be on the kids’ menu. Or the menu for those Hefty Men!

A lot of what’s in the book, then, is how to reorganize your life so that housework is a lot less stressful and gets done a lot more quickly. But then I turn to the important stuff of relationships. How can we make sure we’re raising responsible kids? How do you get kids to do housework? What happens when you feel like your husband doesn’t always appreciate you? What if you’re feeling lonely in your marriage? What if you have barely enough money to eat out, let alone leave a tip? And what if, after a really long day when customers have been complaining and everything seems to have burnt, you’re near closing time and your husband decides it’s time for dessert? Do you throw the pie at him, or do you find a way to get in a better mood?

I certainly hope there’s something there for everybody!

It’s hard to be a working mom. What do you suggest for a woman who runs a diner and a home? How do I beat those guilty blues that invariably come?

Okay, let’s deal with the guilt first. If you have to work to make ends meet, then you have to work. If you’ve explored all the options, and realized this is what’s best for your family, then this is what is best for the family. What’s the point in feeling guilty about it? So go eat chocolate instead, preferably in the bubble bath.

Now, I think what you’re really getting at in the question is how do you make sure you’re still raising your children well even if you’re not available for them as often as you’d like to be? And there is absolutely no doubt that this is tricky. A couple of thoughts here: make sure your kids are being raised by you and not by the TV or the computer. Put some strict rules around this, because it’s easy for kids to pick up values that aren’t Christian from watching the wrong stuff. And when we’re not home, especially during after school hours, kids may watch stuff we don’t like. So keep those lines of communication really open with your kids about their screen time.

Then, make sure there’s fun in your life. So often when we’re busy our conversations revolve around to-do lists. What do you have for homework today? What do you want for lunch tomorrow? We have to get to do the doctor’s office today. Or, if the children are younger, it’s all about when you’re going to have your bath, when you’re going to pick up the toys, when they’re going to brush their teeth. I think it’s key to let some things slide so you have time just to cuddle with your little ones, or chat with your older ones, in a day. That’s more important than the dust bunnies under the bed, or even some of the excess homework school aged children often bring home (I know I’ll get in trouble for that one, but I do believe it!). Create memories, and often those memories are made when we’re just doing nothing. So if you have to work, work. But make sure you have time for play when you’re at home, which may mean that you don’t volunteer at church for a time, or you say no to committees. Your family comes before outside commitments, so don’t feel guilty about the word “No”. Embrace it. And hug your kids.

What’s the best advice for a busy diner owner who feels that the only words out of her mouth are “Order’s up! Let’s get a move on!”

This one relates to the answer above, but I find this is the most difficult challenge I face! I don’t work, but we still are very busy. There are friends to see and relatives to visit and piano lessons to get to and clubs night at church, and sometimes it all gets to be too much.

But I’ll tell you who my worst enemy is. It isn’t my 9-year-old who spends her time dancing in the living room, or my 12-year-old who is always blogging. It’s me. I waste so much time it’s incredible. And it’s not even crucial stuff! It’s surfing on the net, or catching up on emails, or talking to a friend about nothing at all. I can be having a great time reading to my kids, and the phone rings, and you know what I do? I chat for 40 minutes about nothing, while the kids scatter. And then, when it is time to get to that piano lesson, we’re running late and I get grumpy at the kids. But it’s not the kids who got me late. It’s me!

We do need time to have fun and relax. But ironically, that’s easier to do when we’re organized and diligent about the things that do need to get done. And having fun and relaxing is different from wasting time. You want to have fun with your kids, or take that bubble bath so you can think about your day and talk to God (it’s okay to pray while you’re naked, you know). Watching an hour of an inane talk show, though, and then finding you haven’t had time to read to your toddler today is another matter. And when we begin to waste time, it’s amazing how much time can actually go by. It’s like peanuts; you can’t eat just one. Well, you can’t waste just one minute, either. You inevitably waste a minimum or fifteen or twenty as soon as you start something silly.

One thing I like to do is to block out time in small blocks for me to “waste”, if I just have to. Confine blogging to lunchtime, for instance, or first thing in the morning. Then don’t let yourself look at the computer screen for the rest of the morning. You’ll find that you will get that housework done, and you will play with your kids, and you may even have time for an outing.

Certainly we need to say no to a lot of outside activities, both for us and for the kids. But just as important, I think, is to be disciplined at home about our time. That’s easier for some people than others, and if you need a hand, I provide a neat way to plan out your day in my book. Instead of using the day-timer approach, where you pencil in every little thing you’re going to do, I suggest planning specifically for the things that are important: fun with your kids; fun with your mate, if you’re married; a little bit of exercise; time with God; time with yourself. Once that is taken care of, it doesn’t matter so much if time gets away from you. But if you don’t put those things first, you’re going to find yourself rushed and grumpy because you’ve let yourself waste time and you’ve ignored what you really need to do. You don’t have to be a stickler, but you should try to be a good steward of what you do have. Kids spell love T-I-M-E, and maybe we should, too.

To find more encouragement to get your kids to help at home and make your marriage less stressful, you can pick up To Love, Honor and Vacuum ($13.00) at

WIN A BUNDLE OF SHEILA’S BOOKS! Sign up for Sheila’s free weekly parenting and family ezine, and you’ll be entered in a draw to win a bunch of Sheila’s books and audio recordings! Sheila’s Reality Check covers everything from flatulence at the dinner table to same sex marriage and the effects of divorce. Sign up here, ( She’ll make the draw April 30.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For Heather

Remember this?

Well today's the day.

Head on over to Boomama's to send some love to a blogger in need. Let's show this self-centered world that when one of us hurts, we all hurt, and when one of us needs something, we'll give and give and give until we can make the hurt go away, even if it's just a little bit of comfort - all to the glory of God. That, my friends, is part of the blessing with being a family!

And if you can't spare anything in the financial realm, please stop what you're doing, and give Heather the gift of prayer. She needs that more than she needs the other. (But give the other if you can.)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Are You Selling?

We're all selling something.

Whether you're a SAHM or a Business Manager or a part-time cashier, you're selling something. Whether you're a Christian or an agnostic or an atheist, you're selling something. Male, female, rich, average income, poor, tall, short, angry, happy, confused, indifferent, selfish, generous... people who are breathing are selling something whether they know it or not.

And do you know who's buying?

Our kids... and they buy it all without owning a dime. They watch our every move, our every reaction, our every emotion to every circumstance. And often they buy into it so heartily, they're committed for life.

Do you get angry enough to lamblast a rude driver with all sorts of obscenities? Do you grumble and complain under your breath when you are stuck in a line with either an elderly shopper or a slow cashier? Do you spout of a list of short comings regarding your spouse when things are not happy in your marriage? Are your main words to them "Hurry up!"? Guess what? Your kids will learn to berate others when they are faced with irksome obstacles or moments of impatience.

Do you whine when you don't get your way? Are you hard to please? Do you find something to criticize when your family attempts to make you smile? Do you go behind others to "fix" something that wasn't "right"? Your kids will follow you in your footsteps, becoming hard to please and self-centered, expecting others never to measure up. Criticism will roll off their tongues without their having to think about it.

Are you giving to others, not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but also at unexpected times of the year? Do you take a good lunch to the man on the corner who looks hungry? Do you make a basket of goodies to give to the widow who is lonely? Do you invite the single mom/dad and her/his kids over for dinner so that she/he can have one night off from cooking? Do you share a friendly, welcoming hello to your neighbors when you're out in the yard or going for a walk? Do you look for ways to sacrifice a want to meet someone else's need? Your kids will see and learn that generosity is not only kind to others, it will make you feel better too and they will become friendly and mindful of others around them.

Do you randomly find times to tell your family that you love them? Do you play games with your kids when they ask for your time? Do you happily accept homework assignments that will involve your time as well as your kids? Do you sit and hold your young one (or your not-so-young kid) and read to them? Do you show love to your mate in front of your children? Your kids will grow to know that love can be an action word as well as a feeling - and it's best when shared.

Do you laugh a lot? Your kids will look for ways to laugh also.

Do you work/blog all the time and find that you don't make time for family nights or little conversations? Your kids may view working/blogging as more important than family.

Is saying sorry a hard thing for you to do or does it come easily and with a sincere heart? Are you brave enough to say it to your kids when you are at fault? They too can learn the art of a sincere apology and use it when needed or, if they don't have a good example of saying sorry, they can become hard and obstinate when they make a mistake.

Are you yellers? Your kids may learn that facts don't matter, but rather volume makes a person "more right".

If you're a Christian: When you pray, are you constantly asking for things or do you weaving praise, adoration, thankfulness or confessions of sins into your prayers as well? Do you give things to God and then continue to worry about them or do you leave your worries at his feet and live knowing that you have peace about whatever the situation is? Do you pray with your kids about anything and everything on your heart or do you only do it when they're busy or in bed? Are you talking the talk and walking the walk with your kids... and without them? Your kids will learn just how much of their heart they're supposed to give to God and to whom they should show it.

No matter what you say you believe, it's how you live that matters the most to your kids. Monkey see, monkey do carries a lot of weight when it comes to parenting.

Most of us have probably uttered the saying "I'm turning into my parents."

The question is whether or not will you be content to know that your kids will eventually become a lot like you.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Coaching the Masses

Here's another little contest that I'd love to win!

And a huge thanks to Quietromance for thinking of us with her hand-me-downs. I happen to know somebody who has a birthday coming up for whom this item would make quite a great present...


Sadie Hawkins Day

Well y'all, I don't know about you, but we had a fantastic Sadie Hawkins Day date.

Our day started out great with (what else) biscuits and gravy and excellent coffee. Then we had to hustle out the door because a couple of families were viewing the house that morning. We used the time wisely by dropping off old paint at the recycling center and driving around to look at houses. Yeah, we're getting prepared because we KNOW that God's got this house thing covered... Eventually we wound up at some friends house where we had more coffee. Good time was had by all!

I kind of cheated because the girl had a skate party with a group at church, and I asked Mr. Right if he would go skating with me. He jumped at it, even though neither of us had been skating in years. We had a blast! We skated with our kids. We skated by ourselves. We skated with each other. I dedicated a song to him (This Kiss by Faith Hill) and we did some fun pull-push-go-around-each-other moves. I'm telling you, if I could dance the way I skate, I'd say move over J'Lo...

And the best part? We skated the entire 2 hours with nary a fall. The only time we left the floor is when we lost the "Lucky Light" game and we were forced to leave. And for the record, I stayed in two turns past Mr. Right on the Limbo game. However, in answer to the running limbo question "How low can you go?," we have to say, "Not far enough to beat the ever-so-limber four year olds... punks." Not that it bothers me or anything...

And I'll have you know that I will gladly do the Chicken Dance and the Cha Cha Slide, thank you very much. See, I have proof!

Here the kids are laughing at their mom... I think they can't believe they've got such a cool and hip mother for everyone to behold... or else their laughing at my dance moves.

That's me on the floor in disbelief that I haven't died from so much exercise in one day!
Afterwards we went to the LTC Awards ceremony where my daughter collected her plaque and awards for her convention work. She received golds and silvers in all that she participated. Woo hoo. And I have to post this next picture and then tell you what she did.

Do you see all those kids on the stage? They're the high schoolers who also did LTC, and all the kids were supposed to walk across the stage to shake their hands. My girl received her award, confidently walked across the stage, bypassed all the boys and only shook hands with the girl. Yep, that's a 10 year old with NO interest with boys on her mind! And that's just fine with me.

Afterwards, we took the kids home to be with babysitters (friends who watch our kids for free - woo hoo!), and Mr. Right and I took off for the $2.50 theater in town. We saw Night at the Museum and really enjoyed it. We even decided that it was one that the kids could see. Afterwards, while trying to decide what we wanted for dinner, I spotted a Dairy Queen and made the remark that an ice cream cone sounded really good, so we had that for dinner. Not bad, I think...

So that was our date. We had a fun, energetic time, and I even got a good night kiss from my date. I think I'll see if he's free again some other night too...

Please, let us know about your Sadie Hawkins Date too! I'm looking forward to hearing all about your date with your man.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

What A Wonderful World This... IS!

Boomama is at it again. She swore she would never do it again, but she's a big liarhead.

And for that, I'm very grateful.

You want to know more? Click on the button to find out how you can be part of this wonderful bloggityworld of love, making it better one prayer at a time... and thensome. Internets, on April 18th, it's time to show some really good love, just like Jesus did when he walked this earth. We may not be able to do the healing like he did, but we can sure show others that miracles DO exist...

And thanks Boomama for being God's vessel, yet again.

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Birthday Meme

I'm only doing this one so that you all have PLENTY of time to get my presents, since you all know that that's one of my love languages...

Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday month and day only.

May 3

List 3 Events that occurred that day.

I was born. That was an easy one...
1937 - Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
2000 - The sport of Geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.

List 2 important Births.

Well... Me. Duh.
1903 - Bing Crosby, American singer
And of course the infamous Daniel Patrick Ellis, American thief, robber, liar, spy, trouble-maker, drug-addicter, girl-stealer, unpopular, illegal clown, maneater, villain, most dangerous person in U.S.A, Beatles-disliker, boss of the BT gang, violent teenager, fighter, jail-escaper, evil king - whoever he is... I think he's one of the data-entry guys at wikipedia... and just to make it even weirder, I went back to check on this entry and it's gone! Dooo do do do; Dooo do do do.

List 1 Death

Joe Black? Oooookaaaay already...

1693 -Claude de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, French courtier - picked him because he had the longest name.
1987 -Dalida, French singer - shortest name on the list (What? You all should know by now that I can't count.)

List a Holiday or Observance. (if any):

Hellooooo? My birthday!

Who thinks up memes like these anyway...

And don't forget about your Sadie Hawkins dates for this weekend. I know that some of you have already written to me that you've already asked the man with whom you most wish to be and you've already planned some fun times together. (And those fun times CAN be a date at home after the kids are in bed!) Remember to get a picture of you and your date if you can and write all about it for our Mr. Linky on Monday, April 16th. I think this weekend is going to be fun! And if you're still looking for ideas of what you can do with your man, check out these ideas... or you could just check out Outlander. Either way, you could have quite the satisfactory time with your husbands. (Heather, since you're single, stay away from the Outlander idea. No soup for you!)

And if you haven't asked, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? (Sheesh. I can only lead a girl to water; I can't make her drink...)

Oh, and happy Friday the 13th.... Waaaa ha ha ha... Waaaa ha ha ha...


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reason # 88

... why Mr. Right has my heart.

Look at what was awaiting my arrival to bed last night.

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Now just a closer look so that you can see all the goodness.

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(In case you can't read it, it's something from the French bakery that just opened in town.)

What was inside, you ask?

Well, just this delicious little goody...

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(It was a chocolate creme brule that was divine!)

And this.

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When I questioned Mr. Right as to why all the delightful gifts, he said it was just a first anniversary present for our 15th anniversary... in July... that's 3 months away in case you're counting.

Oh my lands... does this man know one of my love languages or what?!

And Chili, this is just one in a sea of reasons why I will take the tangible, heart-stopping/makes-my blood-rush of Mr. Right over eye candy anyday...

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WFMW - Die Ants! Die!

Oh Addie - How I wish I had this information a year ago, just for you...

To get rid of ants:

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home" and can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works, and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed.

Simple, cheap and chemical free.

Head over to Shannon's for really great ideas, even if hers is a repeat...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spring Reading Thing 2007

In case you hadn't heard about the Spring Reading Thing 2007 challenge, I highly suggest you get your cursor on over to Katrina's at Callipidder Days to find out more about it. You'll find over 200 bloggers who have committed to reading something this spring. Your list can be as few as one or as many as you deem doable for you. The point is to get reading!

You don't have to review your books, but I like to do it because I know there are other readers who value my most astute and scholarly opinions about books. Okay, so we know that's not the case... Let's just say that it gives me a reason to post and leave it at that, shall we?

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards was an intriguing tale of one man's desire to withhold pain from his family and one woman's charge to right a wrong.

In 1964, Dr. David Henry, upon delivering his twins - one healthy son and one Down's syndrome daughter, sent his daughter away to an institution, thinking that she hadn't a chance to live. Recalling first hand the grief and pain endured by his parents who lost a child, he solely thought of the welfare of his wife and the avoidance of loving a child only to lose her in a couple of years. When his wife awoke from delivery, David told his wife that they had twins, but the daughter did not survive.

The nurse assisting with the late night delivery and in charge of taking the girl to the mental ward decided that she could not, in good conscience, leave the girl in such a dreary and mal-conditioned place. She determined to bring the girl up as her own, so she left everything behind and started over in a new city with a new daughter that no one else wanted, save her.

The story continued over the decades, showing how that one instant decision made on a wintery night affected the lives of so many involved. Grief for a daughter never known, questions for a sister who died on the day he was born, a weary heart over a unchangable decision, and love and hardship to raise a girl against the prejudices of society are viewed throughout the novel. Every life and relationship was altered one way or the other on that fateful night.

The debut novel was explosive and emotional, weaving the reader through waves of anger, frustration, laughter, tears and hope. The author had a good grasp on leading the reader from one situation to the next without allowing them to wallow too long in them. Edwards was able to make the readers feel for the characters and still have hope for them. I would definitely recommend this book, and I'll be looking forward to the next showing from her.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is another debut novel, this one being a novel of gothic suspence and mystery. What would you do it you were a reclusive, unknown daughter of an antiquarian bookseller who just received an invitation from the most famous writer in the world, asking you to write her autobiography - a past that she had purposely obscured and riddled with falsehoods to keep every other reporter in a quandry?

So began the story of Margaret Lea and her quest to find the truth from the master of storytelling, Vida Winter.

I want not to give away anything from this spell-binding book; therefore, I shall just tell you to get this book and read it. Seriously, it was a page-turning, a thought-stealing magical journey through the past of Miss Winter and her tumultuously odd family. And even I, sleuth and twist-guesser extraorindaire did not discover or imagine the ending. I do not think you shall be dissatisfied at all when you are at the book's end.

Lastly, there is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. What shall I say about this book... Let me just put it this way: Do not read this book unless you are married and have your husband around to satisfy your *ahem* needs... several times over. Good night nurse! Why didn't anybody warn me about this book!!! Well, it got my blood running, so it had to be good for me somehow... it was quite aerobic in that sense. The story (yes, there actually was one!) was entertaining and lively and filled with wit and humor, but really, it was just something to have between the sex scenes. But I'll give Gabaldon one thing about her novel: all the bedding is between one husband and one wife - who are married to each other. It wasn't with several characters and adulterous left and right. That was a surprise... I mean other than all the sex itself.

(Now you watch, there's going to be a run on that Outlander book starting today...)

That's it for the reading so far. I'm in the middle of The Boleyn Inheritance, Dune, Eldest, and my selected Bible reading (and a couple of other books not on the list... come on! I had to read them! They forced me at gunpoint...) So I should be able to have another recap for you shortly.

Until then, go vote and then riddle me this: what are you reading that you think I should check out too?


Monday, April 09, 2007

Vote, Bloggers! Vote!

Updated - I missed Chili's site for Best Humor. Sorry Chili!

Did you know that several of our blogging friends are up for the Blogger's Choice Awards?

You've got to get over there and start voting for them!!!

Best Blog About:

Best Blog Design: and

Best Blog of All Time: Come on! This is a GIVEN! Seriously I want to grow up to be just like her... in character and blogging savvy!

Best Entertainment Blog:

Best Humor Blog: and and

Best Religion Blog: Bread Crumbs

Mir: I see a theme going on here...

Although I am sadly missing from any of the categories (Hello! They offered Freakiest Blogger and Hottest Mommy Blogger! I should have made one of those at least...), get yourself over there and show those award people that when we come out to support our own, we go all the way Baby!

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This And That

This weekend flew by so quickly. It was a busy one for us.

The girl participates in a wonderful program at church called LTC - Leadership Training in Christ. Every Easter weekend, there is an area wide convention for LTC. There they are in competition with themselves in all sorts of categories of their choosing. They pick what areas they want to compete and then they prepare for the events all school year long at church. It is a wonderful way to teach the kids responsibility, encouraging them to try new things and to foster great friendships with other kids who want to participate in new things.

The girl participated in Drawing, Puppets, Drama, Choir and Bible Bowl. (She signed up for signing, prayer journaling, Christian literature and Christian service, but somehow along the way, she decided to not do them. That's where she learned responsibility... Perhaps she'll learn to manage her time and interest more for next year.) She had fun, learned what to do to improve herself for next year and how to overcome disappointment when you totally blow a line and cause a minute-long pause in the Drama presentation. She was really hard on herself after that, but I just reminded her that it happens to the best of actors and that it wasn't as bad as she thought it was. Then I told her it was her choice to either let it ruin her day or to learn from it and move on. After a minute or two of sulking, she chose the latter one. Whew.

It was a blast overall, especially when her best friends from Nebraska (and the family) planned on spending the night with us on Saturday after the convention. Plus we had some great BBQ afterwards. Who can't appreciate a weekend that involves Southern BBQ? That's just a making for a fantastic day.

Easter didn't feel like a typical Easter. We avoided the basket thing since we had company who would do their Easter baskets when they got home. We went to church and heard a wonderful Easter lesson. We went out to eat for Mexican (!) after church... who eats Mexican on Easter?! (Don't write in the comments Mexicans... That question was completely rhetorical.) I was up most of the night on Saturday, but I couldn't for the life of me get a nap, despite the kids' co-operation. So that day turned into a "resist crying over nothing" fest. I was able to do it, but I just felt blue for the evening. I even managed to burn the spaghetti sauce I was making for tomorrow night. Good times I tell you! (I slept all last night and now I feel much better, thankyouverymuch!)

As for the house, we were told not to expect any lookers since it was Easter weekend. (Our realtor stated that typically house hunting takes a huge dive over this weekend since so many people travel or view this weekend as a family weekend.) Imagine our surprise when during the convention, I received five requests to view our house that day! Go God!!! I loved finding Mr. Right and bringing the count up each time I saw him.

I just had a call from our realtor who stated that there are a couple of families interested, but they want to view other houses first, yada yada yada. If you would pray that God would touch to hearts of them to remember our house, I would be very much appreciative. (Really, I'm not worrying about this house selling. I've laid it at God's feet already, so I know he'll sell it. But I love knowing that others are bring the request before his throne too. So thanks in advance for saying a prayer on our behalf.)

Despite all the stuff that's going on left and right, I've still managed to complete quite a few books for the Spring Reading Thing 2007 and a few others not on the list. I'll do a review of some of the ones I said I would read tomorrow.

And how is your Sadie Hawkins date planning going? I've already got my sitter. Now I need to plan the date. I just wish that this weather would work with me here!!! I want warm and it's still cold. Sigh. I guess I'll be looking at Plan B. Now I just need to make a Plan B. Rest assured. It will not involve a bookstore...

That's our Easter weekend. What was the best thing that happened over yours?

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Get Your Running Shoes On, Ladies...

I don't know about you, but I remember loving Sadie Hawkin's Day. Girls chased the boys for a date. I asked out the guy I wanted to ask out. I planned the entire date (which usually included a dance when I was in high school), I found shirts that we both could wear (indicating that we were there as a couple I guess - I don't know how that got started, but it was fun) and I got to spend the evening with a person of my choice (which usually included a whole group of people too.) Those were some good times, especially when I asked out a friend who I knew would make the evening fun.

So I was thinking: Why don't we do something like this? Just because we're older doesn't mean we can't have the same kind of fun. I think we need to have our own version of Sadie Hawkins Day. I hereby challenge all you women to join me in this Sadie Hawkins Challenge:

  • You ask the guy out.

(Ummm, if you're married, I highly advise that you ask out your husband. I'm just saying... Don't blame me if you have marital strife because you asked out some other man.)

  • You plan the date for April 13th or 14th (or a day that may work better for you that week).
  • You take your date out and enjoy some time with him.
  • You get a picture of you and your man on said date.

Now mind you, you don't have to dress alike, but you do have to look as if you want to be with your date. And that shouldn't be too hard, especially if you asked him out in the first place.

Of course if you're thinking "What can we do?!" and looking for fabulous date ideas, then you could look here for some great dating suggestions.

If you're comfortable writing and sharing this date, I'll post a Mr. Linky on Monday, April 16th, where you can leave a link to your Sadie Hawkins post. I think it'll be exciting to see all the love in the air. (It should be in the air anyway. It's spring where all things are bright and beautiful and new! I've always equated spring with love anyway...)

I figure that if God can raise his son from the dead, he could do wonders with our marriages too.

So there's my idea. Talk about it and pass it on to other bloggers if you're interested. And let the dating begin again!

Oh, and have a most happy and wonderful Easter. I hope that you and your family will celebrate Christ's resurrection, knowing that the same will happen to us someday too.

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Ummm... Happy Easter

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What? It's a diner. Dogs have to eat too.
Go celebrate the resurrection of Christ, with or without the bunny.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

What Beck Is Asking

So I actually took up the challenge laid out by Beck and allowed her to ask me five questions, sight unseen.

Yeah, I'm a daredevil all right.

Fortunately for me, she stayed on the straight and kind path. Just my luck, she would ask me something from the physics category and I would have to figure out a way to answer without looking really dumb... and ignorant.
  • What would you say is the single most difficult thing about being a teenager today?

I'd say finding God in this ever expanding, self-centered world is the most difficult thing. Today, everything is about convenience, technology and reliance on self. On the norm, parents expect too much from children and want kids to act like adults sooner than they're ready for it to happen. Technology is evolving at such a rate that speed, entertainment and convenience are becoming the only things that matter to life. Sex is replacing love so fast that there are more people living together now than there are married couples. Where is God in a world like this?

With God being pushed to the side, debated, shelved or just for Sunday show, a youth will have a harder time discovering a deep, sincere, meaningful, interactive relationship with God. It's not impossible, mind you, because God is in control, but I think there are so many distracting noises that keep people from hearing his love song.

  • Which one word do you use too much?


  • Which actress - current or past - would you have play you in the movie version of your life?

Well, I'd love to say Kiera Knightley, Audrey Hepburn, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly, Kate Beckinsale or Grace Kelly or a dozen others who I think are tall and lithe and gorgeous and lovely. But since I'm not that way save in my dreams, I'm going to narrow it down to Sandra Bullock, Holly Hunter or Katharine Hepburn. And although I think them beautiful, I feel that I would need an actress with a sense of humor and perfect timing.

  • What is the most beautiful spot on earth that you have ever seen?

The love for me in Mr. Right's eyes and freckles on my kids' faces

  • What is your single greatest strength as a mother?

Knowing Mr. Right is right by my side and being able to say I'm sorry to my kids for all the times I'm screwing up

Well that wasn't too bad... If you feel that you'd be up to some questions from moi, let me know and I'll send some on to you as well.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

WFMW - Car Care

My #1 car care tip: Marry a man who will do all the car stuff for you.

Yep, I'm chocked full of good ideas...


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

We Shall Wait On The Lord

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I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~ Psalms 27: 13 & 14

Let our waiting begin...

While working on this post, my realtor just called and stated that an agent will be showing the house this afternoon. Please pray for us to have patience with the Lord's timing... and to be able to keep the house looking great until we do actually sell it.

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