Saturday, September 29

highlight of my Friday

I had an excellent Friday. I picked blueberries (shocked that there were still some available), and here's the really great part - got a mega-super-wonderful deal at Walgreens on the items pictured here - 4 bags of Robitussin cough drops, 2 packs of Luvs (52 in a pack - size 4 for future use), and 2 tubs of oatmeal. Any guesses how much I spent?

As a side note, you know your stage in life has changed when you're thrilled to bits about blueberries and saving money on household necessities.

Friday, September 28

maybe we should all move

What little I know about this town, I already like.

Thursday, September 27

Isn't it amazing?

We serve a gigantic God. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent. (just the beginning of all that He is) And yet, He chooses to use us, to grow us, to challenge us. All to His glory. It's amazing, in the jaw-dropping, word-stopping sort of way.

God used this post to encourage and rebuke me today. He is so GOOD!

Tuesday, September 25

for all you photo fans

New pictures here

I am aging like a giant tortoise

I found this quiz today linked on Rachael Ray's website. I got a 72. Hmm. Not bad, but I bet if I lose these extra pounds I could do even better! Apparently the quiz measures the factors that put a strain on your immune system. I found it interesting - check it out!

Monday, September 24

how is that possible?

I hear the most interesting conversations at Curves. When you go on the same days to work out, it's likely that you will work out with the same ladies. Which is nice, if you like them, and I do like the ladies I work out with. They are usually hilarious.

The other day, however, they got talking about children, and the number of kids they have. The trainer got in on the conversation, saying that she had three - boy, girl, boy. One lady said, "Oh, you ruined the perfect family" and I just about fell off my recovery station. I mean, if you want to have just 2 kids, fine - it's really between you and God, if you are a believer. But to tell someone that their third kid was "ruining" their family!?! I was in shock. The trainer was VERY gracious - and her sweet reply was perfect. I can't remember exactly what she said, but it was something about her not ever regretting it and how her third child really made their family complete. I chimed in about how they would think I was crazy, but I wanted 5 kids. Of course they said that I would change my mind. That could happen, but probably not the way they think...

I came home and shared this with Michael. We've been thinking a lot about children lately - and I've honestly been wondering how it is that we in the Christian community got to the point where we plan out our children with questions about what we can afford and what the best timing would be. We are still thinking through this issue, with much prayer - and I sometimes wonder if we will ever come to a solid conclusion. We never want to get to a point in our family where we stop being open to God's leading and teaching. And I definitely don't want to take this matter lightly.

So what do you think? Do the cultural expectations of what is acceptable for a family size too strongly impact our actions? Are we really trusting God when we take action to limit our family size? Where does our "common sense" play in, and most importantly, what does God's Word say?

I would to hear how God has led you and your family in this matter. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, and my strong desire to foster unity and not dissension, please season your words with humility and grace - and for this post only, please consider commenting anonymously or using a pseudonym. You can do this by clicking "comments" and selecting "other" or "anonymous."

Thursday, September 20

ode to what is lost

i miss you, soy and calendula,
although i have enough
for another season

your white, gentle formula
soothing and smoothing
my parched and sensitive skin

gone from the limelight
gone from the pages
but never gone from my memory

i ration your drops now,
once gleefully, generously spread
over forehead, nose, and chin.

ours could have been
a lifelong partnership
farewell, perfect skincare.

Seriously, don't you just hate it when they discontinue your favorite products? I finally found something that worked PERFECTLY and the Body Shop went and canceled production. What, no one else has sensitive AND dry skin?
I think I'm not alone in this. The company suggested using the aloe products. I did. I'm not satisfied. Oh, and dear friends who are MK ladies? I appreciate in advance your helpful suggestions, but I am allergic to all things MK. Excepting only the minty foot care products. Seriously. Breakouts. You don't even want to know what happened when I tried the lip treatment. Or the shave gel. Suffice it to say, I am a loyal fan of the mintiness. Period.

Wednesday, September 19

what's for dinner tonight

Tex-Mex Pie

1/4 lb natural ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can pinto beans
taco spices (Lawry's seasoned salt, cumin, paprika to taste)
1 can green chilies
1/2 cup HeartSmart Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 chopped tomato (or more)
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 400* and spray a 9" pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the beef with the onion, add taco spices. When beef is brown, add pintos. Spread in the bottom of the pie plate. Top with green chilies. Mix Bisquick with milk and egg, pour over the meat and bean mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Top with cheese and tomatoes, bake an additional 8-10 minutes.

We love this recipe. I adapted it (from a Bisquick book that I bought while in line at Meijer) to stretch our natural beef. The recipe called for a whole pound of meat. You could definitely use turkey, and if using more meat, could omit the beans. When the recipe is doubled it fills a 9 x 13 and goes well at potlucks.

Tuesday, September 18

all, nothing, or somewhere in between?

Every time I see the commercials for this new "cancer" va*cine, I cringe. For one thing, I feel like the population is being duped into thinking that you can be va*cinated for cancer. This va*cine is supposed to treat certain types of sexually transmitted HPV that have been shown to cause cervical cancer. I cannot fathom giving a series of va*cinations to my little girl (yet to be) for something contracted almost entirely by chosen behavior. Especially not at the earliest recommended age (NINE YEARS OLD?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?) and even more especially not because they have been on the market for such an incredibly short period of time and I am very uncertain of any possible side affects and even the claimed benefits.

Today, I got an email from my friend Sarah which had this link in it. Another "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!" came out of my mouth. It might be partially my perspective, but methinks the price tag on this round of "treatments" might be motivating the campaign to make this a mandate in some states.

So how much of this is necessary? Is there a point where we should stop believing what the drug companies and the CDC tell us about the health of our children? What would you do if your daughter was denied enrollment in school unless she received this va*cine? What are your thoughts?

By the way, I'm not interested in starting a heated or angry debate, just some friendly, lively discussion. We've discussed our wide and varying positions on the other recommended va*cines. I don't really want to go there. BUT I am curious on your perspective for this ONE va*cine.

Thursday, September 13

have you said "thanks" today?

I ran across this awesome site that allows you to send a postcard to the troops thanking them for all they've done. The cards are illustrated by kids and you can either select a pre-written message or write your own. It is a fantastic idea, if you ask me. Or even if you don't.

Monday, September 10

newsy news

for those of you who know Nate & Lissa, be sure to go visit their blog today for some newsy news!

I can't believe I won!

A couple weeks ago I blogged about some giveaways, and you will never guess what just happened.

I. Won. And. I. Am. In. Shock.

According to the giveaway details, I get my choice of a really nifty doll from Lindie & Friends. I think we're going to pick Gator. Or maybe Mouse. Somehow I think one of the animals would be a companion best suited for Aaron. Plus, I just like them better.

Now I just wait for details. Yippeee! I love winning free stuff!

Friday, September 7

hit between the eyes

If you haven't yet today, please check out this article for a good reminder about living frugally, step one.

I'm definitely out of the loop

I knew I was slipping, I knew I was far removed from all things musical now that I'm at home with Aaron. I knew my music teacher days were over for a season, but I didn't really know how bad it had gotten until I got an email this morning from my dad, telling me that there was a special program on public radio today on Luciano Pavarotti from 1-3.

Immediately I knew that he must have died, (they don't often do 2-hour specials on live people. which is a-whole-nother post!) so I quickly googled it and found out that he'd died yesterday, at 71, of pancreatic cancer. I didn't even know he had cancer.

Pavarotti reminds me of so many things - the years of my education, especially - the days that I was thoroughly immersed in music and things musical. Mostly, it reminds me of my favorite "non-date" uh, date.

I had a wonderful accompanist in college. We were definitely sibling-type friends. (You truly get to know each other during 4 years of voice lessons.) I remember freshman Wyn coming to school all decked out in his cowboy boots and bolo tie, fully bluegrass, fully honkey-tonk gospel. I remember the complete transformation. He was the best I could have asked for.

One crispy fall day we were walking from lessons to somewhere and Wyn said, "I have a question for you. I've got tickets to go see Pavarotti in concert. I was going to ask a real girl, but that isn't going to work out. Would you like to go?"

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!?! Pavarotti was on his last ever US tour - this was the chance of a lifetime! I was ecstatic! We packed up and went to Wyn's house - his family lived close to the performance location - and let me tell you, it was unbelievable. I've never seen such a diverse crowd. I saw bikers, rockers, nerds and snooty rich people. (I'm pretty sure we fit into one of those categories.) Our seat was right near the balcony. A great view.

Then, out came Pavarotti. And out came his magnificent voice. I cried - it was that beautiful. And even now, thinking about it, I'm actually welling up. I could have sat and listened for hours. And hours. Without getting tired of it. And I'd be willing to bet that anyone at that concert would have said the same. It was more than opera. It was more than words, more than music. It was more than I could ever have imagined, more than I can explain.

I've never been so thankful not to be "a real girl"

And when I am old, and my grandchildren play my opera cd's, and wonder at the "old fashioned" technology, and probably giggle at the music as children do, I will tell them about the time I got to hear Pavarotti in person. And hopefully, I will share with them about the God who gives incredible, amazing gifts of all types to all people - that we might wonder, and be amazed, and worship Him, the Creator and the Giver.

What beauty or gift has caused you to wonder at the goodness & greatness of God?

Snack Comparison

There are days that I'd gladly trade 2 chips ahoys for a huge pile of cauliflower and broccoli as a mid afternoon snack.

but not today.

I'm getting back on the SparkPeople bandwagon, and for those of you who want a FREE way to track water intake, nutrition and exercise, you've got to check it out.

Purple Cauliflower and Broccoli, 1 T ranch = 99 nutrition packed calories.

2 wimpy chips ahoy that leave you longing for more = 120 empty calories

Wednesday, September 5


For those of you who like giveaways and enjoy the challenge of "what is it" photographs, head on over to Ken's for a guessing contest! He's giving away your choice of 8 x 10 print from his online albums to the winner - and let me just say, he's got some fantastic photos over there. Hurry, you've only got until Sunday!

Sunday, September 2


There are pictures of Aaron here, if anyone is interested.