Friday, April 25, 2008



Name something you would categorize as weird.
People - everyone is a little weird in some way once you get to know them.


What color was the last piece of food you ate?
Yellow and purple. A way-bad-for-me biscuit with sort-of-good-for-me blackberry all fruit jelly/jam.


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy being alone?
Two and nine! If I'm in the mood to be alone it's a nine. If I'm bored and want to do something it's a two.

Main Course

Fill in the blank: I will definitely vote for someone in the presidential primary & general elections. I know, that's weak but I'm not 100% sure yet and I don't feel strongly enough about any of the choices to defend my position.


Describe your sleeping habits.
I am a side sleeper and I prefer to have a pillow or wad of covers under my top leg. I usually wake up about five minutes before the alarm goes off - probably because I hate the sound of an alarm clock.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 Rules for Raising Kids

After seeing a promotion for Chris Rock's mom's book on raising children a couple of people suggested they'd like to know my rules. So, here goes:

  1. Be the parent. They can make their own friends and don't need to add you to that list. They need you to be the parent. Otherwise, they'll likely make themselves or someone else the parent.

  2. Be consistent-but flexible. They need to know the rules and that the rules don't change, nor does the fact that breaking the rules will result in consequences. However, occasionally there will be extenuating circumstances when you will need to either temporarily or permanently change the rules.

  3. Play. Let them see your fun side. Playing with them, whether with building blocks, board games, a Wii, or miniature golf, allows for bonding at all ages. It both keeps you in touch with them but often offers good teachable moments when they are most receptive. Note: If you were "too busy" to play Candy Land with them at four expect them to be suspicious and less than thrilled when you want to play Scrabble at 14.

  4. Encourage them-often, about everything. Statements like "You can do it.", "Good job.", " I love your smile.", "You can be anything you want to be.", should be a regular part of your conversations with your kids at every age.

  5. Allow them their feelings. It is okay to guide them on how to handle their feelings (ie. we do not throw temper tantrums) but not to ignore them or tell them how they should feel.

  6. Allow them to suffer consequences. You are not helping them by rescuing them, making excuses for them, or bailing them out. By the time you are not there and they do have to reap what they've sown it will likely be very costly.

  7. Make the "punishment" fit the" crime". Discipline should be age appropriate and logical. It is ineffective to ground a four year old or to put a 16 year old in time out. It should also match the severity of the offense (ie. punishment for your 14 year old sneaking a piece of dessert before dinner should not be the same as for sneaking out of the house). Keep in mind that if the punishment is always severe then it is likely when they get old enough to start deciding if the crime is worth the punishment they will likely make the worst choices since they will get punished the same either way.

  8. Be realistic. Expecting your toddler to be good an not fussy at the store when you've kept them out past their normal bedtime is unrealistic. So is expecting your teenager to always agree with your rules or decisions. Especially with toddlers and teens, pick your battles. Yelling, scolding, pushing, or nagging them all the time is unproductive. If your toddler only wants to drink out of the green cup - wash it, take it with you, buy more green cups. If your teen's room is messy (not to be confused with filthy) just close the door.

  9. Apologize when you are wrong. Yes, sometimes you will be wrong - blame the wrong child, be short tempered because of things that have nothing to do with the child, or forget to do something you told them you would. When you are, apologize. They don't need you to be perfect. In fact, if you try to come off as perfect you will 1) set unrealistic standards for them to reach, and 2) fail - sooner or later they will find out you are fallible.

  10. Encourage creativity and make believe. There is research that suggests that the smartest children have imaginary friends - within reason, play along. Don't tell them they can't color the cat blue (remember, someone made a fortune with a purple dinosaur). If you're really brave, let you teen decide what color they want to paint their room and how they want to decorate it (again, within reason!).

  11. Encourage independence. Start early letting them make simple decisions - Do they want strawberry or grape jelly or would they prefer juice or mild with lunch. As they grow the decisions and the options should both increase. A child whose parent has made almost all their choices for them will implode when they go off to college. They'll either be incapable of making a decision on their own and return home or they will go wild with their sudden power and control.

  12. Know their friends and their friends parents. The older they get the more important this becomes.

  13. Teach them responsibility. When I asked my adult children what one thing was that they thought their father and I did right in parenting them, that was the answer. Kids need to understand they have a responsibility to their family, their community/school/ team, their church, and their planet. This helps them recognize that the world does not revolve around them and that their choices and decisions effect other people. They also learn that others have needs and feelings too. Additionally, it helps them recognize that they matter - that they, as an individual, can make a difference and that they are important to other people.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Time to Eat!

Name a color you find soothing.
Pastels - specifically a soft aqua.

Using 20 or less words, describe your first driving experience.
I don't remember the first time in drivers ed., I do remember driving with my Dad and him being very patient.

What material is your favorite item of clothing made out of?

Denim - that would by my New York & Co. jeans!

Main Course
Who is a great singer or musician who, if they were to come to your town for a concert, you would spend the night outside waiting for tickets to see?

Undoubtedly, unquestionably,
undeniably the Eagles!!!

What is the most frequent letter of the alphabet in your whole name (first, middle, maiden, last, etc.)?
That would be "E".

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mad Libs-Thursday 13

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Mad Libs - originally created by Leonard Stern and Roger Price - you will have to work/play along with today's 13.

Write down words for each of the following before reading any farther:

1. adjective
2. place (object)
3. place (location)
4. emotion
5. adjective
6. adverb
7. time
8. transportation
9. plural noun
12 occupation


It was a ____1____ morning when Sally got out of her ____2____. She had only been in ____3____ a few days but, already, she was ____4____ about the change her life had taken. Her ____5____ job had her ____6____ excited. She left her hotel room at ____7____ and took the ____8____ into the city. She couldn't believe the size of the ____9____! She'd never been out of her ____10____ town before this week. Now she was in the ____11_____ city doing what she loved, ____12____, and she was going to make her parents ____13____ if it was the last thing she did.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From My Back Porch - This Morning

1. A few of the seven deer visiting this morning! 2. The youngest moved closer and then noticed Gracie (our Rottweiler) inside the fence. 3. Then she got even closer.... Okay, I know, I'm just not really capable of being wordless.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Changes and Dry Feet.

The season is changing - I think. Sometimes in Indiana it changes back and forth in the same week. Last weekend it was in the 70's and this weekend in dropped below freezing!

My life seems to be taking the same kinds of turns. I thought I knew where God was leading me and I was perched on the bow, life jacket and caution thrown to the wind, ready to "jump out of the boat and walk on the water".

Then life threw a few high waves - like the wreck and the change in income because of it. It also postponed indefinitely putting the house on the market - another key component to my water walking successfully. I left all of these details in God's hands because He is the God who makes all things possible.

Now, though, the whole situation has changed. What I thought I'd be doing, what I thought was my calling, won't be necessary. This is a very good thing for the other people involved and I am truly thrilled for them. For me, I'm just confused and back to saying "now what God?" I am at a point in my life where I feel a strong desire to do something that truly matters. To do something I really love doing and to have flexibility with my time.

While the change in the situation alleviates the need to sell the house soon, I now feel like I'm back in the boat, holding on to my life jacket (the familiar, safe, comfortable, routine) trying to figure out what's next. The drop in income now (as opposed to when I got my feet wet in my new venture) becomes more of an inconvenience than a disaster but, then, where is it that God wants me?

My spirit wants to jump out of the boat, to get my feet wet, to walk on the water, to do something new and important and lasting. My circumstances feel like they're telling me not to even stand in the boat - pushing me to keep my feet dry, sit down, put on my life jacket and watch as the scenery and excitement and opportunity pass by.

So I am waiting. I'm very bad at waiting, by the way, at being patient, at not having a plan.

I am not angry or even sad - just confused, lost at sea so to speak. And the only instruction from God that I hear in my head is "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10) I find that first part extremely hard to do. But, I'm going to try. So I'll be going back over my notes and highlighting in the above pictured book and I'll try to be still and listen. And maybe I need to be asking different questions starting with the theme from the last few Sunday's sermons on Nehemiah. Is my vision big enough?

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Hearty Meal

The chef is off today so some others offered to fill in as guest chefs. I think stonegirl is serving up a pretty hearty meal.


What is your favorite vacation spot in the United States?
Any one I haven't been to yet. There are so many beautiful places to see and I have been fortunate enough to visit many of them. Circumstances have made my goal to see all 50 states before I turn 50 impossible but if I bump it up to before I'm 60, I might make it. Maui is beautiful. Alaska is breath taking. Florida has a variety of places I'd go back to and, for a long weekend, I love cities like St. Louis or Chicago. I could go on. The only place I've been so far that I'd never go back to is Atlantic City, N.J.

If someone else (friend, co-worker, family) brings up a religious or political topic, how likely are you to join the conversation, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = not likely, 10=very likely).
9! I usually can't help myself. There are a few instances where I would keep my mouth shut, but not many. I have always been pretty opinionated.

What song do you listen to when you feel very sad?
It depends on what I'm sad about and who I'm sad for, myself or someone else. The ones that come to mind are Desperado and Learn to be Still by the Eagles, The Song Remembers When by Trisha Yearwood and Whatever You Say by Martina McBride.

Main Course
Someone you really admire is coming over for a home-cooked dinner. What do you serve him/her?
Probably lasagna or something else Italian. I love to cook Italian food and almost everyone loves to eat it.

If the only form of transportation left in the world is by animal (horse, mule, camel, etc), where would you live?
Maui - a multitude of climates in a very condensed area. It also fulfills every girls dream of horseback riding along the beach at sunrise or sunset.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thirteen "TH"ings

I'm not feeling really inspired about thirteen anything today so today's list is just 13 things that start with "TH".
  1. THoughts
  2. THirst
  3. THistles
  4. THanksgiving
  5. THunder
  6. THeories
  7. THeater
  8. THesaurus
  9. THread
  10. THerapy
  11. THeology
  12. THursday
  13. THirteen

Okay - you knew those last two were coming, didn't you?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Waiting for the weekend.
Excited about Spring flowers blooming in my yard.
Doing laundry.
Needing to fill the bird feeder.
Expecting to forget to take the trash to the curb.
Singing along with the radio.
Dog needs brushed.
Asking God for peace and perseverance.
Yearning for more time to spend doing things I enjoy.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Isn't It Delicious.....


Invent a new flower; give it a name and describe it. Royselip - A cross between a rose and tulip that is a rich royal blue. The stem would be like a tulip (no thorns) and the top like a rose.


Name someone whom you think has a wonderful voice. Martina McBride - strong voice, unbelievable range.


On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how clean do you keep your car? Okay, well, my car looks pretty bad right now (see yesterday's Thursday Thirteen), but typically it's about and six or seven. I live/work out of my car a lot of the time so I like to keep it clean and organized on the inside. I usually try to choose a color of car that doesn't show dirt too much because I'm not nearly as good at keeping the outside clean.

Main Course

How do you feel about poetry? I like it. I used to write some poetry when I was much younger. I even won a contest and got one poem published but I think good poetry requires inspiration which, for me at least, requires time and mobility to be in inspiring places. I don't really enjoy reading poetry but I do like hearing it read.


What was the last person/place/thing you took a picture of? Grandbaby Jaiyda of course - two days ago!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Today is a list of 13 things you should know if you are involved in a serious auto accident.
  1. OnStar is a very, very important thing to have!
  2. Be sure to send someone to get everything out of your car.
  3. Have them take pictures - you may need them for future insurance issues, etc.
  4. Have them take the plates off your car if it is totaled.
  5. Gap insurance is a good thing to have but be sure to keep ALL paperwork from your vehicle purchase - gap agreement, loan papers, window sticker off car with purchase price.
  6. Have numbers in your cell phone designated with I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) so police/paramedics/hospital knows who to call.
  7. You will need access to a copy and fax machine as the insurance company, the bank, and possibly your attorney will need copies of everything. (You'll wish you had your own secretary to take care of all the paperwork.)
  8. Any personal property (car seats, cds, books, first aid kit, jumper cables, cell phones, cash) in your vehicle is NOT covered for loss or damage by your auto insurance. If it amounts to more than your deductible, it may be covered under your homeowners insurance.
  9. Your mailbox will be overflowing with "information" from personal injury attorneys! You may very well need an attorney, but choose carefully. We received full color catalog type brochures (that cost a fortune to produce), magnets, pens, etc. We decided on the guy who sent us a simple letter and the most helpful thing we received - a copy of the accident report.
  10. There are still good Samaritans out there. There are people who will help and people willing to be witnesses.
  11. Accept help when it is offered. First, you'll need more help than you expect. Second, prayers, hugs, and encouraging words from friends and family will sustain you.
  12. Look for the bright side. Anger and bitterness won't help you heal physically or emotionally. Hope, love and forgiveness will.
  13. Recovery (physical & emotional) may be a long process. Acknowledge God's sovereignty and take comfort from knowing that He is in control and that "all things work together for the good of those that love Him".

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring is Springing Forth

I've noticed several encouraging things around my house lately - little hints that Spring is indeed coming. Hooray!!

I've been working for the last few years on naturalizing our front yard with early Spring flowers. As I went out to get the paper I noticed several places where clusters of bulbs are coming through. YEAH! There was also the distinct sound of birds singing - not many, but a few. The grass is looking a little greener and I can hear the bats again at night.

I know bats would be a bad thing to some people but they eat mosquitoes-lots of them. When we first bought the woods where we built there were so many bats that you could sometimes hear them when you were inside the house. A few years later we didn't hear them at all. I don't know where they went, or why, but we had tons of mosquitoes those years to the point where you couldn't enjoy being outside in the evening around the fire pit or on the front porch to watch the sunset. I hated that. Last year, though, they started coming back significantly lessening the mosquitoes near the house. Plus, they seem to stay in the woods. We have a couple big lights that might attract them but in the eight years we've lived there I've only actually seen a bat once.

There is also an owl that has been there the whole time (I'm assuming it is the same owl.) We've had a few sightings of it. Once early on when it was sitting in one of the pine trees. It looked about 12" tall and maybe 5" wide. Then there was the summer when it seemed to have gotten its days and nights mixed up - or hit its head on something and thought it was a rooster. Every morning at 5:30 a.m. we'd hear it whoing (or hooting). Last summer it dive bombed me one evening as I was driving home while chasing its prey over the road and into the corn field across the street. The last time we saw it sitting it was about 18" tall and 12" wide.

Then there are Frick and Frack and the Snake. The Snake (Corn snake variety) hangs out in the herb garden mostly and is okay with me because since he moved in we've had very little problem with mice in the garage. He doesn't bother me as long as I know he's there and I can avoid being close to him, like when I occasionally go out early in the morning to have breakfast on the deck and he's already using the deck for sunbathing. He does startle me every now and then late in the Summer when he can hide under the plants and I don't know he's there till I go to pick something and he goes slithering off. At that point, he is definitely my least favorite resident. Frick and Frack are the lizards that, best we can tell, are dwarf plated lizards and should not really live in Indiana( more like Africa). We don't know if we have misidentified them or if they were pets someone dropped off somewhere are our flower beds were the closest thing resembling the rocky area where they normally live. They look just like the picture below, blue tail and all, and are very affectionate with each other apparently since they have grown to a large family of we aren't sure how many. They also seem to be finding plenty to eat as we have watched the two older ones grow from about 3" long to about 12".

I'm getting anxious now to get my garden planted and be back to the time of year for barbecues and fires and toasted marshmallows. I'm ready for the bright colors of the flowers and seeing what pops up unexpectedly somewhere. I'm ready for the newness of Spring.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Two for Tuesday-yadseuT rof owT

Our grandbaby girl at Easter!

All dressed up....

and as a funny bunny!