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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Reason We Orbit Around the Son

Sometimes I start feeling down. The snow won't melt and I'm stuck in my house. The grocery bills keep getting higher. The holiday "goodies" have added a few pounds to the mid-section. These all sound like little things, but I can make them HUGE. Seriously, I can lose sleep over a few pounds (although I'm a bit mental that way).

I've been feeling pretty low, in the world that orbits around me. Being self centered has a tendency to do that. I've been ignoring God. I really don't know why. I just have been avoiding him.

Today at church I had a "moment". I was worshiping, and having a bad attitude about it, when a song caught me off guard. "We all fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus." I'm not sure what happened. All I know is that the Holy Spirit hit me hard. I could feel it so physically, I was worried I'd have a Toronto moment, right there in my little conservative church!

My heart God's again... in just that moment. WOW!

The sermon was by some homegrown missionaries, serving in Uganda. I heard about little girls sold into prostitution at 8... for a bag of sugar. They told us how most men beat their wives, because that is how things are done, and how the "wives" can't ever escape because they have NO way to care for themselves and their children. We were told that they drink the same water that they defecate in, and dump their dead, and pour gasoline in, and then wonder why their babies die of ecoli. We heard how they lock away their handicap children. We learned that they don't have families... just many partners, and many children. They don't parent... they don't know how. Their lives are so incredibly void of God, that they have no morals, only fear and misery. Yet they are people just like us, with feelings, and sadness, and SO in need of a little hope... of a savior.... but they are afraid to know him. How very sad.

My world seems a little brighter right now. I am thankful for education, and toilets, and handicap rights. I'm thankful for clean water acts, and medicine, and families! I am thankful that my girls live in a country where they CAN provide for themselves if need be... where they can learn, and love, and be loved by their husbands.

We are so blessed that God is here. Here in America. This country WAS founded on Godly principles, and we are still reaping the results.

Today I saw what the Godless looked like, and it broke my heart.

A man centered world leads to despair.

God NEEDS to be the center.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

In the busy last minute Christmas preparations, I found a moment in between batches of cookies and bread to hop on the computer and wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! I love you all! ~Karlie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Church in Mayberry

There is a thick layer of snow covering my driveway. My heater is chugging along, trying to keep my century old farm house above 60. The kids are off at school thanks to my husbands over priced 4 wheel drive truck (which I am currently grateful for). All the business that has kept me away from housework, projects, and blogging has suddenly ceased. I wouldn't dare take my little white chick car on the roads. I tried last year and ended up walking... 5 kids in tow... and a month of "I told you so's".

Another year of being trapped out in the middle of nowhere. However this year, I don't mind so much. I seem to have lost the ability to "slow down". So I am grateful for being stuck here "nowhere".

We have ended up at a little church by our kids school. The town feels like Mayberry. Quaint and pretty. Old Victorians and a general store. I could swear there is a time warp that has kept that place in the 50's. If you have read any of the Harmony books, you know my town.

It's hard to take a city girl and place her in a small town... it's even harder to place her in a small church where the music hasn't changed in 60 years, nor has the body.

It's a solid church. I think there are maybe 6 or 7 other families, a nice handful of kids, and dozens of elderly. The old ladies bake cookies every Sunday. Gossip is huge, but what else do you do in Mayberry? Anyway, they are SO happy we are there. A new family... UNDER 50. That's a big deal and BIG gossip. They think we are a model family. My husband has a good reputation in town. We dress well, behave well. Ugh, if only they could see my heart. I'm trying to step off that pedestal before I fall.

The pastor is great. His sermons range from brilliance to... weird. Last week he talked about the birth of Jesus, however, he was pretending to be Mary. In a thick accent he started talking about his privates hurting. Then as the labor progressed, he started moaning. I turned to my husband and said "if he starts pushing, I'm leaving". Luckily, he didn't go there.

Oh I hope it works. This church I mean. I don't think we could handle another huge upset. Not for along time. Seriously, if we find out they are sacrificing cats in the basement or something, were done. DONE! We are so fed up with church CRAP right now, I just pray that God has us somewhere safe. I truly feel our walk with the church is on it's final leg. I don't want to be another church casualty, where I say "Christian's killed my faith in church... but not God." Not that my faith should be in the church anyway.....

Moving on.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Angry

I'm angry.

I have a CLOSE friend who's husband's lung collapsed. He has been in the emergency room for nearly a week. I just found out today.

My pastor's wife (another close friend) has had her kids, and been in prayer over the situation.

I'm not mad because no one told me about this... I am not mad because this was kept a "secret" from the congregation. I am mad at WHY this was kept a secret.

The pastor suggested that only a "select" few should know about this, because if EVERYONE knew, they might be inclined to pray. What's the problem with prayer? According to my pastor, those who do not know how to pray in "faith" could cause this man to die. If someone perchance prayed for God's will instead of demanding healing, it could ruin this man's chances of recovery.

I couldn't help but argue with this reasoning as my pastor's wife told me this over the phone. "Isn't God's grace big enough to cover those of us that don't pray the exact right words? Isn't our God sovereign enough to heal with the humble prayers of a New Christian? Isn't it damaging to the body to claim that their prayers might be hurtful?"

I don't know about you, but I believe God welcomes ALL communication. God can use ALL prayers and work them together for GOOD!

I guess what I'm really angry about, is my knack for always ending up in really screwed up churches, with wacked theology.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Birds and The "Tadpoles"


The dinner tables brings out all sorts of interesting conversations in our family. Tonight my 8 1/2 year old son told us (out of the blue) that in 10 years his friend R***** wanted to have sex with a woman. All of our mouths hit the floor. We excused my 6 year old (with the lure of video games) and asked our son if he knew what sex was. He said "nope, but I sure am curious".

Rather than have him get his information inaccurately at school, my husband called my son into the bedroom and said "it's time for us to have a little talk". So off they went... into the land of no return.

As I was clearing the table I could hear giggles and "OH GROSS" coming from the bedroom. After what seemed like a century my son emerged with a knowing look on his face. The first thing he did was holler at his brother "hey, G*** guess WHAT..." At that moment I realized that my husband had left out one of the MOST important parts of "The Talk" DON'T TELL OTHERS. I quickly pulled him aside and told him that he was to keep his new knowledge to himself. "OK mom, but I can't believe you and dad did that FOUR TIMES (we have 4 kids)!" Clearly he wasn't listening.

Moments later his older sisters walked in the room. My son turned to them with that same "knowing look" and before I could stop him yelled out "Guess what! In a few years I'll be able to shoot tadpoles out my wiener."

My husband is now banned from giving the sex talks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Death Of The "Church Lady"... The REAL Get Revival!


I know the idea of fellowship and bible study should sound appealing, but last night I would have sold my favorite (make me look skinny) jeans to not have to go. I dreaded the prospect of sitting in a room listening to one particular person rant on and on, while the rest of us stare aimlessly into nothing, offering up silent prayers of escape.

Is it a sin to pray that someone stops talking?

I so badly did NOT want to go, that I actually called and cancelled (due to a sick child... that was actually sick... a little).

Yet as the hour of the study approached, a deep sense of guilt came over me. This WAS a commitment, and darn it, I'd better tough it out.

I reluctantly hauled my lazy butt into my chick car, and began the 20 minute drive into town. I was in a foul mood so I thought some music might help. I listened to a Tim McGraw song about a guy killing his step father. Real God honoring stuff. Good song... bad choice when I was already having serious attitude.

I pulled up into the driveway of our associate pastor's house 10 minutes late and noticed that mine was the only car. "Hmm, maybe it's cancelled?" I thought eagerly to myself. I knocked on the front door then stepped inside to a room revealing the associate pastor and his wife, and one other woman who is new to our church. Usually the class is pulling in a dozen people or so, so I was surprised to see such a small turn out. Ah, but the talker wasn't there, so my mood brightened just enough for me to stay.

The 1st half of the study was ... slow. I started counting the chapters we had left, playing with my hair, daydreaming about the cookies I had back at the house.

Then it happened!

GOD BROKE THROUGH!

He took a stale bible study and brought life.

A simple question was asked and the "new girl" opened up and answered with such transparency, it opened doors to an evening of ministry and healing.

Now I'm a very open person, to have me speak my mind, feelings, or struggles is nothin' new. However this woman had a lot, and I mean A LOT bottled up, and wow, did God use her courage in a BIG WAY! Before you knew it the associate pastor and his wife were sharing their struggles and hurts. They were being vulnerable in a way that I seldom see pastors (or their wives) be. Ugh. If only pastors could see how much good it would do the congregation to let us see their "dark side". It's nice knowing that we are not the only ones who struggle.

A couple of months ago I was asked to give my testimony to the women of our church. I planned a big speech about how "bad" I used to be and how God has changed me. However, when I prayed over it, God told me that he wanted to to share how "bad" I still am. Not in a condemning sort of way, but in a "I'm still struggling, I still make mistakes, and God still loves me" kind of way. I also got to take a few jabs at the legalistic gals in their floral jumpers and worn out Old Testaments, and share about the "grey" areas of my life that were NOT sin, like Santa, Merlot, and Crunk. So fun.

After my testimony was shared, I had dozens of women coming up to me, calling me, etc sharing their own struggles, their own "secret" lives. Most of their stories were the same. A glass of wine on Friday, a "secret" viewing of Desperate Housewives, whatever. Almost all of them had things in their past that any "good Christian" would turn their noses up at. I thought if these women would just open up to each other, they'd see they were all hiding the same things.

Then there were confessions of the REAL sins. Anger, lust, revenge, gluttony, you name it. There again, so many shared so much in common, but never opened up enough to let anyone know it. One woman said because of her struggles she felt like an island. How sad... if only she knew.

Not until we stop trying so hard to hide who we are, can we really start to tackle our sin. Being fake is too exhausting. Deception is the breeding ground for sin. Hiding your personality is deception. End of story.

I could fill a months worth of posts with my "grey" areas, current sins and struggles, and past, but I'll spare y'all.

Ah, but I got to confess a little!

I.... like tattoos, I lack contentment, I'm a little vain (ouch, that one hurts), struggle with self control, and used to be able to shoot large amounts of tequila without flinching.

So I want to hear some truths! Common, it feels great! Tell me something you'd normally hide at church. Free your soul!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5 Things I Love



My new blog friend Candy tagged me with this award. Thanks Candy!
Now I'm supposed to list 5 Things that I Love, and then TAG 5 more people when I'm done.

So...

5 Things I Love

1.Music

Music is like oxygen to me. I need it to function!

When I have music I can~
worship better
clean faster
run longer
love deeper

Lose myself

Music motivates me when nothing else can.

I've had my most amazing spiritual breakthroughs with it

It's mended many broken hearts

I've rocked my babies to sleep with it's lullabies

It's calmed my anger... Stirred my compassion

I'm not picky about the type.
It just depends on my mood.
When I want to dance I turn on jamiroquai,
Toby Mac, or Family Force 5

When I'm driving I like Hello Goodbye, My Chemical Romance, or Cold Play

When I'm running I listen to SuperChick, Gwen Stephanie, or Hawk Nelson

Here is a pic my daughter took at the Hawk Nelson concert last spring.

When I worship I like The Newsboys, Sara Groves, Hillsong


On a warm summer day I like Blue grass, Allison Kraus,The Grateful Dead.

There is no end to my moods... there is no end to my music collection!

I like it loud!

2. I love my husband in flannel shirts. This is just a weird quirk. !
I'm not usually into the lumberjack look, but I just can't resist him when he is dressed in fuzzy, plaid, flannel shirt


See... isn't this HOT! 0-:


3. Thai Food.
Can you say Tandoori Chicken Tiki Kabob? No really... try to say it. My husband and I LOVE to get away to the city... just the two of us.
When we do, we almost ALWAYS hit up one of our favorite Thai restaurants! My brother is a mountain climber ad leaves for Thailand next week, and while I'm envious of him experiencing the culture, the landscape, I'm REALLY jealous of his consumption of Pad Thai!


4. Being a part of my Family.
I know, I know, it sounds so "typical" but I really do think I have the coolest family on the planet! Both my husband and I have a similar sense of humor, and would you believe, my kids got it too? We are always laughing, and often at something no one else "gets".

Our dinner table is awesome. My kids can all hold their own in a conversation about
politics, theology, or Napoleon Dynamite! Silliness is encouraged in our home! Sometimes we will turn on music and ALL dance around the house until we fall down with exhaustion (and laughter). We love to hike together, make up stupid songs, and skip dinner in favor of milkshakes and a movie.

My husband and boys all love to fish (they are fly fishing this weekend). My girls and I love to shop together, give each other makeovers and curl up under the covers and watch "chick flicks" on the portable DVD player. We are spontaneous, and sometimes just hop in the car on a whim and drive to the coast, or go visit a ghost town, or explore a museum.

It's not just me immediate family either! I've got borderline insane relatives that I just adore. My mom is a genius and totally kooky. My brother is a Christian Hippie who looks like a 70's porn star (I've said it before... and his look still hasn't changed), my relatives are French chefs, musicians, doctors, slackers.. I think they are awesome! The eclectic tapestry of my family keeps it interesting!

We definitely have our share of faults, but as a whole, my close knit family is full of joy, faith, and adventure!

I just love... LOVE being a part of my family!



Here are the girls of the family minus My 2ND daughter. The 1st three lovely ladies are my aunts. The one up front in the purple in my beloved mother. Next in the blue is yours truly, then the beautiful girl in the yellow is my 1st born daughter.


Here all the boys in the family, minus my dad ~ who had escaped ( :
1st is my cousin, followed by my 1st born son. Then you have my brother, my husband, and the little guy upfront is the baby of the family (but I don't let him hear me say that).


Here I am (with no make up GASP) and my gorgeous daughter! Neither of us usually wear glasses, but she's on this big Sarah Palin kick, so hey... gotta go for the look, right?

5.Jackie-O
No, it's not about the politics... the girl's got style!




Hmm. Now as for tagging 5 people, I'm going to pick on Javamama, halfmoongirl,
Emily, andysbetty, and the 5th pick? YOU!

BTW, I can't figure out why my family pics are blurry. I messed around with them for over an hour, and I just can't seem to get them to submit! AHHH. Anyway, I'll try to get the in focus later 'cause right now my computer is definitely NOT one of the 5 things I love ):

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In Reply To an Old Friend

This post is a public reply to a comment left on my last post.

Elaine, since you publicly posted your personal letter to me on my blog (rather than an e-mail), I am assuming you want a public reply. If that is not what you intended, please tell me and I'd be happy to remove this post.

As a comment to my last post you wrote:

Maybe it is because the bitterness that has been building up. Is starting to show on the outside. Honestly Karly. You never respond to emails. Your last few blogs have become very bitter. I can feel your contempt for the human race (all of us) in your words.
If that is how you come across to your fellow town members, why on earth would they even want to deal with you?
Why do I even read your blogs? Because years ago, you were a very dear friend. I know, you just tolerated me. I'm not stupid. Yet I liked going to the womens groups with you and was even saved at the prayer group. Something I thought would never happen in my lifetime. That was HUGE to me.
Now, everytime I tried to set up a time to come visit, it was always something. You had moved away and didn't have to entertain my friendship any longer.
Bottom line, I was rejected.
Is that how you treat your fellow town members?
Still your friend
Elaine


OUCH! I sit here in awe of this comment. Contempt for the human race? Bitterness?

When one writes a blog it is hard to portray the correct tone. My heart was in no way bitter during my last few posts. My political posts are usually written either with sarcasm or a heart of great concern. I have strong beliefs that I will NOT apologize for. My opinionated nature is, and always has been a big part of who I am. With a title like Conservachick, one should expect this to be a political venting ground. I also don't share my blog with my community. With my husbands position, I have to keep quiet more than I'd like to. Posting serves as a "safe" place to share my thoughts.

As for my last post, the point was to honor my husband as MY hero! I wrote the post mostly for him and guess what... it made him feel loved, respected, and honored. Was I surprised that no one stopped? Yes. However I do not for one moment think it is because I am cruel or "bitter" towards them. People are busy. Chivalry is dying in this "me" focused culture of ours. That disappoints me.

Honestly Elaine. Men seldom open the doors any more, give up their seats, etc. I find this everywhere. Maybe there is an secret international "let's hate Karlie (because of her contempt for humanity) club", but I doubt it. My guess is that ANYONE would have been left standing there on the side of the road.

I am a sarcastic, political, strong willed person Elaine. You know that, but I LOVE the human race. That IS why I care so much. I definitely sin, have bad thoughts about others, whine, and yes... occasionally gossip. I am human. Still, my primary goal in life is to serve God, and that means to serve and love others. While I am tempted to go into the things God has me doing to reach out and love those around me, I feel it would be wrong. My good works are not of my own doing, but of God alone. Still, please know that while I often stumble, my greatest desire is to serve.

Now Elaine, I feel I must apologize for not keeping in better touch with you. My lack of correspondence is in no way a rejection of you. I have not seen one, not ONE of my Washington friends since I have moved. I'm lousy at Christmas cards, even my own relatives get irritated by my lack of response to e-mails. I still love my old friends (you included), I just get overwhelmed with 4 kids, a social husband, church, work, volunteering, and quite honestly, the people God has placed on my heart right here in my very own town. Even blogging (the ONLY way I keep in touch with old friends) often takes a back seat to my busy life, which is why I often go months at a time without posting. With all of my excuses, I still feel terrible that I have not been better about keeping in touch. So Elaine, I AM sorry.

On a last note Elaine, I never just tolerated you. Your friendship was always very real to me. As I have moved around I would often tell people of an old friend I have who is the most loyal person I have ever met. I was talking about YOU. We may be very different from each other, but I always found beauty in you unique personality! And hey, we also had many things in common, like vegetarian food, motherhood, music and art! While our friendship has entered a different season, I have not stopped caring about you.

Elaine, your salvation was very precious to me. I pray that even though I can't be there to watch you grow in your walk with God, you continue to seek his voice and know his love. I am sorry I can't be who you want me to be, but people will always let you down. Our Father however will never reject you, never ignore you, never let you down. NEVER!

With love, Karlie

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chivalry IS Dead...Well Almost


I know, the title of the post is so cliche', yet when I needed a Knight in Armor to help me as I was stranded on the side of the road with a flat yesterday. Not a single one arrived.
I was SHOCKED! Here is why:

1. I was stranded on the side of the highway that connects the two "small" towns that we live between. Hundreds of vehicles passed me.

2. I was there for over an hour, fumbling with a car jack, looking quite clueless.

3. I look VERY girly. I'm not one of those tough looking girls that could use power tools or something. I wear dresses and make up and am sadly not at all buff. One of my best friends IS however one of those buff power tool kinda girls, and she WOULD have stopped.

4. I was driving a little white chick car (my husbands words not mine).

5. Here is the big one... Dozens of cars that drove by KNEW ME. Anyone that knows me could easily guess, I don't know how to change a tire (or even know where to find my car jack). They could have guessed that I was on my way to pick my kids up at school (as I was only 2 miles away from it and the school day was about to end).

Not ONE person stopped to see if I needed help. Not one offer of a phone call. Nothing. I actually had several people stop me later and ask how the car troubles went (because they saw me stranded on the road). "Fine, no thanks to you!" Didn't actually say it, but I thought it REALLY hard.

Now I can't change a tire, but I'd like to think if I saw a woman on the side of the road, I'd at least stop and ask if I could call someone. I HAVE stopped before for an elderly couple, and my husband stops for EVERYONE!

My mother raised both me AND my brother to think of others in need. To this day I am still amazed by the way my brother will reach out to help a stranger. So I guess I foolishly have the same standards for others.

This entire experience brings back memories of our last flat tire several years ago. We were on the way to my mom's house for the weekend and traveling along the Washington State freeways. We had 4 kids and a cat in our mini van. The tire blew and we ended up on the side of the freeway trying to put on a spare. Again no one stopped. Nearly an hour passed as the cars zoomed by, and all I could think was "people suck". Then finally a small pick up truck with an old Asian man pulled up behind us. My heart swelled. I thought to myself, "so this is what a TRUE hero looks like"! As he got out of his truck, he turned away from our vehicle unzipped his pants and peed. Yup, you heard me right. HE PEED! Then he hopped back in his truck and drove away. I can't even share my thought with y'all on this one. I'm trying to keep my blog rated PG-13 here.

Now we get to the "Well Almost" part of the title. Someone did come to my rescue. Someone called the school, got my kids, picked me up, replaced my flat, AND bought me cold meds (I forgot to mention I was quite sick during this whole ordeal). The REAL hero of this story is my husband.

So, while it may seem that Chivalry is dead, there ARE a few knights in shinning armor still out there (or maybe knights in business suits wearing Tommy Bahama cologne). Oh and yes, he DID change my tire in his suit!

I know my husband, and he didn't only come to my rescue because I'm his wife, that's just what he does. Like I mentioned earlier, he stops for EVERYONE. I can't tell you how many times we have been late because he stopped by the side of the road to help a commuter in need. I LOVE that about him. In a world with so few willing to take the time... I married one of the last true heroes!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Deception

Well, I'm sure y'all could have guessed that "Conservachick" is not all that happy about the way the elections turned out. I wasn't surprised, but that didn't take the sting out of it.

I guess I'll fess us and admit I cried. Not as much because Obama won and McCain lost, but because of the Christians that voted for him.

Numerous Christian friends and family members hopped on the Obama band wagon, seeking.... Change? Comfort? Just going along with the crowd? I do not know. No one can give me a "real" answer.

What really bothers me about this is the state our church is in. If so many members of our body can so easily gloss over the fact this man stands AGAINST God, against scripture and Christian values and still vote for him, what a sad state we are in.

The guy is charismatic and polished and makes big promises he can't back up. If Obama can so easily deceive so many of our own, how are we going to fare when the Antichrist comes? NO, I am not in anyway implying that Obama is the Antichrist, but I think there are some very good lessons (and warnings) about deception here.

The Bible says:

'for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many' Matthew 24:5

'Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves.’ Matthew 7:15

This scares me. People that I love are turning away from God in favor of "false prophets". Where is the church headed?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mass Market Messiah


He is:
The Hannah Montana of politics. A media produced phenomenon, all polished and pretty and ready to sell to thousands of adoring consumerist, television brainwashed fans.




The Happy meal toy used to lure you in... but all you end up getting is processed food.



Is anyone else bothered by the fact he has children's books out? Or that there is a 24/7 Obama TV station? Or that tonight during prime time, every channel had an Obama "special".



Does anyone else wonder what is funding such extravagances?

My father has been a Republican all of his life. Now he is a drunk. All he does is drink and watch TV. The TV has convinced him we need change. Now he is voting for Obama. I ask him "Dad? What is Obama going to change?" I get blank stares. He doesn't know.... he's just another victim of the media. It preys on people who can't think for themselves. There is a lot of them out there.



I know many Christians who are voting for Obama. Why? Because they don't like the way our country is right now. They are concerned about the economy. They blame George Bush. Yeah, because it's all his fault that we became a greedy over consuming nation. He forced us to take out loans we could not afford.... right? Sorry America... we can't blame Bush.... It's OUR fault.

Obama is NOT the Messiah. He will not save us. He's NOT going to fix the economy. Have you guys ever studied Marxism? Who wants to live with no aspirations? Marxism is only good for the lazy, or the ones on top. Socialism? How did that work out for the Soviet Union? I mean really. People are so worked up by all of this media hype, they can't even see what they are getting themselves into.




He has become our Golden Calf. our culture's Idol.

Idol
*a representation or symbol of an object of worship ; a false god
*an object of extreme devotion
*a false conception : fallacy



Do you remember God's response to their idol worship? Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them... Exodus 32:10

WAKE UP AMERICA!

I'm not even going to get into Obama's voting record (he's the most liberal voting record in senate). Won't even touch on his pro-abortion agenda. Won't talk about his anti-American church, or his attendance in Muslim school.

I will make this statement... if you are a Christian and vote for Obama, you ARE voting against Christian values.

Yes. A vote for Obama IS a vote for change. Just remember, things CAN change for the worse.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Wrong Path



This last week I have come to a disturbing realization.

I am not on God's path.

I don't know where I stepped off it.

Heck, I don't even know where it is any more.

Not only am I on the "wrong" path, but I am going down it fast.

So fast that it's only now that I'm realizing I don't know my way back.

My kids feel it.

I feel it.

My husband feels it, but I'm not sure he cares.

I care.



I'm scared...

That even if I find my way back....

I'll have to go it alone.


I'm scared...

That I am totally utterly clueless, and always will be.


I'm scared...

That I will never find my way back.... because I'm too far gone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Detox and Nibbles

I'm on day 5 of sugar detox, and still plugging along. No, I have had not ONE bite of sugar or refined flour. YEAH!
I even went to a dinner party on Saturday with homemade truffles. I almost broke, especially because it was a "lobster and shell fish party" (I know, I should like it, but I start to stare at the stuff and begin to wonder what type of it's innards I'm eating, or if I'm eating the head or the butt and I just can't) so, I was STARVING!
Yup, it sucks, BUT I am feeling SO much better. SO SO SO SO SO much better. I did go a little psycho on unsweetened banana chips this morning, but hey, it could have been worse.

On another totally off the subject note, my son informed me yesterday after wrestling with his brother that his "nibble" hurt. I asked him what on earth a nibble was. He looked all embarrassed and said "you know mom, it's my man boobs." HA...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Habits of a Sugar Addict



Have you ever watched yourself take on a new (not so great) habit, and just thought "I'll deal with that later"?

I used to never, NEVER eat anything with sugar before lunch. It made me feel sick, and hungry for the rest of the day. OK, I admit, there WAS the occasional splurge, but I felt so horrible afterwards, it would be months before I would do it again.

A few months ago I started putting sugary creamer in coffee. No big deal because I rarely drank coffee. Ummm but suddenly my coffee was tasting pretty darn good (with all that sugary goodness in it). Within a few weeks I was drinking a cup a day... then TWO! The scary thing was... I wasn't going through a ton of coffee, but those little bottles of flavored creamer, I'd have to restock several times a week!




Now keep in mind that I spend 3 mornings a week at a cafe' (yes that is changing soon). At first I was good... a small sugar free nonfat vanilla latte, but I've progressed. I have added Mocha's, sugary lattes, you name it. Add to that fresh baked caramel laced brownies, and sugary lemon scones and my sugar intake is well, OUT OF CONTROL!




I have denied my little problem because I have not been gaining weight. How is this possible? I've been skipping meals to compensate for my sugar calories. Bad bad bad.

So, I feel like crap now. Really. I have this constant low level headache, I'm tired, my skin looks terrible. It was time to do something about it. Last week I vowed to not eat sugar before noon. No creamer, no brownies, nothin'. I made until about 9:30am. Seriously, I'm so addicted to it, I can't say no! Scary.

Today I write this blog to confess my coffee creamer problem (amongst others).

My plan of action? Blog accountability and DETOX. Ugh. That word sends shivers down my spine. Having done it before, I imagine it's similar to what a crack addict experiences. The massive headaches, extreme moodiness, but I have it worse... I also get excessive FIBER intake.

Today is day one. It is only 8:35am. I'm already feeling it. The next few days are going to be BAD.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Refining With Fire



Sometimes I feel like I am a failure.

I often second guess the decisions I have made for my family. My heart is to always follow God's will, but the choices we make are often made with a "please turn me around if I'm going the wrong direction" mentality. I mean, it's so hard to know if we are REALLY doing what he wants us to.

I've had a difficult time with my oldest child lately. OK, I'm just going to be real here, I've ALWAYS had a difficult time with my oldest daughter. She is extremely bright, very beautiful, painfully strong willed, and has a rebellious streak. Every boundary has to be tested, beat up and destroyed.

These last few weeks it seems like it's been a war zone with her. The girl gets great grades, and is well behaved at school, but at home she is a "mouthy" rule breaker.

As if that wasn't bad enough, she told us she didn't believe in "our" God. She wants nothing to do with family prayer time, and only goes to church because we force her.

My only true goal for my children is that they know Christ. I hope for success, and friends, etc. but in the end; Christ is all that matters. This new development has devastated me beyond words. Failure.

Leave it to God to bring hope out of darkness....

Yesterday my daughter came home from school in tears. Between sobs she told me how her friend L**** had been bullied at school that day.

From helping out at the school I am familiar with this boy. His family fled Mexico two years ago for America to seek help for their very sick daughter. She is terminally ill. She will be the second sister L**** has lost. L**** is a tall, very handsome boy, who is quiet and kind, and learning English quickly. While our neighboring community has a huge Hispanic community, our little town has very few.

According to my daughter, the kids in her 7th grade class decided that L**** needed to go back to Mexico. They called him names. They told him he wasn't wanted here. Then they started kicking him... repeatedly. While they left no bruises, the boy was in tears. My daughter said that teachers saw this.... but did nothing.


With a broken heart she went to comfort L****. She hugged him and encouraged him. At that point the kids decided to call her names (because she was not joining the torture against him I suppose), but she didn't seem to care. She stood up to these kids. She put them in their place and refused to play by their "rules".

She told me that when things had calmed down, L**** pulled a necklace off his chest and pointed to a small figure on the front. "Do you believe in her?" he said as he pointed to Mary. My daughter said, "well, I believe in her son." In broken English he responded "You remind me of her... she heals people, and you are healing me."

When she told me this I explained how highly Catholics revere Mary, and that this was a HUGE compliment. Her tears continued to flow as she asked to be pulled out of school. "Mom, it's so dark there. I just want to be homeschooled."

My initial thought? Oh yes, lets pull her out so she doesn't have to experience all this evil, then a second wave of thought hit me. "Um, Zoe? If you were not at school today, who would have hugged L****?" She was the lone comfort in a dark day for this boy... enough to make something horrible bearable. With more tears (both of us) she lifted her head and said "you're right, I know that God has this purpose for me at this school, sometimes it's just so hard, but I know it's what I'm supposed to do."

I am so proud of her it hurts! This evening she has a terrible attitude. She yelled at he sister, back talked and slammed her door.

Yes, she is in trouble.

But right now, I don't feel like such a failure.

Maybe God DOES have big plans for this strong willed, rebellious child after all.


See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10

Friday, October 3, 2008

Stay at Home Moms Should STAY HOME!


As you know, I've started working at a cafe a few hours a week while my kids are in school. At first I thought it would be "no big deal". The kids are in school, so I'm not missing anything. I still have two full days PLUS the weekend at home to catch up on chores. Oh, and the extra money would be fantastic! I figured it would be ideal.

WRONG

You can't have BOTH worlds.

I am so exhausted when I get home, making me pretty worthless at night (keep in mind even though I get off work when my kids get off school, I don't get home until after 6:30 because of soccer, dance, etc). I am unable to keep up on daily chores (like laundry, cleaning floors, etc). So, three days a week I get NOTHING done. On the two days off I have such a huge amount of housework, I can hardly catch up. Another BIG negative is: When do I help out at the school? One of the main reasons we felt at peace about putting our kids in school was our personal involvement AT the school. Now I have little to no time to volunteer. NOT good.

Now let's dispel that myth about making money. Lets do a little math.

After taxes I make $150.00 a week

Extra gas to get to work $15
Extra cost of my kids having to buy school lunch $40
Convenience foods for dinner 3X a week $45
Cost of my own lunch 3X a week $15

My total work costs: $115

So, I'm working for basically $35 a week. Pretty dumb huh.

Let's not forget the non monetary costs! Uh, like my sanity. Or maybe my lack of time to exercise? The lack of time I have to be in God's word.

Let me let you all in on a little secret. I miss cleaning my house! Yes, I said it. Oh, and I miss planning frugal menus, and baking for my family. I miss volunteering. I had it SO good as a stay at home mom, I feel almost guilty!

Now I'm left with some choices to make. I just told the cafe I was going down to 2 days a week (which was all I was originally supposed to do, but they keep scheduling me for more UGH.) I want to quit, BUT, I also want to set a good example for my children. If I left immediately I would leave the cafe in a terrible situation (and it's a small town... I'd have serious evil gossip about me). So, I guess we shall see how I get myself out of this one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

If 6 Year Olds Could Vote...

Today as I picked my kids up from school, I had my 6 year old son's teacher stop me and ask if we could talk. Knowing my son, I knew it was going to be some sort of misbehaving. Not that he is a bad kid... he's not. He's just more intelligent than most adults, opinionated, hyper, and a little ladies man (he seems to think he needs to find his wife before 2ND grade).

As she pulls me aside, she begins to tell me that she was telling the kids the names of the men running for president. Oh... now it clicks. My son is a hard core.. uhumm, let me rephrase that a HARD CORE Republican. I know this may seem odd for a 6 year old, but the boy was just born with it. So, I figure he's given his vote for McCain speech (that he shares quite freely every time he has the chance). I look at the teacher and say, "oh yeah, my son is pretty opinionated about his politics". The teacher looks at me sideways and proceeds to tell me that when she mentioned Obama's name my son loudly exclaimed "I'm not voting for him, he's a baby killer." My jaw dropped.


OK, I'm the first to admit that we are not big Obama fans here in the conservachick household, BUT we don't sit at the dinner table calling him a BABY KILLER. We have explained that Obama believes it's OK for Mommies to kill the babies in their tummies. We explained that some people don't think that babies are people until they are born, but that we think they are ALWAYS people. (Kids tend to agree with that).

His teacher then went on to say that he rallied the entire 1st grade class around him and told them to all raise their hands if they were going to vote for McCain, and to save the babies from Obama. The teacher said they ALL raised their hands.

She then said that she has had several angry parents call because their children are now Republicans.

Now, I must admit, I felt sorry for my son's teacher. She is sweet and kind, and certainly does not deserve the backlash from my son's comments. so I told her that I would take full responsibility for my son's little political rally, and help her with any damage control. However, let me state loud and clear, I am PROUD of my son! VERY PROUD.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vegetarian Oat Patties

I'm always a sucker for Gayle's Frugal Recipe Swap. While I eat a little poultry now and then, I've spent most of my life as a vegetarian, and this recipe is one of my favorites! It is seriously delicious... even meat eaters devour it! Even though it has 5 eggs, I still consider it a frugal recipe because it feeds my family of 6 for TWO nights. I serve it with homemade gravy (or store bought mushroom gravy in a pinch) and a salad.

Vegetarian Oat Patties

2 C cottage cheese
2 C bread crumbs
2 C quick oats
2 onions, chopped fine
5 eggs
1/2 can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp soy sauce
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients. Roll into meatball size balls and slightly flatten. Pan fry in a small amount of oil until light brown. Serve with gravy. YES.... It is THAT easy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

UGH... 10 Reasons I'm About To Lose It



It's been just one of those weeks. The kind where you want to crawl into bed and cry, and maybe stay in there for a MONTH! You know.... I 'm a believer in "enemy attacks", and let me tell you, I feel like I'm going down! Seriously, if one more ounce of stress is placed on me, I'm gonna crack.

Now here is where I start whining. Since I never write on this blog anymore, I probably don't have any readers, so I guess I'm safe to unload without any "sorry I'm so bitchy" disclaimers.

1. One of my kids got lice. YUCK. I have never had to deal with this before, but the school has had a huge problem with it this year. Well, my kiddo admits to sharing a hat with a friend, and a week later I'm still boiling brushes, washing sheets, combing hair, and gagging. Yes, I might have not mentioned I have a very weak stomach when it comes to bugs. The entire time I'm combing out the eggs (blughughgh) I'm making gagging noises. My kiddo started crying "mom, your freaking me out" Oh it is quite the ordeal.

2. The stress of not knowing what is going on with my husbands job is overwhelming. Daily we vacillate from thinking that everything is going to be OK, to oh crap... we are going to have to move into my parents basement. It's not like there is a ton of high paying financial jobs around here, so might we have a move in the near future???? However, with the economy so horrible, are there high paying financial jobs ANYWHERE? Do we just start over??? The sad thing about climbing corporate ladders? The long fall down.

3. Teen troubles. Anyone who has a strong willed 12 year old daughter understands that this SUCKS! I really need a Christian support group for teenage parents. Sadly the only class around is offered by families who's kids are still young enough that the parents are under the delusion they can avoid teenage attitudes by their sheer parenting perfection! Ah, I remember those days.... Reality bites.

4. At work, I'm surrounded by Christians who don't like God. Sounds weird, but it's true! They believe, but don't want anything to do with him. Now the big problem is that my life is CENTERED around him. This is really tearing me up from within. I don't want to ruin my witness by being too "preachy" (not actually preaching, just giving God the glory), however if I turn off my open reliance on him, at what point to I get sucked up into world? I am an opinionated Jesus freak... do I change to make the world more comfortable with me?????

5. Even though I only work 15 hours a week, it's enough to cause chaos in my house keeping routine and put a damper on my frugality. Plus my stupid oven broke. We've been eating conveniently which has added 5 pounds bringing me back into the 150's and making me console myself with Hershey's chocolate bars (I've ate 4 in the last 3 days).

6. I'm PMSing

7. Small towns piss me off (too long of a rant to even get into it)

8. We owe a ton of taxes, our savings is tied up in bank stock (that we bought at $23... now it's $3) and my kid needs braces. Lets add in a few car payments, our $800 a month health care insurance, and the possibility of Obama and we may just decide quit working and live off the state (I think we'd have far more $$$ that way). America has made it far more convenient to be a welfare slacker than to work your butt off (so you can pay for everyone elses food, health care, homes, etc).

9. My 6 year old son informed me a girl from his class was going to "hook him up" with her "hot" cousin. God help us.

10. My faith is being tested in every way. I feel so weak... like everything could be lost in a heartbeat. Like tightrope walking... with no safety net.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Workin' Girl

So here I sit on a Saturday morning thinking about the promises I made to share all about my new job, my dead cat, etc. Really, if I wanted to get my blog up to date I should talk about the economy and it's effect on my husband's job first... but I'm too tired to go there this morning so my slightly out of order story will start with my new job.

Nothing too exciting... I'm working at a local cafe directly across the street from my kids school 2 - 3 days a week. I only work during school hours (8:00ish to 1:00ish), and will still spend the majority of my time at home (or helping in the classroom).I get the cool title of Batista, but really I'm just serving coffee to old guys and hearing all the small town chatter.

Basically, we saw our income drop considerably, and we were having to make cuts. One of the things that was putting a strain on our shrinking budget were my children's activities (dance,gymnastcis, etc). We were down to a necessity only budget so the kids activities were going to have to go. That's when I heard about the job and decided to apply.

There you have it! I actually like working. I'm pretty social so this is a good outlet for me. It's not demanding, time consuming, or difficult so it keeps me open to focus on my priorities... my family. And the best perk? Free espresso!

The down side? Well, I have to wear black so I'm looking pretty goth these days ( ; and avoiding all that small town GOSSIP!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Should I Post About?

I can't believe it's been nearly three weeks since I've posted... and I left with a recipe post at that! So much is going on in my life that I need hours to write it all down. I think the daunting task of getting my blog up to date part of what keeps me away.

So what should I post about?

The bad economy and it's effect on our family?

My dead cat?

Our week at fair?

My new job?

My father?

Our choice to stay put in the country?

How stupid I think this whole Obama media hyped election is?


HELP! Where should I start?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zucchini Casserole to Die For

Gayle over at The Grocery Cart Challenge is having a frugal recipe swap. Our garden is producing TONS of Zucchini, and this recipe is a delicious (all though incredibly fattening) way to use it up. Below is a variation of a recipe I found online.

Zucchini Casserole to Die For

45 min | 15 min prep

SERVES 6 -8

6 cups zucchini grated or diced (I grated it)
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup butter
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream; set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.

Add onion and sauté until soft.

Add grated or diced zucchini and grated carrots.

Stir frequently until zucchini is soft; about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked veggies, soup mixture and seasoned stuffing together, stirring gently until well mixed.

Spread into a lightly greased 13"x9" baking dish.

Sprinkle cheddar over top.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

To make it a main dish you could add diced chicken... or barbecue chicken and have this as a side. Honestly... I'd just skip the chicken all together and eat nothing but this... it's THAT good!

On a frugal note, I wait until the stuffing mix goes on sale for $1 a box and stock up (we have another favorite recipe that call for it). I also grate and freeze my zucchini when I have it (free from my garden) so I can use it through the winter in breads and casseroles. If I buy the soup mix and sour cream on sale, this recipe costs less than $3, and is more than enough for 6.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yesterday

We had quite the traumatic day yesterday.

My husband is part of a volunteer fire department where we live. It's a group of 60 or so farmers (and the random rural banker thrown in for good measure). Several times a summer, a small fire will start up in the wheat fields and it's put out within an hour. Pretty simple stuff..... usually.

Yesterday my husband was called out on a fire. I didn't think much of it. I was making my husband's favorite dinner, and it was just about finished when he got the call. I was irritated. Irritated because he would miss dinner, because I had to take the kids to the 4-H meeting by myself. He asked me to make him a sandwich so he didn't have to leave hungry. I said no.

I fed the kids and got ready for 4-H. With the kids screaming in the car "hurry up mom, we're late" I started to walk outside, but as my foot touched the first step on my porch, I heard God say "you forgot to pray for Chris". I always pray when he heads out for a fire, but this time I HAD indeed forgotten, so I said a prayer for his safety and went off to 4-H.

As we sat outside our group leaders home during our meeting, their phone kept ringing. It was ignored, and we carried about with our decorating and sheep details. Finally someone decided to answer the phone.

Chris had been pulled from the fire and was in the emergency room.

I knew nothing. I drove 90 miles an hour. I prayed like I never have prayed before.

Once I arrived in the emergency room I was bombarded with insurance questions... whay do they do that? All I wanted to do was find out how he was.

They only gave me a few facts

1. He was alive
2. He was talking
3. People were still trapped in the fire

I instantly broke down. I thought of our friends and neighbors that were out in the fire. Who was it still trapped inside?

After a few minutes they took me back to see my husband. He was hooked up to all sorts of machines, receiving oxygen, skin and clothes black with smoke, but he was alive and doing well.

After I held him and cried, I found out that indeed our dearest neighbor was one of those trapped. Sobs and prayers continued.

While fighting the fire, several volunteers went down into a steep ravine a few hundred feet deep. With a sudden shift of the wind the fire changed course and cut my husband off from the others. He had no idea what lay behind the wall of fire that separated them. But he did know what lay between his death and safety. The 100 foot wall of the ravine.

With all of his energy he climbed the ravine with the fire behind him. The smoke filled his lungs, and the heat was unbearable. At one point he said he gave up. He rested on a rock staring at the fire... praying to God that he didn't have to die this way. Fear of the pain as the deafening roar of the flames pounded in his head. At that point he passed out, but awoke to find himself climbing the final stretch of the ravine. Once at top fellow volunteers threw him into a pick up, fled from the flames and rushed him to the hospital.

He did not receive a single burn.

While he suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, he was expected to have a full recovery.

The friends that were trapped have their own terrifying story, but they too escaped.

The fire was finally put out this afternoon. It got so bad they had to close down the interstate and bring in the firefighters from as far as 100 miles away.


On a final note, I would like to mention that it was around 6:00 that my husband almost died. God stopped me to pray at 6:00.

God is good.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

God's Only Plan?

The following post is a response to what my friend Rachelle wrote. Have you ever started to write a comment and 30 minutes later you are 1/2 way through a mini novel? Yeah, that's why I put it over here instead. Go check out her post first!

Public school for us has been a HUGE positive. I can honestly say, I LOVE my kids school. I am SO glad I listened to God and not my own fears and sent them to PS. It took me nearly a year to let my guard down enough really appreciate the positives though. At first, all I could do was search for the ways it was ruining my kids. All those years of homeschooling had conditioned me to think it was an evil government institution, ready to ruin my children. What I didn't count on was that real living people actually worked there.

There are great kids in the public schools! Oh and yes there are the bad ones, but once you stop fearing "the bad kids" and spend a moment to get to know them, they are just scared and often unloved kids, FULL of God's potential!

I disagree that public school can't be in God's plan for our families. I KNOW his plan contains both public school AND homeschool. I also know we are called to be a light unto the world.

As parents it is our responsibility to educate our children in the way of God. Oh but the lessons they are learning now about God, the lost, and love FAR surpass those I taught them in the safe confines of our homeschool bubble.

My 12 year old daughter has brought 7 unsaved kids to youth group... four of which have become regular attenders, three of them saved. I have no doubt we are well within God's plan.

My kids have learned bad words, heard s*xual comments, been told about evolution, heard the cries of neglected classmates, seen the anger in the fatherless.... They have been teased and had their feelings hurt. With all that we are still VERY happy with PS.

My children have made GOOD friends, but still love the hurting. They are learning to love those who hurt them. They are learning you don't have to agree with the authority, but you do have to respect their position. Even my 5 year old is capable of learning these things and acting as a light to his classroom. Oh, and here is the shocker.. my kids are learning academics! Yes, it's true! The public school can and does teach my children! While my kids are advanced in many areas, they don't know it all, nor do I. Everyone had different gifts. I actually attended my 10 year old's science class on Wednesday's last year, and learned right along with my daughter. Also, my children were far more motivated to do a good job on reports, assignments, etc, because they were publicly recocnized by the school and classmates for a job well done. That was HUGE for us.

Now I say all these things not to say that homeschool is in any way inferior to Public Schooling. It's not, and in some ways it is better. Yet the point here is that there are MANY positives in public school. Your kids CAN thrive... just like in homeschool, they CAN fail. It's all about GOD'S will and purpose for your family.

I spent years miserable in homeschooling, because I inncorectly beleived it was God's ONLY way. I personally beleive if homeschooling is NOT going well for several seasons... I'm not just talking one or two bad months here, but consistently... that you should prayerfully seek a different direction. You MAY be missing out on your family's purpose.

Our kids success has far less to do with where they go to school (or don't), but where they come home to. My kids come home to loving parents who love them AND the Lord with all of our hearts. We are involved, and CONTINUE to teach them what we know. We are nowhere near perfect.. but we know a lot about grace...
Public school hasn't changed any of that. If anything, it's made us stronger. ~Karlie

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Little Things

I haven't done one of these in awhile... I thought it might be fun.

1.What time did you get up this morning? 6:15

2.Diamonds or pearls? Pearls

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Some kid movie back in June.. I can't remember

4.What is your favorite TV show? Right now, it's Jericho. I'm all about Netflix.

5.What do you usually have for breakfast? One piece of toasted Sesame Ezekiel Bread with almond butter. I do eat the same thing EVERY morning. I'm so boring.

6.What is your middle name? Jean

7. What food do you dislike? Beef

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Family Force 5

9.What kind of car do you drive? Kia Rondo

10.Favorite sandwich? Anything with lots of veggies

11. What characteristic do you despise? fakes and liars

12. Favorite item of clothing? My linen capris

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation,
where would you go? Greece and Rome.

14. Are you an organized person? Depends

15.Where would you retire to? Where I am at

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I hate birthdays

17. What are you going to do when you finish this? Go on a run (at least that is the "plan", with the way my week is going, I'll probably end up folding laundry instead)

18. Morning person or a night person? night

19. What is your shoe size? What does the size of my shoe tell you about me? 9

20. Pets? 1 dog, 3 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 sheep, 2 horses (on loan), and a phsyco fish named Bubbles.

21. Any new and exciting news you'd like share? I'm going to get a job!

22. What did you want to be when you were little? A princess

23. How old are you today? 31

24. What is your favorite flower? Rose. Mr. Lincoln is my favorite

25. What day on the calendar are you looking forward to? My kids first day of school, but only because THEY are looking forward to it. I'm not the one of those moms who can't wait to unload their kids, well, maybe my 12 year old... but just sometimes ( ;

26. What are you listening to right now? Birds

27. What was the last thing you ate? Do I have to confess? A smores cookie last night before bed.

28. Do you wish on stars? Not for a long time

29. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? This is a dumb question

30. How is the weather right now? Sunny and cool

31. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom

32. Favorite soft drink? Coke, in a bottle

33. Favorite restaurant? The Cheese Cake Factory

34. Hair color? Dark Brown

35. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies

36. Summer or Winter? Spring and Fall

37.What is in your trunk right now? Sheep feed, towels from swimming, lego pieces, maybe a french fry or two...

38. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, unless it's cake, then it's vanilla all the way

39. Coffee or tea? Both

40. When was the last time you cried? Sunday

41. What is under your bed? No comment

42. What did you do last night? Baked cookies, and helped my girl;s work on their 4-H projects

43. What are you afraid of? Barack Hussein Obama

44. Salty or sweet? Both!

45.Favorite day of the week? Sunday

46. Do you make friends easily? Usually yes

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lost Poetry

I was cleaning out an old file cabinet this evening and came across a poem I wrote several years ago. I had thought I'd lost it...


My Soul

Safe in the arms of my Savior
Carried up onto the shore
My ship was all wicked and broken
And could sail on the ocean no more

Storms had stripped off all the finish
The structure now fragile and raw
Cracked by the weight of my burdens
Rusting in each exposed flaw

Wind ravaged my sails of direction
It's course for destruction now set
I threw in my map of salvation
I was lost in the seas of regret

Until one storm came viciously reeling
My ship had all it could take
Once it tore out the heart of my vessel
The rest of it started to break

"Good-bye" to my ship for it's sinking
As the waters rushed up through the floor
The waters were drowning my conscience
While holding shut every door

With my last single breath I cried out
As I never had done before
"Dear Lord, I need you! Please save me!
I can't do it alone anymore!"

The doors of my ship all flew open
As his light washed out all of the sea
I left that ship wicked and broken
And my Lord had carried me

Born again into this vessel
My Father has built it to last
To carry me over the ocean
And sail back again to Him fast

Still I sail over rough waters
But my ship is stronger than the sea
It was built by the strength of salvation
And my Savior is sailing with me

~Karlie

Monday, July 21, 2008

Let's Buy Our Way Into Heaven... And Other Sunday Morning Garbage

Christ's blood can cover all sins... except one. Not tithing to the church. Did you know that. See, I didn't, but lucky me, I was enlightened last Sunday by a special speaker (that my tithe money brought in, money well spent, don't you think?).

He was a funny Southern man who was charming, made me laugh, and had great claims about his abilities to save well over 200 souls a year. So his claims seemed light hearted, but in reality, the guy was screwy, and legalistic, and lets not forget... totally full of himself. OK Karlie.... maybe the LAST comment was uncalled for, but I'm pissed... and lashing out a bit.

So what exactly did he say? Well, he said that there are no thieves in heaven, so obviously you can't get into heaven if you are not tithing, because you are stealing from God. I couldn't fail but notice that this man was fat. Hmmm, are there gluttons in heaven? So, if it is indeed a sin to not tithe (which personally, I do not think it is) then why can't Christ's blood cover it like the murder, adultery, etc?

Oh, but this sermon kept getting better! This man went on to say that if you don't attend church on Sunday nights, you might as well not attend Sunday morning, because the church only needs "devoted" people. Whatever. I think my Sunday nights are better spent with my family, or fellowship. Heck, I'd be all over Sunday night small groups, but the church refuses (so as not to compete with the empty seats at the 5:00 service).

This speaker was surprisingly speaking on evangelizing. All I could think was "I'm so glad I didn't bring a guest this morning". "Welcome to our church... all we require for you to join us in heaven is 10% of your income and every Sunday night and morning... otherwise you are a thief and not devoted enough to be one of us, and you can just rot in hell". That's gonna win LOTS of souls.

The thing that scared me was all the Amen's coming from the pastor and his wife as this man spoke. As I was praying during worship (before the speaker) God kept telling me that he just wanted me to delight in him. DELIGHT IN HIM! He didn't give me a long list of demands.... a level of performance he wanted me to achieve. I feel closest to him when I just love him. Ugh... I'm so sick of the churches standards! I want to follow Christ!

I must tell you, that the time I was most blessed financially was when we chose to give our tithe to the body... not the church. Each month we would pray over where to put our tithe, and each month, We'd watch miracles happen. GOD was in control of our money. We got to be an active part of the process, and it was beautiful. Now I think it's the responsibility of the body to make sure the pastor is WELL taken care of, that the church has enough money to keep lights on, etc, but since when is the church a building??? Isn't it the body? Just a thought. My church does not take care of the body, just the building, and the special speakers, and lots of fake flower arrangements. Somehow, I just don't think that's what God intended.

OK, I'm done griping.

Friday, July 11, 2008

If You Open Your Mind Too Much, Your Brains Will Fall Out



Why do I even bother? Every time I go to the doctors, they just piss me off. $150 bucks got me a 10 minute visit with a doctor who cared less about the cause, than he did about sticking me on drugs. He basically said "you've got migraines, here take this drug that will cause you to be dizzy, tired, nauseated, moody, can cause severe liver disease, and maybe death!" Oh yeah! Liver disease and DEATH! Boy, that's WAY better than a headache.

So I sit here contemplating my new over advertised brand name meds. Headache relief... or death? Oh I just LOVE the drug industry! They make liver disease look good in comparison to a headache (how do they pull that off?). Hmm, I wonder if Obama hired the same advertising company? How many idiotic things will we Americans fall for?

My girls are doing sheep for 4-H this year, and the thing that amazes us is how absolutely dumb they are. They get confused walking to their own barn. They seem to live solely to appease their own comforts, They follow each other into barb wire (all for the sake of a good snack), they can't seem to figure out how to get the poop off their butts. It isn't lost on me that God compares us to sheep. We are so easily led astray. We live to serve our own flesh, we get lost.. A LOT. We are easily deceived.




In my headache fog, this post probably makes sense to no one but me, but in my semi enlightened state, I will choose today to make a stand.

No overpriced meds from my high priced drug pusher will cross my lips.

No media brain washing television will make me fall for America's left wing pretty boy.



I think I'll skip the chemistry flavored fast food meal... as well as the $2 soy isoflavanoid health food super ginko bar.



Today I could care less what Brittany Spears is doing, or what Oprah thinks.



Today I'm going to have pride in my stay at home mom, housewife job!


I think I'll skip the newspaper that paints my God as a mythological bigot, and let my Bible be my guide instead.




I'm gonna like George Bush even though that makes me SO uncool.



I'm going to believe what my military friends say over what the news feeds me ... and support this war.


Hmm, maybe today I'll just think for myself. WOW... am I aloud to do that? Today I will choose NOT to be "enlightened", but pray for wisdom instead.

My path IS narrow.

There is only ONE way to heaven.

The media does NOT have my best interest in mind.

God LOVES sheep.

~Karlie


Politically "Uncorrect"




I'm for the low man on the totem pole
And I'm for the underdog god bless his soul
And I'm for the guys still pulling third shift
and the single mom raising her kids
And I'm for the preacher who stay on their knees
And I'm for the sinner who finally believed
And I'm For the farmer with dirt on his hands
And the soldiers who fight for this land

And I'm for the bible
And I'm for the flag
And I'm for the working man
Me and Ol' hag
I'm just one of many who can't get no respect
Politically Uncorrect

I guess my opinion is all out of style
Don't get me started because i can get wild
And I'll make a fight for the four father's plan (That's Right)
Hell the world already knows where I stand

And I'm for the bible
And I'm for the flag
And I'm for the working man
Me and Ol' hag
I'm just one of many who can't get no respect
Politically Uncorrect

Nothing Wrong with the bible
Nothing Wrong with the flag
Nothing Wrong with the working man
Me and Ol' Hag
We're just some of many that can't get no respect
Politically Uncorrect

By Gretchen Wilson

Thursday, July 10, 2008

HEADACHES



I hate to be the kind of person who complains about aches and pains. But.... I've had this stupid headache for over a month! It just started one night, and hasn't gone away since. I've tried EVERYTHING! From large quantities of Advil, extra water, and prayer, to sinus meds, steam, and more prayer.

I despise Doctors, so I've been avoiding going, but today I gave in and made an appointment for Friday. I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I suspect it is something benign, like wisdom teeth, or eye strain. However, with the wonderful world of the Internet, I've discovered it could be caused by any and every disease known to man! You know like brain tumors or water on the brain... I bet Doctors HATE Google.

So, here's hoping for some quick relief, easy answers, and reasonable co-pays. ~K

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Country Girl No More?



As a little girl, I always dreamed of living in the country. I grew up in a typical suburb. Lots of concrete mixed in with man controlled landscaping and an endless view of mini vans. On a sunny day you might even be able to see the MC Donald's arches that stood at the edge of our neighborhood, providing years of happy meals and processed cheese.

My fondest childhood memories were of the times we visited my grandmother and my family's wheat farm. Wide open spaces, country roads, fresh produce, and the animals. I knew my heart had found home in this quiet "peace" of land.

A few years back my dream was finally realized when my husband moved us on to a wheat farm 20 minutes out of town. Boy, it's funny, but our hearts desires don't always turn out like we imagine.

Life in the country these last few years have been mixed with blessings and hard ships. There are nights that I sit on my front porch with a glass of lemon aid and watch the wind blow the spring wheat like seas of green. In those moments, I think I've found heaven. Then there are the days that I feel so alone, so isolated here all by myself. I love to watch my boys play in the wheat, and the girls care for their sheep in the summer, but feel trapped in the cold winter when the house seems too small for 6 people, and the icy roads keep me home.

Despite it's draw backs, we had planned on staying. The beauty and peace kept us here.

Now, as we enter into our third year of country living, we have hit an unexpected glitch in our semi utopia. GAS PRICES. When it costs $10 to get to town, it's an issue. In the month of May our gas bill was over $1000. We didn't take any trips... that was just driving the kids to school (when the bus didn't take them), Chris driving to work, kids activities, and errands.

With groceries rapidly rising, we had to take a good look at our budget and decide what gives. It came down to this. Either the kids quit all extra activities (sports, dance, etc), I stop coming to town for anything other than church and once a week groceries, and we spend all our weekends at home on the farm.... or we move.

We spent most of June couped up at home. trying to cut back on gas. Let me tell you, It was VERY hard. We did cut back on gas by $300, but honestly, I kept cheating and taking the kids to the pool, or the library.

Now, out of the blue we were approached by a family about a house just down the street from our children's school. Houses in this little community are almost impossible to come by because of the fantastic school and "Mayberry" type community. This house would be larger than what we are in now, with a huge yard, quite affordable and is right across the street from a wheat farm. The kids and I could walk to school, sports, the library, the pool, church, and friends houses. With only my husband driving to work (a 13 mile commute) we would save hundreds of dollars a month.

It sounds like a God thing. With everything clicking together like this, one would usually jump at this chance. Yet I hesitate. This little farm in the middle of nowhere has changed me.

It's toughened me up, I can wrestle sheep, capture a stray horse, climb a barb wire fence, and stare a coyote in the eye. I've learned to shoot a gun, run a well pump, grow food from seed, and drive on REALLY BAD roads.

It's helped me to find beauty in loneliness, allowed me to fall in love with the land... not just the idea of the land.


Our decision is not made.

I'm praying for wisdom.

I'm fearing the unknown.... Like neighbors.

I'm worried we'll regret it if we move.

I'm worried we'll regret it if we don't.



It's hard to leave a dream.





No this is not my house (: It's actually an abandoned school house a few miles from my home, and my favorite place to come and pray.




Husband and kiddos in the corral




Can you believe how beautiful this is! These are the REAL colors! Not computer enhanced.



Our sheep Babe and Billy

Back to Posting?

You know, it's really hard to start posting again after you've been gone awhile. I mean, where do you start? Do you just jump back in? Do you write a lengthy post sharing where you have been? So much can happen, so many blog worthy thoughts can fill your mind over the span of 4 months. Has it really been that long?

My blog looks dark now. I no longer like the black background. My picture seems dated too (even though I don't look any different). I think I need a blog face lift to be re-inspired! Then maybe the thoughts in my head will flow freely into the screen again. In this busy life of mine, I long to carve out a little niche of time to start writing again, AND to start reading again! I've missed my friends!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

Well, I guess blogging just isn't happening for me these days. Everything is going well here... but I am busy, maybe too busy.

In bulletin points, I'll give you "no blogging" excuses.

* My 9 yr old daughter is well into her gymnastics season, and scoring mostly in the nines. YEAH!

* My oldest daughter is getting ready for her ballet recital and a dance troop competition.

* My two boys have begun their baseball season. With two practices a week and 1 - 2 games. I'm SO glad it's a short season.

* I've been a good wife and have been attending more of my husband's work functions... without too much complaining.

* I've been making it to the gym 4 times a week. Yeah, I'm bragging.

* We've had kid drama. My oldest daughter (12) thought she wanted a boyfriend for a few days (she met him at church, not school so no comments on the "evils" of public school please). I freaked out, made her read every book on "not dating" (I Kissed Dating Goodbye, etc). By the time I calmed down, she was over it (and him).

* It's birthday season. All 4 of my kiddos and myself have Birthdays in March, April, and May.

* My kids are all doing super fantastic at school (honor roll and up!) Nope that's not an excuse for not blogging, just bragging again (:

* We are heading back to our old church. The crazy children's pastor's last day is tomorrow, so the 1st week in April we are going back to charismatic. We do have some concerns, but mostly feel peace (I'll post all about it later).

* After lots of prayer, my husband and I have officially decided that we ARE sending the kids back to public school again next year. For the most part, it's been a good experience (besides the two months we spent sick), and where we are supposed to be for now. Obviously, if I felt God say otherwise, I'd obey. But, as it stands, they are heading back.

* I'm still getting over a head cold and feel a bit fuzzy.

* I've been REALLY into some great books lately, so blogging hasn't been my first choice for my leisure time.

So there you have it. I'm sure I'll get back into the blogging groove again, but for now, I'm taking it easy. I do miss you all, and hope to spend more time reading what all of YOU have been up to! ~Karlie

Friday, March 7, 2008

Character Flaws Revealed

Today I had an epiphany (I've been known to have those occasionally). It occurred to me that I was not growing up properly. OK, I know that's a vague and confusing statement, but let me explain. Now that I am 30, I feel like I should be, well... more mature. My husband is growing up quite nicely. He wears suits to work and is reliable. He can interact with other adults in a perfect manor. He is conservative in all natures, reads the paper, and flosses. He goes to bed on time, and cleans out his truck regularly. Those are all very good "adult" things to do.

Now there is me. I'm disorganized. I eat salsa for breakfast, and I dance for hours to loud crazy music. Shouldn't I like "big girl" music choices by now? You know, like John Tesh? When should I stop loving Punk, Crunk, and Hip Hop, and head over to soft jazz?

I still twirl around outside to make myself dizzy. I love to stand in the rain.

I don't like housework, and it takes every bit of my strength to actually do it.

I like constant change and become easily bored. I like to play with lip gloss, and day dream.

I can stay up all night reading, or writing, or listening to music. I often jump on our trampoline (all of our farmer neighbors think I'm insane).

I have a hard time enforcing rules... Heck, I have a hard time following them.

Women's groups usually make me nauseous.

I like formal events... but only when I'm in the mood to play dress up.

I'm selfish, and self centered, and ate eclairs for dinner.

I can only pretend relate to "normal" society. I try really hard to care about what people think, but I just don't have it in me.

I dance and raise my hands and loose myself in worship. Subsequently, I make a terrible baptist and think I need to head back to a Charismatic church to be with "My own kind" (;

I feel bad for my husband. I know he so badly wants a wife that is organized, and politically correct, with manicured nails and normal shoes. But the poor guy got me. A bare foot Jesus freak who is flighty, disorganized, and immature.

As time passes, it concerns me that these things are not just flaws of my youth... but who I am.

Right now, as I get into the word, I'm really appreciating John the Baptist. The guy was pretty out there, but Christ didn't say, "hey, grow up and act normal". Christ used John in a powerful way, just the way he was.

I know Christ can use me, despite all of my flaws. In fact, when I dance in the rain... I can feel him there with me. Meeting me where I am at, and loving me just as I am.