Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good Bye T.V... I Want My Life Back

I wrestle with so many things with "fuzzy" lines of morality. Homeschool vs public, secular music, tv. If only you could step inside my head for a moment, you would understand the constant state of turbulence it is in. While I can so easily slip into legalism, I can also fall the other way too.

For most of our married life, my husband and I didn't have a TV. We stood against what we knew it would do to our minds, and the minds of our children. Well, we all have weak moments, and last Spring we decided to get the Dish. It all started harmlessly with us wanting to hear the news (our local paper is quite insufficient). Last summer, I got a phone call offering a special 3 month trial on a "package" programing. Tempted by the bargain, and my desire to watch the Travel channel I agreed. What's the harm in three months? Right?

Six months later, we not only still have these channels, but we have made TV our family hobby. We used to read, talk, play games, and explore the outdoors. Our time as a family knitted us together, it kept us unique. Now, the second my husband gets home the TV goes on, and stays on until bed. Even our weekends have slowly started to have the TV fill it's hours.

Our sensitivity has gone way down to the terrible things it indoctrinates us with. We used to be disgusted with most programs, and turn them off. Now I hear words and ideals my children should never hear, being force feed to them while us, their parents sit iddley by.

Today, I got rid of the TV. Not the literal box, it sits silently in my living room, closed behind hutch doors, but it's forced content is gone. Not even local channels come in, and I couldn't be happier.

My conviction to get rid of it started the day I got it. Sadly, it took evidence of rotting fruit to get me to act on that conviction. Now, like a weight lifted off my shoulders, it is gone! Obedience feels good.

Before I go, I want to share with you a comment that really spoke to me from my last post.

When I was very young, we didn't have television. When we finally got it, there were few shows on and a lot of dead time where the television, if turned on, looked like snow. It was really a novelty and when used, it was a family event, not something to keep boredom at bay.

When I was a kid, we used our imaginations (a lot). I remember being engrossed in digging a hole to China (for days!) We would put our ears to the ground and convince each other that we could hear people speaking Chinese. I remember building a city for fairies to live in. I remember looking for four leaf clovers for hours on end. I remember hop scotch, jacks, marbles, and jumpropes.

I remember mud pies, daisy chains, and setting a trap to catch squirrels (never did catch one but almost did a few times). We made bug hospitals and I remember playing hide and seek with all the kids in the neighborhood after dark on warm summer evenings. I remember snow forts, sledding, and snowball fights.

When it was too cold to be outside, I remember listening to the radio (They didn't have talk shows but they had comedy skits and stories and I could close my eyes and listen to more than just music). I wrote poetry and stories, we created plays and put together circus acts. I still remember painting baloons black to look like huge barbells and making a lion's mane out of an old dust mop my mom had.

We spread a blanket over the dining room table and made a fort. We took all the cushions off the furniture and pretended they were boats floating on a sea of carpet. We took an old mattress and spent hours sliding down the basement stairs on it. It was just as fun as sledding and much warmer. Cardboard boxes were turned in to cars, airplanes and doll houses.

As I got older, I learned to bake cookies and bread and took them to neighbors. I had embroidery projects that I could work on. I put models together and painted them. We pretended we were secret agents and left secret messages for each other. Oddly enough, one of the last times I went home for a reunion, we talked about this and checked our hiding place and found the last (secret agent) message we had created still in that spot.

All of these things were done with a sense of wonder. Anything was possible when I was a child.

Television, the internet, and video games have changed all that. Our children are being forced to grow up too fast and because they are inundated with "reality" they aren't being given a chance to develop their imagination. I think it's kind of tragic that our children can't think of anything to do if it doesn't entail something that entertains them. Instead, they should be learning to entertain themselves.

What's really sad is that if you mention most of these activities to kids today, they will turn their noses up and say that it doesn't sound fun to them. That's what a loss of innocense does.

Well, enough from an old woman, I'm going to step off my soapbox and go visit my fairy village. ~ GG


Monday, January 28, 2008

What Do You Do About Downtime?

When I was homeschooling, one of my biggest problems was what to do with the kids during "downtime". You know, that time after the school and "kid" chores are done, and before the afternoon activities start (between 11:30 and 3:30).

Why would I ask this now, as my kids have been in school for the last month? Several reasons. 1. Snow days (which we have had quite a few of) 2. Summer 3. If I ever decide to homeschool again, this issue WILL need to be dealt with. (I should have asked this question a long time ago.)

As I go about my daily chores, my kids gravitate toward the TV, or video games. It seems like such a pathetic waste of time. I am just NOT one of those moms who can get her kids to work on chores all afternoon. I bring out the books, and color crayons, but those seem to be short term fixes. Gosh I guess I'm just not that creative.

So, what do you do to keep your kids constructively busy. Whether it be during your homeschool day, or the summer months. I really DO want your help here!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thrifty Recipe Swap

Over at my friend Gayle's blog, she is having a thrifty recipe swap. Isn't that a FANTASTIC idea! We all get bored with the same ol' recipes. It's nice to find some budget friendly variety!

For 15 years I was a vegetarian, and let me tell you, it's a whole lot cheaper! While my family occasionally eats meat now, we still eat vegetarian 4 - 5 nights a week. Here is one of our family favorites. It's on the super frugal side, it's healthy, and SO delicious. Oh, and the best part, ALL of my kids love it, and none of us like peas. It's THAT good!

Fresh Green Pea Soup and Cottage Cheese Dill Bread

Fresh Green Pea Soup
1 Tbs butter
1 c minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c veggie broth, chicken broth, or water
4 C fresh or frozen peas
1 c milk (low fat is fine)
black pepper to taste

Up to 3 Tbs fresh or 1 Tbs dried:
Basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, chives
(this is your choice. I have found dill to be the best, and I often add chives and tarragon too. Fresh herbs are the best in the summer when my herb garden is growing. This time of year I make it with dried herbs and again, I think the dill should be the prominent herb)

Melt butter in a soup pot. Add onion and salt and cook on medium until the onion is soft (8 - 10 min).

Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 10 min. Add the peas, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 min (or until the peas are tender)

Puree the soup with the milk in a food processer or blender, then return to the pot.

Heat soup gently. Add your own personal selection on minced fresh, or dried herbs.

*This soup is also great served cold on a warm summer day!

Cottage Cheese Dill Bread
I always serve this bread with the soup. It's great by itself, or with cream cheese and thin slices of cucumbers.

A little butter or oil for the pan
2 c white flour (I often use spelt flour with wonderful results)
2 t baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c cottage cheese
2 eggs
6 Tbs milk
1/4 c honey or sugar
4 Tbs melted butter
3 Tbs fresh dill, or 1 Tbs dried

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease medium-size loaf pan.

Sift together (honestly, I usually don't sift to save time) flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center.

Combine cottage cheese, eggs, milk, honey, and melted butter in a separate bowl. Mix well. Add to the dry ingredients along with the dill, and mix just enough to blend. The batter is fairly stiff.

Spread evenly into loaf pan. Let it bake 50 min, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before you remove from the pan, then cool on rack for another 30 minutes before slicing.

These recipes serve about 4 adults. Because our kids are still little (we have 4 kids), we can get away with not doubling it ... yet. However, if your family is larger, or "big eaters" you may want to double it. ~K

Oh, and I've got to give credit where is is due. These great recipes come from the cookbook "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest" by Mollie Katzen. The entire cookbook is phenomenal!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Domestic Goddess Personified

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to "crafty" things. While I love being a mother and a homemaker, my domestic talents are sadly "lacking".

Several years ago, I had this lovely neighbor who wore pretty skirts, sewed aprons, and wore a bun in her hair. Best of all, she made her own bread! She was a domestic goddess personified. So, in effort to claim some of that goddess vibe as my own I decided to start making MY own bread. The first 15 loaves resembled bricks. After many tears I finally started to make the dough rise, and after several years I FINALLY got the hang of it. I'm just not quick to pick these things up!

Two years ago, we put our little boys in soccer. I noticed a few soccer moms sitting all bundled up at the games, with a thermos of hot cocoa at their side, crocheting cute little hats for their boys. Oh yes! I wanted to be THAT mom! So, I went off to the craft store, and bought everything I needed to create my crochet masterpiece.

The following Sunday I bundled myself up all adorable and soccer mom like, put some cocoa in a mug, and headed off to the soccer field. With crochet needles in hand, I started on a scarf for my mom. Who else here still wants to make projects to give to their mom? I can always count on her smiling and saying it's beautiful no matter how crappy it looks. I just love moms.

It started out just fine, but it kept getting bigger. I couldn't figure it out! Finally I looked down, and realized my scarf was in the shape of a V. If I folded it in half it resembled a thong. Perfect.... I crocheted my mother a "thong" for Christmas.

I could continue with the domestic tragedies, like the time I set our beach house on fire while cooking crab, or the petite fours I made with salt instead of sugar, but I will spare you.

Today however, I had a domestic TRIUMPH! My mom bought me a new sewing machine as an early birthday present. I had several scraps of fabric laying around from other numerous projects "gone bad", so I decided to try and make a quilt. OK, maybe just a pillow... baby steps.

Guess what! I DID IT! If only you could have heard the squeals of delight as I pieced this thing together! I don't think y'all can comprehend how dang excited I am! I danced, I called friends and family to share the good news, every time I walk by the little 14 X 14 scrap of fabric I giggle!

So, here is proof of my inner domesticated self unleashed! (Ugh.. that sounded kind of liberal. How about my inner domesticated conservative self unleashed? Better?)

Here it is! Isn't it beautiful! It really is a pillow... I just don't have any pillow stuff to stick inside.

Here I am posing with my creation. Do you see my joy? I think I look a little psycotic, but that's OK. Unleashing one's domestic self does that ( ;

Monday, January 21, 2008

How Do YOU Make Ends Meet?

With astronomical gas prices rises, food costs going WAY up, health insurance nearly unattainable (if you live here legally that is) and the big "R" word looming on our horizon, how does a family make ends meet?

We are a single income family, and although my husband has a very good job, we can still feel the pinch in our pocket books.

Now that I no longer have babies in my home (my baby is 5 ): I have the desire to earn a little extra... but I have no desire to get a job that would take me away from my children. I know you all can relate.

I would love to hear what YOU all do to pull in a little extra money. Whether it's to make ends meet, or to afford designer shoes. It would be fantastic to see how all you resourceful ladies do it!

I want details. What you do, how often you work at it, do you like it, etc and if you you want to share how you use the extra income.... go for it.

I have looked for a few years for something that "fit" me. I sadly lack in domestic talents, so unlike Gayle, my extra income would NOT be coming from the beautiful things I created with my hands.

Direct sales (aka Pampered Chef, Mary Kay) were a good choice for me, but the first one I tried ended up being WAY too pushy. I just want to sell stuff... I don't want to build an army of recruits!

I stumbled across Cookie Lee Jewelry at a bazaar about 2 years ago, and thought "hmm, a 50% profit, no presentations... sounds good." After a few months I called the woman who ran the booth, found out there wasn't any pressure to "share business opportunities" WHEW, and signed up.

So here are my details. On average I do anywhere from 1 - 3 parties a month. I do sell a bit just out of catalogues, but it has taken awhile to build up a clientele. On a good month I can bring in a surprisingly large amount of money*, on a bad month I make nuthin'. The Summer is usually S-L-O-W. Although it might be because I'm sitting on my porch drinking lemonade, or lounging at the local pool. I'd rather not work in the Summer.

We spend the $$ on gymnastics (Emily, I know you understand), family trips, Christmas and b-day gifts, etc. Although as the cost of living rises, it may end up being spent on milk (I just paid $5.19 a gallon... no joke). We are also toying with the idea of taking a portion of it to start paying vehicle debt down.

I usually enjoy it, but I wish it was something I created myself. I think I'd get a lot more personal satisfaction out of that. But hey, the money is pretty good, and I get free jewelry!

Your turn......

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sick Girls Don't Play Nice... 5 Rules To Follow

These last few days I've been sick. Not just a little case of the sniffles, oh no. I've been hacking up all sorts of delightful green goop, and running a 101 + fever, subsequently, if I've left any weird comments on your blogs... forgive me, they sounded normal when I wrote them, but you never know.

Rule #1. People should know better than to require anything of me when I'm sick.

I mean seriously, the worst time to talk to me is when I'm delirious from cold meds, freezing in a 80 degree room, and wiping snot off my upper lip.

Example #1: My husband asked me to get the paper. My response !@#$#@%@ your own %$#@% paper, can't you see how sick I am?

Example #2: My kids started fighting about who had to go out and feed the bunnies. My reply? I fell to the floor in tears (please remember I'm very sick and highly medicated at this moment) and yelled, "FINE, let them DIE! Those poor bunnies never get food. I guess I'll have to do it myself, and maybe I'LL DIE on the way." My kids just rolled their eyes. They know that when I'm emotional I'm a total drama queen.

Rule #2 Don't try to have a real conversation with a sick person.

"Mom, do you think that the pioneers walked by our house back in the 1800's." "Probably, you know if I was a pioneer and was as sick as I am I'd probably DIE." My husband has now forbidden me to talk to the children until my fever goes below 100.

Now here is the best advice I can give when dealing with a sick person.

Rule #3 DON'T call to whine about my kids when I'm not rational enough to be nice to you.

On Wednesday (my worst day) I got woken up from a deep sleep by the phone and a mother with a shrilly voice saying that my daughter is MEAN. Now I know this woman and her daughter, and my daughter and I both decided to mutually avoid this family because they are CRAZY! Seriously! I had also talked with teachers who say this poor girl has had problems with everyone . She gets angry about everything, tells her mom, and then the mother "Attacks". So, I knew the attack was coming. Oh but I so hoped it wouldn't come when I was sick. Yet the phone rang with an anonymous caller ID, and I answered. That leads us to rule #4 Don't answer the phone when you are sick.

I warned her I was sick, and that this wouldn't be the best time to talk to me. Oh, but she persisted. I won't go into the details of the conversation, but lets just say that my daughter's biggest offense was "snapping her fingers in a Z". Now this was in response to her daughter calling mine a looser. All I could do was laugh. My daughter has prayed for this girl, kept quiet when she was rude, replied in kind to her nasty letters, and her big offense was snapping her fingers? Oh, and deciding she didn't want to be her friend (which I suspect is the real reason for all the hurt). On another day I would have had empathy. On another day I would have kept my mouth shut. But this takes me back to rules #3 AND #4.

I know, all of this after my last post about the power of negative words, yet with the exception of my own family, I have no urge to repent. Maybe I just spoke truth? We'll see how I feel about that later.

Rule #5 Don't drive when you are sick

Yesterday I had lunch planned with my dad. I was going to cancel, but when I called he was so excited. He'd had my mom iron his jeans so he could look nice, and was wearing the shirt I bought him for Christmas. On top of that he had gotten his eyes dilated and needed a ride home, and third, he was at the bar... counting on a ride home "if you know what I mean".

So, I threw on some clothes, brushed my messy hair and popped a few Advil to take the fever down enough to function. I looked like pale death, but hey, I was doing a good deed. About half way there is occurred to me that my intoxicated father with the dilated eyes would probably be safer on the road than me, but wisdom isn't a strong point in the "sick mind" so I drove on.

I had a nice lunch with my dad. I picked him up at the bar and drove him to the country club for salads (that I couldn't eat). My husband was there on business and was NOT happy I was out of the house, but didn't say too much. The positive thing about being sick is that everyone fears you! After I drove my dad home I appeared back at my house (I think I drove but I don't remember) I awoke to my husband coming home early to check on me followed by my kids getting off the school bus... the rest was a blur.

Today I feel much better. Not good enough to clean the house or anything, but good enough to write, and maybe eat something besides soup for the first time in three days. I'm going to spend some time in the word today. My only prayers these last few days were "PLEASE LORD, let me feel better."

Oh no, my daughter just said she feels bad... she's running a fever. AAHHHHH! Gotta go!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Power of Our Words Part 2 :Gossip

I took a little detour with my last post, because I just HAD to tell y'all about my vacation. Now on the tale end of one weird post, comes another. My gossip post starts with a "prophetic" dream, so if any of you are leery of my Charismatic ways, now would be a good time to bolt.

Is anyone still here?

A few weeks ago I had a dream. Not just my typical chased by a giant Twinkie dream, but the kind where you wake up and think. hmm, I wonder if God is trying to tell me something.

In my dream I was surrounded by my friends, and every time I opened my mouth to talk, these big black bugs would crawl out. Gross huh. I would go around telling everyone that it was the enemy attacking, but all my friends would just laugh and say "oh it's nothing don't worry about it". Hmm, big black bugs in my mouth is nothing? Whatever, it was a dream.

When I woke up, I could remember the dream so vividly. All day long it bothered me. It really had the flavor of a prophetic dream (which I have had on RARE occasions). I prayed that God would reveal the meaning if it was from him, then tried to dismiss it when I didn't quickly hear an answer.

Last week while I was at the gym, a woman from my old church was on the stairmaster (aka butt cheek torture device) next to me. I turned to make small talk and after a few minutes she started to open up about the pain she was experiencing at church. She was being gossiped about in a BIG way, and was suffering at the mouths of a few busy bodies. Her sadness effected me, but what affected me more was the fact she stuck around out of obedience to God. She got all of her strength to show up each Sunday and face her offnders by her complete and desperate reliance on God.

Now here is the "ouch" part. I will admit in front of all of you, that I too participated in her slander. A friend of mine has an intense hatred of her, and after awhile I fell pray to the malicious venom of Gossip, and got sucked in.

As this poor woman spoke about the gossip being spread, I suddenly flashed back to my dream, and at that moment, God revealed my dream. The bugs were Gossip. I was allowing the enemy to attack others through my own mouth. At that very moment I repented silently in my heart. I want to repent ... I WILL repent to her face, but I'm going to need prayer and courage first. Would YOU pray for that for me?

My drive home was filled with epiphany as I realized how I have allowed the enemy to use my words over this last year. I once took pride in the fact I didn't participate in Gossip, and now here I was repenting for a YEAR of "foul" words. A YEAR!

I now recommit to stand up strong against gossip. No more does the enemy have free access to my mouth. I pray that the Lord will build back up the relationships I have torn down, and I pray that my conviction helps those around me turn from this spirit of criticism.

They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows. Psalm 64:3

With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. Psalm 109:3

you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. Proverbs 6:2

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. Proverbs 12:6

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts. Proverbs 18:8

Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. Ecclesiastes 10:12

Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. Romans 1:29

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Satan Crashed Our Romantic Getaway

Have you ever walked into a place and knew instantly that something was wrong... very wrong? Not by what you saw, but how you felt?

Chris and I have bought and sold many houses over the years, and I know we would sometimes dismiss houses or property because something didn't feel right. Could we feel the previous owners strife and sadness? Maybe their anger?

On the flip side, there are some homes you can walk into and feel the joy and love that a family has imparted into it.

This weekend my husband and I took the second of our Christmas gift vacations. I had booked a weekend at an old poor house that had been renovated and turned into a hotel. It had gardens, and several old buildings turned into little restaurants, vineyards, a movie theater, and a spa. All sprawled over abundant property in a lush surrounding. It sounded like the ultimate romantic getaway.

When we first pulled into the long drive that would lead us up to the hotel my mood sombered. As we stepped out of the car I felt this strange sense of despair fall over me. I tried to ignore it, and decided to not to say a word so as not to ruin my husband's vacation.

We checked in and were lead to our room. Down a long hall we carried our belongings, looking at the elaborate artwork that covered much of the building. The rooms were each named for a person who had lived in the hotel, mostly from the depression era. While the hotel was beautiful, it was eerie and dark. We settled in and went off to explore.

As we went from building to building, I felt almost an evil oppression hang over my head. I couldn't shake it. I wanted to say something, but I figured my husband would think I was weird (well, he does anyway, but this would make it worse). Finally as we sat down to dinner I just had to tell him what I was feeling. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "you too? I've felt it ever since we got here." WHOA, up until now, I just thought I was loosing it, but to have my very level headed husband agree with me confirmed that there was indeed something wrong.

After dinner we meandered through the hotel, looking at the murals painted along the walls. There were faces on the pipes, and eyes on the walls (painted.. not in my head). One of the murals read "SATAN LIVES HERE".

As we walked farther we heard a meeting going on, we peeked in and saw the sign that said NARL (you know, the pro abortion people). They were having a planning meeting, plotting the deaths of babies just down the hall from a mural announcing that Satan lived there... how freaky is that?

Outside in the dark gardens lit by fire were several Wiccan symbols. We went into one of the small stone buildings to get a cup of coffee and were greeted by a room full of gay men, and a large brick fire place that was "jokingly" (we hope) referred to as a place they burned the bodies back when it was a poor house.

As we walked back to our hotel we again explored the old photos of the poor house, and the disturbing paintings on the doors that represented those who lived and died there. As we roamed through the dark corridors... we came upon a door that was painted with a witch. Unlocked we opened up the door and peered into a blocked staircase that led up to the attic. The staircase was crumbling brick and painted in red on the wall was the word HELL.

I didn't sleep well last night. I prayed. I thought about the darkness so thick that I could feel it. I thought about something I rarely consider, EVIL. Spiritual warfare. The realm that we ignore, but does exist. Even typing it here makes me shudder. I know it sounds so weird... but I can't see how a Christian could walk into a place like that and not come away shaken.

To wrap this story up, I need to share with you what we found out about this place as we left. There was a book of the history of the building, and my husband being a huge history buff bought it as we checked out.

On our long drive home we read this book and it all started to make sense. This property and buildings started out as a poor house during the depression era. This was a place where the poor, the sick, and insane were sent against their will to work for food and board. Even children lived with the insane, the sick, and the dying. From a circus lady to a man that was infamous for "exposing" himself, the people who called this place home, led sad and crooked lives.

After this the residence was turned into a place for the sick elderly to come... and die.

Briefly, the final use of the property was for very sick impoverished children. At that point the building was abandoned and it remained vacant for years. Vandals had their way with it, and Satanists used it for rituals for several decades.

When the new owners first bought the building, it was covered in pentagrams, blood, and sacrificed animals were found all over the attic. (This explains the word hell leading up the attic stairs... it was where they did their rituals.) The current owners seem to embrace witchcraft, with art depicting witches throughout the building, tarot cards scattered about, and gardens that revolve around wiccan spirituality.

I had a wake up call this weekend. I learned two very valuable lessons (or reminders). Evil DOES exist, and is alive and well in our communities, and RESEARCH a vacation spot thoroughly before you go!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Power of Our Words

Yesterday, I was having one of those mornings where I just didn't feel attractive. Maybe it was the fact I went to the gym in grungy grey sweats. Maybe it was the fact I went out in public with no make up and without a shower. Maybe it's because the gym has unflattering florescent lights and mirrors EVERYWHERE. It might have been that I bought my sports bra 10 yeas ago and it pushes all my fat up to my neck and out the sides (how's that for a visual picture?). Maybe it was because my "gym buddy" can lift more weight than I (I can out run her on the treadmill though HA HA HA).

As I came home I contemplated the Cheetos in the pantry (a very rare treat in our home). It's funny how feeling bad about yourself can make you eat things that you don't really want. By the grace of God as I was reaching for that 2000 calorie bag of fried orange goodness, the phone rang.

A friend had called to ask a question, but during this quick conversation, she managed to get in that someone had said I was pretty. It was just slipped into the conversation, and she went on to talk about.... well I don't know, because in my head all I could hear was "I'm pretty!" over and over again. My friend had no clue what an impact she had made on my day. On a normal day... it wouldn't be a huge deal, but today, those where the magic words I needed to hear!

As I hung up the phone I had the sudden desire to take a shower, put on my make-up and dress nicely! Those Cheetos had lost their appeal (I mean really, who likes Cheetos?). I had a little more pep, held my head a little higher, and smiled!

What power our words have! This little 2 second comment changed my entire day.

When I was first dating my husband he gave someone a compliment I will never forget. We were sitting next to an elderly woman and he turned to her and told her she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Now keep in mind he was only about 18 at the time, and said it with all the sincerity in his heart. Can you imagine how this made her day? Not only that, but it made me fall more deeply in love with him. To this day, he rarely comments on other people's beauty (just mine or else I'd hurt him), but when he pays a compliment of any sort, it makes me fall in love with him all over again. Our sincere compliments don't only bless the receiver, but those around them, and especially the giver! (Hey, he got me out of the deal!)

Who knows what the impact of our positive words might have on someone. Maybe it will get them to take a shower. Maybe it will change their lives. Some kind words from a stranger created the momentum towards my personal walk with Christ. I'm sure that person had no idea what a powerful vessel they were for Christ when they uttered a few simple comments to me, but they were INDEED life changing.

I encourage you all to go out and bless someone's socks off today! It's so easy, it's silly we don't do it more. Just open your mouth and let God speak life affirming words!

I'd love it if you would share a time words affected your lives for the good!

....Beautiful words stir my heart.... Psalm 45:1

The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain... Proverbs 10:11

Gentle words are a tree of life.... Proverbs 15:4

Gracious words stream from your lips.God himself has blessed you forever.
Psalm 45:2

The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain. Proverbs 10:11

The words of the godly encourage many. Proverbs 10:21

*My next post will be about Gossip, and my own personal struggle with the negative power of my words. Should be painful... but good.*

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Post For Gayle

So, the kids are only in school 3 days and it snows. I don't mean a little dusting, but big chunks of cold wet fluff falling from the sky at record speed. I got a call from the school bus driver at 6:00 this morning to tell me she wasn't coming. An hour later all the schools closed for the day.

My oldest daughter awoke to the phone call, took one look outside and screamed "nooooooo" She obviously likes school. She moped most of the day about being confined yet one more day in the house.

My 7 year old son then woke up saw the snow and said "good, I think I'm done going to school anyway". Uh, don't think so buddy.

Then out came my 9 yr old daughter "yeah, snow.. lets go wake up G*** (my little guy). So we crawl next to him in bed and she whispers "bunny my honey (her nickname for him) it's snowing, get up and we can play in the snow! WAIT I SMELL POOP! Bunny my Honey? Did you poop your pants?" He opens sits up, sticks his hand down his jammies and says "nope I had a poopy fart, and it burned like fire." (Gayle... that one's for you).

I whisked him off to bath to get cleaned up as he continued to explain the "poopy fart" saga. "Mom, I poopy farted in your bed too... and at school.... and I think I've got another one coming!"

So much for a fun snow day. My snow day turned into laundry day, and my sweet little boy had to stay inside to recover from his "issues".

Barack Hussein Obama

I know, I said I'd get a new blog going for my political rantings. I have yet to get around to it, but I felt it very important to share some information with you.

More and more I am hearing fellow Christians buzzing about "Obama". Excited by the media hype and promises of change and unity, they are quick to support... before they look at the facts.

Who is this man Barack Obama? He seems so popular with the voters with a win in the Iowa caucus and now looks to be taking New Hampshire. With his eloquent way of speaking, to his attractive smile, this man seems to be taking America by storm. So what does he want to change? What is this man all about? I decided to do some research and was quite disturbed by what I found. I fear that people will be so easily swayed by his appearance, and his promises of a new America and will fail to look at where he stands on the issues.

There has been both truth and lies about Obama. After researching it, I am VERY confident that the voting records and facts I have below are truth.

Now I understand that I have a few Liberal readers. I'm sure to you, these things below are positives, but to those of us who take a Christian fundelmentlist stance, the prospect of having someone like Obama as our president is terrifying. See for yourself:

Barack Obama on Abortion

Voted against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)
Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases. (Aug 2007)
Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion. (Apr 2007)
Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters. (Oct 2006)
Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism. (Oct 2006)
Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill. (Jun 2004)
Protect a woman's right to choose. (May 2004)
Supports Roe v. Wade. (Jul 1998)
Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)

Barack Obama on Civil Rights

Being gay or lesbian is not a choice. (Nov 2007)
The politics of fear undermines basic civil liberties. (Oct 2007)
Ok to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples; they know already. (Sep 2007)
Has any marriage broken up because two gays hold hands? (Aug 2007)
We need strong civil unions, not just weak civil unions. (Aug 2007)
Legal rights for gays are conferred by state, not by church. (Aug 2007)
Disentangle gay rights from the word "marriage". (Aug 2007)
Gay marriage is less important that equal gay rights. (Aug 2007)
Gay rights movement is somewhat like civil rights movement. (Aug 2007)
Let each denominations decide on recognizing gay marriage. (Jul 2007)
Put the Confederate flag in a museum, not the state house. (Apr 2007)
Supports health benefits for gay civil partners. (Oct 2006)
Muslim heritage gives Obama unique influence in Muslim world. (Oct 2006)
Politicians: don't use religion to insulate from criticism. (Apr 2004)
Supports affirmative action in colleges and government. (Jul 1998)
Include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws. (Jul 1998)
Miscegenation a felony in 1960 when Obamas practiced it. (Aug 1996)
Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
Rated 89% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
Rated 100% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

Barack Obama on Drugs
2001: questions harsh penalties for drug dealing. (Oct 2007)
Do not lower drinking age from 21 to 18. (Sep 2007)
Smokes cigarettes now; smoked some pot in high school. (Feb 2007)
Admitted marijuana use in high school & college. (Jan 2007)

Barack Obama on Families and Children

FactCheck: 'Sex Ed for Kindergarten' means 'age-appropriate'. (Jul 2007)

Barack Obama on AIDS

We need condom distribution to deal with the scourge of AIDS. (Aug 2007)
Homophobia prevents talking about HIV/AIDS. (Jun 2007)
Got tested for AIDS, with wife, in public, in Kenya. (Jun 2007)

Barack Obama on Immigration

FactCheck: Lightning IS likelier than employer prosecution. (Nov 2007)
Pathway to citizenship, but people have to earn it. (Aug 2007)
Give immigrants who are here a rigorous path to citizenship. (Jun 2007)
Extend welfare and Medicaid to immigrants. (Jul 1998)
Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007)

Barack Obama on Principles & Values

Don't know if life beyond earth; focus on life here on earth. (Oct 2007)
Real estate deal with felon was "boneheaded" but ethical. (Oct 2007)
I'm a big believer in the separation of church and state. (Apr 2004)

This is just a small portion of his liberal voting record. Don't be fooled. Barack Obama will NOT be unifying both parties. He in NO WAY supports our Christian views. I believe the 2008 election is extremely pivitol for our Christian rights, as well as the moral direction of our country. Our country has rested in the prosperity of our Christian heritage... I fear our nations fate as we continue to wallow in moral decline.

As Christians we all need to intercede in prayer. We also need to be wise and KNOW what issues our candidates support. We DO have a responsibility as Christians to be politically informed, and support our fellow Christians who will bring the RIGHT kind of change. I for one will be spending much time on my knees in prayer during this election process.

OK, I've ranted! Would someone please tag me or something so I can have something light and fluffy to write about? Really, a good post about what color of crayon I would be is just what I need! ~K

PS. My spell check isn't working.... don't judge my lack of spelling ability too harshly ( ;

Friday, January 4, 2008

School, Politics, and Bad Behavior

I have been trying to post for days, but I never seem to accomplish it, but, here I am! I have so many posts in my head... I really don't know where to start.

Let's see, maybe I'll just post about what I've been up to.

The kids started ps yesterday. Honestly... I love it. So far I'm quite happy they are in school. They had a great first week, my house is clean, I've joined the gym, went out to breakfast with my husband, AND read a book. Maybe it's just the "honeymoon phase" but oh, what a honeymoon!

  1. The one negative is that my 9 year old daughter has a liberal Buddhist teacher (the only non Christian teacher in the school). She thinks he's insane. I tried to explain to her that a large portion of the world believes like him, but she's her Momma's daughter... and lacks tolerance. My kids all sport their Vote for Huckabee 2008 pins (no I didn't tell them to do this) so I imagine it's only a matter of time before the "political views hit the fan".

2. I'm getting ready to start a new blog (in addition to this one). It's called "Housewife for Huckabee". Cute! I figure most of you would quickly tire of my political rantings, so I thought I'd post those thoughts elsewhere. I'll give you the link once it's up and running.

3. Our Christmas was great. My husband got me the same thing I got him, a weekend away! Isn't that a great coincidence! We just got back from the first mini vacation last weekend. He took me to a ski resort town. We hiked, and shopped, and ate, and listened to live music. It was a total throw back to our younger days. A funny thing happened (or maybe not so funny). After dinner we walked back to the hotel and I had a little too much wine (now before you think I'm a lush, I need to state that I almost NEVER drink, and my overindulgence was ONLY two glasses) anyway, back to my story. So, we were in a fancy hotel with a huge staircase that took us upstairs from the dining room. I don't know if it was the heels, or the wine, but I fell "UP" the stairs. I thought it was so funny that I couldn't stop laughing (that WAS the wine). To make a long story short, one of my husbands clients was there and went up to say hi. She took one look at me and said to the people around her, "this is my banker, but I don't know if this is his wife, or his mistress". OUCH! Talk about girls behaving badly. You'd think I'd be safe to goof in another town, but nope. People know my husband EVERYWHERE! On the bright side, my husband thought it was hysterical. I guess if he doesn't care, why should I? No more wine for Karlie.

I think that should do it for now. I could write more, but now that I've talked politics, bragged about gym time, and embarrassed myself, this post feels complete. ~K