Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for....a new toy?

A month ago, the bassinette that Grandma bought for Shelby was recalled. Bummer, it was a really NICE bassinette...but since she was already nearly 13 pounds, we both figured a slightly *different* replacement was in order. Shelby's new Rain Forest Jumperoo was delivered yesterday (a day earlier than expected, yay!) and she is loving it! She was fussing as I put it together with one hand (and Morgan's, Jamie's, and Dani's 'help'), but it was an instant fuss-stopper once I plunked her chunky bum in the seat! The look on her face said "Hey, I'm upright, and nobody's holding me! Ooh, look, bright things!" It was perfect timing for this new gadget to be delivered, that's for sure! Thank you, Grandma! Oh, will you take a look at those chunky little legs? She's still a short little squirt, but WOW does she make up for it in girth! No ankles at all!
In my head, I had mapped out a long, well-laid-out post on thankfulness and gratitude, but I think in the name of simplicity (and a hugemongous lack of time), I'll stick to the short and sweet. Hmm....Pete (along with three other men) is doing a mini-sermon on Sunday and his assigned topic is 'thankfulness for spouse and children', maybe I'll cheat a bit and just post a transcript? We're going to be BUSY this weekend, but all for wonderful reasons. Pete convinced his dad that we actually want them to stay more than 18 hours, so we'll have company through Saturday!

I hope everyone has a wonderfully peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving and that the turkey comas don't last too long.

Is gluttony still a sin this week? LOL

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook 11/24/08

FOR TODAY November 24...

Outside my window... it is a bit warmer than the last few days, but it's also raining. A good day for cleaning!
I am thinking... that this is the last Thanksgiving with all of our kids at home, and that next year we will be the 'home' that Jon will be wanting to travel to. That will bring a whole new dynamic to the planning table!
I am thankful for... family. All of it. Lumps, bumps, and grumps included. When I look around me and see fractured families everywhere, I am ever more thankful for the one I have--it's imperfect, at times really dysfunctional, but we're together. Our extended family's distance makes closeness a challenge, but hopefully in the next few years.....maybe all that will change!?
From the learning rooms... Kelsey will spend today, tomorrow, and Wednesday working on an essay. She detests doing large writing assignments, because she really cannot stand putting so much work into a rough draft and then having to revise it. I'm not sure what to say about that; I've always loved the writing process. I just tell her that critique and revision is the way of life--that something will always need "tweeking", that very few things are perfect on the first try. The little girls and I are taking a break this week, but they're going to be enlisted into the hospitality army--learning to clean, prepare a home for guests, and preparing the Thanksgiving meal as well. It's never TOO early to learn, especially when they love helping so much!
From the kitchen... we'll be baking the rest of the carrot cake cookies from the monstrous bowlful of batter that I made for the cookie exchange last Saturday. There was just WAY too much to bake up in one night, but those cookies were wonderful! Pete can take some to work, I will give Jon some to share in the barracks, maybe even the neighbors would like some! I'm also going to make a pot of chicken noodle soup today, so we can have some wonderful leftovers during the week when busyness overtakes meal preparation.
I am wearing... jammies. Waiting for my jeans to dry.
I am creating... the last-minute shopping list. I already cleaned up my scrap disaster-area, so I've set aside the scrapbooking that had me addicted last week.
I am going... to Kroger and Wal-Mart later on today to pick up the last few items on the aforementioned shopping list.
I am reading... nothing right now, but since I read that the new issue of Hobby Farm Home magazine is out.....I may be picking one up! Thank you, Peggy, for that little tidbit of news!!!
I am hoping... to be able to get all the necessary "stuff" done so I can spend time just enjoying Thanksgiving and our visit with Pete's dad and his wife.
I am hearing... Dani crunching the apple I just cut for the girls. Back up JUST a're getting apple juice in my ear, short stuff! (she loves to look over my shoulder while I'm blogging)
Around the house... well, obviously, we're going to be preparing for Thanksgiving. That pretty much covers it all. We had plans to get at least some of the things hung on the walls that we've been meaning to get hung for a while, but our hearts aren't into it. It's just a bit too obvious to me and to Pete that this is a VERY temporary 'home' for us, and hanging up his souvenirs from deployments and all the big things that require wall anchors...well, that just seems too permanent!
One of my favorite things... STUFFING!!!!! I can't wait!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Pete has been proclaimed the official family Grinch, and I'm decreeing that from henceforth, we will be putting our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, we know where all of our decorations are, but the tree? Hmm, I guess we have to replace that big artificial tree that didn't fare so well in our German basement. Pete wants to take his dad and Kathy (plus the kids) on the Christmas lights driving tour at the Botanical Gardens before they go home to Tennessee. Hey, maybe there's at least some hope for the Grinch yet?
Here is picture thought I am sharing... cookie thief!!!
Go check out some of the other Daybook participants' entries at The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bad hair day no more!

AfterHmmm....I wonder if trimming her bangs made her face stick like that?

I. Am. Tired.

I might not be sick anymore (even though I still sniffle now and then), but I need rest. Anyone know where I can get some?

Oh season. Sorry, my bad. Rest has to wait. There are rooms to prepare for guests, turkeys to thaw (and cook), potatoes to mash, pumpkins to make, cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and an eight-hour drive in two vehicles with four littles, three cats, a dog who thinks he's a cat, an also-tired hubby, and two teens who think that a driver with a permit somehow makes a less stressful drive.
I need to stop thinking about "the list", because it's making me more tired.
Back to work!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I have "help"

It would seem that Ty really does not approve of me working alone. Either that, or the scrapbooking bug is far more contagious than I thought--strong enough to cross into other species! I'm surprised I got anything done yesterday with his "help".
If you even THINK of trying to get me to move, I'll bite your ears off!And just for good measure, I'm eating this rubber circle thingie. You cannot have it for your brad jar. It's mine, MINE I say!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

About the doll...

To anyone in Huntsville, the one we saw last night was at the Drake & Parkway Wal-Mart if you want to see for yourself. Pick it up, shake it, rattle it, whatever it takes to get the thing to make noise. Not all of the dolls have the same "phrase" to their cooing, so it's probably not *every* doll, but I do know that at the Drake Wal-Mart, there were four of them saying it. Oh, and there are three cycles of their "phrases", so it may not be on every time it "says" something.

K-Mart has taken them off the shelves, it seems, and Target has them but has apparently ordered all new stock, because none of those dolls have the same "phrases" to their cooing. Just in case you want to avoid a trip to the store, here's a YouTube thingie with exactly what I heard (I know the video is's clear audio I was looking for when I did the search for a clip--it's not mine, BTW):

Jeepers, Creepers!

I'm not normally one to jump on bandwagons. I am the type to want to check things out for myself and if I don't have enough proof to convince me of something, I will drop rumors like a leaky diaper. But THIS This was a doozy.
I read this news story a few weeks back about the Fisher Price Little Mommy Cuddle and Coo dolls, and at first I laughed. I mean COME ON, people. This goes beyond seeing the face of Jesus in your burnt toast. So I checked it out myself. Went to the store and looked for one. It gave me the willies. So I took Kelsey back with me last night to check it out herself, along with Jon and Pete. Folks, this doll goes above and beyond "coo". I'm not buying that the only scripted word on this little thing's sound chip is "mama". Neither is Kelsey, who jumped back and dropped the doll when she heard it. As she says "Oh, great, as if Chucky wasn't bad enough, now we've got a REAL one?"
Okay, yes, she's a teenager and a tad But Jon--Jon usually laughs at stuff like this. Ladies and gentlemen, my mild-mannered, normally-calm son THREW the doll down and went to find a sales representative. None were to be found.
Pete even heard it. I had him listen twice, just to be SURE I wasn't being ridiculous, and then I asked all three of them to listen with me again to see if there was anything we could all think of that this stuffed doll could be "saying". Not one of us could even come up with a guess of HOW a "glitch" turned into what is a very clearly spoken "Islam is the light".
It gives me the CREEPS, I tell you. The only other thing to do that was Dani's 'posessed' stretchy Elmo who started laughing and talking in the middle of the night last year. I'm sorry, Mattel, I'm not buying that this was a "phenomenon caused by the doll's cheap inbuilt speakers" and that it's the "power of suggestion" that caused me to hear what I KNOW I heard. No "phenomenon" can be an accident if that accident includes putting four clearly-spoken words together in such a way that it produces a full, coherent sentence any more than a tornado ripping through a junkyard can produce a working 747. Oh, wait....that argument is for something entirely different!
Anyway, I won't be buying this creepy little doll, that's for sure! We bought Danica "twin" Little Mommy dolls for her birthday last month, and she loves them dearly....but this one? I think I'd have to bury it. Even if it wasn't a catch-phrase for Islam that this doll is spouting off, it's still feels very Twilight-Zone-ish to listen to!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I didn't know that!

My nextdoor neighbor is packing right now to fly to Kansas to welcome home her hubby from Iraq. He's been there for 15 months. Nothing unusual in the military community, it's all too common, really. BUT...she's spending 9 days there with him (he's stationed there, she and the girls live here in's a retirement thing, long story) because she just found out the Army is calling up her former MOS (military occupational specialty) by five-year-increments, to active duty for deployment, so she's spending as much time with him as possible in case SHE gets deployed before he retires in February.

Okay, I've heard of it. I knew that everybody who gets out of the military stays on 'ready reserve' for 8 years, where they can call you back up to active service if they need you. Problem is, my neighbor got out SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO!

Why, oh WHY can they call her back to service now? Well, her job in the Army was military intelligence. Nobody told her till she got out that she was pretty much NEVER going to be completely out. They can call her back up to active service till she's dead, pretty much. It's all part and parcel of being MI. For one, the Army is always short on MI guys, and the ready reserve is a quick way to up the population count. Second, the Army retains the ability to call anyone in intelligence circles back to active duty if they're caught double-crossing the American government so they can be tried for treason. OUCH.

I'm glad Pete didn't go MI. Jon too! Yikes! Talk about a "lifer"!

BFS--Computers Help People

Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Please try to learn our memory verse this week. We will be sharing a new verse every week and hope that you will store them in your hearts and find a special joy in His words.
Intro: Computers Help People Help People(Marketing credit: IBM)
There are many ways computers help us. It is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family far away, “meet” other christian women around the globe, and it can be such a blessing with homeschooling.
Assignment: Share some of your favorite homeschooling sites. The only “rule” for this assignment is that you have to list at least one “free” site. Many homeschooling families have made the choice to live on very little income to do what they believe is best for their children and I want everyone to be able to benefit from this assignment. If you have other sites that are “paid” sites, feel free to include these also as it might be something someone would really appreciate. If you feel led, share your curriculum choices with us. I always love to learn what is out there that I don’t already know about. Please make sure to include links to the sites you share.

If it weren't for the internet, I'm not so sure we'd have ever begun homeschooling! We were stationed in Germany (first time) and knew of NO one in real life who homeschooled, much less anyone over there. I had no access to curriculum fairs, homeschool support groups, bookstores, or even a really good library. Everything I learned was on the internet--even my first contact with another homeschooler through Christian Woman Magazine's editor, who so graciously passed on a letter from me to a dear friend of hers...and with whom I still correspond, even now that her children have long moved on to adult life and mine have begun to!

Over the years, I must have accumulated thousands of web addresses in my list of favorites. I have been part of online support groups like Project Titus 2 on MSN Groups (which is shutting down in February), I've done tons of research using the experiences of others on Home School Reviews, checked out the laws and regulations of different states we've lived in at HSLDA's site, and found TONS of wonderful links on Furious Shepherd's Homeschool Page. In those early days, and even as we have re-started with our first-ever homeschooled kindergartener(s) this year, the internet was my life-line to information and encouragement.

Most recently, as Jon graduated, we utilized Homeschool to order the most beautiful printed diploma for our homeschool graduate, plus graduation announcements (that he never wanted to take pictures to send out with, I might add) and that totally necessary graduation tassle to hang from his rearview mirror! Jon didn't need the graudation ceremony, that was just too much 'fluff' for him...but that tassle--now THAT is important!

We've used a wide range of curriculum over our ten years of schooling our children at home, never really finding a good 'fit' till a few years ago. I've long been enamored with both the Charlotte Mason and Classical methods of education (go see Classical Christian Homeschooling and Trivium Pursuit, they're wonderful!)--but I could only admire at a distance, because I am the type of person who can't seem to put something together myself without including EVERYTHING...and thereby burning out both myself and my kids. I absolutely adore Tapestry Of Grace, but I know myself well enough to know that I'd try to implement every little suggestion, and TOG is just too meaty to do that! Maybe when the little girls are older. For now, though, now that I've finally bitten the rather pricey bullet and invested in Sonlight's curriculum, I'm more than happy. I've got my days planned for me, I don't have to try to fit everything in, and I feel like I'm giving my kids a great literature-based education that is leading them to love books as much as I do! Pete is pretty happy that we are able to re-use the books we're using this year for Morgan and Jamie when Danica and Shelby are old enough for it! Me too...

All that said, though, my all-time favorite internet resource has GOT to be, because she has put all of the forms I could ever want all in one place--and they're FREE!!! She does have a site CD available for sale with even MORE resources, but I've not gotten around to ordering it yet--probably next school year, considering it's got a bunch of really nifty elementary-and-middle-school-age resources on it. I've copied and recopied her forms hundreds of times over the course of our home education journey, and I'm sure I'll be using them for years to come. We even printed out a bunch of planner forms last night for Kelsey to use, because she now wants to write out her own schedule for finishing her schoolwork this year (yay!!!) and she found exactly what she was looking for on Donna's site! If you are a list and organization junkie like I am (even if, like me, you're not the best at your follow-through!), you just absolutely must check out this amazing site! She even has several really nifty buttons to advertise with--I've got one on my sidebar, but here's another:

It may be silly, but when I look at my bookshelf, I smile. I just LOVE our curriculum choices for this year! Kelsey's got all of her books on the desk in her room, where she prefers to do her schoolwork now that she actually has a desk! However, the little girls' books sit right here next to me where I can access them easily. I just love all the titles, all the wonderful stories (hey, we're only doing Sonlight's pre-K program this year, with some kindergarten resources like Horizons Math K and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons added in for good measure, so don't expect a ton of meatiness in the core stuff this year!) and oddly enough, there's something just all warm and fuzzy about those matching orange stickers that indicate the Core the books belong to! Ahhhhh.....

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6

Monday, November 17, 2008

He's an adult, he's an adult, he's an adult......

Yes, I know I'm posting a lot today. I was SICK over the weekend, ok? I've got lost blog time to make up for!

I was thinking this morning as I dressed Shelby how gorgeous her skin is, all over. Baby skin always is, especially to a mom. It's too bad skin doesn't stay like that forever.

No, when the little buggers turn eighteen and move out of the house to join the Army, they do dumb stuff that tries a mama's patience and makes you think twice about the wisdom of calling these overgrown children "adults". They mar their skin. They get TATOOS. Big ones.

And he justifies the whole thing by having the tatoo artist write "Family" on his side. Jon...I hope you don't regret this in ten years.

No, I don't plan on taking pictures. I'm just going to go admire Shelby's unadulterated baby skin.

Outtakes and Teasers (HI MOM!)

I had a suspicion, but not any real confirmation until just a few days ago that my mom is a 'regular' reader on my blog. Seems I write too much for her to keep up with! LOL

Anyhoo....she and Pete's mom know about part of their Christmas presents this year--a *nice* picture of all of us and some pretty pics of the oldest two grandkids who either run or make a ridiculous face every time a camera is brought out. Well, we DO have good pics. We took them a few weekends ago. She doesn't know what they look like, because I'm not sharing till Christmas morning...HOWEVER....I will share some teasers (as in NOT the print-worthy pics) and a couple of funnies that ended up on the camera during that self-made photo shoot.

Snot shot!
This is what you end up with when you check camera settings between shots:
Too bright for ya, eh, Mo?
Fall in!!! bright face, one shadowed face. Nice.
Sorry, Mom, that's all you're getting till Christmas!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday (try something new)--The Duggars' Tater Tot Casserole, cut in half, because our family is a *wee* bit smaller than theirs!
Tuesday (comfort food)--spaghetti w/Italian sausage, salad, Texas toast garlic bread
Wednesday (soup/salad/sandwiches)--oriental chicken bok choy salad
Thursday (easy peasy)--mazotti, salad
Friday (pizza)--garlic bread pizzas
Saturday (kids' choice)--salmon patties, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob
Sunday (Dad's favorite)--taco salad

Need some inspiration? Go check out Menu Plan Monday on orgjunkie's blog!

Simple Woman's Daybook 11/17/08

FOR TODAY, November 17...
Outside my window... the sun is illuminating the edges of the storm clouds--amazing! It's cold today, and wet. A good day to stay in! (If only....)
I am thinking... that if this Psycho Kitty jumps up on my scrap table and knocks everything off ONE MORE TIME, I'll hog-tie him and lock him in the bathroom. Oh, yippee...he just knocked his food dish off the counter. I guess I'll go clean up broken glass and cat food now.
I am thankful for... our four pets, because the six kids have lost their touch at keeping me on my toes--I needed a new challenge!
From the kitchen... the "try something new" theme for today has me stumped. I'm probably going to be surfing the 'net for a while looking for something new to cook tonight.
I am wearing... jeans and a black tee, which is now embellished with baby spit-up. Eww!
I am creating... still more scrapbook pages. Kinda got derailed over the weekend when the fourth round of this cold hit its worst.
I am going... grocery shopping later on today. With five girls. Pray for me?
I am reading... Max Lucado's 'Cast of Characters'. Good read. He has a way with words. Too bad he has a bad habit of watering down doctrine.
I am hoping... that this cough doesn't turn into bronchitis again, that was not a pleasant experience.
I am hearing... Sesame Street. Dani's favorite. It'll soon be turned off so we can DO something instead of just sit in front of screens (me included).
Around the house... the laundry is done for once. I just need to find Pete's missing PT uniform. Haven't seen it....maybe it got so stinky it ran away?
One of my favorite things... hot coffee and a warm Krispy Kreme glazed donut. Healthy? Not on your life, but you only live once, right?
A few plans for the rest of the week: Getting my Thanksgiving shopping done and cleaning up the parts of the house that need it so I'm not scrambling to clean while trying to get all the cooking done next week!
Here is picture thought I am sharing... of Psycho Kitty Ty, making it VERY difficult for me to wash my hands after spraying off a [cloth] diaper.Peggy, "The Simple Woman", has a new blog just for Daybooks! Go see!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Randomness is out of control!

I never feel more out-of-touch with reality and out-of-control of my life than when I'm sick. I can't gather my thoughts, I can't stay on top of anything to keep the house in order, and I seem to spend the whole day flitting from one thing to another with no apparent purpose for life. It's not pleasant.

I may not be one who's incredibly great at *keeping* order, but I do crave it. I don't like living randomly. I'm not fond of just going about my days waiting to see what is going to happen next. Kind of like Morgan, who goes to bed every night asking "What are we going to do tomorrow?," and who awakes asking "What are we going to do today?," I need to know.

That little part of my personality may be what gives me the biggest challenge when it comes to trusting God for the 'details'. I'm a control freak when it comes to my life. I may not necessarily have to be in charge, per se, but I do at least need to know what's going on, who's in control, what their plan is, how I'm to go about executing my purpose......hmm......I'd have been a great noncommissioned officer if my life had followed a different path!

The only time I'm bad at relenquishing control is when the road ahead doesn't seem clear. What does God want from me? What are His plans for my life? What does He want to accomplish through me? What if I really did just let go of all the worry, the fear, the need to plan....what would my life look like?

It's an ongoing process. Maybe these sick days are a practice if I could quell the randomness long enough to complete a scrapbook page without disgusting myself I might be in good shape.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How many times...

...can a person get the same cold? Well, maybe not the *same* cold, but the same symptoms? I'm on my fourth bout of this upper respiratory yuckiness now in a two-month span, and frankly, I'm tired of it.

I get it. I have a weak immune system. Enough already!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

For years, I've attended one military function after another. I've dressed up for a ball, stood in support of I forget how many re-enlistment ceremonies, learned about military pomp and circumstance, and even how to deal with upper brass. Shoot, I even managed to get myself in to see the President speak to the troops returning from Iraq to Fort Stewart. Yet I've only had one other day where there was a lump in my throat and swelling of patriotism as big as today. It was the day Pete returned from the war.

Today, that patriotism oozed from every pore of my body. Maybe it was the "Army Mom" hat I wore, or the US Army jacket, or the unit tee shirt I had on underneath, but I doubt it. That was just identification. Beleive it or not, the last Veteran's Day Parade I attended was one I marched in during high school. Pathetic. My husband has been in the Army for 19 years, and I've not been to a single parade honoring our nation's veterans in all that time. Honestly, until this year, I've not heard of any going on in the areas we were in. It's possible that the towns we've lived in (El Paso TX, Hinesville GA, and Watertown NY) have just not had parades. If that's the case, shame on them.

However, I think it just kind of came crashing down on me all at once today that we're a military family in more than one sense of the term. I was there in support not just of our veterans, but of two active duty units. I cheered when my son's unit marched by, and I cheered when my hubby rode by on top of the launcher he trains soldiers to work on.

It's days like today that I really don't care WHAT you think of our nation's foreign policy, the war, or timetables for withdrawal. These are the guys (and gals) who have sworn to protect us, and they deserve both our respect and every bit of honor that this day brings to them. This is the day we should all be standing up proud and tall as our nation's flag passes by and remember the blood that was shed for the freedom of people not just in this country, but in countries most of us will never go to. Our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines fight not only for our freedom, but for the freedom of people worldwide. That's something to stand up and salute.

I find it absolutely horrific that people around me at that parade did NOT know to stand when our nation's colors pass in review. I told my girls (who were sitting on the curb during the parade) to stand each time the American flag was marched by, and eventually, people got the idea. I was even more horrified that a 10-year-old boy next to us asked out loud as a group of older veterans (proudly announcing that they fought in Korea) marched by, "Mom, was there really such a thing as the Korean War?"
America, we have forgotten our past. We are neglecting to teach our nation's history to our children. We don't teach them what honor and integrity and sacrifice mean. We traded those lessons for self-esteem, sex ed, and political correctness. Yes, we need change. Who will bring the change our country needs? I fear it is not the man who has been promising it.

I'll share pictures of my day before I hurt myself falling off of this soap box....

Our nation's colors and the representative flags of our Armed Forces. Are you standing?

The Alabama A&M Marching Bulldog Band. Pretty cool!

Ok, that was about when that lump showed up in my throat.

Is it any wonder I couldn't find my son in that sea of camouflage?

Jon's company. Nope, I never found him.

Pete and his big boy toy. He's on top of the HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), doing that cute little golf wave--the one on the left under the flag.

I was thrilled to be able to salute not only my two heroes today, but also the ones who have gone before them in uniform, preserving the freedoms and privileges we enjoy as Americans. Let us not forget what our forefathers intended this nation to be, and may America once again return to her roots! For my husband, son, father, father-in-law, grandfathers, grandfathers-in-law, and every generation on both sides who have served in every conflict of our nation's history, I stand honoring every sacrifice that has been made. Let's not see those sacrifices wasted to return to something our forefathers sought to escape.

Why, Jonah?

I have no idea why this has bebuggered me so since Bible class Sunday morning, but I just can't get it out of my mind. For some reason, after 35 years of hearing and reading and studying the story of Jonah, something just jumped off the page at me during that study, see if it does to you too:

8.Then they said to him, "Tell us, now ! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation ? And where do you come from? What is your country ? From what people are you?"
9.He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."
10.Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this ?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11.So they said to him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"-for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.
12.He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you."
13.However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.
14.Then they called on the LORD and said, "We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased."
15.So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.
16.Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
Jonah 1:8-16

We were studying, in particular, that Jonah was totally oblivious to the calamity his disobedience to God was causing all around him and that he managed to be completely asleep during a storm so bad that seasoned mariners were emptying the ship in an effort to save it and themselves. We talked about how "your sin will find you out", and that sin has a way of affecting people all around us without us even noticing because we're just too caught up in "I'm only hurting myself" to pay attention to the storm that is threatening others. But that's not what caught my attention...

Why on earth, if he KNEW that he was the reason for the peril these mariners were in, WHY did Jonah not jump ship himself??? Why did he stand there and put the responsibility on their shoulders??? Notice for a second verse 13. These pagan sailors, with full knowledge of exactly what they needed to do, were so concerned for the life of their passenger that they put their own lives in jeopardy for a bit longer as they tried to row to shore instead of throwing Jonah to what they understood to be certain death. THEY were trying to save HIM--a prophet of God--but apparently Jonah hadn't repented enough to do what needed to be done to save the people who he was jeopardizing by his mere presence! He knew he needed to be in the water for them to be spared, yet he left that on THEIR heads. "Throw me into the sea," he said. He didn't do it himself, though! WHY???

Isn't that just the way of sin? Haven't you heard someone who was caught in sin stammer out in a lashing out of self-pity to "oh, just throw me out, if I'm that bad"!? Teenagers, maybe? An unrepentant wandering spouse? Offensive guests? It seems that sin blinds us to the responsibility WE have to those around us to get out of our own sin, does it not? Then again, Jonah cared more for the little worm-eaten tree that was shielding the sun for him than he did the entire city of maybe for some of us it takes more than being tossed into the ocean, eaten by a fish, and vomited out on the beach for us to learn that we aren't the center of the universe.

Menu Plan Monday--on Tuesday!

Seriously, these holiday weekends mess me up every time! A day late, a dollar short, that's me! Oh least if I've got my own menu plan staring me in the face the rest of the week, I'm good!
Monday (try something new!)--steakhouse burgers, broccoli salad, macaroni salad
Tuesday (comfort food)--chicken noodle soup (should be good after being out in the cold for the parade)
Wednesday (soup/salad/sandwiches)--French dip subs and a big salad
Thursday (easy peasy)--crockpot bean burritos
Friday (pizza)--BBQ chicken pizza, meat lover's pizza, mushroom pizza
Saturday (kids' choice)--maple mustard bratwurst, potato balls, sauerkraut (Dani could eat her weight in the stuff!)
Sunday (Dad's fave)--Carribean chicken salad
Need some more inspiration to plan your own menu? Go visit Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook 11/10/08

FOR TODAY, November 10...

Outside my window... the leaves are just barely past peak, it's COLD this morning, and the grass is a dingy brown...but the sky is bright blue with no rain in sight. Looks like Fall is in full swing and we're on the road toward Winter!
I am thinking... that twenty years ago today, Pete and I went on our first date. After performing at yet another football game, we dolled up and went to the Homecoming dance. I think we danced maybe once? (We were heathens back then! LOL) Both of us have two left feet and it is pretty embarrassing. So was what we were wearing. I'll spare you (and my dignity) the details.
I am thankful for... the healing God has done in our lives. Life today is truly good.
From the kitchen... we're going to deviate from our theme plan tonight and go for some more traditional long-weekend food--homemade burgers, macaroni w/ranch dressing, and broccoli salad. YUMMERS!
I am wearing... jeans and my Smiley Central ROFTL tee, plus sneaks! Heading out today to take Jon to a fabric store (GASP!!!) so he can look for upholstery fabric to redo his car seats.
I am creating... a replacement lovey blanket for Danica for Christmas. Hers has had the roughest two years of any of the girls' loveys, and it's positively shredded. There's no hope of repair, so I just bought new Tweety fabric and polka dotted flannel and a satin blanket binding...I just hope she loves the new one as much as the old, tattered one!
I am going... fabric store shopping!!!!! FUN!
I am hoping... that the family pictures we did with my digital camera's timer actually turn out as well printed as they look on the computer screen so we can give the grandparents something to put in their frames this Christmas. It's the first time we've done family pictures since Jon and Kelsey were 3 and 5. Things have changed a wee bit in thirteen years!
I am hearing... Kathy Mattea's 'Mary, Did You Know?' playing on my blog in another window. I LOVE that song. The haunting tune, the humbling words, her deep voice, it's just marvelous!
Around the house... more post-weekend laundry. I'm noticing a trend...
One of my favorite things... the smell of Hancock Fabric store! Okay, I'm ready to go, Jon!!!!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Tomorrow the girls and I will watch as their dad and brother both march in Huntsville's Veteran's Day Parade. This year just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Wednesday, Shelby has a well-baby checkup (her 2-month 3 months of age, thank you very much whomever messed up the clinic calendar!), and after that? Well, I learned last week that "no plans" have a way of changing on you!
Here is picture thought I am sharing... 20 years with this big goof...and counting! I love you, Pete!
Many thanks to Peggy for creating such a wonderful online journal in The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Date Night in Review

Two military-discount-rate adult tickets to see Fireproof: $15
Two medium drinks and a large popcorn to share: $17 (does that make anyone else cringe?)Sitting in a quiet theater watching a movie with your sweetie for the first time in two years: Priceless.

Pete and I had a wonderful 'date' the Friday before last (yeah, I'm JUST getting around to blogging about As soon as we put the girls to bed, we left Kelsey in command and took off for a quick Christmas shopping trip and then a movie. It was SO nice. I think we both decided that it needs to be a regular thing, this date night deal!

And now, my amateur review of Fireproof. (Notice there are no drumrolls?)

I didn't really have high hopes for this movie, I'll admit. I expected it to be a bomb, much like Left Behind was. To some degree, it probably was. The acting was....marginal. It actually LOOKED scripted in many places, and I found myself chuckling in sarcastic pity at how cheesy some of the characters' conversations were. kept my attention, which is more than I can say of a lot of the more highly-rated "classic" movies. The plot was actually good--it was realistic, it was honest, and the message was practical. A little over-the-top 'preachy' at times, but I anticipated that. Sorry, I guess preachy-ness is just one of my pet peeves. I got over it. There were some very good points for every married couple to ponder, every spouse individually as well. I really do wish this movie had been available for me and Pete to go see about three and a half years ago--we really could have used the reinforcement of those messages in the midst of the worst of our marriage. I hope and pray that at least one couple can be reached and their marriage saved because of what they saw in Fireproof. If that can happen, then all the cheesiness would be more than worth it!

One little detail from that movie went home with us.....Pete now plans to use the hot-sauce-chugging trick on whichever of his soldiers challenges him next! Men.....

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