Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blogging ABC's

Since our family is currently experiencing a couple of stressful and sad situations, I was happy to find this cute, no-thinking-required idea for a blog post!  It's a fun way to get to know someone better... or at least, to get to know their internet habits better.  :)

You just open a new tab and type www. followed by a letter of the alphabet into the browser to see what website your browser thinks you're wanting to go to.  So here goes!

A:  AFirmFoundation.blogspot.com!  I've gotta keep tabs on my own blog, right?

B:  Blogger.com.  To post on said blog.

C:  CNN.com.

D:  Dotti'sWeightLossZone.com.

E:  Ebay.com.  Even though I have been failing miserably at my Frugal Friday posts, that doesn't mean I'm not still trying to be frugal.  :)

F:  Facebook.com.  The topic of a future blog post of mine, hopefully.

G:  Google.com. Ok, I'm only to "G" and already have proven myself to be the most boring internet user in the history of the world.

H:  HSN.com (Home Shopping Network)... where I purchased my own birthday gift last month to me from my parents.  :)

I:  InboxDollars.com.  An easy way to make some extra money, which can be cashed out in the form of gift cards to various places (stores, restaurants, etc).  Want to join?  Click on my link so that I'll get credit!  :)

J:  Johnson County District Court Document Search.  That would be me keeping tabs on someone.  

K:  KPC.com (Kansas Pay Center)  The Child Support payment website.  We live in hope!  :)

L:  Lowes.com.  

M:  MoneySavingMom.com. I've been following her since the days when she lived here locally and had a blog that I dearly loved!  Sometime after she launched Money Saving Mom, she decided that she wouldn't be able to maintain both websites, and had to let the blog go.  :(  I've missed it terribly, but the Money Saving Mom website has helped me to learn how to save a LOT of money in grocery shopping.

N:  Netfix.com.  I never thought our subscription to Netflix would help with home schooling, but on the spur of the moment last week, the kids and I watched a documentary on Christopher Columbus!

O:  OpinionOutpost.com. My FAVORITE survey company.  I faithfully take their surveys, and they faithfully pay me.  :)  Join here, if you'd like!

P:  Paypal.com.  Several of the survey companies that I take surveys with pay me through Paypal.  Cha-ching!

Q:  QuestionPro.com.  I dunno... I must have taken a survey of theirs at some point.

R:  RevolutionHealth.  Looking up some medical stuff for a family member.

S:  Swagbucks!  Someday I'm going to actually follow through with my promise to post a review on Swagbucks.  :)  I love Swagbucks... currently, I earn $10 per month in Amazon gift cards by using Swagbucks to do my internet searches.  If you'd like to sign up, pleeeease use this link to do so!

T:  TurntoChrist.org... my church!  I was nervous, wondering if that would be what would pop up or not.  I knew I'd be in for some heckling in the comments section if it wasn't! 

U:  UrbanDictionary.com.  Don't visit it!  There's nothing good there.  But it was helpful recently when I wanted to inform a friend about her misuse of a slang word.  :)  Sorry, unnamed friend!  Are you blushing now?

V:  VerizonWireless.com.  They never stop working for me.  Can you hear me now?

W: Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office.  Keeping tabs, part two.

X:  XtraLaundry.com.  Coupons, probably.

Y:  YahooMail.com.  The email account that I use for surveys/moneymaking types of things.

Z:  Nothing!  Nada.  Zip.  Get it?  ZIP!  At least that starts with a "Z".  :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sin: Just Like a Spilled Drink

The other day, I had piles of coupons and papers to be filed lying on the kitchen table, along with my laptop.  My nephew put a glass on the table, poured himself a drink, and promptly knocked the glass over.  I just sat there and watched the drink quickly spread over the surface of the table, getting all of my coupons and papers wet.  As I looked on, the drink eventually reached my laptop and ruined it completely.

Don't panic. That's not what actually happened.  Here's what really happened:  As soon as my nephew knocked the drink over, I jumped up and started yelling at him.  I lectured him about how careless he was and about how much damage he had done to my things and how disappointed I was in him.   Meanwhile, the drink spread across the table and ruined my coupons, papers, and laptop.

Well, I'm sure you're on to me by now.  That is not what actually happened.  What really happened is exactly what you would expect.  I quickly jumped up, snatched my laptop up off the table, instructed someone to grab some paper towels, and started grabbing papers up off the table to keep the wet ones from getting completely ruined, and to keep the dry ones from getting wet.

The two previous scenarios seem ridiculous, don't they?  But it occurred to me that there might be a lesson to learn there.  I actually ended up learning two.

Lesson #1:  Sin in My Life; Sin in Your Life

The first insight I got out of this whole fiasco was in noticing how quickly I jumped up and started fighting against the stream of liquid heading toward things that were important to me. But when I see a sin trickling along in my life, do I jump up this quickly and fight this hard?  Or do I procrastinate in tackling it?  Or worse, just sit there watching it happen, wishing things were different, but resigning myself to it?  

What about when I see sin in other people's lives?  I'm not talking about walking around all plank-eyed and pointing out the speckled lives of my friends.  I'm talking about serious patterns of sin in the lives of my loved ones.  Am I quick to react with serious prayer and loving, but firm counsel and/or correction?  Or do I do nothing because I'm too worried about how it will affect our relationship?  Or worse, am I so wrapped up in myself that I overlook or forget about those loved ones' sins?

Lesson #2: Train 'Em Up

The other lesson I took away from all this is a short and sweet one.  Child training.  Just as in the scenario in which I did nothing and watched my things become ruined by a spilled drink, I can sit by idly and watch as sinful habits, behaviors, and attitudes grow in my children (and then somehow be surprised when they have become soaked by them).

On the other hand, I can become irritated by their sins and spend a lot of time lecturing them and showing my disappointment in them, while doing nothing to stop the spreading of the "spilled drink".  

Or I can take this lesson to heart, realize the life and death importance of fighting off the sins that creep in, and work with them... side by side... to clean up the mess.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Church's Fourth of July Celebration

Fourth of July Fifth of July fun! Our church celebrated Independence Day together on July 5th. Fun was had by all. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Have You Stumbled Lately?

When you stumble and fall and scab your knee, do you run from God to go clean yourself up?  Or do you run to Him and let Him clean you up?

My paraphrase of a quote from Matt Chandler

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Don't simply try to control your sin.  Seek to murder it.

Source:  Matt Chandler

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two Years Ago Today (subtitle: Grab Your Kleenex Box)

(If you missed last night's post, you might want to start there first.)

Two years ago today was the hardest day of my life. As an over-attached mom of an only child, I was not emotionally prepared to let go of my son.

About to wake my Smoochie up for the last time.

On the morning of his wedding, two years ago today, I gave him a card with a poem in it that said:

I sometimes wish you were still small,
Not yet so big and strong and tall.
For when I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see you play.

I often miss that little boy
Who pestered me to buy a toy,
Who filled my days with pure delight
From early morn to late at night.

We watch our children change and grow
As seasons come, then quickly go.
But our God has a perfect plan
To shape a boy into a man.

Today, my son, I’m proud of you
For all the thoughtful things you do.
I’ll love you till my days are done,
And I’m so grateful you’re my son.

That's right, ladies! If I have to cry today remembering all of this, I'm taking you all down with me!!

Next, I gave him a book called "Let Me Hold You Longer." The book starts with:

Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts:
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away
and leave me to your past,
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts...

The book goes on to talk about all of the "lasts" that you don't realize are "lasts" as they are happening. The last time you give them a bottle; the last time they ask you to tuck them in; the last time they need you to kiss their boo-boos. And how if you would realize as that moment is happening that it is actually the last time, you would make it last longer... hence the name "Let Me Hold You Longer".

I gave him the book and had him read it out loud to me. I wish I had thought to record it... not that I'd ever have it in me to be able to watch it! He started crying halfway through the book and cried until the end. It's such a sweet memory to me now.

My baby boy shaving for his wedding.

Before I knew it, the wedding had come. I remember during the ceremony being overwhelmed by the realization that the hardest day of my life and the best day of Steven's life were one and the same.

First kiss... ever.

And then the tables were turned. After the sentimental card and book that morning, Steven had some sentimentality of his own up his sleeve. He surprised me at the reception with "our song" from his childhood... "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins (from the animated Tarzan movie). Some of the lyrics:

For one so small,
you seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can't be broken
I will be here
Don't you cry

'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

To say it was an emotional moment is a bit of an understatement...

Just for the record... he cried too!

Hey, stop sniffling! It has a happy ending. I'm surviving, and here's the happy couple, two years later. Ok, technically one year and 364 days later. I took this picture yesterday. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Two years ago today was a day of "lasts" for me. It was the last day that my son lived at home. It was the last day that I had an unmarried son. It was the last day that I had my Smoochie all to myself. It was the last time that I wished that I could stop the hands of time.

We spent the day together and called it "Smoochie and Boochie's Last Hurrah." (Smoochie and Boochie are the nicknames we gave each other when he was very young... and the names stuck.) As we were driving home from our day out together, he spotted me crying and reached over and grabbed my hand and held it the rest of the way home. I couldn't resist taking this picture with my cell phone. The next day everything would change forever, but for that day, at that moment, it was perfect.

On that day, I remembered what I had been doing twenty years prior. I remember sitting in the living room at my in-laws' house and watching tv with my father-in-law and seeing that Prince Andrew & Fergie’s baby had been born. They were making a big deal about it because of the date: 8/8/88. I was four months pregnant. Who would ever have known that exactly twenty years later, I would be cherishing my last day of my baby boy living at home.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

While they put some finishing touches on our new church building last weekend, I supervised my niece as she babysat four kids (Lawrence, Kylie, Meredith, and Abilene) from our church. It was a hoot. :)

Cute stories from the babysitting adventure:

  • When the adults were leaving, Bridget told her grandson that while she was gone, if he wanted to do things, he would have to ask my niece. So he walked right over to her and said "MissKenzie, can we do things?"

  • After the adults were gone, the oldest of the kids (Meredith) asked my niece if she could be her "right-hand assistant" and help change diapers, etc. When her younger sister (Abilene) heard that, she asked, "Well then can I be your left-handed sister?"

  • And last, but not least, Lawrence accidentally broke something of his grandpa's. My niece told him, "You're going to have to say sorry to your grandpa." Lawrence replied, "Sorry, Grandpa!" Then my niece said, "No, you'll have to say sorry to him when he gets here." So Lawrence said, "Sorry, Grandpa when you get here!" :)
    Future homemakers making scrambled eggs for lunch.

    Digging through our babysitter's purse while she's not looking is FUN!!!

    Too much excitement for one day. ZZZZZZZ