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31 October 2008

"We're off to see the Wizard..."

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."

Dorothy, after the storm, in The Wizard of Oz

(photo credit to the fun ladies over at WhoCares)

Reformation Day

Folks have been celebrating Halloween for an awful long time, but I'm thankful that on this same day, October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a list of ideas to a door and started a Reformation. It all started with "Repent!" and the same call rings true today. But a short message over here says that oh-so-much-more eloquently than I can!


30 October 2008

29 October 2008

Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones

One Crafty Mama reminds me that it is once again Wordful Wednesday over at 7 Clown Circus.

from the archives I bring to you Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones. That's me and my sister (me on the left, my sister on the right), in oh, about 1970. I cannot for the life of me remember which of us was Mrs. Smith and which was Mrs. Jones- I have a feeling that we probably never knew!

But, I am quite sure that our Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones personas required the wearing of the hats, and of the beads. And, there were probably a couple of purses stuffed to the rim involved. I know this now because I have four girls who have dressed up over the years, and hats and beads and purses are mandatory.

The duckie blow up ball?
I have no idea...

28 October 2008

Come What May

For the next couple of days, here's your chance to see, online, a sneak preview of a new movie coming out. Come What May is a movie that tells the story of a moot court debater at Patrick Henry College, and how in debating a case of parental notification involving abortion, his point of view clashes dramatically with his mother's, and coause him to really figure out where he stands, as well.

The preview is available online, along with segments of the entire movie. We have good friends that worked in the production of the film, along with an on-screen appearance!

27 October 2008

Fall in the 'hood

Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

These pictures don't really do justice to how beautiful my neighborhood is this time of year. I just snapped these in walking a few houses in each direction. Those old and leafy trees, which were such a liability in our early summer storms, are a source of beauty and awe now. At every glance, we indeed see "every common bush (and tree!) afire with God."

Blessings in, and from, the 'hood.

26 October 2008


I know this one by heart, and as such, it is a familiar comfort, and truth for me, but I adore the beginning of the Nicene Creed-

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

God of God.
Light of Light.
Very God of very God.

like rays of light radiating from the sun,
the Son, one with the Father.
Creator of all things.
And therefore,
we worship Him.

(photo credit: Sunrise at Bantam Lake, by Patricia Wilcox)

25 October 2008

More coffee!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Look! Now I have a GiveAway! (except that I'm not really giving ANYTHING away...) The good folks at Dunkin Donuts want to give us coffee! There are NO Dunkin Donuts in the otherwise great state that I live in, but they will send me coffee, nonetheless.

If only they could send me a chocolate cream filled donut, too...


24 October 2008

Coffee, Toffee, Ready for Safari

Ready for safari.

(in the background, cue "These are a few of my favorite things..." from The Sound of Music, or maybe the soundtrack from Out of Africa...)

It's a GiveAway at Amoretti!

22 October 2008

Wordful Wednesday

Since I obviously have no original ideas on Wednesday, thanks to Seven Clown Circus for hosting Wordful Wednesday!

The rules, as written by SevenClownCircus herself...
*Wordful Wednesday is for those of us that like to showcase a photo but that just can't seem keep our mouths shut about it. If you'd like to play along, post a photo on your blog, and let the words roll. Feel free to "capture" my 7 Clown Circus button on the left to link back to me, and be sure to add yourself to Mr. Linky. Thanks for playing along!

My photo, taken just this afternoon, as we made caramel apples!
HOMEMADE caramel apples in all of their rich sticky goodness!

And it was easy! And they look so pretty!

(So pretty! We won't include photos of the wrappers floating all over my kitchen, or of youngest daughter burning her finger when sister "helped" her twirl the caramel, or the pan that is yet to be cleaned and is probably crystalizing into caramel hardness...
So pretty!)

Wordful Wednesday!

What Works for Me Wednesday- "Best Friends"

Adding my .02 to the grand carnival of great ideas at Works-for-me-Wednesday over at Rocks In My Dryer...

It happens sometimes in my house of 5 kids- there are days when two just cannot seem to get along. No matter what. Little things. Big things. Squabbling and arguing and general discontent with a brother. (or more likely, in my house of 4 girls and one boy- a sister...)

I guess common wisdom says to separate, send each to his or her own corner, and never the two shall meet. I found that doesn't solve the heart problem at all- rather, it just gives each time to stew in a self-justifying-how-wrong-the-other-kid-is simmer.

So, What Works for Me? Best friends. I purposely make the two that are at odds with one another play with each other. Two games, each one chooses a game that must be played together. Two chores- two chores (my choosing!) that must be completed together. And they are to remain together, a best friend unit, until they can be cheerful with one another. Partners.

If they really don't want to be together, it serves them well to play nice and work hard, so they can be finished and released from duty. But, usually by the time they finish playing and working, they have forgotten why they were mad at one another in the first place, and they not only keep playing, but then the others wonder what is going on and want to join in too.

It Works for Me...
Check out Rocks in My Dryer to see what works for others...

21 October 2008

Thou Shalt Not Covet...

Some neat Etsy (and etsy-like) finds...

I don't have any "kid" jewelry, but if I did, I'd like this from The Vintage Pearl.

I don't have a 2009 calendar, but if I did, I'd like this (in blue) from Lotta.

It's hard to pick just one favorite from Geninne, but I sure am fond of Bird Tree.

Sometimes Etsy is just too much work- too much of a good thing. Any of you have Etsy favorites to share?

17 October 2008

The Bottom Line

Thanks to Palm Tree Pundit for this link. I found it to be a worthwhile and issue clarifying read. Randy Alcorn highlights the thoughts that I have been ruminating over for a while. For me, this is the bottom line in determining how I will make my choice at the poll next month.

16 October 2008

Writer's Workshop

I'm a day late, but with encouragement from One Crafty Mama , I'm going to try out Writer's Workshop Wednesday from Mama's Losin' It.

The Prompts:
1.) Recall a time when you did something to get noticed. Write about it.
2.) Begin with “I wish someone told me…”
3.) If you could rearrange three things about your life what would they be?
4.) What do you love to create?

In general, I dislike doing anything to get noticed. I'm the I in INTJ. I like to be on time, because if you are late, people notice you. Especially when you have five kids trailing you... And like my oldest daughter, I don't really enjoy when the waiters sing to you at your birthday, except for the fact that it comes with dessert.

However, I ran with a really fun group of friends in high school, and we sometimes did things that got noticed. My favorite memory of being noticed was at the talent show at the annual summer gathering of student council members from around my state.

Please realize, I don't really have any demonstrable talents. Growing up, an annual ritual for me and my sister was to watch the Miss America pageant. As we grew up, my ever ambitious mom would look at my very talented musician sister and say, "You could be Miss America! You could play the clarinet as your talent!" And then she would look at me, and she would hesitate, and then she'd say something like, "Maybe you could... (awkward pause)... juggle the soccer ball..." But truthfully, I couldn't even juggle the soccer ball THAT well.

However, despite that we weren't great musicians or baton twirlers or rhythmic gymnasts or even possessing any ability to do stupid human tricks, my girlfriends and I were determined to be in the talent show. Fortunately, it was the 80's and air bands were king. We came up with the perfect song on an album. (remember those?) The beginning notes were familiar... Devo's Whip It. However, the voices- not quite the same. We "sang" to Alvin and the Chipmunk's Chipmunk Rock. And like the Chipmunk's, we rocked.

OK, well truthfully, I don't even remember if we won a thing. Or if they gave out awards. Funny how unimportant that stuff is 20 years later. But I do remember that we had a blast. And I still love air drums, especially on the dashboard of the car.

But I don't do it to get noticed anymore...

What about you? Think about one of those prompts and write! And then go leave a link at Mama's Losin' It.

Ay ay ay ay...

The BeeGee's & Stayin' Alive...
turns out that they are good for more than just disco...

Mia's Bongo Room

My breakfast buddy and I tried a new spot today, branching out from the usual to try something new. I've passed by Mia's Bongo Room for a while in my traversing through Benson, but had not taken time to stop. My loss! Tastiness awaits you at Mia's! The decor is fun, and there's local artwork on display and for sale as well. The service was good, and the food piping hot. The coffee dark!

The lunch and dinner menu looks intriguing as well, so this could be our next date night destination...

Mia's is just the kind of place that makes Benson great! Give Mia's a try!

15 October 2008

"The Vision of Gallant Greatness"

I read this quote yesterday, not in the context of politics at all, but rather, as a "clarion cry" for women to serve- to serve their families, to serve one another, to serve in the church; to encourage women in the "righteous and venerable tradition of people actually investing themselves in people- rather than in programs, projects, or perspectives." (from Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt)

Do we see as we ought to see? Do we see the warrior witnesses around us- or are we like the servants of Elisha, purblind and incognizant of the battle raging in our midst? Do we see the Savior before us- or are we like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, obsessed and possessed by our own concerns? Do we see- or are we casting about in darkness, flailing with sightless eyes? With what encumbrances have we ballasted the Gospel of grace with our lack of vision? Surely the Kingdom of Righteousness does not lack for resources. Surely the church is not bereft of ingenuity. Surely the just have bounteous opportunities. Yea and indeed, the single and solitary need- of the hour, the day, the epoch- is vision: the vision to see, the vision to do, and more, the vision to be. Lord of the Harvest, give us we pray: great men, great women, and great families. Lord of the Harvest, give us we pray: vision- the vision of gallant greatness.
- Theodore Roosevelt

14 October 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Here's a fun idea from my friend at Life is a Patchwork Quilt (and she borrowed it from Should Be Reading... thanks to both of you!)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

The book sitting next to my computer right now- the one I finished reading this morning!- is The Believer's School of Prayer by Andrew Murray.

"Prayer from a heart that is not right- either with God on the one side, or with men on the other- cannot prevail. Faith and love are essential to each other."

Exactly! That's Matthew 11:25- loving God and loving our neighbor are inseperable.
The Believer's School of Prayer is FULL of such nuggets of common sense, but oh-so-valuable, wisdom. A great devotional, instructional, and motivational read.


It seems like we don't hear enough about stories like this or this.

Real life.

Pray for the persecuted church.

No Reservations

T. and I celebrated another anniversary- #18 this time.

We traveled to Spain and Borneo, and ate a piece of cake.

That will do, for now.

As Bourdain said, "I am ready to go someplace that I have absolutely no idea where I am going."

Happy anniversary, babe.

13 October 2008

Art Music Justice tour

Got to go to this concert last week.

To hear what the concert is about, where the tour is headed, and to hear a few music samples, go here.

07 October 2008

Photo Tag

My bloggy diva friend, Michelle, tagged me! I've known Michelle for years and years and years. She just started doing this blogging stuff, and WOW! Now I can say, "I knew her when..." :-) Go visit Michelle's blog! It's fun.

But first, FOCUS!, the instructions of the photo tag command me to:

Go to your photo files, pick the 6th folder and the 6th picture and post it!

So I did it and here's what we find:
That's my L. girl at practice a few weeks ago. She's a soccer playin', hard kickin', go-get-'em, kid. When asked about this picture, she said, "That is me, kicking at Quinn's dad, and I know that I scored." That's the confidence of L.

(Confession: I cheated just a little bit! See, my photo files are listed chronological for 2008 Jan-now in one list, and now back to Jan. in the other one. The picture I chose is from the 2nd list- it was taken in September. The 6th folder and the 6th picture in the other list was, well, boring. It's my blog. I can do that!)

I'm supposed to tag 5 others, but I'm going to just leave that to you all...
what's your 6th folder, 6th picture look like?

04 October 2008

El Conguero

Overheard walking out of the Holland Performing Arts Center at intermission, a conversation between two teenage boys:
"One hour of Poncho Sanchez is enough to make you give up rap?!?"
"Dude, I'm never listening to rap again!"

It was THAT good.
We were thoroughly entertained by the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band last night. The sounds and rhythmns that Poncho Sanchez gets out of the congos is amazing, as is the entire band. Those guys can play! And they played the Holland like it was a club. They got us up on our feet and dancing in the aisles. Terrific musicians and terrific entertainers. If Poncho comes to your town, don't miss him and the Latin Jazz Band.

Here's a promo video for this concert tour, just to tease...

What kind of man?

This morning I was here, and notice, at the end, the disciples ask, "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

Matthew Henry comments, "They were astonished. They never saw a storm so turned at once into a perfect calm. He that can do this, can do any thing, which encourages confidence and comfort in him, in the most stormy day, within or without, Isa 26:4."

And then I was here, and the disciples question is answered,

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my delieverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn or my salvation and the horn or my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the lord, who is worthy to be praised..."

Reminder- that's who I call on in the stormy days...

(art credit to Rick Lawler, Sea Storm Whidbey Island)

03 October 2008

Friday Five- Weekend agenda

Today's Friday Five: what this weekend looks like...

Vacuuming and general clean-up: always a good idea, now desperately required daily due to how much Aussie Shepherd Deke is shedding.

Tickets to hear the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band at the Holland.




And you?

01 October 2008

October Paint

We have been reading Carl Sandburg in our anthology of poetry this fall, and I am excited to get to October and share this one. Sandburg was from the Midwest, and travelled west, and indeed, that experience is evident in this piece of his poetry.

October Paint by Carl Sandburg

Flame blue wisps in the west,
Wrap yourselves in these leaves
And speak to winter about us.
Tell winter the whole story.

Red leaves up the oaken slabs,
You came little and green spats
Four months ago; your climbers
Put scroll after scroll around
The oaken slabs, "Red, come red,"
Some one with an October paint
Pot said, And here you are,
Fifty red arrowheads of leaf paint
Or fifty mystic fox footprints
Or fifty pointed thumbprints.
Hold on, the winds are to come
Blowing, blowing, the gray slabs
Will lose you, the winds will
Flick you away in a whiff
One by one, two by two... Yet
I have heard a rumor whispered;
Tattlers tell it to each other
Like a secret everybody knows...
Next year you will come again.
Up the oaken slabs you will put
Your pointed fox footprints
Green in the early summer
And you will be red arrowheads
In the falltime... Tattlers
Slip this into each other's ears
Like a secret everybody knows.
... If I see some one with an
October paint pot I shall be
Full of respect and say,
"I saw your thumbprints everywhere,
How do you do it?"

(art credit for Fall Leaves to my favorite of Western artists, Georgia O'Keefe),