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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today especially, more than usual, my heart turns to worship. This is a joint effort by two of my favorite artists and worship leaders-Kim Hill and Selah. If I had my way I'd post about 30 different beautiful works, varying styles. How great it is that God gave us such different tastes and ways to say, "I love you, Lord.'

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pantry Diving Gains Popularity in Phoenix Neighborhood

Family Headlines: Pantry Diving Gains Popularity in Phoenix Neighborhood.

Once again, Keeper of the home, Wife, Mother, and Part-Time Illusionist (i.e. "it's not as bad as it looks") takes to Pantry Diving. Last time she emerged free of Kraft Macaronies in her calmly highlighted hair despite her fears going in. With the Paparazzi present this month's episode of Pantry Diving has become a full blown media event. Kathy has asked that her Mother and your nearest Tupperware representative not be informed of her latest adventure for fear of a slew of telephone soliciters selling food organizing systems and discounted maid services!

It's understood that the bad news, good news approach works well, so in her own defense, said Pantry Diver will be posting follow-up photos following her Victory Lap around the kitchen!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Zoo With Two

It's all making sense now! Those crossword puzzles, dot to dots ad nauseum, extra long recesses, etcetera. As we eek out our last week of school before a brief summer break, history is making sense. My history! I can remember lots of worksheets, goofy puzzles, games, relay know the things that teachers pull out of their "I will survive!" kits just hoping to get by. How many word searches does a teacher have to give you before you're convinced that she is right where you are....ready for a break!!! This homeschooling Mama of two is there. Bingo! Dick and Jane, see ya! Wouldn't wanna be ya! Art supplies, organize thine own self. I am on my way to the zoo with two, and I 'aint kiddin! School's out!!!

Note from the editor: Teacher's son is in the process of binding himself to his sister's pink Barbie Jeep with dental floss. No foolin! Just a hint of the adventures that await the Mom of that little 2nd grader!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Taking Memorial Matters Into Their Own Hands!

While I was doing this:

They were doing this!

School was officially out for the day, so Bethany and Daniel took Memorial Matters into their own hands by dramatizing Abraham Lincoln to their hearts content. Bethany is playwright, stage manager, costume person, and lead actress extraordinaire! Daniel is the most compliant leading man ever! Of course, he plays Abraham Lincoln.

By the way, I found this amazing bean recipe about a year ago in my search for a pork-less baked bean recipe. This one feeds a crowd, no problem. I have prepared this particular recipe several times, and with the Fourth of July coming up, it comes highly recommended from yours truly! (I think this would work well in the crock pot as well.) Imagine the aroma! Mmm!!!

Baked Beans for Bean Lovers!

To a large bowl, add all of the following ingredients:

1-28oz.can Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans-undrained
15 oz. cans each of small Lima beans,Kidney beans, Cannelini beans, and Black beans- drained (save the liquid to use if the beans get dry while baking - I added Pinto Beans also.)

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 medium onion chopped
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup of vinegar
A few dashes of Soy Sauce
Molasses to taste- a splash or so
I always mix this part up first then add it to the beans.

Mix all the ingredients, pour into 9X13 casserole sprayed with Pam.
Preheat oven and bake at 275 degrees
Cook covered for the first hour.
Cooking takes approximately three hours.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


This is what's in the corner by our RV Gate leading to the backyard. Genesis 1:20-23 says that on the 5th day, God created....."every winged bird after it's kind." He said it was good, He blessed them, and said, "Let birds multiply on the earth." So, now we watch daily for these little beauties. A neighbor said that Killdeer birds lay their eggs on the ground. I'm just hoping these didn't fall out of a nest from this weekend's wind and rain that we had. The birds have been known to build a nest or two in the barrel tiles on our roof.

For the homeschoolers out there we're using Apologia's "Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day" for Science this we're skipping to lesson 6 on Matching and Hatching! Wouldn't miss this opportunity for anything! We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Great Nature Sing-Off

Who will have the last note, the crickets or the frogs? Is there a more pertinent question at hand? It rained, and the desert and all it's inhabitants are rejoicing. Myself included. So as I call it a day, I do so to the symphony of God's critters doing their best to praise Him. Atleast that's the way I'd like to think of it. The frogs kind of started the whole thing tonight. But not to be outdone the crickets are giving it their best shot. Just think, no Simon, no Paula, no 800 number to call. Just listen and enjoy.

The Light That Truth Provides

Ten minutes into my day and I was pretty much sick with our very fallen world; disgusted at what entertains us, thrills us and captivates us. See if this shoe doesn't fit our Nation like a glove:

"So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter." Isaiah 59:15

This is us! This verse describes our world in living color. Read the news, or don't read the news, better yet. But if you do, don't read it without praying. Truth has stumbled in the streets. Where is our hope?

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you." Isaiah 60:1-2

Midway through the day I got away for a bit of prayer and the Word. When I came to Him with my load, this was His reply. I am not so ignorant to think we can simply wave the scriptures over a bad situation, or even a horrific one and poof, it goes away. No. But.... we pass through the valley.... He is my guide, He is my traveling companion as I journey in and out of the days prescribed for me...of the shadow of death...This is my place in time that He has carved out. I'm going to pray His Word. When I see faithfulness in the Bible, I'm going to pray it! I have to lift up my eyes to the hills. This is where my help comes from-the maker of Heaven and Earth. The only hope I have for our country, for our world is when my view of it passes through the lense of scripture, God's truthful Word. I have nothing else. To these truths and promises I must daily turn.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reporting Live From The House

O.K. This was a first for me. I'm sitting here in the office, door closed. I hear a child get up, lid pops up in the bathroom-I can only guess because as I mentioned the office door is closed. No flush. ??? Then I hear water, reeeaaally loud water, as in the sink going full blast with amazing water pressure. My investigative nature s l o w l y moves in to gear. Since my mind couldn't figure it out, my eyes have to assist. So there he is. Fully clothed in the bath tub with toys left from whoever took the last bath in there....and did NOT clean out the toys....purely an aside. Yes, standing there fully clothed with the bathtub faucet running. My version of a Q & A ensues and is as close as I'll probably ever come to a White House Press Conference as I was given answers such as , "I didn't know!" "I don't know." "I had no idea!" He could not seem to recount the events of the last few moments. I'm as confused as he looked. He obviously had been sitting when he turned on the water in the tub. Time to go swimming, play, frolic about! At 10:30 at night? Ah, no. So, I help my sleep-walking son out of the tub and into his room-dry sheets folks, so this was no night time accident. Climbs into bed and pulls the cover over himself. I stand there with what must be a very unusual expression on my face. I'm still trying to make sense of this and it's not working. I inform him that he can't sleep with wet clothes on, so I find dry bottoms and leave him to change. Somehow, he changes. A couple of minutes later I return to his room. The light is on. He's very asleep with changed clothes. Wierd. The nachos, it's the nachos! Wow. I had no idea motherhood was going to hold so many different kinds of adventures! I can now add "Investigative Reporter" to my job description.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Remember China, Praying for China, and Our Moral Compass is a Who

Today marks the one year anniversary of the worst earthquake to hit China.I was taken by a quote from Chinese Artist AI Wei Wei on his thoughts about the anniversary, (I include his quote at the end of this post,) so I began to do a bit of reading and research and found one of the worst pieces of information I personally have seen regarding a baby, reported to be "a fetus." Read on, but know the next paragraph is graphic, and most of all tragic. Because our moral compass is a WHO and not a law nor contemporary thought as AI has inferred, we can anticipate more of this. (I am still learning how to appropriately connect my sources and adequately credit them, so please give me grace on that,and instruction if you have the know-how.)

Chinese Artist Yu, along with 40 plus avant garde Chinese artists, participated in an exhibit in Shanghai in 2000. One of the many exhibits included Yu's self-portraits entitled "Eating People" by Zhu Yu. "It consisted of a series of photographs of him cooking and eating what is alleged to be a human fetus." (Source-Wikipedia). In response to the public reaction, Mr. Yu stated, "No religion forbids cannibalism. Nor can I find any law which prevents us from eating people. I took advantage of the space between morality and the law and based my work on it". Call it censorship or common sense, the Shanghai police shut the exhibit down before its closing date.

And now for the paradox. Chinese Artist AI was one of the Curators in this particular exhibit. In an interview about censorship he says the following: (May-June 2009 interview by Simon Kirby, from Index on Censorship.) "The basic value of contemporary thought has to be established in China. We need to create a sense of right and wrong; to learn to face ourselves and our history; to discuss what kind of nation and what kind of government we should create. These are essential questions and they need to be addressed. Without this, no solution can ever really reach the real root problem. "

On this the anniversary of the 8.0 Earthquake in China, Artist AI, who maintains an effort to identify the children who were killed in the earthquake, says this:"We have to really re-evaluate the values of life in this society," he said in his studio in Caochangdi outside downtown Beijing. (This photo is a current tally of names so far.)
I see horrid inconsistencies between what Chinese artist AI Wei Wei says he values, and what he condones in his role as curator in the 2000 exhibit in Shanghai. A moral compass is not an established contemporary thought. Rather, it is the very person of Jesus Christ coming on the scene of the human heart, radically uprooting any rights we think we have, and pouring out upon and in us His very presence, transforming us into the new creation that we become through His willing sacrifice of His own sinless life. There is no more profound statement made on the value of human life than the one made by the Author of life Himself. May our own eyes be opened wider, and our hearts absolutely pierced by the sorrow of sin that led Jesus to the cross. May we utter prayers of repentance for ourselves, our carelessness, our waywardness, for China, for the human race that inhabits the world as we now know it. "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin hath left a crimson stain, He washed me white as snow."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! In our culture, our world, the role of the Godly Mother in the home is more important than ever. My own Mother has been the most Godly and greatest influence in my life.

As a young wife with four children by the time she was twenty-three, I can recall lots of meals, lots of laundry, her steadfastness in Christ, her counsel, which I still enjoy and benefit from today, her love of music, her willingness to lead when asked, her willingness to serve, her love for the Word, her hospitality, her paintscraper and paintbrush, her sewing machine hard at work making curtains or a beautiful velvet dress for me at Christmas, telling me I wasn't as skinny as I felt (of course that was then and this is now!) I remember homemade bread and butter pickles, homemade pizza, rhubarb stew (didn't care for it but I do remember it!), fish eggs in the frying pan, chocolate cakes, Mom patiently helping with my schoolwork amidst my own pool of tears, the night she braved a sleepover with a multitude of school children, hundreds of packed lunches, thousands of hugs, helping me get my bubblegum off the dog. I remember my parents not just taking us to church but being there with us, and best of all and of course most important of all, I remember the night she was attempting to grab a few private moments to take a bath, and I came next to her by the tub, and told her I wanted to ask Jesus in my heart. She was ready right then and there to pray with me. Her open heart was the door to the filled and forgiven heart resident in me today. Today, I rise up and bless my mother, Dottie....o.k. Toodie ( that one's from Gramma!). I love you Mom. A beloved Happy Mother's Day!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Smoke.....Bombs Big Time!!!

I won't go in to the details, but trust me in that this picture of a really cute fella, a.k.a. my husband, and the title are related. It has to do with bees, the honey kind I think. Well, anyway, it didn't work, I won't name names or brand names, but the bees are still there (hovering in a nagging sort of way near an outdoor drain pipe), and our laundry room doesn't smell like Downy Fabric Softner anymore. Sensing my sorrow and observing my demeanor my two beloved youngers thought that presenting me with these flowers would surely do the trick. In one of our "lighter" moments today (pun IS related to the title) I decided to have my "attemptor in bee extermination" hold this beautiful bouquet. (I was secretly wishing that Mickey and Susan of Penless Writer fame lived close by so that Mickey could add to his collection of bees.) Susan, is Mickey afraid to fly?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hymns and Verses

A Hymn of confession. Sung by Nicole Sponberg, Selah.

Why stop with one! (Hit play, there's plenty of time to get another cup of coffee!) Scripture song with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.