The sneaky preditor.

>> Saturday, May 30, 2009

I lost one of my ducks last night.

According to DH (who found the missing duck behind our shed), something with small teeth ate out all its middle to the rib bones. The ducks are not flying enough to get out of the cage which means that something caught it and then jumped up over the cage and dragged it away.

None of the cats in the neighborhood are that big or that strong.

I don't know what animal did it.

A raccoon? An opossum?

There aren't any dogs to speak of around here. At least none that aren't well contained. We rarely have stray dogs.

I am planning to cover the cage with a net today. I am not sure if it will solve the problem or not, but the little birds are dropping like flies! I started out with 7-- now I am down to 3.

It is a smart little creature-- I have never had any problem when I am home. We come home to it.

Any advice for a beginner? What am I doing wrong?
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Who moved the dock?-- a thought provoking story

>> Friday, May 29, 2009

This account was written by Scott Nelson, the pastor of the church we attended when I was a young child.

Some years ago at a youth camp in Minnesota at which I was speaking, I had an opportunity to take a paddle-boat out on the lake. It was good to be alone, and after paddling out to the center of the lake, eating some lunch, and situating myself comfortably in the boat, I proceeded to read one of the books I had brought along. Occasionally I would doze while basking in the sun. Seldom had I enjoyed such uninterrupted solitude. After a good deal of time had elapsed, I thought it best to start paddling my way back to the dock lest I be late for the next chapel service. To my amazement, when I looked for the dock, it had vanished! How could they have moved the dock in so short a time?! And what had they done with the chapel building? After feverishly paddling for some time (actually until my thighs were throbbing), I began once again to see the dock.

What had happened? There was no wind to speak of, and, if I do say so myself, my navigational skills were flawless that day. What took place was not unlike that which happens to so many in the household of faith. I call it the "imperceptible drift." It is an ever-so-slight movement or alteration from the original course, that, over a period of time, results in complete disorientation and distress. For the most part, Christians can contend with gale-force winds; or at the very least, they can identify the force that blew them away, and then make the necessary corrections. Far too often, however, it is not the gale-force wind which throws a believer off course, but rather his or her lack of attention to each and every exhortation from the Word of God. Granted, one may attribute one's back-slidden condition to an adulterous relationship, cheating on a business deal, or allowing a spirit of hatred to remain in the heart; but in many cases the "imperceptible drift" began in a much less spectacular manner. Perhaps there was merely a little less faithfulness to the house of God, a critical attitude toward others, an innocent piece of gossip, just one trip to an R-rated movie, or maybe just a touch of concealed pride. Is there unconfessed sin? Has the church failed to "meet your needs?" Are you offended by someone? Are you harboring resentment? When these more "subtle sins" cause a drift, the result can be disastrous, for seldom does the "victim" of the drift acknowledge that it was his or her lack of attention to the Word of God that put him/her off course; instead, the first question is invariably, "Who moved the dock?"

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Free paint-- coupon

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In the light of the morning

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Isn't it amazing how the same situation can be totally different in your eyes after a good nights sleep or even a few hours' nap?

My previous post was genuine. Raw emotion about how I feel about my life.

Life is hard--

But God is also Good.



My mother came over yesterday afternoon (bless her heart and thank the Lord for her) and helped me clean my kitchen which was in desperate need of HELP. My sister in law (my kindred spirit) came over today and helped me sort through "stuff" (I know I am not the only one who has too much of this).

What a freeing feeling to be unloading all this clutter -- no longer having to sort through the seer volume of 6 years of accumulated items when I need to find something. It is all going to a good cause too.... our local Right-to-Life is having a rummage sale this next month and all of the STUFF is GOING!

My front yard is full of boxes and bags. So is DH's truck. There is still furniture in the storage unit I haven't gotten to and I haven't even begun on the bedrooms yet (though I am nearly done with the rest of the house and garage, and have finished our shop and half of our storage unit.)

Can you believe the amount of stuff little boys have? And the stuff breeds like little bunnies on viagra. It's in the grass when we mow. It is the couch cushions when I lay down for a nap. It is in the bathtub when I shower. It is under the seats in the car and constantly having to be remove from all available or nearly-available horizaontal surfaces in the house. Sometimes I even find it in the fridge!

And what little boy needs 5 dress shirts and 8 pairs of dress pants? Soon my little ones will be pared down to a weeks worth of clothing. I am not going to be saving *anything* because I cannot find it when I need it since I lack the organiational skills necessary to retrieve such items. But if they only need a few items every season isn't it simpler to just go get them the needed items at WallyWorld than to try to store it and pay for the storage unit? And what a relief to be able to wash all thier clothing in a single large load! I am attenpting to apply this same idea to all clothes.

This of course cannot apply to all baby clothes because some of those little items I am just too sentimentaly attatched to to get rid and preplace if/when we have another baby.

I still had clothes in storage from before child #1 was born. I was a size 6. I can guarrantee I will NEVER be that size again. It was not a healthy weight for me, I really need to be atleast a size 10-12 because of my build.

During my post partum depression after son #2 I started hoarding craft supplies, especially fabric. I have gotten rid of more than a truckload of just fabric! and I am still getting rid of more! I haven't bought more than an occasional yard or two for a gift in over a year. I can actually go into Walmart craft section, look at the fabric and come out with NOTHING. This is a huge victory for me.
Sometimes it seems like I am stuck... not making any progress at all. But then I start to reflect on where God has truly brought me and I realze that all hope is not lost. I am NOT the same person I was 2 or 5 years ago.

God is still working on me.

And I am so glad, cause I know I am not complete yet.


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Dreams and disappointments.

>> Monday, May 25, 2009

Sometime in our lives, I suppose it happens to all of us. We wake up one morning and realize that we are not who we always thought we would be. And we are not sure we will ever find a way to become that person. For all our trying, for all our wanting, it seems as impossible to obtain as touching the stars in the night sky.

That is where I am.

I have always had this vision of the woman I would be one day. She would be able to manage a family and balance a ministry. She would homeschool her children (all umpteen of them) and still have a clean house and an empty laundry room. She would be pleasantly shaped, but not plump; not too negatively effected by the pregnancies in her life and certainly not impaired with illnesses that would keep her from either pregnancy or the energy to care for her family. She would be the essence of femininity. Not afraid of floral prints, lace and ribbons. A reflection of the days gone by when women were expected to be LADIES. Her home would be her ministry because her home would always be open to others. Bible studies, educational classes, mentoring young women, family gatherings... all these would be her hallmark. She would be a true hostess. A gift from her would be a true work of art because it would be hand made from her heart.

With all my heart I wish I could be this woman.

Some of those dreams have long since died away simply because of reality (umpteen children is not possible because of my PCOD which causes infertility; clean house and always done laundry is simply not practical where I am now for a myriad of reasons). Others remain contrary to what my husband wants for our family. Some are simply lacking because of my own shortcomings and failures.

The most disappointing of all this is that, because my house is not clean and presentable, I am not able to use it as a minstry.

I know that God made me the way I am with purpose and intention.

Sometimes I wonder what that intention was.....


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STEAMED!!!

>> Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aggravated.

Exasperated.

Fit to be tied.

Beside my self.

Ready to hit something.

Frazzled.

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

That is about how I feel today. Have you ever noticed that just about the time you figure out how to respond to your child's current shenanigans they change what they are doing?

Well, my Eldest, hit the grade-school-boy stage this week. He knows everything. He is better than every one else. And he certainly DOES NOT need to be told what to do because he already knows EVERYTHING.

My second born woke up last week to realize he didn't HAVE to obey Momma if he didn't want to. Now, Child #1 had this one figured out at about 18 months old. And it was a knock-down-drag-out-battle that went on for months. Child #2 just never figured it out. Until now. He is almost 5. My sweet, compliant child has become a hellion.

Now, I am quite strict with my children when we are in a store. My mother will testify so. They hold on to their side of the cart. They are not to let go unless asked to get something or help with something. The elder is left handed so he is on the left. The younger is right handed so he is on the right. I don't care if I am in a store for 3 minutes or 3 hours. I expect them to stay where they are and to their job, which is to help me with whatever I am doing. Someday, I have told them, they will have to take care of a wife, for now they just have to help their mother. That is the JOB God gave them until they are grown.

Rewind my life about 2 hours ago....

I was in Walgreen's. They were having a bunch of sales and I was trying to match coupons with sales, ads, and register rewards. I know that I was in there for over an hour. But that does not matter. One day I dragged them into Walmart and we were there for 4 hours! I am doing my job: trying to manage the family budget. They SHOULD be doing their job.... aiding me with whatever needs done. That day in Walmart they were very good. Bored, but obedient.

Today was VERY different....

My youngest was running circles around the cart. My eldest was tackling him and pulling him to the ground and trying to wrestle with him. And this was in the first 5 minutes of being in the store. It only got worse from there. I actually resorted to swatting in the store soemthing I RARELY do. I think that the checker thought I was their Drill Sargent not their mother as I told them "Child, sit there. Fold your hands. Do NOT say a word. If you touch your brother there will be consequences." Ect...

When we got home, I ran into use the bathroom and instructed them to bring in the groceries. I returned outside to find them ON THE TRAMPOLINE. These sort of things may be normal for some families, but my children know better (or SHOULD KNOW BETTER) than to ignore my instructions.

I was livid. It was embarrassing enough to have the WORST BEHAVED CHILDREN IN THE STORE, especially since mine are usually the best behaved, according the the Walmart employees. But to be ignored? Disregarded? This was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I did not take it personally, I simply KNOW WHAT I EXPECT.

I hate days like today. They are the hardest. But they are also the MOST IMPORTANT. To have let such behaviour go unchecked would have spelled disaster. It also would have been a terrible disservice to my children who need to be taught what is right.

So they were corrected, in the most Biblical sence of the word. I was harder on them then I have in a long time and maybe harder than the little one can ever remember. But, Lord willing, he will not forget this. It may have been hard on them, but it was harder on me. Aside from the emotions, I do not like to discipline; I do it because we are commanded to.

Fastward to now:

They are outside playing.... peacefully.... together. They are tending to a small fire pit on our back patio (getting little sticks and such to add to it). No arguing. No quarreling. No fighting. They come running when I call, just as they should. They are HAPPY, content children: they know where the boundries are, because Momma showed them that, even though they are changing and growing, the rules are NOT.

Lord, thank you for days like today, but, please, make them few and far between. I don't know how much my heart can handle!



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Accepted

>> Monday, May 18, 2009

Our offer on the house shown in the previous post was accepted. Lord willing, the inspections and such will go smoothly and soon this will be my new kitchen!


We are planning to rent our current house, so the little repairs and improvements have frantically begun!

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Walking by Faith

>> Sunday, May 17, 2009

DH and I put an offer in on this house yesterday. It is not large. But it is larger than our current house by nearly 300 ft. It will be a blessing if we are able to get it. We have spent much time waiting and praying that God would provide a new house. Perhaps this is the one. It is very cute inside and reminds me of the house I grew up in. It comes with an extra acre that will one day be annexed into the city and be dividable. This makes it a very sound investment for us. The current owners are selling it below value because they need to get out from under the debt. It was built in 1947 but has been recently remodeled. The kitches in 20x16--to DIE for!

We will know tomorrow if our offer was accepted.

Or previous plan to remodel fell through as FHA recently did away with all building loans. The option still remains for a line of credit. We may consider that if this offer doesn't go through.

The best part about the new house is that it is just down the road fro DH's parents. I grew up around the corner from my Grandparents and think it would be wonderful for my boys. And my MIL is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met and a dear friend.

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Conviction

>> Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yesterday my oldest asked my why the story of Jonah ended so badly. I proceeded to tell him the highlights of the story, explaining that along the whole way of Jonah's experience, God kept showing him mercy and patience.

At first Jonah refused to obey at all. Then when he saw he had no choice (remember the whale?) he decide to obey, but his obedience was only on the outside (his heart was not in it). He was standing on the inside while sitting on the outside, as the saying goes.

He did as he was told to but afterward went into the desert to pout. Now a man could die in the desert, so God provided shade for Jonah while he pouted. Then a bug ate the plant that was shading him, so Jonah decided he just wanted to die.

In conclusion, I explained that what God had planned for Jonah was not what Jonah thought he wanted. Regardless of all the ways that God had taken care of Jonah, he refused to be happy with what God had for him.

Oh...

Wow...

OUCH...

Conviction.

I think I just found a little bit of Jonah in me.

My life is not what I planned. It is not what I had hoped and dreamed it would be when I was young. And I have struggle greatly in being satisfied with where God has put me.

I guess like Jonah I will only be happy when I realize that God has taken care of me, been gracious to me and this is HIS PLAN for my life.

Or my story can end unhappy like Jonah's. I can hold it against God that He didn't do things my way and risk not being usable by Him for His work.

But that is not what I want.


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Free Digital Craft Magazine delivered to you inbox-- or choose from many others

>> Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Free Crafty Magazine

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2000 hits and an award!

A fellow blogger is handing out awards!

I have only been blogging for a few months so this has made my day!

2222 Visits as of this morning!

WOW.

At first I thought I had so many hits cause I kept having to refresh my pages to view my blog. But I am pretty sure I didn't refresh that many times! LOL!



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Never boring-- a humorous story from my daily life!

My husband is a riot. He loves to experiment with what ever is near by. Especially when he is bored or hungry or waiting in a restaurant for our food to be ready.

Last week we were in our local A&W waiting for them to call his name to get our food. He had already spent some time getting ketchup and napkins and soda.

Still no food.

*Tap-tap* His fingers on the table.

Then he starts looking around for something else to do.

Ah... Heinz Ketchup packets.

He takes a napkin, wraps it around his hand and begins to twist one of the packs of ketchup.

I raised my eye brow at him.

"What?"

"You know that is going to make a mess, right?"

"I have a napkin."

"O-kay."

I decide to just let it go.

At that moment it did go.

The ketchup.

All over.

Him.

The boys laughed *Daddy is so neat!*

DH laughed. So did I.

"Didn't think it make that big a mess." he told me, sheepishly.

Just then they called his name to get the food.

"I'll get the food on the way back from the bathroom-- I'm gonna wash my hands."

I love my husband.

It is never boring.

We ate our dinner and left.

I thought that was the end of the ketchup packet adventures.

I was wrong...

A few days later the boys and I were at BK. I don't usually get them kids meals but they were on sale for $.99 which is how much a regular burger costs me, so I gave in.

I don't know what the worker was thinking putting ketchup in the >KIDS< bag that was going into a CAR.

But anyway.

I'm driving along eating my chicken burger and drinking my diet coke, when I hear:

"OOOPPS" It came from my oldest. It was almost a whisper.

That is one thing you DON'T want to hear when you are driving down the road with two boys and FOOD in the back of the car.

"What?" I asked with dread in my voice.

Then my youngest started squealing with laughter.

Oh no. That CAN'T be good.

I glace back and see ketchup.

On the ceiling of my car.

In my just-detailed-because-someone-broke-out-the-back-window car.

There was a line of ketchup stretching from the dome light all the way down the back window to the back dashboard.

"Daddy's didn't make such a mess." My oldest told me in his own defense.

"Child, don't do that again."

What was I supposed to say? Monkey see monkey do, right?

"Okay, Momma."

I should have paid more attention to see that he actually cleaned it up when we got home.

But a few days later....

We're driving in the car with DH.

DH notices the mark on the ceiling.

"What's on the ceiling?"

"My son," I laughed "tell your father where the stuff on the ceiling came from."

After the story was related DH says, "just because I do it doesn't mean you can."

Yeah.

Right.

That will work.





Who knew such a small thing could cause such an ordeal?



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Moccasins for the Chief, the brave, and the Squaw-- free crochet pattern

By Sarah Forbes, Beyondallmeasure, 2009

See photo here.

Ok, so I HATE math.

But I love to draw and design.

So math is a necessary evil.

This is my design for moccasins with the algebra simplified so the pattern can be adapted to anyone trying to make a shoe for themselves.

(If you want to make it for someone else, you might need to measure their foot in inches and then figure out how many stitches per inch you are crocheting in order to fill in the correct numbers.)

I made my shoes using a G hook and Worsted weight yarn. Look on your yarn package for the recommended hook size. Ch 2 counts as a DC throughout the pattern


*Ch until it spans the narrowest part of your foot (the instep) Count your stitches--that number is A ____

*ch 2, 1 DC in each of the stitches across (number of stitches should equal A____),
Repeat until length of square spans from your heel to your pinkie toe. (Count the number of rows– that number is B______); sole made.

*Chain 2, Now begin double crocheting AROUND the sole of the moccasin. On the short ends, you will crochet ____( A) stitches. Around the long ends you will crochet _____(B)x2=____, spaced so that two stitches are in the sides of each row (evenly space these as best as you can). When all 4 sides are finished, join with a slit stitch to beginning stitch. Repeat rounds until the moccasin sides reach the bottom of the ball of your ankle.

*Now crochet the top of the shoe as follows: DC across the front of the shoe (A), Repeat until moccasin is as tight or as close to your ankle as you wish it.

*Finish off. Weave in ends.

*Repeat for second shoe using notes and numbers from first moccasin.

If you have any problems with this pattern PLEASE email me and let me know!
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Moccasins for your papoose.

>> Monday, May 11, 2009

Pattern by Sarah Forbes, Beyondallmeasure, 2009




With G hook and sport weight yarn of your choice, ch 14.
Row 1: 1 DC in 2nd ch from hk and in ea ch across. Ch 2, turn.
Row 2-4: Repeat row 1. (Sole made)
Row 5:. Ch 2 (working around the sole of the moccasin now.) *14 stitches along long end, 8 stitches evenly spaced along short end* repeat, join with sl st to top of beginning ch 2.
Row 6: (working back and forth now) ch 2 and turn, l Dc in each st along short end of moccasin.
Row 7-10: Repeat row 6. (Tongue of shoe made)
Stitch tongue of shoe down to sides of shoe. Finish off. Weave in ends.

Repeat for other shoe.

Very simple.

Note: if shoe doesn’t stay on baby, I recommend getting elastic cording and weaving it through the crocheted fabric around the ankle opening of the shoes.

This is what the package looks like. It is less than $2 and available at Walmart and Joann's.



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Success in view?


I'm losing weight. It is visible in my face. I am very happy about it. Since I was diagnosed with pre-Diabetes in 2002, I have struggled with my weight. Lord willing, I will be able to get it under control again. Maintaining it is always the true struggle. Especially when there are pregnacies involved.



This picture was taken last summer.

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free salad recipe book download

Get this free book here.

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Shapes and Numbers-- free PreK worksheet

>> Saturday, May 9, 2009

http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=F.2d83078e-d9e1-4c7f-ad28-07f41dcb06b5


Does this work?

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Matching worksheet for Kindergarden-- free download by me!

http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=F.306575be-dea9-4b3b-82e1-65e5e9dcd93a

hopefully this will work. I am trying to upload worksheets that I have been making for my Pre-K/K little one to the internet for sharing... don't know if this will work or not. If it doesn't would you email me?

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MIA-- yep that's me

What an INSANE few weeks:

--First of all Firefox updated and the new version is reeking havoc on my internet experience! The thing is constantly crashing! Hope they fix it soon. I am going crazy!

--We have been sick too. Doesn't seem to want to go away. At my mother's prompting, I looked up swine flu-- and, no, it's not swine flu. My youngest ran a fever as high as 104 for nearly three weeks. I asked the DR and they said so long as Tylenol made it go away, not to worry. So we repeated this cycle: High fever, Tylenol, low fever, high fever, Tylenol, low fever. Finally went away, but we missed a lot of thier swimming lessons. Now I have a head cold and DH has an upset tummy.

--My chicks and ducks are up and out of the box. We set up a temporary pen beside our garage. We thought we were going to be moving, so we didn't want to do anything permenent yet.

--I lost 2 chicks in 24 hours. It was raining cats and dogs (over two inches in just a few hours) and the duck pool filled to the brim. The chicks got into it and drowned. Ugh.... Crying little boys. *sigh*

--I lost the rooster last night. Not sure how, I think one of the neighbor cats must have killed it. (I am pretty sure it wasn't my cat, as he has been chased off a bunch and now seems to leave them alone.)

--My dream house, the one that I *thought* had jumped in price and then wrote that it hadn't.... doesn't matter what the cost is.... the house is *slidding* down the hill it was built (poorly) on. It is GORGEOUS cosmetically... A nightmare structurally.

--SO for now we are staying here in my 700 sq ft. Lord willing we will be adding another 1000 sq ft in the next few months (praise the LORD!) We are in the process of refinancing and getting our ducks in a row for the new building project.

--My mother's day present is my choice of a new stove. DH took me out to dinner and told me. I almost cried! You have to understand that the current stove has been a source of contention. It is from the 60s and classic looking. DH wanted to referbish it. Problem is that, in the meantime, I had to keep using it-- more than once it caught on fire. The tempurature controlls are unpredictable so I burn a lot of stuff. And the stove top has, basically, warm and high. I cannot make rice on the stove top cause it doesn't have any setting that will 'simmer' the rice.

--Prayer request: my sister, who is not walking with the Lord, is talking about sending her 3-1/2 year old to public school (preschool next year). My heart just aches. I'd homeschool him, but I live 20 minutes away and she works full time-- which makes it inconvienent for her. DH is concerned about my nephew's impact on our boys, since he is being raised in a non-Christian home. Please pray that God would make a way for him to be taught in a Christian environment, or, better yet, that He would get ahold of my sister's heart. Her name is Beka. And she's as stubborn as a mule.

-- I have started couponing. I saved over $50 at my local Walmart last week using coupons! I think I am addicted!

--My youngest accepted Jesus last week on our way home from grocery shopping. He was crying cause he felt so sad about all of his sin that he had. And was so sorry that he kept sinning. It was beautiful to see the Holy Spirit showing him his sin and his tender heart toward the things of God. Praise the Lord... both of my children have thier names written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

I have no greater joy than to see that my chilren walk in the truth. (Paraphrase of a verse in 1John.)

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