Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Check out Comfort Joy Designs Giveaway!

G'day Mate! Comfort Joy Designs is hosting a great give-away. It's open to us Yanks in the USA. Check out her blog here: Giveaway. If you like bath and body products you will love checking these prizes out!

I gotta learn how to do one of these Widget thingies - so much to learn, so much to learn!! Being a new blogger has been so much fun - and sometimes exhausting. Seems like my blog is constantly in transition. The exciting thing is I am learning about so many neat tools and tricks out there that can help make your blog even more interesting.

And when I find opportunities like this it makes it even more fun!

Join me at Comfort Joy Designs!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Life. In Pictures. Day 1

Everything But The Grill is sponsoring a Photo Challenge Project through her blog My Life. In Pictures. Day 1 challenges us to take a picture of something new. My choice for something new was a picture of the first dandelion to be spotted in our front yard. It's still cold here - we just had snow last week - the grass isn't even green yet - but that's not stopping this determined weed. I had to restrain my husband long enough to get a photo taken. He takes dandelion invasion of his yard very personally!!

One Cup of Coffee - was it too much to ask for?

Ever have one of those mornings where nothing seems to go as planned? I can already imagine many heads nodding in agreement. Truthfully they happen more often than I'd like to admit.

Just the other day I got up with my daughter to do my daily walk which includes helping her deliver newspapers and dragging our fat beagle along. When I first started this exercise program it was just too much for me to take to walk out the door and see her curled up all warm and comfy on her couch. No, this was just not right. If I couldn't be in my nice warm bed - neither could my dog!! Sorry - digression.

Back to the morning in question. I usually have my side of the street fairly well memorized as to who gets which paper, but on this morning I found myself at the end of the street with an extra paper in hand and for the life of me couldn't figure out who I'd missed. So, I had to backtrack and find the empty front porch.

Once I got home I generously offered to let my teenager have the first shower with a promise that there would be hot water left over for my turn. Then I plodded over to the coffee pot, started the coffee, and plodded back to my room. I looked at my nice warm bed and contemplated if I had enough time to lay down for a bit before the day really kicked in. A glance at my watch said no - not if I wanted time for a shower. So I sat down to check email and blogs and such while my dear daughter finished her shower.

A short time later I heard the shower squeak off and went in for my turn. What was I thinking to let my teenage daughter go first?!!! I sooooo knew better. My shower started off barely tepid and rapidly reached ice cold. Very, very quickly I was out, toweled off and putting on warm clothes. Good thing the teenager's room is in the basement or I might have said something I'd have to apologize for later.

With chattering teeth I approached the coffee pot and **gasp** there was no hot coffee!! How wrong, how cruel - what had happened?? And then, much to my chagrin I realized that I had filled the carafe with water and but had forgotten to pour said water into the well in the coffee pot before hitting the brew button. Grumbling to myself I added the water and made extra sure that I actually hit the brew button before walking away.

As I headed back down the hall to wake up the younger two sisters I heard a blood-curdling wail come from their bedroom and my middle child came tearing out of her room. She barely paused long enough to say, "Moooommmmm, you didn't wake me up early - I forgot I needed to finish my science review - I'll never get it done now!!" Yes, as you can imagine she is my most dramatic child. I didn't bother to try to reason with her that she had never asked me to wake her up early and that I had asked her twice last night to double check her assignment list and make sure everything was finished. Nope, instead I ducked into their bedroom to comfort the youngest of my three darling daughters who had woken up after her sister's shriek and was crying in her bed. Thankfully she was happy to just wrap herself up in Mommy's lap be held until both of us felt able to face the other two.

On a positive note I finally did get my cup of coffee. My body temperature returned to normal and all of us made it to school/work on time. We even had breakfast, were dressed, hair brushed, homework completed and no one forgot a backpack or purse. Not bad - considering...

Win a Video Camera & Help Save A Life

Hey, Folks!

This is definitely a win/win opportunity. Go check out Resourceful Mommy's blog at this link for more info: http://resourcefulmommy.blogspot.com/2009/03/win-digital-video-camera-and-help-save.html

This is a quote from her Team Page at the March of Dimes site:

"When our first child, Emma, was born two months early, we had no idea the challenges we would face and the support we would need. The March of Dimes provided us with information, answers, and emotional support through what was the toughest time of our lives. The technology they helped discover not only saved Emma's life, but it helped me to carry my second child to full term. We're walking to give EVERY baby their full 9 months..."

If you are inspired by this then check out her page at March of Dimes here: http://www.marchforbabies.org/s_team_page.asp?SeId=628072


Friday, March 27, 2009

Just when I was getting a bit too cocky...

Well, it's been a whole month now and I'm still getting up to walk to every morning. If you've caught my blog in February you also know that these early AM walks include helping my oldest daughter deliver newspapers.

I have to say after a few weeks I was feeling like I was pretty hot stuff. My sleep cycle was adjusting so I wasn't completely exhausted every morning. The weather was generally pretty tolerable and I was getting rather adept at tossing those paper sticks on people's front porches. Oh, yes, I would trot - or rather walk briskly - down the block and deftly flick my wrist and the papers would land neatly on their porches and off I'd go with barely a hint of a pause between houses.

It's at this time that I would actually really start to wake up and realize that I had missed the porch and had to go retrieve the paper from the bushes or window well it had landed in. That wasn't as bad as the time my throw went completely wild and the paper landed on the roof. I was trying to imagine the look on the people's faces when I came back later in the day to tell them they might want to get the newspaper out of their gutter before it overflowed during a rain storm.

I then began wondering how honest I wanted to be about just how I knew said newspaper was in their rain-gutter. So, I ended up climbing up their front porch railing and precariously reaching up and flicking the paper out of their gutter and kicking it onto the porch. Thank God the railing was sturdy and I didn't fall and they didn't pick that moment to walk out of their front door to get their morning newspaper!! I did have to put up with a bit of harassment from my first-born, though, who had come back to check up on me when she realized she was finished on her side of the block and Mom was no where to be found.

As if the roof incident wasn't enough - our prayers for moisture were answered with a lovely spring snowstorm that dumped several inches overnight. After plowing throughing snowdrift after snow drift and retrieving several papers that simply slid from one side of a porch and off the other I was exhausted. And sore. And badly wanted a cup of coffee and a donut. No one volunteered to run out for donuts, though, so I settled for a warm cup of coffee, turned on my computer and was very excited to comes across a blog which offered an added incentive to keep getting up and plodding along in the mornings. 2nd Cup of Coffee is having "30 x5 for 2 Weeks." Check out the button below to visit the post which explains it.

And because I'm succeptable to subliminal suggestions - I'm going to go get a 2nd cup of coffee myself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Join Me at the Ultimate Blog Party 2009!!

My friends in Bible study will probably be reminding me that I admitted to spending too time much cruising various blogs on the web - and they would be right to hold me accountable - and I promise to get back to work just as soon as I share what I found
today while pursuing my internet addiction:

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

It's my first time joining in on a "Blog Party" and so far it's been a lot of fun participating in it! They have prizes they are giving to folks who participate. There's a lot to look at - I so hope you enjoy roaming the party as I have!!

Okay - and now I'm getting back to work - I promise!!!

PS: Almost forgot to include my wish list for prizes that would be awesome to win:

1 — $100 gift certificate to either Pedal Cars and Retro (http://www.pedalcarsandretro.com/) or A Rocking Horse To Love (http://www.a-rocking-horse-to-love.com/)
Provided by: 5 Minutes for Mom

4 –T-Shirt from our new spring line
Provided by: tottieBEAN (http://www.tottiebean.com/)

USC 74 — set of the Maximum Ride series of books (5 books) from Marta’s Meanderings
Provided by: Marta’s Meanderings (http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com/) courtesy of Hachette Book Group

USC 56 — 1 (One) $25 Gift Card to Target
Provided by: Full Circle (http://coloradodentons.blogspot.com/)

PS - Almost forgot to include my wish list for prizes that would be awesome to win:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let the driveling begin...

I need to start adding pictures to my blog. And I need to keep reading other blogs to get ideas about what to write about and how to make mine more interesting - not to just to anyone who might happen to read it, but also to me. Sometimes I log on and have absolute writer's block - okay most times I log on, I feel that way, but I also am determined to keep writing SOMETHING whether anyone reads it or not.

I also need to use some of the other great blogs as motive to find ways to improve my own. Or simply let myself enjoy them rather than letting myself get jealous of them. Some people are really good at blogging on just about any topic and I let myself worry too much about wasting Internet space by filling it up with mindless drivel. Guess if all I have is mindless drivel to offer better start working on making it the best mindless drivel on the net!! There - that's a much more positive mindset.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Seriously or Literally???

So, this is one of the things that has been troubling me lately. I was in our church's Lenten bible study a couple of Sunday nights ago and we were talking about this passage in the Bible from Matthew:

Matthew 14:25 - 30

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

Our discussion question seemed simple enough, "Why did Peter sink?" A few folks said things like - Peter was fine until he took his eyes off Jesus and let the wind distract him. It's analogous to our own lives - we do so much better when our focus is on God and can sink in the muck when we take our focus off of Him.

One lady, though, started talking about how she has struggled with passages like this and understanding how a real person could walk on water. In other classes she's learned that it probably happened because they were in a part of the lake that wasn't very deep or had rocks under the water that Peter & Jesus could stand on and just "looked" like they were walking on the water.

Now I've heard this before, so it wasn't new, but what got me thinking was that I felt like I should have some kind of response to her that would respect her opinion and yet, still be able to say to her, "But what if it's true? What if it really was a miracle? Why is it so hard to believe that the God of this universe could WALK ON THE WATER?" Okay, in my head I was ranting, but I kept my mouth shut. I am insecure enough as it is and believe that I am viewed as "a bit of a religious nut" even for most of my church friends, so I didn't say anything. I wanted to, though. I felt somehow I was missing an opportunity for both me and this lady to share in something meaningful.

I mean, I love the Bible. It is truly God's word to me. Now does this mean I have to choose sides? Am I a Literal Bible studier or a Serious Bible studier? The thought that comes to my mind is - "So, what if Jesus was just walking on rocks? So what if the water was just shallow? Don't you get that you are missing the point???"

I realized later than in a way I felt sorry for this lady. She seemed to truly be searching and my ability to both accept the fact Jesus & Peter were just rock-hopping AND still see the miracle in the point of the story is a gift. I do have a gift of faith and sometimes I want so much to share it with others, but experience has taught me that not everyone gets it the same way I do. Not my friends who take the Bible seriously and literally or my friends who would say they take it seriously, but not literally. I fall somewhere in between maybe????

Rev. Trudy said something in her sermon Sunday morning that really spoke to me about this after I'd wrestled with it in my head all week. I'm paraphrasing what Rev. Trudy said, but it went something like this: Trudy had a class in seminary where the students were having a discussion that got rather theological and academic until one student who had been very quiet the whole time spoke up. This student said that she had no need for a God who was powerless. She said she had been brutally abused as a child and when she suffering the most she needed to know that her God was capable of being down in the dirt and suffering right along with her. I wanted to jump up in church and say "Yes, that's what I needed to respond to the lady in the Lenten study." Of course, I didn't actually jump up in church. But it got me thinking some more. I, Kathy, have no need of a God who can't do miracles. I need one who is capable of things beyond my wildest imaginations. When life is tough and hard and seems impossible I need a Savior who can walk right next to me and rise above all that. I don't need to understand how - I just need the faith that He literally can do whatever it takes - seriously.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Siesta Scripture for March 1

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”- Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 (NIV)

Okay - I'm jumping in late as usual, but better late than never - especially when it comes to doing something that will undoubtedly be good for me. I'm going to try to memorize scripture with Beth Moore and her Siesta's. If you wonder what the heck I'm talking about you can check out her blog on the link posted on my page. Basically we are to pick a new scripture on the 1st & 15th of each month - post it on her board and then work on memorizing or at least familiarizing ourselves with it for the next couple of weeks. I used to be good at memorizing when I was younger, but I have to admit it's gotten to be a bit more challenging as I've gotten older and takes a bit more work.

I have always liked this verse when I ran across it, but have also found myself challenged by it. It is sobering to think that while I like what it tells me to do - I am not good at putting it into practice. I THINK about God's commandments a lot, but when it comes to taking those thoughts and getting them past my lips I haven't done so well. I want to be able to talk about God's word with anyone, but especially with those I love the most. It should not be hard for me, but it is. So here is one step towards giving up that bastion of fear in my life and stepping out and opening up my mouth - and hopefully, letting God worry about the consequences.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lent 2009 - what's happening this year.....

I shared the following post on a Facebook discussion board talking about what people are doing for Lent this year and how it's going. I'm trying to post more frequently on this blog, so I figured I'd use the same post. Not sure it that's cheating, but figured chances are good that not too many of the same people read both.

During most of my childhood Lent held no real significance. I grew up Methodist and if any of the pastors or churches encouraged us to any kind of action or self-reflection or sacrifice I was not paying any attention. Then one day my best friend in high school - who was and still is Catholic - asked me what I was giving up for Lent. This was a completely foreign concept to me, so she gladly explained Lent to me from her perspective. Then she asked me again - "Well, now that you know what it is, what are you giving up?" I tried to get out of it by saying that Protestants don't have to do stuff like that for Lent. She refused to let me off the hook by telling me that my denomination didn't matter. If I loved God like I claimed I did I should be willing to show it in some significant way for what is really a very small period of time. I remember thinking somewhat irreverently that God might have chosen to give me a best-friend who was Methodist - would that have been too much to ask? So, I ended up using her example of giving up chocolate for what remained of Lent.

Since then my personal observance has been rather sporadic - although I did start noticing that my churches actually did encourage some kind of participation in Lent. And then a few years ago my own high school age daughter asked me what we should do for Lent. Must be something about those teen years. We decided to give up soda pop. After all it's really not that good for us anyway and we would just avoid buying any with our groceries. Unfortunately, we went on a trip for Spring Break and broke down about the 4th day of eating out and not ordering a coke. It was a great disappointment to both of us.

Last year was a rough one because instead of giving up something I decided to add something. I decided that for Lent I was going to attend worship every Sunday. Our church had been through some very rough experiences in the past few years. My family had been through some challenges during the same time. I still lead my adult Sunday school class, but that was the extent of my Sunday morning participation. For someone who had lived most of her life attending church faithfully every Sunday this was a significant lapse. Our church has three different services on Sunday morning, too, so it wasn't like I had a good excuse either. After almost a year of managing to skip worship God finally was not letting me off the hook. It was probably the best experience during Lent I've ever had because it brought me back into honest fellowship with my church family whom I love very, very much. And it brought me to a closer relationship with God-whom I also love very, very much. And that, I believe, is supposed to be part of our Lenten experience.

This year seems somewhat anti-climatic compared to last year, but I found a list on the www.umc.org website inside an article on called "Lent 101." I'm trying to do #2 on the list which is to say a prayer every time I check my email - which is probably far too often, but I work at a computer all day and it is easily accessible!! So far, it's going pretty well. I find myself stopping to think after I've looked at my email if I remembered to pray or not. If not then I try to take a minute and do it then. It's been a neat way to keep my focus off of just me during the day. These prayers have also helped to keep me in close conservation with God which certainly can't hurt either.

Thanks for letting me share!

In Christ,

Kathy S.