Sunday, December 31, 2006

I'm back, new Blogger, etc.

I have returned from my unplanned blog hiatus. Before and directly after Christmas Day I was so busy that I couldn't take time to blog. (I also didn't get enough sleep and didn't take my vitamins.) The result of all of that is that I ended up with a nasty cold and bronchitis. I felt so rotten I could hardly focus to read, let alone write.

Although I am feeling quite a bit better, I want to be sure that I am no longer contagious before I go near many people, so I am home from church this morning. This isn't going to be the most exciting new Year's Eve! We also missed out on a gathering of friends in Ohio yesterday. That was a disappointment to all of us.

I switched to the new Blogger this morning. I waited as long as I could, but the time had come. I will enjoy using the labels for the posts.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A total waste of time

Yes, this penguin game is a total waste of time. But it is hilarious.

Speaking of penguins:

HT: Jottings and Such

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Christmas Story

One of the favorite traditions that our family has at Christmas time is a brief portrayal of the Christmas story from Luke's gospel. The kids have been doing this since our 16, 18, & 20 yr olds were tiny children. Each year my mom alters and adds costumes to accomodate growing bodies and new players. She produces and directs. She herds the littlest angels. (Although she can't always get 100% participation from the younger set.)

There were the usual moments of levity that are to be expected when the cast is composed of a bunch of goofy kids. But there was also the sweetness and the story that never changes.

Monday, December 18, 2006


When a friend named her blog Favorite Apron, a very clear picture came to mind. It was a yellow/gold ruffled apron. It was voluminous. It had sleeves that covered the sleeves of a good dress. It was an apron that allowed someone to engage in serious cooking without endangering clothes.

This apron lived in the apron drawer in my Grandma Caston's kitchen. It was a wide drawer full of aprons of all shapes and sizes. I loved to help my grandma in the kitchen. And I almost always wore an apron.

I wish that I had a couple of grandma's aprons. Partly because I am sentimental and I would love to have that little bit of her in my kitchen and partly because I could use a couple of good aprons.

I am a messy cook. I wear an apron most of the time when I cook. It's a denim bib apron that I earned as a sales incentive from a book company. It is very servicable and does a pretty great job of protecting my clothes. But it isn't feminine. So I'm on a mission to find some sweet old aprons. They won't be my grandma's, but I'll still enjoy wearing them.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Not hunting today

I always enjoy choosing my pictures for the Saturday Photo Hunt, but we have our first Christmas get together with the extended family today in Anderson, so we are in a frenzy of preparation this morning.

Tomorrow is the kids program at church and the sing-along Messiah being hosted by the Bach Collegium. I hope that the predicted 60 degree weather doesn't cut into the Messiah crowd, but I think it probably will.

I will leave you with a picture or two.

The first is Andrew playing air guitar in a long wig. The second is Patrick dressed for running to the mailbox in the snow last week.

Still looking for ideas

If you like making gifts for Christmas and are still looking for some ideas Scribbit has some great ones on her blog.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A new can't miss blog

I have a regular round of blogs that I try to catch at least every day. I have a new addition this week in the (mostly) theology category: House, M.Div. I prescribe that you go read it. It will be good for you.

HT: Aardvark

...or not

As is so often the case nothing around here went according to plan yesterday, so I am now behind on my cookie making. Today promises to be a busy enough day without haveing stuff from yesterday added, but I have to squeeze in some cookie time today.

I have a warning for all of you: Don't go to Target at 5:30 at night! There are seriously stressed out people there at that time of night driving dangerously out-of-control carts and dragging seriously exhausted and hugry children. I managed to get out with a few gifts and with only a small bruise on my ankle from a runaway cart.

We had the second of our dinners from On My Thyme yesterday since I ended up being out all day and Colin and I had a dance lesson last night. It was pork chops baked with sweet potatoes, apples, onions, and raisins in a soy-based sauce. It was absolutely delicious! This is definitely going to become a regular part of the (lack of) routine around here.

Today my mom is coming for a visit. I had hoped to be able to relax and enjoy it, but I don't think I'll be able to stop working on things. At least the meat for the dinner at church tonight is in the crockpot. I hope I got it in on time. I couldn't sleep last night so I woke up late this morning.

If you homeschool and you're in Fort Wayne, check out Pastor Petersen's blog. Greek will be offered to homeschoolers after the first of the year at Redeemer.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

C is for Cookie

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is baking cookies. Right now I have about 25 dozen in the freezer and this afternoon I am planning to get another 15 dozen or so baked.

So far we have Ginger Crinkles, Snickerdoodles sprinkled with red sugar, Spritz, and some yummy cookies simply called Christmas Cookies that have cornflakes, rolled oats, and pecans.

I also have the dough made up for my cut out sugar cookies. We'll make those this afternoon along with our Mexican Wedding Cakes and my White Christmas Crinkles. Friday is for the cookies made with dates.


Monday, December 11, 2006

A little of this a little of that

Colin and I went out to dinner and dancing Friday night and the kids ate the first of our dinners from On My Thyme. They ate the beef wet burritos and it not only fed all four of them, but it also provided Patrick with his late night snack, a.k.a. second supper, and Bethany and I with lunch the next day. We all found them to be delicious.

Speaking of dancing, if you are in or near the Fort Wayne area there is such a deal being offered by our dance studio right now:
This is a fantastic deal. You would pay more than this for just one open dance. We have been dancing for almost exactly a year now, taking about two private lessons a month, and I can't believe how much we have learned! We can dance waltz, foxtrot, swing, rumba, tango, salsa, hustle, & cha-cha well enough to get through a song and enjoy it. We are still learning how to do each of these better--more style, more steps, etc.--as well as working on a few other dances. It is great exercise and a wonderful way to spend time with your spouse!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The theme is Red

I may be in trouble for this one.:)

The theme for this week is red. I love this picture of my daughter wearing a bright red wig for Halloween a couple of years ago.


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Where do the days go?

December just started and already it's the 7th. How does that happen?

We had a blast at On My Thyme. Julie tells a bit about it on her blog. I can't wait to try the food that we made. Everything looked and smelled delicious. I'm already looking forward to going next month!

Speaking of Julie, if you have kids to buy gifts for her books are great. My nieces and nephews have all received at least one of them. (Yes, Aunt Jane buys books for presents. Isn't that a big surprise?!)

As I sit here the snow is gorgeous coming down outside my office window. Earlier today it was snowing here, but, as I drove across town it was completely clear. That snow never did move east. I wonder if this is getting the rest of town.

The soup for the advent supper is bubbling on the stove and the brownies just came out of the oven. We always look so forward to these pre-Advent service suppers!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Trying something new

Tomorrow night I'm trying something new in the perpetual battle to get dinner on the table. I am going with three friends to On My Thyme, where we will each prepare six entrees of about six servings each to take home. I know we'll have a good time; I just hope my family likes the food.

They aren't picky eaters, but I am a good cook and they are accustomed to my cooking. My husband was concerned about what meals these would be replacing and I assured him that these entrees would be for the nights that are currently covered by frozen pizzas or quick stops by the sub shop. These will be called into service on those nights that I just don't have time to cook.

I'm looking forward to this. Friends, wine, food, & conversation. I'll let you know what we think.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bookworm status

I have a hard time resisting a quiz. Especially if it involves books.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

HT: Homestead Lutheran Academy

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Seeing the light

Today's theme was light(s). I had a little bit of trouble because I knew I had some pictures but I couldn't find them. Then I figured out that they just never made it onto my computer. The first is a picture of the IPL building in downtown Indianapolis. I'm guessing that at this time of year the lights have changed to a Christmas theme. The second piture is my husband, who carries his own personal light source with him. The third is the lights of LA from a plane. I have flown into lots of big cities at night, but LA seemed to go on forever!


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Friday, December 01, 2006

Finding Myself

I've known a number of women over the years who hit my age, plus or minus five years, and decided to dramatically change their lives. This usually involves jettisoning a husband. One acquaintance even left the kids behind, and ran away to find herself. For some the action isn't as destructive and involves starting a new career or heading back to school.

I've been going through a bit of this reevaluating for the last couple of years. It put me into a funk, finding myself to be a failure by the standards that I had been raised with. I was raised to be a career woman, told repeatedly from the time I was small that I could do anything that I wanted. As a teen I was pushed toward high-earning career options. I earned scholarships and awards. I was on my way.

But instead of going the high-powered career route I married at 21, started having children immediately and spent ten years trying to juggle college and a desire for a career with the realities of motherhood. When I was 31 we began homeschooling, more as a matter of necessity than choice and I was committed to being something I had never dreamed of being: a stay-at-home-mom.

Over the years I've been in and out of home businesses. I've dabbled with my writing. I've done tons of volunteer work. But I've always had in the back of my mind that this is all temporary, until I start doing what I'm really going to do.

I started realizing a couple of years ago that this is my life. There's something about losing a parent and having a child reach young adulthood--not to mention not being able to do cartwheels anymore--that brings home the truth about life progressing.

So I've spent the last couple of years accomplishing very little. I've let my business languish. My house is a wreck. I've written nothing of substance. I've lost touch with old friends. Oh, I've been busy enough. Volunteering is a good way to get out of doing what you need to do at home. No one can criticize you for having a messy house when you are involved in all kinds of stuff.

I finally decided about two months ago that I needed to seriously look at things and figure out what direction my life was taking and was going to take. Don't worry. The husband and kids weren't on the chopping block. Homeschooling was, but only for a brief time. I took a hint from the way my husband does things and I made a spreadsheet of positives and negatives of all kinds of different things. I looked at the impact lots of things have on our family and our life and figured out what was staying and going.

Homeschooling is almost all positive. It stays. My business is all positive except for the stress I feel when I don't work. It stays. For the last couple of months I've been doing less shopping, less dreaming, more cooking, more cleaning, more reading and writing. I've always spent lots of time with my kids. That stays. Going out to lunch with friends once in a while stays.

The main thing that has changed is my attitude. I am actually starting to enjoy the more mundane parts of my life. I'm even going to sit down before the first of the year and get my checkbook balanced. Maybe I've finally grown up.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Matters of life and death

I've had many opportunities over the past several years to grapple with issues of life and death. There were the decisions to be made about my father's care when he was dying of cancer. There were issues to talk through with my mother as my grandfather' health failed and she tried to decide what kind of care would help him live out his days with the most comfort, both mental and physical. When Terry Schiavo was all over the news my children and I had many conversations about life, what it is, and who is and should be in control of its beginning and end.

Issues at the end of life are often gray. Not isues encompassing active euthanasia or even the overmedicating that is often seen with hospice patients, but questions about how certain medications may prolong or shorten life, what kind of feeding and hydration are the best choices and many other details.

Issues at the beginning of life, however, aren't gray. A woman is pregnant or she is not. The child in her womb is alive and growing or it is not. It is as black and white as can be.

A friend on one of the many email lists that I am on informed us today that her daughter had an abortion last week. This 23 year old woman had decided that the "relationship" that she was in wasn't working, so a baby wouldn't either. The baby hadn't yet begun moving so she "didn't have any sense that there was a baby yet." She felt that it was the best decision for her.

I read this email and sat in my chair and cried. How can someone so lightly throw away the gift of life? This mother was "proud" of the decision that her daughter had made. It somehow showed "strength." What?! Where is the strength in killing our children?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's about TIME

The theme today is TIME. I wanted to use a picture of the cool water clock at the Indianapolis Childrens Museum, but I didn't have a clear enough one. So I started thinking about ways to show the passage of time. I thought that this tombstone of one of our distant relatives shows the passage of time in many ways, including by the weathering of the stone.

Now I'm off to shop!


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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking a break after the first four hours of food prep at my mom's. This is one of my favorite days of the year. My mom and I--with some help from Bethany--cook all day. My step-dad passes in and out, getting in the way and messing with things. As the afternoon progresses everyone starts arriving with their contributions, including my step-sister Susan with her incredible Sugar Cream Pie.

The food will be out of this world, especially the famous stuffing, and we'll all ooh and ah as we eat it.
And if I'm lucky, my mom will send home some leftovers.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pre-Advent Christmas Meme

Saw this on a homeschooling buddy's blog and couldn't resist even though it isn't even Advent yet.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Eggnog with Brandy and whipped cream

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Mom wraps

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We have white lights outside and colored lights inside.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope

5. When do you put up your decorations? Out door: after Thanksgiving Indoor: throughout the month Tree: As close to Christmas as possible, leaving it up through Epiphany.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I think I would have to say my Grandma's noodles that no one else knew how to make. Every year I think I'll try to duplicate them.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Going to church at 11:00 on Christmas Eve and the cold stillness afterward.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? In third grade a boy in my class told me, so I had to spy and see if he was right. :)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Lights, ornaments, and curly ribbons. Our oranaments are a total mishmash.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! If it's gonna be cold we might as well have snow!

12. Can you ice skate? Not a chance.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My guitar when I was 13.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Going to church on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning with my family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cookies!!!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Baking hundreds of Christmas cookies to share with everyone

17. What tops your tree? Angel

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I love buying presents for people.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Overall, probably Hark the Herald Angels Sing, just thinking about the words Of the Father's Love Begotten

20. Candy Canes - yuck or yummy? Yucky & sticky

I think there needs a number 21. Christmas Trees - real or fake? Absolutely real and when it’s possible, a family trip to the farm to chop it down fresh.

I totally agree!! We love going to chop down our tree!

I tag…Anyone who wants to do this…..please leave me a comment and let me know you played so I can check out your answers.

Here are the boys last year:

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Birthday, Toddles!

A slightly-belated happy 40th birthday to my baby brother. This is him holding the gift that he got from his best friend. We hope he won't need these for a while.

Oooh, plush!

Today's Scavenger hunt theme is plush. This morning found me roaming around the house with the camera looking for "plush." Then I looked down at my own feet. Aha! The other shot is of the huntress. She's not as plush a the sweet kitty, but she's pretty plush!


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Friday, November 17, 2006

One Word

I saw this on Favorite Apron and couldn't resist.

1. Yourself: procrastinating
2. Your spouse: busy
3. Your hair: flat
4. Your mother: beautiful
5. Your father: dead
6. Your favorite item: books
7. Your dream last night: bizarre
8. Your favorite drink: cappucino
9. Your dream car: zippy
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: none
12. Your fear: failure
13. What you want to be in 10 years? alive
14. Who you hung out with last night? Bethany
15. What you’re not? neat
16. Muffins: cranberry
17. One of your wish list items: vacation
18. Time: flying
19. The last thing you did: email
20. What you are wearing: flannel
21. Your favorite weather: Sunny
22. Your favorite book: Katherine
23. The last thing you ate: bar
24. Your life: zoo
25. Your mood: stressed
26. Your best friend: Colin
27. What are you thinking about right now? money
28. Your car: minivan
29. What are you doing at the moment? blogging
30. Your summer: crazy
31. Your relationship status: happy
32. What is on your TV? : news
33. What is the weather like? grey
34. When is the last time you laughed? five minutes ago

Library thing

I have a new obsession. I have discovered Library Thing. What is a bibliophile to do? The only possible answer is to start entering books. Wow.

So far I've just been grabbing a bunch from here and a bunch from there to enter. I'm going to have to organize this somehow. One thing I'm realizing is that I have stopped buying much fiction aside from classics. There are a couple of exceptions, but not many, and those tend to be multiples of certain authors.

This is fun. It has awakened my inner librarian. (Don't laugh, Lisa.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lutheran Survivor

For a bit of goofy fun check out Lutheran Survivor. Currently the competition is between Lutheran actors.

HT: Katie's Beer

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Doing good deeds?

My friend Susan has a great post on her blog about "Acts of Mercy." Be sure to read the comments. The Rebellious Pastor's Wife points out another aspect of the discussion, the real WHY of good works.

This all dovetails quite nicely with an article that is in the latest Issues, Etc. Journal taking on the increased focus in many evangelical circles on "Deeds, not creeds." Get your hands on a copy of it if you can. Rick Warren, purpose-driven guru is proposing a second Reformation, saying that the "first Reformation was about belief; this one is going to be about behaviour." Umm, wasn't the point of the Reformation that we can't be good enough, but that God's grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus saves us? It sounds more like an un-doing of the Reformation.

Does this mean we don't do good deeds, that we don't engage in acts of mercy? Of course not. As RPW points out we do them because of our faith. However, I have seen churches--in fact, been a member--where Susan's concerns are born out. Where the focus of the congregation is on "doing." Where the Sunday sermons are a weak law of exhortation to do good works but none of the strong killing law followed by the sweet gospel that we are blessed with in our congregation. The message of Jesus' death and resurrection for our salvation is overshadowed by raking the leaves, collecting the coats, feeding the free dinner, etc.

As Susan points out many of our acts of mercy are done in the course of our every day lives. The small acts of kindness or compassion that we do: taking dinner to a sick neighbor, driving an elderly person to church (or the doctor, or the polls), providing an extra pair of hands for the mom who is trying to wrestle a toddler and a stroller through a door (these women need help!), on and on. Organized efforts to do good aren't intrinsically bad, but the motives shouldn't be a bait-and-switch "get them in the door with food," and they shouldn't guilt people--especially moms--into neglecting home and family, as so often happens.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Having another look

I decided a few months back that I was going to re-visit some fiction that I read when I was in high school and hadn't re-read since. Last week I finally got around to the first of these books and I'm reading Vanity Fair. I did a term paper on Vanity Fair my junior year in high school and I've seen the movie with Reese Witherspoon, but much about the book seems unfamiliar.

There is a lot of depth that I missed as a 16 year old and the movie is made to make certain characters--especially Becky--more likeable than they really are. Next I want to move on to some books that I didn't like when I read them the first time and see if I get more out of them now.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Today's theme is growth

There were lots of pictures that I could have used today, but I decided to choose these two for two entirely different reasons. The first is my youngest son at his confirmation. This process was a time of great personal growth for him as he took responsibility for the learning that he needed to do as well as growth in knowledge and understanding of what he believes and why. He started to grow up.

The second picture is of one of the old buildings that my daughter and I love and the plants that are taking it over.


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Friday, November 10, 2006

My new homeschool blog

A move of my homeschool blog has been in the planning stages for months. Tonight it is finally accomplished. I moved the good content from my old homeschooling blog and left the dregs behind. The new blog is here for those who are interested.

Lest my last post sounded too whiny

I have to make sure that anyone who is reading my blog knows that I am fully aware of, and thankful for, my many blessings. In the grand scheme of things cars that are lemons and houses that have one surprise flaw after another are small stuff.

I have four wonderful, healthy kids. I have a husband who is an excellent provider, a great father, and is smart, funny, loving and adorable. (Plus he just let me go away and scrapbook for a whole weekend!) I have a family that I wouldn't trade one member of, whether we're talking blood relative, in-law, or step.

I have incredible friends--even you democrats :)--and a church that feels like family where Word & Sacrament are faithfully and abundantly administered.

I know that I've got it very good.

All depends on our possessing
God's abundant grace and blessing,
Though all earthly wealth depart.
He who trusts with faith unshaken
In His God is not forsaken
And e'er keeps a dauntless heart.

He who hitherto hath fed me
And to many joys hath led me,
Is and ever shall be mine.
He who did so gently school me,
He who still doth guide and rule me,
Will remain my Help divine.

Many spend their lives in fretting
Over trifles and in getting
Things that have no solid ground.
I shall strive to win a treasure
That will bring me lasting pleasure
And that now is seldom found.

When with sorrow I am stricken,
Hope my heart anew will quicken,
All my longing shall be stilled.
To His loving-kindness tender
Soul and body I surrender;
For in Him alone I build.

Well He knows what best to grant me;
All the longing hopes that haunt me,
Joy and sorrow, have their day.
I shall doubt His wisdom never,--
As God wills, so be it ever,--
I to Him commit my way.

If on earth my days He lengthen,
He my weary soul will strengthen;
All my trust in Him I place.
Earthly wealth is not abiding,
Like a stream away is gliding;
Safe I anchor in His grace.


Hymn #425 from _The Lutheran Hymnal_
Text: Prov. 10:22
Author: unknown, c. 1673
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1858, alt.
Titled: "Alles ist an Gottes Segen"
Composer: Johann B. Koenig, 1738
Tune: "Alles ist an Gottes Segen"

The real concrete woes of my life

You all remember how I was so excited about my new kitchen sink? Well, because the counter was badly cut out under the old sink, and the old sink was about 1/8" wider than standard, the new sink is too small by 1/16 inch on each side.

A sink that would work is $800.

We can probably get a new countertop for less than that, but I *hate* the thought of putting a new countertop into this kitchen. I'm afraid, though, that that's probably what is going to have to happen to get it ready to sell.

The thought wouldn't be quite so odious if I hadn't just sunk another $1100 into my car this week and if the property taxes weren't due Monday.

Goodbye Beggars

As I have feared for the last several days, Beggar's All is no more. I didn't know if they were somehow hijacked or chose to go. The latter is the case, and they will be missed.

There are several other blogs in my blogroll that have gone away, so I guess some clean up is in order.

UPDATE: Here's the the explanation for what happened to Beggar's All. This was posted on Lutherquest, so try not to stumble off the path.

HT: Beckfest

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I had a dream

I was just too despondent to post about the election yesterday. Rush really summed up a lot of what I've been thinking.

Then last night I had a dream. It had a horror movie feel: big old farmhouse, dark outside, some unnamed menace lurking just beyond the doors. Then we started finding the bodies. There were quite a few people in the house and one by one they were showing up dead. We all seemed to know who was responsible, but it hadn't been spoken yet in the dream.

As we all stood around trying to decide what to do and if there was any way we could get home to get our guns--Scott was the only person who had one--one of the women pulled a severed head out of her handbag, screamed, and said, "Who did this?!"

One of the men yelled, "Those d__ Democrats!" The lurking menace was revealed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Gussy!

Today is my baby's eleventh birthday. He has choir this morning and then after that I am taking him out for Indian food for lunch (his pick.)

Since he and I have birthdays very close together we will have a shared cake--Harvey Wallbanger or German Chocolate--in a couple of days when his daddy returns from a business trip. This weekend he gets to visit grandma for a few days and go birthday shopping, a nice little tradition that the two of them have developed.

I'm not sure yet what he's getting for his birthday. We've talked about a new bike when spring arrives. Those legs just keep growing!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I am thoroughly exhausted tonight, but in a good way.

It was a satisfactory day working at the polls. Everything went quite smoothly at my three precincts, although I was surprised at the turnout. It was not large.

For all of the angst the Indiana Dems have had over our new voter ID laws my heavily Democrat, lower-income, largely minority precincts--which also includes a large nursing home--had not one single problem wth it. They seem to see it the same way most of the people I know do: as a common sense way to help preserve the integrity of our elections.

One new element that made today even better is that my hubby served as one of my clerks.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Anticipating the chocolate harvest

In anticipation of tomorrow's celebratory gathering in of the chocolate, I give you my favorite picture of the black cat deciding if the pumpkin is food or not. He decided not and had no more interest in it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

This weeks' theme is SAFE. That was a really difficult theme for me. We seem to have lots of pictures that epitomize "UNSAFE." But finally I chose this one of my oldest son, Patrick, wielding the "Sword of Hypocrisy" (so named by him) valiantly keeping us safe from our neighbors. (Or from the pernicious influences of suburbia.)


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Friday, October 27, 2006

Addition to Blog Roll

I've added a new must-read blog to my blog roll: Chaplain to the World.

Go read it.

There's nothing like live music

Tonight we had the extreme good fortune to attend the Fort Wayne premiere of the Fort Wayne Baroque Strings as part of the Bachtoberfestiva to benefit the Bach Collegium. It was incredible!

I have always enjoyed Vivaldi, but to hear his music performed on period instruments, from just a few feet away was wonderful. The musicians were all of a very high caliber and watching them was certainly part of the fun.

If you're in the Fort Wayne area there is another chance to see and hear them as part of the Reformation Vespers service at St. John's Lutheran Church in Bingen. (HWY 27 between Fort Wayne & Decatur.) The service is at 7:00 Sunday with a discussion time beginning at 6:30. The Bach Collegium will also be singing at the service.

New Music

Well, new for me at least.

I purchased two CD's this week. I bought Five for Fighting's two lights, because I heard them on Fox and Friends last week. No, really, I've enjoyed their sound since the first time I heard Superman, but I kept thinking that I'd just put some songs on my iPod. But since I still don't have an iPod....

The other CD that I bought is Still the Same...Great Rock Classics of Our Time done by Rod Stewart. I am really enjoying this CD. Rod does covers of some classic '70s songs. (Bob Seger, The Pretenders, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison to name a few of the original performers) If you like Rod Stewart and you like '70s rock you'll almost certainly like this CD.

Of course, this is what suits my mood today. Tomorrow I may very well have my Sugarhill Gang CD back out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Taking a break

Life has been a bit exhausting lately. I had intended to get back to my long-neglected business last Monday. Then my grandpa died and my schedule went out the window.

I'm a pretty emotional person and goodbyes are hard for me. I used to cry every time we left Indiana to go back to Chicago. I even cry sometimes when I finish a good book because I get attached to the characters. So you can imagine what effect deaths of real people have on me. I am not good for anything until at least a day after the funeral.

I've also been needing to spend lots of time on my treasurer job. (Yes, it is hilarious that I--the one who doesn't balance her checkbook--am a treasurer.) There have been extra things that needed to be done along with the usual and it has added up to lots of time. And it makes me tired because I have to be organized.

So I decided to give myself a few days of much needed R&R. Saturday we went on a fall hike at a state park. Yesterday Bethany and I went to see my grandma and then did a short bit of genealogy research. Today while Bethany was at class I went back and immersed myself in the genealogy department for four hours. I could stay there all day.

One thing that I have discovered is that I am just as enthralled by the stories of other people as I am by my own ancestors. I just love the history. I love reading about their lives and tracing the migration patterns and seeing what influences canals, railroads, and roads had on the growth of towns. I guess it's the same thing that makes me always want to get off the interstate and take the back roads to see the farmhouses, barns, churches, and country schools that dot the midwestern countryside. I love these people who settled in log cabins or small frame houses and built magnificent brick edifices for God among the cornfields.

Tomorrow is a day of running with kids activities. But Thursday is a day to get back to work. More about that on Thursday.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Oh, yes. I am DREAMING

Today's Scavenger Hunt theme is dreaming. I'm dreaming of a week on the sand of Siesta Key. It's been a couple of years and I can't wait to get back. I'm pretty sure you'll find a companion picture at Bethany's blog.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

+Robert V. Beery+ 1913-2006

My grandpa, Robert Beery, went Home Sunday evening, October 15.

You can read the official obituary here, but I want to tell you about my grandpa.
The first word that comes to my mind when I think of my grandpa is strong. Although he worked in a managerial position in industry, he was very much an outdoorsman. He loved to fish. And he had a gorgeous garden and grew some of the best musk melons and tomatoes I've ever had.

I remember following him around the garden and hearing about all of the different things growing. One year I remember he was particularly excited about his strawberries. I remember many times sitting by the shed out behind their house shucking corn together. I'm sure I was kind of a pain to have around when I was a kid. I hated bugs or dirt and I think I may have been a bit whiny. But I don't remember grandpa ever saying that I couldn't tag along.

What I do remember is looking for hickory nuts and grandpa carrying his shotgun in case he saw a critter. I remember being forced to hold worms before grandpa baited my hook and realizing worms were pretty cool.

When I found Colin, Grandpa gained a checkers opponent. Not many people could actually give grandpa a game, but my brilliant engineer husband could. It wasn't until grandpa hit his late 80's--and had taught Colin most of his tricks--that Colin could beat him with any regularity.

I wrote about the 70 years of marriage that he and my grandma shared on my old blog back in January. Their life together has been a wonderful lesson for our whole family.

He was also a great-grandpa, and as you can see in the picture of him with our three oldest, not the arms-length type. One of the best parts about moving back to Indiana four and a half years ago is that my kids got to spend lots of time with my grandparents. Even in the last months when grandpa didn't always know who I was--he'd call me the woman with all the kids--he was always happy to see them. Just a couple of weeks ago as we were leaving after a visit they each got a hug and grandpa told them he loved them.

Like most men of his generation Grandpa didn't talk a lot about his faith, but it was there sure and solid and was always a visible part of his life. In these last years he's been a bit more likely to talk about it and knew his Savior and where he was going to be.

Jesus lives! The victory's won!
Death no longer can appal me;
Jesus lives! Death's reign is done!
From the grave Christ will recall me.
Brighter scenes will then commence;
This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! To Him the throne
High o'er heaven and earth is given.
I shall go where He is gone,
Live and reign with Him in heaven.
God is faithful. Doubtings, hence!
This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! For me He died,
Hence will I, to Jesus living,
Pure in heart and act abide,
Praise to Him and glory giving.
Freely God doth aid dispense;
This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! I know full well
Naught from me His love shall sever;
Life nor death nor powers of hell
Part me now from Christ forever.
God will be a sure Defense;
This shall be my confidence.

Jesus lives! and now is death
But the gate of life immortal;
This shall calm my trembling breath
When I pass its gloomy portal.
Faith shall cry, as fails each sense,
Jesus is my confidence!

The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Rom. 8:11
Author: Christian F. Gellert, 1757, ab.
Translated by: Frances E. Cox, 1841, alt.
Titled: "Jesus lebt, mit ihm auch ich"
Composer: Johann Crueger, 1656
Tune: "Jesus, meine Zuversicht"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Coffee snobbery

I grew up thinking that coffee was disgusting. During my first trip to college, in the pre-coffee-shop-on-every-corner days, coffee was still disgusting. Then, one day, I had my first taste of decent coffee. It was a darker roast served in the union of my fourth college. As a mom working part-time and going to school full-time this yummy concoction soon became my best friend.

In the mid-nineties Starbucks came to a suburb near us. I was hooked. When we moved to Southern Indiana a few years later I couldn't wait for a trip to Indy for my Starbucks. Then I went to Europe and experienced Italian coffee. Oh my! That set me on a search for the closest flavor I could find to that dark richness.

Now I live in a city with a pile of Starbucks plus several good local coffee shops. (And possibly the worst coffee in most of the retaurants!) I can get great coffee without trying. I can pick my cup based on my mood and what sounds good. But it still costs money, so when I was offered three free pounds of coffee to review for my blog, I couldn't say no.

The coffees are Folgers Gourmet Selections. I was dubious about trying them because I still can barely tolerate the Folgers that is the standard at my mom's. But I decided that I would give them a try. They sent me three kinds. The first one I tried was the "Lively Columbian." This is described as a medium roast. The smell when I opened the bag cued me in on what was to come. It smelled like the coffee at McDonald's. That isn't good.

There is a characteristic that I associate with cheap coffee. It is a flavor that comes out mostly in the aftertaste that I can best describe as sour. It's an unpleasant twist on the wonderful bitterness that good coffee has. This was sour.

The second one I tried was the "Vanilla Biscotti." I've never been a fan of flavored coffees, although my mother-in-law buys good quality ones and I always enjoy those at her house. This one didn't taste vanilla as much as it tasted sweet. And it, too, had the sourness.

The last one I tried was the "Morning Cafe." This was a light roast. Surprisingly, I liked this one the best. It wasn't a coffee that I would search out or buy, but it was the only one that I didn't dump out. It was still a bit sour, but the flavor was gentler. I'm not a gentle coffee drinker, but this one, at least, didn't taste bad.

Now, if you're a Folger's drinker or like McDonald's coffee, don't take offense. And if you do like these, you'll probably love the Gourmet Selections.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Photo Printers

I'm considering buying a photo printer.

Any comments or suggestions?

Gorgeous weekend!

The weather this weekend was wonderful. Fall has always been my favorite time of year. Friday the kids and I took a final visit to the zoo before it closed for the year. Saturday Colin and I went over to church and did some work and then spent a couple of hours at Lowe's. Saturday evening Colin's parents came to Fort Wayne for a visit. They took us out for an early dinner and then we came home and had a fire in our fire pit.

The fire pit was Colin's birthday & father's day present and we have really enjoyed it. It was a bit cooler Saturday night than it was when this picture was taken so we were all snuggled in our sweatshirts and there were no bare feet in evidence.

Sunday after Divine Service--with two of my favorite hymns: Salvation Unto Us Has Come and By Grace I'm Saved--we headed for Indianapolis for my oldest nephew's wedding. It was a beautiful drive, marred only by the fact that our transmission decided that it was no longer happy properly functioning. So our van is at a transmission shop in Anderson and we are driving my sweet, wonderful stepfather's Buick. (Which he, thank goodness, isn't going to miss because they will be heading to Florida for a month in about an hour.)

We made it to the wedding. It was sweet, because they are happy, but it was sad because it was Christ-less. So pray for this sweet couple who are now on their honeymoon.

A new kitchen sink!

Yes, I know it's strange thing to be so excited about, but I got a new kitchen sink! It will still be a week or so until it's installed because we are buying the faucet on ebay to save some money, but I have the sink.

It will be wonderful to have a shiny new sink, because the old one is a particularly yucky black acrylic sink. But the best part is that this is one step closer to having our house ready to sell! The house that we liked is still available and last week I heard from the owners of another house that we are interested in that they are getting ready to sell. It is an all-brick house with a pool, a finished dormer that would be wonderful for our scrapbooking and sewing and it's just a couple of blocks from Redeemer. Plus we already like the neighbors. :)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Look who's sleeping

This is my husband in his normal pose after the meal at family get-togethers. :)


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Friday, October 06, 2006

When do they grow up?

I had a frustrating conversation this week with someone who I am acquainted with who decided that it was her turn to critique my parenting. (Socialization, protecting them, etc., etc.) I'm not even going to worry about that. I'm used to it and my kids are fine. The part of the conversation that left me feeling cranky was the part about young adults.

I was shopping for a gift for the grandchild of a friend, and said something about it being hard to believe that I was old enough to be a grandma. She was stunned! Her opinion was that with an oldest child who is 20 there is no way grandparenthood should be an option for at least 10 years. Then she said this, "You know, I think that in this society, no one is really grown up until they're almost thirty. I consider people in their twenties older teenagers and teenagers are still really children."

I said that if that was the case for many young adults it wasn't because that is how it is supposed to be, that it's been caused by society. I mentioned the young couples we know among Bethany's friends and at the seminary who have gladly taken on the responsibilities of adult life.

In her opinion they are missing out
on the chance to "have fun." They aren't going to have as much materially. And they don't really know who they are, so they will probably end up divorced. (The concept of growing together and staying married no matter what is "old-fashioned.")

I also found it interesting that in her opinion teens are kids and should have fun and not have to take life too seriously, and yet she considers them "grown up" enough to go away for weekends at the lakes as couples. Something's backward when her 17 year old is going to Chicago with a group of girls and guys for a weekend in a hotel, but her 21 year old brings his laundry to mom and lives in a pig sty because she didn't teach him to clean. Her 25 year old has his second live-in girlfriend, but isn't ready for marriage yet.

I see the teens as years for training our kids for adult life. It is a time for academic learning and for learning useful skills like how to do laundry and how to fix a leaky pipe. It is a time for learning how to be a useful, pleasant, productive member of society. They are young adults in their late teens. They are physically ready for marriage and responsibility. It is our job as parents to help them to be mentally and siritually prepared as well.

And no, this doesn't mean I think 18 year olds should skip college and line up to be married. I have a single 20 year old who is all academics. But if she met someone wonderful tomorrow and decided to get married in a few months, I would be all for it. And I do think they're much better off getting married young and growing together than practicing the "serial monogamy" that has become so common in our society and is so dangerous for the heart, body, and soul.

There's another post brewing in here about protecting daughters. It will show up soon.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Who will it be?

Bethany and I really only have one must-see TV show. (Okay, two now that Lost is back...and 24 in January...but I digress.)

We have become totally hooked on Project Runway. We watched the first season completely in re-runs. Last season we really watched it. And this season we've tivo'd it and even visited the website for the show. Because it ran all summer it is reaching the finale just as the fall season is starting.

I was really pleased that they had four designers in the finals, instead of the expected three. It had come down to our three favorites and Jeffrey, who is not a favorite (The tatoos!). We're pulling for Michael Knight, because he strikes us as the best all around designer, although I think Laura makes lovely elegant clothes.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Getting Comfy

The theme for this week is comfy.

My pictures were all taken at one of the Indianapolis Symphony's Symphony on the Prairie performances this summer. After we all eat fried chicken, as the music starts, one by one the family members stretch out on the blankets and get comfy.


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Magpie Redux

For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of reading it in its original form, the Motley Magpie is back, this time on the web. My two older children and I often read portions of each quarterly issue out loud because the truth and humor of what was written had to be shared.

As a result of this needing to share, I have loaned out or given away almost every issue that I had, so I will be very glad to see them on the web.

HT: Cyberstones

The Litany

My friend Susan wrote a great post yesterday on the Litany. This prayer is another of the many rich and wonderful parts of my Lutheran heritage that I was not introduced to until we began attending our last church about six years ago. As usual, Susan pushes me to think more about why a particular prayer or hymn says what it does.

Go read.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The theme today is eyes. I probably could have done better, but it's a busy weekend!
This is Andrew, protecting his eyes. :)


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Testing, Testing

The kids in the schools around town are in the middle of the ISTEP tests. These are statewide standardized tests, administered in the fall. They are expensive, of questionable worth, and a source of ongoing controversy. Yet, as is the case each fall there have been calls for homeschoolers to have to take part in the testing.

In honor of this fall ritual, I am resurrecting an item from my old blog:

There have been several public calls recently to increase the regulation of homeschoolers in the state of Indiana. The idea mentioned most often is some sort of standardized testing.

Often, to those who don't homeschool, this is a common-sense suggestion. They figure that tests will surely show us who is doing a good job and who is not. An often heard statement is, "You would welcome testing unless you have something to hide."

This shows a fundamental lack of comprehension about how and why many parents homeschool. Some homeschool because they disagree with what is taught in government schools. Some do it because they would rather have the flexibility to pursue learning in a manner--and an order--that works best for their child. Some do not believe that government schools are rigorous enough, and pursue more demanding courses of study. And some delay much formal academic work until age 10 or so as advocated by homeschool pioneers Raymond and Dorothy Moore.

Many different homeschool styles are not compatible with standardized testing. Those who pursue a classical education model often are not on the same timetable as the schools. Many homeschool families choose to do more in depth study of a couple of subjects for a year, rather than a broad overview. In our own family part of the reason we started homeschooling was our recognition--without a standardized test--that our son needed something different than the standard classroom experience. Trying to teach to a test would have derailed us completely.

Then, too, there are the practical questions. Where would the money come from? What would happen if the kids don't pass? It seems kind of laughable that a government which cannot ensure the success of the kids that it is responsible for would try to usurp the responsibility of parents, who have a far greater interest in the success of their own children.

And we won't even go into the dubious reliability of standardized testing.

+Dr. Kurt Marquart+

Dr. Kurt Marquart went to his eternal home early yesterday morning.

Although I did not know Dr. Marquart well, I will miss his gentle presence at church, and we will all miss his influence on our synod and our future pastors. There are posts all over the Lutheran blogosphere from yesterday and today remembering him better than I am able to, but his passing is significant and I could not ignore it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Photo Hunt: Looking Up

This is an old picture, but one of my favorites. Our daughter is twenty now and mt husband hasn't had this much hair for years!

The theme is "Looking Up."


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Not what I expected

Last night I attended a lecture with my daughter. It was part of the Omnibus Lecture Series at IPFW, where she goes to school. She could earn extra credit for attending and since she wanted company, I went along. The speaker was Azar Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. I was not particularly excited because I hadn't read the book, and am feeling overdosed on politics .

It was excellent. It was not overtly political. It was about literature, and the power of books, and having the kind of respect for other cultures that leads us to say, "Wait. What you are doing is wrong," when we see evils like slavery and the beheading of women. She argues that attitudes that in the environment of political correctness pass for respect are really condecension, because societies are seen as so inferior that they can't help what they're doing.

She talked about the trivializing of news in our society that puts baby Suri at the same level of new coverage importance as suicide bombings and about the oversimplification of much of the information we receive, such as calling such a large part of the Middle East and Eastern Europe "The Muslim World." (Which, as she pointed out, plays into the hands of the militant Islamists who want that to be the case.)

She talked about Jane Austen, but I'll let Bethany tell you about that.

If you have the opportunity to hear Dr. Nafisi, go. She mixed humor with talk of literature and stories about life during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It was entertaining and informative.

Now I need to read the book.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

She's got the bug

As if it's not exciting enough that she's writing on the MouthHouse Moms blog, my friend Susan now has her own blog. I think you'll all soon see why I've been trying to convince her to join the blogosphere. So check out Susan's Pendulum.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blogging notes

I didn't write yesterday because I felt that I couldn't write about anything other than September 11, but didn't have anything to say about it that someone else hadn't said better. In the next couple of days I may have a post or two that are provoked by things that I've been reading and hearing the past couple of days.

There is a new blog that I am excited about, and not because I'm one of the bloggers. My friend Susan, who I've been badgering for ages, is finally blogging along with a team of highly-trained experts--uh, no that's not it--oh yeah, really cool moms! So visit the MouthHouse Moms.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

There really is a difference

I have had several homeschooling posts jumping around in my head lately. Several are half-written. Fellow Lutheran homeschooling mom Barb Frank has just taken the words for one of them right out of my mouth. Go read.
The theme today is FOOD. Since this is one of my favorite things, I couldn't use just one picture.
The first one is my first pick. I took it yesterday on our fun trip into the country. Real food eating what it was created to eat. I chose the second one because I think it's a fun picture. Kettle corn--yum!


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Friday, September 08, 2006

Adventures in the country

Bethany and I went on a long-planned trip into the country today. There is an old road, finished in 1833, that runs between Fort Wayne and the town where I was born that has some really pretty spots and some great old buildings. It is becoming suburbanized in spots and we wanted to capture some of the sights before they are homogenized.

After that we headed out into the country in another direction on a couple of other missions. I wanted to get pictures of a couple of old tombstones and check on a couple of things in an old cemetary where a number of my ancestors are buried. Bethany enjoys the cemetaries, too, so we got really absorbed in what we were doing.

Next thing we knew we were being cornered by a vicious...

Boston Terrier. We were chased from the cemetary and out the gate by a PACK of them. (Sounds pretty dramatic, huh? Really, I think it was a family who wanted to play, but I wasn't taking any chances.) Pretty soon they forgot about us and we went back home, but it was very amusing.

Insomniac posting

For some reason sleep is not coming right now, so I'm going to do this long, pointless, yet nonetheless interesting meme that my friend Jen posted. Those that are bolded are the ones that I've done.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently - not quite, but close
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication.
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

I would love to see results from any of my friends. You all know who you are. :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Sunshine!

Twenty years ago today our firstborn made her appearance. It was love at first sight!
We had a rough first few months because of colic, but that was the hardest it got. We have been blessed with a wonderful, smart, sweet, loving daughter who has grown into a lovely young woman.

Here she is at four in one of her favorite dresses, at ten with her brothers, at 13 with her braces, and now with her friends. Happy Birthday Bethany!