Monday, March 31, 2008

Wow! It's getting deep

Sorry, but my BS meter is going off.

These words of Jerry Kieschnik, President of the LC-MS, about Mollie Hemingway's piece in the Wall Street Journal are too much.
What is even more disturbing is the false and misleading picture she presents of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as a deeply divided church regarding its mission and ministry.
False? Misleading??

Either Pres. K. is seriously delusional or he needs to go re-read his catechism, paying special attention to the eighth commandment.

For more on this go here, and here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Going scrapbooking!

That means no computer until Sunday night.

I'll probably start with the shakes in about an hour, but once I get into the scrapbooking groove and remember to relax, all should be fine.

I'm glad I'll be out of town

The Clintons just can't stay away from Ft. Wayne.

First Bill came to visit and now it's Hil's turn. Her choice of location strikes me as strange, and will doubtless cause some nice congestion in an already very busy commercial area with a convoluted traffic pattern, especially coming as it does on Friday evening.

I am thankful that I'll be safely out of town before her arrival.

Issues in WSJ

There is a piece in today's Wall Street Journal about Issues, Etc. and the larger issues in the synod.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Updates on Issues

There have been some new developments today, one week after the cancellation of Issues, Etc.

First, a member of the Board for Communication Services of the LC-MS released an open letter to the Praesidium.

The wording of the explanation on the KFUO website for discontinuing Issues, Etc has changed slightly. It still doesn't provide any answers.

By the time I finish writing this, over 4,500 people will have signed the petition.

Pastor Asburry asks Why?

Pastor Petersen weighed in with some ideas about how to put the best construction on the cancellation.

And I spent all day at my desk doing taxes. In the past this activity would have been accompanied by Issues, Etc. from the archives. But the downloads are almost impossibly slow now.

Taxes, taxes, taxes

I have so many things that I could use this day at home for:

I could clean my room.

I could put some stuff on ebay.

I could bake something. Like bread.

I could drive and see my nephew, who I still haven't met!

I could get ready for my scrapbooking retreat this weekend.

I could continue my wrangling with the insurance company over what constitutes an emergency, and with the hospital over their mis-coding.

I could read a book.

Instead I will be trying to finish my taxes. Every year it seems we have some twist to our already complicated and time-consuming taxes. This year is no exception.

Flat tax, anyone?

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Although it is late in the day, I must still say,

He is risen!!

Each year it seems that Holy Week couldn't get better, and yet each year something seems to be sweeter.

Last night, standing in the darkened sanctuary with my sons each taking part in the gorgeous vigil, singing with my husband and my daughter and my friends, smelling the mixture of incense and lilies that will forever be the smell of Easter to me, (replacing the ham of my childhood!) I thought, "It just doesn't get any better than this."

Then I realized that the beauty of that moment, the thrill of the pealing of the bells while we sang the long-silenced Gloria, and the closeness in the Holy Supper are just a peek, just a hint, of the glories of Heaven.

At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Praise to our victorious king,
Who has washed us in the tide
Flowing from his pierced side.

Praise we him, whose love divine
Gives his sacred blood for wine,
Gives his body for the feast
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.

Where the paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dread angel sheathes the sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.

Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal victim, paschal bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we manna from above.

Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce powers beneath you lie;
You have conquered in the fight
You have brought us life and light.

Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthrall;
You have opened paradise,
And your saints in you shall rise.

Easter triumph, Easter joy!
This alone can sin destroy;
From sin’s power, Lord, set us free,
Newborn souls in you to be.

Father, who the crown shall give,
Savior, by whose death we live,
Spirit, guide through all our days;
Three in One, Your name we praise.

Hymn # 126 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Bohemian Brethren
Tune: Sonne Der Gerechtigkeit
1st Published:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Vigil

Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain
By: John of Damascus

Come, you faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness!
God has brought his Israel
Into joy from sadness,
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke
Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot
Through the Red Sea waters.

This the spring of souls today:
Christ has burst his prison
And from three days’ sleep in death
As a sun has risen;
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From his light, to whom is given
Laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright
With the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts
Comes its joy to render;
Comes to gladden faithful hearts
Which with true affection
Welcome in unwearied strain
Jesus’ resurrection!

For today among his own
Christ appeared, bestowing
His deep peace, which evermore
Passes human knowing.
Neither could the gates of death
Nor the tomb’s dark portal
Nor the watchers nor the seal
Hold him as a mortal.

Alleluia! Now we cry
To our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars
Of the tomb’s dark portal
Come, you faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness!
God has brought his Israel
Into joy from sadness!

Hymn # 141 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Johann Horn
Tune: Gaudeamus Pariter
1st Published in: 1859

Book Review: In Defense of Food

I finished Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food last night. It was a good look at what we should be eating and why, with some information thrown in about why we're not. The basic premise is simple: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

This is one of those books I wish everyone I care about would read. So many people are still stuck in the "It's low-fat!" rut, ignoring the fact that it's loaded with sugars and no real nutritional value, or still think butter is bad/carbs are bad, etc., and cling to every new nutrition pronouncement that comes out in the media.

As I went grocery shopping yesterday I was struck by how little of what was in the store--including the five new products that were being sampled--was real food. Food products were everywhere, wrapped in plastic with unpronounceable ingredients, or promising "Low Fat," "Heart Healthy," or one of the other claims that have appeared on labels in abundance in recent years.

Pollan looks at what has happened to the way we eat becauseof outside factors. One of these is nutritionism, thinking of what to eat in terms nutrients--protein, fat, vitamins, etc.--instead of as food: meat, vegetables, butter, etc. His book goes along with many books and studies that I have read in recent years that question much of the conventional wisdom about how we should eat. The fact that much of that conventional wisdom has come from research studies paid for by food product companies should tell us a great deal.

Pollan also talks about the importance of food culture: the way that we eat, when and with whom. We Americans do far too much of our eating in the car, on the run, by ourselves, in front of a screen, etc. We need to slow down and enjoy our food.

I've been working on improving what we eat. We still have a long way to go. And we will probably never be free from some food products. Cheez-its come to mind. But the next big step for me is to begin working on the how and when. We are almost always on the run. Dinner most nights is cooked by me, but everyone eats it when and where they will. I suppose it would help if I cleared the papers off the kitchen table!

This is one of those times I need to fight the twin demons of perfectionism and procrastination. (I have a tendency to want to be perfect or I just won't try.) We will never be able to eat perfectly. We aren't going to have a farm with our own grass-fed cows and free-range chickens. But we can grow a wide variety of yummy veggies in our garden. I can bake bread. We may not sit down and eat three meals a day at the table together, but we can at least start with dinner.

And with a little work we can eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Friday, March 21, 2008

More on Issues

My friend Cheryl has a great rundown of the situation with Issues, Etc. for any of you who aren't sure what's going on.

Pastor Esget has an idea for President Kieschnick.

Update: Pastor Gehlbach offers some possible insight into what's going on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This and that

Bethany is home and thoroughly exhausted. She had a fantastic trip and will be blogging about it soon. She has either been in class or at work almost all of the time since she came home.

I have emailed and called regarding the Issues, Etc. situation, and I would encourage any of you to do the same.

I am going to be getting a free "early reviewer" copy of a book because of Library Thing. The funny part--and those who know me well will appreciate the humor in this--is that the book is from DK Publishing.

I'm excited about tomorrow. I have a call in the morning that promises some exciting news regarding my primary business and later I will be meeting with my first "paid" genealogy client. (I put paid in quotation marks because she bought my services at a silent action, so I'm not making anything. But she did pay a nice amount!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Flying through O'Hare

When I plan a trip, I try to avoid O'Hare if at all possible.

My poor husband spent the equivalent of almost two full days waiting, because of delays at O'Hare, on various trips this winter.

Tonight, when I told the hubby that Bethany was supposed to be in Fort Wayne a little after 10:00 he asked, "Is she flying through O'Hare?" I answered in the affirmative and he snorted. Yes snorted! "We'll be lucky if we see her before tomorrow."

Guess what? Right now her flight is delayed by 80 minutes. If it is pushed back just a little bit more, we won't see her until tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Reading challenge

Glad this list isn't set in stone, because I'm already making changes! (I'll just keep making changes in a new color.)

I realize that the year is almost one-fourth over, but I came across this reading challenge today and I have to do it.

1. Challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2008. (So I will use a couple of books that I've read already this year.)
2. Choose 8 categories of your own that you would like to read 8 books EACH in.
3. You will be allowed 8 overlaps, for a total of 56 unique book titles.
4. You may overlap these 56 titles with any other challenge.
5. You may change your list or your categories at any time.

1. Biography/Autobiography/Memoir
Boone : A Biography by Robert Morgan (finished 5/2008)
The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir by Ellie Matthews (finished 4/9/2008)
Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography by William F. Buckley (finished 12/22/2008)
My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas (finished 11/2008)
A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer by Diana Preston
Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir (finished 4/7/08)
Time to Be in Earnest by P.D. James
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster (finished 6/3/08)

2. Historical Fiction
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (finished 2/2008)
World Without End by Ken Follett(finished 10/17/2008)
Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (finished 8/10/2008)
Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry (finished 5/7/08)
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Galbreth (finished 1/2008)
The Jumping-Off Place by (finished 11/18/2008)
A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (finished 8/2008)

3. Quick & Easy
Pandora's Daughter by Iris Johansen (finished 2/2008)
7th Heaven by James Patterson (finished 3/12/2008)
Tombstone Courage by J.A. Jance (finshed 4/17/2008)
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (finished 7/6/2008)
He Said Beer, She Said Wine by Sam Calagione & Marnie Old (finished 4/6/08)
The Darcys Give a Ball by Elizabeth Newark (finished 4/19/2008)
Innocent as Sin by Elizabeth Lowell (finished 5/5/08)
Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Elizabeth Newark (finished 5/9/08)

4. Non-Fiction
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl (finished 1/2008)
Made in America by Bill Bryson (finished 1/2008)
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (finished 3/21/2008)
An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck (finished 5/25/2008)
Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich (finished 7/15/2008)
The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home by George Howe Colt (finished 6/7/2008)
Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm by Helen Valentine (finished 7/2008)
The Omnivore's Dilemm
a by Michael Pollan (finished 6/12/2008)

5. Classics
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis (finished 2/2008)
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (finished 1/2008)
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (finished 4/1/2008)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Galbreth (finished 1/2008)
Three Men in A Boat (To Say nothing of the dog) by Jerome K. Jerome (finished 12/20)

My Antonia by Willa Cather

6. Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Blasphemy by Douglas Preston (finished 2/29/2008)
California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker (finished 2/25/2008)
Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline (finished 3/2008)
The Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell (finished 3/17/08)
Stone Cold by David Baldacci (finished 5/11/08)
Compulsion by Jonathan Kellerman finished (finished 4/27/2008)
by Iris Johansen (finished 7/26/2008)
Careless in Red by Elizabeth George (finished 6/30/2008)

7. Current Fiction
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (finished 6/6/2008)
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (finished 6/7/2008)
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (finished 6/9/2008)
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult (finished 6/19/2008)
Phantom Prey by John Sandford (finished 6/17/2008)
Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva (finished 10/1/2008)
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva (finished 7/5/2008)
Nothing to Lose by Lee Child (finished 9/2008)

8. On the Shelf (books that are waiting for me)
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
Plainsong by Kent Haruf (finished 4/19/2008)
A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini (finished 7/30/08)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (finished 8/2008)
Uniforms: Why We Are What We Wear by Paul Fussell (finished 5/20/08)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (finished 9/2008)
Made in America by Bill Bryson (finished 1/2008)
Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography by William F. Buckley

9. Books that I read, or want to read, that don't fit
The Front by Patricia Cornwell (finished 8/3/2008)
The Whole Truth by David Baldacci (finished 8/5/2008)
The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner (finished 8/6/2008)
Schooled by Anisha Lakhani (finished 9/2008)
Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain (finished 10/5/2008)
The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn (finished 9/2008)
The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer (finished 9/2008)
Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs (finished 12/1 2008)
The Last Patriot by Brad Thor (finished 12/3/2008)
The Winds of Marble Arch by Connie Willis (finished 12/18/2008)
The Host by Stephenie Meyer (finished 11/2008)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

It will be fun to see how many things I change. Right now this is a pretty lazy, off-the-top-of-my-head list. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

Is this for real?


This link came through this morning on an email list that I am on. Do you think it's for real?
Visit first then scroll down past the random photo for my opinion.

I think it's a spoof. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

The more times I watch it the funnier it is. Be sure to click on all the tabs!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Today was beautiful. Sunny. It was a day to convince us that spring isn't far away.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Car repairs

Why is it that when something goes wrong with the car, and we take it in for repair, I should be quizzed about why it cost so much?

Do I look like I can tell if the repair dude is telling me the truth?
Do I look like I want to spend too much money getting my car fixed?

If a man is going to second guess the results of a trip to the garage, he needs to take the car in himself and wait while the car-fixer-dudes work so he can quiz them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's that Library Thing again

I've spent a bit of time on LibraryThing again this week. Cataloging and describing my books is addictive to me. I think it's the wanna-be librarian inside me.

If you are a bookaholic, or if you just like to organize things, or if you like online social networking, check out LibraryThing.


I have decided to shut down my homeschooling blog. There just isn't enough that I want to say about homeschooling that I haven't already said. In a way, it never made sense for me to have a homeschooling blog, because our homeschooling really is in no way separate from the rest of our lives.

So you'll be seeing some homeschool posts from time to time, including some that I'm going to transfer over.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pooh on a jet ski?

This cookie was the accidental result of the baking of our cookie scraps when we were making Christmas cookies. I'd forgotten about it until I saw it on Bethany's computer.

We all thought it looked like Pooh on a jet ski, but now I think it looks more like a pig.

Pushing through

I have spent the past three days making myself move forward, push through, go and do, whatever you want to call it. Saturday was a clean up day at church and we went out for our anniversary. Sunday was church, a council meeting, seeing Bethany off at the airport, and bunko.
Today I ran lots of errands, made some phone calls, worked on my calendar, and took Jonathan to his voice lesson. I feel like I'm starting to get back in the groove.

I'm still feeling a little less enthusiastic about social events than usual, but I'm sure that will pass as my energy continues to come back.

I think that some changes that I've made in my diet are helping, too. I'm trying very hard to only eat real food. After reading French Women Don't Get Fat, I have been really making an effort not to eat unless I'm paying attention and to only eat things that taste good. Really good. Right now I'm reading In Defense of Food and it is just strengthening my resolve to stay away from things that come in a package or have ingredients that are unpronounceable or aren't "food" in their own right. I know that eating right will only make me feel better.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Just got back from a lovely dinner at Cork 'n Cleaver with our friends. It was a wonderful evening, celebrating 22 wonderful years!

They have the best salad bar, and the steaks are perfect. The six of us shared dessert. We just kept passing it in a circle around the table until it was almost gone.

Since we had a gift certificate, the evening didn't even throw us off our budget!

And yes, we were young.
And Colin had hair.
And yes, we were high school sweethearts.

He's the only guy I ever let know that I was interested, without being fairly certain that he was interested in me. In fact, one of my friends who was on the cross country team with him told him that I wanted to go out with him.

What can I say? He was cute, smart, and funny.
Still is.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Out of sorts

Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's just a phase. Maybe it's because I've not been feeling well.

But I am feeling incredibly out of sorts lately.

Usually I thrive on activity and being around people. Right now I hardly want to leave my house. This is making it more than normally difficult to keep up with everything.

I'm hoping warm air and sunshine--which must surely be on the way soon--will help.

In the meantime, I need to just dig in and work on the many projects that need to happen. I am determined to sell this house this spring/summer in spite of the slow housing market. A move close to church, which also cuts Colin's drive to work by two-thirds, will save us hundreds of dollars a month is gas & car expenses alone. There are several houses for sale right now for $30-50,000 less than the very conservative amount that we hope to get for ours that would be perfectly livable for us.

In the meantime, we have more snow on the way.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Apparently I'm not very spicy.

Basil is my favorite herb. But the mild temperament will probably make the people who know me best laugh.

You Are Basil

You are quite popular and loved by post people.

You have a mild temperament, but your style is definitely distinctive.

You are sweet, attractive, and you often smell good.


I love pretzels. I'm a salty snack craver and pretzels do a wonderful job of satisfying the desire for crunch and salt in a relatively healthy way. And they're good with beer.

My all-time favorite pretzels were Mr. Salty pretzels, but they disappeared from store shelves a few years ago. I've tried lots of different kinds since then, and I've found some good ones: Extra Dark & Salty Beer Pretzels, Snyder's Butter Snaps, and a couple of others, but nothing that could replace the thin, crispy, pretzel-ly taste of Mr. Salty.

Until this weekend. There sitting on the shelf at Meijer were Schultz Salty Stix . The first good sign was the fact that they were in a box. Really thin crispy pretzels need a box. A bag would leave them in pretzel crumbs.

We opened them almost as soon as we got them home. The crunch. The taste. These are so close to Mr. Salty!

Of course the box has already disappeared. Usually pretzels stick around, because I am the only one who eats very many. But these were so good that the box was gone in a day.

'Bout time for a return trip to Meijer.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Back home again

It is good to be home. It will be even better when the weather warm up a bit more.

My family got along fine while I was gone. They even did some cleaning. But I think they missed me almost as much as I missed them.

A get away is a good thing. This is the first break that I've had in almost four years aside from a couple of scrapbooking weekends. It was so nice not to have to worry about schedules, bills (mine or the church's), returning phone calls, cleaning, cooking, buying groceries, etc., for a few days. And the fact that some sunshine and seafood were thrown in was a bonus!

Now I'm home and about three weeks behind on life after being sick and then being gone. But it's okay. I can--mostly--catch up.

My BIG goal for this week is to see my new nephew! He was born just as I started getting sick and I am anxious to see Caleb and his mommy.