Monday, November 30, 2009

Sharing a Thought on Inadequacy

I have been thinking a lot about inadequacy lately. Where does it come from? Obviously the father of lies volleys it around quite a bit. But it's in the world around us, our group of friends, our mirrors. It whispers to us from our bathroom scales and shouts at us from our fluffy entertainment reading. We buy into it, then we pass it around to our children, our loved ones, our friends, our blog readers. We crop photos and don't blog about the ugly side of life. The truth is, we are all inadequate. That is what makes grace so amazing. And yet, we like to pretend we aren't.

I hope you stand up and cheer this article as much as I did.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How to Survive While Living in Town Tip #287

If you live in town, are thinking about living in town, or wonder what living in town is like, let me offer some advice. If your second story bedroom has such high windows that you don't bother to put window treatments on them because, who is ever going to see in those windows? You should still check to make sure no one can see in your windows before you get undressed.
Here's a close up of what might be outside your window that "no one can see in". Five strange men.

And, because I know someone will ask, by the grace of God, I DID look out my window before I got changed and was quite shocked to see this.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Stuffed

I'm absolutely full tonight.
I couldn't eat another bite.
I couldn't eat a half a bean,
or even taste a tangerine.
I couldn't lick a lettuce leaf
or bite the slightest bit of beef.
I couldn't polish off a pea
or sip a single drop of tea
or nibble on a nanogram
of pickled ham or candied yam
or lamb or clam or jam or Spam.
Yes, that's how full I truly am.
To even think of eating more
would leave me lying on the floor
and surely make my stomach hurt
unless, of course, you've got dessert.
--Kenn Nesbitt

Happy Thanksgiving

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for help that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need for God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for,but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself,my unspoken prayers were answered;

I among women am most richly blessed.
~ author unknown ~

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pilgrim Boy

Need to Want to make a pilgrim costume for your son with materials you probably have at home or can obtain for little to no money? Me too! But when I did a Google search I came up very short. So I had to use my brain and come up with my own ideas.

First buy a long sleeve black shirt, this shirt is going to stay as you bought it so it can be worn other times.

Next go to your sister-in-law's consignment store (if your sister-in-law doesn't own a consignment store you're more than welcome to go to my sister-in-law's consignment store) and buy a pair of black pants that are two to three sizes too small. It really helps if you find a pair with an elastic waist and your Pilgrim wanna-be is stick thin. Otherwise you may need to hem a regular size pair of pants.

Next borrow your older son's white soccer socks.

Go to Lowe's and try to buy a cardboard paint bucket. When you find out that they don't sell them go to two movie theatres and ask for a popcorn bucket. Feel really old and out of touch when the teenagers behind the counter look at you with dazed looks. Go through KFC drive-thru and ask for an empty chicken bucket. Try to do it with a straight face.

Place a paper plate upside down, center top of bucket on plate and hot glue in place. Let cool. Flip over, cut out center of plate leaving about 3/4" overlap. Then snip the paper plate at 1/2"-3/4" intervals and lay pieces flat against inside of bucket. Hot glue in place. Spray paint black.

Beg your family members for old black belts. Choose one, attach to hat and clip off excess.

Buy 1/8 yard of white felt, cut a shallow U shape out for the collar using your child's neck as a guide, attach a button and cut a button hole

Cut two trapezoids using your child's wrist as a guide, attach one button to one cuff, lose one button in the couch cushions, attach another button to the second cuff.

Receive an odd email from the teacher when you tell her you haven't started the costume yet. When your son comes home with a construction paper Pilgrim hat, say "oooohhhh, THAT'S what she meant when she said they could dress up like a Pilgrim or an Indian."
Relish all the hugs and kisses your little Pilgrim guy gives you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sisters Swap - Noel

I signed up for Monica and Carrie's Sister Swap and they matched me up perfectly with Debbie. I regret that I didn't take any pictures of what I sent her but if you visit her blog you can see pictures there. I definitely got the better deal! Here is what she sent:

Two Christmas dish/hand towels, which I especially enjoyed because I don't have any Christmas towels, a Baking Memories album, two absolutely adorable notepads that she altered, Chex mix with dill (my favorite!), a mug with cocoa mix, a tea bag holder with yummy gingerbread tea, great gift tags, gingerbread lip gloss, an altered candle - burning it right now, bath salts, body butter, several oh-so-cute handmade cards, and special chocolate cherry candy from Nebraska (one is missing because I was too impatient to wait my turn for the camera, heehee). It was a joy to get to know Debbie and her preferences.

I sent Debbie a ragamuffin garland for her Christmas cards, a candle lamp, a wood and tin star with a bell, Floor Sweepings mix, chai mix, chocolate covered cranberries and Peace sign. Oh yes, there was also a tea towel that, I will admit, almost didn't make it in the box it tried so hard to climb into my own drawer!

Thanks Debbie, for my goodies and for being such a great swap partner! Thanks Monica and Carrie for such a great match up!

Apple Dumplings

Rachel recently posted about making apple dumplings and I drooled over my keyboard at the thought. Then when Meijer had apples on sale I remembered Rachel's dumplings and decided to try my hand at them. I had never made apple dumplings but with the help of some pre-made pie crust (hey, if you're eating white sugar you may as well add in some partially hydrogenated oil as well, no?) it was a cinch.
First peel and core your apples. I've misplaced my corer and my mom thought it would be easier to just halve the apples. Don't do this because when you bake them they will fall apart. They will taste delicious but they won't be pretty. Roll your apple in a cinnamon and sugar mixture, then dot with butter and wrap in pastry.

Make a sauce of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and 1/4 t. nutmeg. Bring to a boil, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 2 T. butter

Place your dumplings in a 9 x 13 and pour sauce over. If you're feeling artsy you can make pastry leaves and poke the apple stems back in. But if you do this be aware that the menfolk may not understand and will likely ask questions. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be Blessed

If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating, but do not show love in my family - I am just another housewife.
If I'm always producing lovely things - sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family - I am nothing.
If I'm busy in community affairs, teach Sunday School, drive the carpool, but fail to give adequate love to my family - I gain nothing.
Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes - over and over again.
Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.
Love doesn't envy another wife - one whose children are "spaced" better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests.
Love doesn't try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.
Love doesn't scream at the kids.
Love doesn't feel cheated because I didn't get to do what I wanted to do today - sew, read, soak in a hot tub.
Love doesn't lose my temper easily.
Love doesn't assume that my children are being naughty just because their noise level is irritating.
Love doesn't rejoice when other people's children misbehave and make mine look good.
Love is genuinely happy when others are honored by their children.
~Author Unknown to Me

Thanks Lisa for sharing this!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kings Firecrackers Jump Rope Team

A friend sent me this and it's been sitting in my inbox for about a month. Gather your children around and watch. This jump rope team is from Kings Local School district near Mason, Ohio. They are amazing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Operation Christmas Child: Extreme Edition

When I did a search on my blog for Operation Christmas Child I was aghast to find out I've never talked about it here.

The premise is very simple, you fill a shoebox with gifts and other needful things, add $7 for shipping, and drop it off at one of thousands of locations. From there your box goes to one of several processing centers and finally on to hundreds of countries to be distributed to boys and girls who perhaps have never, nor may ever again, receive a Christmas present. These children are also told about Jesus and His gift of eternal life.

You can pick up free boxes at your local Family Christian bookstore while supplies last. Please make sure you check out the list of allowable things to pack and do consider adding $7 for each box to aid with shipping.

In light of my recent post about Christmas gifts I wanted to share this story, which was recently published on Operation Christmas Child's Facebook page. What a terrific idea.