Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Something To Think About

I read this today and just loved it, and wanted to share it with you.

Fulfillment is a reward the Lord grants his sons and daughters for their unselfish service, not a prize to be grabbed from God's hands by force.

That's something to think about in this day of "me, me, me."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Wanna Do Something Nice?

There is a wonderful blog that I follow, A Joyful Chaos. I love to read about this lady's former Amish life. Here is a link to a recent post. In it she has asked for cards for her Aunt Vernie. I sent one from our family to her on Saturday. If you want to do something nice for someone, email Mary Ann (her email address is on the right side of her blog under the picture of the fretwork clock) and get Aunt Vernie's address to help make her birthday special.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

I Didn't Die

How's that for a blog title?! Well, I didn't. Die, that is. I've just been horrendously busy and blogging took a back seat again. I'm not even going to try to apologize this time - life happens! There are lots of posts started (in my head, that is) that will hopefully be written soon, about what's been going on around here. Here's the Reader's Digest version:

1. Jerry is home from Delaware.
2. In 2005 Jerry and I bought a trailer in Rehoboth Beach.
3. We had trees taken down.
4. I love C. Booth dry oil.
5. I'm bellydancing again.
6. Jerry is home from Delaware.

Elaborations to follow. One day. Soon. I promise. No, really.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Back again! Hopefully I can carve out more time for blogging, because I really do miss writing. I'm still working on the whole Delaware saga for you, but in the meantime I wanted to share this.

Last week Shopper's Food Warehouse had triple coupons. In my world, that's a big deal. Anyway, Jerry and I needed a new showerhead (don't ask) from Lowe's, so we figured while we were in the area we'd stop at Shopper's and scout out prices for couponing that week.

It was late when we got to Shopper's, about 10:00 at night, so we pretty much had the store to ourselves. We went our separate ways in the store looking at different things, but happened to meet up again in the cleaning aisle - Jerry at one end and me at the other.

As we were perusing items in our respective ends of the aisle, our wedding song came on over the store's speakers. I put my arms out and walked toward Jerry and told him that we should dance - it was, after all, our wedding song. And what were the chances of hearing your wedding song, 28 years later, in a grocery store at approximately 10:30 at night, with no one else around?

So, we danced. Right there in the cleaning aisle. I had my eyes closed, just enjoying the moment, when my husband of 28 years, my high school sweetheart, the love of my life, whispered in my ear.............

........"We need toilet cleaner."

Ah, romance.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't Give Up On Me!

I didn't disappear - things have been insanely busy and blogging has had to be put on the back burner for a little bit. Don't give up on me, though! I'll fill you in with the happenings here and in Delaware, complete with pictures, very shortly. It may have to be in installments, but that will keep the suspense up, won't it?!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Back for a moment....

The zucchini has released me, but now work is keeping me hopping - but that's a good thing, so I don't mind. Summer is typically when the doctors all seem to go on vacation at once and work is slow, but the last couple of weeks have kept me very busy, and I'm grateful. So, briefly, just had to share a couponing fete for today! (I've still been couponing - just not as much; not as much time!)

Today's haul at Food Lion - and Tom and Andy went for me because I was stuck working - yes, my boys can coupon with the best of them!

20 boxes of Eggo waffles
10 tubs of Best Life butter.
3 loaves of bread.

Total: $1.27

Here's the math in case anyone out there wants to do this too - or not, if you aren't as deranged as me!

Transaction #1:
10 boxes of Eggo waffles @1.67 each, 16.70
10 tubs of Best Life butter @.99 each, 9.90

Total 26.60

Used 5.00 Kraft catalina from last week
Used (5) 1.00/2 coupons from Sunday paper on Eggos
Used (10) 1.00/1 coupons from Sunday paper on butter

New total: 6.60 out of pocket, received 10.00 catalina from Kellogg's.

Transaction #2:
10 boxes of Eggo waffles @1.67 each, 16.70
3 loaves of bread @.99 each, 2.97

Total 19.67

Used 10.00 Kellogg's catalina from Transaction #1
Used (5) 1.00/2 coupons from Sunday paper on Eggos

New total: 4.67 out of pocket, received 10.00 catalina from Kellogg's.

If you subtract the 10.00 catalina I received from Transaction #2 that I still have to use on my next trip there, my total was 1.27 today for 20 boxes of waffles, 10 tubs of butter, and 3 loaves of bread. It's a sickness hobby!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zucchini Gang here.........

So, yeah, Karen asked us to write and let you know that we, the Zucchini Gang, have taken her hostage. We didn't wanna write, but she said 'people' might come looking for her, and then the jig would be up. We're taking care of her - sort of. We're making her cook zucchini 101 ways - only the zucchini we say to cook - not us, of course. We'll let her go when she finishes, or passes out from exhaustion, at which point we'll find another sap to hold hostage. Don't try to find her - we won't be responsible for our actions if you do.

- Zucchini Gang

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Question

Have you ever wondered what 90 cups of shredded zucchini looks like?

You haven't?


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Favorite Commercials

We don't really watch TV. People are actually horrified and act like we're freaks surprised to discover that neither I or any of my clan have ever seen even one episode of American Idol. Well, we seem to be doing okay, in spite of ourselves! Here are some of my favorite commercials, though. The one at the end is one I found on YouTube.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Father's Day, Take 2

The weekend before last we celebrated the rest of Father's Day. Andy's gift to Jerry had been delayed in shipping, so we didn't have it for the actual Father's Day. He got him a pellet gun. A very heavy, potentially very painful, pellet gun. Tom got him CO2 cartridges to power said gun. Now all of the boys have one.

The morphology of pellet guns around here is interesting. Tom got one for himself last year which he thoroughly enjoyed; so much in fact that he got Andy one for Christmas last year. Andy enjoyed his so much, that he wanted Jerry to have one, presumably so the three of them could have battles.

I felt like Ralphie's mother in A Christmas Story, "You'll put your eye out."

They spent Sunday afternoon shooting various objects around our yard. Bees on my lavender plant didn't stand a chance. If there is a honey shortage this year, you know who to blame.

We made badly-drawn targets and hung them from the clothesline. We initialed each person's shot so we knew who shot where. Note the "M" on the shot below. Yep, that was mine. Pure luck, I tell ya.

My contribution was a cake. I got this decorating idea from this blog post. I know it's a little late to do the flag cake, but I might still try it. My circles didn't come out as neatly as hers!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Air Conditioning - A Pictorial

I am cheap. I did not want to turn on our air conditioning. Recently our thermostat looked like this

Then it looked like this

Then this

And this

Then my family started acting like this

I surrendered.

To Rosie

Rosie, thank you for the comment you left regarding "The Pen, the Sword, and All That." I wanted to let you know that I did indeed receive it, but because of the personal nature of some of the things you wrote, I chose not to publish it, not without your permission. God is indeed a forgiving God - and it's a good thing, too, or we'd all be doomed! Thank you again for taking the time to leave your kind comment. It was appreciated.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dad Life - What a Hoot!

Listen carefully to the words - I especially love the Aladdin part!

Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Pen, the Sword, and All That..........

There are many variations on the saying "the pen is mightier than the sword." Playwright Bulwer-Lytton is most often credited with it as a line in a play in 1839, but actually the Greek poet Euripides is believed to have been the first to say it a long, long time ago (considering that he died in 406 B.C., it was a long time ago).

I have been pondering the post on acceptance I wrote a week ago and felt the need to write this one. Perhaps I could have said it differently, or thought it through more thoroughly. It was not my intent to open old wounds with my typewritten words. When I write, I very seldom think through as I'm writing; the words go from my brain into my hands and come out here on a page. I usually write very quickly, because I write "on the fly" as it were, and it wasn't until I was attacked in the comments that I stepped back to read, really read, what I had written.

It is interesting that the post was about acceptance. I am not writing this one to gain anyone's acceptance; rather to gain peace for myself about having hurt another person, however inadvertently. I still feel the same way about not needing anyone's approval, and it is for that very reason that I write this. It doesn't matter to me whether anyone thinks I'm weak or strong for writing this; the fact is that I hurt someone else unintentionally and that's not how I choose to live my life. Jesus is my model for meekness and humility, but sometimes human nature gets in the way.

I can still be strong enough to stand up for myself and accept myself regardless of what other people think of me, but I can also be strong enough to apologize if I don't feel peace about an issue, and so I sincerely apologize for the pain I caused another individual. It was most certainly not my intention.

No matter who was credited with saying it first, it is indeed true. The pen is mightier than the sword. Oh, and you might want to jot down that bit of trivia about the saying - you know, just in case you happen to get in the Cash Cab or something and it comes up!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled silly and optimistic blogging.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Camera Obscura

On Father's Day we (okay, the boys and Jerry - I took pictures!) built a camera obscura. Here is a link that will tell you how it works. What it is, or was in our case, was a cardboard box with a hole drilled into it. Tom had told us about one of his classes in Arlington when they had covered all the windows in the classroom until it was completely dark and then put a pinhole in one of the window coverings. The Arlington streets and skyline were then projected onto the back wall of the darkened classroom, upside down. He said they watched people walking by, cars and clouds - all upside down. We tried first to put a piece of blueprint paper onto the back wall of the closed box but no image came out. We discovered that would take a LONG time for the exposure to put an image on the paper.

Jerry is closing his office in Delaware and as things were being moved out of the office, an old blueprint machine was about to be thrown away. More about the Delaware office in a future post, though. Jerry and I decided that we wanted to play around with the machine before we threw it away, and there was an unopened package of blueprint paper too, so the boys and I started doing some experimentation to see what we could do with it. It doesn't take much to amuse us, as my readers already know!

We tried using the paper as sun paper - you know, the kind you used to use as a kid when you would lay rocks and such on it and leave it out in the sun and the images would appear in contrast on the paper? We left ours in the sun too long. Turns out you only have to expose it for a few short minutes, but that diazo (blueprint) paper also needs a chemical reaction to finish developing, like a photo. That's why there's ammonia in a blueprint machine to finish the development process.

Later on after taking the box back in the garage, Andy got inside it to see if there would be an image projected onto the back wall of the box. After a few minutes of his eyes adjusting to the dark, he was able to see our driveway projected upside down on the back of the box. Then a neighbor walked over to visit and Andy saw him approach - upside down - on the back wall of the box. As if the neighbors needed further confirmation that we weren't wrapped too tight, having our son in a cardboard box on a 90-degree day confirmed it!

We half-celebrated Father's Day last week. We'll be doing the second half this weekend. Andy's gift to Jerry ended up being delayed in shipping with UPS and didn't arrive in time, so we get to celebrate twice. I'll post about Jerry's gift after he actually gets it, if I get a chance. If not, have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Never A Dull Moment

Last Sunday we let our cat outside. Because he only has 2.5 legs, we only let him out when we can supervise him, or watch him from the front window. I didn't see him when I looked out so I went outside to round him up. I found him sitting under one of the massive bushes we have in our front yard. The bush is so big that he was literally under it and in it. Usually you can just scold him and he comes running out, but no amount of scolding was moving him this time. I reached in and tried to prod him out with my hand, but he wasn't budging.

Just as I was figuring that I'd have to climb in after him, a portion of something large, black, shiny, and about an inch and a half in diameter slithered past my face. To be exact, about three inches from my face. I jumped back and made a strange sort of yelping sound. I didn't know that such a sound could come out of me. The cat was snake hunting in that bush.

I ran inside and alerted the troops. Jerry and Tom got shovels and tried to coax the snake out. Well, first we used a stick and kept poking at the poor cat until he got so mad that he ran out of the bush, but he wasn't happy about having had his prey intercepted. Jerry finally "scooped" the snake out of the bush but he slithered out of the shovel and dropped to the sidewalk, where Tom then trapped him under his shovel.

I didn't want them to kill the snake - we were pretty sure it was a harmless black snake and, well, I would prefer a black snake in my yard than mice in my pantry. So we decided to put him in a trashcan and release him in the woods in the back yard. Here are pictures of our Sunday visitor.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Price of Beauty

Last week I treated myself to a for-really, honest-to-goodness, no-foolin' hair do. And not just a hair do. Color, cut, style, conditioning treatment - the works. When I left the house that morning I told the boys that I didn't know when I'd be back - the lady at the salon had her work cut out for her. The boys responded that she would see me coming across the parking lot and hide. They likened me to Hagrid from Harry Potter. And they weren't wrong.

So, after many hours, and fumes that about knocked me out, I emerged with a new 'do. And it was straight. You heard me - straight. Not that I don't have the option of it being curly - all I have to to do is get out of the shower and not do anything with it. But - BUT - if I want it straight, all I have to do is plug in this glorious tool that is a super mega size, super mega hot curling iron, and I can straighten my hair.

But I will need practice with this super mega size, super mega hot curling iron. On my first attempt at home, I succeeded in burning my forehead and right ear lobe. We're not talking about a mild burn, either. We're talking the kind of burn that leaves a mark, then a scab. Yeah, that kind of burn. This super mega size, super mega hot curling iron goes to 450 degrees. Which, the salon lady tactfully pointed out, was the temperature I would need if I even hoped to straighten this Hagrid-hair of mine.

Let me put that in perspective for you. Imagine turning your oven on, putting a pan inside, and setting it to 450 degrees. Now, after 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and apply it directly to your forehead or right ear lobe. Ouch. Did you know that skin that isn't even wet can sizzle with that kind of heat? I know that - now.

Well, here is a pic of my straightened hair - because I know that anyone who knows me won't believe me.

No, wait. That's a cheesecake I made last week.

Ah, here we are. And this is me - with straight hair. The picture isn't great, but you try taking a picture of yourself in a mirror with a camera. It ain't easy.

By the way, the cheesecake recipe can be found here, along with other great recipes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Sitting on our deck, you see this rhododendron bush. Look closer, and you see this in the rhododendron bush. I'm glad she decided to nest so close to our deck. We have front row seats!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Potatoes In A Can

We are growing potatoes. In a trashcan. And so far it's working. I read about this somewhere in cyberspace and thought it looked like fun, so the boys and I are trying it. Oh, and we planted them on St. Patrick's Day. That's the traditional day for planting potatoes.

The boys drilled holes in the sides and bottom of an old trashcan. Then we put some dirt in the bottom of it. Then we cut up two potatoes that had started sprouting eyes. We cut about an inch square of potato around the eye. Then we placed those squares of potato with the eyes in the trashcan and covered them with dirt. Then we walked away and promptly forgot that we had planted potatoes.

Not really. We checked on those things constantly, and after two weeks, just as we had decided that our spuds had either rotted or had been genetically modified to not reproduce, we saw sprouts. Glorious sprouts.

Now those sprouts are growing like crazy. We need to keep a careful eye on them though, because we need to keep dumping dirt on top of the plants whenever they get too tall. Let me explain.

Potatoes grow from sideways shoots that grow out from the main stalk of the plant. So, if we just let the first potato squares grow, the stalks would get tall, but only the shoots that the stalk sent out under the dirt would grow potatoes.

So, you wait until the stalks get about 6 inches above the dirt, then you cover everything up with dirt again. Then the stalks will grow up again through the dirt, but in the meantime you've added more space for the stalks to send out more shoots under the dirt. So, you keep doing this until the trashcan is filled to the top with dirt. After that you wait until the tops turn brown and fall over. Then you dump out your trashcan and harvest your spuds.

Here are pictures after twice being covered with dirt, and I covered them again last week but didn't take pictures yet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pure Gold

I came across this entry that I had written in 2005. Gold. Pure gold, I tell ya. And why aren't publishers beating down my door asking me to write?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Goodbye, Circus!

Welcome to my new layout. I still may tweak it a bit, but I got tired of not writing because I just couldn't stand looking at my own layout! Between the tabs and the music, it had just become too much; too busy. And what's worse, I started feeling pressure to write, and that is never good.

I write because I enjoy it; not because I have to. A couple of years ago I was offered a job writing for a magazine, but I turned it down because I don't want the pressure of deadlines to have to come up with something creative. I have had a book idea rolling around in my head for a long time now, and the boys keep telling me I need to write it, but that's different. I can write that in my spare time (what's that?!) before any publishers need to know about it. I don't want to solicit a book contract based on the first two chapters only, and then have a deadline to finish the rest of the book. Too much pressure! Yes, an advance would be nice, but I wouldn't want that hanging over my head. Anyway, that's a thought for another day. In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think about that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my less circus-y blog. I think I'm going to like it here........

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It Doesn't Take Much

Well, I'm back momentarily - I know I haven't written in a while and I'm going to be changing my blog around a bit soon, but for now I had to write about my trip to Giant this afternoon. Using the current General Mills $10.00 off $20.00 catalina promotion and doing this in four transactions, here's what I got:

12 boxes of Hamburger Helper (don't judge - you know you'd cook it too if it were nearly free!)
6 Apple and Eve Fruitables (8-pack)
4 Green Giant Steamers
2 boxes Cocoa Puffs cereal
1 box Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
1 box Trix cereal
1 box Lucky Charms cereal
5 boxes of Nature Valley granola bars
2 boxes of Bisquick
1 Reese's peanut butter cup package (2 peanut butter cups)
4 Breakstone sour cream

The grand total out of my pocket after rolling the catalinas through four transactions was - drum roll please - $13.47.

*Contented sigh*

Yes, it's a sickness.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This is what I feel like with my boys. *sniff* (Click on the image to see it larger).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The boys digging their way to the woodshed to get firewood. Tote that barge, lift that bale!

I love how the trees look painted with snow.

We all went out the other night and played in the snow. While Jerry was tackling the boys (literally!), I made a snow angel. The boys remarked at the small head and large posterior of this particular angel!

Camera Cleaning Time!

Sledding - redneck style. Jerry and Tom dreamed up this combination. It worked - once - then one of the legs broke off of the chair!

After taking pictures of Jerry on the roof, I turned around to see this - and then got bombarded with snowballs. I snapped this picture quickly as evidence.

Jerry on the roof shoveling snow. He said if anyone asked, to tell them that he couldn't find enough on the ground to shovel!

More pictures of my man shoveling snow off the roof.

And yet, another picture. Sorry - just can't stop snapping pictures of this guy!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Going to Hungary

I'm going to Hungary, y'all. I was reading Reader's Digest last night and came across an article where they had taken surveys all over the world about weight issues. Turns out that Hungary is the country least likely to be concerned about weight; either with themselves or with others. So if you'll excuse me, I have some packing to do........

Friday, February 05, 2010

Gearing Up!

Yes, I know it's been about a month since I last posted. No excuses - I've just been too busy to write! Oh, wait - that is an excuse isn't it?!

The snow started here about 11:00. We are all looking forward to the Great Snow that is supposed to happen. We have movies, games, snowball fights, snow cream, and other stuff planned. How about y'all? What do you do on snow days?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Better Late Than Never!

This is a post that I started a long time ago (mostly in my head) and intended to post around Christmas. It's still around Christmas isn't it?!

I was listening to Gabriel's Message, a song by Jars of Clay, (on the player below - turn off the player to the right and click play on this player to hear the song.) A line from the song made me think. The song is based on the gospel of Luke when the angel Gabriel visits Mary and tells her that she will be having a son and he will be the Savior. To this life-changing message Mary responds, "To me be as it pleases God."

This is what I started thinking about. Here was Mary, a young girl, engaged to Joseph, told she would be pregnant and give birth. Keep in mind what being pregnant before marriage meant at that time. It still raises some eyebrows now; imagine back in Mary's day - yet, "To me be as it pleases God." She was risking everything. Being ostracized from the community, disowned by family, being left by Joseph.

But she knew, she knew, that trusting God was more important than any of that, and that He could indeed be trusted. How many times have I knowingly or unknowingly not trusted Him? How many times should I have said, "To me be as it pleases God," and just simply trusted? How long until it finally sinks in that there is Someone in charge - and it's not me!?

I am ashamed to admit that in the same circumstances I may not have had the same trust and outlook as Mary. And look what I would have missed. What am I missing now by not having her outlook? Everything that is put in front of me in this life - good or bad - is designed and planned by a God who loves me and only wants what is best for me. Lord, please help me to have a trusting heart and truly be able to say, "To me be as it pleases You", whatever the circumstances.


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