Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Dropped The Soda

I asked Frank to bring me up a can of soda. 

I can hear him saying, "Cold! Cold! Cold!" all the way from the fridge, up the stairs and to my room.

He hands me the can and starts to say something.  Now, Frank takes a while to start a sentence.  The first word usually takes about 5-10 seconds to materialize (all my boys have gone through this stage).  While he's working on it, I am opening up the tab to the soda.

I wish I had waited for him to get the sentence out, because as I finally pop the top of the can, Frank says, "I dropped the soda".

And now I'm covered in root beer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The 3rd of July

Walking down a sidewalk with my at-home kids, my husband and my mom, toting a few meager supplies from our car, down blocks of sidewalks and through a parking lot and then on to the lawn, sitting on blankets in prickly grass, waiting with little ones for the sky show to start.

Wondering why after six kids I still never remember to ask if they need to use the restroom before we leave the house, especially when our destination does not have the facilities to facilitate our urgent and inevitable needs.

Piling up on the blankets watching the fireworks and watching my kids watch the fireworks.  I don’t know which is more entertaining.  Frank’s face turns toward the lights like a satellite dish toward the signal in space.

Making the long trek back to the car with all our stuff that seems to have doubled in size and weight.  Sitting in our car along with hundreds of other lawn dwellers who had the same idea about the “short cut nobody would think to take.”

Singing in the car on the way home and then carrying the sleepy kids up to their beds when we finally arrive back home to our stuffy house.  Open the windows.

Happy 3rd of July!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Note Found On A Post-It

To:  Hannah

I love you so much that if you died I will have all of your stuff if you did not want them.

I love you


Friday, March 25, 2011

It Smells.

We sold our truck years ago.  I immediately headed to the bank to deposit the Cashiers Check and was able to go straight to the teller window because I was the only person in the bank. The new and slightly timid teller starts the transaction but informs me that she will need to put a hold on the funds unless the issuing bank can verify it's a valid check.

She does.

They can't.

The Boss Teller comes over to the Fledgling Teller and investigates. I'm sweating. Thinking about crying. And how will I explain to Troy that I just gave away our truck for free because they "seemed like nice people"?

Boss Teller informs me that if I can give her the last name of the people who issued the questionable check, she will be able to track it more easily. She assures me that it's probably just because the check was issued on that day and most likely it will show up in the other bank's system the next day.

This whole time, I smell poop. But there's a baby at the window next to me now, so I think nothing of it.

I go out to my car, call my oldest son and ask him to grab the Bill of Sale from the filing cabinet and give me the buyer's last name. I write it down, bring it back into the now PACKED bank and wait in line.

There's that poo smell again. But there's another baby in line behind me so I think nothing of it. Not really.

I finally get to the window after letting the entire line pass me so that I can get the same teller that I had before. The Timid Teller calls the issuing bank. Only, she just gives them the same information that she gave them last time. She never tells them the payor's last name. I am about to interrupt her and tell her that the whole reason I waited in line a second time was to bring her this information that she requested so could she please use it? But then my attention is drawn to the palm of my right hand.

Poo. A portion of my palm is covered in dried poo. What to do, right?  I find a receipt in my purse, lick my thumb, smear the spit on the receipt and try to wipe off the now-petrified offense. Eventually, it relents. Only now, with the friction and the added moisture, it TOTALLY smells. Like, before, maybe only I could smell it, but now it's emanating from my body like a Glade Plug-in: Death Edition.

So when she tells me that I have to come in again tomorrow to find out if the bank would have a record of the check by then, I don't complain and instead just say, "Oh! Okay, thank you! Bye!"  Because when you're at the bank with your baby's dried poop on the palm of your hand? You really need to just go home.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Soul Print - Discovering Your Divine Destiny

In Mark Batterson's latest book, Soul Print, he sets out to remind us that God has made each of us unique and that our uniqueness is a testament to God, our Creator.  However, "Few people discover the God-given identity that makes them unlike anyone else."

Seems fine, at first.  Not ground-breaking, but fine.

It didn't take me too many pages to start talking back to the book.  "No, that isn't right."  "Does he mean to say...?"  "Did I accidentally pick up a pop psychology book?"

I hadn't even made it to Scene 1 in the book before I read things like, "God isn't going to ask, 'Why weren't you more like Billy Graham [...]?  God is going to ask, 'Why weren't you more like you?'"

I don't know about that.

The book asserts that we need to find out who we are so that we can know who God is.  It sounds fine, I suppose.  But it doesn't have that satisfying ring of truth.  1 Corinthians 2:2 has Paul saying, "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."  That's it.  We never see Paul or Jesus or Moses or Noah looking back into their past memories so that they could find their soul print. They kept their eyes on the Lord. 

When we walk closely with God, we become who He made us to be. 

I did find the book easy-to-read and the author's writing style is engaging.  Even when he delves into the question of whether Saul was dealing with a #1 or #2 (yeah, you read that right) when he was in the cave "relieving himself".  I have to admit, I've never heard anyone get quite as deep into that passage.

I won't recommend this book to anyone. If someone asks me about it, I'll probably tell them that it isn't heresy, but it isn't going to help your walk with the Lord, either.

This review brought to you by me, the letter C and from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, who gave me the book for free in exchange for my book review.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gold Bond Is Cool

A short while after applying Gold Bond medicated itching cream (with menthol) to a bug bite on my arm, I became suddenly aware that I must not have gotten all the lotion off of my hands after application.  And as the menthol-induced coolness at the new and shocking location intensified, so did my wish that it was customary to wash ones hands before using the restroom.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dreaming of Toast

This morning I woke up slowly. And during my trek to wakefulness, I heard weird noises. Some kids playing outside? It seemed sort of muffled or far away. It was more like a whine or a moan and I thought maybe my kids were playing house and someone was mad that they had to be the cat again.

I kept hearing it and my curiosity was enough to make me decide to wake all the way up and investigate. I sat up and listened really carefully for the noise again.

And then I heard it. And I knew.

And I reached under my bed and grabbed my two-year-old daughter's ankles and pulled her out from her below-bed prison.

Now, I don't know how she got there. I asked her of course. She was either hiding and got stuck, or she came in and laid on my floor and fell asleep, only to roll under my bed while dreaming she was bread going in the toaster.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Upcycling Like A Pro

I got these two giant tubs of arts & crafts supplies from the office of my old church.  They're doing a Spring cleaning of sorts and they're tossing or donating a bunch of stuff. 

It was like Christmas!  Who could know what I'd unearth in the next layer of kid-friendly fare?  Pom-poms, foam sticker shapes, a rocket kit and the makings for a pinewood derby car were near the top of the heap.

And then, underneath the sheets and sheets of construction paper, I found something brilliant:  A clear VHS case filled with crayons.

Now, I don't think the people who stashed the crayons in there were trying to be awesome. I bet they were thinking, "Where am I going to put these crayo...oh hey!  There's a video case!"  But I thought it was a stroke of genius.  For many reasons.  One, because what else are you going to use those cases for?!  We've moved on to Blu-ray and those things are from, like, six generations of technology ago.  Two, they're just the right size for an on-the-go coloring kit. The flat sides make them easy to fit into a shoebox alongside some small notepads or activity books. Three, they're clear so there's no wondering if the case is filled with just crayons or crayons and poo (I've had toddlers). 

I feel a little smart, too.  Like maybe I could run a site like The Upcycle Blog.  You know, if having one good idea (that I really didn't technically even have) qualified me to do that.  If that counted then yeah, I could totally do that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Swagbucks. That's right - Swagbucks.

Search & Win

I used to make a pretty decent living working in the accounting department of a mortgage company. I was a single mom and was doing my part to bring home the thick-sliced, maple-brined bacon.

Then I got married and have five more kids and even though the kid I was raising with a single, greasy-from-bacon-fat-hand has now moved out and on, I still have those last five at home and they need bacon too.

And I don't want to be the one to have to leave my sofa to work for it, so I do what I can from here. My husband goes out and works hard every day and I earn Swagbucks.. Ridiculous sounding, I know.

But this last year, without even really trying, I collected enough Swagbucks to buy all this:

  • Digital voice recorder
  • (Used and outdated) Palm Pilot
  • Laptop charger
  • Some fancy deodorant
  • A fancy razor (with extra blades)
  • Three canisters of a chocolate-flavored meal replacement shake powder
  • A canister of green superfood powder
  • Some water soluble oil paint.
  • 15 books

15 books!

And I still have some leftover money in my Amazon account, too.

I'm not saying this justifies me not getting a Big Girl job, but it keeps me from having to spend money from my husband's Big Boy paycheck (which - these days - is not-so-big.

I use the Swagbucks search engine instead of Google (most times) and complete a poll or two - maybe check out the Swagbucks toolbar that I installed for a surprise code and next thing you know, I've earned enough Swagbucks to cash in for a gift card code at Amazon.

What are you waiting for???  Sign up!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil

"I lost the money I had set aside for rent. He knows where it is. If he wanted to help me, He could."

Maybe you've never lost an envelope full of cash, and maybe your most recent struggle was a much bigger deal than what I experienced the week I began reading this book, but certainly there have been times in your life when your thoughts have lead you to this uncomfortable and trailing thought:

"He could fix this mess in an instant, but I am still in this mess..." What does that say about God?

I implore you to find out. In the book, If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, by Randy Alcorn, you can learn about what it means when the scriptures declare that God is Good. You might be surprised at what you learn inside the covers of this book

The author quotes John Piper as saying:

The suffering of the utterly innocent and infinitely holy Son of God in the place of the utterly undeserving sinners to bring us to everlasting joy is the greatest display of the glory of God's grace that ever was, or ever could be. Everything leading to it and everything flowing from it is explained by it, including all the suffering in the world.

I have yet to read a more exhaustive treatment on the goodness of God and how it reconciles with his sovereignty in the midst of a world that is full of sin and evil and suffering.

As a child, I'd ask my mom why I couldn't have my way in a situation and more than not, she'd reply, "Because I said so." I have always answered any questions I had regarding why God allows suffering: Because He said so. I've never questioned God's goodness, but I'd never thought to learn about it, either.

I chose to read this book expecting to find a glossed over, heard-it-all-before compilation of thoughts and opinions. I expected to read it a day. Two days if I had to go grocery shopping or volunteer at the kids' school.

A full month later, and I'm just wrapping it up. I've never come across a book that was equal parts dense and fascinating.

This book addresses free will, the sovereignty of God, the origins of sin, heaven and hell. This book asks tough questions like:

  • If God is all-knowing, why did He create Lucifer to begin with - He had to know he would fall from grace.
  • If God is good, why does He allow all this suffering?
  • If God is sovereign, then why does he allow us to make choices that He knows will cause harm?

He also addresses different belief systems and what they have to say about Yahweh. Then he shows you what the bible says about Yahweh.

In addition to many stories and real-life experiences that he recounts for us - both from current events and from history past - this book is also beautifully rich in scriptural evidences to support each section.

It is a lengthy book that most won't be able to breeze through, but aside from the scriptures themselves, I've rarely encountered a book that has so thoroughly changed my understanding of God. I no longer ask, "Why isn't God intervening?" Instead, I see each struggle as part of God's good and redemptive plan for my life.

I am glad I chose to review this book. My love for reading books rarely intersects with my ability to pay for books and for this reason, I was glad to find that I could get a free copy of If God Is Good... from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my book review.