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Monday, July 31, 2006

"Alrighty Then"


"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"~ C.S. Lewis ~
Somehow- when I read this weeks quote.... I saw Jim Carrey playing God- saying "ALRIGHTY THEN!" (Which he never did... but it's what Im hearing;)
The whole idea- on both accounts, makes me cringe.
If there were to be a crown for problem solving- I would be it's wearer. My Husband and kids will a attest to that one. Give me a problem, and I'll figure out a Plan A, Plan B and a back up in case of emergency Plan C. If those plans fail, I will certainly be able to come up with a D-Z.
MOST of the time, this is a plus. Just not so much, when it comes to my relationship with God. I ocassionally think I have the "best plan" for things. And tend to offer God solutions, options you could say. I am almost inevitably surprised by His creativity in choosing a MUCH better plan.
I remember being a new Christian (yes, I still remember) and fearing for My Dad's salvation. (ummm he was pretty much an addict at the time- and pretty toasted (physically, emotionally and socially) by His drug usage. Then he became involved in The Jehovah's Witnesses. Things were not improving in my eyes.
I started to panic. I remember looking at the situation, and praying... "Dear Lord- I'm the "ONLY" Christian My dad knows- please help me get him saved" I tried everything in the "Christian's Guide to Saving Heathens" (OK, I made that up... there is bo such book, that I know of, anyway...;) Nothing worked- my "attempts" at saving my Dad- started to feel like a wedge between us, instead of loving my Dad where he was, I tried to argue doctrine etc.
Years passed, and I continued to pray- but I let go of the idea of "saving my dad." I decided to let Jesus be in charge of that one. But- in the back of my mind- I always worried a bit about "the influences" that were in my Dad's life.
My plan- A-Z was that as I was the "only" Christian my Dad knew... so, of COURSE, I would be the most logical one to share Christ with Him, or else it wouldn't happen. That's when I met God's plan -it was better as usual.
Years ago- while attending a party (thrown by his AA N/A friends) for my Dad's (something "big" birthday- I don't remember which) I was honored to meet the woman who sponsored my Dad. This little, elderly woman was tethered to an oxygen tank. But- I soon found out, more than air- she was full of God. She held my hands and told me about praying for my Dad- and loving him. And sharing Christ with him. FOR ALL THESE YEARS.
I was shocked. You mean God could use someone else? But I though..... I was... the only... Christian.....Duh. Tracey - plan A B C God--- Plan GOD. And again- I say, Duh.
I cannot really pin down my Dad's relationship with God- it has defied labels. But- I can say this, with assurance- God is making Himself known to my Dad. Often times- in spite of me. And my Dad, well- he is getting to know God. (Not as quickly as I would plan;)- but we're going with God's plan- He's pretty reliable, I've come to learn)
I'll admit, however- that sometimes- when I see God's plan unfolding, I disagree with it. Ummm I GET, that, that, is ludicrous- but I doubt that I am the only one. Sometimes- God's plan, just isn't "logical"- from my perspective.
I am by NO means a Star Trek fan- but I will admit to having watched it (or boxing or car races) every Sunday afternoon as a kid. And to tell you the truth- I have stood by God- Staring at him muttering that God's plan is "illogical". Much like Spock did to Captain Kirk, on ocassion.
In reading today's quote- I wonder, what makes the difference between the two "kinds of people?" In my experience- it's when I refuse to let go of my own plan and accept His. When I (try to) force my agenda. (not that I'd EVER try to do that;)
Getting to a place of acceptance of God's will, is (for me) often a wrestling match. Like Jacob- I wrestle with God- until He wins.
I may walk away with a limp from the experience of wrestling- but at least I walk in the right direction. In the direction of God's will. One of His greatest blessings.
Sometimes, we just don't bother with the wrestling .
We question- but we don't ask questions. Instead of wrestling with God- asking our questions as ugly as they may be- we question God's character. Not to Him- but to ourselves. Like a young child, pouting and angry over not getting their way... we say "You don't love me" (One of my youngest, Noah's -current favorite means of manipulation to get his own way- it doesn't work) or like another young child on the playground- we take our ball and go home, having nothing more to do with the God who won't play our game.
I am glad to wrestle- hot, sweaty work that it is. I'd much rather be surprised by God's better plans- than to turn my back and cease to see him or His plans all together.
I pray it's never God who says to me- "Alright, have it your way" (Alhough, the whole Jim Carrey as God saying "Alrighty, Then" thing could give me nightmares...:) But- that I will continue to wrestle (hopefully the matches will get shorter, when I wise-up and give up sooner and sooner!) and in the end I'll always say "Not your my will, but yours" As, Jesus did.
Dear Lord- I ask you to accomplish your will in this world. In my life, my family, friends and ministry- where ever your plans lead- I will follow, and God- if we need to wrestle again any time soon- go easy on my bod- it's getting old- I love you Lord- amen
ps- I love CS Lewis. Just had to throw that in;)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dear sister friends... look away....you will not like this



Skipping church to see a Harlot?

Nope, not me. Didn't do it. I may have THOUGHT about it, but I didn't do it.

Went to church FIRST. (Which was a phenomenal worship experience)

Then went to see The Harlot.

Much better.

The Yarn Harlot that is. If I am freak and an addict when it comes to knitting- then she is the QUEEN. (as long as there is someone worse than me- I'm fine, right?) She writes books about knitting. She blogs, about knitting. And yes, She actually does knit.


There was no actual "Harlotry" in the making of this blog entry, so please don't worry about me. She is a humorist and her name? Is Stephanie Pearl -McPhee. AKA : The Yarn Harlot.

I joined over 200 other knitters at the Ann Arbor Library, where The Harlot beguiled us with "yarns" of knitting, not telling us HOW to knit, but talking about the fun of it. The people of knit, and the people who don't get "knit".

In the pic above- you see Mrs Harlot herself holding my completed "hedera" sock (mine is the sock on the left;) finished while waiting for the book signing) if you want to know about the sock picture thing- well- click over to her site and read about it;)

Interesting things happen at Knitting book-signings:

1) Estrogen, when concentrated in a super heated room, can be palpitated. It was mainly a female audience. Estrogen levels peaked at an all time high in the Library.

2) At a Knitting book signing, people you don't know, may fondle your knits. Be careful if you choose to WEAR them. (I DID. Can you say boundaries? Though- its also true, most will ask before they pet your silk shawl... besides- they liked it;)

3) People at knitting book signings take interesting pictures. They hold half knit socks, into the frame & they photograph other people's knitting. One woman asked to take a picture of MY shawl. (hello? I'm NOBODY... but it was sweet- so I let her;)

4) People at knitting book signings know they are somewhat crazed, and they are FINE with that, it's the rest of the world who has the "issues". (Hmmmmm yes- that's crazy, I get that;)

5) Nobody at a Knitting Book signing even bothers to try to act "cool" please, it's about KNITTING. Duh.

So that's my story- and I'm stickin to it.

BTW- please note- My sock is bigger than the Harlot's sock;) Just sayin.

Below- a shot of the knitter lining up for the signing- (umm it started as a LINE but ended more of a spiral as women snaked around the room- though most were kept civil, by knitting)


I think the guy below had a full head
of hair when he arrived-must a been the estrogen;)

harlotry 004

See- It's not just ME: harlotry 002harlotry 001 blurry pic;)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sunday's post???? Check out CWO Team Blog

Christian Women Online Team Blog- is where you'll find my post today!
See you there!


Indebted to Dermabond

Mom was making milkshakes on that hot afternoon. Dad? He and the little guy had just come in from playing soccer. Nickjr.com was loading on Daddys laptop they were about to play ridiculous internet games.....then "IT" happened.

Noah started to do his happy dance (he's ALWAYS dancing) just as he spun into the kitchen, his head met the corner of the cabinet, the cabinet was not dancing.

There was the heartstopping "thud" that causes moms to hold their breath and wait for the cry, then run to evaluate the damage.

Noah is the third boy, we don't panic when it comes to bloody head wounds. "They always bleed alot." (How many times have I heard that? More than I care to remember.) This one was perfectly shaped like the corner of the cabinet, and deep-so after cold compression to stop the bleeding- and a sip of his vanilla shake-for strength, (ummm Mom and Noah both needed a sip:) We headed out to the Urgent Care Center.

That's where I became forever indebted to Dermabond. Derma-group2-1

I do not "do" needles well. I tend to faint. And I cry. When it comes to stitches- that's Daddy's arena. He's the strong loving "holder" and attention diverter- while mommy tries not to cry and make it worse. However-this gash proved to be treatable with Dermabond.

Instead of the classic tag team, wrestle and suture match between preschooler, parent and Doctor, where the result is a full grown (very full grown in our case) Daddy's pinning a preschooler to the mat and holding him down for however long it takes the Doctor to sew up the damage. This time, the nurse asked distracting questions- the Doctor broke out the Super Glue and Dad helped where needed. Mom was safely within view, at the foot of the bed- where she would not passout, and where here tears wouldn't be noticed. Whew.

WOW. What a difference a decade or so makes! The trauma was minimized. Noah is good to go.

Mom, however? She needs a good cup of coffee, a bit of mindless knitting and maybe a nap. Or a Napoleon Dynamite type stupid yet funny movie. Dad will recover when Mom does.

Good thing dinner was already in the crock pot!

This was after spending last night driving back and forth to DH's stranded dead car- arranging for a tow, and then being hit with nearly $1000 tab for a repair that won't be ready until later this week.

My vacation? It will be in the form of a fuel pump for the Aurora. Grand.

Some days are just like this. There is blood, tears, chaos and unexpected junk.

But- I'm thankful.
I'm thankful we have insurance to cover the Doctor.
I'm THANKFUL for Dermabond. (It's a magical wonder if you ask me!... although when I see the bill and they charge me $500 or something ridiculous for super glueing his head- we'll see how I feel...;)
I'm thankful for DH's job- that will (eventually) pay off all this mess.
I'm thankful for having 2 cars. (We can still do what we need to without Dad's car)
I'm thankful that DH was here when this injury occured. I hate doing this stuff by myself.
I'm thankful the big boys are old enough to be left at home when a run to the emergency room is necessary..(arranging care for the non-injured was such a hassle- when they were younger)
I'm thankful.......well- I'm just thankful, that regardless of what kind of chaos, calamity or trauma we face- God is with us---- I would NOT want to go through this "extreme mothering" thing without Him!

Dear Lord- I love you- I thank you for my Guys- and for being with us today, I thank you for your provision, and your tender loving care, I pray that you'd continue to heal Noah's head, and help us all to get some rest- I love you Lord- Amen!

Friday, July 28, 2006

SO do I still knit, or WHAT?




Since I was dragging yarn around the mall on my "Girls Night Out" Last night... I suppose the answer would be . YES;)

I suppose I have avoided posting knitting content, for 2 reasons.

1) Because I am in a knitting Quandry.

2) Because I have sunk to a new knit-addictive low- (or high-based on your perspective;)

Let me explain:

First the quandry. In the pic you can see a lovely (if I do say so myself) sock- in Claudia's Handpaint- Ingrid's Blues Colorway. The yarn is SOFT, the colors- perfect beach sky sand and water colors.... doesn't seem like a dilemma, or problem, does it?

Look CLOSELY. Please note the mismatched needles.

I think these socks are doomed. I first Broke a US #1 Lantern Moon needle. I happily found a Pattern that calls for 4 needles- The Hedera Pattern , I thought I had averted a problem.... started knitting away- when I LOST Needle #4. I replaced it with another wood needle- but it's a bit short- so I'm having trouble keeping the stitches on.

Fine. I'm a trooper- I can conquer this challenge. I keep going, then I try on the sock- and it's longer than I prefer.... but I figure--- It's ok- I can deal with it..... until I notice that the ball of pretty yarn is NO WHERE Near enough to complete the SOCK.

Disgusted. I put it in the knitting bag- in time out. I'll start another sock on matching needles from the other ball of yarn before I frog that one. I HATE ripping out work. Such a waste.

Question? Hmmmmm for the LIFE of ME I cannot decide how to rip this sock out. I will probably start from the outside of the ball- put it on the winder- then work to the center and pull from the sock. PITB (Pain in the putt) If you have a beeter suggestion for frogging---- let me know.

Next reason (excuse) for not posting knitting content? See the pretty knit swirl objects? Yes- they are DISHCLOTHS. (Washclothes, actually) I cannot even believe I have knit them. I am a bargain mavin- and am totally aware that I can buy dishclothes and washclothes at the DOLLAR STORE.... but aren't these cute? All Pinwheelie and prettiful???????

Told you- another level of knitting addiction. ;) (Actually- these are all gifts- they'll be wrapped around bath bombs and presented with love.... so THERE! ;)

In the Pic is a quick pair of Sassy Stripes Sockies..... Easy and cute.

And On the wheel- I'm still spinning the natural colored Alpaca. Pretty and soft- but I'm slow at spinning the slippery fibers. I have something special planned for it when it's done though!

So that's my confession-----Yes I'm knitting...

Oh... and don't ask about my Amazing Lace Project--- i'm afraid of the BORDER, so I'm practicing AVOIDANCE.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Prowling Panda Pounces into Preschoolers Pull-up...kind of;)

This is a ridiculous post. Be forewarned.

Noah changed his "pull-up"- looked at the contents- then happily exclaimed:

"Look, Mommy! I Pooped a Panda! "

I looked and, why, yes- it DID resemble a Panda. Vaguely.

(BTW this did lead into yet another conversation about big boys who can recognize panda's in their poo, should certainly be using the potty)

pandapoo

In answer to your questions, in advance:

1) No, I did not photograph, said "poo". (My DH's first question)

2) Yes, I make him change his own pull-up. He's plenty big enough.

3) Yes, I've read countless potty training books, and have tried everything ;)

PS does anyone have an inside line on what colleges accept students in "pull-ups" 'Cause I'm starting to wonder......

Knitting update will be posted later;)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

".....they are more beautiful if they are few"




"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~
"I want it NOW Daddy!" Says Verucca Salt, to her Daddy just before she's dropped down the garbage chute, in "Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory".
Verucca and I have a lot in common.
When I was a kid- we'd go "Up north" for vacation each year. (In Michigan, that's where we go--- UP NORTH;) Each year- I'd fill a pail with the most beautiful shimmering clam shells, and petosky stones- and usually a painted turtle- too. At the end of the week, I couldn't even lift the bucket. Then, I'd have to decide, what I could actually carry home with us. (The turtles never did... something about diseases and stuff... which I never understood, as I had been playing with them all WEEK)
I remember sorting out the broken shells, keeping only the whole ones (preferably the ones that looked like butterflies, because they were still connected;) and only keeping the smoothest petosky stones. Whole shells and smooth stones were rare, beautiful and precious. I weeded out the others- but, in truth? I still wanted them ALL.
I suppose, not much has changed in regards to that desire- even now. Not so much in the "stuff" sense,though I do have some shoes;) (or shells and rocks for that matter- my guys bring PLENTY of them home, no turtles either-they DO carry diseases! Though , at the moment there is a container of worms in my fridge for fishing purposes;)
For me, the struggle is more in the "wanting to know" sense. I hear my prayers asking questions, wanting to KNOW all the answers. I want to understand everything that can be known of God. "I want it NOW Daddy!" Could be my prayers, interpreted.
I desperately want as much of God- as He will give. Years ago, when my kids were young, they were involved in "Bible Quizzing" I stood in absolute amazement, at the amount of scripture they could memorize. They could "buzz in" after a few words....and complete the scripture. It challenged me to work on memorization. Something I am (still) TERRIBLE at.
I used drill cards, I used scripture memory songs. Nothing much seemed to work. I started to be jealous of those (yes- even my kids!) who could memorize large portions of scripture. I started to be frustrated and angry with myself for not being able to remember the "chapter and verse- reference" (I have a MAJOR aversion to numbers;) It seemed like nothing I tried worked.
Somewhere along this time- our church was offering a program for young Christians, called "The Master's Commission" they devoted a year to study and ministry in seeking God. I was privileged to get to know these "kids" through providing a meal for them each month... I was able to watch them grow. On leaving the program, one of the young men- (Derrick- though the spelling on that may be wrong) wrote an article for our church "newsletter". He said something along these lines.. (forgive the loose paraphrase... as the newsletter is long gone)
"It's not that I need to learn any MORE about God- but to learn to apply, what I've learned."
On reading the quote for today, by Anne - I realize, that the scripture truths I hold most closely, aren't the ones I struggled to learn through "memorization technique"- but the ones I struggled to learn through life. The ones made alive, through God's revelation by His Holy Spirit. The few, I've learned to apply. Those are the ones imprinted on my heart, because of my resonant experiences with them. Those are the scriptures that are rooted and alive in my heart. Those are the "shells" I treasure.
Maybe, sometime- I'll go through my journal and start posting the stories that imprinted the verses on my heart, like when we desperately desired a house of our own.. when we thought we'd lose our babies- before ever holding them.. (yes- all three times) when there was no milk in the fridge- and we were trusting God to provide....so many stroies- so many verses that God has spoken... but in comparison to the WHOLE Bible? Or knowing ALL of God? Not even close. Yet- these truths are so precious to me. Like the shells and the stones- they are all I can carry, for now- and I treasure them.
After all these years- I realize I will never know ALL of God, until He reveals Himself, upon arrival n His presense. Maybe I don't NEED to now. Maybe- just maybe, the rarity of what I know now- helps to keep it precious. Like shells on the beach.
Dear Lord- help me to treasure the little of you that I know- show me more of you- and help me to be satisfied in you- I love you Lord- amen.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

hmm... boy+rocks +water= ?








Equals THROW.

Any questions? I didn't think so.
It's amazing- add rocks, boys (or men) and a water source- and you have hours of fun. I used to constantly yell.... ("No Throwing, Boys- NO Throwing!") But long ago, I realized it was going against the grain. I'm just happy they aren't throwing rocks at each other!

I was intrigued by the pond in the pic aboves' use of fun-noodles for weed containment. I'm thinking that the farm was trying to keep the water plants from taking over the whole pond.... but, I thought it was hilarious that there were weeds being contained by "fun-noodles". Somewhat ironic, if you ask me.

I have to wonder- how many times do we do the same thing? We corral our kids, our leaders our lives, with fun-noodle boundaries and rules trying to keep everything in our control. Yet- somehow, in doing so- we limit the growth that could occur. We change a nautural setting into one thats "perfect"- but not organic.

I'm not a "no holds barred" kind of Mom, but I have to admit- when challenged on some of my rules, my reasoning has fallen short. I sometimes don't see how much my well established and thought through, plan for "containment", might really be as ridiculous as fun-noodles in a pond.

Years ago, my oldest was only allowed to ride his "big wheel" from our driveway, to the next-door neighbors. About, oh... 50 feet. He was 6 at the time. A friend found out... about my "fun-noodle rule", and challenged me to re-consider. She gently suggested, that maybe a 1 driveway per year rule would be more appropriate.

Eventually, the driveways gave way to around the block, then to riding to the CVS, now- I'm preparing to let my oldest drive a car, on his own.

The pond I saw yesterday, was at a beautiful little pettting farm. The lawn was manicured, the pond well cared for. There was a perfectly planned little waterfall, well chosen rocks around the pond.

But- honestly? I prefer the wild beauty of nature.
There is a beauty in a lake with lilypads- growing where they may. There is also something wonderful, about boys throwing rocks, riding big-wheels and driving cars. Something that depicts Gods continued involvement in creation, growth.
As a mom, it's a challenge to constantly evaluate whether my rules and boundaries for my children are valid, and healthy, or overly controlling fun-noodle rules.
Overly restrictive rules, strangle children, the same way that fun-noodles hamper pond plant growth. Healthy boundaries and rules, provide a safe atmosphere to grow and stretch in. Allowing our little pond weeds- to grow and flourish.
Proverbs 22:6
" Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Our job as parents, regardless of our childs' ages, is not just to keep them safe from the world, but to train them how to live, in the world, enjoying God's creation, and living to the full, lives that honor God.

Dear Lord- I thank you for my guys, I pray that you'd give us wisdom, in our parenting choices, that we'd be training them, in the way THEY should go, not necessarily the way we would, I pray that I can always see where my fun-noodle rules are, and adjust them. I love you Lord- and thank you for each of my boys- amen.







Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fresh air will do that to a....

***FYI- there is a new post at Missional Mom-****click over to view

I wanna be Tired. In the good way.

Do you know what I mean? Sometimes we're tired in a not-so pleasant way. We're exhausted because of worry, stress, work and life. That's not the kind of tired I'm talking about. I mean tired in the good way.

The- "I've been playing in the sunshine and fresh air all day- and now I'm sleeping like a rock, way" that children experience. Like Noah- here:

Camping. Sunshine. Fun. Family. Friends.

Playing hard. Working hard. (if putting stuff in the hamper and sweeping out the camper is work;)

It'll wipe you out.

It's funny how a little time in the sun and fresh air can help you to rest and relax. To sleep like a baby. But, it is so true.

By the end of each day, he was wiped out. Sleeping like... well, he was sleeping like a baby;)

So were the rest of us, but ,as I tend to drool when I sleep, there won't be any pictures of me! I'm not as cute as Mr Noah. While we were gone, I would lie down, and tell my DH... "I'm exhausted, from doing NOTHING!" The truth is, I had been doing A LOT.

Being together, talking, laughing, praying, studying, listening, playing, working (well- a LITTLE) wondering, enjoying just BEING. It all wiped me out.;) In the good way.

The MOPS Theme this year comes from John 10:7-10- The focus is on living a "Full LIFE". Fresh air, Breathing Deeply.

John 10:7-10
Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "

While going thru my pictures of the trip, I realized that an example of evidence of a "full life" can be found in the picture of Noah. To me it represents living well, and fully. So fully, that when your head hits the pillow- you rest. I want my life with GOD to be lived that fully.

I don't mean living on vacation (though- that would be nice too;) I mean living a life so full of God, of living in the Son-light that I plop my head on the pillow at night, exhausted, in the "good way". I want to play in His creation, do the work He has for me, with all my heart, and love with the love He gives to me. Till, I'm plumb tuckered out;)

For Noah this happens when he plays outside. What about me? What about you?

What are the things that have that effect on us?

Here is my short list:
1) time to read, study-pray, worship and LISTEN. That for me- is playing in the SONSHINE.
2) time outside. There is something about God's creation that re-charges me.
3) doing the things God has for me. Whatever that may be. Sometimes big- sometimes small, but there is something about knowing what I am to do, and doing it.
4) time loving and being loved. There is something about being with my "Peeps" that just feels like living fully. I think it's the sense of connection- the sense of being part of a complete Body- instead of being a PART of a body- cut off from the whole.

How bout you? What does your list look like?

Post em in the comments;)

Dear Lord- I pray tat I could learn to live fully- in your presence, at all times, that I would not wait for vacations or projects or scheduled times, but that each breath that I take would be breathing deeply of You and your Spirit, that each exhale would be breathing out to others the same Spirit. that I would live fully and be fully filled- I love you Lord- amen



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Re-entry Burn.

This is where I was:

I am now home. I love HOME. But- I gotta admit, returning home afer vacation, feels a bit like a re-entry burn, for the "Discovery Shuttle".

The Camping trip was wonderful. Just enough rain to visit "Cereal City" (wouldn't invest a SUNNY dau in it, but didn't want to miss Tony The Tiger)

A beautiful beach, friends and family.

A Moonlit Luau, campfires, and "Guitar Hero" outdoors. (though, I have yet to decide if it shoud ever be played in public....it's amazing how COOL adult men think they look, while playing a plastic guitar. We shall not mention the woman in my home who plays "I Love Rock N Roll" Yes, its a loser song but it's MINE!)

Time to read, time to knit, time to laugh, time to just SIT.

And then, it was over. WAY TOO SOON.

And so- the Burn began.

I've posted about the "re-entry burn" over on the Christian Women Online Blog... please click over and have a read!

More tomorrow!

ps..... tee hee I LOOK like I am knitting on the float, but, alas, I am not- I believe I was adjusting my headband;)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Answer: 22

Are you wondering what the question was?


It's HOW MANY buggy bites can keep me awake for 3 nights.

Answer: 22

HATE that.

I am back from vacation- with much to tell..... however my little guy is sick at the moment- so I'll have to keep you hanging.... (as IF!)

Pics and details tomorrow- I appreciate prayers for the little boo boo bear;)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Knit Picks Options... a rave review;)

Knit Picksknitpicks review 001

Yarn, that inexpensive, couldn't be good.... could it?

ABSOLUTELY!

Better yet, they now have their own line of needles "Knit Picks Options" A complete and customizable set of circular needles.

First- I recieved my order within 24 hours. (yes, I expedited shipping- but THAT was FAST)

Next the needles arrived, complete- and perfect. The needles are in sizes 4-11 with 2 different sized cables to vary length. You also recieve cable end caps- to enable you to knit "straight" .

The needle tips have long screws, and the addition of a "cable key" to tighten /adjust the join even further. The Tips are nickle plated brass- slick and nicely weighted. They feel durable, comfortable and luxurious. These don't feel like "discount needles".

The needle tips are smooth as glass. The joins are slick. The cables remain flexible without coiling like a spring. Perfect.

I decided to put these puppies to the "join test" I am working in Knit Picks Lace Weight (Shadow- Merino wool) for my "Amazing Lace Project".........

They picture shows it all. I am using US #5's with Lace Weight.

Even the thin lace weight DOES not CATCH in the join.

The tips are fine and sharp enough to increase and decrease easily in the lace weight.

Finally, circ's that work for LACE!!!!!

As the icing on the Knit Picks Options Cake?--- the Needle organizer (case) is perfect- size is great for your knitting bag, (I'm going on a trip- this will be coming with me) The Case is nicer in person than it looks on the website;) A great surprise!knitpicks review 003knitpicks review 004

Knit Picks, Bravo. Job well done.

Alright Knitters- Order now- before they are backordered.

Knit on! ;)

knitpicks review 007


Lovely Lady...... TEA. ;) With 2 lumps- please

Sweet Afton Tea Roompansytea

Had a great and PACKED Ladies day Friday! My SIL (Missie) and I headed to downtown Plymouth, for "high Tea" at the Sweet Afton Tea Room.

Missie met me at my house- with GOODIES! (gotta love that! tape measures ummm 4!--- (smart alec-;) she read a post on my knack for losing them;) including one for Noah- who has measured everything in the house- at this point! But- there was also a very cute one , she made for me! red felt covered- with the cutest hand embroidery! Then there was the cutest little stack of hand covered match boxes EVER!

You should stop by her ETSY shop--- and check out her "wares" She's very talented- and you'll love her stitch markers and needle rolls too!

We got rolling- without much fuss-----were actually ontime (ish) for our lunch reservation.....until...

As per my norm..... we ran into a few bumps along the way...

Such as- this weekend is the HUGE Art in the Park affair... which meant parking was a night mare. We found a pay lot- (10$ well spent) but it was 1/4 mile from our destination.....no problem- we had plenty to chit chat about .. and were having a great time... until 100 yards from the car- a lady called out to me from her car---" I think you're dragging something"

Anybody wanna take a guess as to WHAT I was dragging? Yes- YARN. From my poor "Amazing Lace" project! Missie kindly ran back and started winding it up---- it hadn't unraveled the project- it was just from the skein..... so I was fine.... we laughed... you had to see it---- burgundy lace weight----- streaming behind me, while I am totally clueless.......;) Classic.

We had a great lunch--- total girlie food- (I don't have many opportunities to do that!) Tea Sandwiches cucumber and curry, strawberry and cream cheese on cinnamon raisin, ham and roast beef.... then we had mini quice- Lorainne and somehting else- don't remember... then SCONES Apricot, Pecan, and a few others....(yum) with the best lemon curd, homemade starwberry preserves, clotted cream.....again I say YUM. Followed up with tiny tarts of a nice variety!

I sucked down (pinky up, of course) 2 pots of Earl Grey-- (was perfect-;)

The actual tea room, was, well, not as wonderful as I had envisioned... but fine, the service could have been better- but was fine... we had great conversation- and fun- so It was terrific!

Old Village Yarn Shop
Next we headed to the closest LYS- (Old Village Yarn Shop) Which has a serviceable selection (although Knit A-Round in Ann Arbor, is my favorite) where they surprised me by having in the new Knit Lites....... which are.. GET this--- knitting needles with LED lights in the tips! Perfect for knitting at the MOVIES... and HA HA around the campfire while I'm camping next week!!!!!!!

I picked up a pair for Missies Birthday "yarn-raiser" for Interim House, which you can learn more about here-----


Next we headed to :



IKEA- ikea Which I love- because I spent $50 and came home with 3 bags of stuff- gifts, stuff for the camper--- cute- and cheap- I'm all about that!

Friday, was a BUSY day!

Thanks to Missie- for a great day out---!

I DO have knitting updates for later--- but ttfn!

Dear Lord- thanks for bringing Missie into our family- she is such a great match for my brother- I pray that you'd bless their marriage- I also thank you for a nice day off- and minimal damage done to the house- while I left the guys home alone! I love you Lord- AMEN!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Naked in Public......

Today's post can be read at the Christian Women Online Team Blog;)

See you there! (And, YES that's the title)

http://www.christianwomenonline.net/blog.html

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEP The NHWS Has issed a Warning........I wish.



"Beep..... Beep...BEEP! The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the following counties: please take cover"

If you live in Michigan,

this means, it's time to hit the basement, or or the closet or bathroom for your safety. What an awesome warning system we have. Lives are saved, due to the Early Warning System.

I appreciate the heads up. Really, I do.

But- I'm just wondering, with all the technological advances being made, why haven't they come up with a National Hormone Warning Service? Research shows, that when living in close proximity women's cycles "sync". Since pressure systems are detected with radar, maybe it could be used, or some other "bomb sniffing" type device, could be used to detect the hormone shifts of a general locale, and then issue a warning...(especially one that interrupts Oprah and Sports) It could sound something like this:

"BEEP BEEP BEEP The National Hormone Warning Service, has detected a change in women's hormone levels in the following counties: PMS is about to begin....TAKE COVER, save yourselves! Hide the children! BEEP BEEP BEEP"

My family would certainly appreciate it.

See, I have this PROBLEM, called PMS. It's a Dangerous Storm, trust me. Some may even liken it to a tornado, in regards to the damage left in it's wake. Over the years, I've learned to recognize most of my own "storm signs", but an early warning system could help others.

I'm pretty consistent, in the radar tracking of my "approaching storm".

I do things, like in Monday's post on "Cat Puke." I don't normally leave cat puke on the steps, to get angrier and angrier over. Another SURE sign of impending doom, is when I am bent over- yelling into the dishwasher, about how "I am sick of being the ONLY one, to put things away" I get overwhelmed, by a normal days' tasks. The phrase "I can't do everything by MYSELF!" is another gathering storm cloud.

I rarely drop or break things- but- about once a month- I get clumsy. I average one broken coffee cup a month. I stand at Meijers, locked in turmoil, because I am suddenly unable to choose a brand of toilet paper.

I struggle to get off the couch, because I'm tired. I get a HUGE headache. Sounds bother me. And- my nose- which typically smells almost NOTHING, (since a nose-job at 16) suddenly awakens to a world of obnoxious scents. (funny, I don't get sensitive to good smells!)

What I normally "blow off" I start to "BLOW UP" (or considering blowing up- either way;)

While for some, the symptoms can be simply annoying- PMS (or - in my case PMD) is not funny. It makes an otherwise logical and rational woman, crazy. For years, the entire second half of my cycle was one big "storm". I tried dietary changes, I tried supplements, I tried exercise. I pray, I read the Bible. I though about having the demons cast out of me.....(not really- but you know I was pretty crazy and desperate!)

Finally- I went to the doctor.

Hello, Zoloft. Finally, relief. I take a low dose, every day. Zoloft has changed my fortnight's long PMD, into a 1-2 days storm. I still get moody, but- now I can function. Now, I can laugh at the symtoms,(AFTER they pass) and not be defined or ruled by them. It's a trade -off though- the meds have made weight management considerably harder.

So I have to choose- thin and crazy? Or fat and sane? For the benefit of those who have to tolerate me, I choose chunky.;) (though exercise should help with that as well..)

For a longtime, I was embarrassed, by my need for a prescription for "meds". It felt like some moral/spiritual failure. Like I just couldn't GET A GRIP... so I stooped to "drugs". Like maybe I wasn't fully relying on God.

After much prayer- and talking with my Hubby, and my doctor, I've come to a different conclusion. I need glasses, in order to see clearly, and avoid headaches. Basically, my PMS meds, function in the same way.

Not every woman, who struggles with PMS needs medication. Meds don't ALWAYS work. There are side-effects to consider.

I still think a NHWS would be a helpful, possible life saving organization. At least people could TAKE COVER! ;)

Oh--- BTW.........there MUST be a follow up like for the NWS..

BEEP BEEP The National Hormone Warning System has cancelled it's warning for the following counties: ______you may come out of hiding, but bring an offering of chocolate and chips and salsa, just to be sure! BEEP BEEP.... we now return you to your normally scheduled programming!"

If you are struggling with PMS or PMD I suggest a prayerful visit to your doctor.

Chocolate and chips, don't hurt either... (well, not too much!)

My personal PMS PMD verse:

"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do" (Romans 7:15-19).

Dear Lord- I know you have created women's bodies (and men's) in an amazing and wonderful way, there are so many things that we cannot yet even understand, I pray for those suffering with PMS/ PMD whether directly, or indirectly, that they would find help, first in your love and acceptance, then in your direction and guidance in how to handle their symptoms- I love you Lord- amen!

Tracey's practical tips for PMS

1) "Be careful little mouth what you eat"... excessive salt , sugar and refined flour are "fuel for the fire." (ouch hate that.. the things I crave are not so good!)

2) Sunshine and fresh air (UV rays have a positive effect on lowgrade depression)

3) Exercise (yeah* GROAN*) exercise can help alleviate many symptoms--- you'll hate it- do it anyway)

4) Watch for the "approaching storm" (know your signs and symptoms, I keep a calendar- so I know when the next storm system is on it's way)

5) Plan around it where possible. (I try NOT to schedule big decisions, or aggresive projects rt before my period)

If your symptoms are hindering your LIFE (or the lives of those around you) make a doctors appointment!

Finally- remember that you're human. God's expectation is not perfection, but affection. Love God- then, deal with your hormones, as He leads!


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"An American Mom"

Happy Fourth of July

From: An American Mom!

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,The sound prolong.
Our father's God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

To those who serve, or are left to wait;
Thank you! Our prayers are with you!
Dear Lord- I pray for our country, that you would bless and guide it. I pray for those fighting for freedom, that you would protect and guide them. I pray for those left to wait for those fighting that you would be their provision and their comforter, I pray for those who've suffered losses, for freedom, that you'd be their comforter as well, I love you Lord- and am thabkful to live in a country, where I can do so freely. I pray for those who serve you under persecution, that you would be their rock and fotress, I thabk you for the freedom that I have that is from Christ, much greater, than the one I have by my citizenship- I love you Lord- amen!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cat puke on the steps. A lesson in Humility.

I stepped down, and found my foot in cold, wet brown lumps. It was located on steps 3, 5 and 7, of the stairs leading to the bedrooms.

On closer inspection- I found the cold, wet, brown lumps, to resemble cat food. RESEMBLE, being the operative word here.

That was yesterday . This afternoon, while going up to do a quick load of laundry. I noticed they were no longer cold, nor wet. (However, they still do resemble cat food)

This is a disgusting confession, I admit.

Yesterday, I left it where it was. I just was curious, would anyone else clean it up? The "lumps" are impassable without notice. You have to TRY to avoid them. It appears, that all, in my home, would prefer to do the "kitty cha-cha slide" down the steps, as opposed to cleaning it up.

I wasn't amused.

I was ticked.

My brain was screaming.... "what is wrong with these people? Can't they see the cat puke on the steps? DO I look like a maidservice? Am I the ONLY ONE WHO can see cat puke, and register that information, as a job to clean up? Doesn't anyone here believe in "FINDERS KEEPERS?" "WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO CLEAN UP ALL THE MESSES!!!!???"

I stomped to the downstairs bathroom, to grab cleaning supplies. My brain raging all the way.

Then, a quiet voice said simply, "Why not?"

Oh, you can debate whether God still speaks today, all you'd like, I suppose it is possible that it was my conscience breaking through my tirade, at any rate- it got my attention.

"Because..I'm... I ......... They should....." was pretty much I could stutter. Truth is, I didn't have a good answer to the question, "why not?".

Thats when it hit me......my guts were screaming out--- "because I'm better than that."

Am I?

Pride is ugly. Especially, my own.

Next came the waves of guilt. "I should be happy I have a home, I should be glad I have steps to clean, and a family to clean up after......"

Mothering isn't simple.

It can be a thankless,(the thank-yous are so appreciated though) overwhelming, (but sometimes monotonous) frustrating, (and yet fun) wonderful, rewarding, indignate, dignified, simple, confusing, humiliating, (ask me about the time I was nursing in a restaurant- and mr busybody yanked ALL of the coverings!) pride-filled (I do have great pride (in a good way, mostly;) in my husband and kids--- ) and yes, sometimes, even a holy(it is filled with God moments) endeavor.

There are days, when I act and react in ways that are good, (and surprise myself) then there are days, when I'm just, well, very HUMAN. Like today.

Again. Jesus washed feet.

I will clean up cat puke.

Years ago- Elisa Morgan, President of MOPS International, told a similar experience that she had, had. With a similar response. Today, God used her story again, to remind me, I'm not the worst mother in the world, because I got ticked over cat puke left to dehydrate. It took courage for her to share her story- and it helped me- today- all these years later!

That's why I'm sharing mine today;)

I'm a real mom. With a real God, Who is a real help, when I need Him most. Like today.

Dear Lord- thank you for being with me- even when I can be so pride filled- please forgive me for thinking I'm better than cleaning up puke, Lord. I am so thankful, that I have a home to clean, and a family to get frustrated with.

I pray for those that don't, that you'd meet their needs, and bring friends who can help as well.

I also pray for those who do, and who like me, find it frustrating and wonderful, all at the same time, I love you Lord- and want to honor you in all I do- even in cleaning up cat puke- amen!



PS- stay tuned for Wednesday's post.....


The NHWS (National Hormone Warning System) will be issuing a hormone storm warning....fo Canton, MI! Gee, ya THINK?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Blogging chick



Kool-aid Dyeing.......if it works for YARN... how bout carpet?


Kool-Aid- It's big again. Maybe not for drinking... but for dyeing yarn.

I've done kool-aid dyeing, it was fun. The problem with it, is making the dye color fast. In general, over time, it tends to fade.

Yet, somehow- when spilled on my living room floor? It's completely COLORFAST.

At the moment, I'm sitting on my couch. I'm keeping my head tipped back a bit, eyes cast up- just a tad....so I don't see the big pink and orange blobs of "juice" that have been spilled on my beige carpet. It's starting to look like modern art.

Koolaid, orange pop and other various beverage spill stains dot the carpet. My home has been customized, by our living in it. Somedays, it feels like three steps forward, two steps back.....

I use a carpet cleaner, like some, use a vacuum. To no avail.

Erma Bombeck said "Cleaning house with young children, is like shoveling snow, in the middle of a blizzard". I agree. Yet- I do want to manage my home in a way that it's clean, safe and comfortable. Extreme Carpet Cleaning, comes into play, here.

I've tried every carpet cleaning solution, from "Resolve" to "Spot Shot"..... Hot water, lots of steaming.... blah blah..... it has improved, (I guess) but the damage has been done.

This morning, I'm just wondering......maybe I should just give it up, pour 150 glasses of the deepest colored koolaid I can find all over the room, and create a new fad--- "Hand Painted Carpet" ?

Technically, it is handpainted, by my kids. ;)

I think, instead of carpet- we'll switch to pergo--- mopping would be easier than cleaning carpet stains, theoretically. (just wish it wasn't so EXPENSIVE)

Or- maybe I should start grounding people from life, if they bring beverages or food into the living room.....

I don't like it when things are stained- I used to freak out about these thing, but the truth is- my KIDS are more important than my THINGS. While I FEEL like killing them over this mess-I won't, because- really, I love them more than carpet. (Theres a quote for the scrapbook!)

PS Interestingly enough--- the ads for carpet cleaning supplies, always show spilled WINE... never have seen an ad that says it removes KOOLAID! Just sayin!

Dear Lord- help me to maintain my home in a way that honors you- clean enough to be safe and a good steward, messy enough, to be comfortable, please help me not to kill my kids, when they trash the place! I love you Lord, amen

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