Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Remember the Feet!

This weekend I bought some of that lotion that incorporates some sunless tanner in it. I didn't know whether it would work, or streak or turn me orange as those types of things are wont to do, but I thought it might be worth a shot.

Day 1: didn't notice a change. But I did wear jeans all day.

Day 2 (today): I'm standing in my neighbor's driveway in my capri's and barefoot and I look down and notice that my calves are "bronze" as is the top half circle of my foot.

Because, of course, I lotion my legs first and just take a swipe at the tops of my feet on my way to putting lotion on the bottoms of my feet (because going barefoot is killer on the soles of your feet). Apparently I don't even swipe at the tops of my (very white) feet, I make a semi-circular roll over the ankle side of the top of my feet.

I will try to remedy that after my shower tonight.

I can only hope that my very fashionable neighbor didn't take notice of the glowing white + 1/4 tanned feet.

What am I talking about? I need at least a home-grown pedicure, was wearing an oversized t-shirt and I don't remember if I got around to brushing my hair today (it gets flipped into a pony tail first thing and sometimes doesn't come down). I'm hoping that the fashionable person inside me will soon come out. The exhausted mama is overruling her still.

The Answer to World Peace

Call me crazy, I love nursing my not-quite-a-baby-anymore. I'm not so fond of being-a-prisoner-in-my-own-home nursing of a newborn except for the obvious benefits, but nursing a 14 month old is highly underrated. It is the solution to all of life's problems.

Are you sleepy? Nurse.

Are you hungry? Nurse.

Are you grumpy/cranky? Nurse.

Fall and bonk your head? Nurse.

Mad? Nurse.

Frustrated? Nurse.

Uncomfortable? Nurse.

Not getting enough attention? Yank on Mom's shirt and nurse.

Can't go outside and run into the street and get smushed by a recklessly driving teenager? Nurse.

The only thing I don't think nursing solves is a stuffy nose. Then it is only frustrating, because not only can you not breathe through your nose, your mouth is busy also.

But you try anyway, because that is the answer to all of life's frustrations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

BLAM! Blog Tour

Do you yearn for a Christian based fiction book geared for younger elementary children?

If so, then check out the Meghan Rose series. This new series from Standard Publishing introduces Meghan Rose, the bounciest first-grader in the world! Young readers will get to share Meghan’s adventures, laugh, and learn important life lessons. Each title also includes a bonus section with discussion starters and fun activity ideas.

I don't know about the rest of you, but my Princess is "in between." She's past picture books, but so many (I dare say "most") chapter books are to teenager-y for me to let her read...even if they are "Christian." The last time I checked, Christian teen girls still had issues I'd rather not have my six-year-old reading. And, hey, Junie B. Jones is a brat. She's hilarious, but I do NOT want to hear that attitude out of my Princess's pretty mouth.

So, I heard Lori Z. Scott's Meghan Rose series called "The Christian Junie B. Jones," and I asked where I could sign. I read the books first (On Stage and All Dressed Up) and found in them nothing deplorable. So Meghan Rose is occasionally rotten (as are most children and if you think yours never are I don't know why you would stop by here except to make yourself feel even better about your excellent parenting skills) but she kinda knows she's being rotten and she (gasp!) repents and (gasp!) prays when she needs help. In other words, the books are delightful.

I passed them to my Princess who ATE THEM UP LIKE ICE CREAM WITH MARSHMALLOW CREAM AND A CHERRY AND DEMANDED MORE. Said in another way, she read half of the first one while her brother practiced soccer. Brought it home from soccer practice. Finished it while lying in bed when she should have been going to sleep. Brought it down. Told me what it was about. Took the other one up. Came back down at 9:53 and told me she only had three chapters left and would it be alright if she finished the next morning. And then she did. And asked if there were any more. Which we went out searching for the next afternoon after she nagged all morning.

We had to have the store special order them for us. They only had one in and it was one we had and she COULD NOT WAIT ONE MORE DAY (even though she's had to and is making do with Junie which I suppose I'm allowing to stave off the pain. Hers or mine, you might ask? Both.)

And so, it is without reservation and without further ado that I am excited to welcome author Lori Z. Scott, joining us today to talk about the newest releases in her Meghan Rose series—Meghan Rose All Dressed Up and Meghan Rose Has a Secret.

Since 2000, Lori has published over fifty short stories, devotions, puzzles, poems, and articles for children, teens, and adults. She has been published in Focus on Your Child, MOMSense Magazine, Spirit Led Writer, Pockets, and Devozine. She is the author of Busy Moms’ Devotions to Go and four Meghan Rose titles. In addition, Lori has contributed to over a dozen books including Real Moms, Cup of Comfort Book of Prayers, and 2007 Eppie Award winner Infinite Space, Infinite God.

A graduate of Wheaton College, Lori has worked with children for over twenty years, both as a teacher in the classroom and as a volunteer for local churches, museums, and schools. When she’s not busy driving her two children to various church, sporting, and artistic activities, she moonlights as a speaker for women’s groups and schools.

Lori, welcome. Thanks for taking time to be with us today.

My pleasure.

You often introduce yourself as first a mother, then a teacher, and finally a writer. Why is that?

I feel like being a mother is my highest calling in life. And that means I’m a caregiver, nurse, tutor, cheerleader, counselor, transportation expert, and nutritionist. Doing all those mommy things is a bit like filling a jar jam-packed with marbles. I pursue my own interests in the empty spaces around those marbles because being a mommy trumps all.

I call myself a teacher second because working with kids has been such a huge part of my life. Just as God gifts different people for different tasks, I feel like God has given me a special ability to understand and work with children. Or maybe I’m just not ready to give up playing and comics yet.

I call myself a writer last because I often feel like writing too much fun—and pays too little—to be a real job. But then again, writing is another interest in my life I have felt called to pursue. God blessed me there too. When I decided to start writing, my first submission won second place in a science fiction writing contest. My second submission won MOPS International story writing contest.

I guess what I want moms to realize is, it’s okay to put the mommy part of our lives first and to trust that God will still bless, fulfill, and lead us in other areas as well.

Wow. Did I ever need to hear that today! So tell my readers, even though I've figured it out, why would parents like your series?
A good question—one that I have to answer from my own experience. When my daughter was in first grade, her teacher started reading the Junie B. Jones books in class. Since Meghan liked them, I picked up a few copies.

Well, I enjoyed the humor in those books, but had to edit out some of the grammar slips, name calling and attitudes. I thought there had to be an alternative choice—a book that was just as funny, but also had a good take-away value. I scoured the Christian bookstores. I couldn’t find any fiction for that age group, only devotional books and Bible stories.

When I asked about it, bookstore owners often commented that they wished they could offer such a book. In fact, they’d had numerous parents come to the store, all asking the same thing: Do you have a fiction book my young child will enjoy reading? And, like them, I walked away empty handed.

So I wrote the book I couldn’t find—a book for my daughter AND for all those other mothers just like me. I put in everything she wanted—an interesting story filled with giggles and characters worth rooting for—and everything I wanted—good moral values (but with nothing preachy about the story at all). And because I don’t believe I’m alone in those desires, I’m convinced other parents (AND THEIR KIDS!!!) will like the series too.

Why did you include discussion questions and activities at the end of each book? (My Princess loves them, BTW. I skipped them, but she came down and told me all about them.)
That’s the teacher part of me flaring up big time! LOL. But seriously, how many times have you as a mother read a book and thought, “There’s a good lesson in here” but didn’t know how to draw your child into a discussion about it? I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows with my daughter and wanting to talk about the tender topic of death that book touches on. Since I didn’t know where to start, I couldn’t fully take advantage of that teachable moment. (Instead we both just cried all the way through the last few chapters.)

That’s why I included questions for parents or teachers to use after they read the story, so they can capitalize on the book’s underlying message. (Although I hope people laugh through the last few chapters of Meghan Rose instead of cry!)

And the activities are all for the kids. They love extending the story experience by creating their own volcanoes or whatever. I also put a ton of other ideas for parents and kids on my website under the BLAM (Brilliant Little Activities to Make) link (

So each book has an underlying message? Tell us about that.

As I mentioned, I wanted the stories to do more than entertain. I wanted them to have takeaway value. Each book’s message is very subtle but still evident throughout the book. While Meghan Rose on Stage! talks about discovering your talents, it’s ultimately about friendship. Meghan Rose Has Ants in Her Pants explores the idea of patience—a difficult area for most kids to deal with. The newest two books—Meghan Rose All Dressed Up and Meghan Rose Has a Secret—address inner beauty and kind words. But again, none of it is preachy. It’s heavy on the humor and very, VERY light on the lesson…yet neither quality is lost on the child.

Are the books just for girls?
Not at all! One mother of two boys emailed me about how much her sons enjoyed reading them with her. She said they could hardly read for laughing so hard—they were all HOWLING!! The youngest one loved it so much he started sleeping with the first book under his pillow at night.

In fact, the comment I hear most from people who read the books is, “I laughed out loud.” The second comment I hear most often is about how much kids (and parents) like the discussion questions and activities. How can all that just be for girls?
Where do you get the inspiration for the humorous parts of the books?

Most of that comes from my upbringing. My dad was always coming up with puns and jokes. He made them up on the spot, and they were hilarious! I can’t tell you how many hours we spent laughing around the dinner table. I think dad influenced all my sisters. In fact, one of my sisters was part of an improvisational comedy team. (She’s also a pastor’s wife—it’s a fun combination.)

I also grew up on a steady diet of comic books. Peanuts and Garfield were my favorites, and later Calvin and Hobbes. And we’d also watch comedy on television, especially The Carol Brunette Show.

That said, some of my inspiration just comes from everyday life. My kids crack me up. They both have a great sense of humor.
The main character in the Meghan Rose series shares your daughter’s name. Why is that?

She was the foundational basis for the character. When I started the series, I needed someone likable, outrageous, clever, spunky, and sensitive all rolled into one. Well, that’s my Meghan. And since I originally wrote the books just for her, I simply used her name. You’ll also see the names of other people I’ve met, although the character they’re named for is totally fiction. Mrs. Arnold, for example, was the name of Meghan’s real first grade teacher. But she’s not like the Mrs. Arnold in the book.

Are any of the characters like you?

I think maybe there’s a little bit of me in all of them. Certainly a lot of me is reflected in the teacher, Mrs. Arnold. Then Ryan shows the jokester side of me, Kayla has the goofy side, Lynette has the rule-following, show-off side, and Meghan’s Mom has the practical side. The Meghan character herself is about 80 percent of the “real” Meghan, 10 percent of me and my creative musings, and 10 percent total fiction.

Do you ever visit schools to talk about the books?

Yes! I’ve visited several schools and talked about the steps a writer goes through to get from idea to published book. I’ve also shared ways to boost everyday creativity and develop writing ideas. All three presentations seem to fire up everyone, even the reluctant writers. Kids tell me that what they enjoy most about the time we spend together is learning my two-handed drawing trick and discovering how to write their own jokes.

As a teacher, I value school visits. I think it’s important to inspire and encourage all children…to help them see opportunities and possibilities. As a mom, I can’t help seeing my own children reflected in the faces I meet. That gives me extra incentive to make kids want to reach their dreams, whatever they might be.

Can you share one idea for mothers to help their children be more creative?

Sure. Hmmm. Hard to pick one. I guess one great idea is to encourage your children to be involved with artistic endeavors. That can include a whole variety of options, like drawing, painting, or making things out of shoe boxes. Children can listen to or dance to music. Or make their own music. They can dress up and put on a show for family or friends, or memorize a silly poem. And it should be fun, not work.
Where can readers learn more about you and the Meghan Rose books?

They can visit my website at My award-winning illustrator, Stacy Curtis, designed it. It offers jokes, puzzles, and activities for kids and great ideas for teacher and parents (on Mrs. Arnold’s BLAM page). It also introduces the books and characters, provides links to book reviews, and gives ordering information. I posted a retold fairy tale reader’s theater that gives visitors a good feel for the style of humor found in the books at .

You can also purchase a copy Meghan Rose on Stage!, Meghan Rose Has Ants in Her Pants, Meghan Rose All Dressed Up, andMeghan Rose Has a Secret by clicking on the titles here.

That sounds great. Well, thank you for your time! Thank you for letting me visit with you.

And, folks, if you read this far, you are probably interested in these books. It's your lucky day as I have one to give away. Just leave a comment and I'll have a drawing. Which reminds me, I have a couple of those to do. Soon. How about I post the winners Saturday? I'll try to do that. Remind me if I forget.

I Figured It Out

Unfortunately it wasn't as interesting as I remembered. But here it is anyway.

Am I the only one who misses the writer's strike shows? All of a sudden we are again forced to watch previews for CSI, CSI Miami, CSI Utah, CSI Boise, CSI Sasquatch, Ghost Whisperer, Dead Talker, and Channeler again. There's nothing good on.

Where's New Amsterdam and Eli Stone? It's highly annoying.

And they didn't bring back the shows I actually semi-enjoyed. No. There's no Heroes. No Chuck. Just dead bodies and ghastly horror scenes on my prime time.

Blog Fodder

Last night I had something interesting and engaging to write about...but my butt was glued to the couch and the laptop was in the other room.

I can't remember what I was going to write.

On Friday I went to the local homeschooling conference.

It wasn't about that.

(However, there was a ton of blog fodder there. I'm just not going to go there yet.)

On Saturday Eldest had a soccer game.

It wasn't about that.

Ooooo, there was a birthday party I attended Saturday afternoon that my ex-boyfriend was also at. There is certainly some blog fodder there.

But it wasn't about that either.

For as interesting as these things all are. They had nothing on what I was going to write about.

I've put in a note to Hubs to see if he can remember. He has to have the memory for the both of us. Meanwhile, I'll try to see if I can write a non-offensive post about one of the other fodders.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


"Mommy? I really need you to buy some hot dogs."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah, because I need to have some in my mouth."

He Did It!

Glory Hallelujah!

Charming slept through the night. Real sleep. Not the kind of sleep that requires mom to "sleep" while someone fusses in the other room. Nine PM to seven AM, mom wakes up all night and wonders if the baby is going to sleep through the night, sleep!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Change and Cherish Series by Jane Kirkpatrick

Here's a new (to me) series that might intrigue you if you are in to historical fiction (and I am) or Oregon history circa Civil war days. Especially helpful is that the third book is now out and you won't have to go crazy waiting to find out what happened! Here's a bit about each of the books:

A Clearing in the Wild

Spirited young Emma Wagner chafes at the constraints of her 1850s religious community, which values conformity over independent thought, especially in women. Skeptical of the colony’s growing emphasis on preparing for “the last days,” Emma clashes with their increasingly autocratic leader—and faces the unexpected consequences of pursuing independence.

A Tendering in the Storm

This lyrical novel, based on an historical figure of the 1800s, follows the spirited and intelligent Emma Giesy, who achieves her goal of separating her family from the repressive religious community in which she grew up. But unexpected and dire consequences leave her family—and her faith—struggling to survive.

A Mending at the Edge

This richly textured novel, the third in the acclaimed Change and Cherish series, follows the historical figure of Emma Wagner Giesy, who chafes under the restrictions of her 1860s religious colony. When her bid to belong in her unique way unravels her most precious relationships, she seeks new ways to stitch meaning into her life.

And though it won't be terribly helpful to you if you haven't read the first two, I do have a copy of A Mending at the Edge to giveaway to a commenter (though you can buy all of them through the links on their titles). So let me know. Do you like Historical Fiction? What time period? Personally I like anything that teaches me something I didn't know without the use of an actual history book. I've read so much about the Civil War and the years leading up to it, that it didn't really occur to me that there was a whole other part of the country pretty separated from it. Yes, there is always history to be learned. And an interesting story besides. What could be better?

Ah, yes, some ice cream with it!


Tonight, after dinner, Hubs wanted to know what I was eating.

Yes, it was my Haagen Dazs.

He got out his spoon and didn't stop until the carton was empty. His words, "What's amazing is this comes out of a carton." We expect it from Silas and Maddy's. Not from Target. Haagen Dazs being what it is, even.

After he asked what it cost, he told me to go buy another.

Just thought you might like to know.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A New Addiction

Haagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter.


On a day that contained very little else worth mentioning.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Mother's Heart Knows by Margaret McSweeney

If you don't already have Mother's Day plans you'll want to check out this book. Especially if you love black and white and sepia photographs that capture the essence of childhood and mothering.

What better way to tell Mom how much you appreciate her on Mother's Day than with this lovely reminder of thoughts about the loving, selfless attitudes that fill a mother's heart?

The text and original four-color illustrations will be a beautiful and touching reminder to Mom that her love is never forgotten. The text is a reminder of those things that only a mother's heart knows, with some special emphasis on a Christian mother.

All royalty proceeds from this book go to WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) and a student missionary scholarship fund. WINGS is a non-profit organization that provides a domestic violence shelter for women and their children in addition to transitional housing and programs.

And she's having a contest!

The "My Favorite Mom" spa basket contest. In honor of Mother's Day, Margaret would love to hear and share your favorite story about your mother (or someone who is like a mother to you). To enter the contest go here and share your story to win one of TWO fabulously scrumptious spa baskets! She will be posting the stories (with your permission of course) on her blog.
Oh, if you leave a comment on this post you'll be entered to win a signed copy of A Mother's Heart Knows for your very own!

And most importantly, you can buy the book here.

The Divine Wish Granter

I know that all too often we look to God as a Divine Wish Granter. One to whom we bring our requests (often cloaked in Please, please, please(!)) wondering if we stand on one foot and cross our eyes and treat our sister kindly and throw a few extra bucks in the offering He just might favor us with our token.

Last week I don't think I bothered requesting. Hope was virtually nonexistent. I just poured out my heart and told Him that I knew Princess would be devastated and it was all my fault and I knew I was juggling too many balls and I'd dropped them, but if He could find a way for her to not be too disappointed, I'd sure appreciate it.

I'll have you know that rather than console her, He gave her the desire of her heart DESPITE me.

God is good.

(Mommy is so relieved.)

Trash or Treasure?

For the last two Saturdays, Hubs has kept me busy organizing and pitching stuff. There have been several things that we've held on to for years, but finally pried our grubby little fingers off them. Better said, I. I have a thing for old stuff that looks ratty, but I know has value. I like old stuff. even if my blessed husband isn't into it.

1. A solid wood bookcase that someone had painted, we had partially stripped and has been mocking us from the garage ever since. It was free to us. The person that gave it to us bought it at a garage sale several years ago, always intending to strip. Got tired of the mocking and thus, its arrival in our garage.

2. A huge old stained glass window from our church just after we graduated college. They had added on to the building and removed a wall of windows for the addition. Members could buy the old windows that the church was tired of storing. We did. At the time I lived in an old Victorian farmhouse. I always had hoped we could hang it in one of our windows. (Apparently Hubs thought I meant for him to replace a window with that window, thus the reason he always fought me on it. I just meant to hang it in front of the existing window. Though, frankly, it is probably a better window than the ones we currently have.)

3. An old sewing box I bought at an antique store. Used for years. Have now decided to store my stuff elsewhere. The box has seen better days and I'm just not that attached to it anymore.

And quite a lot of other stuff.

Our youth group had a garage sale this weekend to earn money for camp. They came by for our stuff. They looked at me like I may be crazy. I told them they didn't have to take our stuff, it was their choice. Tidy Town is in a couple weeks and I'd put it on the curb then. They took it. To the right buyer, you might get $10, you know?

I don't know what happened with the bookshelf. Hopefully a refinishing type person got it. But my window, which Hubs and his friend wondered why I thought anyone would buy, sold for $30! I just needed to know that someone loved that window and bought it, and either my friends are lying, or someone loved it and bought it. I'm going to try to not watch antique roadshow for a while so I don't know what she could sell it for.

The sewing box was pitched after the sale. Hubs put it on the curb with a desk topper in case someone driving by might want it. The topper is still on the curb, the sewing box is gone. Love it well, my friend.

I knew I had good junk. Hubs may never agree on the inherent value of old beat up stuff, but someone out there likes it like I do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


It isn't as if this should come as any surprise to me. I mean, I've suspected it for a long time. Clothes appearing in the laundry that I never saw anyone wear, but hey, by some miracle I suppose they could have actually foraged beneath the bed when I sent them to clean their rooms.

But now I have proof.

The clothes wadded in the dirty laundry are still attached to hangers. They really are throwing clean clothes into the laundry.

Apparently I don't have enough to do. Rather than hang the clothes back in their closet that they decided not to wear, why not let mom wash, dry, fold, hang, iron, whatever them again and then she will have picked them up and hung them for me.


You know you have too many balls in the air when you discover that you've dropped several all in a single 18 hour period.

Help me, help me. Oh God, please help me.

(That's a quote from Jane Porter's, "Mrs.Perfect" in which she wonders why women won't say what they really mean. They are too busy saying, "I'm fine. We're fine. Everything's fine.")

No time to chat. Chasing balls. They look kinda like a gumball machine just spilled. A big one. That was very full.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Anyone Else Do This?

My kids beg me to go to the park every single time I pick them up from school.

(Partly because I don't usually pick them up. Imperfect Mom does. So, if I do, we are obviously going to do something awesome.)

Most days I say something like, "No." Possibly, "Not today." And occasionally, "When do you honestly think I have time to go to the park? The house is a disaster and since you obviously aren't planning to help me pick up your toys I have to go through them and throw at least ninety percent of them away 'cause I am sick, SICK I tell you, of picking them up myself and then being put on a guilt trip for not having time to take you to the park!"

But yesterday was lovely and I was heading out to pick up then kids when I thought, "Hey, I bet the kids will ask to go to the park and I might be able to handle that kind of outing today. The house is so trashed that another three hours won't help." At which point I threw in a thermos of ice water and a bag of crackers along with my stroller.

The whole time at the park the kids play well and hard. I feel better just being outside, plus I walk a few laps around the walking trail that runs beside the playground. We all come home in better moods and hungry and exhausted.

And I wonder, "Why don't we do this everyday?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris

How long has it been since you've read one of those life changing books? The kind that creates a shift in your thinking.

I have your next one.

Do Hard Things is supposed to be a book for teens by teens encouraging teens to rebel against low expectations. Apparently I didn't get the memo. And I needed the kick in my 32 year old pants.

I dog eared so many pages in this book to share with you today that I may as well just go back and read the whole thing. All the folds are obnoxious.

I was especially stung by the chapter addressing people who are used to hanging out in the "above average crowd." Good grades came easily to me. Good genetics help my build and stature (we all know it isn't self control in the jelly bean war that keeps me slender). I am not a standout athlete, but I was generally medal worthy at the 3A high school level. And I got used to being recognized for achieving things I didn't try very hard to achieve. And then these guys have to go and burst my bubble with the idea that just because I may have been "smarter than the average bear" it was still far below my potential (My mentor in college said the same thing. Rats.). They said this:

"God set His standards this high so that we won't make the mistake of aiming low. He made them unreachable so that we would never have an excuse to stop growing."

I'd like to interrupt this post to tell you that the last 30 minutes of my life, while not looking from the outset like a "hard thing," has been one of the more difficult as far as life expectations, and while I'll not expound on it, suffice it to say, I'd like to quit typing and go read a chick book. I don't want to do hard things. I want to sit on my rear and eat ice cream. And I think somebody knows that. But I am going to tell you about this book, anyway.

So, I intend to buy this book for each of my nieces and nephews and one for each of the youth pastors in my church. I'm making Hubs read it, and probably both of my sisters. And if that isn't enough, I think YOU SHOULD READ IT TOO.

I do have one copy for one lucky commenter. And I highly encourage you to comment. If you aren't a teen (which most of you aren't), you still probably know a teen. And unless you are over the age of 60, probably need to read it for yourself anyway (before you pass it on to a teen).

Don't be fooled, this isn't just a teen book. But if you know teens, they really should read it. Okay? O-K.

And here's the other relevant stuff:

With over 10 million hits to their website, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.
Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential. Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.
Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.


You know that old joke about the man who comes home to find his home in utter disorder? The one where he finds his wife in bed and asks, "What happened?" and she says, "You know how you are always asking, 'What did you do all day?' well, today I didn't do it."

Yesterday I literally sat in the recliner and held a feverish baby all day while my house "maintained chaos" around me. Today I walked down the stairs and felt like that woman. Yesterday's lunch dishes are still on the table with food dried to them. Dinner dishes are wherever someone could find a place to put them down when people finished eating the frozen pizza. Clothes are scattered hither and yon. Toys are everywhere. The laundry is exactly as I left it.

The only reason that there isn't rotting roast on the table together with condiments is because I took the time to scoop the (very expensive) meat into a container and into the fridge while Charming howled.

I don't know exactly what my point is. It isn't that my husband is shirking, necessarily. I guess it is just that if General Mom isn't facilitating life, life doesn't happen. At least orderly life. And considering few people would consider life at my house even close to orderly, that's saying something.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Surely God Jokes


For the second year in a row it snows on my hyacinths. If this kills off my spring plants again I will simply curl up in a ball and weep.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Ugly Truth

And I do mean ugly.

Delusions come in many forms and my delusion was shattered last night.

You see, my church is having Prom next weekend for us old people. As I rarely have an excuse to dress up and/or get away from my kids for a whole evening for $5, I am all over it. They have encouraged us to wear prom attire from the time when we went to prom (in my case 1994). As I weigh approximately three pounds more than I did when I graduated high school, I thought there was a chance I would be able to fit the actual dress rather than a goodwill version of the decade in a larger size. I also remember the dress fitting a little loosely. Not loose, but not yucky skin tight, either.

I didn't put it on right away. Too busy doing the things that moms do. But after the kids were abed I strapped it on.

It went on, but it wasn't pretty. I came down and showed my dear Hubs who, incidentally, attended that prom with me. He laughed.

People, it was like a sausage stuffed in casing. Bulging casing.

One sometimes forgets that muscle weighs more than fat. And what was I doing in 1994 but jumping, kicking, tumbling, running, triple jumping, ballet dancing. In other words I had about 0.3% body fat. As opposed to the approximate 25% (guessing here) that I currently have. So I have to 1.) exercise or 2.) eat less ice cream or 3.) get used to being lumpy.

As prom is next weekend, I think I will go ahead and wear something a bit more current (read 2003) that is a little more kind to my figure.

By the way, the jelly bean stash is now decimated. I told Hubs last night that I was going through jelly bean withdrawal. I don't have tremors yet, but the craving is driving me crazy. This is going to be one year I won't be hard on the stores for breaking out the Easter candy February 15.

'Course, by then I should be through the withdrawal and should never touch a jelly bean again. Sigh. There should be a 12 step program for sugar addicts.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Note To Self

When on your twice a year stint of cleaning the laundry room, it is important to remember that one year olds have not been educated in the fine workings of mouse traps so one should not remove all the barricades to said mousetrap without first busying the aforementioned one year old elsewhere.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Something Spunky

I wish I had something fun(ny) to post today, but I'm feeling very empty of light-hearted banter for some reason.

I'm having dreams of showing up at the ACFW conference without planning to attend (therefore having none of the "necessary" items). I have this huge desire to go, but no really great reason to do so. It's a lot of cash to lay out if I don't have something to sell and I'm not sure the next book I write will either be fiction or adult (as in not children's not adult, adult).

Neither of my sisters is well. Are well? I think is is appropriate, but are sure sounds better.

If I really did ovulate two weeks ago, I should be having a visitor by now, but am not. And the pregnancy test is negative. (I know that's what you're thinking.) Which means that I probably didn't ovulate which is GREAT. However it can be mighty disconcerting to not know.

And I'm waking in the morning fretting about the kids and school and whether to homeschool some or all of them and whether to cave to the pressure to put Frodo in full day kindergarten. Ugh.

Or I could talk about how I blew it again this morning with Frodo who said, "Do you know what I'm going to do when I get home?" and I said, "No, what?" and he said, "I'm not telling!" and I said, "Then don't ask me that is so rude I can't believe how rude that is not wonder your siblings get so annoyed I hate that!" and he said, (crestfallen) "Oh, alright, I'm going to clean the van all by myself." At which point I had to apologize and then educated him on a better way of saying "I have a surprise for you!" so that I wouldn't be stupid and yell/lecture when I shouldn't.

Yeah, none are uplifting and spunky. Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Now, I'm off to teach 15 grade schoolers something half of them have already done and the other half won't pay attention to anyway.

Sounds like PMS. Maybe I ovulated after all.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I failed to mention in my last post that the author of Prodigal Song, Jim Robinson, has a ministry. You should go check them out!

Prodigal Song by James Eugene Robinson

For a deeply powerful and moving story of a God who never lets go, you ought to pick up Prodigal Song.

From an idyllic childhood, through tough years at home with a mentally ill parent, to the glamor of big city life (and fame) and the escape of addiction, God was always pursuing him.

There were so many passages of this memoir that resonated with me. When he described his personality and how it almost seems as if two people are warring within him. The feeling of being disconnected; at, but not in.

Or when he describes his mother and I wonder how close I am to being that woman, the one who also seems like two people (may my loving and wonderful days vastly outnumber those where I am angry).

He did an impressive job of showing the life of a big city addict without glamorizing it. Though it was so painful to read that it could have been over much sooner.

And together with all that was a gorgeous prose, beautiful, clean writing that pulled me along and kept me turning pages.

Monday, April 07, 2008






And that's all I have to say about that.

I Know I'm A Little Biased

But aren't announcers supposed to be a little unbiased? They are driving me crazy. When KU was ahead they couldn't admit they were doing anything right. They are reveling now that they are behind and actually cheering. I mean, really.

Oh, how I hope my Jayhawks come back and cream them.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Maternity Shirts

Okay, I tried, but what is with the maternity shirts they are selling to the non-pregnant crowd? When I was pregnant, I couldn't find anything that wasn't skin tight (No comments about why that might be) and now that I'm not pregnant, all the new clothes are high waisted and ballooning out in the tummy area.

I bought one the other day. I decided I liked the fabric and that maybe I'd come to appreciate the look. It would, after all, hide the post baby, dimply leftovers.


I look in the mirror and see a maternity shirt. I look down and see a maternity shirt. I have a gas bubble and I think, "Oh, the baby's awake!"

I cannot do this.

I expect to go out shopping here in a bit and have someone ask me when I'm due.

Nice try designers, but I don't think this one will fly for long in the had-a-baby crowd.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

How 'Bout Them Jayhawks?

Ahhhhh, sweet justice.

(bu-bye, Roy)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

They're Telling Me Something

Charming is trying to feed my credit cards into the paper shredder (no worries, it is turned off).

Frodo just asked me to tell him to quit watching TV.

Who is the child and who is the adult here?

Linky Love

Shannon posted this today and it allowed me to shed some much needed tears.

And brings to mind my similar anniversary which happens Monday. Oh, but my heart aches for her today. And I try not to for obvious reasons named Eldest and Princess.

Boy, you can sure get attached to what caused those two pink lines on a stick, oh, about a nanosecond after they appear.


You know how God often repeatedly brings things before you until you take notice? And even after you take notice and take steps towards repenting, it still keeps hammering at you?


That's mine. And if you ask me if I'm bitter, I'd say no. But I am bitter. I can tell by the way that even on things that I would say I'm over and that I've forgiven etc., still come up on the next offense. Words said by a different person get a different response. And it must stop. And I don't know how to make it stop.

Help me, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

They're Consipiring Against Me

Frodo just came downstairs and asked, "Mom! How did you turn our bathroom into Grandma's?!"

Seems it smells like Grandma's bathroom, the nice bleachy scent.

Hello!? Am I the one that pees on the floor? No. Am I the only one capable of pushing the Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner button? No. Am I the only one that knows how to flush? No. Am I the only one that is capable of wiping my toothpaste out of the sink? No. And yet---

So how am I supposed to exist in this woman's halo-ic shadow?

I know it was supposed to be a complement. I'm a little touchy.

Score One for the Home Team

I just found out that one of Hub's old "almost" flames got arrested for having sex with a teenage student. This information is "all over the internet," but I have yet to find it. However, I will currently revel in my success at being slightly more successful in something that she wasn't successful in. The last time something was all over the internet about one of Hub's old "almost" flames, she was a model. (When we saw her at Christmas, she was on her way to London.)

Forgive me, I know I'm shallow.

Say It With Me

Stupidity is cleaning your little boys' bathroom with bleach. Because, say it with me, pee is made out of ammonia and ammonia and bleach don't mix. Stupidity is also doing this without a vent running and breathing deeply through your mouth (so as to not smell the eau-de-pee-pee).

I don't think I breathed enough hydrochloric acid to burn a hole in my trachea, but if I never post again, you'll know what happened.