March 31, 2007


There's a new contest on 5 minutes for mom! They are giving away a Dyson Slim vacuum. It may not be exciting to you but it is to me! If it is to you, click on the link and enter to WIN! :)

March 28, 2007

another call


I got a call from my cousin that's deployed in Iraq. This is my second call from him. He sounds so tired every time. He said they just returned from mission that lasted a day and a half. He was going to try to get some rest. I ask for your continued prayer. He said that when they first got there (in January), there was a lot of shooting. It had settled down some but he said it is back to being hairy (his word) again. And they are all so very tired. He said that everyone seems to be doing well except for one guy who is having problems at home. That guy keeps flipping out. I absolutely cannot imagine the stress of being there. Or the stress of trying to deal with missing someone who makes up part of your home. I feel it and I did not have day to day contact with my cousin before he deployed.

There's a baby shower being planned for his pregnant wife and I intend to go. Not only as a representative of his side of the family but because I am so excited about this baby. No, it probably wasn't good timing, and no, I don't think either him or his wife would have chosen for her to go through this alone (with her parents but not him). But that's just the way it goes in these situations. I know that he is beyond excited and can't wait to come home and be with them.

dear Father
i'm just drawn to You
in light of this boy
and his growing family

i worry
and i know that
i can accomplish nothing
with this fear

i turn him over to you
his wife and unborn child too

keep him safe
under your loving care

grow that baby
healthy and strong

restore his wife
to sustain her child
and give her strength
when she is tired
hope when she is down
peace when she is afraid

You know where he is always
go before him
and clear the evil from his path
be the protection he needs

thank You for caring about
that one boy among many
half a world away


March 26, 2007

ode to toaster

you have served us so faithfully
for the past six years or so
and i'm sure you would have
continued to do so

had i not dropped you
three times in a month

i feel so bad
that in a rush
you slipped
right through my fingers

a piece fell off
not critical
and i put you
back in service

but as i went to
put you away
i dropped you again
my clumsy side revealed

this second time
that's when i knew
your time with us
was limited

you were left
with floppy sides
and a rattle
i never did identify

still you served us
frozen waffles
and toast

the third time
you lost a pin
from somewhere
on your body

uneven heating
and unable to pop up
on your own
still you served us

i fondly recall
your hijacked adventure
when you were taken
from my counter

she placed you in a box
crumbs and all
and gave you back to me
for a wedding present

what generosity
although i'm sure
she felt close to you
since she used you all that year

with one more drop
i put you in the trash
and my hubby
wheeled you to the curb

early, early tomorrow morning
off you'll go
to the toaster resting ground
with all your cohorts

but i couldn't let
this moment pass
without saying farewell

and thank you


off to the store we went this weekend
to purchase work clothes for the one
who brings home the bacon

what a beautiful, sunny day it was
a peek at spring

the young one
holding my hand
both of us looking down
in the glare of the sun

he notices everything
this miniature version of his dad

"look, mom, a hook-er!"
(dash added to prevent weird
internet searches from finding my site)

for a second
i wasn't sure what he meant

but then it dawned on me
as we passed the big pickup truck
that you hook up a trailer
to the truck with the hook-er

after a short lesson in trailer hitches
we went on with our day

March 23, 2007

book meme

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Seeing as how I usually get them from the "new" section of the library, they are hardback. But, when I buy them, it's usually paperback.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Library. Okay, you're getting the idea that I rarely buy books. I read too fast and I don't see the point of buying a book that I don't even like. I usually get it from the library and then buy it if I like it. I know, it doesn't make sense. But it saves me a ton of money. When I buy them, I usually use Amazon because it's cheaper (and hours get lost when I go in a bookstore).

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Both the same to me. If I go to the bookstore (see previous question), it's usually the Christian bookstore.

Bookmark or dogear? BOOKMARK. I have this sick reverance for books. I have dogear-ed before but it hurts my heart to do so. I have bookmarked with a few really random, funny things though - like a dryer sheet. :)

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? When we moved about a year ago, I purged a lot of books and decided I was going to get the rest organized. I have them grouped by subject and then by author (but no alphabetizing for me). On my other bookshelf, I have the Jan Karon Mitford series in order and the Redemption series and the Firstborn series by Karen Kingsbury in order.

Keep, throw away, or sell? Keep a select few; give the rest to Goodwill.

Keep dustjacket or toss it? Keep. (The only time I usually see dustjackets are the library books and they might get a little mad if I toss them.)

Read with dustjacket or remove it? Read with dustjacket and plastic overcover (from library).

Short story or novel? Usually novel. Short stories are good too though.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? Both. Just depends on the book.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Neither. My daughter (10) loves them both. I'm just not a sci-fi/fantasy reader.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? Chapter breaks if I can. With kids, who knows?

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Dark and stormy. Once upon a time is too fantasy for me. Although my prince finally made my wish come true but the rest of the world is not so filled with fairy dust.

Buy or Borrow? See the second question. Borrow from library.

New or used? Used. Unless it's one of my absolute favorites and then I ask for it for my birthday or Christmas. A brand new book sets my heart a-beatin' faster!

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? Recommendation or browse. Although I'm usually the one doing the recommending. I browse the "new" books at the library and if I like it, I'll go find their other books (if there are any).

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Tidy ending. Unless it's a series and I know there will be some kind of resolution. Lack of conclusions drive me batty.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? ANY time I can get a minute. Usually at lunchtime on the days I work and in the evenings before I go to sleep. But only then because I don't have time the rest of the day. My perfect day is one in which I sleep some, read some, sleep some more, read some more...Oh, and spend time with the family. :)

Stand-alone or series? Series. I read too fast and I hate it when I get attached to a character and it's over.

Favorite series? Wow. Only one? Redemption series by Karen Kingsbury. All her books are awesome!

Favorite children's book? "Let Me Hold You Longer" by, you guessed it, Karen Kingsbury. Bust out the tissues, people.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Nobody has heard of a lot of the books I read because they are usually Christian fiction.

Favorite books read last year? From ALL of last year? Well, other than the books already mentioned, I loved "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy", "Creative Correction", and "The Facts of Life and Other Facts My Father Taught Me" all by Lisa Whelchel.

Favorite books of all time? the bible, The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, anything by Jan Karon or Karen Kingsbury

Least favorite book you finished last year? I don't usually finish books that I don't like or get into.

What are you reading right now? I just finished the final book in the Firstborn series by Karen Kingsbury. It's called "Forever". She has a new series starting in May called the Sunrise series and I can't WAIT!

What are you reading next? "I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers" by Tim Madigan.

To take a peek at my online library, click on my library thing in the sidebar over there. It should let you see all the books I've read since I started using their website. They were having server issues this morning but their free service is so cool, I don't even care about that! It'll be up and running soon so check it out! :) If you do this meme, let me know in the comments so I can check it out!

March 21, 2007

infamous birthday cake

Here is the beautiful cake that my husband made. He and my daughter worked together to decorate it - although I suspect that the handiwork is his. And yes, I turned 31. :)

Here is a better picture of the side decorations. This is with the candles on it too. The "3" is from my son's birthday last year. You like how they put the three with a regular candle to make "31"? What a funny family I have! By the way, it's white cake and it was DELICIOUS!

March 19, 2007

happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!

Yes, today is my birthday. It's been great! My mom woke me up with a Happy Birthday call. Hey, she didn't know that I didn't have to babysit today or that my lovely husband TOOK A VACATION DAY (a major deviation in the ways of his world) to spend the day with me. Nor could she have known that my husband did the getting-ready-for-school routine with our daughter this morning so I could SLEEP IN! Bless his ever-lovin' heart! And really, I didn't want to sleep my birthday away!

The next phone call was from my roommate in college. Nothing like a little off-key birthday singing! :)

Then there was a ring of the doorbell and I got 24 beautiful yellow roses from one of my high school best friends. They are gorgeous!

We're headed to dinner in a little while. The whole family is going out to eat and then coming back to our house for cake. Speaking of the cake...I usually make the cakes for our whole family. But on my birthday, my husband makes my cake (usually). It is so cute to see him in there trying to wrap his analytical mind around these cake directions. You would think it was written in a foreign language! But it turned out great. I've been hearing quite a bit of whispering in there as he and our daughter decorate it. Hmmm...this should be good.

Well, I'm off to par-tay! Even if my husband has reminded me that I'm beginning my fourth decade on this here earth. How'd I get so old?!

March 14, 2007

some wine for whine

For those of you who know my son personally, you are well aware that he has this love for cheese. Blocks of cheese. Every meal he requests little cut up blocks of cheese. (Funny - as I'm typing this, he has asked for a snack of, you guessed it, blocks of cheese). Now, I love cheese myself. And I've been accused of being cheesy before. But my son has discovered something that is driving me crazy!

He likes whine with his cheese.

For the past week, it seems every word that comes out of his mouth is whiny. And if that doesn't work, he sets off a full blown screaming and crying fit. This is my calm, patient son. It's as if someone has replaced my son. He is driving me crazy. He's driving my husband crazy. He's driving my daughter crazy. Is it a full moon? A freak of nature? SOMEBODY help me!! :)

I'll be the one with the REAL wine. (And I don't even drink!)

March 10, 2007

just 3 words meme

Found this out on the interweb and thought it looked like fun. The rule is that you can only answer in 3 words or less. Yeah, good luck with that! :)

1. Where is your cell phone? purse's front pocket
2. Boyfriend/girlfriend? really cute husband
3. Hair? light brown, straight
4. Your mother? lives nearby, blogs

5. Your father? died in 1998
6. Your favorite item(s)? computer, books, radio
7. Your dream last night? never remember dreams
8. Your favorite drink? anything BUT water
9. Your dream guy/girl? see number 2

10. The room you are in? the family room
11. Your fear? loved one dying
12. What do you want to be in 10 years? a beach bum
13. Who did you hang out with last night? famous unkel meatball
14. What are you not? a domestic diva
15. Are you in love? yes I am
16. One of your wish list items? own an island
17. What time is it? two twenty three
18. The last thing you did? took a shower
19. What are you wearing? t-shirt, jeans, socks
20. Your favorite book? kingsbury's redemption series
21. The last thing you ate? rice, cookies, cheese
22. Your life? loud, hectic, full
23. Your mood? calm, happy, relaxed
24. Your friends? really miss them
25. What are you thinking about right now? do the laundry
26. Your car? maroon 1992 camry
27. What are you doing at this moment? hmm, maybe blogging
28. Your summer? sunny and empty
29. Your relationship status? old married woman
30. What is on your TV screen? golf video game
31. When is the last time you laughed? five minutes ago
32. Last time you cried? yesterday, reading blogs
33. School? associates degree UC

Wow, that's harder than you think...especially for wordy people like me! :) Feel free to participate - just leave me a comment so I can come visit!

March 9, 2007

bloggity book club

***Disclaimer: I ended up going on and on with things but I wanted to in order to have a personal record of all I have gotten from this. I'm sorry if my wordiness prevents you from seeing the God-given joy and redemption that can be found in this book. :) ***

The first book chosen for the bloggity book club is Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore. This is my first encounter with Beth Moore, other than her blog which I found through some other bloggers. Boy, she is funny! I was really excited about this book because it deals with pits and bondage and depression. You may ask, "These things bring you excitement?" Well, I struggle with the fog of daily life, a fog caused by pits and bondage and depression. But, ya know, I had NO idea how much these things affected me until I read this book.

I don't know where to begin in sharing the things God has taught me through this book. First, I guess, I'll tell you that Beth Moore is one scripture-lovin' lady. And that's awesome! There were so many meaningful scriptures. I started reading the book with pencil in hand (because I own this book thanks to a really generous friend) and before long, I was underlining ENTIRE passages. After awhile, I just started marking the margin. I have never had a non-fiction book speak to me so clearly. I'd like to give you a few quotes (I'll try to be concise) from the book and how they changed me.

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3
This is the inspiration for the book. When I read that, I knew God had brought me here. While I was typing that, my heart again started beating faster, knowing the calling God has given me. How exciting!

"In the light of God's face shining upon us, we also glimpse reflections of our true selves." (p.18-19)
How many times have I lost sight of God, only to lose sight of myself? Too many to count, let me tell you! When I am lost, HE is the way! Such a simple thing I learned as a child, but somehow I always forget.

In an effort of transparency because I think it could help others, this quote threw me for a loop.
"Every day she must consciously make the choice to believe her godly husband is not going to drop her off somewhere and never come back. Never minimize the choice someone like her makes daily to dig her heels securely in the rock and not slip back in that familiar pit that continually beckons, "Come home! Come home!" (p.24)
In the end, it is all about life's experiences. No matter who you are, there will always be trials. For me, it is my fear of abandonment. I won't bore you with my details of why. And even though this is such a common trial for people, my heart didn't realize others struggled with this too until I read this. My heart said "YES - THAT'S IT" and not feeling alone is the first of many important steps.

Another healing moment...
"...knowing that someone never meant to hurt us can lift us considerably in our ascent from the pit." (p.29)

The bottom line for me...
"Whoever threw you into the pit doesn't have any idea how much it hurt you. I'm not sure they would get it even if you told them in detail upon detail. No, they don't have a clue how much it affected your decisions and relationships. Humbly, but very specifically, forgive them not only for their destructive actions, but also for their ignorance. You have no other choice if you want out of that pit." (p.31)

Shedding light on true forgiveness...
"You will never use your own violition - the force of your will - more dramatically than when you agree with God to start forgiving. Forgiveness is not about feeling. It's about willing. Not stronger force exists." (p.33)

Why God allowed me to be in the pit...
"You have the capacity to be a ten times neater person healed than you would have been just plain well. Your wealth of experience makes you rich." (p.44-45)

"God entrusted that suffering to you because He has faith in you." (p.47)

A word about strongholds...
"Anything that becomes a bigger preoccupation in your mind than the truth and knowledge of God, anything that dwarfs His truth and knowledge in your imagination, is a stronghold." (p.61)
Does blogging or the TV (to say the least) come to mind for anyone? I know I felt the sting of this one.

Another stronghold: "...codependency..." (p.100)

Listening to God...
"If a new relationship or opportunity is causing you to feel trapped or backed into a corner, God could be flagging you that Satan is all over it." (p. 66-67)

The root of the problem for me...
"I had thought of my heart as only sinful. I didn't realize that deeper still, underneath that film of soil, my heart was sick. One of the most important shifts in my belief system began with the realization that I had a messed up "want to". (p. 80-81)

"We think we're too much for God to handle. That the strength of our personal draw into the abyss exceeds the strength for God's draw to pull us out." (p. 132)

And the reason I go back to the pit so often...
"So much of our propensity toward pit-jumping springs from the fact that somewhere down deep inside, we just don't trust God. We think He's like all the others who have cheated or betrayed us." (p.83)

"Nothing is more futile or leaves us more fractured than trusting man to be our god." (p.94)

"Indeed, one of the primary reasons we're so wounded is because the person knew what we were going through and still abandoned us." (p.99)

"Pride is the number one reason why a person who knows better remains reluctant to cry out to God." (p. 127)

"But smooth living invariably, eventually, makes for sloppy spirituality." (p. 147)

The answer...
"Only God can hang with us through the length and depth of our need." (p.96)

"God wants everything you've got...He alone must deliver you...or you will never be free." (p.115)

How God moves...
"I think He usually waits for us to cry out so He can remove all doubt about who came to our rescue." (p.122)

"Things don't just work out. God works them out. Blessed is the one who knows it." (p. 123)

"Your faith will be built by hearing your own voice speak the words of Christ." (p. 133)

Ah-ha moment...
"Confession in its widest sense is our means of baring our hearts and souls before God." (p.126)

"Think about how often you've tried to affirm someone for his strength in a certain tribulation, and he wouldn't take the compliment. He knows the fear he faces in the night, just like we do. He is painfully well acquainted with his own weakness when no one's looking, just like we are. I don't believe many people think themselves strong." (p.189)

Keep hanging on to God...
"When the battle heats up, rest assured that you're worrying your enemy, and he's trying to distract or discredit you." (p. 135)

As you can tell, this was a very personal journey. And the best part is - it isn't over. At the end of the book, there are a week's worth of scripture-based prayers. I intend to do them over and over until I have them memorized. Then, I can use them when I feel that fog a-callin'. I have hope that I can avoid the pit and be free. There is no better solution for me!

March 5, 2007

top 25 movies

My husband and I were talking about movies the other day and we decided to come up with our top 10 movies. By the title of this post, you can see that I came up with a few more than that. I always have had a hard time making decisions. :) I haven't seen some of these movies in a really long time so my tastes may have changed. I think I'm going to do a couple of marathons soon to watch them all again. That is, when it gets a bit quieter around here and I don't fall fast asleep as soon as I sit down to watch a movie. Could be awhile! So, without further list of 25, in no particular order - because again, that would require making decisions and I don't do that well. :)

1. The Prince of Tides (book is even better!)

2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (watched it last night - grew up around a Greek family and boy, have they hit the nail on the head with this one!)

3. Beaches (book is better - but I love Bette Midler in this)

4. The Wizard of Oz (to this day, I'm still scared of that green-faced witch!)

5. Mary Poppins (I love Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke - the penguin scene is my favorite)

6. The Sound of Music (the well, music of this movie is AWESOME and who wouldn't want some clothes made out of curtains?)

7. Titanic (the set of this movie was incredible - I was already a huge Titanic buff so this was a great movie for me - really sad though)

8. Wildcats (this is a movie with Goldie Hawn - she goes to an inner city school and ends up coaching the football team - haven't seen it in a while)

9. Dirty Dancing (I love the music and the idea of living in a camp setting all summer long - oh, and "nobody puts Baby in a corner" was a good line too)

10. Hope Floats (probably my most favorite of all...)

11. Big Daddy (hippo...hippo...hippo-pen-on-o-mous...)

12. Mr. Holland's Opus (great story)

13. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks ROCKS!)

14. The Shawshank Redemption (I need to watch this one again soon...just remember loving Morgan Freeman in this)

15. Erin Brockovich (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong - the underdog wins which makes me happy)

16. A Few Good Men (the courtroom scene with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson was priceless)

17. Always (I'm always a sucker for a good love story)

18. The Italian Job (my husband's favorite - it grew on me after the eleven-t-ith hundred time)

19. Back to the Future (again, my husband's favorite - but just the first one for me, thanks!)

20. The Pelican Brief (I need to watch this one again too - but again the underdog wins)

And then there are the Disney Pixar ones that are priceless...

21. Finding Nemo (I haven't said the word escape the right way since - ess-cop-eh)

22. Cars (if I don't have this one memorized yet, I will very soon)

23. Monsters, Inc. (my favorite thing about this one is that the kids' laughter is stronger than their screams)

24. Toy Story (I always dreamed of my toys coming to life...)

25. Toy Story 2 (add a girl to the mix and it's even better!)

So there ya have it...If anyone has any suggestions for good movies based on my picks, please feel free to leave me a comment!

March 2, 2007

ultimate blog party

Welcome to my little corner of the world! Please ignore the loud, boy noises coming from the two over there. Oh, and could you shove that bottle into the mouth of that screaming baby? I think I hear the drama queen coming in from school. Her attitude may need adjusting and her eyes must not have very strong muscles because they roll a lot. But I'm so glad you're here! Sit back and stay awhile!

My name is Andrea. I'm so glad that 5 minutes for mom is hosting this cool party. What a great opportunity to get to know new bloggers! If you are interested in joining in, just click on that button at the top and head on over to their site (that is, if I did that right!).

I started blogging about a year and a half ago. At first, it was just my journal online so that my husband could read it at work. About a year ago, I stumbled upon Lisa Whelchel's website and she suggested her friend Sarah's blog for moms of young ones. From there, I found a bunch of other Christian ladies and blogging took on a whole new meaning. I think it's so wonderful to have developed the friendships I have. I was always so cautious about online stuff (and I still am) but there are so many neat people who really care in this blogging community. What an encouragement!

I've been married almost six years to the love of my life. I work part-time at a bank. I used to be a full time stay-at-home-mom but circumstances made it so I needed to work some. I am thankful for the time I am able to be at home. I have a girl who is 10 (going on 16) and a boy that's 3, almost 4. I also babysit a 2 year old boy on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. He's been with me since he was 6 or 7 weeks old and feels like one of my own. I just started babysitting a 2 month old girl on Fridays. (I totally forgot all that a newborn needs. How quickly we forget!) Oh, and I sell Pampered Chef too. Not as much as I used to but I still keep my hand in it. As you can see, it gets a little crazy around here sometimes.

Well, I'm glad you stopped by. Please feel free to look around awhile. Comment if you get a chance - I'd love to come visit you too! :) Happy Party-ing!

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