July 2003

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a daily logging of slices of life around home & info on the net.
Things that have helped me that might help you, too!
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Well, go ahead and get a cup of tea… it’s time for today’s blog!  Welcome home!

Thursday, July 31, 2003  I receive reminders of birthdays from Birthday Alarm—you just sign up and receive two reminders: a week and three days prior to the birthday dates you’ve selected.  It’s a neat way to be reminded to e-mail or send a card to someone. 

The children have been swimming all afternoon!  What a day this has been; nice and hot outside—perfect for cold water.  I used to love to swim in cold water—I thought I still would… today I changed my mind and decided that cold water is good for sailing, washing dark clothes, rinsing sand off walkways and *drinking!*  Every once in a while the children would lie down on the pavement to warm up before returning to the cold pool… it was worth it to them!!  That makes it all the better to me!

I was
doing a
little searching for a recipe and came across this neat site… yes, the ‘chocolate‘ did catch my eye.  Then I found the recipe for the cake I was looking for:  Triple Chocolate Celebration Cake… and I did find a source for the ‘transfer sheets‘ called for in the cake recipe!  (Hope you like it, Amy!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  It’s a warm one today!  But I’m having a delicious cup of Millstone coffee (Hazelnut de-caf, my husband’s favourite!!) with Land O’Lakes non-fat half ‘n half… and my Atkin’s Advantage Bar.  Somehow… this bar is okay to me during this diet.  Most other times, I’d tell you: no chocolate vitamins, please!  By the way, that Land O’Lakes site wasn’t meant to be a stumbling block…  mmmmm, great looking recipes, eh?  Oh, one thing that helps with butter calories is to mix well: 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of canola oil and put into a plastic box with lid… keep in the fridge and it’ll still spread on your toast.

We had a wonderful visit with friends over lunch today!  We’re still working on our projects outside but the very warm weather is slowing us down a bit!!  We’re setting up an above ground pool and it’s taking a bit longer than we’d hoped… but one thing I know for sure is that my husband is thorough and being a pool guy, he has lots of experience and so we’re with him—whatever he thinks we ought to do—even if what he does seems like many extra steps!  Pool pics another day. 

I was sharing with our friend that this will give us opportunity to try out different types of modest swimming clothes and see which one(s) we think work best for us.  It’s a real challenge—modesty and swimming!!  When once you begin seeing most styles of bathing suits as colourful underwear—and are they not!?!?—then you see the dilemma and seriously understand the need for alternatives to what is commonly sold as public swimming attire.   O, how I regret not knowing this as a younger person—O, the regrets over foolish behavior!   “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are not ashamed?” —Romans 6.21

The challenge is to find something that’s comfortable and modest and appropriate for swimming.   Some swimming outfits draw such attention that the purpose is defeated.  Other times, we’ve thought something would be workable and have later found that the outcome was not good!
There’s a site that offers modest swimming clothes for you and your daughters. I did a search and found a few ideas… I’ll likely change them a bit, but the ideas are inspiring me to sew new swimming clothes.  I also came across an article that had some nuggets of truth about modesty… this is not for those who get hung up on the legalism tag—for if you do, you’ll miss the truth.

We’re looking forward to Saturday when Kathryn will have her cast removed.  I think the pool will enable her to exercise without pain… as she’ll need to ease into exercising and walking.  This is the last of the casts, though!  What remains is a minor surgery to remove the screws in her feet and the surgeon will also remover her scar at that time.  We’ve seen the amazing results a friend has had with this!  Kathryn’s scars are the length of her feet and will be greatly diminished after that surgery—which will be done in October and January.  How we continually praise the LORD for His provision here.  Also… we applaud Kathryn’s bravery and tenacity in undergoing this surgery and enduring the many months of healing.  She’s been such a blessing to us all.

Soon I post two muffin recipes you’ll really like for your family.  I did taste them both—oh, the temptation to eat a whole one of each! BUT I DIDN’T—yay-yay!!  Anyway—one is Amy’s and one is Lisa’s — first, though, I’ll have to ask them to send the recipe to me for our family —and you— to enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003  As I mentioned the other day, I’d have some pictures from last week… below are a few from the KlaHaYa Days backyard party.  We gather for food & fellowship and yard games… and more food and fellowship and volleyball late into the night!  Fireworks light up the sky after dark!  This is one of the features of KlaHaYa Days and maybe one of the neatest benefits living near the little airport where a lot of the activities take place—sky-divers, hot-air balloons, and more.

O, the blessing of friendship… we had a good time that evening.  Our friends from Colorado were able to be with us… to bring a good report and others shared of God’s blessing, work and provision over the last year.  One of my favourite sights and sweetest memories every year is the gathering of nursing mothers sitting in a group out on the porch or in our living-room in the house—and I’m always grateful that all the children play so well together as there were 30 or so little ones running around!  Everyone who played volleyball sure had a good time… after dark they hooked up the halogen lights and kept playing.  The pic of the one man is our friend who spent several months in Iraq.  We praise the LORD for His protection and our friend’s safe return.

Good news in an email regarding our friends in Papua New Guinea.  They’re improving tremendously from the terribly high fevers–malaria.  They’ve also gotten a washing machine which is a blessing as they’re now trying to rid the home of scabies. O, the enemy is working overtime attempting to thwart the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  He’s a defeated foe relentlessly fighting a lost battle.  In Jesus is the victory.

Pretty incredible the extent of the fighting in Iraq.  O, how grateful we are that our friends have returned, but, O,  how mindful we are that so many thousands remain and the fighting continues.  We continually pray God’s will be done.

Had a great time working outdoors yesterday.  Ran a couple of errands—had to go to Lowe’s (I went directly to the bricks and schedule 40 pvc sticks my husband asked me to get) and it would have been wonderful to take a look through their home decor section or paints and papers—more ideas don’tcha know, but I stuck to the plan.  Anyway… driving back… the heat felt wonderful!  I miss that marvelous feeling of hot sun on my face… I don’t mean sunning by a pool baking in the rays—just that feeling when standing outside and feeling the warmth of the sunshine… mmmmm.  The Northwest is my home and I don’t really desire to live elsewhere, but I do love heat and really dislike cold and gray… and for now, I do not miss the dripping, dripping, dripping rain… nor the cold.  The only thing I’m beginning to miss about wintertime is hot thick vegetable-beef or beef-barley soup and fresh-baked crusty bread—yummmm.  Oh… the gray days will soon be upon us.  I have a friend who absolutely loves the gray… says there are the most interesting shades of gray and white in the sky… hmmm, I hope to one day have that perspective for I do not have it at present.

For now, we’ve continued working in the yard… digging, digging, digging.  Wonderful to bathe and then rest after that sort of day… it was a wonderful ache, but it’s aching work, nonetheless.   Now… today… I’m not so sure about the wonderful part.  More about that later.

Interesting article regarding court protection from overzealous social workers or CPS.  We’ve often viewed CPS as some sort of American gestapo causing parents to live in fear of some CPS worker coming in and removing children from a home/family with seemingly no recourse on the part of the family.   Guilty—that’s it.  Children gone.  The accounts of such actions are often unpublicized but truly, the nightmares people have lived through at the hands of CPS are astounding.  One article is so bizarre, it seems unbelievable.  It’s incredible to me that in this country we must be on guard for such actions and false accusations!   I’ve been told many times by people on email lists to be careful what is written regarding child-training and correction.  It’s as if one’s being watched and tailed all the time.  Strange, isn’t it!?!

Monday, July 28, 2003   Yesterday was another blessed day of fellowshipping with friends at at church.  On Sundays (lately) we have stayed at the church all day… following morning worship and our “pot-bless” lunch, (I ended up making a big spinach salad, nachos & salsa, watermelon, and brownies—which everyone likes!)  we sat together talking while the children played outdoors and a bit later we had our sign-language class followed by our evening service which has lately been a time of viewing Kent Hovind‘s Creation Science videos with ice cream cones afterward!  By the way, they’re fascinating videos clearly showing the origins and creation of the world and the causes of the spectacular phenomena of such places as the grand canyon, fossils, huge bone & plant ‘graveyards’ at the poles, etc.  Incredibly simple and yet astonishingly complex are the presentations.  For every age there are solid explanations of God’s handiwork.  We’d like to purchase copies of these videos for our home. 

For those following the diet… if you’re in a situation like the one I described above… all you need to do is choose the foods that are non-BSF foods and you’ll do fine even  at pot-bless luncheons or out to dinner!  Remember, BSF foods are buttersugarflour foods… and WHITE foods!  Yeah,  I know… all the best tasting foods are a combination of these—white foods are sooooo tasty.  So, my resolve is strong… and if you’re trying to lose weight or ‘get healthy’ then I pray yours remains strong, too!

Our two older daughters spent a few days with my mom and had a wonderful time with her… crafting and visiting!  My mom really pampers them and they love it—and her!!  They made me a beautiful bouquet of flowers in my favourite colours—these flowers, maybe 2 dozen, are in a terracotta pot filled with rice… and they are each a pen!  The pot sits on my desk and looks so pretty!  My step-dad was away ‘star-gazing’ with fellow-astronomers at Table Mountain.  I wish that Kent Hovind’s videos were an integral part of the program so that every one of the astronomers (who don’t know the LORD) would have the clear opportunity to hear the gospel, understand the Creator of the vast universe, then see the great universe from His perspective!  The Word tells us in Psalms 19.1-7

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

See that? The Heavens DECLARE the GLORY of GOD!  Marvelous!  The Firmament shows His handiwork! Amazing!  Glory to God in the Highest!

Sunday, July 27, 2003  “This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” psalms 118.23

Friends Bringing a good report… This picture was taken in our  kitchen when friends were getting ready to leave… we’re all smiles… but soon after this there were tears.   That’s the bitter-sweet of friendship; the visiting is sweet and the parting brings sorrow.

July 26, 2003 Rapidly coming to the close of another month—it doesn’t seem possible that July is almost over!  I have some new newspapers listed in the News Pages — I like to read local papers when a national story is broadcast.  It seems that there’s a different angle presented in the local paper that’s missing or overlooked in the national news.  I add links when I’ve looked up a particular article.  Nah, you don’t need to become a news-junkie.   Glen Stewart often presents articles of interest on the site that hosts the Welcome Home/Good Things messages.  There are actually lots of interesting things on the site… articles, images, and lots of groups listed offering studies as well as discussion groups and newsletters.  Click the link—trust me—don’t type in the name yourself.

I’m trying to think of something creative to make for the pot-bless at church tomorrow afternoon.  You see, it’s pretty hard for me to be thinking along the lines of food when I need to be *out* of that kitchen.  So, I’m trying to think of a tasty uninvolved meal.  I know I need to make salad… there are some friends who just love salad and I love to please them… some of our friends don’t like everything I like to put in salads… I always smile when I think of them… as they call (berries-seeds-walnuts-craisins-parmesan, etc) the  added extras: ‘artifacts.’   (added note: these friends don’t like their foods touching each other, either.)

I thought this was a funny pic that Wes took on the drive to Indiana… no, it wasn’t named after me.  And yes, the pic below (under July 21) is at Krispy Kreme… a good place to start a road trip… at least that’s what my husband and step-father-in-law thought!

July 25, 2003  I’m back on track in the mind today… fully persuaded to press on with this diet.  It just dawned on me—the monthly cycle played an enormous part that I’d overlooked!  Irritability wasn’t food related it was cycle related and *food* wasn’t the answer!   So, I implore the LORD for His strengthening and His help!  If you’re having a tough go of it, just hang tight and pray the LORD will continually help you on the difficult trek of losing weight.  You may also come to realize you don’t have a weight problem after all… the problem’s not the weight, the problem’s the eating—the weight is a product or symptom of the problem.  That’s a hard image to face in the mirror—but then *truth* often is.  My friend wrote something yesterday that surely rang true with me.  She mentioned the attention losing weight brings.  O, that’s a struggle for me, too.  As much as I enjoy leading a group, as much as I enjoy orchestrating events or whatever, I can’t stand the attention—what a paradox this is!  I hate drawing attention even though I really want to be a blessing or to encourage or whatever!  So, when others ask if I’m losing weight, like my friend, I just want to hide.  This isn’t the reason for the dieting and I sure agree with her(!): it’d be wonderful to just go away and come back at a healthy weight.  Then… there’s also that terrible low self opinion… what? did I look so awful the other way?  O… it’s all tough.  Anyway… like I was telling my daughter in law… I desire to be fit for the grandchildren—she thought I meant her two (and I do!! really!) but I meant the ones who might come along in ten years or in 20-30 years and beyond.  I often think: I never see overweight old folks who are healthy—never.  So, should the LORD tarry, and should He choose that I have a long life—and so far as it depends on me, I’d like it to be a healthy one.  Fear of failure *AGAIN* is  the biggest battle of all as far as this particular fight goes.  Still pressing on…


Kathryn has only ONE more week in a cast!  Next Saturday she’ll have her cast removed and be able
to begin walking after 8 weeks off her foot.  What a blessing the surgeries to correct her feet have been—
but talk about a long haul… she’s done remarkably well, and has been as cheerful as possible as
she’s daily worked through this. Sometime I’ll put up some “before and after” pictures.
She’s even asked me to print out some pictures of her feet before surgery so that she can share with people what God’s allowed through the hands of skilled physicians and the gift He’s give her.
It’s sure been an alone time for her as there’ve been so many things in which she couldn’t
take part and so many things she’s been longing to do—
walks to take and volleyball games to play, swimming at the lake or in the pool, etc.
This is how her spring and summer has gone…  with a smile…  in a chair.

We’ve been enjoying the BBQ so much this summer!  Seems like everyone in our family looks forward to enjoying the dinner meal outside.  Perhaps this is because so much of the year is spent indoors and it’s so often too chilly to eat outside in the evening!  I love it because in California (where I was raised) we had most of our meals outside year round.  Our patio was like a large dining room—my favourite part of that was the outdoor chandelier that held lots of candles—thus my love of candlelight today!

Flies!  O, these pesky flies!  We’ve tried lots of things… but we’ve always gone back to the tacky, pun intended, fly trap paper.  Now, in looking up their company, I discovered that flies are bugging lots of people bcz there are so many products on the market.  My personal favourite is still the trusty damp wash cloth which I use to whack them when they’re walking on my counters or desk here in the kitchen—very effective.

Here are some HOMESCHOOLING helps.   Are you thinking of Home-Schooling or need some fresh ideas for your home-school?  This list of books will help you in your decision making and the site will give you ideas.  For some other angles and more information, you really ought to also look at Vision Forum or their ministries site and Homeschool Today (they have a magazine ‘Homeschooling Today’ to which you may want to subscribe) also the old favourites Timberdoodle and Keepers of the Faith.

One of the blessings of schooling at home is the flexibility my husband has in taking our older boys to work with him.  This pool was quite a difficult one to redo, but after the re-line, the filling and the new concrete, it looks beautiful.  And these guys don’t look so bad, either.
They love the opportunity to earn money during the summers!
We’re very blessed that the LORD has sent our boys in pairs with a dolly
in the middle of each pair every five years and one of each at the end…
No matter how He’d have done it, though, we know that All God’s ways are good.

My husband’s business is refurbishing swimming pools… relines, tile, coping concrete, equipment, etc.  His best, funniest, and most endearing co-workers are his sons…

July 24, 2003  O for email!  We had a letter this morning from missionary friends in Papua New Guinea.  The report and prayer request was troubling as four of their family members have malaria and are very sick.  I’d ask for prayer for our friends, the Sconce’s, and for their health and healing and that other family members will be spared.

So another day… you know this has been the hardest day for *the D-I-E-T* so far.  I have been sooooooo tempted all day to snack.  I *knew* this day was coming… I’m thinking that since I shared the progress report yesterday I am headed for a trial.  Well this isn’t the first trial of the trail, but it’s surely the strongest.  Even visiting or going out to dinner has not been this difficult.  I have some snacks on the counter for the family and I have dinner partially prepared—but I must be tired and so feel the *great need* 😉  to eat something—anything—now.  So I blog.  Then I walk.  Then I fold.  Then I go out to water the roses.

And so it goes…  More later…

July 23, 2003  I finally went with Kathryn to the Snohomish Library today!  What a wonderful new library it is!  We saw a friend there and I met one of the librarians who helps my children so much.  They all have a great sense of humor — even after Samuel placed holds for something like a hundred and twenty seven books one time.  They still tease him about checking out the [whole] library and having to call us because there was no room on the “holds shelf” for them to hold the books so they ended up personally calling us to come pick them up.  They’ve got a neat system whereby books can be reserved online and then an automated call is made to our home when the books are in.  This way we can easily scan the books before they’re checked out—also not as much time is needed at the actual library.  However, it is wonderful to spend time just browsing the books, so I make sure there’re lots of opportunities for that, too.

Kathryn is making garlic-chicken pizza and pepperoni pizza for our family tonight.  They’re going to love it that she’s doing this for them.  She and Hannah will be going to visit my mom for a couple of days so she wanted to do something special.  My husband and our older boys will be especially thankful as it’s been a long hot day for them out working on a pool.

One of my favourite catalogs to receive is from Country Curtains!  I love looking through the pages getting ideas for curtains for our home.  I can’t afford to buy them from them, but I sure think they appear to be high quality.  I always like to save these catalogs for future reference—same with Rue de France.  I have a lace curtain for our front door & side lights from that company; it’s so beautiful—I just need to shorten them by adjusting the tops—a project I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.

I had a very nice email from a woman in Canada today… and am (at her prompting) giving a diet update… so here, weighing in on weight loss, I am happy say I continue losing weight with a very modified Atkins plan.  I’m not following the plan to the letter—I find it’s difficult to so dramatically change the menu for the family and so I’ve just continued eating my plan and serving them a ‘normal’ diet.  Well, normal American, sometimes healthy—sometimes not-so-healthy, sometimes calorie laden—sometimes not, sometimes fat laden and sometimes trim: diet—normal American fare.   Okay, so I’ve lost 20 lbs. so far.   Thinking I had only 20 to lose (based on the weight registered on the other scale), my goal is more like 30 lbs. total to lose—maybe even 35.  So, over half way there, I continue the tough grind to eliminate weight from many years of many pregnancies.  Any of you who are trying to lose weight and can’t seem to get through it… can’t seem to break through that invisible barrier or (no pun intended) scale the 80 foot brick wall… here’s my tip:  Just totally eliminate WHITE FOOD.  Really.  White or light food is a problem (for me anyway).  Remember, like I hear they say at al-anon meetings… (though I’ve never been to one!!) I have to overcome this addiction… I’m a carbohydrate addict and I love all butter-sugar-flour foods.  Soooo eliminating all BSF foods and the things that go with BSF foods has been the goal.  Sugar is white.  Bread is white. Waffles are white.  Crisco is white.  Potatoes are white.  French fries are white.  Salt is white.  Cookies are white.  Ice cream is white (and that includes chocolate or any other ice cream).  Wedding cake is white.  Coolwhip is white…  and so on.

So… that’s kind of been my criteria (not completely (!!!) but for the most part) I’m not eating butter-sugar-Crisco-flour-chocolate foods.   Now… the biggest challenge initially was the elimination of the morning lattés and mochas.  Just eliminating those two shots of chocolate a day probably helped tremendously—now it’s been a month since I’ve had a mocha and I don’t miss them too much.  I did taste one this morning that I was making for our guest because I wasn’t sure my new espresso machine was brewing the coffee right and she likes her coffees pretty sweet.  But that taste was small and did not lead to another taste or a cupful.  That’s the other thing I tried NOT to do.   I do have one meal a day that’s an Atkins bar which is very satisfying to me with a cup of coffee or Apple-Cinnamon Tea.   So then,  I have consciously made decisions NOT to try to get around foods by pretending I’d just have a little taste or just this one bite… da da da da da.  I generally don’t eat substitutes for those foods either.  I’ve just had to continually stay on my plan and not try to “cheat” the plan.  There is no personal gain for me in that… and there’s no weight loss in that either.  And yes, that means no pizza tonight—but I’ve had pizza lots of times in the past—that’s why I must not have it tonight.  So, thanks, Sabine, for asking and prodding me along.  Blessings to you as you seek to eliminate the extra!!

July 22, 2003  Standing in the garden with my friend eating fresh vegetables and raspberries… it’s a summer picture I’ll savour a long while—that, and the picture of our children playing ‘duck duck: goose’ on the driveway before they drove off.

It’s a tearful moment when friends drive off after a sweet time of fellowship and children playing together.  What a blessing it was to have our friends with us over the last several days.  You’d never have known that there were 17 of us here in our old farmhouse!  It was a wonderful thing to have them come, to see the healing and blessing of the LORD in their lives.  When their daughter was in a tragic accident two year ago, there was a tremendous concern that she would lose not only her leg, but perhaps even her life.  The LORD did indeed answer prayer in sparing her life and her little leg—now very changed—still allows her to walk and play with the children.  Nothing dampens her spirit—she has a charming way about her and what joy she brings!  Though many surgeries have been performed, and though perhaps many more will be needed, the family is strongly determined to go on with God, to trust also in Him and never ever turn from that faithful walk with Him.  It was and will continually be a blessing to have been a part of their lives through that tough trial and now to have been here to receive the good report…  for that’s what I saw in their traveling all these miles… a trip to bring a good report—and they surely did bring us great joy.

I just received a Tea newsletter  from Sandy’s tea society.  I’ve enjoyed receiving this monthly letter… it’s given me some good ideas and encouragement to do more special things.  My deep regret in these last couple of years has been the inability to do all the things in the way I’d hoped to because of too many things on the plate, so to speak.  I’m seeing this as a recurring theme—one I’m not too happy about—and so I’m rethinking the order of the days ahead.  Maybe you have overloaded your schedule in some areas and you know what I mean.  Of course, this may all be a reaction to burning the candle at both ends lately. 

July 21, 2003  Hello again!  Too much gabbing for blogging!   We’ve been having some sweet fellowship with friends staying with us over the last few days.  We’ve enjoyed laughs and good talks, praises for what the LORD has been doing and prayers for His plans for the future.  It’s a blessing to have friends near and far!

Another wonderful evening celebrating friendship in the LORD with friends here for our annual KlaHaYa Days backyard party!  We sure have a good time each year… I’ll put up some pictures soon!  We do praise the LORD for all His ways, His blessings and provision in the past year.  We were privileged to have our friends here from Colorado, to see the evidence of answered prayer in the life of their little daughter who was severely injured in an accident two years ago.  What a marvel it is to see her… to experience her sweet spirit and the joy of her life.

I was so grateful for my husband’s safe return from driving his mom’s moving truck to Indiana last week.  I’ll add some to this later!  He had a wonderful trip—uneventful, praise the LORD!  He got off to a good start:

Oh, the woes of computers… for some very odd reason, we’ve had some major trouble with our computer here in the kitchen.  ‘Seems I must’ve downloaded a font that was a bad or “corrupted ” file.  Just the sound of it was bothersome to me—anyway, we solved the problem and are up and running!  My mom sent me a link to a flower company for bulbs that ‘rodents’ don’t go for!  That caught my attention since we have moles in our yard from time to time and they love to eat up the plants. I hate to have them eat up the tulips and daffodils!!  I’m thinking of ordering from them for fall planting.  Can you believe it’s time to order fall bulbs?!?!?

I just received an issue of Creativity E-letter by Vicki Blizzard… I think maybe some of you might go for this crafting & stitching hints and ideas subscription newsletter.

July 16-18, 2003  Hello sweet friends!!  Too busy for bloggin’ this week.  But I wanted to put up a couple of addresses that really have some neat ideas for cooking treats and decorating the home.  there are some neat ideas from Nestlēs.   I have many things to make and bake for this weekend!  In addition to our plans for friday, our friends will be arriving tomorrow for a several day visit!  This old farmhouse will be bursting at the seams… all filled up with lots of talking and laughing—-everything except a lot of sleep! 

I am still searching for carafes for my latté makers.  Can you believe that two have broken?!?  We’ll be making hot and iced mochas and probably lots of sweet tea, too!

Another site that’s a favourite of my oldest daughter is The Company Store.  She looks at different sites and through books and some magazines for ideas for serving, setting up the home and decorating… I’m often in awe of her tenacity and zest for learning and applying new things.

We’re getting ready for our annual KlaHaYa days yard party… what a blessing we have received from the sweet fellowship of friends over the years—we pray this year will be an especially sweet time as we gather for fellowship, food and volleyball…

July 15, 2003  Our friends are coming for a visit and in trying to give concise directions over the phone, I wished I could just pull up a map for her to look at.  Well, the next time you are looking for an address or need to map out your driving route, you’ll have a good place to look up the address.  

There is a carnival being set up near out home and ohmygoodness what an attraction it is.  We’ve been thankful over the years for this carnival… it’s been a tremendous teaching tool here.  Over the years the children have watched the bright lights, faintly smelled the ‘fair-food’ and vaguely heard the music.  The lights from the Ferris wheel, the cotton candy, thrill of the games… all the things in the world that seem so fun and attractive… but then reality—reality hits and a carnival is seen for what it is: temporary entertainment of the flesh… carn-i-val—carnal.  We used the opportunity to teach the children about amusement… about the great expense of going round and round on a carnival ride and then getting off having gone nowhere.  Is that what this life’s about?  The interesting thing is that on Sunday night when the sun goes down and the lights are dimmed, the oh-so-fun rides and other attractions will literally fold up and drive away funded by the hundreds who tossed money into the ring… and left behind will be half eaten corn dogs, empty cotton candy cones, plastic cups and other garbage… and the carnival will be only a memory.  We ask the children and we ask ourselves:  what will remain of our life?  Will we leave behind a life of amusement and wasted money—having feasted on ‘spiritual’ junk food, and a bunch of garbage strewn about through the years of our lives? 

July 14, 2003 

This has been a very busy day at our house!  My mother graciously took our four older children to the grand opening of the Snohomish library this morning.  They were absolutely thrilled to go this morning—they’re always happy to go to the library, but this day was unlike any other!  The space!  The tables & chairs!  The size! the thousands of new volumes!  They were all so pleased with all that had been done! It’s the big news in our home today!

We had the most enjoyable time walking through Flower World today with my mom. It’s truly astonishing—the plants!  Flowers… trees… hanging baskets… garden supplies of every kind… it’s just flower world!  We did buy some flowers and my son bought some cacti.  He bought a cactus yesterday and now he’s totally hooked (not literally) on cactus (or cacti) as the case may be.

July 13, 2003  This is the day the LORD has made… we are rejoicing and are glad in it.  God is good all the time.  Even when it *seems* that things are not going well—all God’s ways are good and He is only good.  We praise Him!

July 12, 2003 Our daughter got a call from the local newspaper reporter regarding the grand opening of the new Snohomish Library and what it’s been like to not have access to the library for the last month.  Kathryn was surprised what was put in the article and what was left out based on the interview with the reporter.  We go to the library at a minimum of 3 times per week… and sometimes go daily to pick up and drop off books because of the ability to use the internet to reserve books, check on status of books in transit, and probably, more accurately, because we have lots of readers with lots of different interests.  It’s been the most invaluable tool for homeschooling!   Many times when books were unavailable, our older ones would make a request for the book(s) and the library ordered them!   We are anxious for Monday and the grand opening of the wonderful new library!  My mom’s going to take the four older children for the big event!!  I think Kathryn as well as T, S, & Hme would like to live as close to the new Library as our friends live: one block… a short walk to all those books… heaven on earth!

You know that “Do Not Call” registry I was talking about last week?  Well, read on…

I was looking on the net for instructions on replacing exterior doors and doors frames… and I came across this neat page about remodeling old homes— I know *nothing* about the site owner… I just like the before & after pictures.

July 11, 2003  Our daughter just signed up to receive a Sonnet a Day… she’s determined to read Shakespeare’s sonnets which she’ll receive in her inbox each morning.  She is such an inspiration to me—I’m telling you, I never cease to be amazed at her!  She’s reading War and Peace and while she reads, she keeps an online dictionary  as well as a French/English dictionary open.  She’s an avid reader—always eager to learn new things!!   If you’re looking for a particular book, why not try online—she has a new interest in ‘classics’… you just might find a book you’ve been wanting to read!

We’re continuing our painting… and painting… and painting .
This morning my mother in law arrived—what a blessing to see her again.  She and her husband have just retired.  He has been a missionary in Taiwan for over 40 years and since their marriage two years ago (both their spouses died in the last four years) they have been there together for these last two years (Mom and Dad–before he died—were missionaries to the Philippines for two terms and he was a pastor in the States for over 40 years).  They’ll very much miss the ministry there and the dear friends they’ve left behind, but they have great plans for the future… as he is a writer and has two book projects.  I’m just sorry they’re not going to be retiring here and will be cross country from us.

One of my most helpful books is the Naturally Healthy Pregnancy by Shonda Parker.  It is packed with information and answers to most every question I had in pregnancies. I just received her e-newsletter this afternoon.  What a blessing her life is as she is such an incredible resource not only for pregnancy but general health as well.

July 10, 2003  Our dear friends gave my husband a copy of the book Wild at Heart on CD.  I think this is the first time I’ve listened to a whole audio book.  It was pretty interesting and intense listening and canning… canning and listening.  You see, just like there’s a wild at heart man in every man, there’s a bit of trying to understand that wild heart of men by every woman.  Now, some don’t like to get too caught up in psychology or psychobabble as some call it… but there’re some very interesting presuppositions presented by John Eldredge regarding the heart of a man.  I’m trying to understand… boys—men.  See, I *know* what they do… I just don’t always understand *why* they do it…  O, I’m not talking about the ‘never stopping to ask for directions’ or being able to go to the mall, hunt down the shirt (or whatever) shoot it, bag it, and get back in the truck in less than a half hour.  Or, chew a sandwich or a cookie into the shape of a pistol,  or always, beginning at age 8, attempt to jump and touch things higher than themselves—I know that’s what they do… but why do they do it?  So, that’s why I read books about men… I love the men in my life… the LORD’s given my husband and me seven sons to train up into men.  It’s sobering.

July 9, 2003 We’ve had a pretty busy day today… this painting continues… and continues… I imagine everything that can be painted *will* be painted in the days to come… perhaps even getting the whole job completed in a month or so!  ‘Problem with painting one’s home is that so many other things go by the wayside and don’t get done.  Then, the home’s a mess–regular chores not being done—and even the outside’s a mess… and so it goes.  We’ve done some more cleaning inside the underside, too… but not so’s ya’d knowit from looking on the outside.  The great treat will be the visit from my mother in law and her husband.  My husband’s father died 3.5 years ago and my dad died three months before that… so it’s sort of hard for me to yet think of calling her new husband ‘dad’.  O, how grateful I am, though, for her visit—it’s been a long time since the last and it’ll be a long time till the next!

My friend wrote to say blogs are all the rage… and listed another who has a blog… (doug phillips – vision forum) but I thought this was pretty funny on employee blogging—Microsoft, no less!

Since my husband’s been working such long hours, he treated us to dinner tonight and what a fun blessing it was.  Dinner was followed by a trip to Lowe’s.  We *love* to go to the hardware store!  I miss Eagle… but I’m beginning to like Lowe’s better.  At first, the little local hardware store called it Less Of What Eagle Sold… nyet, nyet, nyet. L-O-W-E-S.  Guess they were a tad intimidated by the new big boy in town.  Our little hardware store is still one of my favourite places to go, though!  They have lots of hard to find things for old houses.

July 8, 2003  As if this day of visiting wasn’t enough… I was just catching up on some news… Crown Financial Ministries’ Larry Burkett  has passed into glory.

Friends sent a card with the sweetest return address label—a family lined up and their address underneath.  So, I did a little looking and discovered the site and enjoyed looking at all the labels this company offers.  They don’t have ‘large’ family labels… ‘guess you could order a few sets of them or make a special request…or just make up some of your own on the computer!!

Our friends stopped by this evening to bring us some: CHERRIES!  We suggested that they take them to some other friend’s and surprise THEM!  So, they will… but they first stayed for tea and a visit.  She’s the one I keep Stash Licorice Tea on hand for… (No one here likes it ;-( but she sure does and likes it that we have it here for her!!)

Well… many of the cherries are canned now, and with much thanks to our Norpro cherry stoner!!  I’m wondering what in the world was I doing with the hand-killer-metal-looped-“punch”-pitter I’ve been using for over 20 years! Pitting and filling the jars was a breeze with the stoner.  One thing, though, it sort of leaves specks of cherry juice in its vicinity! But I don’t care! It’s speedy and so neat to use!  I was glad I had on an apron!!  Then I was glad for that Ready Mop!! (Uh, no, I’m not a rep!)

Make a cherry pie to freeze  or try this recipe:
My Cheery Cherry Pie
recipe(9 inch) double crust pie
5 cups fresh cherries; pitted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/8  teaspoon *each*  cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons butter
Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry. Combine cherries, lemon juice, sugar, flour, salt, spices and almond extract. Pour into unbaked pie shell, and dot with the butter. Cover with top crust, and seal edges. I like to poke an outline of a heart in the center to allow the steam to escape during baking.  Sprinkle with milk and sprinkle with sugar (about a tablespoon or two). ***Bake at 400º about an hour or until done. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. ***To freeze, omit the baking step, wrap well and freeze.  When you’re ready to serve it, bake frozen pie at 400ºF  1 hour and 10 minutes or until done.

July 7, 2003
A friend stopped by to bring Kathryn a gift this morning.  What a blessing the visit was.  Her gift is so pretty.  You might make one and give to someone… and it is this: take a pretty teacup & saucer and make a bouquet of flowers in the cup.  The cup & flowers match K’s room and will look so pretty there.
Another friend stopped in to visit and we sure had a good time catching up on old times, and most importantly, we got to meet and hold her new baby.  O, what a blessing this baby is to her and her husband.  After many years, many tears, three losses, the LORD blessed them with this little one.

Now I’m on my way to pick up cases of cherries to can! Our daughters will help with the canning and we hope to get them all done tonight and tomorrow… but we’ll be sure and save out a box for snacking, though!!

I got an interesting email this morning telling of a man who is walking from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Washington, D.C. to: Raise awareness of alcohol-related illnesses and tragedies and to raise money for MADD and the Betty Ford Center and to create a scrapbook of persons adversely affected by alcohol. You can read a web log of the journey.  It’s interesting and there are beautiful. 

Again, as with other sites to which I refer you, many times the sites are not “Christian” but I’d *never* intentionally send you to a site that would be offensive—but I could never be sure of all *their* recommended or linked sites—so don’t wander around!!  Just beware when traveling the net—beware and be in prayer.  I always think it’s the greatest tool for good while streaming alongside the most damaging pipeline of sewage and carnage being pumped into homes all over the world.  Think I’m adamantly opposed to pornography?  Absolutely.

Our daughter in law built a workbench for his garage for his Father’s Day present—yes, she’s amazing!  She bought the plans for the bench—did all the work, which included dove tailed drawers and several other intricate features, and surprised him.  So when I talked with her about dad needing to make a cabinet for our kitchen (as opposed to buying a manufactured one) she suggested I just look for plans and so I’ve been looking around and came across a great site for woodworking projects for the kitchen.

July 6, 2003 This is the day which the LORD hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118.24

July 5, 2003
Every wise woman buildeth her house; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14.1

We celebrated Independence Day two different places yesterday… Our friends always have a huge 4th of July party—BBQing, presentations, Root beer floats, fireworks and S’mores by the fire in the later evening  (We sadly 🙁 had to  miss a few of these things this year because of having to leave early).  We then spent the rest of the evening at our son & daughter-in-law’s home.  The had friends in from their church, BBQ, S’mores and volleyball.  Our daughter-in-law carved a watermelon whale…and filled the hollowed out melon with different types of fruit & melon balls.  [by the way… we were looking at that site and thought it would be neat to do a baby carriage for a shower sometime]

I just completed the registration form for the National Do Not Call Registry.  It took about ten minutes to complete the process of registering by entering the phone numbers on which we do not wish to receive solicitors’ calls.  It’ll take about three months before we’ll see a notable reduction in calls… the downside is that placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. You may still receive calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors or companies with which you have an existing business relationship.

We have so many projects to work on around our home.  For years we’ve needed  to work on cabinets, walls, flooring, etc.  I noticed a neat site that shows step by step instructions and demos on how to do just about anything.  What I was looking at was flooring.

July 4, 2003 
May Americans turn to the LORD God as we celebrate Independence Day.  We thank the LORD for the privilege of living in America, and are grateful to the men and women who’ve laid down their lives in defense of freedom and offer thanks to their loved ones.
Independence Day… whatever happened to the signers of this document?
America the Beautiful  May God shed His grace on thee.
Another beautiful card to see… from sea to shining sea.

July 3, 2003
I was sent an email with a link to Lady Liberty (which didn’t work) and so I typed it into Google… saw a bunch of links and came across this one dedicated to America.  It really is amazingly filled with articles and links… and a situation where someone is ‘threatening’ them (because of ‘copyright’ infringement) and so apparently the Lady Liberty story there has been removed.  It just shows what a terribly brash and arrogant world we live in today.  These people (site-owners) seem gracious and not wanting to cause any trouble.  Anyway… I continued searching and I think this is the Lady Liberty the email referenced—though it’s not the same link.

Oh, mothers… it’s a pretty tough go sometimes.  Some days are twice as long as we can bear the work and others are twice as short as we need to complete the work.  There really is no ‘getting back to normal’ and there’s no day coming soon when it’ll all be easy.  Every day’s a new normal and everyday is the last day it’ll ever be like that again and every tomorrow will be different than today and will be harder in some ways and easier in others.  One thing I know for sure… it’s all over real fast… and when little boys grow up, it’s so over.  One time I wrote Why am I a Mommy? to encourage mama’s of boys.  Oh it’s a pretty incredible experience to be given the gift of motherhood; and some days we just feel like nothing goes right and we “can’t do it” —however—like my friend just said, we can’t do it—but He can—and *will* as we trust and obey.

July 2, 2003 I was looking on the net today for ideas for Friday (4th of July) so I saw some “Patriotic” Desserts, and some more 4th of July ideas and so I just might make and take this Dilled-Artichoke potato salad to one picnic and then I’m sort of thinking of this Red, White and Blue Pie or Fruit Pizza (I sort of make a loose version of my sister-in-law Katherine’s Fruit Pizazz recipe) to take to our son & daughter in law’s in the evening.  To add to the celebratory mood of Independence Day,  I bought some little flags at the grocery store and some 4″ pots of petunias in red, white and blue (well, deep violet—it’s close!) and I planted them in some planters that already have ivy growing in them—looks nice.  Oh working in the garden… Weeds.  Sin.  Weeds. So I began writing a Welcome Home message…  Hopefully it’s completed this evening.  Our daughter is BBQ-ing tonight—something we’re doing a lot lately… thought this Honey-barbecued Chicken looked good and so will try it next time.  All this food is tempting… but I’m attempting to hold fast to my “no white food” deal till I lose this weight!

July 1, 2003  Twenty four years ago today our first child was born.  I had no idea that day what the doctor meant when he handed me my son and said… it’s time to start letting go of him right now.  Silly, I thought that was… he was just born!  I understand those words of wisdom today.

These are the longest [daylight] days of the year and here in the Northwest it means that even at 10pm the sky is light.  These are also the longest work days of the year for my husband (and sons).  There are some days that it seems he’s gone sun-up to sun-down.  We’re grateful to the LORD for lots of work this time of year; because of the seasonal nature of his business, winters are slow!  I need to work on his webpage… it sort of looks outdated and there are still too many “under construction!” pages.

We got a call from the library today and they said there had been a  reporter there asking about the ill-effects [on patrons] due to the closing of the old and the opening of the new library.  She then went on to share that she told the reporter that she *did* know a family in particular who’d probably been discouraged to not be able to use the library… yes… it was ours.  Our daughter talked at length with the reporter, and she thought she was quite nice.

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