Wednesday, November 30, 2005

For those who are looking...

I thought I would occasionally share when I have posted a new entry of interest on my "work" blog. I really love the company I featured today so I felt it worth your while!



(Now removing her official hat ...)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Daughter Gifts!

A proud mother moment on Thanksgiving day...



As you can see, I have much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 28, 2005

To shop or not to shop...

That is the question for a lot of you - and where - and do you avoid certain shops? I was reading an interesting thread on a posting board and one of the posters had this to say:


Where can I shop for my children without compromising my values? Target = no Salvation Army (but if I ever decide I want an upside-down tree, that's the first place I'll go!!); KMart, Sears, Kohls, & Walmart = No "Christmas" in their advertising or in-store displays.


And American Girl? I have a soon-to-be 3-year old dd named Elizabeth (named from P&P, of course) with beautiful blue eyes and blond curly hair. I had planned on getting her the Elizabeth doll for Christmas. They could be twins!! But now AG has connected itself with Girls Inc. and I'm not comfortable with that. My 6-year old dd (named Emma, of course) has Marisol and I'd love to get her the rest of the doll's clothes before they become unavailable, but...see above.


Is there ANY retailer at which I can shop whose CEOs (or whoever) have not bent so far over backwards to be p.c. that they've ridiculously contorted themselves into a very offensive position to Christians?


Or should I just shop wherever, shut my mouth, and stop being so political?


We do shop, and we shop all over. I mostly shop online because it is easy and brainless and I can do it late at night when all curious eyes are closed. That said, I did purchase from Walmart, K-Mart as well as Target for this Christmas. Did anyone wish me a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Probably not because I did all my shopping before Thanksgiving. However, would that have mattered to me at all? I think I understand the underlying frustration of this person - that Christmas isn't Toymas, or Holidaymas, or Giftmas, but Christmas. But understanding and empathizing are two different things.


The discussion turned into a very heated discussion about the origins of the Christmas, be they pagan or not, or partially pagan, or even religious at all for some. Some people went so far as to say, "Christmas IS about Christ no matter how much others want to deny it....."  Each family that I know treats Christmas in their own particular way. I am glad that no one tells me I have to do ABC in order to have a true Christmas otherwise I would be sure to disappoint someone!


I cannot say that I think that Christmas is 100% about Christ's birth for our family. Yes, we read an advent story, and of course read the book of Luke, but we also read some of our favorite Christmas stories. Many of them have a Christian theme, and I love that. I love that we can have the story of the importance of Christ's birth woven into a treasured Christmas book. We also watch Polar Express, It's a Wonderful Life, and Elf with our family. We enjoy Christmas stories like the Night Before Christmas too. We enjoy the cultural aspects of Christmas without compromising ourselves. We do not tell our children that Santa is truly coming down our non-existant chimney and we do not tell them that he is a real person in the flesh, but we allow them to be children and to enjoy the story of Santa for what it is - a story.


There is a fine balance to what Christmas is. I cannot say that Christmas is 100% about Christ's birth to us because that would be a lie. We do not open presents on the morning of the 25th because Jesus was born. But on the other hand, would I be celebrating anything at all on the 25th if the Christian church so many years ago did not decide to make it an official holiday? Probably not! Would we buy gifts and fill stockings if we did not have the commercial culture we have today? Probably not! So, it really is a mix of tradition and faith all wrapped up in one.


We have friends that do not celebrate Christmas at all - they are morally opposed to it. Now can I - or even should I - argue with them about it? No, because each family needs to make those choices for themselves. I do feel badly though because I think they miss so much. Even though this time of year can be stressful, it can also be a lovely time - with precious memories that live in their hearts forever. That is what Christmas is to us - Jesus, memories, family, and love.


Whatever it is to you and yours - whether you shop or not, go to certain stores or not, celebrate the birth of Christ or just enjoy the gifts, may the season that is upon us be a blessed one to you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I am Maximus!

Thanks to Jill, who's Crib Chickin' it, I obtained this funny quiz. See who you are! I am not so sure I fit this description, but those of you who know me will know best.

Link at the bottom! 


You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.



William Wallace


Lara Croft


Indiana Jones


The Terminator


El Zorro


Batman, the Dark Knight


James Bond, Agent 007


Neo, the "One"


The Amazing Spider-Man


Captain Jack Sparrow


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Saturday, November 19, 2005

In the reading hour...

I was on a blog the other day that listed all the books she had read over that year. It was on her sidebar and I will be doing that this year - I really like the idea. However, because I didn't do that this year, I spent some time thinking of the books I did read and came up with the following list. I am sure I have missed some because I did not keep a running list anywhere and I didn't blog about all of the books that I read, but keeping a blog *is* helpful for the books I did blog about!



Here is my list:


Basket of Flowers (reading)
Middlemarch (reading)
Independence (Drums of War Series)
Hawk and the Dove
From Basic to Baghdad
The Apprentice
Ink on His Fingers
Thunderstorm in Church
The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt By Day
The Beggar’s Bible
The Summer of the Danes
Brother Cadfael's Penance
The Daisy Chain
Far from the Madding Crowd


Lorna Doone
Agnes Grey
Mansfield Park
Blackthorn Winter
Susan Creek
Sarah Plain and Tall
Caleb’s Story
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
Story of the Amulet
Wuthering Heights


I think it is pretty obvious that I have a certain like for a certain type of book! LOL. What are your favorite fiction books?



Friday, November 18, 2005

Daughter Gifts

It is a great and marvelous blessing to have daughters. I know that not all of you have such gifts, but are blessed with sons. I have but one of them and find them just as marvelous, but for tonight I want to write about my lovely girls.


We went to visit some friends this evening for dinner - just me and the children as their father is gone. When we returned home all three of the younger children were put to bed and promptly fell asleep. I decided to redeem the time and oh, what a blessing to *me* it was.  


I fixed some special holiday tea in the pretty china Daddy gave me years ago, lit our spicy fall candle and even our indoor oil lantern, turned the lights down low and brought out The Basket of Flowers. Many of you know what a beautiful book this is, but we are only learning.


I am so blessed with my daughters; so truly blessed! I thank God for them! There are so few times that we have these precious moments that I resolve in my weak human frailty to make them happen more often. With God's hand upon our lives we will. I have spent a little more than an hour of lovely time with two budding young ladies and I am the better for it.


Tea and time and a good book - life's moments with my precious children. My daughters are God's gifts to *me.*




Thursday, November 17, 2005

I have been so busy this week

I have not been my regular "blog" self. (Whatever that means!)


I would like to ask that you pray for the safety of my husband over the weekend and my friends who will be meeting for business and some fun down-home Tennessee time. He is in the air as I write and all prayers to our Great Protector would be so very appreciated.


Oh, and Jo, if you want to come to CA for a visit - this would be a great weekend...




Saturday, November 12, 2005

Searching for that perfect gift?

This whole week I am doing a series on educational or just plain fun gifts on my "business blog." You can find the entries here. I just thought I would share for those of you in need of that "perfect" gift.




OH, I loved it!

I am a very big Jane Austen fan and really enjoyed the BBC version, but this is nothing like that. They are so different that you really cannot compare them. This is a stunningly filmed movie with rich texture and a very real feel to it. Earthy in parts almost - and vividly portrays the reality of living then. It is not glammed up at all, but still gorgeous.


I was very surprised that I liked Keira Knightly as Elizabeth and Rosamund Pike, who plays Jane, was lovely and charming. Bingley and Mr. Collins were funny and perfect, and Charlotte was lovely and real. I thought all the acting choices from Darcy on down were superb. Darcy was wonderful! Three of the actors in this movie were also in one of my other very favorite period pieces, Wives and Daughters.


It is just a completely different film from the BBC - not better or worse, just very different. It is lovely for what it accomplishes on its own merit. The scenery made me ache – it was so lovely. The very real-life feel this movie had was much much more than I expected.


I will own this one right along with the BBC one and enjoy it just as much – perhaps even a little more! (But don't tell anyone I said that...) :+)


Oh, and I did "Dress Regency" - at least to the best of my 21st Century ability. Picture, hopefully, to be forthcoming. :+)


See it!

Friday, November 11, 2005


I am very excited. Tonight I am going with a dear friend of mine, who is going with dear friends of hers, to see the new Pride and Prejudice! They are dressing up for the event as they are coming from a dance. I am not sure if I will be the sore thumb, and stick out in my normal attire, or if I will make an effort to "Dress Regency." It is, as some of my readers know, a great favorite of mine.



In any event, I heartily look forward to this - even if I am not so sure what to think of some of the acting choices. I have an open mind though, and will tell you what I think after I see it.


One way or the other though, I expect to be excessively diverted!



Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Beautiful Honest Post

Found HERE. You will be glad you spent the time.





A little plug...

A new blog is out there for those of you who like new homeschool products, or older favorite homeschool products, or interesting homeschool products! It is a new endeavor, by yours truly, to share a bit of her favorite people, companies, and products out there for your reading pleasure. OK, plug over!





Susie Tucker wrote this at her psychologist's suggestion. He encouraged her to express her anger after she read the Pocono Record May 2, 1996 column by Bob Groff, "Protests Continue over Physicals at Lambert School, but Why?" The letter was provided by Mrs. Paul Tucker to Pamela Hobbs Hoffecker on May 24, 1996.



How dare you call my family and I liars. The only liars in this situation are you and anyone else who believes you. My information is first hand information because I was there. Your information is second hand. If you were in that room, if you had to go through that torture, if you were so scared that you cried, your accusations would be against the nurses, doctor, and the school board. For your information, I would die before I would ever apologize; and answering your question why the protests continue, because I want justice, I want to stop the insomnia, the waking up at 2 a.m. and not being able to get back to sleep, I want to stop the nightmares, the feeling of being violated, I want to get my power back and most of all I want to give them my shame. So until you become a fragile, sixth grade girl and you have your rights taken away from you, you shouldn't accuse people of anything you know nothing about.

The real lesson of the East Stroudsburg genital exam incident
by Marshall Fritz

ON MARCH 19TH LAST YEAR, the day the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, 11-year-old Susie Tucker was asked by a school official to go the nurse's office. She was one of 59 sixth-grade girls at J.T. Lambert Intermediate School in East Stroudsburg, Penn., who were required that day to undergo a genital exam.


When asked to disrobe, Susie claims she told the school nurse that she wanted to call her mother to make sure it was OK. She claims she was denied access to a phone. The newspaper reports in the Pocono Record indicate that several of the girls cried and asked to leave, but that the exit was blocked and they were required to submit to an exam searching for genital warts and lesions. (The exam was performed by a female physician.)

(The rest of the story.)


Can you not understand why Mark and I hold our right to homeschool so fiercely? We happen to have an eleven year old daughter. I cannot imagine the suffering and pain it would inflict upon her. Where have we come in our nation when this is acceptable? May God forgive us for allowing such treatment of our weakest members and may He comfort the now young woman who endured it. 



Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Beginnings

"The thing life is fullest of is the thing we find hardest to believe in. New beginnings. The incredible gift of a fresh start. Every new year. Every new day. Every new life. What wonderful gifts! And when we spoil things, and life goes all wrong, we feel dismayed, because we find it so hard to see that we can start again. God lets us share it too, you know. Only God can give life, it's true - make a new baby or a new year - but he gives us the power to give each other a new beginning, to forgive each other and make a fresh start when things go wrong."

(From The Hawk and the Dove, Penelope Wilcock)


Thanks God for His new beginnings! I praise Him for my new heart and for friendships that do not die with hard ends, but are renewed.



Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Striking Bible Gold Today

With all the theological chaff out there blowing in the wind, I find solid wheat in the posts of one of my favorite theological bloggers, Pyromaniac, yet again.


May his post, and his blog, make you think today!

Have you noticed how radically different the Bible's war plan is from the conventional wisdom of contemporary evangelicalism?


Nowadays we see book after book being published on ministry philosophy, church-growth strategy, and Christian leadership—virtually all urging church leaders to compromise, conform, accommodate, adapt, and adopt the language and thinking of the world. Youth Specialties and Zondervan (under Rupert Murdock's shrewd leadership) have built a major industry publishing how-to books that teach young pastors and youth leaders how to suit their style to the latest worldly trends.


I am frankly weary of all the self-styled experts who are telling pastors and church leaders today that unless they get with the times, tone down their message, adapt their methods to meet the worldly preferences of the current generation, accommodate their message to the postmodern dialectic, bone up on this or that academic fad, or otherwise adopt some fleshly strategy, the church will die or lose the battle for the souls of the next generation.


We've tried all those strategies for at least three or four generations now, and we're still losing ground. In our mad pursuit of "relevance," has anyone noticed that the church is becoming more and more irrelevant? All this accommodation to the culture is the very thing that makes the church culturally irrelevant.


We are supposed to be in this world but not of it, remember?

The rest of the article...


Five children killed in SR-395 head-on collision
KREM 2 News Staff


SPOKANE - The Washington State Patrol has confirmed five people - all children - were killed in a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon on Highway 395 north of Spokane.


The five children are all members of the Schrock family from Chewelah, Washington. They are 12 year old Carmen, ten year old Jana, eight year old Corina, five year old Jerrill and two year old Creig. The children's father, 38 year old Jeffrey Schrock, was transported to a hospital with life threatening injuies.


(More here.)


I cannot imagine waking up to this nightmare. May we all lift them up in prayer and may God's compassion, comfort, and love surround them during this terrible time.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Tiny Niece!

I would like to publicly welcome my sweet new baby niece, Laura Elizabeth to the world. My brother, Adam,  called on Sunday to tell us about her debut. She weighed in at eight pounds and twelve ounces! She is my first and only niece and I am tickled pink about her! Mama Wendy is doing well - we are so proud of you!!



It is a precious thing to have a new baby girl! Welcome, little Laura! You have a lot of love waiting for you at our house!