Tuesday, January 27, 2009


We're headed out very shortly again - a LOOOOONG trip ahead of us (me - Hubby has to stay) to my folks' area to see my grandma...  She's 90, and in the hospital.  The doctors say she *might* make it, but she talks and acts like she won't.

Your prayers would be so appreciated for safe travels over mountain passes and that our time with Granny would be purposeful.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why Can't HE See It?

Before I leave shortly for our visit to Gi-gi's, I thought I'd submit this clip for your viewing.  Consider that today President Obama repealed the ban on federal funding for providing abortions internationally.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We are getting ready to head out tomorrow to see Gi-gi, wear plaid, tap our feet to some mean bag-pipin', and eat some haggis.  I know you're jealous of that.  Mmmm...

Since it's been 2 years or more since I actually paid another pair of hands (than mine) to trim my hair, I thought I'd try to get that done while in the City.  I emailed a friend (who, while she grew up my neighbor, has spent the past several years in Romania as a missionary, until a couple months ago) for any references or recommendations, of which she had none.  I hung up the idea, but mistakenly mentioned my abandoned plans to Gi-gi.

"Hey, I tell you what.  I just fired my old hairdresser; she kept cutting my hair to show too much of my ears [Gi-gi hates this.  As old-lady fashions evolve, she refuses.].  So I took a picture I had done when I was a school nurse 30 years ago and went up [a few blocks away] and they did a great job.  I could set you up an appointment."

Now, not only do I NOT have Gi-gi's straight, thin hair, I also do not have or want her hairstyle.  I wasn't entirely convinced, but she persisted.

"You haven't had your hair cut in HOW long?  ANYTHING has to be better than you trying to trim it yourself, I'm sure he'll do fine."

He?  I'm not terribly used to "he" hairdressers (not that I'm used to any hairdressers, obviously), but was intrigued.  I proceeded, out of curiosity, to inquire about, um, the degree of limp-wristedness 'he' perchance suffers from.

Gi-gi refused to answer of course, giving instead a liberal rant about homophobia and how gay** people are nicer and better and more committed than the rest of us anyway, blah blah blah.

Which TOTALLY missed the boat.  I'm not insecure around people of differing sexuality:  I'm insecure around MEN who have nicer eyebrows, cleaner fingernails, and smother skin than I!  Call me weak.  I am.  I did agree to let her try and book an appointment for me, however (see, at least I'm willing to face my insecurities).

She called back later to say "Amber" would take me.  I suppose trying to book an appointment for your "intolerant, judgmental, Bible-thumping, homophobic granddaughter" is rather difficult.

I hope Amber doesn't give me a buzz cut in retribution.

**It should be noted that I have no information by which to judge "his" tendencies.  It's possible he's a big, burly, straight construction worker who has taken a second job in this economy to support his wife and seven children.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Thoughts

Hubby and I just finished watching and listening to Barack Hussein Obama's inauguration ceremony.  My instinct is to grieve, to sorrow, and to disgree.  Of course, the disagreement isn't just instinctual, it's also thoughtfully reasoned out. :)

But those things will not bring the "change" we so desperately need (and again, I'll use the same term our new President favors, knowing I mean a far different kind of change).  I got an email a few weeks ago which spurs me to a different reaction.  Like the Dutch Sheets posts, I don't really know anything about the person or ministry behind this 'call to action.'  I DO know, respect, and trust the source who forwarded this to me, so it does carry some weight in that area.  However, I think the message carries itself, without need of a big name or ministry to lend it's credentials.

What do you think?

“Inviting God Into America”

December Edition of the JoCo Journal Prophetic Insight

Several weeks ago I encountered an angel that declared to me that it is time to invite our Lord, who is a God of hope, into the United States and into every arena of life. He desires to give this nation a “name of honor.” I became very aware that it is time to partner with Him for all that He has for our nation and the nations across the world, even despite the enemy’s plan to bring destruction and hopelessness.

The Enemy’s Contract on America

I was shown two contracts on America. The first was a contract “on” America by the enemy; the second was God’s contract “for” America. The enemy’s contract on America would create great suffering for the people , but we are not to agree with this contract. In this contract, our government would try to take over and control the economy and I was told that it could lead to fascism. It would start with the wrong industrial labor laws related to race. I also saw the enemy stirring up religious zealotry within the church that would react instead of love. The goal of the enemy was to get the church to offend President Obama. It was clear to me that although we have the right to disagree with our President, we must still highly honor him and his position. I saw several specific attacks of the enemy through this contract:

  • A 20% increase in teen suicide in America.
  • An increased intensity against the church.
  • Riots in the streets, related to church vs. state).
  • Religious leaders assassinated.
  • The Church may be tempted to move more toward the zealot, instead of the love movement.
  • The cities targeted by God for great renewal were instead hit by terrorist bombs.
  • Funding for the Churches decreasing, especially in Europe.

God’s Contract for America

Then I was shown God’s contract for America, a hope and destiny for her. We are to move in the opposite spirit of what the enemy would try to accomplish and agree with God’s contract for America. In this contract, there were “hope movements” that rose up all across the nation. “Hope centers” came forth and there were “Hope houses” on every block. There was a movement of stadium worship filled with the glorious presence of God. There was a tremendous unlocking of the greater knowledge of God in this hour and increased training.

Recently I had a dream that stadiums in America, and also across the world, were filled with thousands and thousands of people worshiping the Lord and declaring that Jesus is loved within their cities. The scoreboards in the stadiums read, “Jesus is loved well here.” The narrator in my dream described to me that the Lord was being “most perfectly adored,” by these ones. It needed to be a corporate gathering because there was a power unlocked by corporate love that could not be unlocked by only one. This is part of God’s contract for America and purpose for her.

Weapons Unleashed

In this season I saw the devil releasing new weapons; but then I saw God releasing His full arsenal, which was unbelievably powerful. His arsenal is a spirit of hope and worship that will arise in the midst of crisis. He will bring a blessing upon “hope bringers” who would facilitate the stadiums of worship. He will unleash a grace to fight with remembrance– as the enemy unleashed weapons we will be able to remember God’s goodness and magnify the Lord’s unrelenting kindness in the past and the present. A heritage of hope will spring forth in geographical areas; in the cities that invited God in and worshiped Him. It is time to continue to invite Him in and it time for us to live in hope, believing that His plan is good. We have a responsibility to dig beyond the peripheral evil, and seek out the power of the living God.

The subject of the email says this was written by a Bob Hartley of IHOP.  I'm pretty sure that's not the pancake restaurant, perhaps 'house of prayer' or something?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This is my new niece, born to my brother and his wife on my birthday.  I thank them for that. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Housekeeping Exposure

Yesterday, when my little challenger 'switched the laundry' for me, it got me to thinking... Actually, it's something I've been thinking on for a while, so thought I'd try to put some of those thoughts here.

My girls are 4 and 7. Their room is a disaster. Our house is a disaster; it's been a challenging season. But they know how to change the garbage bags in the bathrooms. They obviously know how to switch the laundry, and even fold their own clothes (sometimes quite creatively) and can put them away properly. They know where to put sheets, towels, blankets, and dishes. My eldest can fry an egg and make toast, Little Artist likes to stir oatmeal, or dinner. They would like to scrub toilets, but I'm not quite ready to go there yet.

I'm not saying any of this to brag; God knows there is SO much we're behind on, in training and otherwise.

But I think back to my own childhood...

I had finished first grade when I was Big Sister's age. Until then, and even beyond, I never even saw the bathroom cleaned. My aunt (who died this past summer) lived with us at the time, and I believe she was the bathroom-cleaner - I recall a handwritten note affixed to the bathroom wall in her handwriting encouraging my mom's boyfriend to "aim to please." In any case, I never witnessed the toilet be cleaned, or the bathtub scrubbed, or the mirror polished. I certainly was never taught how to do these things. My dirty laundry disappeared from my room and reappeared, clean and folded, in my drawers. I was encouraged to wash dishes occasionally, but never with much consistency. I made my bed when the mood struck; usually Thanksgiving, Easter, my birthday... Presumably all the housekeeping was done while I was out of the way - at school. My mother didn't do a lot of it (she was handicapped), and Gi-gi took care of the laundry, I think. Gi-gi is multi-capable, amazingly productive, and has managed to pass that ability on to absolutely no one.

[I was involved with grocery shopping, however. Mom wasn't much of a cook, so convenience foods (canned, boxed foods) were staples - and we were on food stamps! We ate very fancily! In fact, by the time I was 10/11 or so, my mom would drive to the grocery store, hand me a check that had her signature (a signature-stamp, eventually), and I would do the shopping, checking out and wheeling the cart (perhaps we had bag-boys to help with that) back to the car, where she waited.]

At least my girls are gaining early exposure, understanding the processes that I didn't even notice were going on. That has to count for something, right? They won't have the shock to their system that I had, when I was nearly 13 and moved to live with my dad and step-mother. She knew how to teach. I learned to clean a toilet, the tub, sink, mirror. To shake out rugs, change garbages (burn garbage, even!). My daily chore was to vacuum the living room, dust it frequently, nightly wash dishes (or clear table, counters, and put away leftovers), help prepare dinner, and do my own laundry -- and God help me if I didn't do my laundry on my specified day! I either waited a week, or surreptitiously tossed a load in when my folks were gone... Once or twice she loaded up my brother and I (and we with our laundry) to the laundromat, where we could spend our own money to launder our clothes, when we didn't stick to our prescribed day.

It's true that learning this stuff is "better late than never," but far better than that is to learn it early. I thank God that I did suffer (and oh, there were times I suffered) through a change in expectations and habits, and I praise Him that my girls will be better equipped. I pray that I become more of a teacher-alongside than an accomplishing-lone-ranger. The difference means so much.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My sister-in-law gave birth today to their first baby, a girl. Though induced, it sounds like everything went smoothly and well! 7 lb, 1 oz. Yay!


Oops. Thought I had posted this yesterday, you know, when I wrote it.



The Common Room has another FLDS roundup today. Good information, as always.

Another interesting note, an Austrian chemist who was one of the inventors of The Pill says his co-creation has led to "demographic catastrophe." He also used the phrase "horror scenario." And in case you were still holding out that it's a clean-cut, safe, moral form of birth control, the article also admits that it's abortive: "...it expels a small human embryo."

Happy Birthday to Me

AND to my hopefully-almost-born niece, in Frigid Fargo...

This morning my two oldest brought me a cookie sheet lined with a towel, and atop it was half a mug of lukewarm tea, a handful of raw almonds, a nice, yellow (not bruised at all, which are the ones I usually end up with!) banana, an orange, "with the peel already started," and a handful of baby carrots. How sweet is that!

THEN, I asked the Little Artist if she would remove the toys from the laundry basket to the toy box, and then empty the dryer into the basket. I think I asked her this one time. Next thing I saw, she had the empty basket by the dryer. I was amazed! Usually there are a dozen requests/reminders, sometimes worse, before she complies. Other times she's a delight and delights in pleasing me. I thanked her for doing things as I had asked (it turned out the dryer was empty anyway), and went back to cleaning the toilet (I know, it's my birthday but I didn't manage to clean them all yesterday). When I emerged from the bathroom, the dryer was running and the washer was empty... The dryer was set exactly right, and there were no wet socks or other things left in the washer or lost between that and the dryer. My four-year-old can 'switch the laundry!' That is a wonderful birthday present indeed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crazy Stuff

Hubby has been using his time off for, um, some serious productivity.


One of his pastimes lately has been watching the antics of this guy, out of Canada. He's got an entire YouTube channel, and does some crazy stuff. I can't recommend much of it; I've seen a few clips with poor language, but the scary part is that Hubby is feeling... inspired.

Watch it again, and tell me if there's anyone in the driver's seat. Hubby thinks that it's rigged for the, uh, passengers, to be operating it.

I sorely wanted to show you Hubby's favorite plan, but unfortunately the 'cameramen' for those clips have really bad language, and I don't think you can strip the audio from YouTube clips (can you?). The guy chopped an 80s pontiac right behind the front seats, and made a "3 wheel half car"... Two front wheels, the engine, dash, and front windows.. and then nothing. No backseat, trunk, or rear wheels. He mounted a third wheel on a spring right between the front seats (well, he removed the passenger seat. No takers, I bet.), and this thing is crazy. Hubby wants to turn my old Toyota Celica into one! *gulp* When he hits the brakes, the thing tips forward to it's front bumper. When he reverses quickly, it does the same, with the rear wheel way up in the air before it comes bouncing down. It is the weirdest thing to watch...

Thank God that when Hubby has time on his hands, he lacks $$ right? :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


My brother called today to let me know some great news. Their little as-yet-unborn baby girl, Mackenzie, will be evicted, kicking and screaming, from her happy little nest born via induction this Wednesday, the 14th, MY birthday! That is, unless she decides to 'head out' before then. I am quite thrilled... though I'm not sure they are. I understand; I don't want my kids to have to share birthdays within the family, either, though sharing a birthday with someone of an older generation (that would be me, in this case) isn't so bad. It's not like we'd have to have a "double party" to keep everyone happy. Too, my friend (well, she was my mom's good friend, 'back in the day') shares this birthday. She always got me wonderful presents, and I didn't exactly (still don't, in fact) reciprocate. Maybe I can make up for that in my niece's life?

ALSO newsworthy is that my other sister-in-law (Hubby's younger sister) is expecting their first baby! I am so thrilled for her and her husband. Last I heard, she is very sick with morning (noon, and night) sickness, so any prayers you say on her behalf would be much appreciated, I'm sure. I bought her some herbal morning sickness balm, but haven't heard if it's offered her any relief. I hope so!

Please forgive my crummy posting lately. It's not that I haven't written, just that I haven't posted. I end up with a giant tangle of random, crazy thoughts that just don't come across the way they feel when they're inside, so I've yet to actually hit publish. Maybe I'll iron things out and get them here eventually. :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Worst Homeschool Mother, EVER

It is for posts like these that I keep myself so doggone anonymous on here.

Early in December I had a dentist appointment for Big Sister. The dentist we go to (well, except for the past couple years because I scheduled our family for appointments for 2006 nine or 12 months in advance, didn't write it on the new calendar, and went to my brother's wedding in Minnesota that day. Oops.) is in Town, in a not-totally-renovated house alongside the public library.

We used to live about 3 blocks from that library, from about the day Big Sister was conceived, until she was nearly 2. I remember walking there occasionally with her in the stroller. Ah, the urban life. I also remember taking both (older) girls there when you-know-who was about 18 months old or so, desperate was I to research Consumer Reports for vehicle recommendations. I ended up tying her, with my scarf, to the iron rails that guard the stairway overlook*. Have mercy, that girl was busy!

In any case, in the midst of my errands last month, we ended up early for the appointment, and they weren't ready for us. To kill 20 minutes or so, I strapped Organique in the Ergo, took Li'l Artist by the hand, and Big Sister walked alongside the block or so to the front entrance. We went in, then down the staircase to the children's section. Big Sister recognized some Dr. Seuss books on the nearest shelf while I repeated instructions to stay quiet and well-behaved. Big Sis looked up at me with her huge, deep brown eyes after taking in the view, and whispered, "Will they let us look at the books?"

Oh the shame. If my state required homeschooling credentials, mine certainly would've been revoked. My 7-year-old knows not the joys of a public library!

While hanging my head as low as it could go with a squirmy toddler on my chest, I explained that yes, we can look at them if we are careful. And if your mother wasn't so cheap she'd buy a library card and we could actually borrow them at home.

Admittedly, I have issues with the public library. I don't like their 'freedom' interpretation that allows pornography to be viewed on computers in full view of children (I don't know that's been an issue locally, but I recall when the American Library Association or whatever defended that 'right'). Even before I was so firmly anti-bureaucracy, the library and staff displayed to me an astonishing example of how truly inept so many publicly-funded employees and organizations are. It gives the DMV a run for it's money, let me tell you.

But there are virtues, to be sure. We don't lack for books around here (though the kids tend to expect most of their scholastic reading material to emerge from the printer), but access to endless shelves could be most inspiring, I admit.

So did I break down and buy a library card? No. Big Sis managed to discover Put Me In The Zoo (which was one of my old faves! I LOVED those colored spots!) before we had to make our way back to the dentist office. I have, however, stooped to harassing my mother-in-law, who needs to renew her most-unused card, for one in her name. As a resident within city limits, her card is free. And I paid property taxes on that little house in town for a good few years after moving out, so I figure they owe me. :) Perhaps I will be able to reinstate my 'decent homeschooler' status, with time. I just hope my mother-in-law doesn't start screening my calls. It can be my birthday present, okay mom? How's that for a deal? Ah well, it's not like she reads here. Maybe I should tell her that in real life?

*I didn't tie her body-and-limb, train-track-style, but rather tied one end around her waist or belt-loop, and the other end of the scarf to the rail. She had some room to move and play, but far less room than she would've preferred (like all three floors of the library, and all the shelves within).

Monday, January 05, 2009


While everyone else is writing blogposts about their New Year's resolutions goals, I'm sitting here in a pile of frustration. Or is it a puddle? I'm not sure which state of matter frustration takes, but there's plenty around here to make it rough.

Whether it's been the indulgences of Christmas, the off-routine of our days, or something else, the kids have been less giving, more whiny, more likely to fight and bicker, less likely to comply without an argument, and other obnoxious things. My patience is wearing thin, and I'm feeling swamped by the housework that I work on all the time but it never changes. I took a deep breath this morning, somewhat energized by Hubby's going back to work (the past two weeks he's worked 2 1/2 days, then off for the 'holidays.'). I started homeschooling up again last Monday just because the structure was needed, I thought. I pulled the sheets from the bed, as I do each monday morning, drug them and Baby downstairs, changed and dressed her, got breakfast ready (amid complaints about the menu), coerced children to dress themselves, scrubbed old spilled blueberry smoothie (have you ever had blueberry bits dry on anything? You need a plasma torch to remove them, even from a cup!) from all over the table, swept the not-small pile of Organique's mealtime cast-offs from beneath the table, and did other early chores. Before breakfast was over, Hubby called from work, to say, "it's that time of year again." Huh? What time of year? "The time when they mostly lay us off and send us to get unemployment." "That's NOT this time of year! Last year that was at the end of January, or even February!"

But this year it's now. And the prospect of smaller income right now as we are facing some larger expenses is scary to me. Hubby being home more gives him more time to work on his motorcycles, which usually translates into more ebay purchases of motorcycle parts. His rotation diet has encouraged him to do some crazy purchasing of crazy food that I would *never* buy or be willing to pay for (or eat, for that matter. Squid? Yuck!). All of these things are converging on my psyche to make for a most unpleasant Mama, I'm afraid. And right now I'm just not sure how to deal with it. I pray more, certainly, and read the bible. But half of my conversations turn into arguments (and of course it's not just my fault!). I'm sinking under the workload of this household this month, and I'm just not sure if or how I'll conquer it.

The snow is falling outside, and it's very cold. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere, but longing for spring has taken on another meaning these days. :)

I'm sorry to be so full of whining. I'll try to do much better next time I post. In the meantime, if you have any inspiration, I'd be happy to hear it. :)