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Conversation in the Car: Halloween Costumes

Another conversation in the car-

Allison:  (In reference to her sister’s report card earnings) What? You pay her for good grades?

Me:  Yes, why?

Allison:  Mom, I made great grades in 9th grade and you never paid me… No encouragement… that might explain a whole lot…. You treat her so differently than you did Catie and me when we were her age….

Me:  No, not really

Allison: Yes, you do… she gets a new costume each Halloween… Catie and I were 50’s girls for years

Me:  No you weren’t.  You had new costumes each year but you just didn’t like them…. remember your Joan of Arc costume?

Allison:  Yeah, where did you get the outfit, Goodwill?

Me:  Uh, maybe….

Allison:  And Catie was Pippi Longstocking

Me: That’s because she asked to be Pippi… and you have to admit, it was a great costume

Allison: Mom, you braided her hair to a coat hanger…and put on non-matching socks… and what about Cinderella before and after?

Me: That was a great costume!

Allison: Mom, you even admitted that was a last minute costume… an old dress you ripped up and covered with makeup

Leah:  (chiming in from the back seat)  It was very creative, Mom

Me:  Thank you,  Leah…. I think all of them were very creative….

Allison:  Creative is the word you use when you don’t want to buy your kids a costume!

Me:  I think you’re right! And ‘you can do better’ are the words we use when we don’t want to pay our kids for their good grades…

We all laugh….

 

 

(Well, I guess we do get Leah new costumes each year… new to her anyway…)

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Conversations, Fun, Life Stories

 

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It’s a Good Book….

Children’s lives are, in many ways, like good books. You become so engrossed with each page of their life that chapters fly by and before you know it, you have finished the book and you wish there were more pages to read.

But the Author continues with another chapter… a brand new book in the series is written. There are new characters and settings.  So it may take a little awhile to get caught up in it like the last one, but the Author is good and won’t disappoint …. the new chapter will be just as good and quite possibly even be a better book in the series.

The Hall household has just bought the next book. The first chapter in it is titled, “College”… I’m sure it will be a good book too, but I sure didn’t like having to put the first one down.  I’ll keep reading though…. I’ve heard the good part is coming up.

I do think, however, that I’m going to read the other two books that I have at home a little slower. 😉

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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“Hey, Jephthah… You might want to change your shirt” -A not so common Bible story

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not much of a morning person.  I love a beautiful sunrise …… but only in photos.  There is not too much I love about mornings except maybe the concept of a snooze button.  Now, in reality, I would love to be an early riser who could get up about 5:30am and go jog (if I can get up at 5:30 then, yes, I can also jog), come home and fix my family breakfast, have my daily quiet time and then take my time getting ready and still be on time to work.  Yes, that is the way that I would love for it to be but I’m pretty sure that even though it was a recessive one in my parents, I believe that I was given an “unearly” gene somewhere in my system.

My mornings are more like this….. hit the snooze button,  hit the snooze button,  hit the snooze button…. get out of bed, stand somewhere between the bed and the bathroom, stare at something until the snooze button goes off again…. slowly go about waking myself up while I manage to get dressed, fix breakfast and get my youngest ready for school.

How safe it is for the rest of the world, I don’t know…. but because of my husband’s work schedule, on most school day mornings I am the one who delivers the youngest to school.  The fortunate thing is that she attends the school in the building where I work.  Some mornings I stay at work when I take her but often I will return home for some quiet time and finish getting ready for work time.

The other day was one of those hurried mornings.  After rushing to get her to school, talking to her teacher, stopping on the way back to the car to have a detailed conversation with two other parents, and running into my office, passing a multitude of parents, I decided to slow my morning back down by stopping at the nearby food mart for a cup of coffee.  Once home I made my way to the mirror for a makeup refresher and noticed something that completely woke me up……my shirt was on but it was on inside out!

Now, you might say that was not a big deal… even stopping to chat with others or going into a public place… it could have been a lot worse and you are probably correct.  It is just the thought of what people may have thought…. it was actually pretty funny (though I had no one to share the humor with) but I laughed, corrected the error and went about my regular routine.

Funny how no one told me that my shirt was on inside out…. maybe they didn’t care, maybe they didn’t want to embarrass or offend or maybe they just didn’t notice… regardless of the reason, if I hadn’t gone back home then I would have really made a fool out of myself at a later time during that day.

Life is kind of like that.  People live their lives seeking and searching and filling voids with “stuff”… actually living life inside out or upside down.  They think they are on the right path but have it mixed up just a little… It is not something uncommon or distinctive of our day and age.  The Bible has stories that took places thousands of years ago and are totally relative to living inside out.

Jephthah  was a prime example of finding out that, though his intentions were good,  he was living inside out.  The story is one we often don’t hear … (I definitely know why it isn’t taught to children…unless you want them to have nightmares).  Jephthah lived in a time period when the Israelites were caught up in idol worship.  They knew about God and even worshiped Him to some extent but their faith was intertwined with false religion… making it easy to get confused about exactly what God wanted.  So, Jephthah was apparently quite the warrior…. he was winning battles but his call out to God to defeat the Ammonites had a twist to it.  Jephthah made a promise to God (remembering that breaking a promise to God was a law that if broken would have been sin… and there was no grace of a savior at that time).  He told God that if he would let him defeat the Ammonites then he promised to sacrifice to God “whatever was the first thing to come out of” his house when he arrived home.

Jephthah defeated the Ammonites, so being a man of his word he headed home ready to sacrifice the first thing that came through his door.  Now I’m not sure what the guy was thinking.  Maybe he was thinking that his beloved dog would come running out to greet him … yes, that would be a sacrifice.  Maybe he was thinking his mother-in-law would step out the door to see who was coming… yes, that would be a sacrifice…a sacrifice maybe or a blessing.  Maybe he was thinking that it would be his wife… maybe he pictured her coming out of the door saying,”Well, it is about time you came home.  Do you know while you and your little warrior buddies were out galavanting all over the countryside I have been here cooking and cleaning and raising a family.  Now get in here and help me already.”  Yes, that would be a blessing… er, uh sacrifice.  In reality though, he had to know that if that was his home then something of value to him would walk through that door and that is exactly what happened.  His precious daughter came out singing praises to God because her father had won against the Ammonites.  He grieved and told her of his promise to God…. she understood and agreed that he needed to keep his promise and Jephthah killed his daughter as a burnt offering.

So what is so “inside out” about keeping a promise to God?  Probably nothing if it was actually a promise that God would approve of (however, I’m not so sure how God feels about cutting a deal with him) but that was the problem.  Jephthah had his faith mixed up with the false religions of those around him… nothing pure about what he believed.  And because of that mixed up faith he ended up doing the unspeakable…. he was no different that those around him.  He definitely needed someone to tell him to turn his shirt inside out.  That what he was he was doing was honorable but not necessary.  There was a wholesome way to give praises to God that did not require a human sacrifice…. those kind of sacrifices were left up to the believers of false gods.

People today are still caught up in living inside out.  They seek another unhealthy relationship just to fill a lonely heart. They drown their sorrows in substances trying to hide pain.  They work more hours to avoid facing a relationship struggle. They leave a relationship just because they want something new.  They try to find answers through seminars and self help books…..I would say most of the time I am completely guilty of not sharing what could fill the void.  Why is so hard to let them know that they might want to change their “shirt”?  Maybe it is because we don’t care. Maybe it is because we don’t want to offend.  Maybe it is because we didn’t notice…. If I am guilty of the first two then maybe I need to evaluate how much I want to see them make fools of themselves later because I didn’t say anything.  If the last one is the case then maybe I should find out why I didn’t notice…. maybe I might find out that my shirt is on inside out too.

 

Judges 11:21-39

21 “Then the LORD, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and all his men into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country, 22 capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.

23 “Now since the LORD, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over? 24 Will you not take what your god Chemosh gives you? Likewise, whatever the LORD our God has given us, we will possess. 25 Are you better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them? 26 For three hundred years Israel occupied Heshbon, Aroer, the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn’t you retake them during that time? 27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the LORD, the Judge, [c] decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.”

28 The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.

29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD : “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands. 33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break.”

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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The Parenting Code .. written by “Unqualified Mom”

ParentikngI totally know now why there is no book about the anxieties of parenting… Well, I guess there could be a book about it and I would never know, because I am a parent and don’t have time to read anything other than notes from the schools and a 2nd grade reading book with my daughter … But I’m pretty sure that there is a gap between the books of how to have great kids/how to be a great parent and how to fix your kids/how to fix poor parenting.  But I decided the other day, while sitting in the Driver’s License Testing area waiting for my daughter, that it is my time to shine… fill that void in the book world, write my book and pack my bags because Oprah will be booking me soon..

Writing a parenting book… Not just any parenting book, but a book about parenting that will change the world because all of the secret things that people conveniently forget to tell you will be revealed.  I know you may be asking what qualifications I have to write such a book and my answer would be … “None.”  Nope, no qualifications at all.  In fact, my pen name will be Unqualified Mom….but that’s not the point.  I just decided that writing a parenting book would easily be a top seller without much effort…. here’s why…

First of all, I don’t know one single parent who has time to sit down and truly read a parenting book.  Now maybe when you are expecting your first child  … or maybe when you are expecting your second child and the first one is in school or napping, but if you have more than two kids I can pretty much guarantee a parenting book becomes nothing more than prop to even out a wobbly table.

Secondly, parents want to be good at what they do so and if nothing else, they want to look like they know what they are doing… possibly even create an intimidation factor for the kids, so they will load up the book shelves with parenting books that would impress any grandparent.  Therefore, a parenting best seller need nothing more than an appealing title and an eye catching cover…. maybe even an interchangeable cover to match any decor.  It could be filled with substance but if it sells just because of the outer images, then why bother…

While sitting in the driver’s license testing center waiting for my daughter to take her road test the other day, I tossed a few book titles around in my head….  “Parenting for the Book Smart” (I’m pretty sure Parenting for Dummies is taken) … no……..”Have a New Kid by the End of this Book or Decide not to Have Kids by the End of this Book”….. no…….. “Kids…. Who knew?”….. no….. then finally… the one that Oprah will promote… ” The Parenting Code (Momma Never Told You but I Will)”.

This was the winner because of the gimmick factor and also the great possibility that Oprah would actually probably expect me to answer some questions about it….  so, for those who are parents and are truly wanting to read a parenting book (I still don’t think it is possible), I will add a bit of parenting wisdom and it won’t really matter what I say because it will totally in code form. (I figure if you have time to read it then you will have time to figure out the code.) The code will make it seem more intellectual and mysterious… taking it totally to the number one spot on the New York times list.

The little tidbits of wisdom I give will be all about those little things no one told you about being a parent because if they did then, just like the Shakers (Google it), civilization would die… yes, you read that correctly… if people were told about all of the sleepless nights, the anxieties, the worries, etc then there would be no procreation… so my wisdom would enlighten many and help them deal with the realities of the parenting life.

All of this came to mind that day because, try as someone may have to tell me to expect this, it just sank at that moment ……that as they grow and spread their wings and fly into adulthood you still ache when they ache, rejoice when they rejoice, and would fight tooth and nail to keep them safe…. Though the idea of a more convenient daily routine was enticing, I still think I would be okay driving her around for a few more years, but it was not to be.  Despite forgetting to turn on the ignition during her driving test, my daughter passed the road test and is now a licensed driver.

I was told that life would never be the same again.. (See if you can figure out the code in that sentence)

So this is the only qualification I have to write a parenting book on the “silent code” to keep civilization booming… I am a parent and I always will be… no matter how old they are.  ….Now that I think about it though, I would hate to be the cause of the end of civilization.  So therefore, maybe I should focus on the “Parenting for the Book Smart.”

And for the record, my daughter got her license last Tuesday….. And she totaled the van last Wednesday.  So I am definitely qualified!

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Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2009 in Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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What shall we do with the drunken slug? Adventures in my garden…

SlugI try to be green.  I mean I recycle… I think that is about as green as I know how to be or really want to be.  I don’t try to be wasteful and I do try to be resourceful but I think light green is probably more likely my shade …. However, I did try to do something this year that I have never done before.. Gardening.  I grew up on a farm and remember going to the garden with my mom and aunt but also remember feeling like it was torture.  Not anymore… nope, gardening is way cool.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt for me to grow a few items to help stock our refrigerator in these cautious economic times.  So gardening is what I decided to do.  But since I knew nothing about gardening I decided to get my kids involved and then they could grow them and we would all learn together.  We bought seeds and a seed starter kit and went to work.  We had squash, dill, cilantro, peppers, sunflowers and more.  They grew and grew and we were so proud and still are.  The day came when it was time to plant them in the real ground and now they are growing like crazy…. One problem though……I have no clue if the plant growing is a weed or a vegetable…I think I yanked up some baby carrot tops today because I thought they were weeds…. still don’t know for sure.

Now the sunflowers, mammoth sunflowers, to be exact, I’m way excited about.  The first round of sunflower sprouts accidentally drowned while we were away on vacation and then after drying my daughter’s tears, we started over.  This time the sunflowers are in the ground and growing right along… that is, until yesterday.  Yesterday morning before I left for work I went to check on my little garden and the sunflowers since they are our newest addition.  I was heart broken at what I saw…. nothing.  That’s right.  Three of our little sunflower plants were gone.  Only a little stem was left to look at. sunflower My first thoughts were the weedeater… but I knew my husband wouldn’t have hit them.  My second thought was a rabbit but I couldn’t understand why a rabbit would only eat the sunflowers and not everything else.  I was highly disappointed but took heart because the other two baby sunflower plants were still going strong.  I figured that the rest of my garden was in danger but really didn’t have a way to protect them from the hungry rabbit so I just had to hold onto the hope that all would be well in the morning.

Later that evening I was doing some work when my daughter came from outside and told me to hurry, “Dad, found what ate the sunflower.”  I went outside totally expecting to see a cute but evil bunny when he stuck a little something in front of my face.  It was ugly and gooey and had been sitting right on top of the sunflower…. the culprit? A gray field slug.  I wasn’t completely convinced that it could do so much damage but I googled it and sure enough… slugs seems to love baby sunflowers.  I became immediately protective of my little seedlings and like any good mother, sought to get rid of the bully.  Again, I googled in search of a remedy and I also stated my disgust at this little slug on Facebook.

Amazingly, I must not be alone in trying to rid the world of ugly gray field slugs because people rallied to help me solve my problem. Some of the sweetest people I know jumped at the chance to tell me how to *cough, cough* torture those little slimy guys. First there was the whole salt thing.  I thought that slugs didn’t like the feel of salt on their slug bellies but no… apparently if you place salt on a slug it will tell you top secret government plots and then it will melt away as if it were in a scene from the Wizard of Oz… ewww… Then there were others telling me to practically plan a slug keg party… okay, maybe that is a bit much but beer is supposedly a slug’s vice and they will drink themselves to death…. or maybe it’s drown in their yeasty beverage… slugs-aug08whatever the death of choice for the slugs, I found it pretty comical that the little ugly, slimy sunflower murdering varmint could cause such a stir in good people.

I guess there are times when we just can’t put up with something and it tends to bring out something in us that we don’t always recognize until we’ve crossed a line. Peter was like that.  He had the tendency to jump at a situation and then Jesus had to stop him in his tracks.  I was reading in John tonight about the arrest of Jesus.  Peter got a little out of control… I can picture the scene.  He watched as the soldiers and priests arrived at the scene.  I can imagine him to be clinched-jawed and squinty-eyed as they stepped closer to Jesus…. he was angry and wanted to protect his buddy/teacher/friend/mentor from this posse.  He drew his sword and took off the ear of a servant named Malchus.  Now, you might think that Jesus would be thankful for Peter’s enthusiastic act but instead he had to stop Peter …. good guy, bad move…he just couldn’t put up with the thought of them mistreating his mentor.

You have to really love Peter… He was always reacting and wanting to do the right thing… like the time he told Jesus that he wouldn’t let him die or the time that he told Jesus that he wouldn’t let Jesus wash his feet… Peter’s intentions were always good or at least they seemed good but it was good in the eyes of man and not the eyes of God… sometimes it is so hard to know… Obviously, Peter had been hanging out with God for quite some time and still didn’t get it completely…

I guess that can be us today, too.  Feeling like we are doing the right thing because it seems to be the right thing……not necessarily because it is the thing God is giving us the thumbs up to but because we don’t want someone else to hurt or we don’t want to seem unloving or uncaring (isn’t that being the opposite of being like God?)… or maybe we want to seem angry and defensive (after all, didn’t Jesus get rather smart alec with those who were not willing to open their hearts)…. Peter could relate to reacting then thinking…. I’m pretty sure there are many of us who can claim that same attribute including me… I guess my next thought is how Christ reacted back… frustrated, stern and possibly even a bit angry…. that makes me very aware that when I react I need to focus on when God is giving me the thumbs up or thumbs down…

Now, does the Bible give any indication on how to treat a slug?

Matthew 16:21-23

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 From then on Jesus[j] began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him[k] for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

John 18:1-11

Jesus Arrested

1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.

2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]

10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother… okay, he is heavy afterall.. Oh, the Sibling relationship

I once said that I would do whatever I needed to do to keep my sixteen-year-old daughter off of the road… Well, I’m all bark and no bite.  We’ve been doing the whole practicing driving thing for a couple of months now and as her confidence is growing so is the amount of time she is in the driver’s seat.  That doesn’t mean she has it all figured out… it took some time for me to convince her that the yellow light wasn’t orange and that the blinker is not called the clicker.  I have even found myself confused when trying to tell her which way to turn the wheel to get out of the driveway.  I will admit that with each time behind the wheel she is improving.

The other day my fourteen-year-old asked if she could go along for the ride and, against my better judgment, I let her.  She was given the condition that she must be quiet as we drive so as not to be a distraction.  I was very pleased at her ability to say very little as we made our way to pick up my youngest daughter from a friend’s house, but when we stopped she gave her critique of the ride with these words, ” Hey, that wasn’t so bad!”

Our pick up occurred and we headed to the grocery store.  The fourteen-year-old was still nice and quiet but for some reason the seven-year-old became the driving critic.  She complained about Catie’s driving so much that we had to ask her to be silent until we reached the store.  Now, how she became a driving expert I do not know, but slowing down for children crossing the street was a good call.  Regardless, she just wasn’t quite sure that her sister, though nine years older than her, was capable of being a good enough driver… at least for the time being.boystown

I am an only child and totally cannot relate to sibling relationships.  I have no true idea what it means to love a brother or a sister.  I have close friends and family but I would imagine that it is still not like a good healthy sibling relationship.  I would think that there is something that can’t be explained… a closeness that comes from shared experiences and memories, a protection and a bond that is like no other.

I find it interesting as I read about Christ that he was not immune to the sibling bickering.  Again, it is one of those wonderful things that is written that helps me relate to a God that lived a life so normally.  His brothers were quite the smart alecs toward Jesus at one point.  They didn’t believe that he was anything more than their brother.  He seemed to be seen by them as a show off or possibly a big talker.  During the time of the Feast of Tabernacles they seem to tease him a bit and tell him to show his miracles to his disciples.. after all, if he wants to be public then why is keeping his abilities a secret?… They didn’t have faith in him… at that point.

History shows us that later his family becomes some of his biggest fans and help build his church.  That is so real… Siblings who argue, bicker and even duke it out at times tend to be the biggest fans of each other once they get past the maturity issues.

About 80% of the time my girls are together they still bicker but that is better than the 90% it used to be.  On occasion I will hear them laughing together without me asking them to get along… I think they are growing up and growing into fans of each other.  At least that is a prayer of mine.

John 7

Jesus Goes to the Feast of Tabernacles

1After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

6Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8You go to the Feast. I am not yet[a] going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” 9Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, “Where is that man?”

12Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Devotions, Faith

 

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Mother’s Day… all my troubles seem so far away…oh, I believe in Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis was on to something when she came up with the idea to dedicate a day to honor moms once a year.  Smart thinking… I wonder what her motives where….. You know, I wonder if she was a stinker in her childhood and finally grew up to realize that her mother put up with a lot and she was extremely grateful or maybe she did something really wrong and her mother liked to hold it over her head but was softened each year by the day long celebration or possibly Ms. Jarvis was a mother to a bunch of kids and felt like she needed the appreciation and started the day to get some. Actually, that sounds like something I might do.  I’m guessing that Anna’s motives were pure and she truly appreciated her mother… I would guess her mother was one who resembled a Proverbs 31:28-31 mother, (her children call her blessed) therefore she wanted to celebrate her life and love.

I’m a believer in Mother’s Day and I think a day to honor Mom is great.  Although my family is pretty great about letting me know I’m loved, I think there is something missing from Mother’s Day.  My family may be good about it but there are many mothers out there whose kids or husbands need that reminder to give mom a little of their appreciation.  Commercials on television, posters or sales in stores are reminders to some, but I’m thinking out of the box here… I think that when Ms. Jarvis began her day of celebrating Mom she forgot the ever important gift toting mascot.  You know,  Christmas has Santa, Easter has the bunny…. I think Mother’s Day, a very credible day to honor Mom, needs someone that moms can make requests to.  Now, I’m not advocating gifts of materialism as a sign of love…. in fact, lets make this Mother’s Day mascot have a financial limit… I’m thinking more on the lines of gifts of meaning… Like this would be my list:

  1. Sleep in Late (not happening)
  2. A two-hour long massage…okay, I’ll even take 10 minutes
  3. A restaurant or meal that I choose- even if it no one else wants it
  4. No one in the house argues… everyone is sickening sweet to each other
  5. Everyone watches Cold Case Files or American Justice on A&E and loves it
  6. The house is quiet unless requested otherwise

MotherGooseSee what I mean?  Those things aren’t costly… mothers_dayat least not costly in monetary terms and Mother’s Day would seem so trouble free.   So now who do we take them to?  What should this mascot be?  A goose, maybe?  (very motherly like)   How about a kangaroo? (Another motherly figure) Possibly even some rough looking muscle guy?  Or how about a little bird?  ( “A little bird told me….”)  I don’t know.  And what about the name?  Maybe “Mother’s Day Mother Goose” or “Mama Flyer” or “Mother’s Day Sparrow”… Or better yet.. It would be someone who could really get the job done…. Super Nanny Jo!

Supernanny Jo Frost

Supernanny Jo Frost

Okay, I realize that appreciation comes from the heart… there is not someone, or some mascot, who can create appreciation for a mom or anyone else for that matter.  It has to come from within for it to be true.  So if I want any of these things, it might not hurt to ask, but that will not be my true sign of appreciation.  For my kids to one day say, ” Thanks, Mom.  You’ve helped me be the person I am today by setting an example of how to be giving, loving and true follower of our Creator,”that would be a great gift of appreciation and that would be the Mother’s Day when I would truly feel that my troubles were far away.

(A special Thank You to my mom for setting a wonderful example!)

Proverbs 31

28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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Andy Griffithson is on!

It is so great when kids say or do something that you don’t want to forget.  Our kids have loaded us up with andygriffith-castplenty..here are a few:

  • “Andy Griffithson is on!”
  • “Mom, do I know Jack Squat?”
  • “Can I watch MacGyvie?”
  • “Grandpa, if you’d eat more carrots then you wouldn’t need a flashlight.”-exasperated while searching with her grandfather for a flashlight

And that is just the start… there’s more…..

  • “Ummm, It’s not my day”- referring to assigned chores
  • “Would you tell her to…. (the list is too long)”
  • “But she gets to.”
  • “But you get to”
  • “I don’t have anything to wear”

and even more…..

  • “Mom, would you pray with me?”
  • “We forgot to pray.”
  • “I did that! I prayed for her to happen!” – referring to the birth of her baby sister
  • “If Jesus is God and God created the world then how were Mary and Joseph around when Jesus was born? Where did they come from?”- 5 year-old’s question
  • “I want to help people”
  • “Mom, can we pay for a stranger’s dinner? I feel like God wants us to do something nice for someone.”
  • “I think I want to be a youth pastor”

And then there have been things that others have said about our girls that help us see that they are growing into beautiful and gracious young ladies…..

I think most every parent has those moments that they don’t want to forget..(just ask a scrapbooker or a journaler).. Those good moments are what we can hold onto to get us through those rough moments…

And thinking that, for me,  just makes the whole story of Christ and his life growing up that much more relevant because Jesus’ mother, Mary,  had those moments to hold onto too….

The Bible says (in my own paraphrase) that Mary listened to the words of praise spoken about her baby, thought about them, held them close and then treasured them.  Later when we read about him being a preteen, we see his parents doing what I believe is a tad bit of discipline ( I do believe he was perfect but I also believe he was a child and still needed parental guidance)…Mary and Joseph can’t find Jesus… they search for three days only to find him teaching adults… The Bible says they were astonished but it also says they didn’t understand fully….jesus-at-the-temple-by-brian-jekel

The astonishment of what others think about your child, the marveling at the thoughts of the greatness of your child, the treasured moments that you want to hold onto… that just makes Jesus’  family seem like your average family… Jesus’ family could have lived right down the street with their very average but loving family life…

Mary seems to have paid close attention to the words of others and to her son’s actions and from it was able to treasure these things about her son…. and then hold on to them when he had to save the world… and not stand in his way…

Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, a sister, a brother or even none of these… It pays to listen to what God’s people say,  to look with depth into a situation and hold on to those when God is ready to do a great work in ourselves or the ones we love… it gives us the insight to set aside our desires and we can trust to let God do his thing….

By the way, “Andy Griffithson is on!”

Luke 2

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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My Very Own Personal Oscars…. And the winner is…..

CB056255I’m not a fan of all the Hollywood Hoopla and hype and often feel like it is way out of control so watching the Oscars is not on my list of things to do…I do however, find some value in honoring some highlights in life.. so I created my own Personal Oscars… Same categories, real people and no one competes against the late Heath Ledger. Here are the winners in each category

Actor in a Leading Role- My husband! Chris told our friend Jeff, who was not in a position to watch a recent college basketball game, that the UK Wildcats were down by 20 points. Chris was amazing as he kept a straight face while watching Jeff in anguish until I blew the whole scene when I revealed that Kentucky was actually winning by 18. uk

Actor in a Supporting Role- My husband! There are so many times when I know my husband is tired or doesn’t feel good but yet is always doing things around the house to help…and almost 100 percent without complaining.

  • Actress in a Leading Role – My neighbor, Alex! Alex planned a wonderful surprise anniversary party for her mom and dad. She planned the whole event, ordered the cake, prepared a cookout at a friend’s house, got everything in order then called her parents to come get her because her car was “broken down”….. Not bad at all for an 18 year old young lady. It was too bad that her parents couldn’t be there though. They were actually at a fundraising event and couldn’t leave. So we all had the anniversary party without them. We did take a picture of everything for them though and later her mom was able to get away and come by. Alex was excellent in not only her call to her parents for car help but in hiding her frustration throughout the whole situation.
  • Actress in a Supporting Role- My daughter Allison! Allison was in the local middle school production of “The Lunch Bunch”. This was the first year that she had the courage to audition and came out with flying colors. Hopefully more stage limelight for her!
  • Animated Feature Film- my daughter Leah! If stop motion is considered animated then she gets the award for “Barbie doll Zombie” (not the original title) on my Iphone
  • Art Direction- My husband! Chris is an amazing behind the scenes kind of guy. He is incredibly creative and often is my go to guy when I need direction in my creativity
  • Cinematography – My friend Marcia! This was a tough one because during our recent ice storm there were so many incredible photos taken of beautiful scenes with great lighting and settings but it was one of Marcia’s photos that inspired me to go take some for myself.
  • Costume Design- Libby Lou’s! My 6 year old spent the day at the mall with her older sisters. I went to pick them up only to find her with pink streaks in her hair, glitter and sparkly hearts and stars on her face.  She was also sporting a Libby Lou’s pink sash along with other Libby Lou paraphernalia… I don’t know why that place is going out of business… We are one of the many who should have paid enough to keep it open.
  • Directing- My daughter, Allison! She is great at directing her little sister to do things and some she herself could even do.
  • Film Editing- My husband and myself! Key phrase, “Turn that off!”
  • Foreign Language Film My daughter Catie! Catie is often known for her ability to make people tilt their heads and ask, “What did she just say?” A few months ago in my attempt to go “greener” I bought a pack of bottled water in which the plastic bottles were made from corn. Catie took one to school for lunch and her friends were commenting about how hippie-like Catie was with her “green” bottled water. Catie said, ” Well, I’m just saving the fresh water so there will be more for others.” All of her friends stopped talking and looked at her in silence with question marks on their faces. “What?” they all asked. Catie, very proudly, chimed back in, “The water is made from corn so therefore others can have the fresh water.” Her friends all had a good laugh when they finally explained to her that it was not the water but the bottle that was made from corn. The girl does make really good grades… really.
  • Makeup- My friend, Robin! This past summer our church had a Family Adventure. The theme was Adventure Island and we took on a theme similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. Robin’s son Alex was a nightly actor and his eye makeup creeped out some and the others of us  laughing until we cried!  Johnny Depp’s makeup artist has nothing on Robin.alex-mobley-eyes
  • Music (Score)My car riders! While listening to music in the car we concoct “Life Soundtracks.” These are songs that play as we see people walking on the sidewalk, jogging/running or doing other activities. So often the song will match the beat they are walking to, making it seem as if that song was meant for them… their “Life Soundtrack.” Try it.. you’ll be amazed and it will probably bring a smile to your face.
  • Music (Song)My daughter Catie! She finally showed the world her beautiful voice by singing a solo in the State Traveling Youth Choir.
  • Best Picture- My daughter, Allison! Normally I love school pictures but this year Allison forgot it was picture day…. and so did her hair. When she brought the proofs home we were pleasantly amazed and humored as we looked at her hair, pulled back and sticking out all over….. matching her cocked smile… oh if I could just show you!
  • Short Film (Animated)My daughter, Allison! She is amazingly animated when telling a story… just ask her to act out Bon Qui Qui at King Burger… Su-curity!
  • Short Film (Live Action)My daughter, Allison! An incredible Stunt Person … read here to find out why this Live “action” award would go to her.
  • Sound Editing- My daughter, Catie! When picking her up from school she is barely in the car 2 minutes before she asks one of two questions, “Can I put my music in?” or “Can I change the channel?”
  • Sound Mixing- Me! I often call my daughter Allison, Catie…..my daughter Leah, Allison … my daughter Catie, Allison and ashamed to say it but sometimes I have called our dog, Moe, Leah.
  • Visual Effects-All of my girls! It is amazing how clean their rooms get when they really want to go somewhere… very visually appealing and almost just as if it was a magical special effect of sorts
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)- My friends Melissa and Stephanie! They took a script and made it into something incredible for our Family Adventure… Oh, Snap
  • Writing (Original Screenplay) My daughter Catie! She wrote a children’s book about a cabin boy on the Mayflower.

There you have it… my 2009 Personal Oscars…. And as every good award winner says…. “I want to thank my family, my friends but most of all I want to thank God for making all of this possible.  Thank you.” And you know, I actually mean it!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Fun, Life Stories

 

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16 Ways to Keep My 16 year-old Off of the Road

My daughter recently turned 16.   I’m pretty laid back about things but the other day when she said she was ready to get her driving permit it hit me that she was really at that stage in her life.  She needed several things to take with her to the DMV; her birth certificate, her social security card and a paper stating she is enrolled in school. Well, she did her part to get her school info but I kept dragging my feet getting her other documents.  My mind started racing… What would she do if those documents just happened to be “lost.”  Now I am not the type of mother to manipulate my daughter but it did run through my mind.  What if the document thing didn’t pan out though….. what would be next?  What would I stoop to?

I’ve made my list-16 ways to keep my daughter off of the road…

  1. Tell her that all licensed drivers must spend a two year stint of public service driving daycare vans – and then top it off with horror stories of vomit and stinky diapers
  2. Give her the keys to the car-  a set from the lost and found at Wal-mart that belong to someone else and then look at her like she is crazy when she says they don’t work
  3. Tell her when she loses the next tooth the tooth fairy will give her a key under her pillow… sometimes vanity is beautiful
  4. Sell the cars- I can do without
  5. Tell her that I fibbed about her actual birthdate and she is still only 14.temporary-poster-1
  6. When she asks to take the car, I will respond, “No hablo ingles”
  7. Paint her bedroom windows black… she’ll sleep for months
  8. Duct tape pool noodles all over the car … for safety… again, sometimes vanity is beautiful
  9. Tell her that there is a warrant for her arrest and going to get her license might land her in jail
  10. Everytime she mentions driving I will scream a B movie horror scream….I’m thinking Pavlov’s Dog, you know.. conditioning will kick in eventually
  11. Have a group of actors storm the house and tell her she won the teen publishers house sweepstakes… she is so rich she can afford a limo with driver
  12. Super glue the car doors shut
  13. Explain the new family tradition where the youngest qualified driver now purchases all gas for all family vehicles as well as washes all cars on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and buys dinner on Friday nights…
  14. Everytime she mentions the words drive, I will respond with “Dive? You want to dive?”
  15. Tell her she must learn to drive a stick shift before she can take her driving test
  16. And the one that I know will work for sure…. give her the minivan

Ephesians 6:4

4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Okay, I’m not going to lie to my daughter… and I will take her this week to get her permit….I don’t want to exasperate her….. but I can stock up on pool noodles and get an enormous bow for the minivan

Sometimes we parents have to be creative.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2009 in Fun, Life Stories

 

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