June 27, 2007

Oh for the love of puppies!

We got a puppy.

She is a ball of fuzz, off white (champagne) fur, apricot ears. A bichon/poo with gangly long legs and button eyes and nose! If she sees her brush, she will pick it up and bring it to you, singing 'Heaven....Heaven....I'm in Heaven when you brush my tummyyyyy'.

She is hilarious. She thinks there is another puppy in the backroom at night because of her reflection in the sliding glass door. It makes her do a quick double take when she passes the door and barks in surprise to see a fuzzy face peering back at her. She does a little puppy growl and leaps toward it, only to dart away down the hall in case she's made 'it' mad. She also tries to sneak up and steal her puppy training pad and carry it away from the puppy in the window. I don't know why, I guess it makes her nervous to be 'watched'. Right now she is sitting at my side staring at the door, her ears going up and down with each little noise she hears.

She is a control freak. She loves her toys we bought her. If they are spread out, she nabs them and brings them to her towel on the floor, where she puts them in a pile. Then she lies down on top of them and attacks any little parts sticking out.

She also has a need to pee on newsprint. At first we put down a 'puppy training pad' but she went over to our sunday paper and peed on the edge of it. So now we have to lay it ON the puppy training pad. It is a very good thing that Charles bought a Sunday newspaper because I think we will use every piece of it!

She has a crate. I think whoever invented crate training should get an award.....a great big shiny award. I love them. Whenever we have to leave the house or want to go swimming or go to bed, we put the long leggedy fuzz ball in her crate (cage). She whimpers and howls for a few minutes, then settles down to puppy dream land.

The only bad thing about having a new puppy is the 24/7 care it requires. All day I think about puppy things.

Is the puppy in the room with me?
Is she on the carpet?
Is she pooping?
Is she peeing?
Is it time to feed her the 2 tablespoons of canned puppy food? (warmed up in the microwave for 11 second)
Time to go out
Time to come in
Time to play so she'll be tired
Time to be tired because she loves to play
Is she nibbling the guests children?
Why is she looking at me that way?
Pick her up
Put her down
Carry her to the bathroom with me.....every time.
Throw the ball
Toss the plastic egg (oh this she loves)
Make her toy friends talk to her (it makes her very angry and growly)
Play tug of war with her sock
Make the children run so puppy will chase and use energy
Where is the puppy?

Gee, it's a good thing she's so cute! (pics soon, I promise)

June 26, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: The Lake

Three more weeks and we will be here:

**For more WW photo entries go to Wordeless Wednesday or Five Minutes for Mom.**

June 25, 2007

Accidents happen

Is it a bad sign when police are cleaning up a car accident at the entrance turn to driver's education class?

Uh huh....

It didn't look like anyone was seriously hurt, thankfully....just people sitting on the corner looking dazed, while their vehicles were being loaded onto a tow truck. It kinda makes a driver's ed student nervous though. And it kinda gives a mom the shakes. =(

June 23, 2007

Please refer to my husband's blog

My husband, Charles, has put up some posts about his mission trip to Ukraine on his blog, Veritas.

He met some amazng people and learned some valuable lessons there.

June 21, 2007

Friday's Feast #149

To join up and create your own feast, go to Friday's Feast, get the questions and browse the comments section for more to feast upon.

Name a funny habit you have.

I make stuffed animals come to life. I've tried desperately to stop, but I just can't help myself! I just start channeling them. We used to wonder WHY in the world our 2 year old (who is now 15) had a New York accent. Yes, we lived in New Jersey at the time, but none of us had accents. It was the strangest thing. Then one night while I was putting her to bed, I realized her BEAR was talking to her with a New York accent! (Long Island to be specific) It was very funny....and kinda scary. I didn't even realize! Bears kind of take on a life and personality of their own around me....and I obey. (complete with swirling spirals in my eyes)

My oldest daughter, who is now 19, starts talking back to the animal I'm animating and then she gets all embarrassed and hits me! The last time it happened was on vacation 2 years ago. We bought a little stuffed zebra for Maggie. (and by the way, it looks exactly like the picture above!) He kept trying to convince Hannah that he was a donkey and she was arguing with him. Then when we laughed at her, she wouldn't even look at the zebra the rest of the trip....even though he tried desperately to get her attention! I still had trouble even tonight typing z e b r a instead of donkey. (see, I believed him too!) He's a persuasive little runt!

If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?

I have always wanted to play the guitar. However the only instrument I can actually play is the kazoo.

How long is your hair?

About 2 inches past my shoulders.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?

Last week....one of my kids.

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

Well that would have to be my cobalt blue Kitchenaid mixer! I had been wanting one for years. Every Christmas I would look at them longingly in the stores, drop hints, make the suggestion. Every year it seemed we couldn't afford it. Then one year when we lived in Williams, AZ, the men of the church were planning a night to go to the mall and do Christmas shopping for their wives....all together. So I made my list....there was only one item on it! And that Christmas....I got a diamond necklace.


It seems a friend of Charles convinced him that kitchen appliances were NOT an appropriate gift for wives at Christmas. AAACK! Well, I loved the necklace, but I wanted to kick that man in the shins! (the friend, not the husband) So the next year I told my husband I was getting a Kitchenaid mixer and he let me pick one out on Amazon dot com. ;)

June 18, 2007

He's back!

Charles is home! We fetched him from the airport at almost midnight and were in bed by 1am. He got up at 9am and is trying to get back on American time. He is silent about his trip, but I"m sure it's because of the weariness! I peeked in his mission trip journal and he wrote on lots of pages, so I hope he will write about it on his blog. When he does I will link to it. Pray for him and Pete. They both need to get that off kilter feeling settled down.....jet lag I guess.

I can't even express how wonderful it is to have my husband home again. It was a long week and I did not enough sleep, so last night I slept the whole night through without waking. He has 2 weeks home, and then he is off to youth camp with our 2 teenagers.

Maggie is off to camp....this is her first time without one of us parents there. But her sister Bethany is a camp staff person, so she can get some good hugs from her. (and Beth needs hugs too) I took Maggie up there yesterday and hugged Beth (I had just seen her 3 days ago) and she pushed me away and said, "Stop hugging me now or I'll......I"m gonna cry!" And there it came.

She is a little homesick

I told all our friends who were staying to hug her each day....she requires it. She'll be okay and we'll see her again on Friday before her next week of kids' camp.

Emma began driver's education this morning. 8am to 12:30....Monday through Thursday.....for 2 weeks. She is not one to complain a lot but she did have a hard time sitting for that long!!! This part of it is all the classroom work. She will not schedule actual driving time until she gets her permit in September.....at which time my prayer life will just take off, as usual! This learning/teaching to drive thing never gets easier with experience.....NEVERRRRRRRRR.

......hope you have a great week where ere you may be....

June 15, 2007

Ukraine tele-report

We got to talk to Charles last night! We actually called Tuesday night too, but I wouldn't say we actually got to talk. The telephone connection kept breaking off after one minute and 40something seconds, and there was a delay in hearing each other. It was like those satellite interviews you hear on news programs, where it takes a few seconds to hear and then respond to the questions. The kids did NOT understand and they just kept saying "hi....hello...hello?...do you hear me?....oh hi." LOL Then we'd get disconnected. It would have been comical if it wasn't getting so expensive to keep reconnecting! arrgg So last night they called us with purchased international minutes on their cell phones and we talked for 15 or 20 minutes with no 'satellite delay'. (I think it has something to do with going through the international or Russian operators)

He and his mission team partner, Pete (also from our church) are doing great. That was a concern! Last time Pete went on this mission trip to Ukraine, he got sick with allergies *I think* and the lady of the house he was staying at kept making him 'home remedies' which upset his whole insides! This year, no troubles....but we packed plenty of allergy and stomach meds just in case!

They love the people there. Charles commented that the connection you feel around fellow Christians is strong with these people and they feel very at home with them. His voice was full of the joy of the Lord when he talked about them. The communication is going very well. That is one thing Charles wanted people to pray about...that through the translation process, things wouldn't be too confusing or misunderstood. The weather is great...warm, but not hot. And the food is good. But they are mostly really enjoying the people there.

They thought they would be staying in a home, but are actually staying at a Christian 'reform' facility. (MUCH like the Set Free ministry that we support here in Phoenix, so there was a thread of familiarity.) It is for men who are alcoholics or drug addicts, to get clean and healthy and join a support group, but also to hear about Christ and how God really loves them and has a plan for them. So there are a lot of the men who are new Christians and a lot that are not Christians. They help anyone who needs it. But they are all in a safe place, getting the help they need and hearing about a God who loves them. Pete said the men there even asked Charles and Pete to move there and become their pastors. I think it was all in jest, but you can see how much they responded to kindness and genuine love.

When we talked to them last night, they were just about to have breakfast and then leave to go to the city, where they will spend *I think* two nights and have a day to sightsee before making the 30 hour trip back home. That includes all travel time, on the road, in the air and between flights. Charles told me they rode on a prop plane to their current location, but that he would tell me that story when he got home.....which mean he probably almost died and doesn't want to worry me while he's traveling home!

I hope he writes about all of his stories from this trip on his blog when he gets back. At least I will pester him to do it.

June 12, 2007

Simplify, surround and focus

Here is a quote I found today, from my friend KQ, that I thought was appropriate as a response to the last part of my last post about Miss Hilton:

"What else will do except faith in such a cynical corrupt time? When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word. What is the last word then? Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things:through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweetcorn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids - all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through"
~ Garrison Keillor

Can you imagine how difficult it must be to find those placed in Hollywood where there is the 'gravy' of life?

Romans 1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

Faith is a gift...from God to us and through us, to each other. I hope Miss Hilton finds people who will gather around her and encourage her faith and point her to Christ.

1 Corinthians 16: 13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

In cynical times like those in which we live, we do not need to worry. We just need to refocus our eyes. Are we looking at the evil we can see, or are we fixing our eyes on Christ, who gives hope and strength?

June 11, 2007

The flu and back again

Every wife knows that when your man is out of town, things happen. Unfortunately, not good things! He left Sunday morning. I took the girls to church. By the end of Sunday School hour, my head was aching. I passed it off as tension but by the end of the worship service, my head was starting to throb and if felt like my neck could not hold it up one second longer!

We brought home Emma and Maggie's friends, as planned, to swim and hang out for the afternoon. I laid out cold cut sandwich things for them, then went back to my room to nurse the headache. I have not had such a bad headache in a long time, although it seemed vaguely familiar. It wouldn't be long until I realized what was familiar about it. Between advil popping and coming out to pass out snacks to the kids, I was either lying on my bed or reclining in our easy chair. The computer hurt my eyes, the television hurt my head, sleep alluded me.

One of the kids ended up spending the night and I was off to bed. At 3am, I was up....I was sick. Why does the stomach flu choose 3am to begin it's horrid work?? It's evil is my answer! I struggled with it all the next day, sipping gingerale and eating crackers, head and body aches consuming my every thought......kinda pitiful, isn't it?

During the day, as I would go to get more ice or crackers, I noticed first that the trash compactor would NOT stay shut. It was not a good sign. I couldn't bend over to fiddle with it though because of the pounding head, so I went out in the backyard to check on something and noticed the pool pump was not running. Double not a good sign. So I went to bed.

This morning I woke up with NO headache, I ate breakfast and actually wanted it, and I did some chores. I watered the plants in the yard and 'fixed' the hose to the pool vacuum. All it needed was to be filled with water so that it would have suction, then it started working fine. *whew* Then I fiddled with the trash compactor to see if it was broken or if something was jamming it. I am pleased to say that it was the latter! Yay! Maggie fished the trash that had overflowed behind the trash bin and it closed perfectly!

I'm very thankful to have my health back today. What a sin to take our good health for granted so often. It is a HUGE blessing! (and why...do things like this all happen when the man of the house is away????? I mean it, I want answers!)

And now, I have turned my attention to finding out what is the latest Paris Hilton news. In the past few weeks, I would turn the channel or shake my head with all the attention her dramatic life was getting. I have to admit that I did not usually respond to the reports on her with sympathy or in prayer for her. I am taking it in with interest now (no longer rolling my eyes when the subject comes up) that she is seemingly ready for a change in her life. I'll pray that it's a true change and that the Bible under her arm before she entered jail will have a hand in that change.

June 10, 2007

God bless Rovenki

My husband is off to Ukraine in Russia today. He is with one other man from our church and a group of people based from San Antonio, Texas. They are taking a curriculum over to Ukraine to equip pastors there to teach about church unity. Charles and his partner will be in a church in the city of Rovenki, Ukraine. The link is to a tourist's photographs of that city....very interesting!

We miss him, but I'm so glad that he got to go on this mission adventure, to another culture on the other side of the world, to help train pastors. I think mission trips like this are as much for the missionary team members as they are for the people they go to help.

When we say, "Yes, Lord. I will go." He teaches us things we would never have learned otherwise....

....like faith and trust.
....like obedience and submission.
....like hearing His voice and knowing that voice is speaking to YOU.

Please pray for their health, stamina, understanding/communication with people and for the Holy Spirit to work:
....in the hearts of the people there.
....and in the lives of the mission team members.

June 9, 2007

Mom Anthem

Another busy day here. I don't know where my nice relaxing summer is going! It's becoming a monster that must be stopped!

THIS is hilarious. I dedicate this to my children. (knowing that it is best to go ahead and mock yourself before they can do it!) Warning: Go ahead and swallow your coffee so you don't blow it all over your monitor.

Thank you, Anita Renfroe! You're a hoot!

June 6, 2007

Just for fun: Fleurs

A friend of mine posted this on a forum. It's a 'what kind of flower are you' quiz. Since I don't date (my husband would not approve), I based it on friendships instead of dating relationships. I knew I'd be a daisy! "Daisies are the friendliest flower, don't you think?" (guess that quote)

I'm ignoring the hedonist part because I don't like it. I used to live with a fluffy little white hedonist named Millie, so that is a little hard to swallow.

You Are a Daisy
You see the world with an artist's eye.
Finding beauty is easy for you - even in the dullest of moments.
You notice all of the colors of the world, from fresh grass to sunsets.
You are a total optimist and hedonist. You love to drink life in.

June 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Bethany

**For more WW photo entries go to Wordeless Wednesday or Five Minutes for Mom.**

This is Bethany (on the right).
Everything is larger than life when you're with her..... ;)

She is the princess and makes any activity an 'event'.
Even handing out cupcakes at a Harvest Party.

And now.....she is a missionary. At least for the summer.
Get ready for a summer full of larger than life events, lots of
drama and fun.....she has decreed it! And you must obey!

Have a great summer, Bethany!

June 2, 2007

Recipes: Fudge pie and homemade vanilla ice cream

I got to thinking you might want the homemade ice cream recipe to go along with your Fudge Pie. This is a recipe given to me by Nancy, the pastor's wife at our first official church position (Charles was the youth minister) after seminary, in a small town in Oklahoma. And I think she got the recipe from her mother in law. I've never found a better one!

Ice cream

1 qt half and half
2 c sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1 gallon of milk (I use 2 percent)

Pour all ingredients, except the gallon of milk into a large bowl and mix with a beater. Pour into ice cream churn. Pour in milk (not skim, but any other kind) to 'fill' line and churn as directed.

Makes 1 1/2 gallons

Fudge Pie

Melt together:
1 stick of margarine or butter
1 square of unsweetened baker's chocolate

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla

Pour into greased pie pan and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
The texture is crunchy on top, then custard like in the middle.
Serve hot with ice cream.

June 1, 2007

Friday's Feast #146

**To prepare your own feast, go to Friday's Feast, copy and answer the questions and leave your comment on the FF sight.**

Name something you think is “the best.”

Fudge pie and ice cream. (I'm stuffed from eating at Olive Garden but garlic mouth makes me want chocolate.) Fudge Pie was one of the first things I learned how to bake from scratch as a young adult. My seminary roomate gave me the recipe. It is simple, but has extraordinary taste and texture.

And it reminds me of those seminary days, living in a teensy garage apartment, engaged to Charles and my roomate was engaged too. Fun times! You must cook it just before eating it so it will be nice and hot and crisp on top!

Fudge Pie

Melt together:
1 stick of margarine or butter
1 square of unsweetened baker's chocolate

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla

Pour into greased pie pan and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
The texture is crunchy on top, then custard like in the middle.
Serve hot with ice cream.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 highest), how stressed are you today?

3....pretty good but let me tell you why! Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary. Charles has the day OFF and we stayed home, did some chores, swam and lazed around the pool, then went for lupper/linner (that is the word for a combo lunch/supper or dinner, according to Emma) at Olive Garden around 3pm. I feel very relaxed and destressed. We'll make homemade ice cream later....if we want to. (and perhaps some FUDGE PIE)

What kind of cleanser do you use to wash your face?

Neutragena Acne Wash in the pump bottle....great stuff!!

Main Course
Tonight is a blue moon! What is something that you believe only happens “once in a blue moon.”

A totally clean house....every room very tidy and actually CLEAN. A rare occurence indeed!!

When was the last time it rained where you live?

I live in the desert. It was probably in March.