Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oregon trip

Today is going to be filled with laundry, cooking meals for the weekend and packing. I'm heading to the airport at 7 tomorrow morning, and I'm going to be in Oregon at about 1 pm PST.

My Dad's heart surgery was pushed back another day because of his meds. He'll go in Thursday morning and should be done right as I arrive at PDX. I ended up going to PDX because of the cost difference. I booked one of those last minute Travelocity deals. It was $492 including a rental car vs. the $690 for a flight only (last minute).

I feel bad leaving Ross on such short notice. Normally when I leave him, I've had weeks to prepare additional meals that he can take out of the freezer and make easily. This time I'm leaving him with all 3 girls and haven't had time to prepare a thing. Today is that day of preparation. Along with finishing up costumes for tonights trick or treating.

I can't even fathom what 5 days w/ out my family will be like. I'm not sure I'll know how to behave w/ out them. Do I even remember how to converse with adults. We'll see.........

Monday, October 29, 2007


I just put the girls to bed after they finished watching an Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween special. Campbell called them are so funny.

Christmas season is starting

The family & I went to Sam's club about 2 months ago and bought this beautiful red coiled bamboo platter. This thing is HUGE. About 26 inches across. I have it sitting on a shelf in my dining room. It was only 19.97.

This morning, the little girls and I went to Sam's Club and saw that they have a similar platter in stock. Since mine is really beautiful and affordable, I considered buying one as a gift for a friend. Guess what? This one's not 19.97. It's 34.53. Could one really be that much better than the other?

This is proof (at least to me) that stores raise prices before holidays so that they can lower them and trick us into thinking we are getting a good buy.

I've read a few articles saying that the average American Christmas budget looks like this:

Tree & decorations $100
Christmas dinner & treats $100
Wife's family $200
Husband's family $200
Spouse gifts $200 / parent
Kids gifts $200 / kid

For a family of 4, you're looking at $1400.00. WOW - do they all have cash saved up? My guess is that they don't. We don't spend near that amount on Christmas. This is our Christmas budget:

Tree $75 - IN trees are expensive
Christmas dinner & treats - $75.00
Kids gifts - $200 for all three

We are going to be responsible this year. No family gifts! No gifts for each other! Small gifts for kids! I'm refusing to spend money on things we don't need and will be sending to Goodwill before next Christmas. And seriously, do we adults need more stuff? Don't we just buy stuff as we need it? Although I have been holding out for my favorite slippers to go on sale. I would love it if Ross bought those for Christmas.

I'd love to hear what others do for Christmas. Leave me a comment.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cyra's joke

We are driving home from Wal-mart today and Cyra says "Wanna hear the joke I made up?" "Sure" I say. This the joke:

What is a toilet's favorite holiday?

Halloweener..................HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....Cyra, please don't tell that joke at school.

Here's another:

Why did Tigger flush himself down the toilet?

He was looking for Pooh.

Obviously she's 8.....toilet talk drives me crazy.

She also informed me that in less than 30 years, I can redeem my senior citizen discount. Thanks Cyra.....Mommy loves you too!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Update on Dad

So, my Dad had his angiogram yesterday. He had an artery that was 95% blocked. The doctor could not put a stent in because it would affect the performance of the others he has. The doctor chose instead to use a balloon. He suggested that Dad undergo a quadruple bypass to solve his heart problem. My Dad goes into surgery on Wed morning at Sacred Heart. I feel the need to visit him at least for the weekend, but flights are so expensive. I'm hoping to do a Thurs - Mon. I'll let you all know if I find one at an affordable price.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Dad

I'm not sure what to say about my Dad. All I know is that I can't stop thinking about him today.

As a young man he served in the Army and was posted as a helicopter gunman in Vietnam. He was discharged several weeks early because his own mother was in the hospital losing her life. When he returned home, he married my mother whom he dated for several years. They had my brother Marty 10 months after they were married. I came along over 3 years later.

Even though he worked away from home, driving truck, I still have tons of memories of him. We spent weekends getting his fishing gear ready for a big outing. I held the flashlight while he maintained our cars. I watched while he split firewood for the winter.

Every Sunday he would take me to Grandma's house so I could attend church with her. Of course, he'd stop at Big Foot donuts beforehand. He loved to shop at Bi-mart. We went almost daily. He'd always park in the side parking lot and walk farther. I once asked him why. He said that his odds were better to not get in an accident in that area. Hardly anyone parked way over there. I remember him paying me $.25 if he said "stomp that bug" and I would take off my shoe and do it barefoot. He also paid me a $.25 to say "10/4 good buddy" ................funny only to us, since he was a truck driver and that's my birthday!

Dad was always taking pictures of Marty & me. Mostly in front of the dancing room mirrors or in front of the big tree in the front yard. I really treasure those pics now and need to start taking more of my own beauties. I remember taking a bath and drying off in front of a raging fire he'd build in the woodstove. Mom would braid my hair and as a special treat Dad would let me get one of his white undershirts to wear as a nightie.

Once I was asleep in my bed at around midnight. Mom and Dad were up watching movies. I remember hearing my door open and saw the two of them peaking through the crack. They giggled when I asked what was wrong. "Nothing, we just wanted you to get up with us and watch a movie and eat popcorn." That was fun to have a secret date w/ out Marty. I don't think I've ever told him about that.

I remember Dad teaching the neighborhood kids how to cast a fishing pole off of the corner park's play structure. He also strung a rope from two trees on opposite sides of our driveway and taught the neighborhood kids how to do the Army crawl. They used to use it to get across swamp land in Vietnam.

He went back to school when I was 11, to be an electrician. Those were a few hard years for them, but we didn't really notice. He used his new skills to help me with a science project, a mouse electric chair........Mr. Settlemeyer didn't seem to appreciate our efforts.

Christmas time was never his favorite. But it was my Mom's. She's buy massive amounts of gifts and bake tons of goodies. We'd have Grandma over and have a great time. Talking to him now, I think he disliked it because growing up Christmas wasn't a big production like it was with my Mom. They'd have a nice meal, but no extravagent gifts. I guess that's what happens when you have 10 kids!

There are countless more that I could tell, but the point is Dad is a wonderful man. He served his country, and his family well. He now has diabetes and a heart condition, both are effects from his exposure to chemicals in Vietnam. Today he is undergoing another angiogram (I think this is #4 this year) and he sounds a little scared. He called and ended with "I love you kid"...........but no goodbye. I'm crying, but I know the tears are selfish. If something happens, he's going to a better place. My family is left behind with only these memories.....and thousands more. I LOVE YOU DAD!

Monday, October 22, 2007

2 Corinthians 6:14

Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

I have a girlfriend in Oregon who has been married for quite a few years. She was raised in church and has attended / volunteered every since. She married her husband quite a few years back even though he wasn't a Christ follower.

I can't tell you the stress it has brought to her daily life. Who can she go to with parenting issues? Not her husband. He doesn't have the same values in life. When she does, it just causes a theological debate. Who can she ask for prayer? Not her husband. He doesn't pray and thinks those who do are wasting their time. Who can she serve with? Not her husband. He's too busy to have concern for others who are oppressed.

What kind of life / marriage is this? Not one we would purposely choose.....I would hope. She says she didn't think this far in advance. She didn't take into consideration all of the parts of her life that would be affected by being yoked with someone who doesn't have the same "work" ethic.

I think sometimes our minds get clouded by the idea of love that we easily forget about the lives that are affected by our choices.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A bug's life

Has anyone read 2 Samuel 23? Notice that the story of Shammah is similar to Flik in A Bug's Life? They are both tired of the injustice they've experienced. To quote Mark Beeson, quoting Popeye...."that's all I can stand, I can't stands no more!"

They stood up for something that they believed in even if it costs something. Would I be willing to do that. Hmmmm.......I would hope so.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wasted time

On Sunday morning I was scheduled to attend a Children's Ministry meeting at GCC. I was told about it weeks ago and made to understand that it was important to attend. There was a packet of info to turn in so they could do a background check.

The meeting was to start at 10:30. Tardiness being my pet peeve, I was there at 10:15. There was another gentleman there. A firefighter who got convinced by his wife to work in the nursery (I think this woman wants a baby!). We waited while MANY people passed us heading into the sanctuary. Church staff even went into the conference room where the meeting was held, but locked the door behind them. We assumed they just weren't ready for us yet. I'm sure by now, you guys would have all gotten it........there was no meeting.

Finally at 10:50 I went to the front desk and asked about it. The meeting had been canceled because of the series on volunteering they're doing right now. They decided to have one after the series is over. Nobody told us.

Seems that scheduling events is hard when you have so many people to account for. There was a mix-up several weeks ago w/ our Financial Peace class co-inciding w/ another volunteer opportunity.

The woman told us that there would be another volunteer training on Tuesday. "What about Financial Peace classes on Tuesday" I asked. "Those were finished weeks ago." she replied. "No, we still have several weeks left." I said. "Oh, well maybe there won't be one on Tuesday."

Anyway, I just headed back home. It was only 60 minutes out of my day. Hopefully I can make the next one........when they figure out the schedule conflicts.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kids have great minds

The family was having a great conversation last night. We were telling the girls about our differents heritages. Part of Ross's family was Native American, some Scandanavian. My family was English, French........and who knows what else?!

Ross told the girls that his Great Grandfather (Ross) changed their last name. It used to be Cornforth (Thanks Papa for changing it!). Cyra thought it was funny and said "Wait, are you saying I'm part vegetable?" "No actually, I believe corn is in the grain family, because it's a seed." She replied with "Great, so you're saying I'm a seed AND a fraction."

Aren't kids the best? They have such fantastic minds.

Friday, October 12, 2007


The New Pastor

The new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. He took out a card, wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10." Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter.

Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock."

Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."


I'm not quite sure how to feel about Halloween anymore. In Oregon, our church sponsored a "Harvest Party" which included games, food & lots of candy. People there are against Halloween activities like trick or treating. Even the pastor expressed concern in that area. We decided no more Halloween with out really thinking about it.

Now, we live in Indiana. Almost everyone here celebrates Halloween and this is a HUGE Christian community. I'm torn. I've heard both sides expressed, but can't seem to decide for myself. I personally don't enjoy scary stuff, and neither do my girls. But, is there anything wrong w/ dressing up and going out to get candy?Any opinions out there?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I have a temper

Tonight was church. I lost it w/ Kenady's teacher.

My girls bring their bibles to church. I want them to start young with a good routine of reading scripture. Although I know they don't read them during service, I just want them to be in good habits. The teacher usually just puts them on the counter to pick up on our way out.

Tonight at pick up, Kenady couldn't find hers. I went in and looked EVERYWHERE with help from the teachers! The head teacher said "We discourage kids from bringing things from home." I replied w/ a bit of a sarcasm "It was a Bible." She repeated "We discourage kids from bring things from home." I replied "I'm surprised that this church would discourage kids from bringing in their bibles." I thanked them for helping me look for it and left. She walked away angrily.

When I came out of the classroom, I told Ross what happened and that I was a little ticked at what she had said. She came out at the same time and made an off hand comment and wanted me to come back downstairs so we could talk about it with Jeannie (she's in charge). I came back down and she swore up and down that she didn't say that. "Then what did you say?" "I didn't say that." We went round and round about the subject. "I'm not upset about the bible being lost, I'm upset that you said not to bring it." It ended in denial, rudeness, tears and her throwing "acting like Christians" in our face.

I ended up apologizing for my over reaction. I know she didn't mean to say it that way. At least I hope she didn't. Even though she's a paid worker, it is a church and I'm sure she knows that the Bible is a key part of it! We walked upstairs and started looking for Kenady's bible. She either left it by the computers or someone may have put it there instead of returning it to the proper classroom. But, either way we found it. To be honest, I was surprised anything could get lost in that room. It's meticulous. Everything has its place. GCC is extremely organized even in their kids' rooms.

I still think the teacher lumped the Bible in with "things from home." And I still take offense to that. But I understand that it's hard to keep track of 35 kids especially if they all brought something. It may be a job for her and not where her heart leads her to serve. I wasn't a very good example of a loving person tonight. I realized that I really have a temper! How come none of you ever told me?


Some of you know that I spend most of my time cleaning house, changing diapers & singing Hannah Montana in our "dance party" basement! But, I've been keeping track of my volunteer time for tax purposes. WOW - does that add up! I volunteer to do a lot of baking at Cyra's school. They have cake walks as well as teacher conference meals. I also am in charge of Cyra's Girl Scout troops which often take weekend / overnight trips. I am also in charge of the Granger area Girl Scout troops (18). I just organized the troops, plan events, train leaders etc. I haven't even gotten to church yet! I volunteer every other week in the nursery as well as some other off site missions. The truth is that I've been considering getting an evening / weekend job, but that would mean giving up some of these great opportunities to serve. I guess volunteering does pay, but only at tax time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One more thing

That car you've been looking at purchasing -

Car dealers make about $100 on the sale of a new car.

Car dealers make about $800 on a car that you finance with them.

Car dealers make around $1300 on a car that you Fleece.....I mean Lease.

Why do you think they push leasing? Is it to save you money, or make them more money?

Shop smart and SAVE!

Credit Card Companies are not your friend

In 1949 Frank McNamara was having dinner w/ one of the Bloomingdale's. As he reached for his wallet to pay for the meal, he realized he had no cash. He had to call his wife to bring him some. He vowed that that would never happen again. He then developed a credit card that could be used at more than one store.....Diner's Club. They would collect the $ from borrowers and pay that money to the store charging the store a 7% fee for th service. There was NO INTEREST charged to the customer. It took until 1958 for American Express and Bank Americard (later called Visa) to arrive.

The Sears store in 1910 has an advertisement saying that you shouldn't buy anything on credit. Now Sears not only owns Discover, but they make more $ on credit than merchandise. Would that really classify them as a retailer? I would say they are more of a financial institution.

Statistics on credit cards:

*According to USA Today, 63% of bankruptcy filers blame credit card bills and 89% of filers STILL get offers.

*Ram Research Corp. states there are over 50 million Discover cards, 49 million Citibank Visas, and 48 million American Express.

*According to Wall Street Journal there are over 63 million Sears cards with over 700,000 applications per month.

*Credit card issuers sent out 4 billion pieces of mail last year to 93 million households, which is an average of more than 43 offers going to each household, as reported by Ladies Home Journal.

*Capitol One and MBNA, two of the major issuers, spend $60-$70 million each quarter on credit card offers, according to CardWeb, Inc.

*USA Today notes that Citibank, the largest issuer of Visa, will spend $700 million this year just marketing credit cards to your high school and college students.

*Colleges can earn $50,000 to $100,000 per year just to allow a credit card company to operate on campus. Credit card have become a rite of passage into adulthood.

*According to American Express, 33% of consumers use plastic more frequently today than five years ago.

*According to the Federal Reserve Board, consumers' outstanding debt on credit cards and other revolving loans has grown continuously over the last decade hitting $1.5 trillion last year.

*Cards that offer airline miles as rewards say that 75% of airline miles are never redeemed.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Movie: Music Within

I am a lover of movies. This one looks phenomenal. It's the true story of a man who loses his hearing in Vietnam who befriends another man with cerebral palsy. He then spends his time defending America's disabled. Awesome. Watch the trailer here.

10/4 Good Buddy!

When I was little my Mom didn't seem to care about her birthday. She went about doing her household duties; running to the store to grab milk; dropping off dry-cleaning. I never understood why. I thought she should decorate the house, bake a beautiful cake, and do whatever she wanted ALL DAY!

I always think about my Mom on my birthday. We used to spend the whole month of September and half of October celebrating it. Shopping, lunch, movies.....whatever.

Well today being my birthday, guess what I'm doing all day? Household chores. I would love to go to dinner instead of cooking. I would love a cake from McDonald's instead of baking one myself. I'd really love to go shopping. Sadly, birthdays seem overrated now. Kids get so excited. Adults get depressed. I am by no means depressed. I don't feel a day over 21 (I'm 31 today). But, I don't feel like celebrating. At least not anything bigger than dinner out. I guess that comes with old age.

Great. Next my hips or knees will give out. Then comes blue hair & depends.