Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family night.

Last night's family night was so much fun. We invited Kem Meyer & Mark Meyer (along w/ their kiddos) over for the event.

We started off w/ some chips & pureed frog skin & frog guts (salsa & guaco). We drank pond scum (7up & sherbert).

For dinner we had frog legs (chick tenders) swamp sludge (green mashed potatoes & green gravy) & lilly pads (salad). Dessert was a scoop of green ice cream w/ junior mints & gummy lifesavers for eyes. Kem's daughter doesn't like ice cream so we also had sugar cookies...but she did end up eating the ice cream too. =)
For fun, we made origami jumping frogs. Where I was accused of rigging the instructions so mine would be the only one that jumped. THEY WERE WRONG!

Then the kids played a frog throwing game. I laid out 3 lilly pads about 8 feet away & they had to try & get the frogs ON the plate.
The kids ended the night w/ some pool splashing.

The cost for the night was a little more than normal, but I had been saving on previous nights to compensate. We were at about $32.

It was so much fun to share our family night w/ others. We'll have to do that more often!

Check out Heather's blog for more posts on Family night.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've been tagged...

Last Movie I Saw in A Movie Theater? The Dark Knight.

What Book Are You Reading? Sex begins in the kitchen.

3. Favorite Board Game? Sorry.

4. Favorite Magazine? American Girl.

5. Favorite Smells? Chocolate chip cookies, Japanese cherry blossom.

6. Favorite Sounds? Piano music.

7. Worst Feeling in the World? That second just before you's nasty.

8. First Thing You Think of When You Wake? Pepsi

9. Favorite Fast Food Place? Jimmy Johns

10. Future Child’s Name - Kanyon

11. Finish This Statement - “If I Had a Lot of Money…. I would pay off any and all debts,bank the rest and live on the interest”...ditto to Jennifer's answer.

12. Do You Drive Fast? 2-5 MPH over the limit.

13. Do You Sleep With a Stuffed Animal - He's fluffy & he's an animal.

14. Storms - Amy Storms is cool, tornado type storms are scary

15. What Was Your First Car - 1969 VW bug.

16Favorite Drink -Pepsi.

17. Finish this Statement - “If I Had the Time, I Would…" - this is dumb, because I have all the time in the world, it's the $ I lack to do the things I want to do.

18. Do You Eat The Stems on Broccoli? if forced

19. If You Could Dye Your Hair Any Other Color, What Would it Be? Used to dye it red, but it's so spendy (or salty if you're in the midwest)

20. Name All the Different Cities in Which you Have Lived - Cottage Grove OR, Drain OR, Creswell OR, Selah WA, Yakima WA, Granger IN.

21. Favorite Sport to Watch? cheerleading or boxing. Combine both & that would be amazing.

22. One Nice Thing About the Person Who Sent This to You -She's a loyal friend!

23. What’s Under Your Bed? Air.

24. Would You Like to Be Born as Yourself Again? Totally

25. Morning Person or Night Owl? night Owl

26. Over Easy or Sunny Side Up? Scrambled or hard boiled

27. Favorite Place to Relax? At Jauncho's in Cabo

28. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor? Cold Stone Cheesecake.

29. Of All the People You Have Tagged, Who is the Most Likely to Respond First? nobody.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday Setlist Carnival

OK - so although I'm not in the paid ministry, I seem to be in this large circle of pastors & worship leaders on the blogosphere. Hence my post about our worship setlist last week.

Fred McKinnon is starting a new weekly carnival called Sunday Setlist. We post on our own blog the worship setlist & then link back to him.

This is going to be a great way for folks to share ideas!! Great idea Fred.

GCC this weekend used these songs to bring their attendees closer to God:

Heaven Come Down (Robbie Seay Band)
The Heavens Declare Your Greatness (Lincoln Brewster)

Where is the Love? (Black Eyed Peas)
Resistance (Aaron Neiquist) I was convinced I was going to hate this song (it ended the service)I'm so glad I was wrong. AMAZING!! It got a standing ovation at the Sat. 7:30 service.

Here is the link to the service. Go down to the Power AROUND you service and click watch on the right! It was awesome. Jason Miller knocked it out of the park!!!

P.S. - I love that the guitarist is wearing a TWLOHA t-shirt & Dustin (the drummer) is wearing pink.

P.P.S. - check out the new "commercial" for our upcoming series about change. Hysterical.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hepatitis song

Does anyone remember that Public Service Announcement about Hepatitis that used to air in the early 80's?

It's been stuck in my head for weeks. I'm hoping by "singing" it on the blog, it will somehow stop.

Here goes

Hepatitis has some symptoms we should learn to recognize.
Like fever, feeling very tired & loss of appetite.
Your tummy hurts, you feel real sick, you will not eat a bite.
Your eyes sometimes turn yellow where they only should be white.

So wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
Wash your hands after changing babies too.
Cuz we don't wanna catch hepatitis.
And we don't want hepatitis to catch you

There I feel better now. BTW - I tried to find this on video for you all, so you could get it stuck in YOUR head for weeks get the tune, but no such luck.

UPDATE: Big thanks to PSPam for forwarding this vid to me. At about 1 min 50 sec you will hear the best Public Service Announcement ever created. It's not the original (obviously), but you'll get the gist.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birth plans Shmirth plans

Hooray! This is the first week in AmyBeth's Fetus Friday Carnival. Head over to her blog & read why we are all excited for this time in her life.

First I have to bring attention to my oldest daughter Cyra Lynn. She is 3 days old in this pic. She was born August 12, 1999 at 8:06 a.m. Weighing 6lb 7 oz & 18 3/4 in long. She had the most beautiful black hair...*sigh*
Here's my advice...First edition:

Everyone (over the last decade or so) feels like they MUST have a birth plan. That's the plan you have in place that describes in detail what you want to happen in the delivery process.

For example I have a friend who decided she MUST NOT use drugs. Another one who wanted Enya playing in the background while she was laboring. One who wanted a video camera "down there" documenting that beautiful thing they call birth.

I had my first labor planned in my head too. And then my water broke. It was "supposed" to happen while hubs was home and on a weekend so I could immediately go back to work on Monday morning. Yeah right. It happened on the toilet. Splash. Uh oh.

Then I was supposed to labor for a day while I waited for my parents to come from OR. Nope. I didn't labor at all. Not for 12 hours. Once it did start...I. HAD. 36. MINUTES. TO. PERFORM. That's right 36 minutes from first contraction to delivery.

I had planned to have an epidural, but 36 minutes isn't long enough. Dang it.

So my advice is...don't have such a rigid plan. God has one for you & for your little one. You really have no say in the matter. Roll w/ the punches.

The pain may not be so bad that you need drugs (mine wasn't). You may decide you don't want TIME magazine documenting every curse word or exorcist type outburst (oh yes, you'll have a few). And you may decide to watch Wheel of Fortune instead of listening to your mixtape of relaxing music. "Can I have a W Alex. For WHY ON EARTH DID I EVER GET MYSELF INTO THIS PREDICAMENT. FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY...MAKE IT STOP!?!"

My Mom told me..."The only thing predictable about labor & that it's unpredictable." Amen.

No matter how your labor goes, at the end of the day (or 2, or 3, or 36 min) you still have a beautiful baby in your arms. God intended it that you'll keep reproducing. And you will actually WANT to take care of that alien that somehow got your cheek bones.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dinner at home costs pennies Part 2

It's been so much fun to calculate how much I'm spending on feeding my family each night. I think it's going overboard though. Now I'm trying to see how LITTLE I can spend on feeding my family each night (while not skipping on size or quality).

Tonight I'm making Bruschetta Chicken Bake. I stole borrowed it from Shannon over at Rocksinmydryer. Here the recipe & the cost was only $5.30 for my family!

1 19 ounce can stewed tomatoes, undrained (or 15 oz can of tomato sauce)
1 pkg Stuffing Mix
2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic powder equivalent)
1.5 lb chicken breasts, cut into bit-sized pieces(I used 1 breast & 2 small thighs)
1 tsp dried basil leaves
2 cups Mozzarella shredded cheese, separated

PREHEAT oven to 400. Place tomatoes in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix and garlic. Stir until moistened.
PLACE chicken pieces in greased 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle w/ basil and 1 cup cheese. Top with stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Uncooked chicken sprinkled w/ basil & topped w/ mozzarella
Topped w/ stuffing mixture & more cheese.

Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class

Wall - E was such a great movie. Who else but Disney could keep kids occupied for an hour w/ only a handful of words? No one, that's who. I can't even do that w/ my own kids.

I love the idea of robots having feelings & wanting mates. I also love the awareness it brought to my kids. Buying all that "stuff" & then knowing it all has to go somewhere after it's lost its lustre (usually w/in 24 hours). I'm hoping I can use this story line next time they are begging for a new toy at Stuff Mart.

If you haven't seen it yet...GO NOW! It's really cute.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Positive Post Tuesday

This is my first time participating...feel free to welcome me with open arms. =)

I want to write about my friend Joan. Joan is the mom of 2 and works full time at a bank. She is a woman after God's own heart. Her oldest daughter is in my Girl Scout troop.

There have been so many times I've been discouraged in my role as their leader. It involves SO MANY hours of training. Which means babysitting costs, gas costs, time away from family & sometimes hubs taking time off of work.

I get very little thank you's or support from my moms. Except Joan. She is quick to say "thanks". She's quick to call when an email for help goes out. She understands that I can't do everything myself & doesn't "punish" me for that.

Because she works, she can't volunteer for everything. But does when she can (or sends hubs). They both have been a blessing to me this year. I'm grateful to have them in my life.

Friday, July 18, 2008

40 Day Fast

This is my day to participate in something called The 40 Day Fast (no I'm not fasting for 40 days!) There is a widget on the side bar that you can click for more information or to read the other bloggers' posts. This is an effort to bring attention to organizations that are feeding hungry people all over the world. Check out my teammate Randel's post.

I asked to write about Feed the Children. Check out their humble beginnings, and how you can help in all sorts of ways...big or small. They are committed to feeding families... and not just with food.

I have to admit that I've been feeling the need to fast for about a month now. The idea has presented itself several times while I've ignored it. Even when the 40 Day Fast sign up came out; I found myself signing up, but kept thinking "What am I doing?"

GET THIS: Once I signed up, our church did a sermon on fasting...No coincidence there huh?

Our pastor talked about saying "no" to basic desires. Desires that can take our time, attention & money. Like food. Like tv. Like Twitter. =/ All of the things that bring attention to "me" and my "comfort" my "enjoyment". If I take the energy away from these things for a short time, if I remove those dependencies from my life short term...Whom would I become dependant on instead? To Whom would I direct all that energy? Time? Money?

One of our pastors posted this quote out of Muhammed Yunus' book Banker to the Poor. It took my breath away.

"There are many ways for people to die, but somehow dying of starvation is the most unacceptable of all. It happens in slow motion. Second by second, the distance between life and death becomes smaller and smaller, until the two are in such close proximity that one can hardly tell the difference. Like sleep, death by starvation happens so quickly, so inexorably, one does not even sense it happening. And all for lack of a handful of rice at each meal. In this world of plenty, a tiny baby, who does not yet understand the mystery of the world, is allowed to cry and cry and finally fall asleep without the milk she needs to survive. The next day she may not have the strength to continue living."

I know some of you may already be involved financially with an organization. But let me say that sometimes giving time is just as valuable. Find out if you have a FTC distribution center near you. I go a few times a year and along w/ dozens (sometimes hundreds) of others...we pack MASSIVE amounts of boxes. We touch each item before it goes into the box. Some pray as they do it. Prayers of hope, that those who receive it will feel the love of Christ. Yes, the love of Christ sometimes comes in the form of beans, rice & toothpaste!

I have also distributed those boxes to families in inner city Chicago. Imagine pulling up to the projects in Chicago with truckloads full of food & personal care items for folks that are in some serious need. One little girl, about 3, was alone for the day. Her parents were at work and had left her to fend for herself. She spent the day with me. ME! She helped me hand out boxes to her peers. What an amazing gift for me, for her & for those people. I have prayed numerous times that she remembers that day years from now. That SHE was the face of Christ for her community.

Watch this video of our church members gathering in December (it was 4° that day) to deliver packed boxes to folks in our area from Feed The Children. After packing the boxes, then packing the trucks, we got to hand deliver the items to the actual families. IT. WAS. AMAZING. Praying with people. Helping people. Smiles. Love.

During this fast, my family is taking the money we save on food and giving it to Feed the Children. It's probably around $10. That will feed 1 child FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH.

We are the hands & feet of Jesus. Let's put on some boots & gloves and fight dirty. Are you in? If so, aren't you excited about what that sort of life will look like?

I don't know about you, but a lot of times I feel hungry. Hungry for just the right thing, to hit just the right spot. What if that included an increased diet of the Bible and some Living Water? I know it's a lot to chew on (ok, I'll stop now).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Vacation Clothes

UPDATE: I've had so many requests for the pattern. Silly me, I forgot to link it. Here it is ladies. Can't wait to see what you all find!

We've had a vacation planned since last August. And through extraordinary circumstances, we're still able to go even through our financial stress.

The girls started asking last week if they were getting new vacation clothes. Sometimes I'll get them a new swimsuit, shorts or dress. I decided to try & see what I could get for $20, which was how much fun money I had to live off of for the month. We went to Goodwill for 1/2 off day, but nothing tickled their fancy. I remembered a pattern I saw once where you used a men's shirt to make a little girls' dress.

We headed to the men's section & found 6 shirts (2 each) and bought them all for $15.

I've gotten pictures of 5 of them. The baby wouldn't hold still for the 6th. Check 'em out.

This Hula one was the hardest. The yoke in the back was round instead of straight. I did a lot of piecing, but it turned out adorable. It was a men's XL.

This orange one was a men's L. So cute. And it's super soft.

Kenady is so tired of being a model. She probably had 4 fittings for the straps. Sorry kiddo.

Cyra about screamed when she saw this flaming shirt. We call it "Little House meets Nascar".

This one was a women's XL and had long sleeves. I ran out of elastic, but as you can see, I'm using the sleeves as knickers.

My hubby was proud of me for taking the time to give them something new and teach them how to reinvent something. I just do it to see that look on their face & to hear "Mom, is my dress clean yet? I want to wear it AGAIN today."

Family night.

I have a weekly budget of $10 for our family nights. That's supposed to cover any decor, extra food, games or gifts. We are having guests over for our family night in 2 weeks, so we're doing our best to save $ on the nights preceding it. So, last night we did camping night.

We started off with tacos in a bag (or walking tacos). You crunch up any flavor of corn chips in their single serving bag & then add tacos fixings. You can then eat it out of the bag w/a plastic fork and have NO DISHES. That's what I'm talkin' about.

We sang campfire songs that Cyra learned at camp & some I know from being a counselor for so many years & from being a Girl Scout leader. We sang Baby Shark, There was a Moose, Princess Pat, Tony Chestnut, Swing Low, OREO and many others.

The kids made ice cream in a bag. You put sugar, milk & vanilla in a small freezer bag. Then take rock salt & ice in a large freezer bag. Put the small one, in the large one & pass it around (shaking it) for 5 min. (you can also do this inside a coffee can & make it "kick the can" ice cream.)We topped it all off w/ smores.

It was a fun (less work) kinda night. I like those kind. All I had to buy was the chocolate bars ($2).

Let me know if you do a family night....I always need new ideas.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dinner at home costs pennies

I've been posting twitpics of my dinners lately. Not sure why, well actually it's because Brent over at inworship asked me to once...and I just keep doing it.

I decided to start calculating how much I'm spending eating in. I've been trying to convince myself that I really don't need to order out anymore. I've been so surprised that I can feed my family for around $5 a night. That's 2 adults, and 3 kids ages 8, 5 & 2. They don't eat a lot though.

Last night we had Chicken Alfredo. I usually put brocolli in it, but didn't have any. So, I chose the green vege that was easiest to reach in the freezer. Here's the recipe & the costs:

1/2 stick of butter (melted over med. heat)
1 C. Heavy Cream
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
bring to boil, then simmer until thick
Add 1/4 C. parmesan
(you can easily double this to serve 6-8)

I also used about 1 C. frozen peas (or broccoli...whatever really)

I broiled the chicken w/ a little garlic powder, salt & pepper

butter - .25(the whole box was 1.99. I buy it on sale & freeze it)
cream - .75 (3.89 for a container which is 4 C)
spices - .25 (estimated)
cheese - .25 (grated, cheap stuff)
peas - .30 (.89 for a whole bag)
pasta - .33 (.99 for a box)
chicken - 2.00 (6.00 for 6 breasts at Aldi)

That's $4.13 for the entire dinner! The cream sauce is heavenly! How much are you spending on dinner? Calculate it tonight and come back & let us know!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You thought what?

So, I have this friend, who wanted to go skinny dipping with her husband (which is totally ok if you're married, and have a tall fence).

His reply "Um...not today."

Hers "Why not?"

His "Cuz, it's "that time for you"

Hers "So"

His "How CAN you?"

Hers "That's why they invented tampons."

His "Oh, I thought you'd have to wear a swim diaper or something."

Hers "Silence...wheezing...hysterical laughing..."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I see SO many people in the blog world talk about being "authentic'. People throw that word around without really understanding it's meaning (probably myself included).

It does not mean "This is who I am. You get what you get. If you don't like it,'s just me."

The definition is "made or done the same way as an original". Whom do we think the original is?

Is it really "authentic" to have a foul mouth because "It's just who I am".."I'm being authentic"

Mark Beeson once said that "We should love folks right were there are, but too much to leave them there."

Isn't THAT authentic? Made in His image...doing what He would do.

I'm ALL for accepting people's flaws, but should we really call that authenticity?

Writers Blog (ck)

I've got nothing to write about.

Seems my life is SUPER mundane in the Summer.

I've been doing my best to get ALL my housework done by noon so I can do other things.

One day we went to Lisa Donati's house to swim. We've been to Michelle Wegner's to play w/ her girls. We've been going to the library. We even went to the mall one day where I whipped out my credit card to buy some school clothes for the girls that were on MAJOR sale ($30 for 2 dress tops, 2 dress slacks, 2 headbands & 1 pair of tennis shoes). I haven't used a credit card in over a year! I decided I won't go back to the mall for the rest of the Summer, so I won't be enticed to spend any money.

There's an update on my Summer happenings. If you want a more detailed report, you can follow me on Twitter. I update that every hour or so.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Throwback Thursday

This is a pic of me & my Dad in 1977. He worked in the woods (like the Axemen). He is a great Dad and an even better Papa.

Look - we have the same hair.

Family night.

This week's family night was much more serious than our usual ones. Our theme was "Family Board Meeting." And sorry, I was way too busy to snap pics. =(

After dinner we sat at our long table and had a "Caste your vision meeting" We talked about what our vision is for our family nights. We decided it's to make us closer & have fun with each other.

Next we did a "build each other up" game. Dad started by throwing a "stuffie" to someone he wanted to compliment. Then they threw it to someone THEY wanted to compliment. We probably went around the whole table at least 3 times. Dad made me cry w/ his was so sweet. =)

Next we started creating our Family Mission Statement. Dr. Stephen Covey describes this as an important part of creating a strong Family . It will probably take us a few weeks to write, but here are our notes:

Money - be good stewards, tithe, no debt

Physical - excercise so we'll live a long life, feel good too, eat healthy, moderation

Intellectual - be willing to learn from each other, mentors, books, bible...take time to read.

Emotional - home is a safe place to talk about anything, honesty, trustworthy

Social - be a good neighbor, choose friends wisely, invest in quality friendships, show people the love of God

Family - once a year vacation (or staycation), when we're all at home we're spending time together(not at opposite ends of the house), we stand up for each other, kinds words to or about each other, show respect & have manners, respect & take care of our home & stuff, HAVE FUN.

The girls did a great job coming up w/ stuff that was important to them in our family. I was quite impressed. I have been waiting to do this until they could have more input.

When we're done writing the final draft, we'll have it printed & framed for our home. I'll post it then too!