Blog archive: December, 2005

December 27
Christmas- good—croup- bad. Steam-VERY good.
HUh?

Well thats the SHORT version.

Our Christmas was wonderful— got to see family….everyone seemed to like their prezzies….boys were happy with theirs as well- special score with that- Matt rec’d a Nintendo DS- and Nintendogs.. and Zoo Tycoon—met with much thnx and approval ( I picked zoo tycoon– he didnt know they had it out–)—Mike rec’d PSP and Coded Arms- he’s a happy camper- a “cool game” (he hadn’t given and specs on games….just the system.. so i was on my own.a scary thing I HATE video games– and am clueless…)

OOOPSed on DH’s gift- he needed the WOODS for his golf clubs— I got the irons. I’m a dork. but he’s a great sport.

I rec’d great felted / knitting (cause its perfect for that—-) bag from sil/brother.. and circ case (oh man with LEOPARD print inside—- AWESOME!) a beautiful scarf pin she made— including ivory beads from one of her mom’s necklaces…(sadly she lost her mom… was wonderful of her to share her with me in this way) AND amber special from a friend—-AND a pom-pom maker– WAY cute–and kitty and puppy treats- see bag covered in cat hair to validate their approval….. everything beautifully wrapped in hand made gift bags…

Very special “Camo” knit hats for my big guys–(n gander mtn gift cards)– and beautiful wool ear flap hat—in DH’s favorite color—-gorgeous pumpkiny orange. For Noah it was a very SPIDER Christmas— SIL designed him a flannel backed- spiderman silkie- with BLACK satin Binding—-oh my word! AND Spiderman Pillow- and SPIDERMAN Pillow case-AND one of her beautiful and very cool snake scarf- and matching mittens…all packed up in a very cool spiderman bag!

There were many special prezzies for everyone- my mom always goes overboard- and she did- an adorable pink sapphire/ leather cord ring for me- (perfect match for a pendant and earrings i have) clothes for the “trip” we have coming up—-socks and underwear for the guys- part joke- part trip prep-

DH custom designed a gorgeous diamond ring- for me- made me totally cry.

SO Christmas was all around- great—-

Then, Why the title?

Because last nt wasn’t so great.

Poor little spiderman Noah CROUPED it up- MASSIVELY.

Noah is our third guy- I’ve been a mom for a long time- (other 2 are 16 and 13) many nights spent with Asthma- and croup—-and although other things get easier to deal with when repeated— Croup- isn’t one for me. He was drooling- ( a sure sign of airway restriction) coughing that awful cough—-crying— etc- we’ve been there- so knew what to do—- (calm him- close bathroom door- turn on all hot water- to create steam..PRAY PRAY PRAY..) he was fine but there were scary moments- in classic croup form– he was FINE when he went to bed—so totally out of the blue-

Considered calling EMS. and for a 3 time mom- that means it was BAD. He ‘s ok this morning- but going to dr- will need steroids—so it doesnt get bad again.

Today is busy- VERY busy—- prepping for trip- Dr– etc-

Dear Lord- thnx so much for a Merry Christmas- and for precious people to share it with…Lord- I need to accomplish a lot of work today- please help me to honor you- while i do so—and please Lord- help Noah feel better- I love that little guy. amen.

















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December 24
fibergodmother…..bibbidy bobbidy boo! ;)
http://www.livejournal.com/community/fibergodmother/

Fiber Godmother Questionnaire
General Fiber Questions:What are your fiber-related hobbies? (Knit, Crochet, Spinning, Needlepoint, etc.) – spinning …mostly knots— (not going well……)
How long? – knitting just over a year- bought a wheel in nov.Which are you *most* into? – knitting- cause I’m good at it…..How would you classify yourself in this craft – beginner, intermediate, advanced? – intermediateWhat is your current fiber-related obsession? – pretty needles and stitch markers…What are your favorite items to make? – lace– but currently knittin mittens etc—What are you making right now? – “tempting” by knitty…falling leaves ..various mittens and fingerless gloves…What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? – like to cook…decorating….About the fiber:Your favorite yarn(s) (brand or type)? – What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? – anything itchy… not big on acrylic.Is there a yarn you’ve been dying to try? – qiviut…(yeah- dreaming) Are you a fiber snob? – sadly- i thing so… but just for natural fibers—not really expense..About the tools:Hardwood, Bamboo, Aluminum, Plastic? – wood… and addis for wool… don’t like plastic or metal… but have denise interchangeable — like those. brittany birch.For knitters: Straight, DPN or Circular needles? – right tool for the right project.Favorite gadget? – love all of them. love gadgets. Anything you’ve been wanting to try? – qiviut…need to make a sweater- would like to try a top down raglan….cardi…is there one?About you:Do you pamper yourself? Or do you generally come last? – I think i’m pretty balanced here- have learned I have to be. What does an ideal day off/free hour consist of for you? – Stuffed knitting bag… a great book…ipod fully loaded— on or near the beach….(LOVE water) Are you allergic to anything? – bananas and aspirin… (yeah- i know it’s stupid.)What is your family situation? (Partner, spouse, kids, etc.) – married, 3 kids- boys- 16 13 and 3 1/2 (SURPRISE!)Are you owned by any pets? – 1 bad dog “Sami” one stupid cat “Truffles” and one perfect cat “Cappucino”.Your favorite color(s)? – jewel tones.. purple, red, turquoise ,fuschia pretty much always with blackAny colors you just can’t stand? – sorry missie- not a fan of chartreuse. don’t like yellow. or pale colors.What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) – lavander, vanilla, rose, vanilla/berry..Least favorite? (Maybe you’re not “allergic,” but it makes you want to die) – cat pee. with a close runner up of baby poop. ( ohhhh that’s not what you mean?) ok then probably don’t have any.How do you feel about candy? – candy =chocolate. = very good. Any dietary restrictions? – yeah- remove nutrition facts from pkgs if you want me to ENJOY chocolate.Is there anything that you collect? – tin chocolate molds…(flowers and leaves mostly) longaberger baskets…when the dog isn’t eating them….What is your favorite holiday? – Every day—- oh ok- fine, be that way- Christmas. Do you have an online wish list (e.g. Amazon, Things I Want)? If so, share the link. If nothing else, it will give your Godmother more ideas about your likes/dislikes. – knti picks anything….have an amazon list— but ummm SOMEONE has had issues with them…. so they are on my poopy list at the moment.Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? – yes- and have an ipod. What kind of music do you like? – cont christian….but yeah, 80’s rock too. and a little alternative— here and there- U2…..ummm shhhh — i know its crap, but the b-52’s….
Third day….Switchfoot…Mercy Me…Out of Eden… Noah Solomon Rock n Roll show…
Any special requests in case your Godmother wants to make a CD for you? – Favorite movie(s)? – Loved Narnia….. Any “fan” stuff? (e.g. Firefly, Wonder Woman, etc.) – currently on a sparkly stars kick…..stars of all sorts—-(goes with MOPS.org theme) Anything we missed? Tell, Tell!



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December 23
Two hours in line to meet Santa? Absolutely.
Noah had his first experience with Santa today—–

While other poor little guys cried— or shied— Noah- as per his norm…. gave Santa a huge hug—patted his belly…. then held Santa’s hands and talked to him for quite a while—- Santa was a tender man- truly loving towards every little one— even after hours of cranky kids and worse conditioned parents—- Santa kissed the top of Noah’s head— and told him he’s a big boy….Noah just about glowed.

I know there are many opinions of Santa. and His place in the celebration of Christmas….but I must admit— it was a truly precious moment in my little guys life……and mine.

I can’t help but wonder what it will be like when he meets his and my, true hero— and the one who loves him best…. Jesus.

I pray he responds the same.

Jesus took time to touch the little ones— something rare in our culture—- I’m glad Noah’s first meeting with Santa will be one fondly remembered as a touch of love and blessing….and a whisper of the loving touch and blesings of Jesus every day of his life….

Merry Christmas.


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December 21
snowman showdown….
ok- not a contest-i didnt win anything — BUT, it was pretty cool they used it—-

check it out:

http://www.clickondetroit.com/slideshow//weather//5503540/detail.html?qs=;s=64;p=/weather/;dm=ss;w=400

thats my guys at the falls— see previous entry…for more pics and details.

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December 20
It’s just so sad.
OK. I’m just sad. Well… that and angry.

Sometimes I just don’t “get” God. I’m not saying I don’t believe- or that my faith wavers. What I’m saying is this—- I don’t GET the free will thing. Honestly- sometimes I wish it was a “revocable right”…. that you had to prove a certain level of trustworthiness or something in order to exercise it…..

Why are my Christian panties in such a bunch today???

Because I’m sick of people confessing to be Christians- and exercising their freewill by being NASTY.

I’ve blogged previously about my opinion of the removal of “Merry Christmas” from our general culture. I find it irritating— but not necessarily offensive. There are much bigger offenses. I mostly don’t like it because there seems to be a cultural “tolerance” for everything BUT Christianity. Which I find unacceptable and In- TOLERANT.

I also find it ridiculous to pretend that Christmas doesn’t exist. Christmas is a federally recognized holiday…. it’s (still) legal to wish someone Merry Christmas-If I say Merry Christmas to someone- and they say- I don’t celebrate Christmas- I celebrate_________I’d wish them well in that. I don’t have a problem wishing someone well for the holiday that they celebrate… be it Chanukah, Kwaanza…. Ramadan…. or nothing. (well- Merry NOTHING sounds jerky… probably wouldn’t actually say that)

I just find it ludicrous, to “for the sake of not leaving anyone out”—-leave out Christians. Not to mention, it seems to me to be “Seasonal Denial”… HELLO- It IS Christmas. TO pretend like it’s not seems like denial to me… regardless of your personal beliefs.

I can respect the beliefs of others- while holding fast to mine.

This is my blog- where I can record my personal thoughts and opinions. If you visit here- you can click out- you need not stay if you don’t like what I have to say. HOWEVER— when I am visiting SOMEONE elses blog…. I DO NOT THREATEN… ARGUE or criticize them for their beliefs— especially NOT In the Name Of Jesus. To do so is dishonoring and (I believe) saddening to the Lord.

It is being threatening- and abusive to those He so longs to win over— by HIS LOVE. Not our HATE. *I also, just plain think it’s rude- when you stop by someones “virtual house” for a visit, you have no more business making a nasty comment- than when you visit someone’s physical home. How bout some MANNERS? If someone posts a QUESTION.. or in someother way indicates that they are open to discourse on a Spiritual issue— then respectfully HAVE AT…. If Not, then please- respect THAT!

There are times to argue- Christmas Comment wars are not one.

I won’t make a judgement on those who are doing this–or on their eternal end—- In my opinion, they may be fiercely loyal and immature. (Yes- an understatement-) But- I believe they probably feel they are defending their Lord by doing so—-I just believe it’s counter-productive. The truth is you end up looking like a jerk. A mean , nasty jerk. And thats NOT how we are supposed to represent Christ.

So, back to my start- I don’t always “GET” God. If He knows all (which I believe He does) Then WHY does HE let us do and say STUPID things? Why not just “Robotize” us or something- so we do and say the right things????? Man that would sure be easier.

Or, maybe He’s got a bigger plan…bigger than just MAKING us DO the right things… maybe, just MAYBE God cares about our motives….about our LOVING Him back without being forced.

Years ago- There was a movie “Mommy Dearest” where the actress/mother would MAKE her children call her “Mommy Dearest” which they did— but thru gritted teeth and tears- they did NOT hold her “dear” they just felt fear. I have three boys- I love them dearly. (Well- when I don’t want to kill them…..) And- regardless of their mood- they love me too- there is a HUGE difference between running up to me after I’ve been away— and shouts of Mommy’s home!!! I love you Mommy! (or, from the teens …”Hey, Mom” which MEANS the same thing…) It’s possible- God knows the difference as well— maybe thats why He puts up with all the crap* we do—(sorry, short on vocab today) so We can love Him by choice- from the heart- not by force.

Knowing this- I still occasionally wish he’d zap me–(and a few others) — cause I’m NOT the best representation of Him either…..

Dear Lord- I can only pray that you’d help me to better represent you—- I still don’t “Get” the freewill thing— or why you put up with so much from those who call you Lord—-but- I DO “GET” the love thing—and will do my best to honor those you’ve lovingly created, while still speaking the truth in Love…

I love you Lord- and Happy Birthday-and -Merry Christmas- (yeah- I know it’s probably wasn’t REALLY the 25 of Dec… but- it’s from my heart. regardless. ) Thank you Lord- amen.

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December 19
The World According to Noah- or how to avoid housework…..
(I’d rather blog about cuteness than clean the bathroom.)

According to Mr Noah- 3 1/2—–

“Narnia” is wherever people speak with an English accent.

“Narnia” is also wherever there is snow.

When the scene cut during the new movie- Noah assures me that “Aslan ate her evil face off”.

Salad is “Lady food”.

Vegetables (with the exception of corn) are “OOOOKY”

Cribs are AKA “Trap beds”

While he loves his daddy and big brothers hunting — he insists- that they are NEVER “apposed” (supposed) to shot mommys, daddys or baby deer…..(not sure who’s left….sad ,lonely, adult single deer without families.???.)

Noah is not a “Baby” however- he will accept the title of “Small Big boy”.

Beagles, especially his Sami dog- is a fine substitute for a pony…. (poor Sami’s back— though she doesn’t seem to mind the short bronco bucking rides………)

“Knitters” (aka knitting needles) are” pokey swords……”

Christmas ornaments are toys- for trees.

Teenagers are “Stinky”….?

“Labander tubby bubbles” are the best.(lavander)

“Nakey” is a fine way to live you life.

If there’s music… you GOTTA DANCE.

Spiderman is awesome.

CD’s , DVD’s CD Video Games- are good “flyers” (frisbees)

Juice boxes/pouches- offer a challenging game—- “shoot the juice for distance……” As he’s the only one playing he always wins… well- until Mommy catches him.

“Silky foot rubs” make him “giggles”…

“Silky” blankets are a necessity of life.

Sharing your plate with a Beagle is “FINE MOMMY. She likes it.”

If your dog bites you- you SHOULD bite their nose….(don’t worry – neither is a common occurance”)

The couch is for “Cannonballing onto the floor”……..

3 year olds occaisionally TRY to ground their parents…..it doesn’t WORK.

Yeah he’s cute- that little stinker…..


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December 16
The Magic of Christmas—- Knitting…..

I wear a crown. Ok- not a real crown- but have certainly been crowned royal queen of the last minute-

However- this year- i n the midst of all the busyness of the season— and my life— I’ve been knitting- and knitting- and knitting—- for Christmas gifties— no worries- all gifts are not handknit—-but– I DO have a confession—– if you start at 12:00 and work clockwise around the table—- you may notice something about the projects—–

They magically shrink.

First up- a cute felted hat and matching bag.. wouldn’t those be gret for— like EVERYONE? ok— then a number of pretty shawl/wraps— starting in garter stitch- working my way to lace…. those would be EVEN better for everyone– don’t cha think? nope- tooooo time consuming—-

Then we find a one skein wonder- quick and cute—-maybe those?

Then knitty.com broadripple socks—- (too big !) and tooo time consuming.

Fuzzy feet- well- their fuzzy —- but more for hooves than feet- will have to be for a young reciepient with fat feet—– maybe a Hobbit?

However- time wise- they ARE fast……

then I did a quick matched set- gifted mittens from Kate Gilbert- Love those…..
And Flora scarf from Knitty.

then cam Thanksgiving- and speed knittin.

Gifted mittens…. fast pretty- and cross gender appropriate.

But can i get a bit faster even???

Baby Gifted mittens

” faster ” you say???

How about fingerless gloves? — which really- are truly good for not much in Michigan. But- I can complete a pair in an evening knitting NP. Ok- maybe they are good for something- my teenager pointed out they would be good for ice fishing. and playing gameboy in the car…..and when you get in the car and the steering wheel is cold as ice—– this keeps your palms warm…. maybe for carpal tunnel sufferers…with cold offices and computer work?????????

Ok- I know— I know— you can justify JUST about anything if you want to. I just proved that theorem- completely.

Whats next? More mittens and mittenetts—- a few hats and or balaclavas….. (My guys call’em ski masks)
though—– I need to finish my malabrigo clapotis—– just so i can pet it.

Gift giving at Christmas- is funny—-if you ask me. Please understand- I LOVE prezzies— and I love giving them.

But- as the whole tradition is in remembrance of the Magi visiting Jesus—-don’t you think we’ve made things a bit difficult on ourselves? I seriously doubt the Magi stressing over whether Jesus preferred Frankinsense or Myrrh…. or would He be offended by the carat weight of their golden gift….. The Bible shows NO WHERE that the Magi were competing with their gifts- (hmmmm I see that one alot)

Pretty much the Magi gave from the riches they had- they had frankincense, they gave it- they had gold- they gave it, they had myrrh… “To : Jesus ” went on the pkg. Maybe we should calm down a bit— on the knitting- the baking the candlestick making– (too much PBS;) the shopping the pressure to find the right- non-offensive- accurate message sending, ( i like you, I love you, etc…) non-competitive- ( or at least competition WINNING) gifts— and just give what we have- to those we love-

The truth is this— I have had Christmas’s with plenty of cash—- and the same stress- as Christmas’s with little cash……the Christmas’ and the gifts that are remembered- are the ones that came from what I had—- my love- friendship- talents or skills… sharing time- love and memories-those are the gifts I remember as well.

Will I still be knitting? Yes. Absolutely. Will I be assembly line gifting? Just trying to MAKE EVERYONE Something? Nope- I quit. Yes- more mittens- more fingerless mitts- but not because of time— because of the recipients ice fishing habits– or cold office…… I’ll be trying not to rush– I’ll be knitting prayers into each stitch…..

Besides—- worst case—- who WOULDN’T love a “GAS CARD” at this point? Thats plan B.

Matthew 2
The Visit of the Magi

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5″In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'[d]”
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Dear Lord- help me to stay focused—– Christmas is a Star– calling us home to you— help me to be a light to others- this Christmas and everyday— even though I am sometimes- soooo dim– ! Lord- help me to love others with love that comes from you. Help me to give from what I have and who I am—- not from motives of perfection and competiton….well- even though those things ARE In me Lord!

I love you Lord— but– next year—— could you change the calendar and give me an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I could really use it. I Love you Lord- Amen.







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December 15
Boys. ‘Nuff said.
I love being the mother of three boys. MOST of the time. I must admit they are also confusing—- and strange animals at times.

This past weekend we went to Canada- had a wonderful time….. minor squirmishes—- no huge issues— but a few….well…. funny idiosyncrasies….

First thing learned- when faced with rapids- and tumultous dangerous water- boys- (men for that matter) MUST send something over……in the pics from the trip- you can see an adorable little snowman- lovingly made by some child— and left to affirm his-her presense at the Great Niagra Falls….while I saw sweetness- my boys saw challenge……and a Male offering to the Niagra Gods…..as you can see thru the ritualistic upholding of the snowman above the Mddleschoolers head while being goaded on- by the highschooler…. Ritual and rite of passage? Maybe.

Next frame- is as expected the rapids with said sweet gentle snowman- now in three tragic pieces,floating towards his destiny…. as decided by the testosterone laden boys under my care—-how could I have raised them so poorly?

Of course- at first I was appaled at the behavior of such boys- to disregard the feelings of the snowman’s maker….(my most true apologies- sincerely) but- during lunch- (at the Table Rockrestaurant— that overlooks the falls— WOW) I observed something interesting—– men,boys of varied ages and ethnicities— ALL throwing- whatever they dared— INTO the falls. Snow- ice whatever. Hamming it up for pictures all the while….

It was then– that I realized…it’s not me–nor their Dad’s fault– (though he THREW HIS Quota over the falls as well….. ) There is something inherently challenging to boys/men alike when faced with rapids— while i may consider the emotional toll—of falling over- of breaking a childs heart by tossing his snowman—–they purely see CHALLENGE. To throw far enough to go over the Falls….and maybe see something come out the other side——- Maybe it’s a risidual of the explorer nature of man—- or maybe God just plain has a sense of humor—- a bit of genderous mystery….

I can remember as a girl— singing at the top of my lungs—-“anything you can do I can do better- I can do anything better than you——–” And being thoroughly convinced that it was about the genders—I can recall the feminist movement—from a childs view– I learned it was VERY important that I be seen as equal- to a man/boy—the SAME. The Same skills— the Same (well- with the exception of plumbing)

I was pretty sure of this most of my life— and then— I had boys.

No toy guns were given to the first two— no violent cartoons—-no sugar—-or caffeine…….I was raising them right—–to be gentle- God loving peacemakers…..Which they are- but not because of MY rules— because in truth— mashed potatoes have become guns—-lincoln logs=guns, Legos=guns. If they can lift it- they throw it…..over the falls…..

Not because of me- but because of God’s UNIQUE design in them- both in their gender— and their personalities.

Cliche’ so cliche’ And so true.
Boy’s will be Boys.

And, I love all of mine. Every snowman throwing….stink-war blowing, jumping, punchin, gun toting,loving, sweet moment of it…. (ok- maybe NOT EVERY moment)

I’m not about- just letting my guys be wild and without regard or respect….but I’ve learned to appreciate the differences and laugh at them– and learn from them…and help them learn the crazy ways of women as well- my goal as a mother is to raise them into great men—- not women. I’m just glad I have help knowing WHAT that is!!!! Their Dad is awesome- and helps me see- when it’s ” a boy thing”!!!

Psalm 139:13 (New International Version)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb

Psalm 139-
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.




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December 13
pics- sorry- had memory trouble ;)


















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Extreme Adventures in EXTREME COLD….and beauty—-Eh?
WAY Picture heavy- but couldnt resist—– we went Here: over the weekend—-the land of the “Harlots People” www.yarnharlot.com

It was a bit of a MINI- Canadian experience— DH had a work Christmas party…on Friday- so we made a weekend of it… Started in London…had to stop by a favorite yarn shop- (see the pics on the chair…..beautiful handdyed cashmere—Koigu Kersti… koigu kppm…. . all purchased from— http://www.needlesandpins.ca/ a beautiful little shop- stocked with GREAT yarn—and the very MOST helpful staff! Then- off we went- to Toronto–CN Tower- (have I mentioned I’m not too keen on “falling off of things” ????) Lets just say the pic of my foot on the glass floor- is quite an accomplishment!

Went to dinner at Planet Hollywood Saturday—-shopped around- I should say “shopped underground…” went to Niagra Falls Sunday— Beautiful in the winter— I’m a B&W pic fan— the whole falls looks B&W!!!!!

We ate at Stonetable rock—–good food- a bit pricey- but can’t beat the view—-took loads of pictures—-a carriage ride tour—-then a few shops—-on Clifton Hill…..though really just the HERSHEY Shop for Cocoa… and stocking stuffers—-DH had to WORK Monday- so we went on an adventure- the boys and I— went to Covent Garden Market—-I LOVE European mkts—which this is…..

Fresh flowers….fresh fruit- meat- imported treats- Canadian crafts…..delis , bakeries–groceries–of every style and nationality….then we had lunch at Chancey Smiths a great Steakhouse at the mkt….

Monday afternoon- we went to Masonville Mall- for some coffee at Second Cup-and a BUTTER TART- of course!– and a bit of Christmas shopping…..On the way home stopped for dinner at “Crabby Joes” for 1 lb T bones– (DH and oldest son….) I ordered a strip-stk and Middle son a 1/2 rack of ribs….Noah slept thru dinner— probably so he could be awake until 1:30 a.m…….which he was.

Made the traditional stop at Duty Free for a few more Christmas gifts……then finally home!

Yes, the pretty purple— is the beautiful Malabrigo yarn in Mystic Purple-(DH brought back from needles n pis on a previous trip—-)—-cast on Clapotis #4 on the way—– how much driving did we do??? about 400 yrds or about (2/3s of Clap# 4 worth!)

In Toronto we stayed at the Fairmont Royal York- a special treat—-in London had a suite…..which was nice , with three boys!

Today is a recoup and recover day– MUST get the tree up—- and a few decorations—– also my oldest sons 16th B-day—– OH MY WORD. I love that guy—- but wasnt he just bborn— a week ago???? How can he possibly be the age I was when his Dad and I met???? Scary- just scary. But awesome.

more later-

(Dear Lord— thanks for giving us the opportunity for a bit of together time—-and some adventure—it was great- Lord- your creation never fails to remind me of your majesty and power—- the Falls are gorgeous—and awesomely powerful- asa are you! amen)






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SP6 spoiler ….REVEALED!
As I am a freak- self proclaimed super slouth— I must admit defeat.

I visited- but did NOT guess that http://purlygates.blogspot.com/
was my SPOILER! I have thoroughly enjoyed my prezzies— this has been a great experience—

She sent a cute little mitten ornament- candycane candle- (a favorite) and sweet little stickers that will adorn my holiday pkgs and cards—–she’s very talented- and a great SP— please visit her spot!

THNX SP- oh yeah- THNX SUZIE!!!!I know who you are now! You’re terrific!
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December 08
Why My Husbands Rings Smell of Taco Bell….
or- “How I became a garbage picker for a day……”

or “Losing rings and losing your mind” or other Pithy title…..

Monday my DH had a flight to Florida for the day— he flew home the same night—- arrived home with a head ache and a loose cap—- poor guy—- spent considerable time in the bathroom- recapping his tooth…. then crashed on the couch-trying to be awake for the boys—–

The next day- his rings were gone—- we’ve searched the ENTIRE house—- (not sure how looking for something makes more of a mess…. but it DOES.) He had to leave again yesterday for another trip—-no rings.

We’ve been married 17 + yrs— but the sentimentality is still there—– we wear our rings everywhere.

He typically takes his off at night and puts them on the ring stand…. not there. We sloothed and searched all week—replaying moment by moment- his activities…. shaking out towels— watching the dog for— well…. what ever she may “yield” as a clue….. yuck.

Moved the microwave…. checked the sink drains…….

swept kitchen floor—– watched cats…………nothing

lowgrade stress…… high grade stress… frustration and worry—- all week—last nt we went to dinner– and we prayed together that we’d find them…..

Last night was garbage night… always an event. Teenagers don’t really LIKE doing anything you tell them to do……. but out went the trash— (there are five humans 2 cats and a bad dog at our house—— we have a LOT of trash……..

This moring- kept looking— at this point- in the SAME places— cause well- i just couldnt think of where else they could be….. Middle schooler was late for school—– went out to load everyone into the truck…. garbage men were late—- and the trash had been “vermin infested” ok- well maybe a cat or something- but probably a possum…. had to clean up the trash—- in hopes that our “uppity” Gmen would pick it up—(thats another rant- I would NEVER want to be a Gman– and respect their hard work— but come- on—- TAKE the TRASH— it’s YOUR JOB.) Anyway—-I felt very strongly that I should check the bag on top— an open Target bag— overflowing with tacobell wrappers—(gotta be some addictive property in there specifically designed for teens…)

Of course- there were the rings at the bottom of the BAG!!!!!!

I truly believe it was God——because of the following impossible COINCIDENCES….

1) our garbage men- although “uppity”—- are fairly prompt- like 6:00 a.m prompt- I checked the trash at 9:00.

2) My teens take trash bags from kitchen and THROW it into the garage— AIMING (theoretically) for the LG trash cans—–the target bag with the rings was neither tied- or placed into a regular traqsh bag- it was open. Yet, made it to the curb- thru the garage toss— WITH the rings still inside…….

3) I don’t generally garbage pick— if the boys make a mess with taking out the traash– THEY have to pick it up…. not me.

4) The bag was open- and rt on top. The only bag I checked.

5) usually when late— I am pretty frustrated and frazzled- don’t stop to do anything else— like pick up trash -totally contrary to my personality.

If there were only ONE of the above variables— even I would think it may have been a coincidence……

It’s funny— how we value things— and are willing to even search thru garbage to find what we value…..

In the Bible is a story- of “The Pearl of Great Price” and another- “The Parable of the lost coin, and of the lost sheep” (see www.biblegateway.com search for those words…)

Thru His word- God communicates- that He is a DUMPSTER DIVER for us—–searching us out- no matter how deep the trash is that we are in……He gives all—just to find us again….. cleans us up- and we start anew…..

My marriage is worth WAY more than my DH’s rings— but they are symbolically important…..and worth looking for.

This Christmas— there have been a number of contradicting news stories—- Stores removing ” Merry Christmas” from their advertising….. and “Baby Jesus’s being stolen from Nativity scenes.. as well as lawsuits over Baby Jesus being IN a Manger scene on public property AT ALL……. people want to remove Christ from Christmas…….legislatively, culturally, socially.

I understand the necessity of not PUSHING ones beliefs on another—- but its crazy to live in denial of facts— December 25 is Christmas Day. It’s a National Holiday. To me- to deny that fact— is worse than an appropriate respect of it. While pornography runs rampant— Jesus’s very NAME is being treated in hushed tones—- hidden from view…..cleaned out of society- as though it were toxic. It seems as though Tolerance has only one expected boundary— it ends at Christianity.

As a Christian— when a Muslim friend or Jewish friend celebrates Holidays- I respect it. I wish them well on those days- when PSA’s say Peaceful Ramadan—- or Happy Chanukah.. I’m not offended….I don’t picket or sue…..I simply respect it. I wish happiness and peace. Although I disagree about the source of those things.

What does this have to do with Tacobell smell rings???

Well- To me— Jesus is valued above all else. Regardless of how our culture “trashes” Him– or tries to remove Him and His Gospel from public view… I will search Him out— I will look for Him and find Him where I can…..sometimes it may mean getting dirty—- working hard—–searching thru trash—- but – as He’s already done the same for me– I’ll do the same for Him.

This Christmas- I hope you’ll do the same.

Ask, Seek, Knock
7″Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9″Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13″Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:7-12

Dear Lord- I thank you for searching me out–and finding me.I also thank you for helping me find the rings- a reminder of our vow to each other and to you…..I also ask you to help me find YOU— in Christmas—- and in everyday of my life……. regardless of others trying to hide your truth away—– I ask you to help me navigate the rocky waters- of respecting others beliefs while holding mine tightly— yet loosely enough to share them. Help me to not offend- yet still have the courage to share. I love you Lord- Amen.



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December 06
Holy cow…. SP 6 sending ANOTHER Pkg!
ok- I just love my SP6— Just got word final pkg is in its way!

Great to look forward to I must say!

Can’t wait to learn the source of all this goodness…. and fun!

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yes- I stole this- but so has everyone one ELSE!
10 Random Things about Me…
I like things to be done my way.
I have to REMIND myself that MY way isn’t always the RIGHT way…. and I do.
I talk about knowing in my “Head” and “Feeling” as two separate things-that sometimes contradict.
I love jewel tones
Black is ALWAYS the new black for me.
I’d rather have a few pieces of REAL jewelery than a lot of fake stuff….
I am a multi tasker- par- excellance
I obsessively learn—– about something all the time
I like my kids
I like my Spouse
9 Places I’ve Been….
Venice, Italy
Mykonos, Greece
Salzburg, Austria
Munich,Germany
Santorini,Greece
Florida-
Denver, Colorado- and sang with friends on a mountain-
Flatrock, MI
*Target….well it’s really a DESTINATION for my family—- a DAY TRIP- trust me.
8 Ways to Win My Heart….
like me
make me laugh— – till I almost pee.
buy me yarn , stitch markers— beautiful needles- crazy for them- “Bling for my knitting”
Listen to me -actively
work WITH me on a project- love to bounce ideas for improvement….
see God in me.
appreciate my uniqueness….
love my kids, laugh at my spouses jokes—-
7 Things To Do Before I Die….
Go to Paris London, and Ireland
Write a book.or books.
Finish all my knitting projects….(NOT gonna happen at the rate I cast on—-)
Clean my WHOLE house……and keep it clean- postponed until my boys move out… and the dog gets too old to chew things up….
See mountains and beach at the same time……again- (California…haven;t been there yet.)
Love my friends and family BETTER
Stop procrastinating………. eventually……maybe……
6 Things I’m Afraid of….
Falling off of things…..
THE DENTIST.
Un-authentic people-read fake. HATE that- and FEAR it- don’t trust it.
Becoming less than authentic…..
Losing things—-
Misrepresenting God..
bonus #7— finding out after my boys move out– that I’M the messy one……
5 Things I don’t like….some of my fears are crossovers- I fear them and HATE them….
Un- authentic people. FAKE
I really don’t like meat….(but am not vegetarian……just prefer bread and pasta…) I’m Italian.
Pain- don’tlike it- but recognize and appreciate it’s necessity.
Being bored…HATE being bored- need input- and activity.
Crazy Christians—–makes me sad that the media only really allows them to represent all— (see God Warrior woman from Foxs wife switching show— made me sad-while i don’t doubt her authenticity-and zealous-ness, I feel sad that her experience and resonse to it- is a representative of Christians… and an online joke.)
4 Ways to Turn Me Off….
Be perfect
Be mean…
not like your own child— all the time… (EVERY PARENT DOESN’T LIKE THEIR CHILD OCCASIONALLY-I’m ok with that)
Be tolerant of everything EXCEPT Christianity. Tolerant doesn’t mean to agree with— but respect it. Open to debate and discussion. I am.
Complain about something and never DO anything about it.
Things I Do Everyday….
Spend time getting to know God- by experiences, and reading His word.
write(almost every day)
love on my kids and spouse
blow my temper.(don’t recommend it- but- I’m being HONEST)
drink coffee– lots of it
knit- almost every day
my make-up. well- you ASKED…..(kind of)
2 Things That Make Me Happy….
quiet time- especially if I’m on a beach in the early morning- with music and my Bible—-
friends and family
1 Thing On My Mind, RIGHT NOW…. I’m ADD- there is NEVER just 1 thing on my mind….
I need to finish editing this weeks video- and complete the handout for copying—-and find a dress that doesn’t make me look like a cow for a Christmas party this weekend… and get my nails done— and finish prep for a talk I’m giving on Friday— and book a dog sitter- and did I mention I’m ADD?

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December 04
Narnia—–Comes to Michigan.
I woke up this morning- to this:

2 inches of downy, white SNOW.

Everywhere. As the Narnia project began today- this was a fairly good thing. FAIRLY good-

with the exception of the fact that- @ 7:30 a.m. I had loaded my SUV TO THE Brim. (Way beyone DH’s Cars toting ability) with PR materials- treats- a “Wardrobe….”lamp -post” “Trees” “snow” sword, shield, handouts, books, DVD… etc….and my “trucks” battery was STONE COLD DEAD.

DH spent an hour trying to jump start it- while I prayed—– and well ALMOST Cried. ALMOST.
He picked up— one of these: (A GREAT investment… Highly recommended) http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1310

Because of MY poor planning- I had NO CELL numbers- nothing- no way to reach anyone- and let them know where I was—-(our AWESOME church meets @ Flatrock High School in MI- www.metrosouthchurch.com
We’re working on getting our own building…) there is no “office phone” to reach anyone on. I called a friend- who HAD a cell # and left a message saying- I WAS coming— ASAP…. and to please be ready to HELP ME……(which I HATE to say– “please help me”)

It was pretty incredible to see how everyone- just “Did what needed to get done”….. I had feared some frustration to be directed- toward me…. some annoyance—–but honestly— there was a lot of graciousness. And helpfulness. Did everything for this project turn out perfect? Nope.

Did everything go as planned… well- NOPE. to that one too. The DVD that i spent hours and hours creating—- Nearly, didn’t work….. I had actually- given the- “ditch it- I’ll improvise”… statement- when an awesome guy walked thru—(my friends adult son) Hey Joe! And I said—do you know how to make this stupid thing work? ” He looked at me– like I was nuts— not a first time for that…..and then said he’d try…. I started storytelling- with the kids—- and then Joe had it good to go…..go JOE! You ROCK! Not just on drums- either.

AWESOME. AWESOME.

After the DVD was fixed… things definately took an upswing…. but honestly- I think the whole morning was an upswing—- did I like the inconvenience? NOT. DO I think it COULD have been better… Yep.

But here’s the thing…. I WAY too frequently think everything needs to be Perfect. Or, why bother? I also seem to think- I SHOULD do EVERYTHING.

I KNOW in my HEAD. That’s not God’s plan— that we are designed to be INTERDEPENDANT…. but everything about my personality says be INDEPENDANT. Interdependant is SUCH a stretch. But- occaisionally- God will remind me— mostly in situations like this— where – totally beyond my planning— preparing and trying to make things perfect on my own, I become suddenly, VERY dependant on others—- and, Dang. IF they don’t COME thru. They DO!

Why am I surprised? Probably because I am a controlling ego maniac- who thinks MY way is the BEST way……and that people will get angry if I need help.

That isn’t the truth. (Well it’s NOT ALWAYS the truth) There is a difference. I think the truth looks more like this—- DO what you’re supposed to DO. ( I Did. I HAD everything READY organized- tools with construction projects etc…..) Then, I’m supposed to allow others to DO what they are supposed to DO. This morning- I HAD to. Not much choice.

My preference would have been to have been there @ 8:00 ( my predetermined time) and have everything DONE when the others got there……Probably as a testament to how AWESOME I am. Well, and defiantely to Bless the kids. In reality- motives are rarely perfectly PURE.

But- God had another plan. A much better one. One where HE would get the Glory—-by providing the necessary help… through His people. I did my part- they did theirs- and Somehow- God blessed the joint effort. The Kids “Got it” I could see them connecting to the Narnia story… and to me. I could see them starting to UNDERSTAND that there is SOOOO much more to the story. They joined the adventure.

I knew it WASN”T about me. It was about Him.

As it should be.

And, honestly, I’m glad. I need to be interdependant. I need to be a PART of something bigger than myself….and I need to know my limitations. And, to be expanded beyond them thru God and those He uses in my life. FYI. -God is pretty good about that.

(Dear Lord- thank you so much, once again for your creativity…. for your provision.. and for bringing me yet again ,to humility. It’s NOT all about me Lord—- thank you for the body of believers that you’ve placed me in— thank you for the sacrificial and gracious blessing that they are- help me to be the same to them—-please tend the seed that was planted Lord- let it grow…..and Lord- PLEASE HELP the DVD work next week—and Let Tom’s car start..(he’s teaching not me) I got your point… I PROMISE! I love you Lord- Amen.)

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December 02
Ummmm and I have the flu. FYI. I hate being sick. no time for it really.
Yeah- BTW I have the flu- headaching yucky cough flu- and yeah- it’s pretty busy here-Narnia event starts SUNDAY. I– need to go to bed— but—-this is probably what it’ll take to get me there- ….
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SP6 ends—– but good news-
My SP 6 “Spoilee” recieved her goodies—- she found my blog—–

you can see her response to her goodies- here: http://cheeriospins.blogspot.com

I’m just thrilled she liked her goodies!

It’s kind of tough to choose gifts for someone you only know via blog info- but also has been great fun!

Alicia is awesome- and extrememly talented- I swear she can do everything—- which is why I couldn’t resist popping a “Wonder Woman” keychain into her goodie box….she works, crochets, spins (am envious of her spinning ability) this grl does it all!

Hmmm since she knows who I am already— I can say this— Geeee, I think there may be ONE more pkg coming your way!

She’s got a great sense of humor— and creativity to the extreme- stop by her blog and check it-out!

Again- SP has been a great experience all around- I’m ready for SP7—- which you can find info for here:

http://secretpalseven.blogspot.com/

I’m recovering from My “Network n Nosh” last night- We had a great time-
I shared a short devotional, a short tech training about using blogs and groups for communication… then spent the rest of the evening networking- well- and goofing off- cause sometimes a Mom’s gotta goof.

I totally love the women I serve for MOPS- (www.mops.org) It’s my privilege to offer training on leadership, etc during our 2 x a year Council meetings- (of which Network n Nosh was one) and by helping and speaking in a number of different ways…. throughout the year.

Last night I focused on “twinkling in chaos”—–cause this time of year frequently FEELS chaotic.

MOPS International has a theme each year— and our theme this year is “Twinkle….Shine Like Stars in the Universe

For my devotion- I shared about a VERY chaotic Christmas- a number of years ago- and how I DECIDED to MAKE it perfect-I planned a days crafting with Matt- who was three at the time…….cinnamon/applesauce ornaments for everyone in the family—— http://www.handmadecountry.com/ezine/cinnamon.html

Suffice it to say—- we made a mess- I got VERY Cranky—- and insisted we finished— over the course of the afternoon- Matt got crankier and whiney——kept saying it hurt….. which was ridiculous—– but afterwards i realized– he was covered in hives…….apparently it did hurt— he was allergic to the cinnamon.

I learned a HUGE lesson that day- joy in a chaotic season- is not something we can MANUFACTURE via- perfectly planned events—-or perfect gifts or perfect anything—– joy comes from within—- when we are doing the right things—– for the RIGHT reasons……

My challenge to the MOPS Leaders last night- was to be a STAR not a MOON— (though I am admitedly often more of a BUTT—–ie moon- than a star…..)

The moon “puts on” its glow… it reflects light from the sun……..when chaos and clouds come— the glow fades…..Stars- are lit from within…. they have light that comes from their power source…..

I want to be a “star” lit from within during this chaotic season… I want to have a “twinkle” that comes from being connected to God- regardless of the clouds- or darkness…….that surround me.

Dear Lord- I thank you for each woman who serves you through MOPS International— I pray that you’d bless them and give each one your power to shine……

Oh- yeah- girls—- if you’re reading this— remember- NO MOONING. Of any kind.

*It’s a good idea in general-

love to u- ts