Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

please vote

Please visit Are We There Yet Mom to vote for your favorite photo in her current photo contest. I entered the below picture at the last minute. The prize is a great book on close up photography that I would love to win. Here is the link to see all the participant's photos. Vote for your favorite or the one you think is best. Thank you.

6 word memoir

Jen of Pen of Jen tagged me for this meme some time ago. There were several answers I could have given but what I feel is the perfect name for my memoir came to me while I was answering the question, What is the single greatest thing you learned to date about life?, asked by Susan of Penless Writer.

Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

I would give my memoir the name:

Life, Put Your Heart In It!

and it would have chapters that looked something like this:

+ Loving God with all my heart
+ It's about people; loving others
+ Don; my true love
+ My children; my heart beats outside my body
+ Get passionate about something
+ Love your life - it's the only one you have!
+ Sharing God's love

I would like to tag The Gremlin Wrangler, Mejojac, Huckdoll, that Crazy Bloggin' Canuck, and Kailani.

link of the day:

Monday, April 28, 2008

photo contest

Are We There Yet Mom is hosting a photo contest that ends TODAY! So I hurried and went through my archives and picked one of my favorite photos for my entry. You can check out all the participants at the above link and even vote for your favorite photo on the 29th. If you feel so inclined, I'd appreciate any votes for this darling photo. I'd love to win the book that is being given as the prize. [vote here]

There was no theme to this contest so it was hard to pick just one of my photos. I picked this picture because I think penguins are so quirky and cute.

through my lens

I took a walk today,
and what did I see...

trees and flowers
blooming all around me!

...and it makes me happy

Sunday, April 27, 2008

boy, are my feet tired

Yesterday was a fun day. I attended the first annual Colorado Women's Expo. I went with two friends who make any outing a fun one. Here's just a few things that made my day.

! Hearing Suze Orman speak. She is quite the speaker and it was great hearing her talk to women about money and taking charge of our lives financially. Very inspirational.

! Meeting a blogging friend. I had the privilege of meeting Amber of Crazy Bloggin' Canuck and Mile High Mamas. It wasn't exactly planned but I knew she was going to have a booth representing the Mile High Mamas site. So I made a point of finding it and there she was. It was so fun. The only bummer was that I had my friends take a picture of us two and it didn't turn out. Sorry Amber, and thanks for the short chit chat. It was a pleasure meeting you.

! Visited a booth showcasing some special chocolate that is actually healthy for you. Psssh, you say. It's true... at least that's what they say. It all has to do with the way it's processed - cold vs. heat - and a bunch of technical stuff I didn't understand. My friend is going to host a party to introduce this chocolate to anyone interested. I'm interested - and I'll be there, Bev.

! Had my wedding bands cleaned and boy, are they now shiny. I was amazed.

! Spent 10 minutes sitting against a vibrating pillow. Why? Because it felt soooo good =)

! Had my hands rubbed with some aloe lotion that cures everything from dry skin to scars to arthritis and warts. Huh?

! Met a world class photographer and spending over a half hour hearing about his world travels while drooling over his photos (oooohh, if only I were rich).

! Buying a special clip to attach to my cell phone so I can clip it to, well.... anything I want to! Seriously, I want to see how well it works clipped to my belt loop, or outside of my purse, or even my dashboard. I'll keep you updated.

! Had my our picture taken with three very cute firemen, who were collecting for charity. You see, it was all for a good cause =D

! Spending the day in the company of two wild and crazy ladies, and the conversations and laughter shared.

link of the day:

Friday, April 25, 2008

let's eat

Kailani hosts Aloha Friday each Friday. I encourage you to visit all the participants and answer their questions. It's fun and you may make a new blogging friend. My question this week is actually one that was asked of me during my blogging anniversary question extravaganza (by Short Stop). I thought it was a good one to ask.

What is your favorite restaurant?
And what do you usually order?

My answer was Red Lobster with popcorn shrimp being my favorite. But since I get to answer the question again, I'm going to give my close second. That would be Jim 'n Nick's BBQ and I almost always order their Pig in the Garden Salad. It's a salad - one of the best, most flavorful salads I've ever had - that comes with a choice of meat. I get beef brisket on the side. All meals come with these scrumptious cheddar-corn muffins. And then I usually top it off with a piece of their lemon icebox pie. I eat half and and take the other half home for a treat later.

Now I've made myself hungry and it's too late at night to eat =(

link of the day:

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Let's wrap these questions up...

Susan asked: What is the single greatest thing you learned to date about life? Can you guess why I left this one for the end? What a tough question. Everything I think of sounds so cliche'. But I guess my answer would have to be that it's a gift from God and we need to put our heart into all we do. For me, that means being passionate, do things to the best of my ability, be compassionate to others, learn life's lessons, and share God's love.

And I would add: Life is not a destination, it's a journey. (okay, cliche'-ish, but something I firmly believe in.)

Jamey asked: What made you decide to stop going to church and then to go back? I'm going to give the short, and somewhat vague, version. I stopped going to church because of certain situations that happened when I was a teenager. I saw the church as a bunch of hypocrites and didn't want to have anything to do with it at that point.

But when Danielle was born, I realized that my Christian upbringing was a good thing and it's what I wanted for my family. Don and I were invited to church by a friend and decided to give it a try. Don was raised Catholic but hadn't gone to church since he was a child. We both felt like God was calling to us and gave our hearts and lives to Him. It was different for me as an adult. I then knew what it meant to have a relationship with Him. I did not have that as a teenager.

Carrie asked: What is one thing you look forward to most about heaven besides seeing Jesus face to face? No more pain or suffering. Also, that it won't matter how heavy I am - no one will care!

Thank you everyone for your questions and helping me celebrate my one year blogging anniversary. I had a great time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

photoshopped wonders

I am sure these photos have been photoshopped but I still think they're cool. There are some very imaginative and talented people out there.

I was actually sent these through an email. Each photo has the web site stamped in the corner so I went and checked it out. If you enjoy photography, it's a site worth visiting. They have a section for photoshop - photos, contests, and tutorials, and another for straight photography. I'm including the site as my link of the day.

link of the day:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

i love my life

Ten on Tuesday
What I love about my life

1. I love having a relationship with an awesome God who loves me, cares about me, and has blessed me with the life I do have.

2. I love my family and family life. It's not perfect and there are problems to deal with along the way, but I feel like I have a good relationship with my husband and two children. They fill my life with joy.

3. I love being a stay at home mom. I think there's been great benefit in being home while raising my kids. It's also given me the opportunity to do volunteer work and develop and nurture relationships with others.

4. I love the people I have met along my journey. People who have helped me understand God, myself, and others better. People who have ministered to me and the opportunities I've had to minister to others.

5. I love my extended family and the way I was raised. I may not have been able to say that 10 years ago, but I can today. Again, we were a long way from being perfect, but I believe my parents, grandparents, siblings, the way I was raised, and my experiences - both good and bad -has shaped me to be who I am today. The love of a family is a true gift from God.

6. I love having Don's family as part of my life. I couldn't ask for better in-laws.

7. I love having good health. Yes, I have diabetes, but it's manageable and hasn't affected me greatly, except to get me into a healthier lifestyle. There are so many who are less fortunate when it comes to their health, and I am thankful for being able to live without any major issues.

8. I love where I live - America, home of the free and the beautiful state of Colorado. I can't really imagine what it would be like to live somewhere where there aren't the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. And I'm thankful for where my home is. I love the weather (most of the time) and the four seasons. I love the open land and the wildlife. I love the slower pace of life (compared to California) and the fact that we were able to afford a home and lifestyle that we might not be able to do the same some where else.

9. I love the gifts, abilities, and skills that God has blessed me with. For the past [nearly] 10 years, I've been able to minister to teenagers. I've had a passion about something and given the opportunity to live out that passion. I want the rest of my life to look like that.

10. I love that my life will look a little different next Fall after my youngest goes off to college. I'm appreciative of and have loved the last 20 years of having my kids live under my roof, but now it's time for the next phase of my life. I look forward to that.

link of the day:

Monday, April 21, 2008

impact the world

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'" Matthew 25:34-40 The Message

Yesterday, a small group of teenagers decided not to go to church. Instead, they were the church. And I'm sure Jesus was smiling down on them.

Don and I took part of our youth group to downtown Denver to pass out coffee, donuts, oranges, and orange juice to the homeless. Most of them were middle school age and had never experienced seeing or serving the homeless. Their eyes were opened wide but their hearts were opened even wider.

At first, they were timid and even scared. But it only took them walking up to one or two people before they found themselves feeling comfortable and enjoying the act of giving. They engaged in conversation, making all those they came in contact with feel cared for, if only for a short time. They made people smile and heard the endless thank yous. Our group's purpose statement is Love God ~ Love Others ~ Impact the World. They knew what they were doing was having an impact.

After we were done, we sat in the park, among the homeless, and talked about our experiences. We also read the above scripture, which makes it clear that Jesus is telling us that how we treat those that are less fortunate than ourselves is important to Him; that when we treat them with love, we are also loving Him.

Visit Heather @ Not A DIY Life for more MORE OF HIM MONDAY.

link of the day:

Friday, April 18, 2008

it's your turn to answer

Kailani hosts Aloha Friday and you can check out all the participants there. I've been answering a lot of questions lately (as part of my blogaversary) and now it's your turn to answer one of mine.

What one state (of the United States) have you never been to but would like to visit? and Is there a particular part of that state you would want to see?

Unfortunately, I've been to, or through, a lot of states when I was young. I don't really remember a lot of them, but my question was, "a state you've never been to," so I will come up with one that I truly have never stepped foot in.

My choice would be the state of Washington. And I'd like to see the coastal area, like around Seattle. I know they get a lot of rain and their are a lot of lush green areas. Yep, that's what I'd like to see. And while I was there, I would visit an online friend - maybe meeting her at one of the original Starbucks.

link of the day:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

more on blogging

almost done....

Melissa asked: Did you create your profile layout? Yes, I did. I know just enough about HTML and graphic design to get myself in trouble. What I know is self taught and comes after a lot of playing around with code and a lot of trial and error. I wish I knew more and could do it more efficiently.

It's probably a good thing I know some since I get tired of a layout after a certain period of time. I feel like I need to change it. I've thought about paying someone to make me a really cool layout, but I figure I wouldn't keep it long enough to make it worth it. And I've had a few people ask where I get the graphics I use in my banners. I have purchased them [pretty cheaply] through I'm also a sucker for fonts.

Deb asked: Why did you choose the avatar of the girl blowing bubbles? When I started blogging, I wasn't sure I wanted a picture of myself on my profile. I had this avatar saved on my computer and always loved it. It's fun, whimsical, animated, and somehow represents a childlike quality of not taking life too seriously.

After I started commenting blogger's posts, I realized that it stands out among a sea of avatars displaying women's faces. I saw this as a good thing; that bloggers would remember that avatar and maybe be curious enough to visit my blog.

Karen asked: What types of blogs do you enjoy reading the most? I have thought about this question quite a bit since I first read it. What attracts me to certain blogs? Is it the content? or the blogger? or both? or something else?

I think it is mainly a combination of the content and the writer. I enjoy humor, so anything written with wit and can make me at least smile, if not outright laugh, will have me coming back again and again. I also enjoy reading about people's lives on a deeper level. I enjoy knowing that someone is being real and showing vulnerability. Maybe it's because I can then relate to them.

I appreciate good writing, so that's always a plus. I also like variety. I enjoy reading blogs that can talk about their kids one day, a personal struggle the next, and their upcoming vacation after that. And this may sound superficial, but the actual "look" of the blog affects whether I want to read it or not. I don't like pages that look too crowded, or have too many ads, or doesn't flow well. There's just too many distractions for my personal preference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

you know what these mean...

it's getting warmer around here!


visit the Wordless Wednesday HQ here

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

a good read

getting close to the end...

ABookworm asked me these three questions:
Name an author (or authors) you wish would stop writing?
Name an author (or authors) you wish would never stop writing?
and Why do you read?

I read because I enjoy it. I enjoy immersing myself into a good book, where the characters become real and it feels like you're part of the story. Books open up worlds that I wouldn't normally experience. And I also find that I learn new things through books, and I enjoy learning. It may be trivial, but even a simple novel can teach me something.

I love this quote about books and it explains how I feel when I read.

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy. ~Edward P. Morgan

I can't really think of an answer for that first question. There's been books I haven't enjoyed but I just don't read that author again.

There is one author that I wished had never stopped writing. That would be LaVyrle Spencer. She wrote romance novels and I read every one of them back when my kids were babies. Most of them were period pieces that took place in the old west. I enjoyed [most of] them tremendously.

Some of my other favorite authors is Max Lucado, Jodi Picoult, Dan Brown, Sue Monk Kidd, John Grisham, and Nora Roberts. Although I don't really read romance novels any more so it's been a while since I've read Nora Roberts.

While I'm on the subject of books and reading, I'll just mention that it's taking me forever to get through my current read. It's been over a month since I started Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes. The problem is that the subject matter is affecting me deeply.

It's about a school shooting similar to the Columbine tragedy. That's exactly why I wanted to read it. But it goes into detail of how the boy was bullied and the psychological reasons he felt like he needed and wanted to strike back. There have been times when I've read only a few pages and felt like crying as my heart breaks for any kid who endures such hardships - even fictional kids in a book. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it soon as I know what my next book will be... Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

Monday, April 14, 2008

which brings me to...

Heather asked: What inspired you to get into Youth Ministry? There are several things that happened that I attribute to my start in youth ministry. What probably had the biggest influence was Columbine. I was like every other person in the state watching this tragedy unfold. It touched us all. But for me, it also started me wondering and stirred things within my heart.

Most people felt like the boys who carried out such carnage were demons and they and their parents didn't deserve any compassion or understanding. But I couldn't help but wonder what made these boys do such a thing and my heart broke for who they had become.

This was the beginning of the stirrings of my heart for the plight of young people. It continued when my daughter entered 6th grade, a few months later, and I was thrown into a whole different world - so different from elementary school. This world included mean girls and kids doing just about anything to "fit in." I started reading and observing in an effort to understand.

Midway through Danielle's 6th grade year, she decided she didn't want to be a part of the youth group any more. With some problems at school, I wanted her to have a place outside of that world that was a positive and encouraging experience for her. But that wasn't happening. About that time, the Youth Pastor asked for volunteers. I thought this would be a good way to get Danielle to go and to see first hand what was "wrong" with the group and have a chance to change it.

The rest, as they say, is history. I could go on with the story but I think this answers the question. I will say that my perception of teens changed a lot once I got to know them and my understanding of their world grew. I thought I was going to go in to this group and change things appropriately. Well, I didn't change them, they changed me. They opened my eyes as God opened my heart.

which brings me to the next question...

Sharon asked: What are you most passionate about? What is the one thing that you could sit up all night and talk about? That would have to be TEENAGERS! I could sit up all night and talk with teenagers or I could sit and talk about teenagers. Either one would make me happy.

I enjoy talking one on one or in a small group of teens. I enjoy hearing their stories and getting to know them as a person. I enjoy sharing their laughter and their tears.

Their world is so different than what most adults think it is. I could go on and on trying to explain what that world looks like, why they do the things they do, the challenges and stress they constantly endure, and how much they just need love and understanding.

My passion is personally loving them, showing them how much Christ loves them, and encouraging others to love them.

which brings me to the next question...

Ma Kettle (Jen) asked: If you had the world stage with this blog for one post, what would you write about? That would have to be LOVE! I don't know if I could get it all in one post because there's so many aspects that I would want to cover.

I would start with God's love for us. How all encompassing and unconditional it is and even though we don't deserve it, He pours it out to us from a limitless supply. I would then have to say something about how His love can flow through us onto others. My love for teenagers is ALL Him. I would not be able to love them without Him filling my heart first with love for them.

But it's not just teenagers. It's anyone and everyone. God's greatest command is to love Him and his second is to love others. So I would probably include something to the effect of how different the world would be if we all practiced such love.

Friday, April 11, 2008

can you believe it!?

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Q&A session for something... well, just different. I needed a break. You probably did, too =)

Since I couldn't watch Survivor tonight because I'm not caught up on back episodes, I turned on American Idol. I heard some buzz today about the show last night. It was Idol Gives Back, where they have different performances that can be downloaded and the proceeds go to charity. It's a nice thing they do. Tonight was a little bit of a continuation of that.

Evidently they closed the show last night, and performed it again tonight, with a song that shocked and thrilled me... and gave me goosebumps. It was the Christian praise song, Shout To The Lord. I couldn't believe it! They did a great job, even though they edited out the name of Jesus. It made me wonder if all these contestants were Christian. What if they weren't? How did they feel about singing such a song?

I've included a video I found at YouTube as well as a link in case the video doesn't work. When I found the video, I started reading some of the comments left - most of them positive. Then I noticed there were nearly 1200 comments, so I stopped reading. As you would think, some people weren't happy with the choice of song. Some thought American Idol and/or Fox would take some serious heat for their decision of performing this song. But most of the ones I read were very pleased with the choice and performance.


And check out my link of the day. It's a news story of an elderly lady ministering to a man who was trying to rob her. Amazing!

link of the day:
(thanks Deb)

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Are you getting sick of me answering questions yet? Sorry. I told everyone that I would answer their question and that's what I intend to do. I'm trying to get through them as quickly as I can.

Ginger asked: Have you always lived in Colorado and if you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? and another one of Carrie's questions was: Do you like living in Colorado or is there somewhere else you yearn to live instead? I'll answer these together. I have not always lived in Colorado. I moved here in 1990, 7 1/2 months pregnant with Jake and Danielle had just turned 2. We moved here after living in California, where Don had lived his whole life. I, on the other hand, had been raised in a military family and moved a lot during my childhood - about 17 times before I graduated high school.

I do like living in Colorado. It's a beautiful state and I really enjoy the mountains. The weather isn't as bad as most people might think. I enjoy having four seasons (you don't get that in California) and it's sunny more days than most other places. I think I've already mentioned that I'm a sun person. It's definitely has a slower pace of life and is more family oriented than California is/was. We actually decided to move away from California after Danielle was born because we didn't want to raise a family in southern California. Colorado ended up being the perfect choice.

I have not traveled outside of the United States, but I don't think I would want to live any where but the United States. There is no place that I yearn to live. I do miss the beach and the milder weather in California. Now that our kids are grown and pretty well out of the house, I could go back to California.

The only other place I can think of that I might want to try is Hawaii. We've vacationed there several times and I love the tropical breezes and the thought of living in paradise, but I also know that there's a big difference between living somewhere and vacationing there.

Mary asked: What is the one piece of advice you would give regarding parenting? I just answered this question yesterday (not realizing that you asked it, too). I can't think of anything I would add to it today.

Mary also asked: Has blogging taught you anything? I can't really think of anything specific but it has confirmed what I've already believed about people. I see the blogging world as a mere reflection of the real world. Everyone has a story and that there are really kind and considerate people out there. What has surprised me is the close bonds that are formed and nurtured here in the blogging world and the real feeling of community.

Bunny B also asked: On birthdays, you make a wish. Therefore, on your blog's birthday, what do you wish for? My present wish would be that Don either find another job or that the conditions at his current job would change. I just want him to be happy again in what he does, instead of being miserable and stressed out.

And Jules asked: (referring to the picture I posted of Danielle being licked by our puppy, Brody) When was the picture taken? What happened afterwards? The picture was taken while Danielle was home on Spring break. She loves and misses our dog and you would find her most of the time down on the floor playing with him. And he loves anyone that will get down on the floor with him. But you do so at your own risk. I don't remember exactly what happened afterwards.

I may take tomorrow off from answering questions. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

some mighty questions

You may be wondering why Mighty Mom got away with asking four questions. Well, the only reason she did is because I ask her so many questions and she's always so nice to answer all of them. Here are Mighty Mom's questions:

What is the silliest situation you've encountered as a youth pastor? There are so many to pick from. Let me just say that a week long camp with Jr. High students is a breeding ground for pranks, mischief, and good 'ole fashion fun. But if I have to pick just one, it would be the "crud" war - a food fight with flour, shaving cream, and water balloons... all done in the snow!

What do you feel is your greatest legacy handed down from the women in your family, through you to your daughter, and onward? You mean besides shopping! =) I think what has been modeled for me is strong, spiritual women who feel confident enough to accomplish anything they desire.

My grandmother (along with my grandfather) was an independent insurance agent who worked out of their own office. I remember visiting that office as a little girl and recognizing at that time how strong and independent my grandmother was. While most of my friend's grandmothers stayed at home, mine had her own office, was a licensed agent, and went on business trips. She also was in charge of her church's library. It was a huge church and I was always so impressed that it was my grandma who ran it all.

Then there's my mom. There's not enough time and space to write how much of an impact she has had on me and my life. Even though she was a stay at home for part of my childhood, I mostly remember her as a working gal. She had some pretty high powered positions. She also had some really tough times but always pulled herself up out of whatever had her down. That always left an impression.

After she remarried, she went back to school and then seminary where she received her degree and was ordained as a minister. She has been a chaplain, a preacher, a teacher, a speaker, and a piano player for different churches. She has held several high positions within her denomination and worked within different para-church organizations. She is very spiritual and amazes me with her love for Christ that is both deep and wide.

Ever since I came back to the church (which was when Danielle was born), I have been involved in some kind of ministry. I feel God used me most when I was ministering to people. I did so in Children's, Women's, Stephen's, and then Youth Ministry. Besides having several different jobs, I also worked for myself doing desktop publishing for clients.

This is what I want to pass on to Danielle, and beyond. I want her to know that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. And I want her to know and love God in such a way that it impacts who she is and how she lives her life. I want her to find a way to serve Him that will bring her joy. And guess what? I already see this starting to happen. It makes me happy and proud.

What's the biggest mistake you've made as a mother and what advice would you give to help me avoid making the same mistake? Whew! What a loaded question. I've made many, many mistakes. There's many things I would do differently now that I can look back with a different perspective. But I can't go back, and I'm okay with that. I did the best I could and I think most moms do the same.

I think my number one piece of advice for any mom (or parent) is to keep the lines of communication open. Try to understand what your kid is feeling or what's going on with them. Do this by talking to them and asking them questions. Let them know how you feel about things and why, as a parent, you have to make the decisions you do. Be strong in your values and discipline, but support them, respect them, encourage them, and love them unconditionally. Make family life fun and as stress-free as possible, because the rest of their life will be full of stress and hardships.

What's the best way to get the teens who sit in the last pew to stop horsing around during the service and being distracting? I know you gave me some details regarding this situation but without knowing these kids are what your church service looks like, it's hard to answer this with a simple answer.

First, let me say I know how frustrating it must be to have to endure this kind of behavior during a service. But I have to agree with the sentiment, "at least they're here." I think it's important for teenagers to see and experience church services. There has to be some kind of assimilation from children's church into adult church. You can't expect them to know how to handle themselves or understand the meaning of the different aspects of a service if they aren't a part of it.

The problem is that they find it boring, they probably don't want to be there, and they're sitting with their friends - who all feel the same way. My first suggestion would be for the leaders to find some way to include them in the service. Give them a responsibility of some kind. Even the smallest act of serving can make them feel important and also help them understand the bigger picture.

Has anyone spoke to them, in a way that doesn't sound like scolding, explaining how their disruptive behavior affects those who are trying to worship, or pray, or listening to the sermon? Explain why that even though it might not be important to them (the teens), it is to the others in the room.

I also thought about the fact that the minister is also the youth leader. Maybe he/she could give some kind of incentive for the kids to listen and act appropriately. Like give a prize each week to the kid who can answer selected questions about the sermon, or to the kid who took notes, or something along those lines.

Sorry I don't have just the right answer that will automatically take care of the situation. Keep me updated on how it goes. Remember that they need God just as much as you do. And try to remember what it was like when you were a teenager.

Thank you to anyone who has read to the bottom of this post. Sorry it was so long. Blame Mighty Mom, her questions, and the fact that she had to have four ;D

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

mostly favorites

more questions... more answers

Momma Roar asked: What is your favorite music to listen to? I enjoy listening to contemporary christian artists such as Barlow Girl, Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Toby Mac and Switchfoot (favorite). I also like classic rock - the stuff I grew up with, like Supertramp (favorite), Billy Joel, The Eagles, and Bruce Springsteen. And then there's always easy listening like Barbra Streisand (favorite), Celine Dion, Josh Groban, and Michael Buble.

Lori B. asked: What are some of your favorite hobbies? Scrapbooking, photography, reading, movie going, and computer games. Oh, and blogging!

Bunny B asked: What's your fave all-time movie and why? Oooh, this is a hard one. I love movies and to narrow them down to just one all-time favorite is nearly impossible. But I guess I would have to say, Moulin Rouge.

One of the criteria I have for an all-time favorite is that it is a movie that I could watch over and over again and Moulin Rouge definitely meets this qualification. I love the music in it. I love the story line. I love watching Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman (but mainly Ewan :]). It makes me laugh and it makes me cry, all while singing along to the songs.

Short Stop asked: What is your favorite restaurant and what do you order? Another hard one. Why didn't you ask me my top three? Okay, if I can only pick one, it would have to be Red Lobster. I usually order the popcorn shrimp, with a baked potato, caesar salad, and the world famous cheddar biscuits. It's comfort food.

Nancy asked: What's your favorite childhood memory? I had to think a while on this one but, without a doubt, it was visiting my grandparents. My brother, sister, and I would frequently go spend the day or a day and night with both sets of grandparents. Each time was a treat, kinda like a mini vacation.

I remember swimming in pools, homemade ice cream, watching game shows, riding bikes around a mobile home park, playing with paper dolls, 1-2-3 jello, cinnamon toast that no one else could duplicate, card games, playing the organ, and so much more. These are my favorite childhood memories.

Carrie asked: What kind of messes do you like to clean up least? Whether it's human, cat, or dog - vomit! *gag*

will continue tomorrow

Monday, April 7, 2008

blogging answers

Thank you to everyone for your questions and helping me celebrate my one year blogging anniversary. It will take me a few posts to answer all the questions, but I will do my best to get through them this week.

There were 23 of you who asked at least one question. I am disqualifying one - my brother (sorry, bro!), therefore 22 names went into the hat. And the name drawn was Amber @ Crazy Bloggin' Canuck. Congratulations Amber. I will email you today and get your prize out to you this week. And I will start with your question.

How did you choose your blog's name? My very first post explains my love for the sun and how I've always equated the sun with God. It also answers this question in more detail than I'm giving here. Shorter answer; from the first time I heard the John Denver song, Sunshine on my Shoulders, I felt a connection with the words. In a way, I took on this song as my personal anthem. So when I started this blog, it seemed like a natural name for it. Added note; I want this song played at my funeral.

Just Mom asked: Why do you blog? I've always said that I blog for two reasons. One, to allow myself a place and opportunity to voice all the thoughts that ramble around in my head and to record interesting things I come across. Two, by doing the first, I'm hoping that the generations that follow me will be able to read my words (I plan to publish it on a yearly basis) and know who I was and what life was like for our family.

Those are the main reasons. But I have come to enjoy the friendships I've made and therefore have found another reason to blog and comment others, and that is to grow and nurture those friendships, as well as make new friends.

Heidi Jo asked: Do you ever question whether or not blogging is a 'good' thing? Yes, I do. I can see where one can get addicted to it and I don't think addiction to anything is good. As in everything, balance is key.

I think for moms with young kids it can be a double edged sword. I think it's a great thing because they can record their everyday life for future reference and enjoyment. How I wish I had the opportunity to blog when my kids were young. I would have taken more of those random shots and included them with a short bit of how my kid flushed a toy down the toilet or drew a pretty picture on the wall. Last July I wrote a post that explains exactly how I feel on this topic.

I would encourage any mother to have a blog for this reason. But if a mom doesn't set limits, she could spend too much time on the computer and then the kids, family, and home suffers. Obviously, that's not good. I've admired moms who have openly said that the blogging was taking over and they needed to pull back.

I also think blogging is a good thing because it give readers the opportunity to learn about, and from, fellow bloggers. The more we understand or can see things from a different perspective, the more compassionate and understanding we are of people in general. How can that be anything but a good thing.

more answers to come....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

prop up our leanin' side

Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old man who always prayed, 'Lord, prop us up on every leanin' side.' After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.

He answered, 'Well sir, you see, it's like this...I got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time, it's withstood a lot of weather, it's gone through a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years. It's still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit. So I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn't fall.

Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. I've been around a long time. I've withstood a lot of life's storms. I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standing too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning, at times.

Sometime we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness, leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't. So we need to pray, 'Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again, to glorify the Lord.

If you stare at this barn for a second you will see who will help us stand straight and tall again.

source unknown


I will be drawing a winner today and post the results tomorrow - along with some answers to all those great questions. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

one year

blogging anniversary to me!

If you haven't already asked me a question and therefor qualifying yourself for a grand give away, please do so now. I'd actually take questions into tomorrow since I'm not doing anything else with this post and won't randomly draw the winner until tomorrow.

Read this post for more information on the give away.

Friday, April 4, 2008

a costly mistake

Don and I may have made a mistake. Well, really, I could blame this all on Don, but I won't. Even though he made the original suggestion, I was on board with the decision.

I mentioned last week that we went down to help Danielle move into her new house. She and her roommates had just about everything they needed for the house with a few exceptions. One of those being a TV set. So Don offered them ours - the one on our main level and the one that gets watched the most. His thinking was that we'll get ourselves a new one.

Well, has anyone purchased a TV lately? We hadn't. We had no idea how much TVs have changed; the technological advances and how expensive they are. We spent many nights going to different stores and checking out the different selections. It was mind boggling. Plasma vs. LCD. 720 vs. 1080. Top brand vs. cheapo brand. To be honest, it was all greek to me. Don was the one that had to make the decision.

And he did. Last night he brought home a new LCD 1080 cheapo (but nice) brand. It's bigger than our old one, which is nice, and we'll have HD hooked up to it as soon as I call the cable company. And Danielle gets a new-to-her TV set for her new home. All is well... until we get our credit card bill next month.


Just a reminder...

Tomorrow is my one year blogaversery and I'm having a give away to celebrate it. All you need to do to qualify for the random drawing is to leave me a question (up to 3). You can do that in a comment or email me. But do so before 9:00 PM tomorrow night. You can read more of the details here.

One more thing...

For some reason, the video on my post yesterday didn't show up for everybody. If you weren't able to see it, I've included the link to it on my link of the day.

link of the day:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

sound familiar?

Someone sent this to me and I thought it was worthy of sharing.

And if you didn't read yesterday's post, please scroll down and do so. It gives you the details of my blogaversary - or bloggoversary, or blog-a-versery, or however you want to say it - GIVE AWAY.

Ask me a question, or two or three, and leave it for me in a comment or email, but do so by 9:00 central time on Saturday because that's my deadline. And it's firm... you snooze, you lose. okay, I'm kidding. If you're a minute or two late, I'll still take your entry to the wonderful give away =)

The prize? I told you, scroll down to yesterday's post to get all the details. Thank you.

link of the day:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

what is your question?

Check out more Wordless Wednesday here.

->And scroll down for a great give away<-

Guess what this upcoming Saturday is? It's my blogaversary. I started this particular blog one year ago, on April 5, 2007. So I'm thinking I need to do something to celebrate the occasion. Don't you think?

So, I'm going to have a give away. But you have to do something to earn the opportunity to win this prize. You have to ask me a question (minimum of 1, maximum of 3). Ask me anything you wish and I will answer them all here. You can leave your question(s) in the comment section or email me. You have between today and Saturday to do this.

Oh, the prize, you ask! Part of it will be a $20 gift card to your choice of either Target or Amazon. This will be added to a few other little goodies. I will put all participant's names in a hat and draw one at random and announce the winner on Sunday.

I look forward to all of your questions but this is really my way of saying thank you to all of you who stop by, read, and leave comments. I have enjoyed getting to know you and appreciate your ongoing kindness. And after 311 posts, I look forward to the next year of posts, comments, and even more blogging friendships.

link of the day:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

happy birthday dani

My dearest Danielle,

I can not believe 20 years have passed since you made your entrance into this world, and our lives. Where has the time gone? I wish I could remember each and every moment. I wish I could go back and relive most of the moments, just to enjoy you at every stage again.

To buy you those cute clothes that you and I keep noticing in the little girls department at Target. To watch you dance in your blue tutu. To read a book to you before you fell asleep. To cheer for you as you dribbled the soccer ball down the field. To get down on the floor with you to color, or play Barbie dolls, or build a fort. To hear you talk about a certain boy, or your camp experience, or your favorite movie. To help you with science projects, or teach you to drive, or wish you good luck as you walked out the door on your way to your first job.

Not every moment was a happy one. There were struggles, challenges, anger, and pain. But such times are a valuable part of life. They taught us both how to cope and they made us stronger. You taught me how to be a better mom and youth leader and I'm hoping you learned that you have an inner strength that can handle anything that comes your way.

Whether they were good times or bad, I consider each and every moment with you as a gift. You have been a blessing to your dad and I. And we have had the pleasure of watching you grow into an amazing young woman.

You are beautiful both inside and out and your heart overflows with compassion and mercy. It's been so heartwarming to watch your relationship with God grow as well as a passion for reaching out to others. And it's always fun watching you use your gifts and abilities working with children.

Thank you for 20 wonderful years. I wish for you a day full of laughter and love. Happy Birthday Danielle. I love you so much.

You can see it in their eyes,
in tender hugs and long good-byes,
a love only mothers and daughters know.

You can see it in their smiles,
through passing years and changing styles,
a friendship that continually seems to grow.

You can see it in their lives,
the joy each one of them derives,
in just knowing that the other one is there...

To care and to understand,
lend an ear or hold a hand,
and to celebrate the memories they share.