Friday, March 30, 2007

Sinning with a high hand

I'm once again linking to the words of the wise man I am blessed to call husband.
Here's a glimpse:

"But consider the sin that is not ignorant. (This is what most of us consider to be sin.) It is a sin with a high hand, that is, it assaults God's authority. This is sin for sin's sake. This is when you want something so badly you dare God to do His worst. It rarely sounds so bold as you prepare to do it. No, it hisses in your ear, "You will not surely die." You know that no good judge would ever find you guilty in his court of law and say, "Aw, it's not that big of a deal." Because it is that big of a deal. But you will deceive yourself into believing God is so unconcerned with your righteousness. You're too important to be bothered with righteousness..."

Read the rest here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The result of intelligence

"I'm smart," Anna Kate informed me a couple of days ago. "I'm so smart that I'm going to turn four!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray for Brian's mom Earlean (otherwise known as Gran). She had a heart catheterization done today and one artery was diseased and almost completely blocked and the lining of the artery closed and blood flow ceased for a few minutes during the procedure. She is fine now having had four stents put in, but they are keeping her for observation and a clear bloodwork report. Pray that she continues to do well and that the bloodwork will show that there was no serious damage caused by the stopped bloodflow.


I look around and see laundry piled up and toys scattered around. Inadequate.

I try to fit errands and homeschooling and naps into the same day and still try to make supper before it's bedtime. Inadequate.

I seek to satisfy all four people who want something from me at the same time. Inadequate.

I search for words of wisdom for a friend in crisis, but I haven't been drinking from the Source of wisdom. Inadequate.

I am so grateful that He is more than adequate. That He pours out His grace and mercy on my undeserving self and lets me see how inadequate I am.

How without Him I am nothing.

Happy First Birthday to Bibles Unbound!

Please go watch this short movie about Bibles Unbound (a ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs).

Robin's Secret

We have a secret, just we three.
The robin and I and the sweet cherry tree:
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because it built the, I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little, somethings, in it-
I am afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about,
Then the whole secret will be out.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Prayer Request

Many of you are familiar with the Maxwells from Their granddaughter Susanna was born early this morning not breathing, and they aren't sure if she will live.

Update: Susanna Joy went to be with Jesus on March 24. Please remember Nathan, Melanie, and their families in your prayers.

Happy First Day of Spring!

Find my ideas for celebrating here.

Interrogating the Legalist Within

Seth at Contend Earnestly shared this article by C. J. Mahaney. It's a very good read.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Survey says...

When I do these for my friends outside the blogisphere, it seems a shame not to pass them on. Especially considering the fact that I'm a lousy typist, so it just took me an hour. :^) Let me know if you do it.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30
2. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls, and Brian just brought me two strands a few days ago
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Amazing Grace
4. What is your favorite TV show? 24
5. What did you have for breakfast this morning? raisin and spice oatmeal and chocolate milk
6. What is your middle name? Marie
7. What is your favorite meal? breakfast. I love breads. And potatoes. pancakes, French toast, danishes, hash browns, English muffins, waffles, poptarts...
8. What foods do you dislike? Strawberry flavored stuff, but I love strawberries. Raw bananas, but they're fine in bread, cake, muffins,etc.
9. Favorite chips? Salt and Vinegar
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Valley of Vision - if I could find it...
11. What kind of car do you drive? Ford Winstar minivan
12 What is your favorite sandwich? a Rueben on pumpernickel
13. What characteristics do you despise? stupidity and complacency, especially in myself
14. What are your favorite clothes? beautiful dresses, girly clothes
15. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation where would you go?Tuscany, Salzburg, and Prague
16. Favorite brand of clothing? I'm not a brand girl.
17. Where would you want to retire? somewhere where I can be useful and hopefully close to grandkids and old friends
18. Favorite time of day? when it's just Brian and I
19. Where were you born? PA
20. What is your favorite sport to watch? I don't watch sports, but if I did, it would be football.
21. Who do you think will not send this back? Not going there. Remember, how I don't like stupidity?
22. Person you expect to send it back first? Terri
23. Pepsi or Coke? Vanilla Coke
24. Beavers or ducks? My gut reaction was to say ducks. I love to feed ducks. But if I could actually have the chance to watch beavers sometime, they might win. The real answer though is otters. I can watch them play indefinitely.
25. Are you a morning person or a night owl? night owl
26. Pedicure or manicure? I guess a pedicure, but I wouldn't pay for one.
27. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Brian was well three weekends in a row and on my birthday! (He's feeling awful today, but we think we know why.)
28. What did you want to be when you were little? a teacher, a missionary, or a concert pianist (the latter was mostly so that I could travel around Europe while wearing beautiful clothes)
29. What is your best childhood memory? riding bikes with Terri and Lisa, exploring the creek with Jen, Pap's Christmas trains, rambles to the fairy tree or Wonder Lane with the littles, Mama pulling me down the street in a sled, Daddy carrying me on his shoulders...Thank you, Jesus, this girl had a happy childhood.
30. Piercing? ears
31. Ever been to Africa? I wish
32. Ever been toilet papering? no
33. Been in a car accident? yes
34. Favorite day of the week? The days I spend with Brian
35. Favorite restaurant? Italian Market and Grill
36. Favorite Flower? roses, wisteria, lilacs, gardenia
37. Favorite ice cream? Hershey's black raspberry, Edy's mint chocolate chip
38. Favorite fast food restaurant? Hardees. Their burgers are unreal.
39. How many times did you fail your driver's test? none
40. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Leslie
41. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? The thought of maxing out my credit card horrifies me. I can't even think of a store where I'd want to spend that much money; I'd rather travel.
42. Bedtime? I try to get to bed before...2AM
43. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Everyone. These questions are so unique that I'm excited to learn more about all of my friends.
44. Last person you went to dinner with? Josh, Dara, Brian, and the kids if fast food counts. Mom, Dad, Brian and the kids if it doesn't.
45. What are you listening to right now? the hum of the CPU
46. What is your favorite color? the colors of the ocean, lilac
47. How many tattoos do you have? 0
48. Who are you sending this e-mail to? Friends and family
49. What time did you finish this e-mail? 11:30 pm
50. Favorite magazine? Family Fun

Monday, March 19, 2007

Yes, it's my birthday!

I'll be 31 at 10:59 PM. I am a Friday's child. The daughter of a sweet Daddy and fun-loving mother. The oldest of seven children. Destined to be married to Brian, my first and only true love. And now mother of three children that make sure that I feel my age. :^) And I am blessed with so many sweet friends like you.

SWACDA Collegiate Choir Worthy is the Lamb Amen Chorus

This is the music I've been enjoying on my birthday. I wanted to share it with you.

Celebrate the first day of spring!

Spring stickers at Family Fun.

Spring-themed math worksheets at Kidzone.

Spring Bingo at

Spring coloring pages at my new favorite place - I couldn't choose just one!

Paper Chick Refrigerator Magnet craft at

Writing prompts "Spring is..." shapebook from abcteach.

15 page pdf of Spring Ideas and Patterns from abcschoolhouse. I especially like the phonics activity on page 6 and the booklist on page 15.

Winged Wonders butterfly craft at Family Fun too.

Egg shell flowerpots from Martha Stewart Living.

Max & Ruby, Dora, or Diego pinwheels from Nick Jr.

Ministry Fair

Okay, I'm back. I was working on organizing our church's ministry fair and it took up most of my time. That along with Anna getting a virus on Friday night and Rosie getting it today has made for quite a busy week where quick posts were the order of the day. I'll try to get to some of the more serious content I've been mulling over soon.

The ministry fair is a day for church ministries to recruit volunteers. This year we had over 30 ministries participate ranging from hospital visitation, to Good News Club at the local public school, to Sparrows of Promise, a ministry working with recent graduates from a Christian addiction recovery program, to church security. It was a lot of fun! I'm hoping to be able to get more involved in missions at our church by creating more awareness of each missionary and ways of communicating with them. The internet and its accompanying communication services has really made communicating with many missionaries a breeze. I'm also planning to do a bit of work with a ministry that lends Christian videos and CDs to daycare centers. Planting seeds of truth in young hearts sounds like a good idea to me!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Banana Muffins

Well, I'm finally using up the last if all of those bananas Brian brought home. I have a good banana bread recipe, but wanted something quicker, and I'd already made the peanut butter banana chip muffins, so I searched for banana blueberry muffins and found these gems.- Dave's Banana Blueberry Muffins. Best banana muffins ever! To make them gluten free, I just used gluten free flour and added 3/4 tsp. of xanthan gum.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brian's new project

For those of you who don't know him, Brian is a graphic artist by trade, and he has a degree in creative writing and interpretative speech. We took a journey into the world of comic books a couple of years ago which didn't play all of the way out, but was a good learning experience. Brian's always working on some story or another. His new project is really cool though. If you haven't read his blog lately (or ever), let me take you on a field trip.

It starts with this logo.

Then a cover.

Then with the first page, you really start to get the idea.

Finally this post reveals that the story is "my humble attempt to adapt "The Sum of Saving Knowledge" (one of the additional documents in the Westminster Confession of Faith from 1646) into a comic book story."

Then the second page.

Now he's trying to figure out the best way to illustrate "and doth most holily and infallibly execute all his decrees, without being partaker of the sin of any creature." He's asking for suggestions.

Check out Growing Vertical for more information and details.

Christians and their conferences

The ChristCon Con is another thought-provoking post from Dan at Cerulean Sanctum. Here's a tease, then go read the rest. It'll make you think. And that's good for you. Really.

"Some will object to this post. I simply ask this: Are our churches so weak that we can’t disciple anyone to any reasonable level of maturity, so we have to send everyone running off to a plethora of conferences to take up the slack? If so, we should instead be staying home and fixing our churches with prayer, fasting, and faces-in-the-dust repentance. But do we do this? No. We pack people off to conferences. And as we’ve seen, we have thousands of conferences and yet we have no revival."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Witnessing in the Bible belt

Sometimes it can be annoying to witness to people in this "buckle of the Bible belt." You know, I finally work up the nerve to actually say something, only to find out that they go to the community church down the road and are a believer. Brian's way of dealing with this is to ask them to pretend that he's been shot and to give him the gospel in less than three minutes. I've devised a new strategy. I came up with it at the lake on Wednesday. We were feeding the ducks puffed corn while the bell tower played love songs. As we started to run low, a lady with two young boys feeding swans and geese at a nearby picnic table offered us a loaf of bread. We were chatting as we fed them together. I was ready to offer her a penny engraved with the Ten Commandments when I noticed the church logo on her shirt. I asked about her church, then if she was a believer in Jesus Christ and was going to stop there after her enthusiastic affirmation, but then decided to give her the penny anyway. I told her how I was going to use it to help her evaluate her life so that, were she not a believer, she would see her need for a Savior. Her son was doing the potty dance during my quick explanation, but I felt much more satisfied about the encounter. I think that this method works three ways. First, without expressing doubt in her believable claim that she is already I believer, I have shared the gospel with her and left her with a reminder in case she needs it. Second, I have left her with a witnessing tool, and taught her how to use it. And finally, if she is a believer, I hope that I have encouraged her to share her faith with others. So now, instead of being a little annoyed to find myself witnessing to yet another believer, I'll be excited to hopefully ignite the fires of evangelism in the believers that I meet.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I know that many celiacs avoid oatmeal, but we experimented with eating, then not eating it, and since we found no adverse effects and the research is a bit indecisive, we eat it. I spent a good bit of time looking for homemade oatmeal and granola recipes. The homemade oatmeals usually fall flat with my family, though. They're too used to the sugar content of packaged oatmeal and never like my real fruit, low sugar alternatives. But this time I finally scored! Check out this easy recipe for Banana Bread Oatmeal at cooksrecipes.

My surprise

Ethan kept asking me when I was going to make my bed and take a shower yesterday morning , because there was a surprise waiting for me in my room. Since he and the girls had spent the morning drawing, I was fairly certain of what my "surprise" would be. But, I walked into my room to see this beautifully made bed! And this is not the way I usually make my bed; I put the quilt all of the way up and the shams on top. But he told me that he'd tried to make it that way, and it wasn't working, so he tried it his Gran's way. I thought that it was so sweet that he not only did it, but kept trying to find a way that looked nice.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fashion Meme

This is a meme from Emma at Charming the Birds from the Trees.
Any guys who may have shown up here can skip this.

A: What accessories do you wear everyday? I at least wear earrings every day, usually hoops or dangly ones. And my wedding and engagement rings, of course. Do they count as accessories?

B: What is your beauty routine? I'm not sure how routine it is, but at some point I manage to accomplish showering, styling my hair, dressing, and applying make-up. :^)

C: What was the last item of clothing (for yourself) that you purchased? I think it was at Christmas when I bought a long skirt and matching fitted jacket in black velvet and a long sleeve cream lace shirt that was fully lined except for the sleeves (at Walmart!-wonders never cease.)

D: Do you use a dresser, closet, or both? Both. A large dresser and half of a large closet, but I think I have more momentos and photographs in my closet than clothes.

E: What type of earrings are in your ears right now? Gold dangle earrings with gold and amber colored beads.

F: What type of figure do you have? I am short with a small bone structure and have too much leftover baby weight, so to the average person I'm probably an average size short person.

G: Do you wear glasses? Only for the shortest time possible until I can get my contacts in in the morning. The eye doctor actually said that contacts like mine should only be worn for 12 hours a day. Who's he kidding? I wear mine 16-20 hours and they're doing great!

H: What type of handbag do you carry? For the past several years I've been carrying oversized purses that can double as a diaper bag. My favorite is my pink denim bag. none of them have brand names.

I: What is your ideal style? Ideal? As in, I get to set the trends? I love Edwardian clothes, and pretty much all of the clothing styles from 1800-1915, and forties clothes, but they can keep the weird corsets and stuff. Realistically, I love long ankle length skirts that are A line, or floaty fabrics or twirly; and sleeveless sheath dresses and beautiful watercolor or floral fabrics, as well as boot cut jeans.

J: What jewelry are you wearing right now? The dangle earrings, and my wedding and engagement rings.

K: Do you wear knee-hi stockings? I hate nylons and avoid them as much as possible, so if I have to wear them, and knee-high nylons, or regular knee-highs can work, then I'm definitely wearing them.

L: Do you *have* to wear matching lingerie? I would in a perfect world, but in this one, I'm on a budget. :^)

M: Do you wear makeup? If yes, what products do you use? Foundation, blush or bronzer, lipstick, eye liner (usually), eye shadow, mascara, sometimes loose powder

N: Do you wear nightgowns? Brrr! Not if I can help it; flannel PJs are the best! I would in the summer if I had a pretty one that was modest enough to cook breakfast in.

O: What outerwear do you put on when going out on a typical winters day? Typical? Did I mention that I live in the South. Typical may lean in favor of none at all, but if it's cold, my khaki field coat or long wool knit sweater usually do the trick.

P: What is your favorite perfume? I've had lots of favorites in the past, including Tea Rose, but none of them are probably true perfumes. I tend toward fruity or citrusy or vanilla scents. White florals give me an instant headache.

Q: Is your motto "quality over quantity" when it comes to clothing and accessories? Not really. I've worn too many different sizes in the past few years.

R: Do you wear rain boots? No, but I do have duck shoes that I wear on muddy days in the garden.

S: Do you wear socks or slippers when your feet get cold? Either.

T: Do you have a set of travel luggage? Used to. I think most of the pieces are still around. We've got lots of luggage, but not much in the "sets" idea.

U: What is your daily uniform? In cold months, jeans and a nice sweater and in warmer months dresses if I'm not nursing, more capris and long cotton skirts with short sleeve knit tops if I am.

V: If you are married, did you wear a veil with your wedding dress? If not, how did you do your hair? I had a floor length veil attached to a rose wreath, but no face veil.

W: Do you wear a watch? Not since college.

X: What item of clothing always makes you feel eXtremely beautiful? My short fitted denim jacket, right now. And my lace shirt.

Y: What is your favorite type of yarn? The kind I get on sale.

Z: Do you prefer zippers or buttons? I like buttons best on blouses and jackets, because front zippers don't lay as smoothly, but zippers on skirts and dresses, because they do give a smoother look.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Don't forget to fill your feeders

According to the National Wildlife Federation, March is actually the hardest month for birds. Their food supply is very low and the new year's fresh supply of fruit and insects hasn't arrived yet. So don't forget to keep your feeders stocked.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Was that a cop-out?

Brian and his friend Ben have been teaching a Way of the Master evangelism class at church. If you're not familiar with it, they teach you to first help people recognize their sin by going to the law. The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. By going through the Ten Commandments (Have you ever stolen anything? What does that make you? Have you ever committed adultery? Jesus said that if you look with lust you've committed adultery. Have you ever looked with lust? What does that make you? Have you ever murdered anyone? Jesus said that if you hate someone, you've murdered them in your heart), and showing people how they have broken God's law, therefore being guilty, and therefore being condemned to death and hell, you are able to present the gospel and Christ's sacrifice for us as truly good news.

Ethan has been listening to and being taught much of this as well. One day he asked me, "Mom, what's adultery?" My reply? "That's something adults do." I think that might have been a lame answer. Well, Brian was out witnessing this weekend a couple of times. Ethan has started asking him this week, rather persistently, when he can go witnessing with him. Then he informed him, "but I won't ask them about adultery, Dad, because that's something adults do, and I'm just a kid!"

If you've never heard it, go listen to
Hell's Best Kept Secret from Way of the Master's audio lessons.

What should we pray for?

This was the question I asked my little ballerina after our Leading Little Ones to God readings on prayer. Her answer?! "We should ask God to tell Santa to bring me a big bird that can jump me straight up to heaven so that I can see Jesus." And what would you do then? "I would give him a big hug and he will give me a big hug back and kiss me." "Then we would live together." She says, " I like Jesus, that's why I want to live with Him. I don't want to die; I just want to go up to heaven right now so I can live with Him."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Chocolate trifle

I made one of our favorite gluten free chocolate cakes on Saturday so that Ethan would have cake at the party he attended. Unfortunately (I thought), I didn't have enough of one ingredient and the substitute tasted fine, but made it crumbly (a characteristic of gluten free baked goods that has to be overcome). Today, I got the idea to make a trifle, and boy, did it get rave reviews! I layered crumbled chocolate cake and chocolate pudding, then put Cool Whip and mini chocolate chips on top. This is my new plan for saving crumbly cakes. It was far yummier than even the cake without substitution would have been. And it doubled as an object lesson. How God takes our crumbly cake that looks like a mistake and can turn it into a trifle. :^)


Click over to my Brian's blog to see our kitchen table's new centerpiece.

Some new pics

Makin' valentines

Rosie and Papa on Valentine's Day.

At a friend's Squire and the Scroll birthday party.

Anna Kate and her birthday cake

A Gem

I just saw Dawn's "Early Spring Basket" of children's books on her sidebar, and am happy to report that I was able to find and request over thirty of them online through our library system. She has chosen great books for St. Patty's, sugaring. shearing, wind, and other spring topics. I can't wait to read them! Thanks again, Dawn.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Real Question

We had some friends over a while back, and I mentioned that I was studying Reformed theology. He replied, "that's like jumping off a cliff, you know." "Why do you say that?", I asked. I'm afraid to try to quote here, but he basically brought up the bottom line objection that if you believe that God chose to save some, then you'll eventually find yourself at the opposite side where He, by default at least, chose to send people to hell. I've been all the way through this and back around again. Here's what I've been thinking.

First, the real problem here has nothing to do with your theology being Reformed or not. If you have a problem with God not choosing people, thus "sending" them to hell, then, in my opinion, you have the exact same problem that I struggled with years before I'd even heard of Reformed theology. Why did God create people that will never be saved? Because, you see, in the end whether it was God's choice or man's choice, God is still all-knowing and knew when that man was created how it would end. Election just seems somehow more severe, less loving at first. But if you could truly see fallen man from God's perspective you would see a mass of people all plunging into the eternal separation from God that they deserve and the absolute rejection and rebellion against his authority that is an intrinsic part of human sin nature. When we see the holiness of God, we should be left gasping in horror at our filthiness and unworthiness, and yet, in love too amazing to be comprehended, God sent His own Son to be the propitiation for our sins. We find amazing grace, not coldness from our Creator. Now we look at the question. But first a couple of illustrations that came to me as I worked through these thoughts and seemed to clarify aspects of them.

If a king had a group of the worst of all criminals, indeed criminals who had committed their heinous crimes against himself, if he were to pardon one of these criminals, wouldn't we be shocked at his capacity for mercy and graciousness and love. Would we find him unjust if he never pardoned any?

I wonder if we have a bit of a Superman mentality when we think of God's justice. What if we were watching a film, and a bus full of people were about to plunge into a deep gorge. Suddenly, Superman swoops down, opens the emergency exit and saves two men as the rest of the bus crashes into the ravine. We stare at the movie screen in shock and maybe outrage. Why would he save only two when he was perfectly capable of lifting the entire bus and carrying it to safety? But what if we suddenly discover that the bus is full of Hannibal-like serial killers? Now we wonder why he bothered to save any at all.

Why create people that will never be saved? I have not found a humanly satisfying answer to that. Unless you can find great satisfaction in the unalterable fact that He does all things for His glory. And that, in knowing His character, we know that He does what is good and holy and just and right and loving. And that the real question ought to be, why did He ever come at all? Why save any of us? Especially me.

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3: 3-7, ESV

Amazing Grace!

This movie was fantastic! We saw it on our date night Thursday. I'd heard lots of good things about it, but it was far better than I expected.

While it is a period piece, it has none of the dull spaces and overacting common to that genre. It is a well-told story of a great man and the terrible evil that he felt called to defeat. It was easy to relate to the charcters. You were allowed to see them in their weaknesses, not just their triumphs, and it made them more real. And the history of the African slave trade was presented as I had never seen it before. It was truly shocking.

Have you ever been to a movie that sought to stay in your head? Asked questions of you? This is one of those movies. It asks, "why are you here?" "What things were you meant to accomplish with your life?" Those are always questions worth revisiting.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pineapple cake

Since my kids were outside all day yesterday, I was actually able to focus on making a nice meal. We had round steak supreme with brown rice and garlic green beans served on our good dishes by candlelight. The endless questions about why we were lighting candles, why the children had real glasses, and was there really something special happening led me to believe that it had been way to long since we'd had a proper dinner. For dessert we had pineapple cake and I decided to share the recipe with you because it's so flexible for food allergens and easy to make. We make it with gluten free flour and always add the cinnamon, nuts, and raisins, if we have them. Its a dense cake that tastes best after sitting overnight. You can eat it plain, dusted with confectioner's sugar, or with cream cheese icing.

Pineapple Cake
Grease a 9x13 pan
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2c. flour
  • 1c. nuts (optional; pecans in recipe - I usually have walnuts)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. xanthan gum (if gluten free)
  • 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • raisins, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, optional

Bake at 325 for one hour.

My haircut

I can't take a picture of myself so I decided to at least give you a better idea. It's pretty much like this haircut from 2004 with a little more bangs. I actually like the pic better, but it will probably be just like that by my next trim. :^) For those of you who knew me then, it's virtually the same as the haircut I had nine years ago, spring 1998. Haha! If you can remember that, you're amazing.

Abstract Randomness

Why I thought I would ever be able to stick with set ideas or any kind of intelligent flow in this blog is beyond me. How should I ever have expected it to be much different from the rest of my life? :^) My mind flies in so many different directions at all times that I have a hard time focusing on one thing long enough to blog about it!

Have any of you been watching American Idol? (Yes, I read Challies post on it - very valid points.) We've never paid any attention to it before, but we know Chris Sligh, you know, the chubby guy with the big hair. He used to go to our church. We don't know him well or anything, but he would recognize us, and some of our friends used to be in his band. So anyway, we've been watching. And he's done a good job, but I really like that Blake guy's voice. It's beautiful. A lot of those guys have really fantastic voices. (Was that just a "duh" statement?)

Last night I was in need of some fiction and read Lori Wick's The Rescue for at least the third time. All the way through again (mostly at least). And, yes, I stayed up too late doing it. But I've been getting up earlier anyway.

The last three days have been fantastic weather and today the kids were outside all day! It was really weird actually. Being inside with that much quiet. At least when they weren't running in and out.

Ethan finished his kindergarten math book (Horizons), so I need to get first grade. I'm planning on having him do some at least a couple of times a week in the summer too, so perhaps we could even be in second grade math by next school year. He's also reading much better these days.

We watched Johnny Tremain for family movie night this week. Ethan and Anna Kate were pleased. They like colonial history.

Rosie's in the "no" stage so we've decided to put it to good use. Whenever we want to drive Ethan crazy, we just tell Rose to go tell him, "no." She chases him around the house yelling, "no, NO, nooooo!"

I got R.C. Sproul's book, Chosen by God, out of the library and Brian's reading a chapter to me whenever time allows. It's pretty funny, actually. I'll stop Brian with a though, question, or argument springing from what he just read, and it is, inevitably, the very next thing Mr. Sproul addresses. It drives Brian a little nuts. More on that later...

Anna Kate's teeth have been getting more and more misaligned from her thumb sucking. They began to be bent in opposite directions just after her last birthday. I have read and researched many times and many things. After spending most of another day reresearching the thumbguard and finally gaining Anna Kate's approval of the idea (not that I need my daughter's approval to so something, but everything I've read has indicated that it's very effective if the child wants to be helped), I ordered it Tuesday.

Speaking of Anna Kate, I think that I may have her start kindergarten next fall. Her writing is improving and she does half of the stuff with us anyway.

Rose has all of her first year molars and her incisors coming in at the same time. Need I say more?

I gave up on Brian, and finally watched the first disk of A&E's Pride and Prejudice tonight. Love it - so far - but of course I already know how it ends which is the only reason I didn't stay up until 4AM to finish it tonight.

Oh, and I got my hair cut. Off. Mostly. And he likes it. :^)