Wednesday, November 30, 2005

We are sad, but hopeful?

For those of you who wonder if we got our snow, the answer is no. The wind came in strong and blew it all away from us. The boys are still praying for it and they get excited everytime the temperature drops below 40 and it appears that there may be some moisture in the air. Unfortunately, the forecast is more rain than snow for the rest of the week. We did get a very light dusting last night, but it was all melted this morning.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Western Washington is getting its first snow of the winter and we are hoping, wishing, praying some will come to our home. You must understand that we get very little snow in Western Washington and so even an inch incites much excitement. I have three boys who are hoping to have a snow day off of school. Since we get so little snow around here, I always let them off to play in the little that we get.

Hard at work

Here is the crew working hard at decorating their gingerbread creations. Top left is plantlover & B#1, Bottom Left is hubby and Boy#2, Top Right is Boy#3 and his cousin Bella Bella, Bottom Right is Sister and her boy#2.

Here is the evidence

Here are the gingerbread houses, train and tree that our family did. Also, the Star Wars jigsaw puzzle that my family worked on all day Saturday. The puzzle is really cool, it is two sided - one side has the evil characters and the other side has all of the good guys. Of course my boys all chose to do the dark side first. Go figure!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A side note on "Black Friday"

It saddens me that people would behave so badly as to fight over "things" or "places in line" such as has been reported in the media. It does not help you to feel good about your fellow man when you hear such stories. That said, I must report that I witnessed no such incidents yesterday. I did have somebody take my cart when I stepped away from it in Fred Meyer, other than that minor irritation, yesterday went very smoothly for us. I did not see anyone hurt anyone else nor did I wait in line for hours anywhere and I went to many different places from variety stores to toy stores to a major mall. For the most part, other than dealing with being in crowds, it was a fun experience. I think we need to remember that for every bad incident reported, there were many more normal shopping incidents that went unreported. Remember, the media tends to focus on the negative, that which will get attention. I am not trying to defend shopping on "Black Friday", it definately isn't for everyone, especially those who can't deal with crowds, but it is not as bad everywhere as the media made it out to be.

Our Holiday so far . . .

Thanksgiving day was very nice with good food and fellowship with family. My 92 year old grandmother was able to attend with my dad. My mom, sister and her children also attended. Our family is a bit unusual in that my parents are divorced, but can spend a pleasant holiday together and for that, I am very thankful. After parents and grandparents departed, my sister and I assembled gingerbread houses, trees and trains in preparation for decorating the next evening.

Unlike many of my friends, I enjoy going shopping on "Black Friday". I enjoy getting a good deal on items I am looking for but don't take the sales very seriously, unlike some people mentioned in the articles posted on the Common Room. My sister, daughter and I have gone out early in the morning the past three years to do some Christmas shopping. We have gotten some good deals and also watched people. We usually have lunch out together and have some great girl time. We come home very tired and ready to relax. My hubby is great to take care of the 6 other children while we are gone. This year we came home and relaxed for awhile and then we helped the children decorate gingerbread houses. They had a great evening and so did we.

Today we will just relax. My sister has packed up and departed for home, daughter is at work, husband & son #1 are working on our new Star Wars jigsaw puzzle, sons #2 & #3 are outside playing in the remains of the hail that fell earlier today. Christmas music is playing on the CD player and the day is good.

Thank you, God, for our family, our warm home, good food and most of all for your Son.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Change is a difficult thing. Change can be good. Change can be scary. Life is full of changes - it is constantly moving forward. We have made the decision to change church families, to move on. It is a decision that came after much prayer, frustration, and heartache. It was a difficult decision for us to make - we love our church family and yet it is time for us to move on - to stretch ourselves spiritually, to submit ourselves to a Godly eldership. Where that will be we don't yet know and so we are in a state of limbo. We don't belong to our old church family and we don't have a new one yet. This is a difficult time for us, as our church family played such a big part in our lives. We worshipped with them for 13 years. I can't believe this is where we are and yet I know God will use this time to grow us. He has already started stretching us.

Our Thanksgiving Holiday

This year we will have a action packed holiday weekend. It all starts with the family dinner. My grandmother, father, mother, sister and her children will all join us for food and fellowship. My sister and her children will stay for a couple of nights to visit with us. Very early Friday morning, sister, Plant Lover and I will join the crazy people and go shopping. This has become an annual tradition for the three of us, it is great girl time. Then, after a crazy morning, we will come home and decorate gingerbread houses with hubby and all of the children (7 children, age 7 - 20). This year we cheated and bought kits, when they were on sale at Target. I usually bake them for everyone, but with baking rolls and pies for Thanksgiving, I just couldn't do the gingerbread too. Decorating gingerbread houses has also become an annual tradition with our family. We will spend Saturday morning recuperating from all of the fun. On Sunday, after church, we will gather with friends for lunch and for the children to share their Washington State History projects with their dads. This weekend will be full of great company and much activity.

What I am Thankful for . . .

I have so much to be thankful for: salvation, my family, our home, good friends all across the country. I appreciate the freedom to worship God without fear and to homeschool my children. I am thankful for the country we live in. Thank you, Dear God, for the care that you give me. Help my life to show you how thankful I am.

Our Thanksgiving Menu

This year we will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my side of the family and I wanted to do a few things from scratch and then there will be the old favorites:

Roast Turkey
Stove Top Stuffing (a family favorite - we add turkey broth, turkey, water chestnuts, onion and celery)
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Yams (not sure how they will be fixed, hubby is in charge of that)
Home made rolls (a first for me, Yeah! they turned out!)
Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower
Black Olives, Dill Pickles and Cranberry Sauce (in the Shape of a Can)
Pumpkin Pie
Raspberry Cream Pie
Pecan Pie
Sparkling Cider & Egg Nog

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Good Fantasy/Bad Fantasy

"We can use our minds and imaginations in either a wholesome or a degraded way; by the same token, human beings can produce good fantasy or bad fantasy. Both draw on the inner world of the soul, and both can be a way of making spiritual realities tangible, presenting goodness and evil in concrete terms. Good fantasy elevates and disciplines the imagination, awakening its readers to the beauty of goodness as well as to the repulsiveness of evil . . . Good fantasy projects a universe of grandeur and meaning. Good and evil are a matter of moral absolutes. Th principles of virtue are austere and all-demanding, yet full of splendor. Evil is presented in all of its hideousness. The reader's moral sensibility is sharpened, and spiritual truth is thrown into high relief.
Bad fantasy, on the other hand, is concerned only with the self. The writers of much contemporary fantasy are doing nothing more than manufacturing daydreams for the reader. In line with the demands of mass culture, they are designed solely for self-gratification and often do little to elevate or instruct the imagination."

Quote from Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature, by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Right Stuff continued

Well we watched the movie tonight and . . . never believe the rating on a DVD. The DVD said PG, I would have rated it at least PG-13. The story line is fairly close to the book, although not quite as meaty it does a pretty good job at explaining what was involved in starting up the space program and the personal sacrifice made by the test pilots, astronauts and their families. I don't recommend this one for families because of the adult material and language. It may be fine for those with TV guardian - but I would still recommend previewing first.


"Realistic literature operates by "defamiliarizing" experience. It is often said that familiarity breeds contempt; it is probably more accurate to say the familiarity breeds blindness. When we become used to something, we stop noticing it. Driving a car for the first time was exhilirating; after awhile, the complexities of driving become automatic and routine. . . ."

. .. ."Literature "defamiliarizes" experience by causing us to take notice of realiities that we have come to ignore. A realistic novel about ordinary life can open our eyes to the rich texture of our own "ordinary" life - to its problems and dramas, to the complexity of relationships, to the preciousness of the common cycle of life (growing up, falling in love, raising a afamily, working, dying). The aesthetic distancing, the way the writer makes us imagine the significant details, the complexity of the form (which demands close attention and reflection) - such literary devices can awaken us to what we have taken for granted, the unseen and unfelt all around us. A novel about love, marriage, and children can enable us to appreciate our own families." . . . .

Quote from: Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature, by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

Friday, November 11, 2005

More Pictures from our Sunday Field Trip

Here are two more pictures from our trip on Sunday to the Pioneer Museum. One with the kiddos posing in front of one of the "town buildings" and Bouncy Boy with Middle boy behind the Military Motorcycle.
you are Fanny Price, Passionate in your beliefs,
Defiant in the ways of the world and creative
in your own right...

Which Jane Austen Character Are You?
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Pride and Prejudice

Today Plant Lover and I got to go see the new Pride and Prejudice movie with some dear friends. It is released nationwide on November 23rd, but the Seattle area was slated for early release, and today was the day. It was simply wonderful. I must admit that I was a little skeptical when I heard that there was going to be another Pride and Prejudice motion picture. I really like the A & E version and wondered how they could ever fit all that wonderful story into a shorter version. Kiera Knightly plays Elizabeth Bennet and does a superb job. She is the main reason I decided to give this version a try, I really liked her acting in Pirates of the Caribbean. The producers did a wonderful job of keeping the flavor of Jane Austin in this version. I give it a thumbs up!! We definately look to purchase this one when it comes out on DVD.
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who Am I?

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She is said to be the most beautiful of all living beings. Her heart being just as beautiful. You also have a good heart and you walk with a light about your face.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


What herb are you?
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Thank You God!

My mother had her mammogram today and it was clear!!!!! Thanks be to the Lord!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Trust in the Lord

It is so easy to tell others to trust in the Lord . . . now the rubber meets the road for us. My mother, diabetic, no health insurance, has now been called back for a second mammogram. Tomorrow, we take her for her second mammogram, my hope is that they will find nothing wrong. My prayer is that I trust the Lord, no matter what is found.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sunday's field trip

This year we are studying Washington State History with our friends, the Pusateri Family. We have been wanting to take some field trips together, so on Sunday we went to visit the Peace Arch on the border of Washington and Canada. We also stopped in the town of Lynden, WA to visit their pioneer museum. Lynden was originally settled by Dutch imigrants and so you will see signs of that around town, such as replica windmills. Their museum is very impressive, containing many items from the town's past. They have a replica town inside the museum that contains items from an early school house, church, doctors office and more. In the basement, they have a very large collection of horse drawn vehicles and also some early automobiles. The museum was well worth the drive. Since the places we visited were about 1 1/2 hours north of us, we visited the Skagit Valley Church of Christ on the way up. The members there were very nice and we even met a new homeschooler among them. We were fortunate that there was a break in the rainy weather for the day. We ended the day with dinner at the local pizza parlor. The day was very full of education, fun and fellowship.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Wet Weather - etc. . .

Well it's official, the rain is back. Not only is it back, it is back with a vengence. After a very dry couple of years, we are back to the rainy northwest. The weather systems have been dumping much snow in the mountains, which is great for the ski industry. When there is snow in the mountains, there is rain in the lowlands. I do know that we need this rain to keep our lovely state so green, but does it have to come day after day? So much for climates changing and everything being out of kilter - I think it is more a case of cycles and we are back to our old fall weather patterns. I don't think there is much of a chance of drought next summer.