Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Senior Day

elderly-coupleSenior Day.

No, not the day where seniors in government schools tend to ditch take the day off from school.  Rather, the day of each month that Fry's grocery stores give an extra 10% off to people age 55 and older.

I payed a little more attention to this day while my dad was staying with us.  Sorry, Papa, people know you are over 55.  ;)  He went shopping with me on said special day and boy did we rake in some serious savings with the discount plus coupons.  However, is it bad that I use his VIP card now that he is not living with us?  It does help him get some fuel credits. 

More than the savings that my dad affords us on the first Wednesday of each month there are some other advantages... and disadvantages to shopping on Senior Day.


  • I think old people are cute.  You can ask my husband.  They just have a way to endear themselves to my heart.

  • The crazy hyper people are not usually there going crazy and speeding down the aisle with no manner... just plain rude.

  • They love to see Little Flower.

  • It seems to be the one Wednesday where the store is fully stocked.

  • It's nice to be able to help people with heavy items sometimes, finding things, or reading the small print.


  • While the crazies are not speeding down the aisle it's inevitable to get behind someone who walks...well...extremely slow!  Of course, at this point there is no way around either.  Sigh. 

  • Sometimes I have to remind myself of MY manners.

  • The check-out lines are usually full and sometimes moving slow.

One other thing that I noticed is that during Senior Day the baking aisle is usually jammed pack!  On a normal shopping day that aisle is usually my escape route to the other side of the store.  I wonder if it is just a product of a generation that knows what it means to take time to make something rather than microwave everything.  You know, the instant gratification thing.

Besides the savings, I generally enjoy senior day.  I encounter some fascinating people.  I wonder where they have been and what they have experienced... and why they live in Maricopa.  Sometimes the slowness of it all can really frustrate me.  However, it's a good reminder to slow down and enjoy what the Lord has set before me and not to take any of it for granted.

Friday, September 25, 2009



While the rest of the country is enjoying the onset of autumn and bracing for winter -- those of us here in Phoenix are still dealing very much with summer.  As I write this, it is 99 degrees.  They say it feels like 94 -- but what does that mean really?  It's still just hot.  We are supposed to get back up in the triple digits this weekend.  Sigh.  Then maybe a cooling trend?  Low 90's and finally down into the 70's over night.  That sounds like bliss right now.

Anyway.  I digress...

No doubt about it, it gets hot here.  When one is taking a "little" along for the ride not only does mama get a bit hotter in the process but the baby has no fun being placed in a usually warm car seat/carrier.  Poor Little Flower will go from a nice cool building to a HOT car where her seat has been as well.  When I look back at her, shock (and worry) fills me.  Her face is flush and when I pull her out of the seat she's all sweaty.  Yes, the AC is on full blast.  Those rear facing seats don't allow the air to flow that's for sure.

I have been eyeing this Cold Seat for quite some time.  I have friends that have made their own versions of it.  However, I am not quite that talented at the sewing machine.  I tried just tossing some ice packs in the seat and it was just messy and cumbersome.  So, when GoGo Natural offered 40% off of the Cold Seat I couldn't resist.  Yes, I do realize the hottest temperatures are behind us and we are using a different car seat now.  However, it was delightful to put Little Flower in her seat and not have it be super hot or worry about the buckles burning her.  I feel like it was well worth the buy.  Plus, there is always next summer and we hope more kiddos to come. 

Who knows, we may have to buy another?  I'd be okay with that.  :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crashing Crystal

crystal Cathedral

"My messages will be very light on Scripture.  They'll be stories, primarily with lessons.  They'll be biblical concepts, but my platform on the 'Hour of Power' and the cathedral on Sunday mornings is as an outreach to the unchurched."

-Shelia Schuller Coleman, who will succeed her father, Robert Schuller at the Crystal Cacthedral, saying her sermons won't sound like those of a preacher.


(Modern Reformation, September/October 2009, p.4)

Interesting, because I thought that Sunday's were for worship and the reading of the Word.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lessons from Lack of an Air Conditioner

Awhile back I posted this article about a Valley couple who vow not to use their air conditioner for a year on Facebook. It's an interesting read to be sure.

This last weekend we noticed that something was sounding a bit off with our air conditioner. We called the repair folks and they were knocking on our door early Monday morning. They told us what part was broken and then said, "it could keep going like this forever. However, it would be good to fix it now." So we made arrangements to have it fixed once the parts would arrive. Little did we know that "forever" would quickly arrive that evening!  Sigh.

The first night we did pretty well and we just stayed under the fans.  This would also be what we all did Tuesday.  Nothing, and I do mean nothing, got done Tuesday.  Move out from the fans and we started to sweat right away.  The high temp in the house was 90-degrees.  What it came down to was how well Lily fared with it all.  She was great... not a whimper... which is more than I can say for her mother.

Here's what I learned:
  1. Ceiling fans are a survival tool in the desert.  I finally get it.
  2. The repair man can never come early enough.
  3. The heat really does permeate EVERYTHING.  My pajamas felt like they had come straight from the dryer and there was no "cool spot" on the bed.  We don't warm Miss L's  bottles and yet they were warm.  The chocolate in the candy bowl melted.
  4. Babies are tougher than we think they are.
  5. My daughter can teach me contentment in a variety of situations.
  6. I am thankful for air conditioner.
  7. I still think the people in the article are a little off kilter.

I am sure there were more things but this is what I really think about right now.  However, the air conditioner is fixed and the house is nice and cool.  It almost seemed cold as it was cooling down.  That's fine.  I'd rather shiver a bit than sweat.  It's true.

Something New

I am ready for the fall season to begin.  I long for the changing of the leaves.  Although, that doesn't happen here.  I long for cooler weather... which may be, in part, due to the fact that our AC is out and it's about 83 degrees in the house.  On the up side, the repair man is here as I type.  There will be dancing when he is finished.

In a nutshell, here's what has been going on here...

July could not go by fast enough.  My grandmother died on the 1st which was quite expected.  We had her funeral on the 4th in Nebraska.  Soon after that Husband and I headed to New Mexico to help finish packing my dad's house.  While there I found out that my cousin passed away.  Her funeral was on the 25th and I was off to Nebraska yet again.  It was just a hard month and I was glad to see it end.

August then went by entirely too fast!  My dad moved in with us as he searched for a new house here in the Valley.  Oh yes, did I mention that my dad is moving out here?  Yes, we never thought it would happen but here he is adjusting to the heat quite well.  He purchased a house in Surprise and closed on it yesterday.  Let me just say, September is moving as fast as August!

Soon it will be Christmas...

...okay, so I have a new post up and I am going to work on some other things that I thought have been interesting over the last few weeks.  Hopefully, you will find them equally as interesting.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

We recently went to Nebraska to visit my grandmother.  We wanted her to be able to meet Miss L.  My grandmother recently turned 100.  She didn't fully comprehend that we were there or that Miss L was her great-granddaughter but there were some sweet moments.  My grandmother cannot see much at all but she was able to recognize that there was a baby in the room and was willing to try and hold her.  She felt for Miss L's features and Miss L thought it was pretty fun.  Our little girl laughed and smiled and found her great-grandmother to be quite fun.  Even the nurses were surprised at how well Baby Girl did in her lap.

It was fun to see and heartbreaking all at the same time.  It was sweet to see Little Flower love on her great-grandmother, smile, laugh, and feel safe with her.  I wished that my mom was alive to see this and there would be four generations.  I think this was the last time that I will see my grandmother.  So, there is the sweet and the bitterness of the time spent with my grandmother.

More on our trip to Nebraska in the next few days.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coffee Memories


It's a strange thing wanting coffee each morning.  I used to only drink it on the weekends.  Now it seems like an essential to start the day.  Such is life.  Needless to say, I was bummed when the bottom of my coffee mug peeked through.  I was tempted for a second cup!

This morning I was faced with the desire for a good cup of coffee.  Husband was already gone for the morning, he makes the best cup of coffee for me, so I thought about my options.  I didn't want to brew a whole pot because I usually only drink one cup anyway.  So, I remembered my handy little french press.  Glory!  I boiled the water, ground some coffee, and made the rest of my breakfast.  The end result was a nice cup of strong coffee sweetened to my liking with some half & half.  Lovely.

Whenever I bring out my little french press coffee pot I cannot help but reminisce on the summer of 2004.  I made my way across the country to Ocean City, NJ on a summer mission assignment.  My roommate, Shanda, always made coffee in a french press.  I don't remember when it happened but she then started making me a cup of coffee each morning on the way to staff meetings.  How it ministered to my heart!  There were a few mornings when I had coffee ready for her after she taught me the art of french press.  Ahh... sweet times.  I love that simple things bring back such lovely and fond memories of times spent with a sister in Christ and remembering how even simple things can mean so very much and stay with a person for a lifetime.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Polly Want a Cracker?


Anyone who reads this blog or knows me knows that A) I am an avid people watcher B) sometimes I see really random things C) I am fairly observant and D) (how appropriate that it came to the letter D) that I still love Dunkin' Donuts even though they don't carry my favorite donut here in Arizona anymore.  Well, all of these things met in perfect harmony on Sunday while making our way to church.  As you probably know, Husband likes to treat me to DD from time to time.  We left the house early, a little tired because we had yet to have some coffee, and made our way to the newly renovated DD on 19th Ave and Northern just off the 17.  We tried one of their new bagel sandwiches (delightful) and of course had a donut and ICED coffee.  An interesting mix of people always frequent DD's no matter the locale.  As we were leaving I had to stop dead in my tracks and call Husband's attention to my latest encounter...

...there sat a man in his car with his little dog and the window rolled down.  No big deal, right?  Well, on the window ledge was a Senegal Parrot walking back and forth and observing himself in the side mirror!  Of course we paused to talk to the friendly gentleman.  He told us how he takes his dog and parrot on a walk.  The dog on a leash and the parrot perched on his shoulder.  He made sure to tell us that his wings were clipped and he would not fly away.  The parrot's name is "Gunny" and just as I was getting ready to ask if the gentleman had been in the Marine Corps he said, "He reminds me of a drill sergeant I had in the Marine Corps, bossy, bossy, bossy!"  We laughed.

Oh how I wanted to take their picture and place it here!  But I didn't know how I would get the photo from my phone to the computer.  Even if I did, I don't think the resolution would have been very good.  Such is life... you will have to use your imagination.  Darn it for not having the camera with me this ONE time!  Ugh.

I guess the man's wife was in the store picking up their Sunday treats, too.  I hope I see these folks again.

In case you were wondering, I have now adjusted my top places for people watching...

1.  University Campus
2.  Airport/Train Station/Bus Station
3.  Dunkin' Donuts
4.  People driving (but one should only do this if you are the passenger!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shades of Green


I am sure that Husband will give that "look" and sigh when he reads this.  Then I will laugh.  You see, he didn't realize that he married a green girl.  Well, that's what he would say.  I would just tell him that I am not but he doesn't agree.  Let me first state that I probably wouldn't recycle if we didn't have a recycle day.  I am thinking about making my own laundry soap only because I think that it would be fun.  I opt to do cloth diapers because I was tired of the "blowouts" and THEN it became fun because there are so many options out there.  I try to get Husband back about being green because we have a bi-fuel car.  Really, in the end it was about saving money... not the environment.  Once a friend legitimately used the phrase "sustainable living" in a conversation with me and I laughed.  Thankfully, it was via e-mail.  I probably should have refrained from laughing but I could hardly stifle the giggles.

I will say that I don't agree (obviously) with the global warming mumbo jumbo.  Is the climate changing?  Sure.  I am sure that the climate has continued to change at some level since the Lord created the heavens and the earth.  Is it caused by Man?  I doubt it.  Do I think that we should try to be good stewards of the earth?  Sure.  However, what that means to different households can run the gammut of things.  I will try to respect your prespective if it goes a little further down the road than mine... as long as you respect the fact that I am not that far down the road.

Well, now you had a look into a not really green, but people might think we are green, household.  With that said, I love my cloth diapers and if you want to chat about them it won't take much to get me started.  :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And What to Drink?


Not too terribly long ago I buzzed through a local drive-thru place to grab some lunch as my Little Flower had fallen asleep after an appointment and I had precious minutes in the car to eat in silence as I made the 20-minute trip home.  

I placed my order of a sandwich and my beloved fries.  Ahh.  Then when asked what I wanted to drink I replied, "Diet Coke, please."  They repeated it back to me but I should have known then that something would go awry when the confirmation screen simply said, "Coke."

I pulled away, grabbed a couple of hot fries, and reached for a swig of beverage.  At first I thought they did give me my requested drink but one more swallow would confirm they had not.  I wasn't sure I would be able to get the stuff down at first.  However, I made it go down a few more times.  It was then that I realized a couple of things.  First, I was pretty positive that the mix in the fountain must be a bit off.  Second, I have been ruined by "diet" forever, it seems.  I used to be able to drink regular Coke with no problem and could interchange at will but still a strong draw to the "diet."  On this particular day it was confirmed that I am a Diet Coke girl and there is no going back.  As you can see in the photo the Diet Coke is basically gone.  We keep the Coke around for whoever wants it.  Usually for my father-in-law or my Papa if he opts for it.

Guess it all works out for the good as Husband is also a Diet Coke drinker...  Actually, he's the one that did this to me.  :)  Well, I was drinking Diet Pepsi when we met and he brought me to the light.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thoughts on Easter


I have been thinking about Easter a lot lately.  Not just because we should as Christians but because of its weighty significance it should hold in the lives of Christians.  The events of Resurrection Day are what our faith hinges on, what makes it so very different than any other religion in the world.

Why is it that we spend almost a month (or for some more) planning, anticipating, and celebrating Christmas?  I thought about this awhile and talked with Husband about it.  I realize that preparing for a birth is quite celebratory and exciting.  However, do we celebrate someones impending death and funeral the same?  No, I would say not.  So, how do we celebrate (or festivate as many here like to say) Easter in such a way that our children see a striking difference in between it and Christmas?  How do we make it always a point in the year that they, and we, look to in great hope and excitement?

I read on a website that they celebrate all week long with a variety of fun things especially at meal time.  They toast in grand celebration at each dinner meal.  I need to think on things that they do during the week to celebrate new life that extends from that empty tomb.

I want to strive for this kind of celebration... not only for me, but for Little Flower and her siblings to come.

Do you out there in blog land have thoughts or ideas?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Maundy Thursday

Today "is known in the traditional church as Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday. It's the day/night of the Last Super, the washing of the disciples feet, the breaking of the bread, the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, etc. John describes the events and conversation of this day in detail in chapters 13 - 19. Quite a discourse!

hyde_hugs_study_largeGetting to the point here, what does Maundy mean? Growing up, I guess I always assumed Maundy meant, "sad", or "mourning", because of the betrayal and all. But that's not even close. The word "Maundy" is from the Latin word "mandatum"....sound familiar...it's where we get our word, "mandate". The church applied it concerning Jesus statement in John 13.34, "A new commandment (mandate) I give to you: Love each other, just as I have loved you!" "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" So, Holy Thursday, became known as Mandate (Maundy) Thursday, or as, "Go love each other as I have loved you Thursday!"

Just thought you would want to know." 

(Taken from a posting by Sam Osterloh of Campus Crusade for Christ)

tricliniumIn other thoughts on the day, I flash back to my days in college around this time.  My religious studies professor, Dr. Brubacher, would host a Seder meal for his students that were interested.  Dr. Brubacher went so far as to have a mock up of a triclinium for us to eat at.  He would do the presentation with many of his archaeological slides and vasts amount of knowledge.  I am pretty sure those Sederdinners were things that marked my life in some way and helped form my thoughts on the last supper for a more accurate grasp on what was happening.  The triclinium was a three-sided table usually used for special occasions and you reclined at the meal... Passover was one such time.  It's an interesting way to eat for sure.  It is a meal marked with great symbolism.  I cannot remember it all now but I may take the time to look it up again in the near future.  It would be an excellent thing to do with our family in the coming years.  (I remember loving every morsel of food and thought it would be a much beter way to eat, too!)

So, there are some of my random thoughts on this day of Holy Week.  More to come hopefully next week on the whole of the Easter season.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Triumphal Entry

bethphagetriumphal_entryPalm Sunday marks the Triumphal Entry of Jesus in Jerusalem (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12).  At that time, one week before His crucifixion, a large crowd of those gathered for the feast of the Passover, declared Jesus as King and the long expected Messiah.  John described it this way (12:12-13): "The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, and cried out: 'Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  The King of Israel!' "  Palm branches were used, harkening back to the Feast of Booths (Leviticus 23:40-44), signifying deliverance, redemption, and provision.  Jericho, a place marked by the Lord's victory, was known as the City of Palms (Deuteronomy 34:3; Chronicles 28:15).  The temple, the place of worship and God's presence, was decorated with palm trees (1 Kings 6:29, 32,35, 7:36; 2 Chronicles 3:5).  Therefore, we should not wonder at the description of that innumerable worshipping host standing before the throne of the Lamb.  They are clothed in white robes, holding palm branches in their hands, and saying with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Planting


 Spring is quickly arriving here in the Valley of the Sun.  Some of you may wonder if summer ever leaves.  Let me assure you that it does.  However, autumn and winter kind of get rolled into one short season.  So, while most of the country is trying to get out from under piles of snow or shivering from a blustery wind we are playing in the dirt.

This last weekend Husband and I decided that we would plant flowers in the MANY pots that we had laying around the house.  I am not sure where they all came from but they get the job done.  We planted a variety of colors of Snapdragons and Zinnias.  Both are rather heat tolerant and can do well i n some partial shade.  Seems like the right kinds of plants for us.

This was really the first time that I had done any flowers in containers.  Most of what I have known has been in flower beds, etc.  It made me think back to the house that I grew up in where we had tulips, daffodils, roses, lilacs, and some other varieties that I cannot remember in the areas surrounding our house.  Unfortunately, I don't think that bulb plants (tulips and daffodils) do very well here because it doesn't get cold enough and they are some of my favorites by far.  Roses don't really fit in with our landscaping and I have heard lilacs don't fare too well here either.  Such is life.  Different things for different places.  We are quite fortunate to have uch a variety of beautiful plants here in the desert that usually bloom all season.  Lovely, I tell you, lovely.  The chamomile trees smell AMAZING as do the blooming citrus trees.  We may have more than one lime this next season and maybe some oranges, too!  Finally!

Maybe the desert is an aquired taste?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rump Bumps


In yet another discovery of random things that help put a baby to sleep we have found that patting her little rump works wonders.

Not sure what it is but it works.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Humanizing Animals


I have been thinking about this for awhile.  While I think that I was quite guilty of this when I was younger I am pretty appalled at how far this trend seems to be going in society.  Or at least there seems to be more incidents of it that I am actually taking notice.

Sure,  I will admit to dressing up my little dog in leftover doll clothes and treating her somewhat like a human.  But really, she was a dog.  Not a child and there is a huge difference.  However, when you talk to some pet owners you would begin to realize that some do not make the distinction.  Phrases like, "Oh, I know what you mean I have three dogs" are responses to crazy days with the kids at the grocery store, etc.  Or they relate some story about their pet to your kid.  Ugh.  There really is no comparison.

I cannot just let my kid outside for the day or crate her when I need to go to the grocery store.  I am responsible for her development and little soul.  I finally understand parents frustration with these comparisons.

Then there is the recent chimp attack that is a brutal reminder that animals were not created to be treated as equals to humans.  One merely needs to look at Genesis 1:25-27. 

I think what really chaps my hide more than anything is that many of the people that sport a PETA bumper sticker are the also those that have proudly placed their pro-choice sticker right under it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gypsy Mama


Okay, so that is NOT my new nick name as most of you know it totally wouldn't fit.  However, it IS the name of the new wrap that I purchased to carry Little Flower around.  Can we say, "OH SO COMFY?!"

I have a Maya Wrap padded ring sling.  It works pretty well but I think that it will be better when Little Flower is a bit bigger.  However the Gypsy Mama is super versatile at a variety of stages.  Mine is a stretch which is basically made of a super light weight t-shirt material which is ideal for the hot weather.  There is a model called the "breeze" made of  a gauze material which is more breathable.  I chose the stretch one because as a new "wrapper" it is more forgiving if I mess up.

I love this wrap and so does Little Flower.  She falls asleep pretty fast and it is great when I am going through the grocery stores.  I can get quite a bit done with her in it as well.  It will also be handy when she gets sick and needs to be held and walking the hall is the only thing that soothes.  Thankfully, we have avoided sickness altogether so far.  I have other friends that have some wraps that they may let me try some different types as she gets bigger.  Fun times.  Wraps and slings tend to be a bit better ergonomically for babies than the traditional carrier.  Nothing wrong with it and we actually have one, too.  I will say that the wraps are much more comfortable for me and for Little Flower, too.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ash Wednesday

From the order of service

This last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the day on the church calendar that marks the beginning of Lent.  I will say that growing up Lent usually meant just giving something up for a period of time and that was that.  There was nothing more to it.

Today, I think that I understand the "tradition" of giving something up for Lent a little better than I did back in the day.  However, I think it's more than that.  It's a sacrifice of something that is maybe an idol in ones life or takes time away from other priorities - then using the time that you think about such things or would be doing whatever it is that is consuming you to focus on the Lord.  With all that said, there is nothing saying that we have to do these things.

This last Wednesday was the first time our little church had an Ash Wednesday service.  Here's the explanation and general invitation from our bulletin:
The early Christians observed, and many Christians still observe, a time of focused devotion upon the Lord Jesus Christ; focusing specifically on the days of His passion (suffering) and resurrection.  It is a helpful practice for the children of God to consider the wondrous work of our Savior, His sacrificial death, and the forgiveness of sins that is found in Him alone.  This season of Lent, and the observation of Ash Wednesday, provides a time in which God's people memorialized the life of the Savior; a life of suffering, temptations, cross-bearing, and sacrificial love.  They would join together in considering His life and His call upon us.  In doing so, the whole congregation is reminded of the hope of forgiveness and new life set forth in the gospel of Lord Jesus Christ, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.  By remembering our Lord's agony we will be led to celebrate His victory.  As the people of God, and while we will never deny the importance of repentance, we must always remember our salvation is found in Jesus alone.  Because of this, we should not remain "in Lent" but always worship and live in the light of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  The Lord takes people from death to resurrection, the Lord brings beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3), and has provided life for the dead through Jesus Christ.  Therefore, our service will go from ashes to washing, from focusing on ashes and repentance, to focusing on the atonement that is found in Jesus Christ alone.

What struck me here was the phrase living in the light of the resurrection.  How come we can get so geared up for Christmas (months in advance) when the crux of what we believe is observed at Easter? Jesus defeated death!  So, begins the time where the church has set aside to observe the journey to the cross with reflection, meditation, and repentance. 

Our service was then rounded out by corporate reading of the Scriptures, singing, prayer and confession.  Of course we also had the symbolic placing of the ashes on the forehead if one so wanted to have it done.

Our pastor then read a short story but what really caught my attention was what he said as he was getting ready to dismiss us.  He mentioned that these ashes on our foreheads would reminds us that we are not perfect and that we have smudges of gunk and blemishes on us.  However, we are the people of the baptism and we are washed clean because of Jesus.  He then washed his forehead and when we washed at home we were to remember how we are clean because of Jesus.  We are to remember who we are in Christ and not who we were in the firm grip of sin and death.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Radio Static


Shushing a baby works wonders to calm them down.  Usually the louder it is the better it works.  I sometimes have to get right up into Little Flower's ear to override her cry.  A vaccum works well, too.  It's all about them remembering the soothing sounds of the womb -- mama's heart beat and the swooshing of blood.  I read that the sound can be twice that of a vaccum.  Interesting.

What do you do when there is no vaccum and you can only "shush" so loud without spit getting on the windshield?   (ha ha ha!)

Well, find yourself a static station on the radio and crank it up.  It will catch their attention, calm them down, and maybe even put them to sleep.  Works well when just the movement of the car doesn't fully cut it. 

Just don't plan to have any conversations until baby is asleep and you can turn the static off.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Senior Saints

Elderly Hands

Worship on the Lord's Day tends to look a bit different when you have a baby.  To some that may sound weird when in most churches you just drop off the wee ones in a nursery and go.  Thankfully, I am attending a church that values family and children of all ages are in the sanctuary for worship.  What better way to teach the little ones about the people of God and His Kingdom (Matthew 19:13-15)?  I could go on there but that is not the point.  During this season I catch different glimpses of our worship service.  I grab tidbits of the sermon being piped into the "quiet" room, which should just be called the "Mother's Room" because there's usually nothing quiet about it.  However, what remains the same for me is being able to observe others in the worship service lifting their hearts, voices, and hands to our Lord. 

This last Sunday our eldest saint, Mrs. W (93), was used in a way to show me the sermon that I missed hearing.  I have had a few opportunities to sit with Mrs. W during the service.  I know that she doesn't know many of the songs that we sing but she knows some.  Our pianist makes sure to play old hymns that she does know during communion and the offering.  Many times I have glanced over to see Mrs. W mouthing the words with the melody.  It always captures my heart.  This last Sunday as we were singing our usual closing song, the Gloria Patri (which was arranged for us by a former member), I noticed Mrs. W singing this song with hands raised.  She's picked up the song over the months and sings it with us.  tears welled up in my eyes as I have thought about all of the years that she has served our Lord.

Husband was filling me in on some of the sermon as we were driving away from the church.  In a quick summary it was about persevering until the end.  I saw that hour plus sermon played out in less than two minutes by a woman who is a living example of what it means to persevere until the end. 

I appreciate the elder generations in our church.  Actually, I appreciate that we are becoming more multi-generational... that there is an appreciation for the new lives and a deep honoring of those who have walked the roads of faith much longer than me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby Burrito


Well, it's a funny thing.  Even little babies change their minds.  ha ha ha!!

Not too long after my post stating that Little Flower no longer wanted to be swaddled we discovered she really did.  The culprit at the time was most likely temperature.  We had a bit of a warm spell and the swaddle we had was a micro-fleece.  Which meant she was probably a little steamy!  When the weather cooled down she was much more comfy in it.  Also, she was outgrowing the one we had.  She's just too tall and a bit broad in the shoulders for the small.  We moved up a size and it helped that I could get it tight enough where she wouldn't break out.  We have also since found some t-shirt material swaddles now that we are reaching up into the 80's.  Makes for a happier baby who is now sleeping through the night.

Just so you know, neither I or my sweet husband were never especially talented at the swaddle (oh to be like the pros in the hospital -- I think they have swaddle machine.  ha ha!) so we had the cheater swaddle.  You know, the ones with a pouch and some Velcro.  However, Little Flower is pretty darn strong.  I am not sure anyone would be able to do a traditional swaddle on her and not have her break out.  Goodness, sometime she breaks out of the Velcro ones!

Friday, January 30, 2009


It's true that the swaddle soothes a baby.  Especially if you can master it with a regular blanket.

We were not ones to master it well at all.  With the value of sleep on the rise we bought one of those blankets with the Velcro that swaddles the baby with ease.  It worked wonders for our Little Flower.

I wondered one day, "When do we stop swaddling our baby?"

Little Flower let us know the answer sooner than we anticipated.


So, what do you do with a baby who really would rather not be swaddled and continues to break out of the swaddle, yet still flails her arms about (making it difficult for her to fall asleep and to stay asleep)?  Oh the dilemma.

Well, I did some looking around on the Internet and in our clothing drawer and found a semi-helpful solution.  I put a sleeping gown or sack on the wee one and then pin or rubber-band the arms off --with her little arms inside.  You see, it still acts like a swaddle in that it keeps her arms from going all over the place but not so confining as the swaddle.  It works well enough.  However, I have noticed that the gowns that snap up work much better than ones that go over the head.  Little Flower stretches the neck even further and sometimes breaks out.  The snaps are much stronger. 

 I think I need more snappy sacks.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


It's rather odd that I had major surgery 7 weeks ago and I still have some numbness in my abdomen area.

It's true.

I went for my final check-up and told them about this tingly, numb, weird feeling.  I told them that it wasn't on my incision but near there and doesn't seem to radiate as far out as it had before.  The doctor then told me that the numbing medicine can linger in the body for weeks and that was most likely the issue.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Going Price

More quotes from a newsletter that we again find ourselves pondering, "Say WHAT?"

"The going price to kill a pastor is $250."
Faiz Rahman, chairman of Good News India, says about the 500-plus Christians who have been killed in India by Hindu mobs since August 2008. (World Net Daily, www.wnd.com, "Going rate to kill a pastor: $250" 11/20/08 )

"If we threw a handful [of babies] on an island and they raised themselves, I think that they would believe in God."
-Dr. Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at England's University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, who claims that children have a predisposition to believe in God. (www.telegraph.co.uk, "Children are born believers in God, academic claims" 11/24/08 )

"Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
-The words on a sign placed at the Washington State Capitol by atheists and agnostics with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com, "Nonbelievers' sign at Capitol counters Nativity, " 12/02/08 )

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Batteries Not Included

For a time in life if we had batteries, fine... if not, fine.  We didn't have many things that required batteries.

That is, until Little Flower arrived.

We realized that many of her things require batteries (swings, bouncy chairs, sound soothers, etc).  Our family laughed as we entered a phase in life where we should probably have a supply of a variety of batteries on hand.  More than just double A's - we are talking multiples of C and D.

Then it was all topped off by my Papa giving us a fun family game that also required batteries that we did not have.  We accidentally left it on after we first played it only to have to replace them again.

Fun times.

We are looking into rechargeable batteries.  :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh, yes... and Flag Etiquette

I finally remembered what the other thing that occurred to me while I was watching the events of today unfold on TV.

Flag Etiquette.

As a variety of dignitaries were being seated (I think at this particular time it was members of the Senate) a particular man came our wearing the American flag.  This is where I throw the foul flag!  The American flag is not to be donned as a piece of clothing.

You can check out more here at Flag Code

Yes, it's one of my many peeves coming from a military family.  It also helped that my Civics teacher in high school went over this in great detail.

Presidential Chivalry

I opted to watch some of the inauguration coverage this morning on NBC when I would normally be watching on FOX News.  However, while feeding Little Flower it was the channel that the TV was already set.  It's entertaining to listen to what the press notices.

I found it interesting that one man said that "husbands around the country will be in trouble this afternoon" with their wives because President-Elect Obama has been noticed to wait for his wife as she gets out of the car and even <gasp> opens the car door for her when she is getting in and out.  I was glad that another commentator noted that President George W. Bush did the same thing for Mrs. Bush.

My thought on the whole thing... Well, he should!!!  I don't think that chivalry was meant to be relegated to the office of President.

I think it's a function of showing how one cherishes his wife.  My sweet Husband goes well out of his way to do this for me and I love it.

There was something else that I found rather funny in the coverage and now that I am here writing about it I cannot for the life of me remember what it was.  Oh well.  If I remember later I will be back.

Incisions and Adhesive

I am thankful that I live in a time after doctors found a better place for the incision of a c-section.  In days past the incision would be a vertical cut in the stomach almost obliterating the belly button and making a natural birth virtually impossible in future pregnancies.  Now, the incision is horizontal and lower on the abdomen.  I can barely see where the incision was, thus, making the scar basically undetectable.  Plus, barring another baby in a breech presentation the possibility of a natural birth is at a higher percentage.

My husband just asked, "Your blogging about your incision?"

Well, it's not so much the incision that I wanted to tell you about.  It was more of a set up for the next part.

You would think that with such a major surgery the scar would be the biggest remnant left of the whole procedure.  However, for me, that is not the case.  In recent years I have noticed that I have an adhesive sensitivity.  They marked me with an allergy but there wasn't a whole lot they could do to avoid using adhesive on my now very tender skin.  Needless to say, I have some scars left from tape and other adhesive typ things they used to sew me up. 

An unlikely battle scar.  Although, I find it highly entertaining and laugh.  Now the nurses understand why I didn't want to just let them RIP my bandages off.  ha ha ha!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009


On this day in 1909, my grandmother entered this world in Palmer, Nebraska.  Today, she is celebrating 100 years of life.   One hundred years of learning, living, wisdom, and love.  Only a very few can experience such a feeling.  Unfortunately, she doesn't remember everything quite so clearly.   It's just a product of being older for her.  She doesn't hear very well and she is legally blind so a lot of her memory loss is attributed to the lack of new input that would keep her mind sharp.  However, one would be surprised at how much she does remember and the stories she still manages to recall.  My grandmother loved to read which made the loss of her eye sight all the more devastating.

When my grandmother was 6 months old her family moved into the family home (that my great-grandfather built) out on the farm, where she would live for 84 years.  When she and my grandfather left the farmhouse for the "city" of Central City the house was falling apart and would later be "donated" to the local fire department for a training exercise.  We (really, my dedicated aunt with the consent of the grandkids) recently had to sell the farm to care for my grandmother.

As I look at my grandmother's life it is marked with some fun and interesting stories as well as some terribly tragic moments that contribute to the fact that my grandmother really never wanted to live to see her 100th birthday. 

Here is a smattering of stories:

  • My grandmother accepted my grandfather's marriage proposal because she "wasn't sure if anyone else would come along."  You see, I think my grandmother had several marriage proposals and turned them down for a variety of reasons.  My grandfather was 7 years younger.

  • Grandma was 40 years old when she gave birth to my mother and 70 when I was born.

  • Grandma has endured what no parent should have to endure - she outlived both of her children.  She also out lived her younger sister and her husband.

  • Grandma made the best eggs -- I learned her secret... salt.

  • She got her first refrigerator in 1950.

  • She was still using an outhouse in the early 1970's because my grandfather didn't want to fix the plumbing.  (It was finally fixed at some family urging)

  • Her father used to take them to school in a horse-drawn wagon.

  • She remembers driving one of those "crank-up" cars.

Oh, I am sure that I could sit here and recount a variety of things.  I opted to go to college in Nebraska for a variety of reasons and one of them was so I could be closer to my grandmother for a time.  I had to laugh when I would visit and try to sleep in because noises that I remembered as a child from the farm were still present in the new house.  What noise is that you ask?  The All-Star Polka Show.  Yes, it's true.  The All-Star Polka Show was a must listen on the farm radio which was forever on the same channel unless there was a baseball game.  People would call in and ask for a  "special" polka to be played for some random occasion.  It would drive me nuts but it's a memory that I now cherish.

My grandmother's quality of life isn't all that great right now.  She basically spends her days sitting in the chair in her long-term care unit.  She's not sick with anything it's just a better place for her to be than at home alone.  She opted to go there on her own which I think was the best thing for her.

My husband is a wise man.  I was sharing with him feelings about my grandmother, her 100 years, and her current quality of life.  His response to me was, "God is the giver of life and it is to be honored." These words struck me to my very core...because they are true.

So, here's to my Grandmother and her 100 years of a full and sometimes adventurous life out on the farm.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Elastic Girl

In the months leading up to the delivery of my sweet daughter I was a little apprehensive about the dreaded stretch marks.  I had horrid thoughts of what they may do and what they may look like.  I bought the lotion that comes recommended... but for whatever reason I did not use it as I should.

So, I was quite surprised that as I was heading to hospital to meet this little blessing there were still no stretch marks to be seen.  That is, except for the vague leftovers that I acquired on my hips when I was in middle school and I grew 4 inches in 9 months.  Yes, I was quite excited that I would be making it through this pregnancy without any stretch marks.

Then I looked in the mirror...

When I returned home from having a c-section where they rip you open and move things around in a fashion that I am sure no body part is ever really prepared for I noticed some newly acquired stretch marks.  If you were to ask my sweet husband who watched it all he would also put the emphasis on them STRETCHING me in ways that he was sure would penetrate the spinal I had (It didn't).  

After 8 months of trying to avoid the little beasts they were applied to my tummy in less than 30 minutes.

Sigh.  I will opt to try to think of them as a badge of honor of sorts. ha!

More musings on pregnancy, delivery, and life with a new born to come.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Baby Girl

Yes, a brief return to the blog world.  I am not sure how long this will last or how often it will be.  But here is a return as we strive to establish our new "normal."

                              dscn1408                       On December 11th, our Little Flower made her debut.  Were we ready?  By no means!  We were not expecting her to arrive for another 4 weeks.  But she was quite ready and didn't want to miss Christmas.  My water broke at 4:30 AM and when I realized what was happening I knew there was no tuning back.  They can stop contractions but they can't put that "water" back!  We made it to the hospital around 6:00 AM and by 8:00 AM we had our little girl in our arms.  Wow.  She came via "emergency" c-section as she was in a breech presentation.  The irony in it all was that the next day we had an appointment to talk about our options for tuning her.  Yeah, so much for that!  All in all, things went well and I am no longer afraid of the epidural or spinal needle.  I am pretty sure that when baby two comes along (hopefully, naturally) I will be signing up for the epidural.  The contractions I had were becoming not so fun... ha ha ha!!

I had pondered the season in which I was pregnant.  I thought about the arrival of Jesus and the trek that Mary and Joseph made.  I was pretty sure that I would not have been so keen about jumping on a donkey for a long journey.  Goodness, I was uncomfortable on a two hour car ride to Prescott the day after Thanksgiving.  I appreciated Mary's willing heart and submissiveness to the Lord.  There were deeper pondering of  my heart but I think that many of them will stay there for now.

It's hard to believe that Little Flower has already been with us a month!  She has a fun little personality (when she's awake) and we just enjoy getting to know her.  For sure there is a lot to learn and we are thankful for the grace and the learning curve.  We have never been so tired and deliriously happy all at the same time.

Little Flower arrived just  a few hours before her cousin (another girl) out in Missouri.  How fun to share the same birthday!!