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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day / Let Us Not Forget

John 15:13 
Greater love has no one than this, 
that one lay down his life for his friends. 

I visited an European military  cemetery in Italy with my brother and his wife about 25 years ago.  This photo does not do it justice.   There are thousands of white crosses just like these as far as you can see in every direction.  

Let Me Be A Woman YOU MARRY A MAN / Elisabeth Elliot / Mothers Day Series / WHAT'S NEXT?

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

Chapter 24:  You Marry a Man

In our country today and around the world, there are those who choose to deny what God has taught and men marry men, women marry women.  It is a sad state of affairs that even our government is trying to change the legal definition of marriage to be this way.  I know and have known men and women who think and believe this way, some of whom have repented and become believers and are happily married to the opposite sex.  My heart breaks  for those  people I know who remain convinced that their sin is "right" and "that God made them that way" and I often pray for them.    

This chapter begins with the sentence to Elisabeth's daughter Valerie,  you marry a man, not a woman, so this discussion will be about that.  It is easy for women to  expect their husbands to  be women, to behave like us, to do what we expect (what we know other women would do).   Men are just being themselves and generally, behave as men, although some admittedly, behave as boys.    You really have to read this chapter as she describes the differences between men and women in their mannerisms and behavior.  :)

We women sometimes get exasperated with them, whether we are married to them or not.  But thankfully, God made us different.  If he's acting just like a man, be thankful, rather than condemning of him or ungrateful to God.   Men will never totally understand women and vice versa because they are not of us and we are not of them.   After 23 years of marriage I am still surprised every now and then by my husband and I'm sure that he is surprised by me as well.   Hopefully, more in a good way than bad.  

Elisabeth refers to King Solomon's visit from the Queen of Sheba. The Bible says that the queen told him all that was on her mind AND he answered all of her questions.  Not many men could sit patiently and listen for hours, answering all the questions a woman might have.  Most would not even try.  Men were  not made to hear all our thoughts and all our worries and all our details. God is here for us to talk to as much as we need to and most likely, He has provided multiple women friends to whom we can go to chat.   

Bottom line...Know your man. Know that there are things that make him different from you.  His masculinity will help to explain some of them.
In anticipation of my next book to read with you, this series fittingly ends today with this chapter.  I know we're only halfway through the book.  There are forty-nine 2-3 page chapters in this book.   I hope this discussion has prompted you to read the whole thing.  The entire book can be read in an afternoon or a day at the beach or you could continue on reading one chapter a day for another month.  

During June, since Father's Day is coming up, I will be reading Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge.  Actually I prefer its sequel The Way of the Wild Heart, also by the same author, but I don't own that copy.   I may or may not finish the book during the month, but again, keep reading and learning.  It is a book that I wish I had read when my sons were young; or even when I was a single woman.  Once I read it, my thoughts on men changed dramatically and I actually felt like I understood them more!  I encourage every woman to read it whether married, single, young, old, with or without sons, to read it.  Hope to see  and hear from you in June.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Let Me Be A Woman YOU MARRY A SINNER / Elisabeth Elliot / Mothers Day Series

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

Chapter 23:  You Marry a Sinner

I love Elisabeth's reference to her friend Dorothy who said:  Well, dear, we're none of us prize packages.  Just look for the essentials and skip the rest!  The prize package most likely will contain some surprises, some pleasant, some not.   How much more we could relax  and enjoy all there is to enjoy if we took Dorothy's advice.  Truly, all we, like sheep, have gone astray, including me (and you).  We are all alike in our need of redemption, which is a freeing thought in relationships, to not expect perfection from one another.  

I had to laugh when Elisabeth referred to the movie from the 1970s Love Story and the famous quote: Love means never having to say you're sorry.   I agree that it is one of the most ridiculous lines written and to be quoted, to me, shows a person's foolishness.  You  DO need to say it and probably, OFTEN. To each other.  And, receive forgiveness in return which we all need.     Living with someone, sometimes you see the trouble spots TOO clearly and need to take off our magnifying glasses and put the rose-colored ones back on -- give a little grace.  Walk beside your spouse as heirs together of the grace of life.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Last Week's Menus at our House

Sometimes you plan menus and that's not quite what gets on the table since schedules change. I keep a list of the main dishes posted on a small erasable board on our refrigerator and check off what we have each night.  When we go out or have takeout, it's in red.  

Here's what we had for DINNER  last week at our house:

Saturday:  Baked shrimp (frozen), macaroni and cheese, fresh broccoli, watermelon

Sunday:     BBQ, salads, chips, fruit, vegetables  (church function)

Monday:   Pork chops, stuffing, L.O. mac and cheese, broccoli and cauliflower, watermelon

Tuesday:  Stir-fried smoked sausage/onion/green and red peppers over bowtie pasta with parmesan cheese, fruit salad

Wednesday:  Leftover night plus hot dogs if anyone wanted them (previously grilled, in the freezer)

Thursday:      Black beans over  yellow rice, green salad, red apple slices

Friday:    Chili, homemade bread, green salad, apple slices

LUNCHES (my sons and I):

Pizza, leftovers, Chick-fil-A sandwiches (last ones for awhile since math classes are over) grilled cheese sandwiches.
Cereals, fruit smoothies, scrambled eggs, toast

Let Me Be A Woman COMMITMENT / Elisabeth Elliot / Mothers Day Series

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

Chapter 22:  Commitment, Gratitude, Dependence

Having a true commitment to another person demands that one have a Higher commitment.  This puts a marriage on solid ground with a sound basis.  Don't be deceived, however.  Just because two people are believers in Christ does not mean they will not have marital problems at some point during their marriage, some more frequently than others.  You each marry a sinner who will definitely have bouts of being "in the flesh".  Still, believers should KNOW where to turn to resolve their difficulties for they are still under the authority of God and hopefully also under the authority of their church leadership. Being joined together with another is a gift from God and should be received as one.  Not to be returned or exchanged, not to be shoved in a drawer and never viewed,  but to be cherished as a special present for your lifetime.  Receiving a gift requires gratitude to the Giver, acknowledging your dependence on Him and His authority.  That is a good place to begin a marriage.

Breakfast and a Walk in the Park / Memorial Weekend

Yesterday to begin Memorial Weekend my husband and I had breakfast out and a morning walk on Park Avenue.  Doesn't every city have a Park Avenue?  We ran into an old friend at breakfast and had a nice visit.   I'm in the habit of carrying my camera with me everywhere I go, so here are a few photos from our morning.  We went downtown early so there were very few people on the sidewalks and most of the shops were not yet open.   

Coffee and breakfast at Panera

Walking slowly to take in some color and sights we might otherwise miss.

I've never seen Star Wars cookies before!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What Can You Do With a Cucumber?

A friend sent me this today.  I had no idea cucumbers were not just for eating.  Personally I love them but no one else in my family will touch them. Good to know they're good for other things:

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber.  Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower?   Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds?  Place a few slices in a small   pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long.  The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off  a scent undetectable to humans but which drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and  easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool?  Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumber along your  problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.   Works great on wrinkles too!

6. Want to avoid a  hangover or a terrible headache?  Eat a few cucumber slices beforegoing to bed and wake up refreshed and headache-   free. Cucumbers contain enoughsugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrientsthe body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7.  Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge?  Cucumbers have beenused for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to ward off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enoughtime to polish your shoes?  Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?  Take a  cucumber slice and rub it along the problem hinge and the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for a massage, facial or visit to the spa?  Cut  up anentire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finished a business lunch and realize  you don't have gum or mints?  Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath.  The phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12.  Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake?  Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the ink.  It also works well on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Let Me Be A Woman CHOICES MARRIAGE / Elisabeth Elliot / Mothers Day Series

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

Chapter 21:  A Choice is a Limitation

I have prayed for my sons' future spouses since  they were born.  Not every single day, but often throughout the year and as a Scripture or chat or idea prompts me.  Elisabeth also prayed for her daughter:  Keep her from and for the man she is to marry.    She explains  the tradition in medieval weddings where a gold wedding ring was placed on the bride's thumb (In the name of the Father), then moved to the index finger (in the name of the Son), then to the third finger (in the name of the Holy Spirit) and then to the 4th/ring finger (Amen) which is  our  custom today.   We marry in the sight of God and witnesses.

Another item she touches on in this chapter is the wedding vows.  Most of us know the traditional love, honor and cherish, as long as you both shall live... Sometimes in more "modern" weddings we hear them rewritten to as long as you both shall love.  I totally agree with Elisabeth that changing this one word, cuts the heart out of the deepest meaning of the wedding.  Love does not preserve the marriage, the marriage preserves love.  

Every choice has limitations.  If you choose to  have a homemade salad for lunch, you give up eating a meal out (and save $$).  If you choose to attend a college close to home, you give up living in an unfamiliar city (also saving $$, avoiding loneliness, getting in with the wrong sorts of friends, etc.). If you choose a military life, you must adapt yourself to constant travel, danger, separations, roots, etc.   If you choose one man/woman over another you CHOOSE to give up all other men/women.  To accept limitations requires maturity.  None of us can have everything and we need to be content with whom we have.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art Linkletter Passed Away / Kids Say the Darndest Things

I didn't read the newspaper yesterday and just heard that Art Linkletter passed away on Wednesday morning.  He was 97  years old. 

Childhood memories... I used to love watching his program when I was a child and wishing I could be one of the "kids say the darndest things" children featured on his show. He had such a way with children that made everyone just love him.  What a kind man. As far as I know there was no scandal associated with him and he was a much beloved  author, radio and television personality, and generous philanthropist.

A look back at him over the years:  #1   #2

I'm sure there are many clips of him over the years on

He will be missed.

School's Out for Summer

Today is our official last day of school--homeschool 10th grade --for my younger son.  He actually finished all his home assignments  the first week of May but his Spanish teacher needed a few more weeks to finish the book.   In addition  I had signed him up for an intensive math review class (study skills, Algebra 1 and Geometry) during the month of May to start prepping him for the college SAT's  which he will begin taking next Spring in 11th grade.

My son's math class is quite a ways from our home and making the trip 2x a week this month really eats into the week (1 hour round trip; 2-hour class= 6 hours a week for 4 weeks).  He's got his learner's permit so I have been letting him drive this month and it has been a good talking and training time.  As a perk, we stop at Chick-fil-A on ONE of the trips and pick up lunch.  :)

I've been using the time that I wait for him (2 hours)  to hang out at our local seminary bookstore  (Reformed Theological Seminary) where I talk to the students, some professors and usually run into friends who either attend RTS or are visiting the store.  (The seminary is literally one street away from the math teacher's home.)   I also work on my Ebay listings, write blogs, balance the checkbooks, cut coupons or other projects while I'm there.    I took these photos last week in anticipation of writing this blog since the store is closed this week for inventory.  It's really quite nice, the manager is very friendly and they have GREAT coffee. I even have my own coffee card since I'm a "regular".

Here is "my"  table that I stake out each week. 

This is the  local woodpecker who flies into the window on a regular basis.

This week since the bookstore is closed I shopped at the nearby thrift store on Tuesday and bought several Ebay / Amazon  inventory items to resell; today I'll go to a branch of our local library and work on my Let Me Be A Woman series for this blog.  I'll end it on May 31 and begin a new series June 1, probably a practical book although I may write my thoughts on the men's book Wild at Heart.  I wish I'd read it when my sons were very young.  

School's out for summer for us after 12:30 p.m. today.   Next week I order all the books  my son will need for 11th grade and do our lesson plans early so that I can REALLY be on vacation until early August. :)  Have a great Thursday.

What is a MOTHER ? Acronym / Titus 2 Moms

My friend Cindy gave a devotional talk for our Titus 2 Moms group last week.  She does not have her own blog, so for a spot for the moms to read what she said, her notes are posted here from  May 22-27.


R Resourceful. There is a wife and mother called by the Bible “a wife of noble character” and of her value, it is said, “she is worth far more that rubies” (Proverbs 31:10) . This woman has her house in order. She is thrifty, she buys property, and sells merchandise she has produced. At the same time, she makes sure her household is well fed and well clothed. She is generous to the poor and is always doing helpful things for her husband and family. She is versatile and resourceful. She cooks, cleans, sews, buys, sells, and still makes time for her family and friends.

You are currently doing many of these things. Becoming a mother added to your already impressive resume: Playmate, chauffeur, medic, teacher, counselor, and more! Creativity and resourcefulness is a must for success!

To meet the demands, prepare by educating yourself about what is reasonable to expect of a woman in your phase of life. If I could pick only one instructional book to have, I would choose the Bible. It is full of practical knowledge and truth for living and feeds my soul. There are others. Talk to friends, neighbors, and family members who can offer valuable advice because they have experienced a little more of parenting.

On days when you feel completely drained, remember: your greatest resource is God, who gives wisdom, strength, and guidance. He hears and responds in marvelous way.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, 
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God...    (Philippians 4:6)

Respect the individuality of your child and RESPECT his privacy in safe areas: personal property, personal information (don't 'tell' on your child by name in conversations with others), closed doors. Potentially unsafe areas need to be monitored:  friendships and, as they get older, where they go, what they say on phone & internet.

R Could also be for reward. Being a mother is full of them!

Other excellent resources:
·      Now Discover Your Strengths (with assessment)
·      StrengthsFinder 2.0, Tom Rath (with assessment)
·      Strengths Explorer (with assessment for ages 10-14)
·      Strengths Quest (with assessment for high school/college age)
·     Your Child’s Strengths, Jenifer Fox (no assessment, EXCELLENT resource for understanding working with strengths in field of education)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Supercuts $5 off Printable Coupon UPDATE

I posted about Supercuts the other day and today I got my hair cut there. $8.50 with my $5.00 coupon.

There was a sign on the window that they accept competitors coupons which I did not know.   Be sure to check your Sunday newspaper  and save the haircut coupons for you and your family.

What is a MOTHER ? Acronym / Titus 2 Moms

My friend Cindy gave a devotional talk for our Titus 2 Moms group last week.  She does not have her own blog, so for a spot for the moms to read what she said, her notes are posted here from  May 22-27.


E: Example. Never underestimate the impact you will have in your child’s life. A child watches everything you do and copies it. Our child models our flaws flawlessly! When you speak, she will watch your mouth form sounds and learn to talk. He will try to mimic what she sees and hears and, in the process, be learning her first skills. When she is older, her value judgments will be very much like yours.

Do all you can to see that your life is worth emulating.

 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (ICor. 11:1)

. . . as He who called you is holy, 
you also be holy in all your conduct . . . (I Peter 1:15)

Sometimes the most important decision you make isn’t the first one. Even in confession, repentance, apology, etc., training is happening through example. Model by example how to make an excellent second decision!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SuperCuts $5 off Printable Coupon

My hair grows so quickly that it's very important that I keep in trimmed.  I've gone a little too long this time so today is the day.  My former salon, Everybody's Haircuts, is a single franchise and charges about $18 for an adult cut (no shampoo or styling).   I usually leave a $5.00 tip, bringing the total cost to about $23.    I pay to have my hair cut every 6 weeks or so.    Many of my friends don't blink an eye at this but to me, that's a lot of $$ for a trim.  Since I do all the haircuts at our house --my husband and two sons-- and have done so for many, many years the price seems steep (compared to FREE).   

When my younger son started his Geometry class about 10 miles from our home I needed somewhere to hang out for 2 hours once a week.  The first day of  his class, I discovered a Great Clips nearby, found coupons in the newspaper and got a haircut for $6.00 (plus $5. tip = $11).   Half price from my other salon.  

His class is almost over but there is a Supercuts near our home which I checked out a few months ago as well, again, with a coupon, and got a haircut for about $15.00 total (including tip).  Still less than what I was originally paying.  

For some reason the newspapers have not had these coupons in several weeks (I've been looking).   I don't make a practice of searching online for coupons but I may be doing more of this. On a whim this morning, I searched for a Supercuts Coupon and found one!     $5 off coupon

 If you have a printer at home, you can't beat this.  
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