Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun Meme

Nods to Jenny B's blog ( Here: )for this too fun meme:

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),Frisky Dodge
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie), Chocolate Butter Cookie
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),V-Ham
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),Red Puppies
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),Ann Evansville
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),Ham-Va
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),The Blue Iced Tea
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers), Henry Julius
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy), Heavenly Chocolate
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),Louise Melvin
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),I don't remember, Indianapolis
12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).Autumn Rose
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Strawberry Pajamay
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree), Bagel Oak
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),The Quilting Rainstorm Tour
My fav is the last!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Grace and Peace, part two

Grace and Peace? I'm been feeling pretty far away from those two things recently. I've been told, at various moments in my life, that I'm a "fantastic" day care provider, a "great" mom, a "wonderful" wife, a "very resourceful" homemaker.
The truth is, if anyone hasn't already figured this out yet, that I'm merely an o.k. day care provider, a so-so mom, a lazy homemaker, a just plain lucky wife, a terrible financial advisor for my family. Add to that list a rotten driver and a shameful Christian. I also have a hair-trigger temper, the mouth of a sailor, and a pretty sorry physique. I cook o.k., but it ain't nouvel cuisine, it's down-home sweet tea and baking powder biscuits sort of cooking. In fact, I can't even imagine what anyone sees in me. I'm an absolutely rotten friend-they could all be dead, and I wouldn't know for weeks in most cases, months in others.
But something happened a couple of weeks ago, while I was busy feeling sorry for myself and everyone who had the misfortune of having me in their lives, that reminded me what I'm supposed to be looking at. We adopted a puppy. Now, I did most definately not want another puppy in the household. Dogs are like babies that never grow up, and I am done with them, thank you. But I was over-ruled, and we searched until we found one that we all agreed on. A little black lab, about 3 months old. We had him for exactly 18 hours before he started throwing up and sleeping alot. That was on a saturday. By Monday, he wouldn't even move-he just layed there, sleeping. I took him to the vet and got antibiotics. But he didn't get better, he got worse. We took him back to the vet, who admitted him, and hooked him up to an I.V. He's better now, but that's not the point. On the way to the vet, I was driving, and my dear husband was holding our sick puppy. The puppy who wouldn't even move or whine or go outside to the bathroom. In the dark and quiet of the car, our fears for the puppy surrounding us, my husband suddenly whispered,"Look!" I turned to see what he wanted, and there in his arms was our at-death's-door-puppy, straining his weak little head as far as he could, just to reach me. I reached over to pet him, and he sighed and rested his head on my hand.
Why? I didn't even want him. But he trusted me, and knew I was already in puppy love with him and would take care of him.
I guess the things in our life are like that alot-you don't feel ready for them, sometimes you don't want them, sometimes they don't fit into what you think your life should be at the moment. But God always knows best, and if you're paying attention, sometimes you can catch a glimpse of the need the thing has for you, straining to reach you, if only you'll pay attention. Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Election Season Rant

Like most people who use the internet, I have certain websites I like to check in on regularly. One of these is a blog, written by a Christian woman, who does a great job of dedicating every single thing she does, big or small, to the Lord. It inspires me to keep trying.
I agree with her on a lot of the issues she writes about, but on a few things we disagree. Like politics. On a recent post, she wrote that "Liberals are deceived" about a certain issue. It just so happens that I consider myself a Liberal. I also consider myself a Christian and, unlike many Conservatives who happen to be Christian, I don't think they're mutually exclusive. In fact, on many political issues, I think that most Conservative Christians are very deceived themselves.
A few issues that come immediately to mind are the recent fight about the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, and the "Under God" in the pledge of Allegience, or voting for a man who claims to be a Christian, but who has proven himself to be a liar who only cares about money.
I still believe we should follow the Ten Commandments, and I still believe that our Nation is a Nation Under God. I also believe that we should vote for the person who seems to follow Gods laws, and the laws of our country, first, before we vote for someone who follows the law of the almighty dollar.
Do we really feel that leaving a copy of the Ten Commandments posted on a courthouse wall will win any one to God, when the judge sitting under them is upholding the laws of a corrupt government? Will making a Muslim or an Atheist pledge his allegience under God make it so? Will voting for a man who claims out loud, in words, to be a Christian really show the world who we are?
Or should we show the world who we are by our actions instead? Shouldn't we just live the Ten Commandments? ("Thou shalt not kill" pops to mind.) Shouldn't we live as a nation under God, as we used to do? ( "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." from The Declaration of Independence) Shouldn't we just vote for the person who acts the most like a Christian, if that is our point of view? (If all of the candidates were stricken dumb, and we had to vote based on the candidates life and political record, who would we vote for? I suspect that almost none of the people now in office would remain there for long, if this were the case!)
I, for one, am heartily sick of all of the political claptrap,spouted by people who I am in fear for, that they are living their lives deceived by the devil into thinking they are doing "the right thing". I beg of all of you who consider yourselves Christian, to put aside all the advice received from well-meaning leaders and friends, and vote for the person who lives what they profess to believe. ("They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him..." Titus 1:16, New American Standard Bible)
If you do that, if you vote for the person who lives what they claim to believe, then it won't matter at all what you call yourself-conservative, liberal, whatever. (And on a side note, if you are a Christian, and you haven't been praying for our government lately, you might want to start. Start by praying for wisdom for our leaders. They could all use a hefty dose of it, I think.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dog, Training...Update!

Well, ddog is officially one of the family now. He has taken to picking up his food bowl after I fill it, and carries it to the dining room, where he puts it down beside the table until he's good and ready to eat.

Of course, this makes a mess. A regular trail of dog food from the spot where his water dish is, to the spot where his food bowl is now located in the dining room. I suppose I should be thankful that it has not yet occurred to him to carry his water bowl to the dining room as well...
The pic to the left is ddog last Christmas. Shortly after this was taken, he felt the need to remove the reindeer ears and take them apart, quite thoroughly apart, and shake the pieces around until he was satisfied they were dead.

Friday, September 28, 2007

How To (NOT!) Buy A New House

Having recently bought a new house, I think I can now offer a little advice to those who arethinking about buying. Here are my top 10 pieces of advice to those who are buying:
How To Buy A House
1. Show up at house on the morning of the move. Wait 4 hours for the city to show up to turn on the water. After they turn on the water, go back to old house and throw all the boxes in the truck.
2. Have a 5 car, 2 truck caravan to new house. Notice 6 hours later that there is a wet spot on the new basement carpet. Wonder why it is there.
3. Notice after 7 hours that the wet spot is larger.Track wet spot and decide that a pipe has burst. A pipe in the foundation. An expensive-to-replace pipe.
4. Call plumbers and find out that not one will come out on the weekend because you are not an established customer.
5. Wait until Monday, then re-call all the plumbers.Tell them all that the first one there gets to give their kids anything they want for Christmas this year. Have broken pipe fixed, to the tune of$2000.00.
6. Call friend who is lawyer and initiate proceedings against previous owners, who signed a contract saying that all water and sewer pipes, etc., would be in working condition upon transfer of ownership.
7. Call Disaster clean-up team and get carpet sucked dry, and fan and de-humidifiers installed in new basement. Discuss how much it will cost with God Himself.
8. Call insurance agent and find out they won't cover you because you own a dog. (What???!!!) Call friend who is lawyer again. Decide you will never again make fun of lawyers.
9. Have a really long devotional session before bed. Cry. Pray. Thank God that 401K's have hardship withdrawal's.Wonder why you wanted to stop renting.
10.Have dinner with family at new dining room table,which you couldn't do before because you didn't have a dining room, and remember why you felt blessed in the first place to be able to own a house.
This is based upon a true story.
No names have been changed, because we both know who I'm talking about. Please feel free to put us on your daily prayer list.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thankful Thursday

One of the forums I frequent on the web is a group that focuses on preparing for holidays. Towards this goal, we have certain days that we use every month to work on certain holidays- one of which, in preparation for Thanksgiving, is Thankful Thursday. On a thread today, some of the members have listed things they are thankful for. In the spirit of this lovely idea, I have listed below some of things I am thankful for:
1. My wonderful husband, who indulges most of my whims, and loves me anyway.
2. My two beautiful children, who, in spite of being real pains about 80 percent of the time, really really really try to be good.
3. All of the benefits of living in a 'civilized' society, including but not limited to, clean water, abundant food, easy transportation, and decent housing I don't have to share with any of God's critters that I don't want to.
4. One of God's critters that I do choose to share space with-my 80-ish pound Alaskan Malamute baby, who is scared to death of thunder and other loud noises and will cry for hours during a thunder storm, but who charged out of the house this afternoon to 'save me' from a really horrendous storm I was trying to escape. (It's good to have someone who loves you unconditionally no matter what. Dogs are cool.)
5. Being in charge of my own domain. It's good to be the queen.
6. A mother in law I actually like. When I talk to friends, and they complain about their mil's, I just smile, and relate how we go shopping together.
7. A country where I choose how I educate my children. Private school, public school, homeschool-in the good ol' USA, it's all good.
8. A country where I tell my manic-depressive, unmedicated crazy neighbor where to go, and then smile and laugh with the cops about how crazy he is. (Seriously, the man is completely in need of some serious meds, maybe some shock therapy. Hmmm, I wonder if I can buy him a gift card for that?....)
I could go one forever, but I won't. What I want to know is, what are some of yours?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Summer Must-Do's

Growing up, we always had summers off from school. At the risk of dating myself, those were the days when we left the house after breakfast, knowing we had to be home by the time the streetlights were on. Wherever we were for lunch was where we ate lunch. If someone misbehaved, whatever parent was available corrected them. We spent whole days at the neighborhood pool, baking ourselves to a lovely brown. We stayed up late because it was light out still, at 9 pm. Dinners were simple things, with lots of fresh veggies. And how we had fun!
I tried to recreate some of those memories with our own children when they were small. I was reminiscing with my dd the other day, about all of the things we normally do in the summer. Since she's 12 now, she's not really into most of them any more, but they've made some great memories. I thought I would share some of our fav things to do in the summer:
1. Catch fireflies in a cleaned out mayonnaise jar with holes punched in the lid.
2. Camp in the backyard.
3. Roast marshmallows and hot dogs for dinner.
4. Swim all day at the city pool.
5. Spend Saturday at the movies. All day. One movie after another.
6. Spend a morning at the library. Have a cone from the ice cream shop for lunch. Spend the afternoon on the living room floor, on your stomach, sipping a soda and reading the books you checked out in the morning.
7. Have a bike race. (Let your kids win!)
8. Find a creek. Dangle your feet in it while breathing deeply and watching for tadpoles.
9. While you're at the creek, look for milkweed, then find some caterpillars on it. Take them home, put them in a jar with the milkweed and wait for them to turn into butterflys.
10. Last but not least, wait for the hottest day of summer, play hooky from work, crank the air conditioning, order pizza, pop popcorn, and pop in a christmas dvd to watch. (Some of our favs: Home Alone, The Grinch, Charlie Brown) Don't even think about the fact that there are only 144 more shopping days until Christmas.
If you do all of these things before fall arrives, I gaurantee you will start fall refreshed and ready to face the usual rush of new activities. If you don't have time to accomplish them all, I highly recommend number 10- it was always my favorite!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dog Training or Dog, Training!

We have a three year old Alaskan Malamute, rescued as a puppy from a shelter. It's our first family dog, and he has simply made his way into our hearts, and the hearts of our day care kids. When we adopted him we had the best of intentions-we bought the best food the vet sold, took him every three months for a checkup, brushed his coat and teeth regularly, and did all the right things.
I'm not sure when all of that went by the way side, but I recently realized that it's been about a year since I bought him dog food. How does a dog get to be 80-ish pounds without eating dog food? Here are some hints: I bought a package of meaty bones at the store to make soup with. I gave the dog one out of the package, raw, to gnaw on. He sniffed it, pushed it away with his nose, and then walked away. He didn't want it so I threw it away. After I boiled the other bones in the package for soup, and seasoned the resulting broth, I fished out the bones, pulled off all the meat I could get, and tossed the bones in the garbage. But I didn't shut the door to the cabinet the can was located in, and when I turned around, ddog had the bone, the cooked and well seasoned bone, and was chewing to his hearts content. A dog can't really prefer cooked meat, can he? I convinced myself he couldn't, and let the incident go. A few days later, and it was Friday. Our family tradition dictates we make homemade pizza and watch movies on Friday nights, and we do this almost every week. It's a fun, comforting tradition we all love. Including, apparantly, ddog, who, as I watched in shock, stood by the stove until one of dk's gave him a paper plate with his own slice of pizza on it. That was the point at which my dh and I decided enough was enough. It was time for the dog to learn to eat dog food.
We cut him off people food cold turkey. And, surprisingly, he actually ate the dog food we bought, even though we had to mix dry food with wet food to get him to do it.
All went well, and when we left for vacation last week, we boarded him for the first time ever, sure that he wouldn't starve to death while we were gone. When we came back, he was thrilled to see us, and no thinner than when we left. Our first night home we ordered pizza, the "5-5-5" deal that's popular around here. One pepperoni, one cheese, one sausage. The dog never even looked at us while we ate. We'd won. But, there's something a little sad about a dog who doesn't beg for food, using those big brown eyes to get what he wants.
When I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, he was there, waiting for a can of food at his bowl. I looked around furtively, then petted him, whispered sweet nothings to him, and slipped him a slice of the sausage pizza, just to let him know we still loved him. He took it immediately, going to the hallway with it. The hallway? I followed a short distance behind, trying to act like I wasn't watching him. There, in the hallway, he sat down with his winnings, and as I watched, pushed it into the corner, where several crusts had already been stashed. Training over, I guess!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Rules My Mother Never told me I'd Have to Make

I read a hilarious blog post, with the above title.

Check it out if you have kids, and in the meantime, here are some of my own:

1. Don't put the cat on the vibrating chair. Again.
2. Don't unscrew things you are laying underneath.
3. Don't tell the person on the phone that Mommy's going potty and she really stinks.
4. Don't tell the pastor what Daddy said when the guy in the red truck cut him off.
5. Don't tell the pastor anything Daddy says while he's in the car.
6. Don't tell anyone at church what Daddy says while he's in the car.
7. Don't repeat anything Daddy says, ever.
8. Now that I think about it, you are not allowed to speak at church.
9. Unless you have to go potty, now.
10. Kitty doesn't need a bath, and I don't have the money for another emergency room visit, so don't give kitty a swirly, please.
11. Kitty does not like playing yo-yo, unless he is not the yo-yo.
12. Don't read any magazines your friend has to sneak you into his dad's backseat for.
13. Don't do anything the friend with the magazines tells you to do.
14. Don't make up stories at preschool, no matter how good you are at it. ("No, Miss Kimberly, I do not let William play in the vacant house down the block.Those scratches are perfectly explainable. You see, we have this cat, and he really really hates the vibrating chair in the living room...")

Thursday, July 12, 2007

First Post!

Hello to anyone who bothers to read this first post. I figure I have so much to say to my kids every day, I might as well put some of the overflow someplace!
As far as the title is concerned, grace is a gift, and peace is what I strive for, and try to achieve a little of every day-mostly during naptimes.
For those who don't know me well, I have 2 children of my own, one is homeschooled and the other has graduated, and I run a home day care. Yes, I love taking care of kids, and no I'm not (completely) crazy. I've been married for almost 22 years to a wonderful man who I love very much.
Future posts will encompass mostly personal things: my daycare, my mind wanderings, my homeschool, and lots of other things. I look forward to hearing from anyone who cares to comment!
Looking forward in Jesus, Valerie