Tuesday, June 28, 2011

There's No Place Like Home (3x)


Noun: A person who likes to stay at home,
esp. one who is perceived as unadventurous.

Well, no ruby slippers - but I did take a photo over the weekend of these ruby-red Asiatic Lilies.  Aren't they pretty?

I've been thinking a lot about home -- because I haven't been here much lately.  Last week was the second week of my nine-week summer job at our church day camp.  The evenings were filled with volunteering at Vacation Bible School.  The week was -- well, a little random and scattered as far as family and meals and anything resembling our "normal" summer routine.  I love my summer job, but admit that I get a little homesick.

I know that I am privileged (okay, spoiled) as a stay-at-home-mom.  Anytime of the day, I can look out the window at our yard & watch the birds, or check on the latest flowers to bloom, or bake something yummy for my family.  The best part, of course, is being here for our kids!!

I am also privileged to have a job that has accommodated me and my kids for the past six years!  God is good -- all the time.  Can I get an AMEN?

At this time of year, I especially have a new appreciation for working moms.  I don't know how you do this day in and day out.  My kids are a little older, and therefore self-sufficient for the most part.  It gets a little easier each summer.  I cannot imagine working full time with smaller children.  So -- my hat is off to those of you who do this year-round -- no matter what the ages of your children!

Tell me though... Will you share your best kept secret when it comes to keeping your household sane?  Having a menu plan?  Getting dinner on the table?  Getting that never-ending pile of laundry to disappear?

Every year I think I have it figured out, and we do good for about 3 of the 9 weeks, and then we flounder and... fail.  Help.  I want to keep going strong for the nine weeks that I will be working at camp.

Give me your best tips!

I'll share my favorite FIVE, and link to your blog
so that others can find out how fabulous you are!

Thanks for taking the time to share!
(I'll pick 5 commentors by Sunday PM)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Polka Dots and Plaid

A special moment on the last night...
I'm excited.  Our sweet girl returns from her week-long junior-high ministry trip to North Carolina today.  For those of you who have prayed... thank you.

My daughter is one of my life cheerleaders.  She reads me well, and often knows and understands what I am feeling long before anyone else.  She and I have always read one another pretty well.

She is as much a part of me as... my right arm.  And, let me just say that this week while she was gone... Well, my left arm got really tired.

Our week without her has been very full, with lovely weather, and a day-after-day routine.  All good.  But, when she arrives home, our home will go from "living color" to polka-dots-and plaid.  Not in a literal sense of course - but everything that was just "everyday normal" will get spiced up a whole lot -- just because of the enthusiasm that she brings to everything.

I can't wait.  I am SO ready for polka-dots-and-plaid.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Approach with Caution? -- or Enthusiasm?

Lately, I've noticed some interesting patterns in how various generations approach the Lord.

Many people in my parents' generation prayed with "Thee" and "Thou."
I tend to begin with "Heavenly Father."
Our kids say, "Hey God," not with disrespect, but as if they are greeting a friend.

In worship, it used to be typical to bow your head.
I tend to look upward in praise.
Our kids look straight ahead, ready to meet God right there on their turf -- again, as a friend.

It's interesting to see each generation approach the Lord in their own fashion.
I don't believe that one way is correct or incorrect.
Afterall, God DOES know the "attitude" of our hearts!

Ultimately, I think it's most important that we approach God at all -- don't you?

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Update

Thanks for your prayers.  Thanks especially to Carli and Marnie for your sweet comments and prayers for the kids!  We have gotten good reports that the team had a great day of work today -- lots of ditch digging, and setting records with their speed.  I am convinced that people are seeing God (for some, maybe the first time) because of our kids serving in this way.

Please pray that they would continue to serve selfLESSly -- and please continue to pray for their safety.

Thank you.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Prayer Request

Our girl is headed to North Carolina tomorrow with a team of 30 other 8th graders and 7 leaders.  They will be working with ReCreation Experiences.  This is a rural ministry trip geared toward reaching out to people with the gospel through home repair in the mountains of North Carolina.

 Last year, she was blessed to participate in a 4-day ministry trip to Pittsburgh.  At this point, she is starting to realize that this will be the longest that she has been away from her family "alone."  I'm confident that she'll do fine - but this is what is weighing on her right at this moment (and probably keeping her from sleep).

I'm praying that:
  1. she and all of her team-mates will get a good night's rest tonight
  2. that their travel time will be safe
  3. that they will all be too busy during the day, and too tired at night to get homesick
  4. that her team (kids and leaders) will be unified, and work well together - living out the love of God
  5. that they will sleep well each night
  6. that this trip will be injury-free
Will you pray with me?  Thanks so much.  I'm excited to hear the stories they will tell when they return!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Birthday Flowers on Saturday

This week I enjoyed three days spent with friends.
One was just time spent together.
Another was a day of flower-gifts,
and today included birthday cake,
the birthday song,
and birthday presents.
A friend mentioned
that it's good to have your birthday "stretched out"
over a couple of days.
I would have to agree.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recipe: Beans

A while back, I told you about my Aunt Kathy's "Beans" recipe.  She brought them every year to the family reunion, and they were SO YUMMY.  One summer (when I was in high school or college) I asked Aunt Kathy for her recipe.  She was happy to oblige.  The recipe that follows is in her words.

2 regular cans CHEAP BEANS (Campbell's, Bush's or your favorite generic brand!)
2-3 good shakes of ketchup
2 good shakes of mustard
small handful of brown sugar
a good 1/4 bottle of lite molasses
1/2 small onion, diced
good handful of bacon bits

Cover with sliced bacon.  Bake for a while.

I'm sure I was married for several years before I really "got it."  I'm pretty sure my Aunt Kathy never made the beans the same way twice.  She wasn't too worried about quantities.  She threw in a little of this and a little of that until it was all yummy -- after it had baked "a while."  =)

Truth be told, I use dehydrated onions and Bacos.  In more recent years, I have left out the brown sugar and molasses (even the "lite" stuff), trying to trim down the calories for us.  Also - no bacon on top.  But, I still think of Aunt Kathy every time I make beans.  Oh - and I have never baked them either.  I always use the crock-pot if I'm taking them somewhere, or just make them on the stove-top if we're eating them at home.

I guess maybe I take after Aunt Kathy a little.  I've learned to do things my way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mission Accomplished

What a day we had yesterday.  We hit Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky.  AWESOME day.  It was so beautiful.  Cloudless, and in the 80's.  No humidity.  A cool evening.  Fifteen-minute lines for the rides.  We picked THE day.

We decided to make it a day of "yeses," instead of a day of, "you want to pay HOW MUCH for a can of pop?"  Everyone needs a "day of yeses" now and then.  It was pretty much stress free.  And, interestingly enough, nobody asked for anything unreasonable.  Nice.

We traveled on the simple side... no iPods.  We actually talked to one another during the ride.  Okay - and slept.  When we arrived, all phones went in the glove-box in the van.  We found one another in the park the old fashioned way.  We LOOKED.

We took no cameras either.  I confess, this was a hard decision for me.  Ultimately, I was glad not to have the excess baggage -- especially when we got DRENCHED on the two water rides.  But, I did have my regrets throughout the day.  I mean c'mon -- we're talking about a cloudless blue-sky day, and bright carnival colors -- TONS of great shots.  I saw them all, and imagined them displayed on the pages of our scrapbooks.  But alas, they were just in my own memory.

By day's end, we were getting tired and done riding rides -- but wanted to wait around for the lights to go on -- and to ride the BIG WHEEL one more time to see the lights of the park from above.  So, we hung out in the arcade, and watched the kids play games.  And that's where I saw it...  A PHOTO BOOTH!!!

Perfect.  My hubby and I piled in, paid our money, and struck all the goofiest poses we could think of.  Then, we hunted down our children, and asked them to do the same.  TaaDaa!!

A Day Remembered.  Awesome.  Fun.  Sunshine.  Sunburn.  Funnel Cakes.  Getting REALLY wet on the water rides.  Riding lots of awesome roller coasters.  Gift shop momentos.  The BIG WHEEL after dark with the park lights on.  A sleepy ride home.  Mission accomplished.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Psalm 95:6-7

Flowers on Saturday

Flower: unknown.  Weed?  Perhaps.
Haven't done too much weeding yet this year.
Oh well.  It's been a little wet.
Time to get busy on these nice, sunny days!

I love the contrast between the lacy look of the flower,
and the bark of the tree.

Come share your Flowers on Saturday

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

Did you know that today is National Doughnut Day?
Yep.  It's the first Friday in June, and that's TODAY.
Big deal, right?
Listen to this.
Did you know you can 

Get a Free Doughnut from Krispy Kreme on National Doughnut Day?

True story.
You can read about it HERE
--and your welcome!
{I'm just doing my part to make the world a happier place.}

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer's Comin'

Today, I helped fold umpteen-hundred t-shirts for Vacation Bible School kiddos.  So, you know what that means?  It's almost SUMMER!  For the past six years, I have worked at the summer day camp at our church.  I've filled various roles from "craft lady" to "assistant to the registrar."  In between those roles, I was famous for removing splinters, and kissing boo-boos.  I am a fantastic hug-giver (if I DO say so myself), and a great listener.  And all that was just for the COUNSELORS!!!  Ha - no only kidding.  We have great counselors who are very self-sufficient.  However, I DID fill all those roles (at one time or another) for the campers.  I also took pictures, and did the daily newsletter, amongst other things.

Then I started my own blog -- and somehow, they thought I would be ready for the role of... (don't laugh) "Media Manager."  When I first received my contract with the new title, I laughed out loud.  Then I felt a little fearful.  Then I thought - "Oh heck, this'll be FUN!" -- and I signed my name on the dotted line.

So, I am totally looking forward to this new job for the summer!  Although -- today, as I was doing work on the camp blog, facebook page, and twitter page, the whole thing became a little dizzying!  Seriously -- this summer, I will be a little schizophrenic as I work on 2 blogs (we'll see about that!), 2 facebook pages (don't really think this is going to happen), and 2 twitter accounts (maybe).  Seriously: 6 passwords and 3 e-mail addresses to remember!  It's no wonder I was feeling dizzy.

One of the greatest parts of this job is that it's sort of a family affair.  Our son also works at the camp, and our daughter attends as a camper.  So, I am not driving around town all summer getting kids where they need to go. We hang out together, but not really -- we're all busy doing our own thing.  It's worked out well for us.  I'm very thankful.

So what are your big plans for the summer?

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