Wednesday, June 29, 2011

snippets of time...

Cool morning.  Warm coffee.  Quiet house.  

I spend a great deal of my time yearning for more of this allusive thing called time.  It's really quite absurd.  Rather than live in the moment... whatever the moment is,  I find myself planning ahead.  Spending time that isn't meant to be spent yet and pining for time I do not have.  

I long for great lengths of time... long conversations and long vacations.  I desire hours to quietly read and days with nothing to do.  I crave extended time with extended family and prolonged visits with far away friends.  

Slowly... ever so slowly... through His patient and graceful teaching, I am learning what I think I desire is not what I need.  He promises to supply all my needs according to His riches in glory... even in time.

When I let go of the pining and the planning and trust Him with my days, I see snippets of time provided just for me.  In the midst of the chaos around me... and often in me... He provides spontaneous date nights, a few quiet moments to read, an encouraging conversation with a friend, a weekend away with family.  

I am learning to recognize a snippet of time and to see the beauty in it... the wonder and beauty of a cool morning, a warm cup of coffee and a quiet house.  And for these few moments, I will immerse and enjoy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

oh so true...

A friend sent this to me in an email this morning.  I was rolling on the floor laughing!  Oh so true in my world and oh so funny!  

Please don't be offended by my warped sense of humor.  True life is not only stranger than fiction, it's also more hilarious than fiction.

I have no idea who gets the credit for this.  Whoever it is... thank you for the laughs!! 


The Bathing Suit (by a middle-age woman unknown)

When I was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have?  I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.  The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks.  Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!

Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other.  At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is meant to  wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides.  I looked like a lump of
Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top.  It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it.  My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."

So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!

****You'd better be laughing or rolling on the floor by this time.  Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a bathing suit!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

15 minutes...

I have 15 minutes before it is time to pick Eric up from early morning football practice....

Seems like this summer is filled with snippets of 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there.  Usually those 15 minutes are waiting in the truck for the child at football or at llama club or at Exploring 4H or at the library or at softball or... or... or...

The question is not where are those 15 minute snippets of time but rather...

what am I doing with those 15 minutes?

Usually I spend that 15 minutes contemplating all that I need to get done or deciding what to cook for dinner or mentally rehashing an argument.  

I no longer want to waste those 15 minutes.  Even though it is a short moment, I won't ever get those 15 minutes back.  I need to make them count...

15 minutes to pray.  15 minutes to connect with Chad.  15 minutes to encourage one of the Es.  

It all boils down to 15 minutes.  

What can I do with 15 minutes?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Quotable Rogue...a BookSneeze review

She is arguably one of the most influential women of the 21st century.  In the few short years since the world first met Alaska's woman governor Sarah Palin, she has made her mark on American history.

It seems as if all of Sarah Palin's words have been hashed and rehashed, including emails.  Nothing she says gets by the "lame stream" media without discussion. 

 Regardless of individual Party affiliations, Americans cannot seem to get enough of the words of Sarah Palin.  Many a hilarious SNL skit stars Tina Fey as the Quotable Rogue herself.

The Daily Caller senior contributor, Matt Lewis, has compiled 180 pages of Mrs. Palin's own quotes.  He includes her words on 32 different subjects... from abortion to Barack Obama and most everything in between including Mrs. Palin's thoughts on Tina Fey's portrayals of herself.

The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin In Her Own Words is a great reference book into the views of Mrs. Palin.  Laid out in an easy to use, easy to read format, anyone looking for more information on Sarah Palin's ideals would be wise to pick up Matt Lewis' book.

The Quotable Rogue will be released by Thomas Nelson Publishers June 28, 2011.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

on laughter and family...

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
   and your lips with shouts of joy.
Job 8:21 21 1/2 most favorite people in all the world!

We gathered, this weekend, to celebrate 45 years of marriage, 42 Father's Days and 14 years of birthdays.  In two very large, very nice suites we lived together... in complete and utter mayhem. For one weekend, immediate family's lines blurred and blended into beautiful chaos.

These truly are my favorite people.  We've lived, loved and laughed together.  And it is the laughing together that is the favorite part of my life!

All I could pray today was "thank You! thank You! thank YOU!!"

Thank You for another weekend of laughter and family...

...late night giggles of 6 girls all in a bunk room together 
...teen boy humor
...the tickle-me-giggle of the newest member
...hearing my dad's deep laugh
...laughing so hard tears run freely in watching the 2 yr old share his breakfast with Grandma
...having fun at an old-time photo session
...and making fun of the results
...waterslide squeals
...water cannon wars
...splashing with little ones
...floating and chatting
...nieces waterslide requests "Puh.leez Aunt Heidi!"
...late night encouragement in law humor
...the 3 inseparable mancubs
...2 year old kisses
...cousin love
...built-in babysitters last lunch together long memories
...beautiful chaos


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lorrie's Audios... a Gabby review

It's that time again... time for another review for Eternal Encouragement and the Gabby Moms.

Honestly, this review is hard for me to do.  I've spent the week ruminating on how I would write this review.  I hope and pray that my words are encouraging and God honoring even though I really didn't like these products.  

Lorrie Flem and her team at Eternal Encouragement sent me two mp3 files to download, listen to and review... Attitude Adjustments and Keys to a Queenly Castle.  Each of these files is available as an mp3 file for $6.97 or a CD for $9.97 at

Both audios are recordings of Lorrie Flem teaching at a homeschool convention sharing her life lessons that she has gleaned being a wife to Randy and mother to 8.  While she has experiences to share, I found her to be distracting at the beginning of both speeches because she sells herself and her product.  Most of her products stand alone and do not need solicitation but because she is at a convention, she directs her listener to "the best curriculum in the vending hall today."

As I listened to Lorrie, I don't remember ever hearing her say "this is what has worked in my home."  Instead, I got the distinct impression that she feels like she is teaching the only way to accomplish a particular goal.  The concepts she teaches are Scriptural.  However, sometimes a mom has to teach something 2 or 3 or even 10 different ways to her 2 or 3 or 10 different children.  

Because both of these audios were recorded as workshops at conventions, there is some background noise and the audio isn't as clear as it would be if they were recorded in a studio.  For me, this made them more difficult to listen to than other recordings or podcasts I have heard.

Lastly, the content of both audios seems to be a bit redundant.  Not only does Lorrie repeat herself often, the subjects of each audio overlap in areas which leads to a feeling of deja vu.

I am sorry that this review is so negative.  However, I felt like I was expected to give an honest review and honestly, I do not think either of these downloads are worth the price of $6.97/ea.  Especially considering that in both audio sessions, Lorrie stressed she is doing this as a ministry and is not making money from her products.

**disclaimer... I was given these 2 free downloads for my honest review.  I received no other compensation. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

on weariness...

I seem to experience different kinds of weariness in life.  Such as...

the I'm-so-tired-I-can-hardly-keep-my-eyes-open weary


the bone-aching-I-can-hardly-move weary


the if-one-more-person-says-"MOM!"-I'm-going-to-scream weary

or even

the life-is-too-overwhelming-to-breathe weary

All cause weariness.  All wear me out at times.  All true to my life at one time or another.

... and then, there is the best kind of weariness...

the I've-given-all-I've-got-for-Him weary

That is where I am, tonight.  I'm bone deep exhausted.  It's been a week of preparing VBS for 75 kids on Monday, taking a girl to 4H camp, planning a family reunion, preparing for Fair, getting up and driving a boy to early morning football practice, editing and rewriting 7 Bible studies and preparing for a new ministry site.  It's been hours facing my computer screen, a zillion emails and countless texts.  It's even settling for Burger King tonight only because it was easy and cheap.

Though I am tired, this is the kind of weary I like.  It's knowing that though I am tired, what I'm doing matters.  It's the kind of weary I want to be when He finally calls me home and I fall on my face at His feet.  I want to KNOW that I've given all I've got for Him...

...I want to be that weary.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Uncommon... a Tyndale review

It's no secret that I love football... especially the National Football League.  Even in the midst of a HUGE labor dispute and the very good probability that there will not be a season opener at the beginning of September, I still love NFL football... the Indianapolis Colts... and this man... former Indy coach Tony Dungy.

Tony Dungy is a man who chooses to be different.  He chooses to be a man of honesty, integrity and morality.  He chooses to talk about those things.  He chooses to be Uncommon.  And, in choosing to be uncommon, Coach Dungy encourages others to live an uncommon life.

Uncommon... finding your path to significance is more than a how-to-live-a-great-life book.  It's more than a coach's memoir.  This book is even more than a great read.  

Instead, Tony Dungy honestly deals with the struggles and pitfalls of life.  He shares real life examples of victory and defeat... joy and sorrow... life and death.  He neither minces words nor sugar coats tough issues but with patience, humor and wisdom, he tackles life choices that face all of us.  Throughout its pages, Coach Dungy writes this book in the spirit of Apostle Paul who said, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV)

Tyndale House Publishers has just released an update edition of Uncommon for $14.99.  The update version includes a bonus chapter on the "Dare to Be Uncommon" movement that is sweeping schools across the nation as well as updated information on Coach Dungy since his retirement from the Indianapolis Colts in 2009.

Though written primarily for men, I thoroughly enjoyed Coach Dungy's no-nonsense approach and sage words of wisdom in Uncommon.  

...and, as of today, my 14 year old son's summer reading list just got one book longer.

**disclaimer... I reviewed this book as part of my affiliation with Tyndale Summer Reading Program.  I received no other compensation.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

how to do a man's job...

I look deeper into his eyes... not really believing what he just told me... wondering if this is another not-so-funny 14 year old joke... only I don't think he would joke about this.  "Freddie's dead, Mom."

I watch from the screen... trees partially block my view but I see 2 men shovels in hand... silently working side by side in the heat of the day... digging a final resting place.

I observe and my heart swells and skips and thumps wildly... I see the boy, no longer a boy, working next to the man who fathered him and fathers him... I see in the sound of metal hitting earth another life lesson best learned side by side.

I see my man teaching our man how to do a man's job and my spirit soars for in this moment of the loss of a dog I am fiercely proud of my men!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

library spoiled...

I came to the conclusion, today, that I am "library spoiled"!  See this building?  Seriously, this building not only houses the World's Coolest Public Library (WCPL) but within those walls are a group of people I affectionally call "My Favorite Librarians".   

Unknown to me, until today, was the fact that My Favorite Librarians at WCPL have spoiled me rotten.

My mom and I took a short road trip today to meet up with my cousin to do some ministry brain-storming (more on that later...).   We opted to meet at a public library that offered free wifi.  At the time, it seemed like a safe and convenient way to spend several hours sharing thoughts and ideas.  Safe, definitely.   Convenient, not so much.

This particular library, which shall remain nameless, seems to be a public library in name only.  Let's just say, it's not very welcoming to have to ask a librarian to unlock the ladies' room when you are in need of its use.  Furthermore, free wifi takes on an entirely different meaning when you the librarian has to secretly enter the user name and password every hour.

I'm not sure what has prompted this particular public library to take such drastic measures to protect itself.  Apparently, they take their security seriously though!  

They advertised their Summer Reading Program.  I was a little leery of inquiring further.

... just another reminder of how much I love my local library!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

the other side of tomorrow...

The years know
what the days could not see.
Eric 2000
Time is elusive.  Holding on to it is like nailing Jello to a tree... try as you might, you just can't do it.  

I have memories of my grandmother looking at the 20-something Heidi wistfully... reminding me that I was young and had my entire life before me.  "Time flies" she would often say. 

While I hope I said something polite, kind and relatively intelligent, my heart thought, "Are you kidding me?  There's always tomorrow!"
Jake, Drew and Eric 2000
It's amazing what time looks like on this side of tomorrow... 
Truman 2011
I spent the weekend with a special little boy.  He's two and a half.  He's precocious.  He's lively.  He's incredibly intelligent.  He's beautiful.  He is 100% boy!  He reminds me of another boy or two I once knew.

Truman 2011
Spending the weekend with my nephew, Tru, brought back many memories to this Mama's heart.  Memories of Eric playing with his 2 BFF's, his cousin's Drew and Jake.  Memories of little boy times with cars, Rescue Heroes, Thomas the Train and football.  Memories that on this side of tomorrow don't seem that far away... until I realized that tomorrow is Eric's last day of middle school.

Jake, Drew and Eric backpacking for 3 days with Uncle Steve and Aunt Susy 2011
There is always another side to tomorrow.  For Eric, it's high school... football, finals and fiascos.  I excited for all that Eric will do, see, learn and become.  I'm thrilled to see the man that God will shape him into being.  
Eric 2011
...and on the other side of tomorrow, I will miss the boy of today.

**most of these pictures respectfully stolen from my very talented sister at in the details