Monthly Archives: December 2005

So Many Words, So Little Time


You’d think with the kids gone, my word count meter would be going through the roof. However, I woke up with the same headache that put me out of commission last night, and didn’t get it under control until 1:30 this afternoon. I was browsing blogs this evening when it started coming back, so I decided to come here and blog before I die [I’m gonna take some ibuprofen, too, hoping to head it off at the pass.]

Let’s see, I was going to tell you about the books I got at Borders last night, but my head blew up, so maybe I can get through it tonight.

I got a book by Norman Vincent Peale called Positive Imaging. Last night I was looking up links to stick under the names for your clicking enjoyment, and I found this horrid article about Dr. Peale. It was written by a group calling themselves Biblical Discernment Ministries. Discernment is defined as: (discernment)
noun: perception of that which is obscure
noun: the trait of judging wisely and objectively (Example: “A man of discernment”)
noun: delicate discrimination (especially of aesthetic values)
noun: the cognitive condition of someone who understands
noun: ability to make good judgments [I swiped those definitions from here, a site I love dearly.]

In the article, it claims that Peale never talks about salvation, or about Jesus as the way to salvation and a bunch of other crap that, if you’ve read the book, you would find simply isn’t true.

Nothing pisses me off more than people who lie, which is probably why I am losing confidence in the president, and in many Christian leaders. I mean come on, people. President Clinton was impeached because he couldn’t keep his pants zipped. Our current president spied on thousands of e-mails, phone calls, and who knows what else, okayed the mistreatment of suspected [not proven] terrorists, and then lied about it until he couldn’t deny it anymore.

Why is it so evil for one president to have sex in the oval office that he has to be impeached [no, it wasn’t okay that he did it, but the people he hurt were his own family.]? But it’s okay for a president to invade the privacy of thousands of people in the name of fighting terrorism, and completely violate the Constitution in the process by ignoring the checks and balances that make our government at least marginally better than most? I mean he wrote an executive order that said he didn’t have to get a court order to monitor the calls. Why? In all the years they’ve been getting secret warrants, the court has only turned the pres. down maybe three times.

I feel like the president is using horrid scare tactics to convince us that it’s okay for him to ignore the Constitution in the name of the ‘war on terror.’

Oh yeah, back to the article on Dr. Peale. What’s up with that? I mean how many conservative Christians have completely trashed a person based on what they ‘heard’ about someone. I’ve had friends tell me that JK Rowling is a Satanist and has written other books with satanic messages. And that her Harry Potter books promote witchcraft.

Puh-lease! People, don’t believe everything you hear! Not only that, but if you don’t have the time to research stuff, don’t freaking pass it on like it’s gospel! I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books, and I can tell you that the Witchcraft and Wizardry you find in Ms. Rowling’s books bears almost no resemblance to real Wiccan rituals. It seems like my fellow Christians freak out at the drop of the hat and see everything as a personal attack on their religion.

Christianity has been around for 2000 years. It has changed some [sometimes good, sometimes bad, and unfortunately the bad is way more visible] but, in the end, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and you follow what he taught, I’d say that counts. However, it seems like Christians have focused on the salvation part [believing that Jesus is the Son of God] and not so much on the ‘following His teachings’ part.

You know the part about taking care of the orphans, widows, and prisoners? The part about loving your neighbor as yourself [note that he didn’t say more than or less than yourself, just as. I think that means “as much as,” or “at the same time as” you love yourself. You really do have to take care of yourself and do the things that keep you healthy to be an effective person. But some have begun to focus only on themselves and forgotten to love others too. Others have forgotten to take care of themselves. Neither extreme is healthy, nor is it what Jesus wanted.]

I saw on the History Channel the other night that there may have been a Gospel of Mary [Magdalene]. What archaeologists found in it was that Mary was trying to tell the male disciples that Jesus had told her some things after his resurrection that he didn’t share with the men.

That sounds like all kinds of heresy, I know, but here’s the thing. She said that he told her not to focus so much on the salvation part and more on the teachings part of Jesus’s ministry. My brain says this makes perfect sense. Of course he would tell the woman focus more on his other teachings, since we’re the nurturers, and she was probably supposed to remind the men of the other half of our mission. And it’s natural that the men would focus less on the caregiving and more on getting people saved.

But I think Jesus intended for both parts to be exercised equally, maybe even with more focus on taking care of the weak than “getting them saved.” Christians have been spouting sayings for years about this, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” And, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”

I’m still thinking about all this stuff [the previous was just a thumbnail of all the various topics that have been rolling around up there… hey, maybe that’s why I got the headache from hell yesterday!]. It’s like my whole life is in the midst of an overhaul, and I’m still not sure exactly where it is I’m heading. A little disconcerting, I’ll tell you that right now. I keep joking to Hubby that I’m becoming a freaking Liberal. He just shakes his head [He does that a lot. He doesn’t back away in fear of the lightning strike anymore, so I figure I’m making some progress!!]

Yeah, so anyway, I’m sorry for griping around the world tonight, but it’s been brewing for a while. Let me know if I made any sense, though, okay?

Until tomorrow, then.

When The Kids Are Away, The Parents Will Play


The kids are gone until Sunday! Too bad I’m so freaking tired! Last night was a rough night. I was plagued with insomnia until 1am. About the time I started falling asleep, my youngest woke up crying. [Thus, it was another hour or so before I could shut my brain down enough to sleep. Ugh.] She turned two last October, and I can probably count on two hands the number of times she has slept through the night. [The older two slept all night from the beginning, so this is something new for me. I totally have sympathy for those parents who have kids who don’t sleep, though. I feel your pain!]

She [my youngest] used to lose her binky all the time, but we got rid of that sucker [hee hee, horrid pun, I know, but I’m sleep deprived and it sounds really funny in my head] several months ago. Sometimes she just wakes up [possible bad dreams, I guess] and most of the time, she won’t go back to sleep until I go pick her up.

Sometimes I send Hubby in, but she usually wakes up again if he does it. She’s a mama’s girl big time. Really they all are, I guess. Some moms like to be their kids’ favorite, but that’s not really my thing. I think it would be wonderful to hear one of them yell, “Daaaaaddy, I neeeeeed youuuuu!” Oh well, they do him, they just call on me when something hurts.

I went on my Big Shopping Trip To Borders the other day [I was gonna blog about it last night, but the kids played games online, and the computer locked up just as I was coming over. Rather than re-start it, I just gave up and went to bed.] I started reading a book by Jimmy Carter called Our Endangered Values.

I carried it around for a while, but my gift card was only for $20 and the book was $25 [with 30% off, so about $19 after the discount] but I had a hard time paying that much for one book when I could buy two that were just as interesting for the same price. I’ll get the Carter book at the library, because I think it’s worth reading.

I am in the process of working through some “theological issues,” which I began to blog about next, but a sudden, massive headache has reduced my ability to think. So, I’m going to bed. Jeez! So frustrating.

Couldn’t Resist


I went back to tickle’s website and took their IQ test again, deliberately missing all the questions. Here are my results:S, your Super IQ score is 80

Your overall intelligence quotient is the result of a scientifically-tested formula based on how many questions you answered correctly. But it’s only part of what we learned about you from your answers on the test. We also determined the way you process information.The way you think about things makes you an Information Organizer. This means you have an eye for detail. You can scan a page and find the one mistake on it. You’re also able to organize things in a way that makes sense and arrange information so that it is easier to understand. This makes you a very valuable resource for others who aren’t organized or who have trouble catching their own mistakes. It’s often difficult for traditional intelligence tests to pick up your particular set of abilities because the talent of organizing information and spotting inconsistencies is much harder to measure than other abilities.
How did we determine that your thinking style is that of an Information Organizer? When we examined your test results further, we analyzed how you scored on 8 dimensions of intelligence: spatial, organizational, abstract reasoning, logical, mechanical, verbal, visual and numerical. The 3 dimensions you scored highest on combine to make you an Information Organizer. Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities.

Hmmm… 80 is the minimum IQ you can have without being considered mentally challenged. Like I said, the site is good for a laugh, but don’t give ’em any money.

Okay, I’m really going to bed this time.

A Blogging We Will Go


I went shopping today. Spent four hours on my feet, and my butt’s a draggin.’ Hubby is laying in bed shooting the ceiling with his new airsoft gun. Yup, he’s strange, but so cute!

And if you tilt your head just so, you can see how cute. That was on his 34th birthday, which was in August.

Ugh. I can’t figure out how to rotate the picture. Anybody out there know how?

Oh well, all that was to say that I’m beat, so I’m going to bed. Speaking of birthdays, my 32nd is coming up in a few days. Wow, it feels really weird to be in my thirties. I figure I’ll get used to it about the time I head into my forties. It’s cool, though. I remember being a kid and thinking I would never live to see 25, let alone 32. So I won’t gripe about getting old [I’m not even close, yet.]

Anyway, ‘night, y’all.



“S, your Super IQ score is 133

Your overall intelligence quotient is the result of a scientifically-tested formula based on how many questions you answered correctly. But it’s only part of what we learned about you from your answers on the test. We also determined the way you process information.The way you think about things makes you an Imaginative Mastermind. This means you are an extremely talented person, with a wide range of skills. There is little to nothing you can’t do if you want to. You’re very creative and you can express your ideas effectively through a variety of different means whether it’s written or spoken words, numbers, or anything else. You also have a practical knowledge of how things work in the world — you’ve been paying attention and you pick things up easily.
How did we determine that your thinking style is that of an Imaginative Mastermind? When we examined your test results further, we analyzed how you scored on 8 dimensions of intelligence: spatial, organizational, abstract reasoning, logical, mechanical, verbal, visual and numerical. The 3 dimensions you scored highest on combine to make you an Imaginative Mastermind. Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities.”

Imaginative Mastermind. Sounds pretty good, don’t you think? I got a good laugh out of it, anyway! I’m a sucker for tests like this, though. Always have been. I used to love getting Seventeen magazine as a kid and filling out the tests, “What’s Your Fashion Style? Does He Really Love You? What Kind of Flirt Are You?” Are those great titles or what? Who can resist them? Not I. So when I stumbled upon Tickle’s* website, well, it was almost like heaven.

To get the report on the full results of the IQ test, you have to shell out $10, but the test is fun, [at least it was for me, but then I love all things brain-teaser, so your mileage may vary, but if you’re interested, go here] And, if you like taking tests online, here are a bunch of them. They’re free to take, but to get the full results, you have to pay for them.

Anyway, I had fun with the IQ test, so I thought I’d pass it along. I don’t know how accurate it is from a scientific standpoint, but there you go. Let me know if you like it.

* I haven’t examined all the tests available at this website, so it’s possible that some of it is offensive. Don’t look at those, okay?

Another test result [I told you I love these things!]

“What Breed of Dog Are You?
S, you’re a Collie!

No bones about it, you’re a loyal, nurturing Collie. A sensitive breed, you’re always approachable and very in tune with others’ feelings — just like Lassie! Because of your empathetic nature, you tend to be the group psychologist to your circle of friends. Your faithful, easygoing, steadfast personality makes you a wonderful confidant; people love to come to you with their troubles. Bottom line? You’re a star at interpersonal relationships and have a knack for making new friends and acquaintances wherever you go. After all, what’s a Collie without a flock to look after? Since you’re so giving, your buddies might not realize that you need them just as much as they need you, so make sure not to neglect yours truly. Everyone deserves some “me” time. Woof! ”

Hee hee. Okay, go have some fun, and come back and tell me your results if you want.

Oh Yeah, I hope everyone had a great holiday. Ours was really good in spite of the sick kids. Every one was pleased with their gifts. I got hubby an Air Soft gun that shoots vinyl BBs. His instructors used them when he was in the Academy [you miss a question and they shot you in the back… no permanent damage, and George, big dork that he is, thought it was funny.]

So yesterday, he was getting ready for work, and had me shoot him in the back of the leg. I was about 12 feet from him, but it left a big knot on the back of his thigh. He jumped around for a minute or two, which was worth seeing, I must admit. But I almost felt guilty for hurting him. Almost, but not quite. I think I’ll stick to target practice on inanimate objects from now on, though.

I am sitting at the computer listening to K-Love online [if you like contemporary Christian music, go there now and listen, they are one of the best Christian stations in the country]. I mention that because I am listening through the new speakers my hubby got me. The old ones were horrible. One didn’t work at all and the other one vibrated if you turned it up too loud. These work perfectly, and words can’t express how wonderful that is.

Some very dear friends got me a gift card to Borders, which is where I plan to spend a good portion of my afternoon tomorrow.

*Side note: My town doesn’t have any privately owned mainstream book stores. We are a city of about 65 or 70 thousand, and we have several religious bookstores, but that’s it. I mention that because the best way to help support your favorite authors is to buy from locally owned and operated bookstores. There’s a big explanation for it that I don’t have the energy to go into right now [and others have done it, better… I will try to find a link tomorrow].

For now, though, it’s after 3a.m. here, and I need some sleep.

Merry Christmas!


My two oldest kids were sick all night and we had to go to the Christmas Eve service at church. My son slept in the pew the whole night. Our skit came off without a hitch [A minor miracle! It was the first time we had gotten it right… somehow we usually manage to pull stuff off when it really matters.] In five minutes, we made the audience laugh and then cry, so I’d say that’s pretty good.

Hubby’s song was awesome. I am still amazed every time that man opens his mouth and beautiful melodies fly out of it. I always pray that he will do well, partly because I love him and want him to succeed. But also because when a song is well-done, it has the power to move you and change you, hopefully to make you better.

Songs created a mood, and an off-note can screw that up completely [sometimes… there have been times when all he could manage was to stand up and cry, and that moved people too.] Horribly off-key voices, for me at least, distract from the message of the song. Which is why I’m really glad that he rarely misses a note [it does happen, just not often.]

At some point [probably after the holidays] he’s going to go to some of the local funeral homes and offer to sing at funerals. It’s a little morbid, I guess, but he loves to sing and would love to be able to do it more. Barring a miracle ‘discovery,’ weddings, funerals, and church services may be the best way to get to do that.

I would love for him to be able to sing for a living, if that’s what he wants. I doubt that he will quit troopin’ any time soon, though. I asked him if he’d quit if we won $10 million from Publisher’s Clearing House, and the answer was a definite ‘no.’ He loves his job, and I’m okay with that. There are times when I let worry for his safety creep in, but I’m usually able to pray about it [and call him to make sure he’s okay and tell him to be extra careful… as if he wouldn’t be otherwise] and let it go.

Anyway, Christmas is here! We were able to get all of our shopping done, and I don’t think the kids will be disappointed.

We will also read the Christmas story from Luke 2, which says

The Birth of Jesus

1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2(This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3All returned to their own towns to register for this census. 4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time.
6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

The Shepherds and Angels 8That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, 10but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”
13Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others–the armies of heaven–praising God:

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.[a]” 15When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said. [taken from the New Living Translation]

Merry Christmas, all, and have a blessed New Year!

It Is Finished


My stint in holiday shopping madness is officially over. If I didn’t get it today, I ain’t gettin’ it. I spent part of the evening wrapping hubby’s gifts. Then I wasted several hours watching TV. I watched network TV until the news was half over, then I watched Newlyweds on MTV.

The plan for the rest of my evening [now that it’s after midnight] is to shower, meditate and go to sleep.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the kids are getting more excited the closer we get. I’m a little nervous about the service tomorrow night. We don’t have our skit completely memorized yet, and I’m not sure if there’s gonna be time tomorrow.

George goes to work at five, and he works until three in the morning tonight, so I’m sure he’s gonna want to sleep late. We may have to set an alarm and get up anyway.

Maybe I’ll set the coffee pot, too.

Only Two Shopping Days Left, Boys and Girls


And we’re not done yet. At this rate, we should be ready for Christmas by New Year’s. Oh well. We went to the church to practice our Christmas skit [called Glad Tidings]. And so Steve could practice his song, ‘Oh Holy Night.’ We still have to finish memorizing the skit, but I think we’re close, and the song is really high, but really good.

Tomorrow is the only day I will have to do my shopping before Christmas, so I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and do it. I guess if you hear from me tomorrow, you’ll know I survived it!

Anyway, it’s late, and life is hectic, so I’m gonna go. I’m thinking that unless something major comes up that I just have to blog about, this may be a short diary entry for a few days.

You never know, though, I had planned on skipping Sundays, but I always have something to talk about. My writing on my novel is at a temporary standstill. But I’m still writing every day, so I don’t feel too bad about it. My goal is to have it written, revised, polished, and sent out by this time next year. I’m hoping to have it finished before that, but since this is my first time for actually finishing one, I figure a year isn’t too bad.

Anyway, if things go nuts and I don’t get a chance to say it, Merry Christmas!

And Sometimes, Wednesdays Are Good


Yes, it’s true dear friends. I not only survived teaching, but enjoyed it. Most of the time, it’s easier for me to love kids when I don’t have to actually interact with them [horrid of me, I know, but I don’t have a lot of patience, and when kids get crazy-rude, it drives me nuts!]

The kids were rowdy, but for the most part, it was because they were having fun. There’s a difference between that and repeatedly ignoring directions and being rude to other kids and to the teacher. The deliberate disobedience as a power struggle is what drives me nuts. I hate getting into power struggles with kids because as the adult, I can’t let them win. Ever. If they choose to discuss the matter with me, that’s different, but deliberate ‘I don’t have to listen to you,’ is fifteen shades of bad.

Thankfully, I didn’t have any of that tonight, but I think it’s because I genuinely care about them, and they know it. We played and got horrible-messy, but it was all in good fun, so I’m okay with that.

You know, when we first moved up here [about a year and a half ago], the children’s directors asked me if I liked working with the kids. I was honest and said ‘no.’ My husband and I were the youth leaders in our church several years ago [when I was a brand new, never been to church before except for Vacation Bible School, Christian.] Hoo boy, was that awful! I still don’t understand teens most of the time, [in my defense, I didn’t get them when I was one, either.] But I am getting better.

Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.

So, anyway, I left the church actually feeling better than when I arrived [and got an ever so slightly smug ‘I had a feeling that might happen.’ from the husband afterward. Grrr. If he wasn’t so cute, I’d have to smack him.] That’s kind of how it’s supposed to go, so things are good.

Oh yeah, the furnace is fixed! Yay, George!! The estimates to replace the part were $150-$170, which was going to put a serious damper on Christmas shopping [no, I’m not done yet. I am one of the few women on the planet who hates shopping with a passion, so I put it off as long as possible!] But, hubby went to the service store with the broken part, and the guy there was able to find a little doo-hickey to replace the one that was broken, and voila!! We have heat!!

Remember last night when I said things always get better if you can hold on? They really do. So don’t give up.

Winter Woes


Our furnace in our house went out today, and it’s 16 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I am running a kerosene heater, which stinks to high heaven, until hubby gets off work and goes to get an electric space heater. We have one in our room [because it’s in the back of the house and only has one vent], but the kids need heat, too.

This is pretty annoying, though. And cold. It seems like it’s always one thing after another. There’s something wrong with our van, too [our only means of transportation]. It runs, but not willingly. It sounds like it’s not running on all six cylinders, and the exhaust smells like unburned gasoline. God only knows what the problem is there.

The kerosene fumes make my eyes burn and my stomach upset, so I’m thinking that’s probably not a good thing. I wasn’t planning on running it all night anyway, because you just never know, and we have three little kids sleeping in the house, so I’m not taking any chances with carbon monoxide.

We finally put up the Christmas tree today. I’ve been putting it off since Thanksgiving. Christmas isn’t my favorite time of year. I know, I know, that’s not the kind of thing you usually hear from one of them there bornagainers, but there you have it. There’s just Too Much, you know?

As a general rule, I try to keep my stress level to a minimum. My depression is aggravated by stress, along with my Fibro symptoms, so avoiding stress is a necessity if I want to function at all. Minor to moderate stress is unavoidable a lot of the time in my house [three kids, a dog and a husband contribute quite a bit]. Add church on Wednesdays and twice on Sundays, and that’s about all I can handle comfortably.

Holiday get-togethers with friends and family are great, but draining. Even when I have fun, I’m still pretty done-in afterward. Meditation helps, but the funny thing is, when I need it most is when I manage it the least. Which begins the cycle of depression. Which is why December sucks.

That, and money is tight around here, so there isn’t much extra for Christmas gifts. Okay, there isn’t any extra, we just fake it. And that makes me sad. I shouldn’t be, my kids and I have enough clothes, food, and shelter [albeit a cold-kerosene-stinky one right now] but when they make the ‘list’ and I can only manage a couple of the less expensive things on it, it’s hard.

You want to give your kids their heart’s desire, you know? I don’t want to spoil them, and I don’t want to give them so much that they begin to think they’re entitled to the world on a platter, but I wish I could do more.

My oldest wants to take dance lessons so badly, and it’s just not possible. So I ordered her a couple of ‘how to dance’ DVD’s, hoping she can learn a little bit by herself, and that it will be enough. She also loves art [so do I] but art supplies are expensive. They all love music, and I would love for them to have music lessons.

It’s all stuff they don’t need in order to live, but can add so much to their lives. Music, drama, art, and writing are all things that I adore doing, and am fairly good at, but I often wonder if I’d had private lessons [or more classes offered at school], if I might have been exceptional at them.

It’s one of those things I’ll just never know. With my personality, I might have given up even if I’d had lessons, but I wish I’d had the chance to try. And that’s what I want to give to my kids. The chance to try everything and find out what they like and don’t like, and what they’re good at. And what they suck at.

Maybe it will give them a better idea of their potential at a younger age, and they won’t be wandering around at 30 still trying to figure out what they want to be ‘when they grow up.’

In my worse moments, those are the things I think about at Christmas.

In my better moments, I am filled with awe at the miracle of Christ’s birth. God making himself into a helpless human infant, totally dependent on a teenaged mother and a step-dad who may or may not love him. Wow. That was a pretty big gamble.

I am thankful for all that I have, even in my weaker moments when all I can see is what isn’t perfect. My kids are healthy. We have a home. And there will be gifts under the tree. I never forget that there are people who don’t have those things. I am truly blessed, and in the ways that really matter, I am rich.

Things are a little tilted in my life right now, but it will even out again, and get better. It always does if you can hold on.