Pet Lovers

We are not a pet family. We try, but it just doesn't work out. My husband and I both had pets (sort of) growing up, but neither of us are pet people as adults and I'm afraid, our children have inherited this trait. How can I tell, you ask? Well, I just took a glimpse of the fish tank and to what did my wandering eye appear? Floating among the 4 (out of 10) fish we have left are a sippy cup, a bungee cord, a Lego guy and a stray piece of paper. I wish I were, but really I'm not even joking. I would post a picture but I'm afraid I would be reported to the Animal Welfare Office.


What Am I?

Like, I've said before I'm pretty black and white. But, lately I've been on a spiritual journey to figure out what I am. I know to Whom I belong, but this world gets caught up in labels and with all the camps floating around I'd like to know which one I would be grouped with. Pentecostal, Reformist, Charismatic, Emergent, Conservative, what?

Molly took this theological quiz, and so did I. Turns out (according to the quiz) that I'm..... drumroll please.....Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. {Oh-kay?} I don't remember driving by a church with that kind of a sign. Now, I'm more confused. Anyway...
here are my results. Take the quiz for yourself.

You scored as a Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 68%
Fundamentalist 57%
Neo orthodox 50%
Reformed Evangelical 50%
Classical Liberal 46%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 43%
Emergent/Postmodern 39%
Roman Catholic 29%
Modern Liberal 11%

Think I'll check out a Wesley book the next time I'm at the library, since I'm "influenced heavily" by him and all.

Another thing, since I'm Holiness now (whatever) here are some quotes gathered from a former pastor.


Mean Moms

We're back after spending the holiday out of town. My step-sister sent this to me and it was just what I needed after a tough 4 days where my kids did not behave as well as I wanted them to for their relatives.

Mean Moms

Someday when my children are old enough to
Understand the logic that motivates a parent,
I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:
I loved you enough to ask where you were going,
With whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you
Discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for
Two hours while you cleaned your room,
A job that should have taken 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to let you see anger,
Disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children
Must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the
Responsibility for your actions even when the
Penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough to say
NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all.
I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.
And someday when your children are old enough to
Understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.
Was your Mom mean?
I know mine was.
We had the meanest mother in the whole world!
While other kids ate candy for breakfast,
We had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch,
We had to eat sandwiches.

And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was
Different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times.
You'd think we were convicts in a prison.

She had to know who our friends were
And what we were doing with them.
She insisted that if we said we
Would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it,
But she had the nerve to break
The Child Labor Laws by making us work.

We had to wash the dishes, make the beds,
Learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry,
Empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.
I think she would lie awake at night
Thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth,
The whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

By the time we were teenagers,
She could read our minds
And had eyes in the back of her head.
Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk
The horn when they drove up
They had to come up to the door
So she could meet them.

While everyone else could date
When they were 12 or 13,
We had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out
On lots of things other kids experienced.

None of us have ever
Been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's
Property or ever arrested for any crime.
It was all her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults.
We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today.
It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

She's Back!

One of my favorite bloggers is back. Molly at Adventures in Mercy took a break from her blog to work on her degree, but now she's back. I've missed reading her. I added her link to my favorites list below. But, here's a quote from one of her most recent posts...

And I think most of us agree that it is sadly evident, in real life, to tell between the children who’ve had parents invest in them versus children who’ve been left to themselves. Parents who are unwilling to help move their kids into better ways of thinking and behaving are loving themselves more than they love their kids.

She's got a great series on parenting going on over there. Check it out.


Works For Me - Sound Machines

God bless the person who decided to record random sounds and package them in a machine for all to buy. Sound machines are wonderful if you have a baby napping and a rowdy pre-schooler pounding up and down the stairs. Or if your husband works the night shift and the rest of your family isn't so nocturnal. During one of our out-of-state moves, we were in a 2 bedroom apartment for a few months. Six people and 2 bedrooms doesn't add up. Sooooooo, in an attempt to maximize every bit of space we used the large laundry room as sleeping quarters for the baby. We plunked down his playpen and set up the beloved sound machine. The sound machine made it possible for him to take naps while the rest of us lived our lives right outside his door. I know, I know - I should train the other children to be quiet during naps, and to not pound up and down the stairs. And, I know I should train the baby to not be such a light sleeper. But, then reality sets in. I got to the point where I was telling all the other children "Shh!" "Be quiet!" "Settle down!" every time the baby napped. Now, with 2 sound machines working around the clock the babies get good sleep, and the rest of us don't have to tiptoe around them.

By the way, these come in really handy in a crowded hotel room or camper.

For more Works For Me tips go to Rocks In My Dryer.


I'm Leaning That Way

I haven't decided who I'm voting for in 2008. Right now there's too many cooks in the kitchen. But, I have to admit... I like what I'm learning about Mike Huckabee. He is on Larry King tonight and I am so impressed with his honesty, straight forwardness and resolve. Does that make for a good president? I haven't decided yet, but right now - I like what I'm hearing.


Keeping Christ in Christmas

I don't like December. Oh, around October I get excited about the holiday season and I start to make my list and check it twice. But, then it arrives and it is always (ALWAYS) more stressful than I remember. I tell myself - next year I'm going to remember this and make things less hectic. But, then it happens again. I am doing a better job of saying no to all the Christmas parties, cookie exchanges and White Elephant gift grabs. But, to no avail. I long to spend quality time with the friends and family that I cherish. But, that free time just gets eaten up by some sort of holiday goblin that robs an hour here and there.

Now that my oldest children are getting..well..older, I am trying to think of creative ways to establish Christmas traditions and keep Jesus front and center of the chaos. My friend gave me this suggestion and tonight I purchased the necessities to make it happen. She heard about the idea of putting a special gift under the tree for Jesus. One family member gets to open the box and share w/ everyone else what's inside. Inside the box is a mirror. I'm sure you can imagine the inspiring conversation that will ensue.

So, this year I'm going to do the Jesus box, and I am hanging a stocking for Jesus up on our mantle. Hopefully, when our children look at their empty stockings with longing they will see the Jesus stocking and be reminded of His eternal gift to us.

How do you keep Christ in Christmas for your family?


Works For Me Wednesday - Kids & Parking Lots

It's been a few weeks since I posted a Works For Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon. Yesterday, as I was shuttling kids to and from various errands I remembered a great tip to share with you. I'm not sure how I came up with this, but for the last decade it has worked to keep our children safe in a parking lot of busy cars. Actually I thought everyone did it, but then a few moms told me they'd never heard it before.

We have a lot of kids, so when I am unloading them I often cannot eyeball the first few kids who emerged from the vehicle. So, from the time they are old enough to stand alone they are instructed to "stand on the white/yellow line." When a child gets out of the car and I am busy with other children I tell them to stand on the line and they know what to do. It's a great boundary for them and when I'm ready to walk across the parking lot, my kids are all there in a nice, neat line ready to go. So simple and keeps kids so safe.

It works for me!


Praise Baby

We love this product! This praise music and DVD set are much like the Baby Einstein products, but better. Sometimes I choose this CD to listen to in the kitchen while I'm cleaning. It is precious and so soothing.

Baby Praise is offering the first 300 bloggers a free bib and coupon. Check it out!



Going Postal

I had a babysitter come over today so I could run some holiday-ish errands without dragging all the kids in and out of 300 stores.

One of those errands was a stop at the Post Office. This job had been on my to-do list for about 3 weeks. I kept adding it to my new to-do list because you know how much fun the Post Office is, especially this time of the year.

I couldn't put it off any longer - today was the day. So, I schlepped myself in the door carrying a box, a baby and my debit card. The fewer pieces of luggage (I mean, diaper bags) I carry in public the better. Because the Post Office is oh so family-friendly anyway.

So, as I was waiting in line with the other 9 people in front of me (yes, I counted them) I tried my best to keep a good attitude. "I am thankful to live in a country where we have a Post Office." I kept repeating to myself.

I will admit - we had a good flow going. The people in line were doing their best to move it right along. I'm sure they had a million other things to do that day too. The two (count em, TWO) Postal Workers were doing a wonderful job of maintaining the holiday spirit by working quickly. Gone are the days of seasonal chit chat...get in, get out and keep your mouth shut.

Then, it happened. We had a stall in the progress. Was it from a computer failure? No. Was it from a doddling customer? No. The line came to a halt when the Postal Workers had to take a quick break to .... get their mail.


Did you know that the Postman delivers mail to the Post Office?

Me neither.

Let me get this straight....the mail comes into the Post Office, you let it leave with a Postman/Delivery Person so that it can be delivered right back to you. That's a well-oiled machine we are talking about right there.

What's even more odd is that I looked around and no one else else seemed to think this was odd. Am I that sheltered from the outside world?

I got my stamps, shipped my package and hit the door jack. Insanity is knocking at my door. I can hear it.


Cell Search

The stem cell initiative is losing supporters. Sadly, my fellow citizens succumbed to the pressure and voted to support state-funded research. So now my tax dollars are being used to study and promote embryonic stem cells. However, the tides are changing. This article describes how the Dolly cloner has changed her tune. Why? Now there is technology available to produce stem cells without using an embryo. And the discoveries just keep rolling in! Go here to learn about banking menstrual blood for stem cell research. I agree that there is the potential for wonderful medical breakthroughs using the unique physiology of a stem cell. But, I do not believe we should be manipulated by celebrity advertisements and political endorsements which misinform us that embryonic stem cell research is the only way to win the fight against deadly diseases. Sounds like another Tower of Babel to me. If we start acting too much like God He'll knock us down a few notches and we'll be more confused than when we started.


A Call To Prayer

It's not often that I hear something new at church. I was raised in a wonderful non-denominational body of Believers, and sometimes it seems like I've seen it all and heard it all at some point in the last 30 years. But, this weekend I experienced something I had never heard before.

My husband and I were able to skip out of town for a 2 day break. No children, no schedule, no tv. It was wonderful. [Thanks to my sister for making it all possible ;) ] One of the things we did manage to squeeze in our "no agenda" weekend was a visit to IHOP. No, not for pancakes.

IHOP or The International House of Prayer is....just that. Inside this building there is 24/7 prayer and worship. What we witnessed was the closest thing I've seen to the heartbeat of God. Ongoing prayer, fasting, teaching and oh my, the worship. What we heard couldn't really be called worship as it is known in the modern day church. These sounds were raw prayers set to heavenly melodies. There are IHOPs all over the country, and after our brief visit I can tell you - I want to go back and spend some time camped out in that place. There's an IHOP in Atlanta, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Denver, Talahassee, Kansas City and all over the world!

As we walked out the door I was thinking about revival. That's what I felt like sitting among a congregation of 90% young people who were digging into the Word of God, praying without ceasing and singing spontaneous psalms to the Lord.

Historically, spiritual revivals have resulted from the long-term prayers of a committed group of Believers. I'm no prophet - but I know the Lord hears the heart cry of the IHOPpers and I, for one, will rejoice when He answers their prayers and they reap a huge harvest. I am glad to be alive right now to witness the amazing things this generation of young people will accomplish for the Lord.

Some others also believe God is ready to rain down His power on this fertile soil. Read here about the I-35 prophesies.

Go here to learn more about IHOP and if you are driving through the area, say around 3am stop in for spell. The Lord will meet you there.