Wednesday, October 31, 2007

~~ Fun at the Park ~~

My friend Ruth e-mailed and said, "Let's play"!! So we did. We live in Southern Iowa -- and it's October... can you believe this weather? It was a smidgen windy -- but if you ran around like a chicken with your head cut off -- you didn't notice much. I think Ruth and I, we noticed. LOL

I didn't tell my kiddos about the outing... just piled them into the van and said, "Let's go to the park." (I love surprises). The BEST part of this was my daughter Tori, just that morning, mentioned Faith, and I said, "Would you like to see her again sometime?" YES! ::giggle:: I'm so sneaky! Faith is a friend from our church in Chariton. We've recently changed churches so our home church will be close to our home. We hadn't seen them for several weeks... was it months? It must have been months, because Ruth mentioned how Tori was now taller than Faith. Wow -- how did that happen, and I didn't even notice? YIKES!! She'll probably be taller than I am soon... her feet are the same size as mine now -- but I've had 5 kiddos... they got bigger with each kid. Her feet are bigger than mine at her age. ::sigh:: She's growing up -- right under my nose -- too fast...

On the way home Dani said, "I still like Laura - she's my friend." Pretty profound statement for a 4 year old. ;) If you click on this photo you'll be able to see Dani's red mark. She was running with the merry-go-round until it got too fast, then her feet flew out from under her and she let go, then Mansel plowed right over her... because he was still merry-go-rounding... Happened pretty fast, Mansel said, "I didn't do it on purpose!" LOL Poor guy... he felt bad. She's a trooper... didn't cry too long. Got right back on. This time letting the big kids do the pushing!

Look how warm it was -- a lot of the kiddos were bare footed.

I told Dan later that Ruth had brought her WORLD FAMOUS Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. He knew immediately what I was talking about. Mansel was listening and he is a stickler for details, he said, "Those are World Famous?" No... you are right... I exaggerated a bit... they are only famous at our house... but boy are they G.O.O.D.!! There is pudding in the mix... makes them moist, and soft, and mushy, and chocolaty, and just plain delicious!! They COULD be world famous... if everyone read my blog and spread the word. °Ü°

What fun we had!! Fastest 2 hours I had in a long time. We must stop and do things like this more often. Thank you Lord for good friends!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Jane Austin Heroine ~ Who am I?

:: A N N E ::

You are Anne Elliot of Persuasion! Let's face it, you're easily persuaded, especially when faced with choices that are or aren't 'the Elliot way.' But this doesn't mean that you don't have conviction. Actually, your sense of duty is overwhelming. And though you won't stick your neck out too often, you have learned to speak up when it counts. To boot, you know how to handle sticky situations. You love deeply and constantly.

I am Anne Elliot!

Take the Quiz here!

If you take the quiz -- let me know who you turn out to be. Ü

I'd agree with most of what was said... now I need to go read the book and find out if I can see myself.

Extraordinary Women ~ My Friends and I

Here are some photos to help you keep us all straight...

This is my laughing friend, Karen. (Isn't her smile gorgeous??)

The driver, Kim. She is a very good driver, I might add.

The map reader, Amber. AKA the speed walker!

See how she leans down -- yeah I was on my tip toes -- she is probably 47 1/2" taller than I, and it's all in the legs. I got quite a work out trying to keep up with her. Most times I failed!

What a blessing these girls are to me!

You can click on the photo to enlarge them, but I don't recommend it man... I've got some serious bags under my eyes! SCAREY!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Extraordinary Women ~ Friday Night

Oh -- boy ladies... if you get a chance to attend an Extraordinary Women's Conference... I say, "JUMP!" Well -- jump at the chance -- that is!!

What fun... I'll break this up into clumps for you -- so your buns don't fall asleep, trying to read through the entire week-end. There is so much to cover... this might take me all week!!

We headed south, out of Iowa, around noon. I was so excited about this trip -- that on the way to our meeting point, I pitted out my blouse. That wasn't so bad until I went to freshen up before the Event. Ugghh... I only bought 1 extra shirt. What was I thinking? I think what I was thinking was that since I didn't have any kiddos along with me to wipe their nose on me, or use me as a napkin for their cookies crumbs, or to bump my arm while I was drinking coffee... I'd be OK. Who would of thought the idea of being responsibility free for 24 hours would have caused me to sweat so. I didn't -- but that's o.k. I didn't raise my arms much... well -- I did some while we are praising and worshiping... but I'll get to that in a bit. (over and over again)... Oops.. almost gave it away.

You know -- that 4 hour trip down there... 3 1/2, what ever it was... it just flew by. Riding in the back seat with a friend who loves to laugh is the way to go! Let me tell you -- even during the 45 minutes.. well maybe 50 minutes - but who was counting -- that we were lost, trying to find this gigantic church, flew by for me. I felt absolutely no stress. Now - the driver, Kim - sister to the laughing friend, and the map reader, Amber -- they may have been pitting out... but my laughing friend, Karen and I, we were really having a good time. Everyone needs a laughing friend or two... that's what I think. I'm pretty sure that's Biblical!

Amber, the map reader - she got on the phone with some at the church -- and they gave directions. We did a silly thing -- well... it's an Iowa thing actually. We stopped and asked for directions from a man who was working construction on a less then horribly busy street. (Boy those big cities have busy streets)... Well -- the driver, Kim, ever so nicely asked for directions and I know he could hear her -- because we were on a not so busy street... but he just shrugged and pointed and said, "blah, blah, blah." Which sounded a lot like, "I'm living in your country, but I'm not adopting your language." So we all jumped out of the car and pulled out our flags and started singing, "America, America, We all Speak English Here!!" OK -- we did not... we rolled our windows up and locked the doors, and that's when the map reader, Amber, called for directions. H.E.L.L.O... English as a 2nd language is the class for you!

Oh -- I got sidetracked... didn't I?

We found the church!! I was beautiful from the outside. We didn't get out yet... our smart map reader had us FIND the church first so we could discover how close the motel was to the church so we could time our trips accordingly. How smart was that?? So next -- we headed to the motel. FOUND it -- lickety split!! Praise God for good map readers and great drivers. Karen, my laughing friend, and I -- we just laughed some more.

We unpacked -- some of faster than others -- I'll tell a story -- but you have to promise and cross your heart and hope to die that you won't tease anyone about it.

I went with two sisters... Kim and Karen. Well -- one sister said, "I bet as soon as we get there my sister unpacks her bag first thing." LOL -- we all laughed... what a funny thing to say about a sister. But you know what?? SHE DID!!! She was the first one unpacked and we had another laugh when she was all done. There -- she felt better... she was all settled in. I guess she does that every time.

Me?? I found the bathroom... I was an idiot and tried to keep up my alarmingly high water consumption on the way down south. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Well -- actually maybe not because I LOST weight on this trip. It might have been the water... but I'm thinking maybe it was all the laughing. I didn't drink quite so much the next day... I'm afeerd of public bathrooms... they scare me. So I kept my water consumption down to a minimum.

We then decided we'd find a place to eat. Applebees it was. I had Cajun Tilapia. Which I couldn't pronounce. Why even mention Applebees? BECAUSE... the waitress was a very honest little girl.

I gave what I thought was enough money to pay my bill and give a 10% tip, and said... you can keep the change.

She brought it back and said, "I'm not sure you wanted me to keep all that..." She brought back my $20 that was stuck to my $10 apparently. EEKK!! She did a good job -- but not THAT good. So then I rewarded her... and tipped her a little more. ::tee hee:: Don't tell my dear husband.

We got to the church on time... the entry way was very crowded and I could hear a voice saying, "Show your tickets... keep your tickets because you'll need them for tomorrow... show your tickets... keep your tickets" Etc. I don't even think we went through her door -- but I thought her voice sounded like a COSTCO sample ladies voice. I got a chuckle out of that.

First on the agenda -- Praise and Worship. Oh -- I loved it... I'm really into music. OK -- not modern up to date music. But church music. I love to sing hymns and choruses at church... I listen to the radio -- they play Praise and Worship music on that station... so I was familiar with the songs... and they shot the words up on a huge screen so we could all sing a long. Lift our hands up in praise... sway or get bumped and start a domino affect of falling. All us conservative Iowa girls -- we swayed... peer pressure... no one wanted to fall down.

Then -- Then -- with much nervous excitement (probably more sweating!) CHONDA PIERCE!!! Oh my gracious... she was a hoot!! She talked about tough subjects like depression and hair you napped on, all while laughing! Oh what fun. I really enjoyed that!! In fact, I laughed until I didn't feel like I need to do any crunches before bed time. I was feeling those laughing muscles in my midsection... Oh me!! What a pleasure she was to be in the room with.

Then more Praise and Worship songs. Well -- not MORE songs... just more TIME singing those same songs. At least I think they were the same... Maybe it's all one long song, who knows? The leader said, "We are going to sing this song until we know it this weekend." I was thinking -- there are the words right there... we don't have to KNOW it do we? And besides... I think I already know it. I lost track of how many times we say the same 7/11 song. Oh come on you've heard it... same 7 words 11 times.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying "HYMNS RULE", but if I sang the same hymn 11 times... I'd still be nauseous. Feeling a little dizzy from lifting my hands and swaying at the same time... to this merry go round of praise and worship ditties. ::sigh:: But it ended eventually -- and I ran to the bathroom again. LOL!! You think I'm kidding... I promise you -- I quit drinking water eventually...

Last but not least was Twila Paris. Oh -- I KNEW I knew some of her songs... I just couldn't remember what they were. I like her -- because her voice is right in my range. I can SING REALLY LOUD -- right along with her. Yep -- I did... I bellered!! HEY -- that place was full of 2699 other women... no one was going to turn around in their seat and gape at me like the little kids at church do. In fact... I thought I was hearing Kim, the driver, sitting next to me singing, and I looked at her once and her mouth was closed... it was the loud girl sitting next to her bellering right along with me and Twila. Hooray!! No one cares! I bellered!!

We waited until after "Beautiful", a song that was sung in Karen, my laughing friend's, wedding. Oh -- it almost brought tears to my eyes... but it could have been dry scratchy contacts. Ugg... let's get home and get these out!!

So we did.

Then to bed by 11:00ish.

Yep -- I skipped some didn't I? But you know what?? What goes on in Raytown... Stays in Raytown. °Ü°

To be continued...

Going Through The Change

I was exhausted after just 4 hours of sleep on Friday night. I got a good solid 8 hours of sleep Saturday night... so... I probably didn't NEED a 2 hour nap today. But you know... that's what I got.

::sigh:: Now it's 10:40 p.m. -- and I'm not a bit sleepy.

Well - I guess this is a good time to blog.

So let's see -- what shall we talk about -- how about the silly people who are messing with the time change. It's bad enough that we HAVE the change -- but don't be messing with WHEN we do the Crazy TIME CHANGE... sort of like saying -- women... you must go through menopause... so like it or not... we do it... but OK... now we are going to change it up a bit... and tell you that we are moving Menopause in your life... like it or not, why don't we try to make menopause better by having you go through the change when you are teenagers -- you will handle the temperature fluxes better then, we think. Research has shown that teen age girls are more limber and they can whip on a sweater faster than the grannies can... so we are changing the change.

OK -- that doesn't really work, does it... But you know -- time change... THE change... that's were it all started, I guess.

Well - you know.. THE time change... it got messed up at our house...

We did a really SMART thing... we bought clocks that set themselves... You know -- really smart for in case of a loss of power in the middle of the night... the battery keeps your clock running for a while.. but if you should need to re-set the clock for what ever reason... AUTOMATICALLY, when the power returns... BING -- the clock does it's own setting... EVEN adjusting for daylight savings time. ::GASP:: how neat is that??


Someone messes with the change. So yeah... our clocks set themselves -- but no one told the clock that sets itself that they messed with the change. It's not until N.E.X.T. week... but hey -- I got a little extra sleep this morning... just burned it all off with all the stress of getting 7 people ready and out the door for Sunday School in 30 minutes. It's possible b.t.w. Well -- they didn't get fed... but you know... that's not really important is it?? We were on time... (mostly)... close enough...

So -- next week... our clocks WILL NOT change automatically -- because in their minds eye... if they have a mind, or an eye, it's already been through the change.

Somebody hand me a sweater??

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm Home

Oh the joy of little kids rushing at you as you step in the door!

Wayne came back again and again for hugs.

Here is just a peek at the fun time we had!!

Oh man -- these girls know how to L.A.U.G.H.!!

I had a blast! I hope I remember everything so I can blog about it all.

Oh me... I'm so tired... I need to get to bed. °Ü°

Friday, October 26, 2007

Name That Blog - Another Giveaway!

I've got an on-line friend whose son is going to start a blog. He has a contest going to help him thing of a name.

Will you go help him out??

Name That Blog!!

Better hurry -- it ends today!

Line Training

I have an on-line friend who line trains her kiddos. No -- it's not similar to line dancing... that's a whole 'nother ball o'wax.

Line Training... she tells all about it; when, wherefore, why, thereofs.

I'm thinking it sounds like a great idea -- I wonder if 8 years old is too late to line train? Hmmm...

Any of you ever line train? Do tell...


This camera has an AUTO -- but if you want to have fun, it has some creative modes. I was practicing with those this morning... in the wee hours of the day...before the sun came up.

I can take a photo of my toe and it will be B&W, but my pink toe nail polish will still be pink. It's called color accent. Oh me.. won't that be F.U.N.

I was taking photos of my light switch, my book case, my couch... I can't wait for the kiddos to wake up...

WAIT -- I'm supposed to be folding laundry and packing to leave town... SIGH!!

I guess I'll put my toy away and go get ready. Guess what I'm taking with me!! MY CAMERA BOOK... and my camera. ::tee hee:: I'm giddy with joy!

RACHEL - this camera is so much fun so far!! I really like it... I'll give it a real critique after I've used it for a month or so... I'm sure I'll be more or less enthused buy them... after the newness wears off.

So for now... go hug your kids!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stop Holding Your Breath Now

I got my camera in the mail today!! Woo Hoo!!

Is it OK to kiss the guy in brown, if you aren't married to him, if he brings you a new camera?

Better not be -- I didn't kiss him... but I almost kissed the dog. The Brown Man left it on the porch and the dog didn't even bite him!!


Now -- if I can only figure out how to turn it on.

::GASP:: Swap A DVD

Oh My Stars and Garters!!! I can hardly wait for this... did you see this??? Swap A DVD... same people who do Paper Back Swap -- and they know how to do that... are going to start Swap A DVD soon. You can sign up and they will hollar at you when it starts... of course -- they've already jotted down my e-mail. I'm so ready for this!!

I have a trillion DVD's just waiting to be swapped!! (When I get excited I exaggerate a bit)... but boy, oh boy... I'm thrilled about this news.

Are you going to Swap A DVD?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Paper Back Swap Suggestions

I've got some credits at Paper Back Swap --

if you had credits at Paper Back Swap -- what would you be requesting?

Have I ever told you how much I like Paper Back Swap?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Extraordinary Women

I'm heading south with some special friends of mine; Karen, Amber, and Kim, to an Extraordinary Women Conference. It's been sold out!

I tell you what friends... I am so excited. Here is what we will do Friday night.
Praise & Worship with Charles Billingsley. Is that going to be good? What have you heard about him? I see from his photo he is tan. Maybe he is from the south. LOL

Speaker Chonda Pierce. Is she a speaker? I think she is a laughing machine!! She is hilarious... (to use one of her words!) I can not wait for this. I need some refueling! My laugh-o-meter better be hitting a 10!!

Then a Concert by Twila Paris. I know I've heard of her... not sure if I know any of her new songs. But who cares... I'll just sit there and soak it all in.

Then I'll head back to a hotel with my girlfriends... on my word... I bet we'll be laughing into the wee hours of the morn.

But Saturday -- that ought to be good... ever hear of Elizabeth George... ::gasp:: YES... the Elizabeth George... She'll be there... along with Karen Kingsbury and Jennifer Rothschild. I don't know much about them, but Ms. Rothschild ought to be good -- with a name like Jennifer. ;) I bet she is in her 30's... our parents were not so creative back then -- were they. I know a LOT of Jennifers.

Who cares?? I'm going to a conference with my friends!! I can't wait. I hope to come home refreshed and enthused. (Full of blogging material!) HA!

Here are their Top Ten Reasons to Attend The Conferences…

1. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord and draw closer to His heart.
2. Hear practical and spiritual messages from key Christian leaders that will feed your heart, soul and mind.
3. Learn the truth about who God is, how He wants you to live, how He made you and how great His love is for you.
4. Gather for a wonderful time to glorify our Lord, Jesus Christ, in unison with other women!
5. Enjoy an inspirational, fun and life-changing experience!
6. Allow yourself to experience a special time just for you.
7. Hear God speak to you in difficult areas that you are facing today.
8. Learn how you can be a vessel for God to spread His word and glorify His name.
9. Be part of an awesome mother-daughter, sister and group event.
10. Give yourself an opportunity to be poured into and know you are somebody to Christ and others.

I tell you what -- I'm looking forward to some of these. °Ü°

Just Like Christmas

My sweet dear husband has ordered me a camera. Boy did he get a sweet deal... the price you see is not the price he paid! Oh man alive... the anticipation. This morning early I heard a car drive by our house -- it slowed a bit... I thought "Oh -- maybe that's the camera." ::sigh:: WHEN has the FedEx man ever come to our house before breakfast... I'm worse than a kid.

How many days?? Is it time?? Can you call the company?? LOL

Just you wait -- soon... soon my friends... you will be inundated with fresh photos of my family. Oh joy!! I bet you can't wait!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Milo!

Milo turns 6 today.

He is a low maintenance sort of fella... he wanted frozen cardboard pizza for supper.

OK!! I'm all over that.

Oh -- and orange jell-o. Got it done!! He LOVED it. I put it in a fancy mold... two actually -- he was THRILLED to watch me de-mold them. Or plate them, I guess you could say. Thrilled!!

We are going to eat cake with Dad tonight after church.

We are also taking cup-cakes to church tonight, but NOT for Milo's birthday. For some reason he did NOT want to have a birthday party at church for his birthday. Well -- it wasn't going to be a party... just a "let's share some of this cake batter so mom doesn't eat it all" treat. So -- we are taking treats to church tonight... but NOT for Milo's birthday. ::giggle::

Happy Birthday Milo! We love you buddy!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

October is Clergy Appreciation Month

I first heard about Clergy Appreciation Month from Focus on the Family, I'm sure.

They now have a web-site dedicated to just Clergy. The has a lot of information about Clergy Appreciation.

As some of you may remember... we recently found a new church to attend. Closer and all... WELL -- last night we got the privilege of having our Pastor and his wife over for dinner. I served Tacos!! Hooray - nothing was burned in the process. Ü

I really had a great time getting to know Connie better. She is a great dish washer too, I might add. What a gracious lady she is. She has done a fantastic job raising 2 boys. One in college, one in high school still. They both seem to be godly young men. Praise God. I can't wait to use her as a resource -- help Connie... what did you do when... ;)

Dan and Curt talked, and talked, and talked... Horray! The night was a success...

I'm looking forward to next October already. I may have to have them over again - before Clergy Appreciation next year... but -- I'll definitely do it again.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This is one of my favorite things...

... Dark Mayan Chocolate, from General Foods International. Yum...

Only 50 calories per serving.

It is so new, apparently, that I can't even find it on-line yet. I got it on sale at my local FAREWAY grocery store. Lucky Me. They are all sold out even at

What is your favorite drink?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cool Running

I'm about to head out the door to jog/walk this morning. It's a beautiful 70° outside this morning! Great jogging/walking weather.

I'm working toward being able to run a 5K.

I'm using the program called Couch to 5K. Never mind that they call you a couch potato... it's a great program. I've got several on-line friends that are using this program. I've started it 2 times... this is my third.

The first time I used it -- I was 20 pounds heavier. My knees would hurt after I ran. That was several years ago. Then I started it this summer... if you remember, I got COVERED in poison ivy. You're not supposed to sweat when you are covered in poison ivy. So -- since running in the summer made me sweat... I stopped... thinking it would only be for a while. Well - you know me. Once I quit... I sort of lost any momentum I'd built up -- so it was a permanent quit. Now -- I'm getting lower in weight... a bit lower... and feeling like I'm stalling. So I'm going to start the program AGAIN and really try to push through this plateau. I'm on Week 1 Day 3 this morning. It starts out easy. Walk 5 minutes for a warm up. Jog 60 seconds Walk 90 seconds. I take my kitchen timer with me. Do this for a total of 20 minutes.

Here I go... anyone going to join me?