Monthly Archives: October 2011

To Do Lists


For years I have lived in a world of lists.  Honestly as far back as I can remember I would make lists.  I know I watched my mom making her lists and how she would cross them off.  (I think she would say that I came into this world with a list and enjoyed checking off… being born 🙂 )  I always liked to add “extra” things I do to my list so I could cross them off.  It made me feel triumphant!

Motherhood made lists a lot harder.  Accomplishing even simple tasks were a struggle.  I really had lost control of my time and I had a lot more time than ever before since I was staying home.  A lot of mothering was and is reacting to life, new needs, new symptoms sometimes and new dynamics.  And I also got frustrated with myself and lists.  Nothing got crossed off some days and some weeks.  It created a current in me that I wasn’t being a good mom and that I was not going to ever catch up.  I would beat myself up so I just stopped writing it all down.  I had it in my head.  All lists… to-dos, to buy, to get done with my kids and to get at the grocery store.  It was not helpful and it was living in denial.  Because then all of a sudden BAM there was reality to hit me.  I wouldn’t get something important done, I would forget to call someone, I would let my kids down by running out of milk, etc.  So more of the beat myself kind of feeling.

So for years I lived like this.  But surviving without lists doesn’t work for me anymore.  I wasn’t completely away from lists.  Major events or ministry events were planned with lists and I could make those deadlines.  But a new era has dawned at our house.  I am back at making lists and working hard to cross them off.   But I have a better sense of balance now.  I break up the big projects into smaller pieces and I don’t beat myself up anymore!

It will all get done someday (or the night before if I have really procrastinated).  Usually if it has an * by it, it is done immediately.  It feels good to revisit a skill that is a talent and have structure again.  I know that deep down in me the recovering type A/first-born is giddy with delight saying, “Watch Out, I’m Back.”  Trying to keep balance as  my focal point and not let the doing get in the way of my living.

Do you have something that you have set aside because it brought you too much frustration?  What could you do to find balance in doing that again and not being so hard on yourself?


A Glue Gun and A Dream


Endless possibilities…

Creative solutions…

Hours of scouring a site for new fresh ideas…

Wondering what I am talking about??  Those who have stumbled on know exactly what I am talking about.

Here are some of my recent wild and wondering searches: file folders, dish racks, Lego parties, hair bow holders, organization, spare ribs recipe, labels, Halloween costumes, lettering, free fonts, menu planners, cheap $5 dollar meals, and printable Dave Ramsey like envelopes… and that is what I can remember off the top of my head.

What is the appeal?  Same as the Crock Pot Girls on Facebook.  We want to hear from friends what they really like and what they have tried.  Pinterest lets you put a virtual “pin” in a bulletin board to keep your finds and ideas.  I think the concept is amazing.  I have always been a collector.  I rip pages out of magazines and then they go homeless for eons.  This is fun because I can sort and file them on what they are to me.  Then I can share them with my friends on Pinterest or directly on Facebook.

I know that this is an age of in your face marketing and internet craziness but I am happy for this new way to find creative resources without risking $8.99 on a creative magazine splurge. And I usually flip through once and find only one thing I may or may not try.  With Pinterest I can be inspired and amazed at what is out there on blogs and websites.  There are some amazingly resourceful people in the world.  Pinterest can gain them some views, subscribers and followers to their ideas and blogs.

So… if you ever have a minute (or actually an evening free) check out   Sign up for your own virtual bulletin board and enjoy.  I like admiring others work and dreaming about doing, making, cooking, and designing 3% of what I see. 🙂

Good to see humans doing… and not just being!  Creativity can be cheap therapy!

Here is a blog that explains Pinterest… click on if you want to know more.

So dust off your glue guns and enjoy dreaming about being more creative.  (I am)


Raw Cookie Dough Addiction


Seriously! I have a problem.  (well not a huge, tragic kind of problem… more of a struggle!)

But when I make cookies for my kids I have to now fight one of the most primal, unconscious, life-long acts of my existence.  I am a fan of raw cookie dough.  GASP!  I would guess you have sampled it before as well.  But I am brave enough to confess it!  I know I am not alone because the supporting evidence is in each grocery store… cookie dough ice cream and candy.  And of course ice cream and custard shops!

I have never been a Nestle Toll House whole roll kind of girl.  But from time to time when I am making homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies or Nestle Toll House cookies from a roll, I would nibble on the dough.  (Not the chips… just the dough)

It was naughty, it was impatient, and delicious.  Now I read warnings as I dip dough from our jumbo Nestle Toll House tub from Costco.  Unkind warnings.  And I know in my rational brain I need to heed their solemn advice.  They became more significant when I caught a new story a couple of years ago about at a very sick woman in Las Vegas.  She had eaten raw cookie dough that had E.coli.  (see story link below)  Her reaction was so severe and it made a lasting impression on me.  I stopped cold turkey.

So I get it.  Doesn’t make me very happy.  And of course my life will go on.

I am changing the next generation though because my children would never consider eating raw cookie dough.  So there!

(my favorite ice creams/concretes do have “cookie dough” because it is an acceptable way to feed my addiction)

New Story on E. coli.

Interesting Nestle Toll House 81 ounce Costco tub:

Usually around $7.99 (and you can sometimes get a $2 coupon on the tub)

Each cookie is 120 calories (for a 1/2 inch ball)

Entire tub of cookies is 9720 calories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Deep Questions Today!


Do you feel secure?

Do you feel taken care of?

Are you in a place of sustainability and stretching?

See, I warned you… deep questions!  They have woken up with me this morning.  Do you have days like that?  No clue why something  is on your heart or mind, but it is.  That happens to me sometimes and today these are mine.  (and now maybe yours)

I don’t feel worried or intimidated by these questions. Just using them as a mirror from my inner stirrings from my mediation time this morning. (which was 10  minutes of quiet while Rhett watched Chuggington)

Those questions can be looked at and tackled on many different levels.  And wow are they personal?!!?!?

For myself I am good.  Our family is blessed with day in and out normalcy.  And in a week were police are still searching for a missing baby, a family in my community had to say their earthly goodbye to their 3-year-old angel girl and other troubles of this world are rampant, I can firmly say we are good.

I think security needs to be awakened, nurtured and challenged.  I never want to feel so secure that I stop stretching myself to the path I should be trekking.  As for being taken care of, I love that verse from Matthew.  You know the one.  You have probably heard it, seen it needle pointed or on a journal somewhere.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Matthew 6:26   NIV

I see it in those places too.  But often when I look to the sky and see a flock of birds it stirs me to think of how God’s provision is so good.  When I put my faith in God’s plan and not my own, I am better.  If I turn over my worries for hope and faith, I am amazed.  Life isn’t promised to be easy.  I don’t feel that life is just how it happens though.  Mediation, prayers, and divine planning help us to be blessed and bless others.

I would agree that I’m in a place of sustaining and stretching.  It is a good place to be and challenge myself from.  I don’t claim or need perfection or happiness all the time.  But the give and take of life are a rhythm that I put in God’s hands.  So I can be released to be the me I was intended to be for my God, myself, my family and others that are in my life and path.

Unexpected Talent


My daughter has asked me to teach her how to whistle no less than a million times in her short 6 years of life.  No, I didn’t keep track but it feels like a million.  Do you realize it is actually hard to teach someone (especially a determined child) to whistle?  I would say how, I would show her how and then I would whistle.  That would anger her and her blood would boil.  “Mom it isn’t that easy.  Why can’t I just do that,” was her constant reply.

Her determination was partly from her plight of being the second born.  She loves doing anything her older brother can’t or hasn’t even tried yet.  She loves competition.  (as long as she has forecasted the odds in her favor)  So many sessions have been spent on whistling with no change, no luck and lots of spit.  Just watching her was entertainment enough sometimes.

She recently stopped asking, which was sad.  I knew she had given up on her dream.  But to both our surprise this morning she came into the kitchen beaming.  She asked me to stop making lunches and listen.  She then went into a continuous whistling fest.

She then declared, “I know what has been holding me back all this time mom from whistling.”  I then asked her what it was.  She said, “Losing all my teeth was the best thing ever because I can finally whistle!”

Then the rest of my morning, I fought the urge to not ask her to stop whistling!!!

It makes me wonder what physical attribute we have that we consider a road block…  And the exhilaration if we could change it.

I am excited that she can whistle since she is toothless, but part of me also wishes it gets a little hard again when her teeth return! 🙂

Love Others


This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  John 15:12    

Found this verse today and I would like to reflect on it.

When I was younger I acted younger.  Deep, huh?  Ego was important.  Success was necessary.  I would say I had good intentions but bad intentions at the same time.  Sometimes being driven just means you are lost on the road of life.

Times to give or do was for an accomplishment or a resume builder.  I didn’t start truly giving/doing out of a sweet place of unnecessary thanks or repayment until I became a mom and started getting farther in my walk with God.  Part of it would be just the nature of youth and circumstances.  But now I know better.

It wasn’t just doing that I was missing the target with, but also with people.  I heard once from a friend that everyone I meet has “eternal value”.   This struck me as a key to getting life right.  I won’t meet everyone or help all, but those I do or who are in my life have “eternal value”.  So do I! So do you!

This thought from over a year ago helped put a pin in how I had started living and operating about 4 years ago.  Praying, helping, serving, grieving and celebrating became intregal themes in my daily life.  And also in my family as a whole.  Being involved with others instead of having a to-do list of things to accomplish to be successful has made my life full.  I still have a strong desire to be successful but not by the measurement of man and society.  It isn’t easy.  It is a struggle, but I work on it daily.

So loving another as myself has gotten to a place I understand more than I ever did before.  And I hope that I can instill this awakening in my children while they are in my care, so that their paths are already lit by this truth.

Go Right —>


I have been blessed to serve as a volunteer ministry leader for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) for over 5 years.

A lot has changed in our group and for me personally in those 5 years.

But when I first started I couldn’t find ANYTHING!  I couldn’t find the right floors, the right contact, or how things really worked.  (And I am a systems type of gal and I want to respect a good system)

One time a sweet friend, who attended the church was trying to get me from the lower floor to the 4th floor Supply Room.  The church was designed creatively when it was expanded, so it actually tricky at first to find your way around it.

I GOT LOST!  She found me in the wrong hallway with my arms full of plastic tubs.  She guided me personally to the right hallway.  I followed her and tried to memorize the corrected path.

She then said something simple and profound with a chuckle, “Go to Jesus and go right.”  There at the T of the hallway and classrooms was a mural of Jesus gathered with His little children.  All I had to do was go to Jesus and go right to be in the right place.  The place I was lost from without clear directions, guidance, and understanding.  The place I desired to find.

How many times do you feel right if you are closer to God?  I know I crave it.

I’m sure my friend doesn’t remember this exchange.  She was just getting me to the right place.  But it was impactful.  It drew me closer to God and it has helped set my path to be more defined.  And that this impact was from a conversation 5 years ago.

That mural is no longer there.  It was painted over about 2 years ago.  But each time I find myself on that hallway I remember,  “Go to Jesus and go right.”  I have even touched the wall and thanked God for still being there for me and providing.

Thanks Ang for being a light in my journey.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

Safe and Sound?


I slept well last night but in my heart I was aching.  I kept thinking of the current abduction of Lisa Irwin.  As a parent, we all have daily safety concerns and development markers.  No one thinks abduction out of a child’s room is going to happen.

I remember back to Jonbenet Ramsey in 1996 with a house intrusion/invasion.  It was 1996 and I was in college.  This story seemed out of this world to me and now Baby Lisa feels hard to comprehend now as a mom.  I have had crazy times of checking on my children.  The most recent was the uncontrollable 4-5 times (that was on a good night… I won’t confess to how many times initially) I would check on Rhett when he was 6 months to 8 months old.  I was in prayer and yet so afraid of losing him to SIDS.

But now I really don’t check on my kids.  I figure I will wake them and then I will be back at care giving instead of heading to bed to collapse.  Last night though, we triple checked our locks, left lights on  downstairs and I did go in and check on all three.  I held my breath knowing that all were snuggled in bed and nothing was wrong.  But that deep desire for Lisa’s family to be able to do the same was heartbreaking.

I am in prayer for her safety.  I will never know what her parent’s pain is like (I hope) and I can’t imagine how life must be spinning out of control for them.  The hopeful believer in me feels she is safe but very far from here.  I hope someone on the national news can really get the attention of our country so that this baby is found.  We all watch CSI, NCIS, Law and Orders, etc. that have this theme, but to have it in our “backyard” is unsettling.  Please pray and never discount a day (the good ones, the bad ones and the ugly ones) with your own children.  And if your children are grown with children help them to raise their gaze from the daily drama and relish in the fact that our children are a gift from God.

Praying for Lisa.



A place for silence


Today is my quiet day from 9am-3pm.  Quiet in volume.  Not usually a peaceful, quiet day scheduling wise.

This morning I was part of a lively discussion on issues that really have me thinking.  School aged kids are such a different beast.  Especially with a good dose of exhaustion and responsibilities.  That time listening, sharing and questioning filled my “interaction” cup.  (MOMSnext is a pivotal place for me to think about my school age kids)

I then headed home and donned my super cute, flowery half apron from my Mom.  Then I cooked!  I was in the zone and it felt so good to be preparing more than the Taco Tuesday fare.  I was geared up to cook for a sweet friend of mine and my family too.  I doubled the recipe and let my oven, blender, and freezer do their magic.

While all was cooking or freezing, I spent time in my craft room/office.  It has been a dumping ground for 6 months which stinks since I set it up 6 months ago.  It was like an archeological dig of things that should have never been placed there.  So frustrating.

I spent 2-3 hours really purging, organizing, and clearing spaces.  Guess what? It felt GREAT!  Yes, I had other things that I could always be busy with including dishes, laundry and my nemesis… DUST.  Those things are always to-dos with a family of five (plus Harley!!).  Today it was nice to let them go for a bit

But a space just carved for me is needed.  It needed my respect, attention and care.  I feel like I can easily tap into that creative zone I need to stay balanced.

I even got to make a couple of new things and it was freeing to put up the few things I had used.  Then I was able to leave things neat and tidy to go finish up cooking.

No phone calls, no Facebook, no emails, no texting… nothing.  Just me in my own space.

Being “unplugged” is key to balance and in this moment I have balance.  I hope you can create some space mentally, physically or spatially. soon.

Best Designed Plans


Do you ever have those days were you have “a plan”?  A real plan.  One that looks great on paper.  You know the kind that seems like a no-brainer to a big win.  Those feel good even before you get going.

Do you ever make this plan and it is not “fact-checked” against reality?  I do that sometimes.  Plans created in a vacuum.  Guess that things made in a vacuum do… they SUCK! (Get it?  Ha!)

When I go about planning and doing without looking at the whole picture things fall short and I get disappointed in myself in the outcomes.  Take today for example.  I need to get across town (not Liberty… I need to go to the far off state of Kansas) and I thought bing, bam, boom – – in and out and all will be great.

So, I load my toddler up and head to the Wild Wild West of Kansas at 11am.  Ten minutes into our journey he isn’t babbling and singing along with me anymore.  I glance back and he is OUT!  That good kind of slumped over sleep with his head bobbing back and forth.

So I caught the next exit back to Liberty and in 7 minutes I was able to get him in his bed for a real nap.

Plans averted for a real rest and a chance for me to get things done at home. (and to blog!)

Here is what I had overlooked and should have added to our reality equation:

  • He had major playtime last night during our small group for church = tired
  • He got me up at 5:15 am and was wide awake = tired
  • He had already been up 6 hours = tired
  • He had just eaten the biggest banana ever personally purchased = full

And if I had been aware instead of focused on the desired outcome I would have never even attempted to go.

Ah to be human and get so much practise in readjusting after erring.  I do appreciate the “oops” moments because next time I will refine my thinking and I hope I will be able to miss this rookie mistake.

This is a small example but I bet each of us could pick a bigger example in our lives were we need to step back and see all the pieces to the puzzle.

Think it out without being in a vacuum.

(SIDE NOTE: We are outta here… he napped almost 2 hours and has woke up happy… Kansas here we come!!)