Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

No ... she they didn't!

... YES ... she they did!

Revised to add: Momrn2 nominated me too ... I can't tell you how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends! Thank you both!!!

Shalee went and gave me a "meme-kind-of-award." I'm honored, I'm flattered, and seriously, I highly doubt I deserve it, especially when I look at all the awesome blogs out there ... but thanks anyway. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And now ... I must pay it forward to 5 others, who in turn, must pay it forward. And as Shalee commented on her post, this is hard to do because I don't want to hurt any one's feelings or leave anyone out... but this is just a small representation of the women that speak to me through their writings ... here it goes.

The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

1) Rocks In My Dryer -- Yeah. I know. She's already been nominated. But this little woman makes me think again, and again, and again ... yes, on a daily basis. That's quite a challenge! She has such a depth and richness in her writings that strike a chord in my heart. She's light, funny, and yet ... she can give you a good smack-down with a thought provoking post like this one. I know she says she's "to busy" to write a book, but I'll be highly surprised if she doesn't have a book deal in hand by 2010. (That's three years, Shannon ... better get writing, babe!) And ... here's your one hundred and eleventieth nomination for this award!

2) Boomama -- Lord, help me -- this woman makes me laugh. Peels of laughter. Laughter just fills my halls over and over and over. And when she's not being funny, she's busy helping people and reminding us that this vast, VAST blogworld does have a sense of community. She is sensitive, thoughtful, and truly loves the Lord. Hey -- she's your everyday Boomama!

3) Can You Here Me Now -- KPJara is such a thought-inspiring writer. Seriously, folks... she totally rocks my thinking. When God speaks to her ... he SPEAKS to her, and trust me ... she listens. And then shares it with us. If you haven't been moved to thought by her, then I think you should go get your pulse checked out!

4) The Roller Coaster Ride of My Life -- Can I just say that this young lady makes me think so much ... she is so inspired by God. I love her writings, and you will too. Make this blog a "must-read" for devotional-style writings!

5) My Quiet Corner -- Again, we've got ourselves another duplicate award nominee here -- but, Momrn2 is an awesome, inspiring writer. She lays out her daily struggles so openly and transparently, and she shares the tender words God speaks to her with us as if it were a gift that she's unwrapping. Again, this is another powerful writer-woman to watch out for.

Man! As I step back a bit and look at this list, I am truly amazed at the company I keep. How do they possibly put up with the likes of me?! Thank you for making me think, and inspiring me!

Friday, March 30, 2007


In order for me to get to the main point of my story today, I'm going to have to do a few twists and turns as we go around the Mulberry Bush ... so ... bear with me.

In the small, historic town I live in (in the middle the of Mid-Atlantic-East-Coast), we get a monthly magazine. And in that magazine, we get a cool coupon (the reason why we subscribed to this magazine) that offers buy-one-get-one-FREE. Yeah. Local restaurants have participated in this coupon deal, and it's a great way to have a cheap date night. That's the first turn around the Mulberry bush.

Yesterday was the last day for our March coupon, so we decided to go to the Italian restaurant offering said coupon. So we went, and upon entering, I got the distinct impression that we were being treated like "second class" citizens. I'm not sure if it was because we: a) had a child; b) had no reservations (the restaurant was NOT busy); or c) had a coupon that we were using. Regardless, I was disappointed in how we were treated. We were seated in a far back room, behind a column (not-so-comfy), and we were not attended to in as generous a manner as the patrons in the front and main part of the restaurant.

This was one of those "fine dining" experiences, where meals run around $20 per, so, I'm sure that the sound of my son having a near-melt-down because he was, and then clanging his spoon against his dish as he emitted occasional squeals of joy must have compared to fingernails scraping against a chalk board to quite a few un-happy patron. One word: Karma.

So we ate. We paid. We left. And here's where I go around the mulberry bush again. You see, my father-in-law is sort of a scavenger. Okay, he is totally a scavenger. If he takes a load of junk to the dump, he'll go looking around to see if he can find anything good. In fact, he has found quite a few good things that he has restored, and displays one such item proudly in his living room. That, of course, was prior to "What's In Your Attic" and "Antique Roadshow." Now, people are smarter than the average bear, and don't dump their semi-precious antiques at, well, the dump. Unfortunately, this habbit tends to spill out in other areas. As in, spotting a broken toy along the road, or a dime in the parking lot. Or, going through the piles in my neighborhood when we have a scheduled bulk-trash pick up. This annoying rewarding habbit "might have" rubbed off a wee bit on my husband.

Point in case: Last night, as we were leaving the restaurant of epic proportions, he spied a pair of sunglasses laying on the side walk. Since he was carrying our son on his shoulders, he instructed me to pick them up. "Pick them up?" I said... "yeah, pick them up" he replied. So, I nervously looked around my shoulder, feeling like I was shoplifting or something, bent over, and grabbed them and continued to walk. Of course, there weren't any cars or people where they had fallen. But I still felt ... like I was being watched on a surveilance camera.

So, we get into the car, and strap our son in, and start to drive. My husband turns to me and says, "should we take an ad out in the paper?"

Yeah. I was lost too.

"An ad?" I replied... And he said, "yeah, an ad to see if any one lost the sunglasses." To which I burst into (lovingly, of course) histerical laughter. "An ad? For a pair of sunglasses? Bwahahahahahahaha." He, of course, was serious. And replied, "yeah, I guess we shouldn't pay $25 for an ad for a pair of sunglasses."

So I'm still laughing, when he turns to me and says, "do you realize how much these sunglasses must have cost? The person that lost them is probably fire-mad!" Now, here's another turn around the mulberry bush, because I had just been shopping for sunglasses last week, and was shocked -- SHOCKED, I tell you -- that Macy's would charge FIFTY DOLLARS for a pair of Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses -- I settled for a $10 pair at Dress Barn. Who needs name brand, anyway?

So, being all smart, as everyone knows I am, I turned to him and said, "yeah -- they were probably like $40 or $50 bucks." To which he replied with, "Bwahahahahahahaha. No. These are Hobies. More like $100."

To which I grasped my chest and choked out, "Elizabeth ... I'm coming home." Okay. Not really. But it would have been perfect if I had, wouldn't it?

He then asked me if I even knew who Hobie was? Which, I don't. And he said they were some big surfer-dude designer or something like that. Whatever.

So we get home, and he makes a beeline to the computer and looks up the sunglasses -- "Monica, by Hobie" and comes out to the family room to announce that indeed, "they did not cost $100, but $120, instead!" ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS? For a pair of sunglasses?

So, after I furiously disinfected wiped them down, I tried them on, and you know what??? They look pretty darn good on me! Which is a miracle in itself, because it takes me forever to find a pair of sunglasses that look good on my face.

Yeah. So, who got the last laugh!!!

So check it -- here's what I got last night:

Not-so-good Gourmet Dinner for 3 -- $24
A few trips around the Mulberry bush -- FREE
A pair of $120 Hobie Sunglasses -- FREE
A story for my blog -- PRICELESS!!!

I totally Rock.

Dyson Slim Vacuum Giveaway

Oh, yeah ... you read right! 5 Minutes for Mom is giving one of these bad boys away! So, rush on over, and register your name to win, win, win. Best of all ... you don't have to have a blog! Winner will be announced HERE on Wednesday afternoon, 4/4/07.

Here's a few highlights:

For all floor types
Valued at approx. $470!!!
Brush bar control
Root Cyclone Technology -- no clogging
Clean Exhaust Air
HEPA filter
Need I say more?

CLICK HERE to go to the contest page

CLICK HERE for more info on the Dyson Slim and a very cool 365 degree picture!

Go, loyal readers ... Go!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Wiki Meme

Carol, over at She Lives, tagged me to do this Wiki Birthday Meme. And, while I'm sure I'm the only one that will find this interesting, here it goes ...

The rules are:

1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year. mine is November 19.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)
6) Tag 5 other bloggers to complete

1) In 461 - St. Hilarius becomes Pope. There's just got to be something funny behind that, but ... well ... it escapes me.

2) In 1863 - Union President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the military cemetery dedication ceremony in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I thought this was quite appropriate, seeing that I live so close to Gettysburg.

3) In 1978 - Jim Jones leads members of his Peoples Temple cult in mass murder-suicide. The bodies of 914 people, including 276 children, were found in Jonestown, Guyana in South America. Seriously. On my birthday. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

4) An extra one ... just because I'm rebellious: In 2005, Nintendo launched Wii. That sort of makes up for 914 dead people.

1) 1942 - Calvin Klein - Hmmmmmmmmmm..... where did I leave my jeans?
2) 1961 - Meg Ryan
3) 1962 - Jodi Foster

1) 1988 - Christina Onassis, daughter of billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Can you believe that out of a bazillion deaths, this is the only name I recognized?

Holiday / Observance
1) And once again ... I couldn't make this up if I tried ... World Toilet Day. And, you can celebrate along with me on National World Toilet Day, see World Toilet Organization for more information.

This was, actually, an interesting exercise. Thanks, Carol!

So now for the tag -- well, I'll tag anyone interested in playing along. Just let me know in the comments section!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WFMW: Febreeze Ironing Tip

Welcome to another Works For Me Wednesday Tip, brought to you by none other than Shanon at Rocks In My Dryer ... make sure to stop by her blog and take a gander at all the incredible tips shared each and every Wednesday!

Today, I'm sharing a tip that I accidentally stumbled upon, but now absolutely love.

First, you should know that prior to my having a baby, I ironed everything I wore. Yes. It was an obsessive-compulsive disorder I had. But fear not! This nasty disorder was quickly corrected once Hunter entered our lives and sucked every single free moment out of my life. Now, things get ironed as needed, and sometimes ... well, let's just say that sometimes I'm a wee bit wrinkled, and it isn't pretty (much to my mother's horror, who irons her sheets, people!!! Now THAT's just a sickness!).

One day, when I went to iron something for work, I noticed that my squirty water bottle was broken, hence, no longer squirting. Desperate for a substitute, I fished out an empty Febreeze bottle from the trash, rinsed, filled with fresh water, and re-used for ironing. But I noticed a pleasant smell ... from leftover Febreeze in the spray thingie.

So, once I replaced my squirt bottle, I started adding 3 tablespoons of Febreeze to the water (about 3 cups) I iron with. Not only does it serve it's original purpose of getting the wrinkles out, but it serves to freshen up my clothing, too. I have never really liked the thought of spraying the full-strength of Febreeze onto my clothing, but 3 tablespoons added to about 3 cups of water didn't worry me too much.

So there you have it ... probably a no-brainer for some, but a brainstorm for me, and a cheaper alternative to buying those pricey scented linen sprays!

Monday, March 26, 2007

There is a season for everything!

This past Sunday was a very busy, very long and hectic day for us. Hunter was a trooper, though, and surprisingly, stayed awake long past his noon-ish nap time, and managed to be in a fantastical mood the entire time. It might have had something to do with sparkly star balloons tied to his wrist... but yes, he was pleasant, and not a single temper-tantrum moment was displayed by him.

When we got into the car to go home, he fussed a little -- but as I mention above, it was a very busy, very long and hectic day for us, and for him too, and while he was drop-dead-tired, he valiantly fought falling asleep in the car. Again ... I'm pretty sure it had something to do with those stinking balloons tied to his wrist.

As we were turning into our neighborhood, daddy and I were strategizing over (as we typically do) who would do what ... "I'll unlock the door. You take Hunter in and put him to bed. I'll get the bags and shut the barking-maniac-dog up. Then we'll both drop dead into bed and nap as long as we can." You know ... that kind of strategic planning.

As we were getting out of the car, I over heard daddy saying... "Thank you Jesus for giving us this precious child so late in life."

Huh? Did I hear right? I mean, this whole "having a child late in life" business can really place a damper on your retirement plans... seeing that he'll still be in high school when we're pushing 60, and all... But when he rounded the corner with our sleeping child in his arms, he whispered to me... "I think God gave us Hunter later in life so that we would appreciate him even more, and really understand the precious gift He gave us." We both just took a second to stare at his quiet and peacefully sleeping face.

Yes, honey ... I think you're right. God, in his infinite wisdom, blessed us with this child late in life, because he knew how much more we would love him, and grasp furiously onto each and every moment of life with him, relishing them and placing them into our slowly eroding memory banks as age silently creeps up on us. Yes, there is a season for everything!

Blogger Fodder...

...Things I Learned This Weekend ...

1) Nine and a half dozen balloons do not all fit in one Expedition, but do, however, fit if divided in one Expedition making 2 trips, PLUS one mini van.

2) Latex balloons are not guaranteed by the store to float more than 12 hours, so ... if you pick up said balloons on a Saturday evening for a Sunday morning Celebration Service at church, and spend hours decorating with said balloons, you might arrive the next morning to find your floor and tables littered with shrivelled up shells of latex on a string.

3) However ... if you pray over each balloon to stay afloat as you manipulate them into the nice table decorations and floor decorations, and if you wake up at 1:00 in the morning feeling prompted to pray over said balloons again, and then spend the 20 minute ride to church the next morning pleading with God to have said balloons look nice until the Celebration Service is over ... God will hear your prayer, and you will arrive at church to find all latex balloons in perfect condition, with not a one shrivelled up shell of latex littering the tables or floor. Praise God!! He does care about balloons, too.

4) If a "person" has eyebrows that grow like grass, and occasionally need to trim the length of their eyebrows with a fine pair of scissors ... and said person notices that while they are rushing around to get ready for a special Celebration Service at church, those long eyebrows need trimming, and acknowledges by glancing at the clock that they are very, VERY short on time ... it would behoove said person to remember that using their husband's mustache trimmer as a last minute "quick fix" on eyebrows is MOST dangerous, and may result in the middle half of said eyebrow being mowed down to almost nothing. Which in turn will result in said person screaming and shedding a few tears over tragic loss of eyebrow. I won't share who "said person" is, but it was quite tragic.

5) If a "person" with half an eyebrow shares sorrowful story with girl friends at church (andmaybethepastorbutletsnotgothere), she will walk away with a very important tip ... use an eyebrow pencil.

6) Praise Jesus for a sable-brown eye pencil. "Said person" was able to walk into office with head held high come Monday morning.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Princess and the ...


"There was once a prince, and he wanted a princess, but then she must be a real Princess. He travelled right around the world to find one, but there was always something wrong. There were plenty of princesses, but whether they were real princesses he had great difficulty in discovering; there was always something which was not quite right about them. So at last he had come home again, and he was very sad because he wanted a real princess so badly.

One evening there was a terrible storm; it thundered and lightninged and the rain poured down in torrents; indeed it was a fearful night. In the middle of the storm somebody knocked at the town gate, and the old King himself sent to open it.

It was a princess who stood outside, but she was in a terrible state from the rain and the storm. The water streamed out of her hair and her clothes; it ran in at the top of her shoes and out at the heel, but she said that she was a real princess.

'Well we shall soon see if that is true,' thought the old Queen, but she said nothing. She went into the bedroom, took all the bed clothes off and laid a pea on the bedstead: then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on top of the pea....."
(borrowed from Hans Christian Andersen

Awe, heck. Who am I kidding??? Let me start again.

The other day, a beautiful princess was walking through her office building. She limped and gimped all day long, for lo, there was something soft and squishy inside her shoe.

But alas, the beautiful princess was far to busy to stop and investigate the odd thing in her shoe, and soon, forgot about the pesky item. Until she arrived home. And remembered. Yes ... she had been walking with a lump in her shoe.
Upon removing her shoe, the princess discovered a folded nasal strip. Yes. A Breath-Right strip. Thanks to her wonderful prince, who kindly left it on the floor, causing the princess to step upon it whilst preparing her beautificus self for work that morning.

And, verily, verily, I say ... Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate foot to notice a folded Breath-Right strip under layers and layers of -- er -- stockings. So the prince decided to keep her as his wife, for now he was sure that he had found a real princess, and the Breath-Right strip was put into the Museum, where it may still be seen if no one has stolen it.

Now this is a true story.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Day In The Life...

Ever wonder what a day in the life of a working mom is like? Well ... allow me to share!

Monday morning, at around 10:00, I was in a friends cube (in a different building at work) and I got a call from a strange person in my company. Evidently, my husband had been trying to track me down to tell me my son was ill and needed to be picked up from daycare.

Now, you need to understand ... my husband is a very calm, laid back kind of person, and for him to actively try to find me through out my workplace sent a wee bit of urgency through the message.

I got back to my desk and called Hunter's pediatrician, as this was the FIFTEENTH day in a row that we have battled some kind of fever, whether it was 99.9 or 104.7, and in this case, it was 104.5, and I insisted that they see him as soon as possible. I went and got him from day care, and the day care provider told me that all he wanted to do was lay in the playpen, and he moaned each time he moved. She had tried to give him water, and cool him down with a moist washcloth, but he didn't want to be touched, didn't want to drink, and didn't want to eat.

By the time I got him into the doctors office, waited ONE HOUR, and worried about my glowingly-bright-red-hot child, I was mad. Very.Mad. I hadn't been able to give him anything for his fever because I came straight from daycare, and I was very worried about him. And the doctor's office was taking forEVER. They finally took me back, gave me a cup of water (which he practically attacked and gulped down), and finally ... finally ... the doctor came to look at him. He presented symptoms of an infection, but his lungs sounded clear, and his ears were clear of infection. They proceeded to catheterize him (oh, my poor child) to get a urine sample, they swabbed his nose for a flu test, and confirmed that each test came back negative. The doctor said she was sending him to the hospital for a chest x-ray and some blood work (the only location that gives stat results), because she didn't know what was wrong with him, and if these two tests came back negative, they were calling in an infections disease specialist.

Now, I was starting to get just a wee bit anxious by this time. I had to take my sick child to the hospital ... alone. I don't know about you, but the mere thought of finding parking at our hospital is enough to scare anyone. In fact, they offer Valet Parking... that should tell you something! But as I waited in the drive-through line at Roy Rogers (it seems as if Sprite is the miracle cure-all), I prayed over my little boy, and prayed that we would have angels help us through everything he was getting ready to experience.

And lo and behold, as I pull up to the hospital, I find a parking spot in the front row! No, I'm not kidding... right in front of the door (thank you Lord). We were checked in right away (Praise God!), and we head back to get his blood drawn, which was done right away (Hallelujah!). Of course, I had to hold him down for the third time in one day, and he screamed his heart out, but I think he forgave me. Finally, the last test ... the most painless one of all ... the x-ray. And this, my friends, is where my son totally lost it. He'd had enough and had a melt down. It took two of us to hold him down. But this turned out to be the most critical of all tests, because it confirmed that he had pneumonia in his right lung. Praise God! Yes, praise God, because now we could treat him.

And, as if that wasn't enough, I had a message for me when I got home telling me that my strep throat culture came back positive. No wonder I was so wiped out and feeling cruddy!

Tuesday: Yes, there's more ... on Tuesday, our refrigerator was scheduled to be delivered (excellent way to clean out all the old stuff). So, they arrive early, and I rushed to empty the fridge with a child on my hip. They replace the old with the new, I signed off, and they left. Easy peasy. Except I have to put everything back in the fridge and freezer.

But all is well, because at this point, Hunter is fascinated enough that he's distracted from feeling bad and I'm able to put him down. I finish this chore in time to glance down and find that Hunter had gotten hold of three mini pancakes -- the frozen ones -- and was happily gnawing away at them. Evidently, he didn't notice that they were frozen solid and rock hard. Hey! It was what was keeping him happy, and he was actually eating! Whatever works! I'm not complaining! And if I had more energy, I may have sprinted for the camera ... but ... well ... naaah. We spent the rest of the day cuddling and both of us were feeling pretty sick and exhausted.

Anyway, even though all this happened, I know Hunter was in God's hands. My husband had called an army of people to begin praying for him, and our church e-prayer list was deployed. This child was bathed in prayer, and God reached down and touched and protected him. The funny thing is, that even though I have a ton of scriptures memorized, as well as a ton of worship songs in this old brain of mine, the only thing I could think to sing to Hunter all day long as I was pinning him down from one table to another was, "Jesus Loves Me." And it's true -- "...little ones to him belong, they are weak but He is strong."

So ... that's a day in the life of a working mom. And here I am, back at work while the grandparents watch Hunter.

Whew!! I'm exhausted! Can anyone tell me when the momma gets to be sick? Just wondering.

And for anyone that's a die-hard trivia lover ... did you know that Bobby Flay's wife is a former Law & Order: SVU actress Stephanie March -- just a bit of useless trivia I got from watching the Food Network.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Xtreme Baptism ? ? ?

Recently, I've shared some "homegrown" videos that three guys from my church have created specifically for our building fund campaign. But the video they shared with us yesterday morning??? Oh, MY WORD, y'all! This video is by FAR the funniest one our wacky media guys have made! Oh, the talent!

I know many of you don't care to watch these YouTube videos, but please ... you must ... just so you can capture the whole "Xtreme Baptism" idea in your head.

My only question is... are there really people with "for-real-wild-ideas" like this one out there in our mad, mad world? Praise God, I was baptized quite a while ago!

One thing you should note... You know the wall with the big X on it? That's the front of our sanctuary, and behind that wall is our real baptistry. Okay -- have fun viewing this video, and let me know your thoughts!!!

Hopefully, I'll have a chance to post a serious post later this afternoon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Do Unto Others...

So ... I thought I'd share some thoughts about my day with you.

Yeah. I know you're excited. Try and hold your pants on tight, 'kay?

After having waited for close to two ... as in 2 ... hours at the doctor's office for a strep culture, I thought I'd run some errands. You know ... a "while I'm out" kind of thing. So, I popped into AC Moore to pick up various items of a "construction-theme" for a leadership banquet our church is having this weekend (yeah, it's for our building campaign).

Anyhooo -- as I was getting out of my car to walk towards the store, I hear a child screaming at the top of his lungs. At first, I thought it was screaming, "helpme! helpme! helpme!" And, after a panicked moment of trying to digest what was happening, I realized the child was merely screaming, "mommy! mommy! mommy!" in a hysterical, I'm-gonna-die way. You know what I mean, right? After all, we've all been there. Yes ... YOU too!

So, I walked into the store, while I "sort of" rub the back of my neck (like you would if you heard nails dragging down the blackboard). Oh, okay ... I rubbed the back of my neck pretty hard ... as in, "please don't come into this store." There. I said it. Out loud. Happy?

And as I searched the sticker and paper aisle, I heard this young mother come (and, in case you were dying to know, AC Moore does NOT have a plethora of construction stuff -- princess stuff? Oh yeah. But construction stuff? Nada) .

There was another woman in the aisle I was in. I know this because I had leaned my head down into my hand to rub my forehead in an "I'm sick, and sure wish that screaming child was somewhere else" kind of way. I looked to the other woman out of the side of my hand, and she just shook her head in dissaproval.

And then I heard it. Another mother. In the aisle behind me. She said ... "My children would never do that. I would not allow them to behave that way anywhere. It was simply not accepted."

Oh. Yes. She. Did.

At that moment, my heart softened for that pour mother with the screaming banchee child. How many times had I said, "My child will NEVER do that" only to have it happen to me?

Like the time my husband's baby cousin spit up mercilessly all over me (and anyone else for that matter) with his acid reflux, and I turned to my SIL (Sunshine) with a knowing look in my eye, and said (with attitude, of course) "My child will never do that."

Only to have my child have acid reflux and projectile vomit. Nice.

Or how about the time my sister complained with a heavy heart to me that her second oldest had a tendancy to throw the vilest of temper tantrums and fits of rage that would last for hours. HOURS. And she was at her wits end. And, no sooner were we done on the phone, when I turned to my husband and said, "Our child will not act like that! EVER!"

Only to have my child throw temper tantrums if you so much as LOOK at him the wrong way. Groovy.

And then a thought crossed my mind ... "How would I feel if that were me?" Well, that would never be... Ehhh -- never mind. I can't even pull that one off, because it has been me. So, I did what any other self respecting mother who loves Jesus with all her heart and wants to spread the love around would do.

I put my items down, and walked out of the store.

To find the mother with the crying child.

And offer her my help.

She was practically in tears trying to calm her son down (who seemed to be about 4 years old). I offered to help her out, or to go in and buy her whatever she needed so she could sit with her son for a bit. She said something like, "waiting, my sister, shhh, don't know why, thanks, no, shhh, my sister, don't need anything, shhh..."

I just smiled politely and said that if she needed anything, I'd be happy to help her, because I have been where she's at, and fully understand. I think she said something like she didn't need anything now, but thanks, so I went in and finished my shopping. When I came out, she was gone.

It was a lesson I needed right now. A person in crisis. A store full of judgemental people. Where was I going to fall? Was I going to judge? Turn my pious nose up at her? Or was I going to do unto her like I would want done unto me? I really feel for her ... a young mother (oh, okay, so I'm old -- whatever) alone in store with a screaming, arm-throwing, foot-dragging, carry-me-because-I'm-going-limp, temper-tantrum-throwing child.

There wasn't really much I was able to do for her, but I hope I was a little bit of sunshine in her life today.

How have you been a little bit of sunshine in someone's life this week?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

WFMW: Tomato Stains in Plastic Containers

Updated to add: I can not even BELIEVE I forgot to credit Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer for hosting Works for me Wednesday! For more awesome tips, head on over to her pad!

Do you hate how your plastic storage containers (tupperware, rubbermaid, ziploc, etc.) get stained when you store tomato-based sauces in them? Do you hate it when you place the storage container in the dishwasher, and it comes back out red and greasy? Even though it's been washed in the hottest water imaginable, with a bleach-based dishwasher detergent?

Yeah. Me too. So here are a few tips that will help you get clean storage containers when you run them through the dishwasher, tips on how to avoid the stains in the first place, and some ideas on how you can remove old stains on your containers.

1) To get the containers clean when you run them in the dishwasher: first wipe the inside of the container out with a paper towel before placing it into the dishwasher. Yup! It's that easy. Even if you've rinsed it with water, wipe it out with a paper towel. Yes, it can be yucky and messy, but it works.

2) You can use a new product called Cascade Plastic Booster 2 in1 Additive for removing red stains and odors from your plastic containers. For instance ... I had a sippy cup that had old milk in it. I took it apart and ran each piece through the dishwasher, but it still smelled like soured milk. The milk had actually congealed on the inside of the straw! Yuck. I ran it again with the Cascade Plastic Booster, and it really eliminated the odor. Works on plastic cups, plates, containers, kids plastic and rubber covered flatware , etc. Hmmm ... I should try running the plastic bibs Hunter has stained with sauce through the dishwasher! (it comes in a red or a green & blue tube)

3) Now, to avoid the stains all together: do not heat your tomato-based sauces in the plastic containers. But seriously, who takes the time to change to a glass container just to heat it up in the microwave? Not me! Especially when I have a screaming toddler who So, I'm told you should try spraying your container with Pam first prior to nuking. Of course, I don't, but I'm told it works.

4) To remove old stains in your containers, if the Cascade Plastic Booster 2 in1 Additive for removing red stains didn't work (which I can't imagine why it wouldn't), then try any of the following ideas:

a) Leave the tomato stained container out in the sun a few hours and the stain
is supposed to vanish. I've heard it really works ... and it works on those stained spatulas and plastic white cooking tools

b) Use a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) and rub into the stain.

c) You can pour bleach in the container and let it sit for a few minutes.

d) Fill the container to the top with hot water and plop a couple denture tablets in.

Out of all these methods, I personally prefer to wipe the inside out with a paper towel and place it in the dishwasher and allow the dishwasher to do the work. It has always worked for me, even if I microwaved it first, which I frequently do, without spraying it with Pam, and if I do this extra step, then I generally have no need for Cascade's Plastic Booster 2 in1 for removing red stains.

Finally... I have read, and I've been told, that once your container is stained, it has become a permanent part of the molecular structure of the plastic. If this is true, and nothing I try removes old stains, I usually continue to re-use it -- stain and all.

EXCEPT ... and this is very important ... if your plastic container is peeling or is scared or marred from microwaving it, THROW IT OUT. The chemicals used to make the container can leech out into the food. If that doesn't seem to worry you, then maybe you're not aware that the plastic container you're using to heat up your food in is a petroleum-based product. Yuck! Toss it!

Hope these tips help you out!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good Times, I Tell You!

Ever had a really bad day? Week? Month? Life? Yeah, well... join the club.

In fact, right this very second, I am fortunate enough to be able to sit in my cube, and listen to the annoying chime that the computer makes when it can't perform what you want it to do, and the extremely skilled person on the other side of my cube wall (the one that is making this noise) has felt compelled to share it with all of us... again, and again, and A.G.A.I.N. Face it ... no matter how many times you hit that Enter button, it's still gonna chime at you and say... "Nah. Don't feel like executing your comand -- chime -- chime -- chime." In fact, did you know it could chime 50 times in a row? 51, 52, 53, 54 ... yeah. It can. Can anyone come up with a more annoying office sound than that? I think not. In fact, I would gladly welcome fingernails on a chalk board right now.

So, last week, we finally decided that we had to replace our refrigerator. I guess that once all three drawers cracked and broke, the cover to the butter shelf broke off, and all the shelves are dangling precariously (I am SOOO not exagerating), we felt it was time to go into debt and purchase a new one. On credit. Ack. I'm dying.

Then, this week, I came down with the very same cold my dear son has ... the one where he had a fever of 104 degrees and nearly scared me to death as he lay steaming in his crib while hacking a bone rattling cough. Fun times.

Of course, there's always the one where I plan my weekly menu for all two and a half of us (me, hubby, and baby), go to the grocery store, spend lots of money on food, only to find out that my aunt passed away while I was in the grocery store, and my parents, who have been with us already for a week, will be staying another week. That's okay ... but I only planned for enough food for 2.5 people... making yet another trip to the incredibly packed and expensive grocery store probable. Did I mention another funeral on the very near horizon?

Then, there's always that pile of laundry I couldn't get to this weekend because of various illnesses and family commitments. And the clutter. Don't forget the clutter.

Have I mentioned that my Christmas lights are still hanging on my bushes? Thank heaven's the wires are green. Maybe the neighbors haven't noticed them yet. Or the snowman bucket I have hanging in my kitchen, which even I hadn't noticed. Yeah. Don't look for shamrocks at Casa GiBee -- look for Christmas decorations!

On the upside ... I FINALLY got to organize my tupperware cabinet... YAY! It's all orderly, and I only have containers with matching lids in the cabinet. Everything else has been thrown away. Joy! Oh, and yesterday, I made a KILLER rub for my BBQ chicken, which we cooked over honest to goodness coals! Yummo. AND -- while I've added a new monthly bill to our budget, I do have a new refrigerator to look forward to -- with french doors and all. So really -- Life is grand, fine, dandy, rosey, peachy...

After all ... it could be worse. Right? Right???

I'm sure there's a bible verse and a cool lesson I could throw in right here, but my head is too cloudy, my nose is too stuffy, and my throat is too raspy to think of one.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I thought I'd share another homegrown video that my associate pastor and a couple other guys from our church made. The quality seems a bit fuzzy on YouTube, but it's a cute clip about "sacrifice," and what it means to each person. Obviously, it's tongue in cheek, but it does cause you to think! This video was made for our "Discovering Tomorrow" Stewardship and Building Fund Campaign.

Just so you know, during the "word association" part of the video, one of the guys (the one with the hat) refers to the word "Faith" as "Faith... Mc..., and that's a person in our church.

Cute, funny, cute, funny.

Great job, guys. Can't wait to see the next one!

Hope y'all enjoy it, too!

In case you missed it ... Here's the link to the first video.

St. Patrick's Day Idea - Clover Cup Cakes

Updated to add: Sandy from For Reluctant Entertainers ~ A Guide to Gracious Living mentioned her Faithgirlz club -- so, if you lead one or your daughter belongs to one, this is a fun recipe for her to help you make!

Calling all homeroom moms, den moms, daisy, brownie, or girl scout troop moms: Are you gearing up to bake a special treat to send in to school, play group or church with your child? Or to have when the scout meeting comes to your home? Well, here's a clever idea for you that I saw in last month's Family Fun Magazine! So easy, and so cute, and if you have this magazine, then it's probably out of sight, out of mind... and if you DON'T have this magazine, well, it's time to get it!

For more St. Patrick's Day fun ideas, go here!

Clover Cup Cakes
(picture and recipe taken from Family Fun magazine & web site)

Cupcake batter
Cupcake tins and liners
Aluminum foil
White frosting
Green food coloring
Green licorice (Twizzlers Rainbow Twists sold in a pack with other colors)

Step 1: Place paper liners in 32 standard muffin cups, then fill each halfway with the batter.

Step 2: For each cupcake, roll three balls of foil (about 2/3 inch in diameter) and insert them evenly around the perimeter between the liner and the tin, as shown.

Step 3: Bake the cupcakes for a few minutes less than the package suggests (because there's less batter per cup than usual), or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Step 4: Allow the cupcakes to cool, then remove them from the tin.

Step 5: Cover each with green frosting (about 1 teaspoon of green food coloring to one 16-ounce can of white frosting).

Step 6: Use a toothpick to draw leaf veins, and insert a 2-inch-long piece of green licorice for a stem.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

One-eyed Envy Monster

Okay ... GENERALLY, I'm a very, VERY gracious, generous and giving person. In fact, I have issues with being TOO generous, kind, loving, yadayadayada... But now, I have a need to PURGE myself. In fact, I just sent an email to Kim from Can You Hear Me Now? and told her I was going to do just that ... purge. Why did I tell her that? Because Kim is so stinking creative that I knew she'd understand. And, because I had to share the "link" to the bane of my existence with her [insert evil laugh]. And ... because now, I'm having evil thoughts about someone ...

You see, last month, Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer posted a very quick, and, what some might think, un-noticeable post about a lovely craft studio that she came across -- yeah, a craft studio -- seemingly so innocent -- so, yeah ... props to Shannon -- and having said that, here's a special little thank you to Shannon ...

"Thanks, Shannon ... for feeding the awful, green monster that dwells inside of me ... you know ... the one-eyed envy monster. For without you, it may NEVER have reared it's ugly, spinney, razor-sharp, mean head, and would have stayed quietly within had it not seen this sugary sweet and quite edible room you linked us all too. I love you dearly, Shannon, but THIS I could have done without."

There you have it. The truth. GiBee has envy issues of the worst kind... as in ... I WANT THE SAME ROOM with all the lovely, gorgeous, orderly, clean, every-thing-in-its-place, eat-your-heart-out fabrics, ribbons, buttons, and thingamabobbies. And anyone that knows me intimately, KNOWS that this is right up my alley -- style, colors, etc.

So ... Do I have your attention? Are you in the least bit curious? Well then, click your way on over to Hello, My Name is Heather and see exactly what I'm talking about, dagblamit!

Is slobber harmful to the keyboard?

SIGH... I may have to take a few days of silence to clean my heart out... Pray for me.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

WFMW: Twist 'n Loc Containers

While this isn't necessarily a "Kitchen Organization Tip," it does make my life a little bit easier.

Usually, once a month, I will make a large batch of either homemade Meat Sauce, or a large batch of my homemade Bolognese Sauce (both a bit different). I will then freeze it in portions large enough for a meal. I have tried several different containers, and the one I find the easiest to work with is the Twist 'n Loc Containers by Ziploc.

They come in two sizes - 2 cup and 4 cup, and have measurement lines on the side of the containers for exact portion size. They stack nicely inside of themselves, and can be used in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. The 4 cup size is just tall enough to hold enough sauce for an entire meal, and fit nicely in the freezer. Plus, I love the twist on lids, as they are easy to get on and off, and make a tight seal. They really hold liquid very well.

Once I've made up my sauce, I ladle it into the containers, let it sit until it cools, screw the lids on and place it in the freezer ... and sometimes I just put the lids on the hot food and put it straight into the freezer.

Then, when I have one of those nights where I'm tired and don't feel like fixing what's on my menu, I just grab one of these containers, pop it into the microwave to thaw, heat it up, and toss it with some pasta. I can also use it for lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti, and various casseroles.

Works for me! Now, hop on over to Shannon's Rocks In My Dryer for other useful Works For Me Wednesday Tips!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Finding time or making time?

Have you ever found yourself in the same position as the man with the cap on? Excited about a great program your church is kicking off, but when you find yourself being questioned on how you're going to “plug” yourself into the program, you begin to make all kinds of excuses on why you can’t get “plugged in?” Lack of time, family commitments, work, etc...

Well, our church is just kicking of a building fund campaign called “Discovering Tomorrow” with a stewardship series. We started off by introducing a month-long time of prayer and fasting accompanied by a daily prayer guide. We’re also having “Personal Communication Meetings” where we invite small groups of families from the church to have a time of Q&A, as well as sharing important information about the campaign.

This past Sunday, we started advertising the campaign with the video below. Yes, I know it’s amateur stuff … a far cry from what some of the large mega churches can produce. The quality’s not A-plus, and the actors are not professional (YET!), but I’m so proud of the great job my little church was able to do with this video. It’s full of comic relief, and while it's specific to our particular campaign, it really gets to the heart of the matter, causing you to think through your own motives for your own church … Are you, in fact, “finding time” to be involved in a program at your church, or are you really making a point of “making time” to become involved in a program that can expand the Kingdom of God? And, when I say "program," I mean anything from setting up on Sunday mornings, to greeting new people, to helping direct in the parking lot, to singing in the choir, to passing out bulletins, to teaching a Sunday school class, to counting money, to ushering ... oh, the list could go on, and on, and on. I guess my point is ... are you plugged into your church, helping out where the ministry NEEDS you ... or are you expecting your church to plug into you and give you what YOU need?

Take a peek at the video and let me know what your thoughts are!

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service." 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Ramblings

First, I want to apologize to all of you who have visited me through the Ultimate Party... I have been a wee bit distracted this weekend with my Aunt who is in her last days. It has been emotionally draining, and we're all in the lurch awaiting the announcement of her death. It was close yesterday, as they couldn't find a pulse ... then ... they did. Ack! It's the worst feeling ... especially since my husband's family just went through this two weeks ago! Seriously, I am DONE with sorrow and mourning for the year!!!! Fortunately, my husband's aunt died in Christ, as will my aunt, so there promises to be a reunion in heaven for the family members! That's the joy lining the clouds right now.

In any case, I promise to get back to y'all who have joined me via the Ultimate Party, as well as surf through the blogs participating in the party (yikes! there's a ton of them!)!!

And, just to lighten the mood at my blog ... I wanted to share with you a sure-fire way to find me by doing a Google search ... all you have to do is type in "sharing the gospel using oxy-clean" -- yes, indeed, this is a real search that someone used (for what reason, I have no clue) and my blog popped up as the first option. Odd, huh?

So, maybe it's a mighty good sign that I should start hitting the laundromat, and begin sharing the gospel while I use oxy-clean on my whites?!?

Yeah, maybe not.

Then, there's always the weird and wacky (and frightening) Google search for "baby hunters" -- what is THAT about? I come up first, again! Weird.

Have a great day, y'all ... and, if by chance, you have an awesome recipe that uses soy sauce in it, can you share it with me via email? Thanks!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Welcome 2 The Ultimate Blog Party!!

It's finally here! The Ultimate Blogging Party -- chick style!

Where else can you go party without ever having to leave your seat! Seriously!

Thanks to Janice and Susan (twins) at 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting this party. Make sure you take a day (or two) to stop by their blog and check out everyone participating!

And for anyone new that is reading me for the first time, I'm just a humble mom of 1 miracle little boy, okay -- humble, AND old, learning as I go, and trying to catch my breath as I chase my 17 month old around the house. I love the Lord with all my heart, and love sharing about Him any time I get. I have an awesome husband, saved family, great church and church family, and feel blessed to have so many incredible blogging buddies!

I hope you have fun browsing around my blog, but most importantly, leave a comment that you showed up for the party! I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thank you, Typepad Customer Service!

Oh, HAPPY DAY!!! YES! It turns out that there IS someone nice and friendly waiting on the other end of the Typepad customer service email thingamajiggy, and they truly are helpful! And, I'm all happy again!

And, evidently ... if you whine and complain to your Typepad blogging friends long enough about not being able to post comments on their beloved blogs, YOU WILL GET ONE OF THEM to look into it! Yes, YOU WILL!

So, my friend Carol at She Lives wrote a post and a little update here specifically for all the people who were annoying emailing her about problems with leaving comments on Typepad blogs.

And I read it, and actually did what she instructed me to do. Yeah. Shocking that I actually followed directions.

Anyway, I emailed the nice folks at Typepad, and they emailed me back, and I waited, and they worked their little fingers to the bone, then I hesitantly stepped out in faith, and LEFT A MESSAGE on a Typepad blog! Today! Yes, indeedie! It worked!!!

Here's what Typepad's email to me said ...

Hi there,

We will report the IP address and work on whitelisting it as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience while we work on this.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.


So, there you have it. My IP is "white listed" again -- and I never knew it was "black listed!" Evidently, they added extra security measures, and as Carol said to me in an email, "they had to beef up their spam security stuff and, unfortunately, it's blocking "innocent" IP addresses." Yes, thank you ... I am innocent, and all that stuff.

Carol walks you through how to get in touch with Typepad (click here) and what info to give them if you're having problems leaving comments (your IP address, which you can get here, and trust me, you're going to wanna go there to get it, 'cause it's not what you think it is!). I highly recommend you read her post and take action. It's painless, after all, and they do respond!

And they actually thanked me for allowing them to be of service to me. How nice of them!