Sunday, December 23, 2007

Just Ducky.

Not last night, but the night before, after driving for 7 hours we arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house and the kids and Grandma wanted to open presents immediately. All I wanted to do was be horizontal for at least an hour. So I asked, "Do I have to watch?" *insert whatever version of whining your imagination comes up with* "Can I LAY and watch?" Everyone agreed that I could lay and watch so I did. As the kids were tearing through their presents and marveling at the greatness of each gift and Grandma and Grandpa were grinning from ear to ear, I was particularly struck with how much love and devotion they heap on my children and was moved to tears. Today they took us to see the new National Treasure movie (complete with movie snacks). Directly following, my Father-in-law took my son and myself fishing. He is always so patient with my son. A really good man and role model. We mighty fishermen didn't catch any fish, but we did get told off by this duck....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How will he return to me?

What will he see when he sees me? Will he see a woman who has slimmed on the outside and grown on the inside? Will HE have slimmed on the outside and grown on the inside? How will he return to me?

Best show EVER.3

Well, y'all......
Tonight was the finale. Did you see it? Oh my word! Even my KIDS were asking how they could get in a choir like that.(Only one of them actually even gives a hoot about singing). It came down to the final two; Patti LaBelle and Nick Lachey. My 15 year old said she votes for Nick Lachey's choir because he is her future husband. LOL. Well, he is a beautiful creation of God. Here I was so sure that team Philly was going to take it home, although ALL of the choirs were just amazing, and *whammo* Team Cincinnati takes home the mega charity prize. Drama, suspense, good music and charity. This week has been a true pleasure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


One thing that you will always hear coming from my vehicle is really, really loud worship music, unless the chillin's are in the car; at those times the volume is kept at an auditory protective level. :) I LOVE to sing my worship to God, and even to grieve and love and wonder through Christian music. I realized today that people are watching. They are looking and listening to me being who God has created me to be. How did I realize this? I travel through a certain McDonald's drive-thru rather often on my way to my various activities. (Thankfully, McDonald's has made the move to provide healthier choices to those on the go). As always, I turned down my music and pleasantly gave my order for some apple dippers and a diet coke. Turned my music back up and joined back in as I curved around to the pay window. As I handed over my card, I smiled and said, "Hello" and joined back in with the worship. And today the girl working the window said, "You're always so happy and you make me smile." I responded, "Praise Jesus! Have a great day." Then I moved on to the get your food window and when the guy saw me, he grinned from ear to ear, "What are you singing today?" I responded, "Worshiping my Jesus." It has not occurred to me before that these people are paying attention to me. What a blessing that I bring a little brightness to their day and hopefully they are seeing not me, but Jesus in me. How did I know I was living a biblical principle?! Matthew 5:14(NIV) "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Although the Great commission calls us to go and make disciples, that doesn't mean we are all going to be Billy Graham. Evangelism starts at home with how you live out your walk.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Best show EVER.2

Hello! Awesome! Night # 2 consisted of some nail-biting suspense and incredible vocal performances. I have to say I was surprised that it was Kelly Rowland's choir that went home but she was so gracious about it and reminded us all that they are all there for the same thing. Tonight, once again, my vote is for Patti LaBelle's choir. Who do I have to stalk to be a part of something like THAT? Choirs that are left: Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Michael Bolton and Blake Shelton. Any opinions on who will be the final choir?

E-mail 'Netiquette'

5 Rules of Forwarding Emails (by Judith Kallos)

Forwarding of emails is one of the topics I get contacted about the most. And, one which also causes hurt feelings and misunderstandings more than any other topic. Daily, emails flow in from onliners asking about a "nice way" of telling someone they care about, relative, friend or associate to not forward attachments, chain emails, political commentary or the jokes that are so prevalent online.
Netizens are afraid to ask others to stop and those who are asked to stop, no matter how nicely, get offended and feel as though their thoughtfulness is not appreciated. But let's think about this a moment. How really thoughtful is it to click the forward arrow, then a bunch of email addresses and hit send? Well, your brain had to "think" about those steps but does that make the effort truly "thoughtful." I don't think so...
Here are the 5 Rules of Forwarding Emails that those who are being truly thoughtful follow. If everyone followed them all the problems associated with forwarded emails could be avoided. Sticking to these guidelines will assist both those thinking they are thoughtful and those who don't want to appear otherwise:

1. Don't forward anything without editing out all the forwarding >>>>, other email addresses, headers and commentary from all the other forwarders. Don't make folks look amongst all the gobbly-gook to see what it is you thought was worth forwarding. If you must forward, only forward the actual "guts" or content of the email that you are of the opinion is valuable. Check out this neato free program to help you out: Email Stripper.

2. If you cannot take the time to write a personal comment at the top of your forwarded email to the person you are sending to - then you shouldn't forward it at all.

3. Think carefully about if what you are forwarding will be of value (accurate information -- check for hoaxes @, appreciated (something the recipient needs) or humorous (do they have the same sense of humor as you do) to the person on the other side. Or do you just think it is worthy? If you cannot think of why the person you are forwarding to would like to receive the email - then don't forward it.

4. It should go without saying (But I have to say it because folks do so anyway.) that forwarding of chain letters; regardless how noble the topic may seem, virus warnings or anything that says "forward to everyone you know" simply shouldn't be forwarded because in most cases it is plain old B.S. (again check before forwarding @ Email is email--there is no chain to break or continue--no cause or effect whether you do or not. Also, the fact is not all commentary will be appreciated by the other side if they have a different viewpoint than you do--be very careful here.

5. If you must forward to more than one person, put your email address in the TO: field and all the others you are sending to in the BCC field to protect their email address from being published to those they do not know. This is a serious privacy issue! Do not perpetuate a breech of privacy started by other forwarders who included their contact's addresses in the To: or Cc: field by continuing to forward those visible addresses to your contacts! Remove any email addresses in the body of the email that have been forwarded by those who brush off the privacy of their friends and associates.

The above 5 rules will help qualify if an email is worth forwarding and the right way to do so if it is. If one cannot make these extra efforts, then they really have no excuse to get mad or have hurt feelings when asked to stop. And if asked to stop forwarding, don't get mad; just realize the person on the other side certainly has the right to make that request.

On an aside, also keep in mind that if you are forwarding a private email that was sent to you, you must get the sender's permission to forward it on to others (or post it publicly). Emails are copyright protected by their authors. Not only that, common courtesy dictates that you should ask the author first if the email sent for your eyes only can be forwarded to strangers or others for which it was not originally intended.

At the end of the day, when it comes to receiving unwanted forwarded emails, if you fear hurting someone's feelings by asking them to stop forwarding you email, know they probably meant well, were really thinking of you, were trying to make a point - ahhh, just hit delete!

About the Author:Judith Kallos is an authoritative and good-humored Technology Musewho has played @ for over a decade. Check out her popular E-mail Etiquette Web Site, Books and Free Tools @:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Best show EVER

Okay, so - got a jumpstart on the van this morning from a very kind man from church, took it straight to the dealer an hour and a half away. Sure enough, bum battery. Also, 3/4 motor mounts broken. Air filter dirty. Hey - change the oil. Blah blah blah. Who cares? Who can possibly care when this very night on NBC at 8/7c is the premier of the BEST SHOW EVER? This week on NBC is a charity competition called CLASH OF THE CHOIRS. Can I just say, "Oh my goodness! I want to do THAT!" I have to say that Patti LaBelle's choir was on the top of my list. They were incredible! And who did they sing about? God. That's right. "He's got the whole world in His hands."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mother/Daughter bonding

Well, the van won't start. Praise the Lord that it waited to die until I had retrieved hubby's car from his work parking lot. Our 15 year old daughter is in the Driver's Ed course, and before he left, her father took her through the basics of the vehicle and the basics of vehicle maintenance to include checking the battery for corrosion and cleaning any that was present. So, off we girls went out in the freezing cold dark (we had to wait until we got home from Christmas Pageant Rehearsals at church) to see what we could see about the van. Turned the key, clickety clickety. Daughter = "I'm SURE it's the battery. I know how to check it! Can I?", so we looked at the battery connections - clean as a whistle(thanks to my big strong airman), and this particular battery has no indicator light. At least none that the girlpower team could find. We were both together in agreement that both of us had exhausted our knowledge at that point. So we closed the van back up and came inside. Her being a teenager, and me being a Mom, we seem to have more times these days where we disagree than times when we agree so this was a welcome time of bonding. I came in and did a little more research via the World Wide (Wonderful) Web and found a suggestion to turn the interior lights on and then try to turn the car on and if the lights dimmed then, it is most likely the battery. So - girlpower off again to the great dark outdoors - she got into the driver's seat turned on the interior lights and waited for me to climb in the passenger side. And here was our very first driving instruction together - I told her to insert the key and turn it. And she did! No, arguing, no questioning, no sulking, no look of "you can't possibly know what you're talking about"(and no me being impatient and cranky)! What a grand beginning to giving her driving lessons! The van? Clickety, clickety and the lights dimmed. We both felt very triumphant that girlpower had prevailed and that S2 was able to gain NO foothold. Our challenge today - figuring out what to do about the van. I can't reach with the jumper cables(it's like 3 inches shy), we do not have a charger and neither of us feel confident enough to try to remove the battery to take it down to whatever auto parts store would want to test it. So, I suppose I'll be visiting a neighbor or 2, or calling AAA to come and help. All in all, I'm thankful for the enjoyable time spent with my daughter and that I can retrieve the memory later when girlpower goes on hiatus and we aren't seeing eye to eye. God is good. All the time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Letters from war (excerpts)

Nov. 28, 07

Dear Judi,

I hope you're keeping strong during all of this...

This is definitely an adventure....

I've been praying every day, at least once if not more. And I've been trying to read more of the Bible. I'm still in Genesis and trying to follow who got married to who, and which parents begat which kids. It's hard to follow.....

Okay I will close this now. I love you. Stay faithful to God and He will get us through this.


*Judi sighs with bittersweet contentment*

Friday, December 14, 2007

What I am singing

Well, you may already know this, but currently my very favorite CD is GLORY REVEALED The Word of God in Worship.

Man alive! This is just plain good. This CD is a must have. It features some of today's best worship leaders/Christian artists and one of my very favorites; Candice Pearson-Shelton. I know what you're thinking, "Scripture in song - cheesy, boring." NO NO NO. This music is so good AND it is all Scripture. You can visit their website and sample the music if you don't believe me. My favorite is the title track. It is an easy walk into meditating on the glory of God when I pick up my twelve-string and go for it!

I am just waiting ever so patiently for someone to decide to publish the songbook. BTW - you can visit and get sheet music for a few of the songs on the album.

Oh the irony of it all

I am not a person who prizes physical touch or emotional intimacy. In fact, if I had my druthers, I would prefer to live without it. (No gain, no pain) Personal space is my goal. **However I remember that as one who is born again by God's saving Grace through His Son Jesus Christ, I am called to love others as myself, and so put my desire to avoid pain aside and trust that God will equip me for what He has called me to do, and He will never fail to hold me in His strong and faithful care** Having said that, I'm sure you'll pick up on the irony that over the last three years I have been poked, prodded, probed, cut apart and sewn back together by doctors(many doctors. strangers who are doctors), their equipment, even their cameras. I now know what the interior of my bladder looks like in real time (and so do two other people; who were strangers -at the time-). Today I saw my Urologist who is MOVING way too far away for me to still get to see him. Which means, I have to meet an entirely new Urologist who will most certainly want to do a physical exam of his/her own in order to continue the follow up that is required for the NEXT three years. AND in order to get the new referral, I have to go back to my Primary Care Manager who is also a stranger(cause they change out often) and explain the very personal details of how I know that the tip of my urethra hurts when someone touches it. (Somehow in cyberspace, it doesn't feel so loathsome to share. Maybe because you're not staring at me.) Oh the irony of it all. Perhaps I have become such a good evangelist that God wants to keep giving me opportunities to share the Good News with new people. Uh. No. I am not so good of an evangelist, but God continues to give me the opportunity to try anyway.

Southern comfort food

Bet you were wondering when you were going to hear about Southern living....well, here it is:

Sonic drive-in has taken classic, down-home, Southern comfort food to a whole new level of unhealthy. "How" you ask? They have somehow managed to get a spoonful of macaroni and cheese, batter it up, and deep fry it. Can you believe this? How am I supposed to get healthy and trim for when my big strong airman returns from war when these Southern delights are everywhere I turn? It's all kinds of wrong to be tempting a girl!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Today I went with the PWOC choir and we sang the story of Jesus' birth to the poor souls waiting and waiting for their prescriptions to be filled at the pharmacy. Then we sang the story of Jesus' birth to the 'holiday' shoppers at the PX. After we had lunch came the highlight of our day of outreach; we went to the local retirement home and sang to the people living there and the staff who cares for them. They were so touched just to have us there. We caroled through the hallways and stopped every few rooms. A very sweet lady asked us to come into her room and sing a song to her. So we did. The most beautiful sound of, "Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel" reverberated through her room and shone in her eyes. Does it get better than that? Oh yes. We caroled into the Alzheimer's hall. This hall has locked doors on either end for the patients' safety. I will not lie, it was a hard place to be. But I was there in the name of the One True God, and it was not my job to take on the weight of the world, but only to love them as He would. So I did. No naughty dogs will steal my joy today.

Bad dog! No biscuit!

Warning: This post is not likely to inspire anything but nervous laughter, or disgust, and the pictures aren't likely to either. It just is what it is.(and btw - our house is a work in progress, so don't freak out over the 1970's "brick" flooring and crazy cabinets!)

This is what we came home to this evening:

Our big, fat, naughty dogs got into the trash. AND they pulled stuff down off of the counters. Broke several dishes. There was even a broken bowl in the living room. They also got into the bathroom trash which was just too sensitive to even show.
Madison apparently had to put down her toy to help in the destruction.(see it there on the left next to the trash can lid?)

Here they are looking appropriately sorry. Wait. Is that a GRIN on Madison's face??

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Don't pity me, but do give me grace.

I guess I am addressing the dreaded deployment again. First, please forgive me if I don't answer questions about where he is stationed or when he is coming home(I don't know when he is coming home anyway.). I am going to try very hard not to publish information that could even have the remotest possibility of jeopardizing operation security as I do not want to do anything that could cause my husband(or someone else's) to get injured. So -- the deployment.... Is this our first separation? Sadly, no. We have spent -so far- over the course of our 12 year marriage, approximately 2 1/2 years worth of it apart. Is it hard? Absolutely. Is it a sacrifice? You bet. Sometimes in ways my family and I don't even realize (let alone people who aren't living it). I appreciate every person who says, "Thank you for your sacrifice." or "I appreciate what your husband is doing for me." Pray for us, for sure. Offer your support, yes please! But please do not feel sorry for us. This is a life we have chosen for ourselves and our family. We accept the sacrifices and the separations and possibility of wrenching loss. We also have an amazing built-in family wherever we move to and I never have to worry about whether or not I can take any one of our children to the doctor when they need to go. We make enough money for me to stay home full-time with the children and still be able to eat. It has given my husband the opportunity to fulfill his role as our provider and our hero and gives him meaningful and challenging work to do. His job has brought us to our current station where I have seen him step into the role of the Christian head of our household; Where we got baptized as a family and where (due to the lack of worldly distractions) I have become a bajillion times better of a person as I have focused more and more on my walk with God. The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

How will he return to me?

Will his face be the same? Will it be tanned and hardened from days in the sun? Will it be irritated from shaving 'in the field'? How will he return to me?

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm not all-the-way cuckoo

Well. Cousin Amber has gotten me into this blog-eat-blog world and I am already on the verge of obsession. I have been reading my own posts over and over again. While doing so it occurred to me that some of you might think I'm a bit dramatic having missed an IM from my husband and thinking I might never hear from him again and thus refusing to ever wash another dish. Here is the situation. My husband is serving on active duty in the United States Air Force and is currently deployed. So you may read from time to time things that seem a bit odd, and sometimes they just will be odd and for no good reason, but if you check the context of 'her husband is at war' against the oddity, it may clear it up for you a bit.
And man-oh-man it is fun when someone else reads your little notes and says nice things about them!

Deliberate, small acts of nurturing

Today I used my new travel size Mary Kay Satin Hands Pampering set. (more about that later) This also was a time for me to do something that is one small, but deliberate way I honor and cherish my marriage. I cleaned my wedding rings. The only times that my rings are removed from my hand are during major surgery (such as having giant twin babies removed from my womb, or later having my giant womb removed.) or when I am cleaning them. I take special care with this task because, like all women, my wedding rings are something I cherish deeply, because they are a gift from my husband, but more than that I want to always remember, even in the smallest things that my marriage is a special gift that left neglected could falter and most certainly will suffer.
Now if I could just remember that when hubby wants a back scratch.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Working on not being broken

(To get the full effect of this note, you have to read MY CUP RUNNETH OVER first. lol - they don't order up right.)
Whoops. I chipped my cup. Hubby IM'd and I missed it. Here is where I introduce you to the S2 team: satan + self. I'm sure you've already met. Satan says to me, "Well, if you hadn't been doing the dishes, you would have caught him." And I say, "Yeah. And now I am sad, and what if I never get another opportunity to speak to him again?" The proper and appropriate response to this is, "You're right. I am never doing the dishes again!"
Wait. I mean, the proper and appropriate response to this is, "Shut up S2." and "Lord, thank You for my dishes and thank You that I saw that my husband was thinking of me."

My cup runneth over

Today was our Christmas cantata - A Celebration of Carols. (Funnily enough, the front of the program said, "Sing for joy") My choir director said to me, "I love to see the joy on your face and in you when you are singing. You are such a blessing." How little she knows about what a gift it is to me to be able to be a part of this most amazing and beautiful choir. I am reminded of the verse from Jeremiah 20:9 which perfectly describes my NEED to sing to the Lord ...."But if I say, 'I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." Indeed I cannot. Even if I wanted to. I sometimes am so completely overwhelmed by the need to worship the Lord that it feels like if I don't get it out, the power of it will shatter my bones into pieces. And truly when I am worshiping with this amazing group of people, I feel so full, that there really is nowhere else for the joy to fit and it just runs over. Right over the brim of the cup the Lord has given me. I urge you to find the thing that the Lord has given you to do on this earth and do it with all your heart. Truly, when you are doing the thing that God has created you for, you will be able to do it no other way and you'll be so happy about it to boot.