Saturday, May 31, 2008

DIY - Why?

The next time you have the inclination to Do It Yourself, throw out your palm and yell, "Get thee behind me Satan!!" Just kidding. If Satan wants to help you lay tile - you should let him. He's probably better at it than you. Nah. Just kidding. But seriously. We wives at home were discussing what we were going to do when our men came home from war. One said, "We're going to Greece." One said, "We're going Mexico." I said, "We're going to Lowe's." And THAT my friends is what we did. No cruising for us. Unless you count cruising the aisles of the local Lowe's with the big blue cart. The possibilities are endless and the sites are different around every corner. Some day I'd like to take my camera there just so you can experience the beauty of it with me. Trying to order kitchen cabinets with your man fresh back from war - not the best activity. However, if you get smart and send him to oogle tools while YOU work out the cabinets. Now THAT's inspired. So - poor Suzanne has been looking for something new to read and here it is. Hubby returned on Saturday. Sunday we attended both services at church and hubby was honored. At first service our 12 year old daughter sang, "I'm Proud To Be An American". *sniff* Monday evening, many many women descended upon our home. Hubby took the kids out to dinner and a movie, and I had the entire western hemisphere over for dinner. Minus the men. The funnest part of the night - in my opinion - was when we had about 14 women and 2 toddlers crammed into my dining room, and our incoming president banged the cowbell and yelled, "Musical Chairs! Time to pick up your plates and find a new seat." I stood in the doorway and laughed HARD and took pictures. Who knew she would actually MAKE them move when I suggested it flippantly??
The timing of my husband's return happened to coincide with the week that our local chapter of PWOC was having a trainer in to train us on next year's theme and how to lead women. Our trainer Melinda is a good friend of mine who was stationed here a few years ago (and got to leave) and is also a blogging maniac - you've read her stuff before here. She blogged about her time here which is really cool, cause that means I am free to fast forward. Anyway, she stayed with us while she was here and we had a great time! I titled the time - Driving Miss Melinda. That was good junk. On Wednesday morning, I had the Praise Team over for one last hurrah. My husband grilled up steaks and other delicious meats - and once again - the Western Hemisphere was here. There were SIXTEEN children here! And do you know, that is not ALL of our children?? Lordy Mercy. Anyway, this was a wonderful time for us to be together. I gave them the appreciation gifts I had worked on for them and we sang a few songs too. Including the new PWOC theme song - THE MORE I SEEK YOU (I'll post the video later). It was really cool to have Melinda add another beautiful tenor sound to our group. I also received a couple of special gifts. Then it was time to send the team on their various ways, and to send Melinda back on home. We sang together our farewell song THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU. I'll try to post the video of that sometime too. After dinner - the demolition started! And we have been going non-stop (well, except to shop) ever since. I will probably be scarce for a while still as the projects that we are working on, we are trying to complete before my husband has to go back to work on the 9th. These include - completely re-doing the laundry room. Tiling and wall re-configuration in the music/craft room. Completely and I mean COMPLETELY re-doing the kitchen. This will be the final goodbye to the 70's faux brick flooring. The last vestiges of it will be replaced with ceramic tile. All clean and bright and simple. Ahhh. Here's a sampling of the work thus far. OF COURSE I will be doing collages when the dust clears and the man is away. Until then ~ think twice about DIY. I'm kidding. It's FUN! Okay - I'm half kidding.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Letters To God

Dear God,
Thank You for giving me a hand to hold.
Yours Always,

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This Just In!

My Man!! I may be scarce for a bit.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kimpo Is A Curse Word In Our House

In January of 1999, my husband left for his first unaccompanied tour to Korea. That means that he goes for a year and his family stays behind. Our children were 7,6,4 and 4. The children and I packed up to California and stayed with my parents. He was due home for mid-tour leave on August 1, 1999(which meant that he got to come home for 30 days and then go back). I lived EVERY day telling myself that if I could JUST make it to that day in August that he came home, everything would be fine. That I would be fine. I pinned my very survival on that man and his homecoming. Every day as I became more and more weighed down from the heavy load, I was still somehow, breathing a teeny bit easier because I was one day closer to relief and wholeness. The day before he was due to get on his flight, the area around the border between North and South Korea was stricken by a monsoon. My husband was able to call and tell me that he was okay, but the base was on lock-down. No one was allowed to leave. Therefore, he would not be getting to Kimpo airport, or getting on his flight to come home. This was devastating to me. Do you know that screen that comes on the TV in the middle of the night when there is no more programming? That snowy/fuzzy screen? That is what I saw and heard on the edges of my mind. I couldn't think. I couldn't know how to function. I was able to get myself into the bathroom and start a bath. I sat down next to the tub and sat and sat. The tub filled and filled. And I sat and sat. Not thinking, not planning, not meditating. NOTHING. Just sitting. The snowy place grew bigger and I couldn't remember what one does after turning ON the bath. So I just sat there. I had no thought to my children or to my parents or even to my very breath. It was as though I was absent from my own mind. I remember my Mom coming in and shutting off the bathwater as it was about to flood the bathroom. I don't remember if I ever even got in it. I spent the next two days living just on the outskirts of the snowy place. I don't know if I ate, went to the bathroom, slept, changed my clothes, tended to my children AT ALL - I'm pretty sure my Mom did that. At some point she told me that I had to pull it together. Yes. Thank you. I have to pull it together. I couldn't think of that. I could only hear the soft sound of the snowy place.

This instruction, coupled with my man coming home (only one day late), helped me to get the programming back on and disconnect the snowy place.

To this day I cannot say or read the word Kimpo without cringing.

This was an extraordinarily painful lesson to learn. I cannot rely on my husband for my health, safety, or survival. People fail. The only true, unfailing, infallible thing I can rely on is my God. The God. The Creator of heaven and earth. Only He will never fail me.

Jeremiah relayed this message, "This is what the Lord says: 'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.'"

Wow. That is what I felt like when my husband didn't come home on time. How did Jeremiah know this? Oh, that's right - he was a prophet ~ and as he says, 'the Lord said.'

Jeremiah went on to say, "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

Wow. I have been watching for another day in recent months...the day my husband returns from Iraq. He was supposed to be on his way home yesterday. They were weathered out and were unable to get out as scheduled. I truly am blessed. There is Someone who is ALWAYS with me. I have put my trust in Him, and I did not fear when the heat came. I did not fall down. I did not run a never-ending bath. I did not abandon my children to the snowy place. Not because of my strength - but because of His.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him." (Psalm 28:7)

Tomorrow I will be singing the offertory. I will be singing these words with the utmost conviction and a peace that passes all understanding....

If all I had was one last breath, I'd spend it just to sing Your praise...just to say Your name.
If all I had was one last prayer, I'd pray it 'cause I know You're always listening.
If all I had was one more song to sing, I would raise my voice to make the heavens ring!
If all I had was one last chance, I'd take it, I would stake it all on You!
I know You're there. I know You see me.
You're the air I breathe, You are the ground beneath me.
I know You're there, I know You hear me.
I can find You anywhere. I know You're there....

(you can hear the song in its entirety here)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It Is finished

Yesterday marked the end to my tenure as the PWOC Praise and Worship Committee Chairwoman (AKA - Worship Leader) for the 2007-2008 year. It was a fantastic year full of HARD work and fulfilling service. It is a year that I will cherish until my last breath. And now, as I breathe a sigh of relief that God grew and sustained me through the work and is bringing me into a time of rest while requiring me to seek Him again in what are to be my priorities for this upcoming season, I post here my final "This Week's Worship".

Me And My Girl Problems Part Quatre

28 June 2005 ~~ After six months of speculating, testing and waiting, the big day arrived.

I must say the day of surgery will go down in my memory file as the best of the whole ordeal. Let's begin with what's important. Hospital Fashion. We bought several cute bandanas and Amber cut them in half and tied them up for me so I had several clean choices for cute headgear. Honestly - who's going to want to brush my mane while I'm infirm? With the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa, we showed up at the hospital early in the morning and were taken to a prep room where I had to remove all my clothing and undergarments and don the lovely hospital gowns. They also gave me some rather attractive circulation stockings which my husband kindly helped me get into. The world starts getting a little fuzzy right about here for me, so now would be a good time to insert help. My husband (after reading my blog) wrote to me about his thoughts on the day and Cousin Amber filled in some more...

*Waving again* Hi, It’s me again, HisGirl. I’ve been asked to chime in on part 4 of this story… I’ll be the girl in purple!*


I thought it would be good for me to write about the tumor from my side of the story.

This is called “My wife’s uterus.”

I don’t remember too much actually, only that there were some issues that led you to believe there was a giant tumor. I vaguely remember telling you that I doubted that, and that you were only being a drama queen. So there’s that. You went to the doctor on post, and they figured out it was too much for them to handle, which was very surprising to me. Over the years I’ve learned that poor medical treatment was the norm for the military.
Anyways, I did not go to the local doctor with you. It was work or something, I don’t know. At this point I was starting to feel like it was something more serious, but I still wasn’t convinced there was a giant tumor. When that doctor said we needed to go to the big city CANCER doctor, I started to be a bit concerned. I hadn’t been this concerned about your uterus since the time I saw the doctor holding it, OUT of you, in his hands, immediately after he took the twins out. That messed me up too, by the way. It is not cool to see your wife’s internal organs OUT of her and in someone’s hands.
So this time I did go to the big city doctor with you. Wow, considering we’re both from So Cal did you ever think we’d ever refer to somewhere as the “big city?” Anyways, we had a great time at that hospital, getting free milkshakes, talking to the CANCER doctor and so on, in the CANCER section. Yes, that freaked me out. So after hearing how you would be opened up, have stuff removed and such, I was really starting to feel like my life with you wasn’t going to be as long as I had thought.
I’ll just skip all the administrative hoo-ha about who talked to whom in order to get your surgery approved. I just mainly remember that as being another series of dramatic events, with lots of red tape involved.
So fast-forward to me driving to Houston to pick up Cousin A. Let me just say that there was a time in my life when I despised this woman.

*Despised? Really? I think that you meant to say that you had not yet discovered what a great choice of wife your cousin had landed. That’s all ;)*

That story could take up a whole page so I won’t even go into it. But now, everything is wonderful, and I love this woman like my sister.

*I love you too, man.*

So we met up at the airport and drove home to you.

*Thank you for not mentioning that I chattered incessantly the entire drive home, but you did leave out the exciting news that I sat next to pro football player Mark Roman on the plane. I guess you might have forgotten that part, but I’m sure he’ll never forget the girl who asked him, oh, so you play football, for like, money?*

Okay, now to surgery day. I am severely messed up.

*Hey man, you were doing great. We were all scared, but you were brave for your wife and I was so impressed with you*

Cousin A prayed with us, then they whisked you away. I’m pacing the halls. Cousin A and I ate some swill at the hospital cafeteria, we feel sick.

*Noticing that you left out that I totally whooped you at cards. I believe you may have been a bit distracted, what, with worrying about your wife and all, but I totally Shanghaied your bootay!*

Then we find out you’re done and are in post-op. Shortly after that they bring you back to your room. At this point I am so thankful that you lived. It didn’t matter so much what state you were in when you came back, what mattered was that you were going to live and I wasn’t going to be alone. *

I was especially touched by your devotion to S4J. I love that you love her with such a deep, true, abiding love. I love knowing that you care about my dearest friend with the kind of love that Christ has for us. Watching your relief when we knew she was going to be okay blessed me in a way that I just can’t put to words. *

And that is it. From there was the hospital stay, and the healing, and the hopes that your dumb uterus wouldn’t cause me anymore grief.
I am thankful to God that I am even able to write this, and especially thankful that you are alive to read it. I am also thankful to Cousin A for coming to help us through this adventure, and to her family for letting her make the trip.

*Me too, Cousin C… me too*

Hey, S4J… do you want to talk about the post op stuff next? I’m game if you are J

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother'sPentecostConfirmationBaptismAnniversaryDay

It's a beautiful day in the swamp. It's a day full of things to celebrate and remember.

  • The sun is shining.

  • The birds are chirping.

  • My barrier rose vines are in full bloom.

  • It is Pentecost - the "Birthday" of the Christian church

  • In our Methodist congregation it is the day of Confirmation where the children that have been baptized as infants take on the promises of living a Christian life as their own.

  • Today there was also a baptism. A young boy professing his faith in front of the whole world.

  • One year ago today my entire family was baptized. In that same Methodist congregation.

  • Today is Mother's Day.

I will leave you with a couple of thoughts....

The other day one of my dear bloggy friends posted about why she is glad she is a Mom and I am to this very moment still touched by it and carrying it around as though it were a special gift that I just cannot bear to put down. You would be blessed a thousand times over to go and read it here.

This is my prayer for all you Mommies: "Her children stand up and call her blessed. Her husband also rises up, and he praises her. He says, 'Many women do noble things. But you are better than all the others.'" Proverbs 31:28-29

A happy HAPPY Mother's Day to you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Truth In Advertising

There are certain claims that companies make that cause me to say, "BUNK!", "PUH-LEASE!" and "YEAH RIGHT!"

One of them is the claim of manufacturers of Dishwashers and Dishwasher Soaps that claim that you can put a dish directly into the Dishwasher without even so much as turning it over into the sink first and the greatness of the soap or the washer ~ depending on who's doing the advertising at the moment ~ will cause the dishes to come out sparkling clean without so much as a scrap of food left on them. BUNK. If I am SCRUBBING a plate with my dish-brush (look for a pic of it later) and junk is not coming off, HOW is a spray of water and a bit of diluted detergent going to do the job?? I have pulled dishes out of Dishwashers that have been placed in this way. They were not clean. I do not want my fresh, cookedtotherighttemperature food being placed on someone else's leftover-stuckon-heatedup-coatedwithsoap food and have to pretend that I am not in fear of passing on due to sepsis. Not going for it. EVER.

Another is the claim made by manufacturers of spray oven cleaners that you can spray the chemical of wonder onto your bakedon-greasy-nasty-blackandcrusty oven and it will wipe right off without burning your eyes out from caustic fumes and leaving a hole in your oven. Stop yourselves people! That is what I say. This is BUNK! Have you seen a REAL oven in action? I.DON'T.THINK.SO.

Eh hem. Yesterday was clearly *if you are a boy or an overly delicate girl, skip down to the double set of asterisks* PMS Thursday. "Why?" you ask? Because I was home all day which means it was a day devoid of regularly scheduled activities, and I was highly motivated to spring cleaning type chores which means I must be PMS'ing. (Yes a girl with no uterus can have PMS(minus the cramps and need for feminine hygiene products). STINKS doesn't it??) This was confirmed when I changed for bed and had to gasp for air at the soreness of a couple of my parts when they were released from their restraints.

**Boys and sensitive Girls: You may now rejoin the story in progress with your dignity in-tact. Mine is in Idaho or something.**

I needed to run down to my local Dollar General to pick up a couple of cleaning supplies. A new dish brush - this must be done regularly, in addition to bleaching it in the interim. Also, a new scrubby sponge because I wanted to move the one from the sink to the gross job I was about to undertake, some new Swiffer mop wet pads, and I decided that even though I KNEW the product wouldn't work as advertised, it may give me an easier time of it anyway; so I would try a can of oven cleaner. The oven. tsk. tsk. It has gone too far when that burnt grease smell fills up the kitchen because you are trying to heat up some rolls for dinner.

Okay everyone, here is where I eat humble pie. I would eat chocolate pie - which would be much tastier - but I don't have any of that on hand. I read ALL the directions and precautions. BECAUSE THAT IS WHY THEY ARE THERE INTERNET.

Then I skeptically sprayed down the sides and the bottom of the oven and let it soak for a couple of hours while I did some other maniacal chore.

When I came back, I donned my gloves and picked up the sponge to make one swipe. Here is the result.....

Do you SEE that swipe down the side??? I do NOT believe it!

This is my oven after wiping it down with the sponge side only. There was some stubborn stuff left, and I hadn't sprayed down the back - as you can see.

So I gave it another coat and let it soak overnight.
These are the ONLY tools I used....

Well....okay. I didn't use the pink gloves because I just got gifted those today, but they are so stinking cute that I had to give them props. And I did not use the green-scrubby side of the sponge.

The only thing I would dispute about the Easy Off advertising is that it claims to be fume free. It is not fume FREE, but honestly - the fumes are minimal. It certainly did not burn my eyes out, and it was a rather pleasant lemon smelling fume as fumes go. I just turned the vent fan on low and went about my business. All in all - I would use this product again and tell my friends to use it too. Oh. I guess I just did.

This is my oven today.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Price Of Gas

I was going to post about warts, but I got this forward in the e-mail and had to share it. I am a sucker for useless calculations!

Just a little humor to help ease the pain of your next trip to the pump...

Trying to find something funny in the absurdity of it all .......................

The price of Gas versus Printer Ink

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 ... $10.32 per gallon

Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ...........$9.52 per gallon

Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 ..... $10.17 per gallon

Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 ......... $10.00 per gallon

Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ....... $33.60 per gallon

Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 .... $178.13 per gallon

Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 .. $123.20 per gallon

Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 ...... . $25.42 per gallon

Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 ....$84.48 per gallon
And this is the REAL KICKER...

Evian water 9 oz $1.49..$21.19 per gallon!
$21.19 for WATER and the buyers don't
even know the source

Ever wonder why printers are so cheap?
So they have you hooked for the ink.
Someone calculated the cost of the ink at...............
(you won't believe it....but it is true........)
$5,200 a gal. (five thousand two hundred dollars)

So, the next time you're at the pump ,be glad your car doesn't run on water, Scope,
or Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or God forbid, Printer Ink!

This Week's Worship

Monday, May 5, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy My Mom's Birthday To Me

Today is my Mom's birthday. I won't say how old she is, but I will tell you that she became my Mom when my Father married her 31 1/2 years ago. I was 4 and my brother was 5. She raised me as her own, and although we haven't always seen eye to eye (what family does?) she has been a solid rock in my life. She is a parent to me because she chose to be and she stayed because she chose to stay. Thanks to her, I gained a sister and also lots of extended family. All this because she was born, and then she chose my Dad - and us. So, happy My Mom's Birthday to me.

Letters From War

Apr 10


I've never been good at making and keeping friends. Most guys I know are work acquaintances. One of them was seriously wounded today. I am deeply saddened by this. it hurts my heart, there is a lump in my throat. I want to yell and cry. I want to go home.