"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Father/daughter bonding...

A little bit of this and that...

mix it up to look this...

stuff it in a box trap in your attic...

and in the morning, you could have your very own one of THESE, too...

and if you are blessed to have a dad who comes to your rescue every
time you're in over your head....

then you, too...could eliminate the little annoyances that get under your skin...
one little creep at a time....

 One down...
three to go...

Thanks, Dad...great father/daughter bonding moment this morning.  
You're the BEST...
stay tuned, there are more where he came from!!!


#2 has entered into his rest as I type...

2 down...2 to go...

...we'll just leave it at that...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

coon continuation...

 The traps have been set for several days now.  I fully intended to capture a coon or two by now, but those overgrown rats are on to us.  They've changed up their route...AROUND the traps...not inside of them. 
 I officially hate them.

Alex is headed back to college tonight...we haven't seen much of him this weekend, so he has yet to fully experience the racoon-ness of our house.  
Until tonight...
We heard them scratching around the eaves of the house....

Coon hunter
And THEN...
we heard them in the attic...
 so Emma wanted in on the action...

THEN we heard them back in the walls of Nick's room...

 so they followed them in there...


Raccoons 3
Hersheys 0
{fyi..those are BB guns up there, no worries}

THIS came home with us today from the great tree farm called "Costco"
I wish I could say my kids have grown up with great memories of
 wielding a hatchet to cut down our Christmas tree every year.  
We HAVE done that....
but we've also hand picked ones from the grocery store parking lot, Lowe's, and now Costco.  
Last year we seriously considered a fake wannabe from Target, but it came down to budget.
And I'm too cheap to shell it out on a tree.

And right now, I'm glad.  
I'm sitting next to the tree enjoying the smell of Fraser Fir.  Her branches are still pointing North from being wrapped up for a few days at Costco.  By tomorrow I figure she'll be ready to be dressed.  No one really cares to help with the lights and ornaments anymore.  I can probably still convince Emma to help me, but sadly, they no longer anticipate opening the box of ornaments and separating them into piles.  
Another reminder that my troops are growing up....

More on the Christmas decorations and tree another day. 
 I may also share a little of our Christmas story this year.  
Things are going to be very different around here...

 "The merry family gatherings-- The old, the very young; 
The strangely lovely way they Harmonize in carols sung. 
For Christmas is tradition time-- 
Traditions that recall The precious memories down the years, The sameness of them all." 
-Helen Lowrie Marshall 

Saturday, November 27, 2010


"And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God
 be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands...
yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it."
Psalm 90:17

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

{Word-less Wednesday} Turkeys and Thankfulness...

{sorry...a little graphic, but if you really think about it....}

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving 
and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! 
Be thankful and say so to Him, 
bless and affectionately praise His name!"
Psalm 100:4

Monday, November 22, 2010


I spent the weekend with 32 high schoolers and 8 adults in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.  It was noisy, sometimes crazy and awesome all at the same time.  These students are full of life and energy...sometimes lasting until early in the morning.  Teenagers get a bad rap from most of the world...they can be really tough, that we all know, but they can also be so real and transparent.  And if you spend enough time with them, you'll find that they really are alot of fun to be around.  {And easier to get along with than a lot of adults that I know!}  

You will get quite an education when you spend 3 days with a large group of teens and adults cohabitating in a small space.  

For instance, this weekend I learned the word "potable" {pronounced poh-tuh-buhl}.  It means "drinkable water".  How have I lived this many years and never heard this word? 

I've been drinking it for some time now, and I had no idea.

Also, I am very familiar with the need to keep our environment clean by recycling our cans and plastics.  I know about the little recycle symbol placed on our recyclables...but I never knew that there is such thing as a Kosher symbol.  Some of our students work at a candy shop and informed me there are symbols on their packages for their Jewish and other Kosher customers.  I never knew.  I don't plan on eating Kosher ever, but at least now I know.

Another thing....9 years ago when I started working in Youth Ministry it was never even considered an option that our students would want coffee in the morning.  But now, they're all drinking it.  
And I don't mean decaf.  
They drink the hard stuff.  
Black, with about a hundred sugars.  
I don't remember exactly when it happened, but it did.
Makes me feel a little wimpy for drinking my first cup at 30. 
I feel I should warn their parents to start stocking up on these now...

We spent a lot of time PRINKING this weekend. 
Not to be confused with the former definition of prinking:
"to dress oneself very carefully and in a finicky manner"

or the Urban Dictionary's definition of prinking:

The act in which one cosumes alchohol prior to attending an event at which alcholic beverages may or may not be served. Often popular with university or college students who can't afford to buy too many drinks at a bar..."

I have never heard of ANY of the forms of this word.  
The last being particularly STUPID
 {Seriously?  "Let's drink alcohol BEFORE we go get drunk??"}  

I prefer the PRINKING we did in the book of Philippians.  
There's some cool stuff in that book.  You should check it out.  You can do so while wearing your favorite sassy outfit and I would even recommend doing it before heading out to get sloshed at the local bar.
Prinking...it's a favorite pastime of mine....
Even better when done with this particular group of people...

Love you guys!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Single mom...

I saw you this morning as you paraded your 3 teenage children across my roof at 5:45.  I feel for you, I really do...caring for your four-legged kids all alone can be a drag.  And feeding them all till they're full...it's not easy, I know.   Understand that it's hard for me to say this after seeing your kids follow you in a single file...so trusting and obedient.  But, you should know that one of these days they will follow you straight past my window, past the pile of SKAT you have left on my roof...

and into a metal trap.
Your days are numbered.
And I just thought it would be nice of me to warn you ahead of time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This. Means. War.

Remember when I told you here and here about the problems we are having with a raccoon?  Remember when I took it pretty lightly and kind of made a joke out of it?  


I am pretty sure the big over-grown rodent we spied on the roof a few weeks ago has nested into the eaves of our house and proceeded to invite the entire neighborhood of raccoons to join it.  These particular eaves of the house happened to be located over top of Nick's room.  And, while I understand that raccoons are SUPPOSED to be nocturnal...apparently they do NOT.  I would have thought it impossible, but we have proof that there is such thing as an animal that needs no sleep whatsoever to survive.  They play in the attic space at night...they play in the attic place during the day.  And, I think they multiply daily, too. 
 Let me put it this way:

1 house full of coons + 1 houseful of Hersheys=NO SLEEP

I was remiss in thinking that the critters were using our roof as a sort of hideout.  It was annoying in the beginning when they would climb and scratch across the length of the house in the middle of the night.  But now...there are just no words!  
I'm beyond the point of having patience.  
I don't care if it is a mom and her babies,
or a clan of orphaned siblings-
I don't care what or who is using our house for a shelter...
Enough is enough...
Let the games begin.

I think I'll look up David's number...he seems to know what he's doing...

I've called the Township and been given permission to eliminate the beasts by any SAFE means I can find.
It's up to me...
At this point, I vote for all three.

this is your last chance
I'll count to ten but if you're not here by then-

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My friend, Deanna, over at Creekside Cottage has posed another question that has me laughing at my pathetic answer.
I'm not proud of it.
 It's a subject I've never admitted on here, so now is as good a time as any...

After posting multiple pictures of her family's animals and described the wonderful way they care for them, she posed a question to her readers that went just like this:

If you've spent any amount of time in my household then you're already snickering about my answer.
We stink at keeping and nurturing animals!  We've had a myriad of pets through the years, but they never last very long around here. They either die, get hit by cars, float to the top of their bowl, or get all arrogant and think they own the place {in which case, one or two pets MIGHT have been taken to the pet resort down the street called The Humane League} 

 I have always had grandiose ideas about a Norman Rockwell pet experience for my kids... 

A romanticized dream of a Lab curling up at the bottom of their beds at night

 and strolling in the park on a Fall day.  

But that is a FAR cry from reality. 
I have no idea how many handfuls of fish, gerbils, hamsters, birds, cats and dogs have made their way through our house.  It is with great intention that they are adopted and brought home.  But, it seems once they've made themselves comfortable here things begin to decline.  Either a guppy swallows too much air, a gerbil escapes and burns up in the radiator, a cat scratches the couch one too many times, a dog squats and pees on the floor right in front of me, or an over-sexed parakeet falls over and dies.  

For one reason or another at this moment our list of pets consists of one lone female parakeet. 

{Unless, of course, you're counting the racoon that still lives on the roof, 

or the family of stray cats that comes and goes}

I guess you could say I'm in love with the IDEA of a pet...
 I'm just not so good at the work it takes to maintain a good pet home.

So, Deanna...while I wish I could say I have the patience and love for all four-legged and feathered friends like you do, sadly, I do not.  I have never even thought about how I would keep water troughs from freezing over...you are a SAINT and every animal's dream mom.

And I feel I should take the opportunity now to apologize to the Humane League for leaving the howling beagle in their holding room that night long, long ago.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Almost {Word-less Wednesday} LIFE

LIFE...I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly...." John 10:10

                                    "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born."

Monday, November 8, 2010

WARNING: A lot of blathering to follow...

I'm not sure I can explain it...not even sure I completely understand it, but there's this thing stirring in me.  It doesn't come from ME, isn't a figment of my imagination and it isn't necessarily something I can fully comprehend yet.  But it is a stirring, and therefore I must at least acknowledge it...whatever that means.

It's not a new stirring...it's been brewing for some time...maybe 10 years or more. 
 It is the foundation of my life and yet it is also somewhat elusive.  

{Elusive: "Eluding clear perception or complete mental grasp;
 hard to express" }


It is the idea of 
 living an "Other-world life"
caring more about others
giving up-
my own desires
my own plans
my own stuff
my own passions
my own thoughts
my own family
my own safety-nets
my own comforts

I don't really know what on earth all of this really means for me...
I feel like I'm still just at the tip of understanding how to fully live this way.

I wish I was smarter than I really am...
wiser than I know I am...
and more able to fully understand all that this is supposed to mean to me.

These aren't new thoughts that haunt me, they just keep developing and widening with each passing year. But they are never very far out of my thoughts.

It's not a coincidence that I'm rereading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan...
nor is it a coincidence that we are right in the middle of our annual Missions Festival at church 
{which has been my FAVORITE week of the year since I was a little girl}.

It's not a coincidence...and it's not an emotional reaction based on other people's experiences...
it's a reoccurring theme that I cannot shake...
even if I wanted to.

I'm being called to something MORE...
And something LESS...

I'm being called to CARE.
To care if someone else hurts,
to care if someone else fails,
to care if someone else is needy,
to care about the things that touch the heart of God.

I'm being called to rethink the thought that life "owes" me ANYthing...
like for some selfish reason I deserve everything and MORE...
and to rethink the thought that "just because I can, I SHOULD."

What about the rest of the people in the world...
If I spend my life satisfying and making my own life comfortable and safe what do I have left for them?
Is that what LIFE is all about?
Was it ever intended to be that way?

These are the thoughts that consume me some days.  
They're the things that make me rebel against tradition and expectation.

I'm not really sure what to do with all of this...
all I know to do is keep living...
but with my eyes WIDE open and looking around
 instead of looking in the mirror.

I'm not sure I'll ever fully GET it.
All I know is that I don't want to MISS it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Please forgive me...

I know I've been scatter-brained and less than faithful at posting of late...but, really, life goes on and blogging just has to fit in around it.  Period.  That being said, I had great intentions of posting random thoughts here this morning UNTIL...

I read the most recent post of my friend Jeane over at Coffee Cottage and found that I had nothing of worth to say!  Seriously...I'm foregoing whatever verbal vomit would have poured out so that you will leave here and go there.  Trust me...you will not be disappointed.

{Let me just preface by explaining that Jeane is a mother of five LITTLE people and her life is never dull.  Visiting her blog always makes me smile...but this morning it made me laugh OUT LOUD
 in Panera, where I was reading it.}

Please enjoy a glimpse in this precious mama's day!
Thanks, Jeane...
still smiling

"It is pleasing to God whenever thou rejoicest or laughest from 
the bottom of thy heart."
 --Martin Luther

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Polls, pizza picnic, and pests...

First things first...
According to Fox News which is playing in the background, this House will soon have a lot of new REPUBLICAN inhabitants:

and I'm just going to put my two cents in and say I'm really happy about that...
as are many unborn babies who need an advocate
and many marriage issues that need rectified to reflect a Higher moral standard.

I won't pretend to understand or even know all of the issues at stake...
I'm just saying it's nice to see a little more Red moving in.

It was just the girls for dinner tonight, and I wasn't in much of a cooking mood, so the evening's cuisine consisted of salad and leftover pizza.  And, just because we could, we decided to eat on the floor next to the fire because it was the warmest place in the house.

Speaking of fire...you already know my obsession with my fireplace...but it's starting to sink in that in order to really enjoy a fire, we need to traipse down to the basement to drag up the wood which is stacked outside.  We're only a few weeks into fireplace season, and I'm tired of it already!  

My pile is not nearly as large or neat as this, but in my dreams, I think it should be...judging by the amount of wood I've already consumed.  

I'm trying to figure out how to rig up one of THESE to do the work for me...

or perhaps I should just suck it up and follow the example of 

{I feel pretty scrawny compared to her...she's pretty inspiring...even remembered to put on her earrings and beads before venturing on to the work of the day!}

For the last five nights I've been woken up around 3am to some pest walking across my roof.  At first I was afraid there were mice wandering between the walls, but after the first few times I realized whatever it is is a large animal.  Nick's been woken by it too...his bedroom is on the opposite side of the hallways, meaning that in order to get there it is crawling across the roof from one end to the other...wreaking havoc along the way.  
There is nothing more irritating than being awakened by a pestering animal outside your window...he's messing with our sleep. 

As Nick was crawling into bed this evening he called me in to listen to whatever it is walking right above his bedroom. So we grabbed a flashlight and went outside to see if we could find it on the roof.  {Picture me in my pink robe and slippers standing out in the driveway...}  After a few minutes Nick caught a glimpse of the troublemaker...he looked something like this:

..and I officially HATE him. 
 I'm seriously thinking about letting Nick get his shotgun out when he comes back to stalk around outside my window around 3am.


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