Friday, April 30, 2010

Favorite Place

I bet if you ask most women the question, "Where's your favorite get-away?" they would have a ready answer in mind.

I'm not talking about your favorite vacation spot (that would make a great post/conversation). Instead I mean that place you steal away to when the kids have made you crazy or you just need to "regroup."

You may enjoy your favorite place with your spouse or a girlfriend. It may be a coffee shop or library. Maybe it's sitting at your Mom's dining room table or in cozy spot on a porch. Maybe your favorite place is wherever the SALES are. Do you take respite in your garden? Does your favorite place change depending on where your run takes you that day? Wherever your favorite place, you come away refreshed, quieted, energized and ready to face life again.

I'm writing right now from my favorite place. Well, it's one of them at least. (Don't we all have a few?) Some of those places I mentioned above are places I find refreshment, but there is one place that gives me complete's in my car.

Don't laugh. Hear me out. At this moment my son is playing classical music at his piano lesson. The beautiful melody is wafting on the breeze where I can hear it through opened windows as I sit in my car curbside. The blossoms smell delicious and the warm sun on my arm (one sunny, one shaded, of course) is just enough to get my vitamin D for the day. Ha!

I LOVE to be alone. When my son attends youth activities one evening a week, I can sit in the parking lot of my church and read magazines, sip Starbucks and watch the sun set. I can catch up on listening to inspiring messages or write a REAL letter to a friend. By the time Rhett comes out to the car at the end of the evening I am so mellow and relaxed it's as if I've been to a spa for the weekend.

There are many favorite places, but almost all of them include the intrusion of others in some way. Sitting in my car enjoying a cool breeze and activity that feeds the soul ALL ALONE is nearly perfect in my world.

What's your favorite place?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Project 365: Week 16

Again, I'm late to the party. It's been a long week filled with sickness. No fun.

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Come check out what other's have been doing this week over at Sara's place.

Sunday - no picture! :(


Katie finished up her first sculpture for Art class. Yum!


You know when sometimes you do things on the spur of the moment and later you wonder, "Was that a God thing?" Tara's 7th birthday was on Wednesday. This girl LOVES doughnuts. LOVES 'em. We live about 30 min from a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop so right after dinner on Tuesday night we decided to go to Krispy Kreme and get doughnuts for dessert and for Tara's birthday breakfast. We had such a fun time! The girls got free doughnuts because of the birthday and they loved watching the doughnuts being made in the big window. Thank goodness we went out that night and started the birthday celebration a little early because...


just about the time we were heading out to see a movie on Wednesday Katie and I got sick. Tara had been sick the previous weekend and I guess she shared. :( We didn't get to go see the movie, but we did eek out a simple birthday cake for Tara to enjoy until we can do up the celebration a little bigger with extended family and friends. * You can see in this picture Katie sitting next to Tara clutching a trash can. Priceless.

Thursday - no picture. Mom out-of-service.


Enjoying my front yard azaleas. So purty!


We can eat again. Katie asked for macaroni salad. It sure hit the spot after a couple of days of not eating. So yummy with Daddy's burgers.

We made it through! How was your week?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday Night Guilty Pleasure

I love to watch TV on Thursday night. It's my guilty pleasure.

Last night 3 BIG things happened on the 3 shows I watch:

1) Seth Aaron won! Yay! Project Runway

2) Peter found out he was from the alternate universe. Sad.
(But what a way to find out!) Fringe

3) J.T. got voted off. Serves him right. When will Russell go?
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Do you have a night of guilty pleasure? (Keep it clean!) ;)

Just thought I'd share something a little lighter & fun this week!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Dozen - back again

Linking up with Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee today.
The questions were too good to pass up!

1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?"

No, but I have been a significant financial donor. ;)

2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts?

I have a box in my bedroom closet for bags, ribbons and what-not. I have a sturdy shirt box atop that to hold tissue paper. I usually have what I need.

3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster?

Sierra Madre Earthquake, (Los Angeles), June 28, 1991.

I had seen tornadoes growing up in IL. We used to see them out our back cellar door while we were seeking safety (think Wizard of Oz) and I saw one trying to cross the IL river while walking home from school one day. I laid down in the ditch and covered my head with my arms until my mother drove by in the car looking for me. By then the tornado had long dissipated in the water. Because of these experiences I thought I could handle natural disasters.

Until that fateful morning...

My hubby & I were living in North County San Diego at the time. I was sound asleep in bed when the earthquake hit. There is nothing like the terror of an earthquake. With a tornado you usually get some warning and can seek shelter. With an earthquake it is thrust upon you unexpectedly (in a dead sleep, that's scary.) I jumped out of bed screaming and went and grabbed my baby from her crib. (She was sound asleep until I entered the room.) With her in arms I ran to the front door. I wanted nothing more than to get out of the house and away from the rolling floors, but I knew you weren't supposed to run outside during an earthquake in case power lines fell. I stood in the front doorway just screaming like a crazy woman. Then it ended.

My husband then saunters (yes, saunters) out of the bedroom and asks, "You all right?" "Really???" is the look he got followed by a "No! I'm not all right."

You see, my husband grew up in San Diego - earthquake territory. He was used to the seismic activity. Once as a teenager there was an earthquake in the early morning hours. Just as he sat up in his bed a clock above his head fell off the wall and landed on his pillow right where he had been sleeping moments before. So the only gut reaction Mark had that day in 1991 was to look up to see if anything was mounted to the wall that could fall on his head. So cool.

I calmed down, turned on the TV to see how other's had fared and we started getting ready for our day. When I went to take clothes out of the dryer an aftershock hit and the dryer started walking toward me. I FLIPPED OUT! Earthquakes were not for me.

I will admit though, a year later we moved to Hollister, CA where the San Andres fault lies. You can drive through town and see full buses with Asian tourists snapping pictures of the wide gaping fault line that runs right through town. The local newspaper would list the tremors for the week that occurred along the fault and we got adept at waking slightly at night noting the time on the clock and then checking the weekly paper when it came out to see which little (2.0) tremors we felt. It became a game of sorts.

That's my natural disaster story!

4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?

Oh, so many to choose. I had to google his songs so I would choose the "right" one and I've been sitting here singing Barry every since. LOVE his songs. My fave (which I hate choosing a favorite, Lid), is One Voice. I think it's because I'm a singer. I love the power of a song/someone singing from the heart.

5. What's the best costume you've ever worn?

A Juliette-esque get-up for our Madrigal dinner where I sat perched atop the concealed basketball hoop and performed the "Romeo, Romeo, where art thou..." scene.

6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?

Dictionary. Generally, know what word I want to use - just gotta make sure it's spelled correctly.

7. What's your favorite breakfast food?

Honestly, a bacon and egg biscuit at McDonalds. I rarely get them, but they are such a treat for me when I do. Weird.

8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial?


9. Have you ever crawled through a window?

Many times growing up.

10. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes-ish! I had lust at first sight with my first fiance. I saw him across a gym and thought, "I need to date that man!" Then I had been best friends with Mark (who I ended up marrying) and one day when he walked into the main hall at school I turned around and thought, "I can't live without my best friend." I knew I was in love at that moment. So, technically, my examples are not LOVE at FIRST sight, but I believe in those moments that can change your life forever.

11. How man pairs of jeans do you own?

If you can believe this, only two.

12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes.")

I would choose a stack of books cake with the Bible on top. In my stack would be Gone With The Wind, Random Harvest and lots of organizing books. That's me to a "T!"

I may have to try this someday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Project 365: Week 15

I'm a day late. Tara got a stomach bug and I've been "Nurse-Mommy" most of the weekend. That included lots of time sitting with her so I didn't get much done - not that I minded much. Cuddle time with my baby girl is always welcome. We're praying she's on the mend.

I'm joining Sara's Project for the 13th time!

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Here's what happened this week:


We left Saturday for a three day weekend to visit Ashley at college. We included a stop for ice cream and these two crazies had way too much fun at this pit stop! Mark and I enjoyed the treat too.


The girls talked TJ into letting them ride in the back of his jeep on the way home from church. It was fun following them down the freeway watching their hair blow in the wind. They loved it!


The Shirley Temple at O'Charley's - sprite with cotton candy on drink!


Thinking about teaching this next year in co-op. Working on the outline.


We went to the local college to see Seussical. It was a school (co-op) field trip put on by a theatre class, I presume. It was a stripped down set, but the 12 performers were all great. Wish I could have shown you a pic of the performance, but you know, NO PHOTOGRAPHY. :)


Forgot to get a picture for the day so I decided to fill in with a picture of the Gone With The Wind cookbook that I bought at a coffee shop on Monday. Some of the desserts look delicious!


Haircut time: The before & after. Went a little shorter for summer.


Is the pollen covering your vehicles? Mark got out the car washing tools and put the girls/himself to work. It was a little chilly for swimsuits, but they had a fun time in the sun.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Coffee Time - How I Survived My Week

My last posting was done right before I left on a 3 day trip to visit my daughter, Ashley, in college. I LOVE 3-day weekends, but they do make the following week a little more challenging, don't they?!

We left home Saturday after lunch and caught up with Ashley while she was working the dinner shift at Bob Evans. We had a relaxing dinner, delivered her Easter basket and homemade goodies before heading out to find her boyfriend of 1 year, TJ. He was back at his dorm studying. We dropped by to deliver some goodies for him, as well. Then my husband made a phone call to another student, a young man named Benjamin that we had only met once before - when he was three-years-old.

On Friday night I had been reading through some email and found a newsletter of friends from college who are now missionaries to Albania. In the email was the news that their 21-yr-old son had just transferred to the same college my daughter was attending! I contacted my girlfriend and asked for her son's cell number and a list of his favorite treats. So, after 18 years we met up with Benjamin at his dorm and delivered an armful of his favorite things with some homemade goodies thrown in! What a treat it was for me to bring some joy to Mary (Benjamin's mom) and to this young man!! I was giddy with excitement just being able to do something for someone so far away. As the mom of a college student, it really means A LOT to me when someone does something kind for my girl...and she only lives 3 hours away. Mary doesn't have the opportunity to send treats to Benjamin halfway around the world so it was a privilege/honor to be able to do something that would bless them both. I love when God gives us those opportunities!!

We spent Sunday and Monday going to my daughter's new church, playing card games, swimming, lots of eating and just enjoying each other's company. We had Benjamin and his girlfriend join us for a couple of meals along with a few other kids added to the mix. It was a three-day party of sorts and I loved every minute of it!

Then back to reality. :) Tuesday morning we jumped back into our weekly routine, but we still haven't quite caught up on the sleep or the laundry. Not too high a price for me though. I'll take hanging out with Ashley and her gang over sleep/laundry any day of the week!

I survived my week by sharing a lot of love with kids who are frazzled by studies and work. I hope they got the respite they needed; I know it was good for me.

My girls in TJ's jeep after church

Having too much fun eating out!

(from left around table: Ted (Rhett's friend), Rhett, Mark, Tara, Ashley, TJ & Katie)

Share some coffee and chit-chat with friends via Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Project 365: Week 14

I am writing this post a little early because we're off to visit Ashley this weekend! I miss my girl, especially since she wasn't able to come home for Easter.

Our week in pictures:


A little wind blown, but we don't clean up too badly.
A family picture with my parents (minus one.)


My girls made spring cards for the Wounded Warriors Program at Walter Reed Hospital during their AHG Resurrection party on Monday night.


Tara has finally lost her last front tooth. She was walking up to bed on Monday night when Katie tripped up the stairs in a dramatic way. Tara thought it was funny and wanted to give it a try. She fell on her face and out came the tooth! What a story!

I have been working on establishing a library in our children's department at church for over two years. We're in the final stages of getting it ready for patrons. Now the heavy lifting begins!


The girls wanted to give the "mean" ice cream man their hard-earned money! He drives over the speed limit through our neighborhood and if you can flag him down he rushes you while you order. Then he tries to not give you your change to coerce you to buy something else. Errr.

I bribe my band students. If they practice an hour and 15 min a week, they get a candy from the bag. Whatever works...


Laundry. Lots of laundry. Going on a trip...staying up late blogging and doing laundry.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link up with Sara here.

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Coffee Time

It's Coffee Time again at Home Sanctuary. I enjoy this link on Fridays because I can share what's on my heart and what's going on in my life. It truly feels like sitting with a girlfriend sharing a cup o' Joe and chatting. (Ok, I don't drink "Joe," but my water bottle will do...who's to know!)

I don't have my baking done YET, but if you were here later today there would be an assortment of cookies and snicker brownies that I would share with you. I plan on baking up a storm to take homemade goodies to my daughter in college tomorrow. So, feel free to enjoy, calorie free, the thought of a yummy treat as we visit together! :)

Last week I shared how the Lord was talking to me about my moment-by-moment obedience...walking in step with the Holy Spirit. I talked about Resurrection power since Easter was on all of our minds. This week I tried my best to live in obedience and to keep in step. There were victories and defeats - just as there will always be, but the fellowship was sweet. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? It's spending time with the Lord - connected!

I learned many new things this week. If I shared them all, I'm sure I'd be plagiarizing Beth Moore so I will just share one lesson that was significant for me. Yesterday I read about the sons of Korah (Korahites or Kohathites.) If you remember these were the men who basically said in Numbers 16 why do Moses and Aaron get to do the BIG jobs. They tried to make it sound not so bad by twisting it with words: "Why do you take too much upon yourselves?" But their true motives are revealed in the next words, "for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?" Don't you just have that "Oh, man!" feeling inside? I would hope that if I had been present that day when those words were spoken that I would have had enough sense to take a few steps backwards. You could just feel something coming.

Moses with dignity and humility falls on his face (no wonder he was the leader!) and basically says, "Ok, tomorrow let God show us who He will come near to." Moses didn't exalt himself; God had exalted him. Moses didn't have to defend himself; God was his defense. When we know our true position before the Father we do not have to clamor for recognition. Our hearts should long for the recognition/connectedness of our Holy Father and that will always be enough.

I hope you're familiar with the rest of the story. Obviously, God revealed that Moses and Aaron were his chosen leaders and for their wickedness the sons of Korah, their dwellings (tents) and their households got swallowed up by the earth. Yep, I wouldn't want to have been standing too close.

How many times do I hunger for recognition and exaltation? How often do I want others to see me as something more than I am...a sinner saved by a grace that far exceeds any self-worthiness I can muster.

Beth caps it off with Psalm 84 - where the sons of Korah who are the temple musicians sing:

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (vs 10) For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness."

They could look back at their ancestors and remember that serving where God has placed you is better than anything you can imagine in your own vanity. It's the "bloom where you're planted" idea. The Father has you today right where He wants you.

I need to be content and walk the path He has laid out for me today. It may be in the laundry room or scrubbing a bathroom, but I would rather be in the doors of my work rejoicing in the Lord than dwelling in the tents of the wicked. Amen?! I hope that's true for you today too!

One verse that just makes my heart sing and I want to share with you before I go off to scrub and bake is Zephaniah 3:17:

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

How sweet is that!

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Project 365: Week 13

I'm sorry I'm a few days late on getting my weekly pictures up. Since April 1st I have been focusing on going to bed early so I can get UP early and have a good start to each day. That means less playing on the computer. Trying to keep it all in balance, you know.

Here's my week in pictures beginning with:


On Palm Sunday our children perform the song "Jumping Up & Down" (at least that's what we call it) waving palm branches in celebration of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Monday - no picture. :(


Dad snapped this one of Grandma and the girls riding bikes!


We ate dinner outdoors! Grilled fish with Garlic Salsa never tasted so good.


I purchased the girls new Easter dress shoes and ended up bringing two pairs of sandals home for ME. This is the casual pair. BTW, I used the sunless tanning tool on Picnik at the darkest level and this is all the "sun" I got. Trust me the true color would have blinded you.


The girls made Easter eggs with Grandma. Katie accidentally broke one of Tara's eggs so she said that she would take the broken one. Grandma loved Katie's attitude and put a bird in her broken egg. It was the cutest one of the bunch.


The Easter baskets all ready the night before.

Can't wait to see everyone else's week in pictures. Join me here to check in on friends:

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Friday, April 2, 2010

The Power of His Resurrection

It's Coffee Time today and I thought I'd share what the Lord has been teaching me lately.

I don't know about you, but in my spiritual life I have seasons where I know that God is really unloading His knowledge and revealing Himself to me. This very often happens in the summertime, probably because I am more free in my schedule to spend longer times with Him. I usually feel like what He begins to share during the summer usually comes to a clearer understanding in August and I have a new perspective/focus that I can carry with me through the school year. Could this be because I'm a homeschool mom? Who knows.

Well, by looking back in my journal to last summer I see how God was clearly speaking to me about obedience. I was kicking, screaming and generally trying to find my own way to please the Lord...anything but sacrificial obedience! Then the ball dropped. I had a cardiac event on August 19th, which was basically a heart attack without damage to the heart. I knew it was a wake-up call about my health and that God was definitely letting me know that HE was in charge, but I tried my best to trivialize the event. I spent three days in the hospital. The night I got home I pulled an all-nighter to complete registration paperwork for our American Heritage Girls' group in time for the next day's festival. Can you say denial? I have been living on MY terms far too long.

The Lord gave me so many responsibilities for this school year that I KNEW He was trying to get me to see my failing self-sufficiency and my need for Him. It would be too much to handle on my own. My innate desire is to do my very best (perfection is such an ugly term), but I have failed on all fronts to live up to my expectations. It's now been 7 months since the cardiac event in August and it's finally dawning on me that I can not do "it." I can not live a victorious Christian life in my own power. Duh! The Lord used a health scare and overloaded schedule to finally help me get to the end of myself. I'm sure I will not be able to stay in this place of humility, but God will help me. Of that, I'm sure.

Anyway, I am studying The Tabernacle on my own. Well, with Beth Moore. Today two verses struck me to the core and I'd love to share them with you. The verse for today was

Deuteronomy 23:14:

"The Lord Your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that He will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you."

As a Christ-follower God's not going to desert you in your sin, but your fellowship will be hindered. A Holy God can not commune with a rebellious person. He moves in my life to protect and deliver me from my enemies (which is mostly myself!), but I have to be obedient!!

Beth also shares the tool to live in that obedience. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (human) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

Whew! How many times have I read those verses and not seen the deep truths to live by? I have been warring in my flesh to obey God ON MY TERMS most of my life. The times when I'm truly allowing Him to reign have been so sweet that I long to go there again. We can not use human weapons to live victoriously. Only God can pull down strongholds and reveal our erroneous thinking and pride. If it doesn't match up to the Bible, it's not from Him! Only when I walk in step daily, hourly, moment-by-moment according to His Word and not my own vain thinking can I be obedient and live a victorious life. I'm really not all that interested in how Angie wants her life to go; I want the life He has planned for me. I have a feeling it will knock my socks off! Why would I want to miss that? Just because I want to deceive myself by thinking I'm in charge? No thanks.

Actually Philippians 3:9-11 sums it up pretty nicely just in time for Easter:

"...and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."

I want to purpose this morning to live dead to self and to trust in the power of His resurrection!

What a blessed people we are to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the power that it brings to live a life that pleases Him apart from our sinful selves. Do you feel immeasurably blessed as we lead up to Easter? I hope so.

If you don't really know what I'm talking about, but are interested in knowing more, please, email me at: Becoming a daughter or son of the King at Easter would be an awesome celebration!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let's start with April Showers

In the last month or two a fellow blogger, Sarah from In The Midst of It recommended some of her favorite blogs. I checked them out and quickly added Home Sanctuary to my own favorites list.

Home Sanctuary is a blog that encourages you to do one small thing daily toward making your home a better place to live. Hence, the name! If you accomplish the daily task you award yourself points and keep track of them throughout the month. At the end of each month add up all the points you've earned and send them to Rachel Anne, the host of Home Sanctuary. You can be entered in two give-aways at the end of every month.

I didn't really play along in March, but checked the posts almost every day. The tasks aren't very big, but included things that I might not think of or might not have gotten to for a very long time. The tasks also include things you probably do every week; it's quite the variety! You'll have to vist Rachel Anne to understand the post title. :)

I signed up to be a Company Girl where once a week (if I remember correctly!) Rachel Anne provides a Linky to let everyone visit with one another. There are NO requirements or themes for the Linky - you just get to have "company" over and visit with other bloggers. I've met some wonderful bloggers this way.

So, I encourage you to check out Home Sanctuary and jump into the tasks OR like me, just look around and get a feel for the place. Either way, I think you'll enjoy yourself.

Let me know if you join, then I'll look for you when Company Coffee time comes around!