Friday, September 28, 2012


After explaining that the children of friends of ours are adopted this conversation happened with my youngest daughter at the dinner table.

Tara: "I wondered why their skin is so dark when Mom and Dad aren't dark! I thought maybe their grandmas or grandpas were dark."

Mom: "No, they were adopted from another country."

(There are three children in the family, 2 teenage boys and a 9-year-old girl.)

Tara: "Are they all brothers and sisters?"

Mom: "Well, the boys are twins so, yes, they are brothers, but the girl is not related to them."

Tara: "They're twins?"

Mom: "Yes, Tara. They're identical twins - that's why they look alike."

Tara: "Oh, they're not turtle twins?"

Mom: "What?"

Tara: "They're not turtle twins?"

Mom, laughing, "What's a turtle twin?"

Tara: "You know, they're twins."

Mom: "Do you mean fraternal twins? Ones that don't necessarily look alike?"

Tara: "No, turtle twins. I heard it on tv."

We're all just laughing now.

Tara: "No, really! I did! I think it was on Zack and Cody."

Mom: "Ah, the wisdom of Zack & Cody! Tara, it's called FRATERNAL twins."

Tara: "Well, I like turtle twins better."

This was the springboard for the scientific explanation of egg-splitting and the way we get two kinds of twins.  That edged too closely to a talk about sex for the 19-year-old so thus ended the conversation.

Just another day at the Martens...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baby chick's on the move

This is the first home video that I've put on my blog. Bear with my camera tilt at the beginning.

We had a new batch of chicks hatch a few days ago. This is the video where we take them out of the incubator and put them into their new home.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Leaf Bliss

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."
Emily Bronte

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Satisfying Food

On Thursdays I teach 15 Jr. High/Sr. High girls a class on Home Design and Decorating. This week our devotion centered around the world's food that doesn't satisfy: money, media, fame, ambition - things that alone aren't wrong, but the kind of food that doesn't feed the soul and satisfy true spiritual hunger. 

John 4 tells us about the living water and the soul-satisfying food that Christ has to offer. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work."(verse 34)

If we really want to be satisfied we will do the will and work of our heavenly Father. That includes putting His pleasure before our own. We have to stop striving for our own desires, our own ambitions and our own satisfaction. Seek to please Him alone. That food will really satisfy you! At the end everything else leaves you hungry.

So I've had to ask myself this week, "What counterfeit food am I trying to fill up on? What should be passed over? What should be replaced with His fare that alone will satisfy? For me these are questions that the Lord and I are "discussing" together in prayer.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Hoof In Mouth Disease

There are times, especially when I am tired, that the filter on what I say is well, ... short-circuiting.

My son was away for the weekend and today at lunch I caught him up on all that he had missed, including my latest faux pas.

In the span of four days I ended up telling a 6th grader in a class I'm teaching that her mother had lost a baby (many years ago). In the conversation I mentioned how sad it was when that happened. She looked confused and I realized that she had no idea her mom had ever lost a child. Wow.

Then last night I met a woman who will be serving as one of my volunteers at church. I asked her where I had seen her before and she mentioned that we had met on a Sunday morning and that I had gotten her husband confused with a man whose picture is on a camera that was lost at church. We were trying to locate the camera owner. I then mention that I remembered the man on the camera and her husband's face because they looked like my first fiancee. Yes, I said that to a woman I had just met. Seriously, I need a psych evaluation!

Those who know and love me know that I am all sweet and gooshy inside and that I would be mortified by hurting someone with my words (excluding close family...there might be some intention every once in a while).  A part of what makes people laugh at with me, is that I get myself into these sticky situations innocently and then in a panic to rectify the situation, I usually snowball them to an even greater degree. Think Michael Scott. How it pains me to think there is a bit of Michael Scott within.

Somehow I will have to mend a friendship with a big 'ole apology for telling about a miscarriage and over time, hopefully, convince my volunteer that I'm not creepy and that I'm not thinking her husband reminds me of a lost love every time I see them. Oi Vey!

By the way, Michael Scott looks like my first fiancee too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Autumn's Smile

“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”

William Cullen Bryant

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hodgepodge, Sept 12

Join us at Joyce's Place for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL is back in action along with all the college teams.  Are you a fan?  Who do you root for?  If you're not a fan what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night games?

I LOVE football, but don't get to watch it very often. 
We don't have tv at our house and I work on Sundays. 
 I have always loved the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears. 
I live outside of DC and I am NOT a Redskins fan.  
Proud of that!

2. What's something I'll always find in your closet?

A little black purse. It doesn't get out that often. :)

3. Share one of your earliest memories.

When I was 3 years old my parents and I went on a vacation out west. We went to visit relatives in Oakland, CA and I remember playing with some toys on the coffee table. All of a sudden the room started shaking and the glass of ice water started moving on the table in front of me. I had just experienced my first earthquake. (BTW, my parents don't remember it; no big deal to them, I guess.)

4. What circus act best describes your week so far?

How about the pre-show feeding of the elephants. 
It's been pretty quiet around here, but there are still hungry mouths to feed.

5. What's a food you disliked as a child but you love now?

Beets.  I heart beets!

6.  Describe your summer in three words.

Busy, disjointed, and unpredictable

7.  Where were you on September 11, 2001? Will you do anything special to mark the day this year?

I was just getting started on my day. My family and I watched repeated clips of the 1st plane hitting  the World Trade Center on tv and the commentator was saying, "It looks like a plane got off course and crashed into the WTC." They thought it was an accident. I said, "That was no accident!" and within moments we saw the second plane come into view and crash into the other tower. Then the commentator began talking about the attack. I remember thinking I wish I had been wrong and it had only been an accident.

Little did we know that just a few miles away the Pentagon was also under attack. The lives of people we knew were changed forever that day.

We did not do anything special to mark September 11th this year.  I have been in the Pentagon Chapel that is located where the plane hit the building. There is a big window looking out and as you stand there you can't really imagine the tragedy that occured that day.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is National Chocolate Milkshake Day.
Just in case you needed an excuse.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Apple of my eye

I have a new computer! My husband bought me a new MacBook Pro on Saturday night. I'm struggling to "unlearn" PC navigation, but I'm thrilled to have a laptop. Can't tell you how many times I've been jealous of you couch bloggers! Smile.

Anyway, I was fooling around with Photo Booth and thought about how often I don't take pictures of myself. With this application, I can snap a pic of me in all my glory whenever I want. (or turn it on and see how my hair looks - might have done that yesterday while working at church.)

Here I am just a few moments ago, a little wind blown since I had my window down in the car. 

Being quite proud of my picture-taking accomplishment, I showed my son what I had done.
He introduced me to the effects button on Photo Booth...

This is the Comic Book effect.

I sense a new form of entertainment. So glad I can do it from my couch. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Autumn's Harmony

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, 
which through the summer is not heard or seen, 
as if it could not be, as if it had not been!  
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Delicious Autumn!

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
 ~George Eliot

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1st

I wrote in my journal today that there is quite a BIG mental shift for me between August 31st and September 1st...summer to fall. Is there for you?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE autumn. It is my favorite season. I love the cool nights that segue into cooler days. I love the changing colors. I love the scents we associate with fall...cinnamon, apple, spices. I love the new school year. I love making molasses cookies, soups and bread. I just LOVE fall.

This morning the daily reading from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach resonated with me so I thought I would share it with you.

Turning Over a New Leaf

Autumn to winter, winter to spring,
Spring into summer, summer into fall -
So rolls the changing year, and so we change;
Motion so swift, we know not that we move. - Dinah Murlock Craik

Since ancient times, September has been viewed as the beginning of the new year, a time for reflection and resolution. Jews observe the High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of public and private atonement, a sacred withdrawal from the world for twenty-four hours in order to become right with God and others, so that real life might be renewed with passion and purpose.

Change in the natural world is subtle but relentless; seasons seem to give way gently to one another, even if the monthly motion is so swift we don't realize we're moving. But when the leaves start turning colors, it's time for turning over a personal new leaf so that our lives might be restored. "What we need in autumn is an emotional or spiritual shot in the arm," Katharine Elizabeth Fite wrote in Good Housekeeping in 1949, urging the beginning of a new tradition for women: personal and positive resolutions in September. "Why do you suppose so many of us waste the autumn? Why don't we make the effort that would provide something new in our lives?" January's negative resolutions "are made when we are worn out in spirit, body, and pocketbook, and have no real urge to do anything but rest."

It seems to me that January resolutions are about will; September resolutions are about authentic wants. What do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can love the life you're leading? It could be as simple as seeing friends more often, setting aside time to have adventures with your children while they still want your companionship, rekindling romance in your daily round, calling a solitary hour a day your own, or just taking more walks in the dazzling sunshine.

The beauty of autumnal resolutions is that no one else knows we're making them. Autumnal resolutions don't require horns, confetti, and champagne. September resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change. I can try to do that. So can you.