Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am still alive . . .

I know - I have fallen short on posting every day, this week. I am so sorry. Things got extremely busy and I had no time to even think of something creative to write. I don't have anything creative to write now either - but since I had people asking me if I was okay . . . I thought I needed to post SOMETHING.

I promise I will try and make up for my lack of posts . . . tomorrow.

I'll leave you with a gratuitous funny kitty picture . . .

When Rufus was a kitten, he used to watch HGTV with Hunkahubby. :-)

Have a great day everyone!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Do they still have the right stuff??

This article made me crack up laughing and cringe all at the same time.

Yes, I admit it - I am a child of the 80s and proud to be one. I can't wait for big hair to come back (the kind where you needed a building permit, just to do your hair),
neon green used to be my favorite color - and I still believe that nothing will ever top 80s music for nostalgic value (sappiness) and the perfect music for slow dancing at school functions . . .

However . . . I find it hard to admit . . . that I actually saw the New Kids on the Block in concert when I was in 7th grade. But, it's true. I did. And I loved it. And I was crazily in love with Donnie (who we now know as Marky Mark a.k.a. Mark Wahlberg, serious actor's brother) . . . why? I don't know . . . when I look at old pictures of NKOTB . . . I REALLY don't know.

Honestly, I loved the 80s . . . but an NKOTB comeback? Seriously??? Aren't there enough boy bands without bringing old ones back from the dead?

What do you think??

Half-hour late . . . but this is my Friday post


Found this on photobucket . . . liked it . . . thought I'd share

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I made bread!

Yes, me. The person who hardly ever set foot in the kitchen except to eat . . . up until this past year. Lately, I just get these urges - then I peruse the cookbook and find something to make.

Tonight - I made whole wheat bread with the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook recipe. (I'll link to it later.) And I made it FROM SCRATCH - there was no bread machine involved.

It wasn't difficult - just a little time consuming. And it actually tastes good!

When I took this picture - you could still see the steam rising from the bread. MMMMM.

So I'm here to tell you . . . if I can do it . . . anyone can do it.

Are you hungry now?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Man's Best Friend

Man's best friend is not always a dog . . . sometimes it is a cat . . . who kind of acts like a dog.

This is my gorgeous husband and "his" gorgeous cat, Max. Max - who from the very beginning claimed my husband as his human and will accept no substitutes; who follows his human all around the house; who walks around meowing mournfully when his human is not at home (or even just outside); and who shies away from my attempts to pet him yet turns immediately to my husband's hands purring louder than the motor on the lawnmower.

Max is an interesting and cool cat.

His triangular head kind of resembled an alien's when he first came to live with us, but his extremely soft kitten fur hasn't gone away since he's grown into a cat. (Every now and then, I am given the privilege of petting him - but not often.)

He also has strange quirks, like being totally in love with a dog named Paul Anka (think Gilmore Girls).

Okay - so the dog is stuffed, but every time we put the dog on our bed, Max is there to give him a backrub.

And even though this cat likes my husband and even a stuffed dog better than he likes me, I can't help but enjoy watching him and the way he is so loyal to the human he has chosen as his own.

And how can your heart not melt when you see him sleeping?

Dog people - you may never understand . . . but I truly believe that in this case . . . the cat trumps the dog in being MY man's best friend. (Well, at least man's best furry friend . . . )

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Upward Basketball

I promised I'd come back and post something real today - but I am having a hard time finding inspiration.

So . . . I'm going to give a mini-commercial for Upward Basketball.

Our church is doing this program - and it is an awesome outreach opportunity that teaches children a sport along with GOOD sportsmanship! Parents and children are encouraged to cheer for both teams, and to be supportive of the coaches and the referees. Kindergarten - 2nd grade don't keep score and are not allowed to steal the ball. The players switch out every 6 minutes, so EVERYONE gets a chance to play - and the players are encouraged to work as a team and pass the ball, rather than always just trying to shoot it.

Two of my kids are playing this year and they had their first game on Saturday. It was great fun, which was really the point - the kids are learning but having FUN.

One of the coolest parts of this program is that every practice, the coach has a devotion with the kids and gives them a Bible verse to learn for the next week. At the next practice, if you've learned your verse, you get a green star to Iron on your uniform T-shirt. At every game, stars are given out for Best Defense, Best Offense, Best Sportsmanship, and several other things. (everyone gets a star).

Before each game - they turn down the lights, turn up the music and announce the teams, coaches, and players (making the young kids feel REALLY cool) - then the referees pray with both teams in the middle of the court. It is really an awesome experience, and I'm looking forward to many more years of being involved in this program.

If you love kids, and sports - and you don't have a program like this in your area - I suggest you go to the Upward website, and check it out! Maybe you could start an Upward Sports Program in your area.

This is what I do when I'm bored . . .

83 words

free Touch typing

I promise to post a real blog later . . .

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dungy will return for another season

Tony Dungy, coach of the Indianapolis Colts, will return for another season. Yay!

Now - I'm not really a big sports fan, I never really have been. But I love the example that Tony Dungy sets for his players and for other coaches everywhere. He and his team have made me want to become a sports fan.

He was quoted today saying this:

"I love this franchise. I love my family. My decision after my 10th year was, 'Can I give my family and the franchise the energy and passion that they both deserve,'" Dungy said. "I look at this job as a job but I also look at it as a ministry."

I agree. And I hope and believe Tony Dungy's ministry and his legacy will continue long after he's retired from coaching football.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cute Cat Picture of the Day

It's Sunday. I don't feel like typing much.

So I'm sharing the Cute Cat Picture of the Day. Here we have our two male kitties (well, as male as you can be after being neutered) Rufus and Max in one of their many wrestling matches.

This picture especially cracks me up because it looks like Max is sticking his tongue out at Rufus.

Have a good evening everyone!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I've been Tagged . . . One Book (sort of)

This is the first time since I've had this blog that I've been tagged for a meme. (Yes, I provided a link, because up until recently, I had no idea what a meme was!)

This sounds like fun and gives me something interesting and dear to my heart to blog about. So thanks Barry, for tagging me.

Here goes . . .

1. One book that changed your life.

I honestly have to say that a book that continues to effect my life in one way or another is "The Best Loved Poems of James Whitcomb Riley." This was one of those books that has been passed down as a family tradition. James Whitcomb Riley was an Indiana poet and his poems are very beloved in this area of the country. My great-grandmother read his poetry to Grandma, who read them to Mom, who read them to me. Now I read them to my children.

I was even named after one of the characters in his poems.

On my 21st birthday, my entire family got together and bought me the complete works of James Whitcomb Riley. It is a treasured addition to my growing library.

2. One book that you have read more than once.

I do not care what you want to say about me and my preferences . . . one of my favorite genres is fantasy. And I have read the Harry Potter Series many, many times.

J.K. Rowling is an amazing author - and I have never before had an experience like this: After reading her books and then seeing the first movie in the theater - the movie actually looked EXACTLY like I'd imagined it in my head. JKR can paint pictures with words in a way I had not experienced before.

Not only that - but she got TONS of school children hooked on reading again . . . how cool is that?

Oh . . . and the final book is my favorite . . .

3. One book you would want on a desert island.

I have to say that I would be a little crazy if I could only have ONE book if I was on a desert island . . . especially if I was by myself. But I have to repeat Barry's sentiment and say I would need my Bible in a situation like that. (I use the NIV Quest Study Bible.)

4. Two books that made you laugh.

Anything by Shel Silverstein is always good for a laugh for me, my Dad, or my kids. A Light in the Attic is probably my favorite.

Also - when I was growing up - I loved the Fudge books by Judy Blume, they CRACKED me up.

(And if we could include comic books in this mix - I'd say Garfield and FoxTrot are always good for a pick me up when I'm down.)

5. One book that made you cry.

This could be pretty much anything I read . . . however, the latest book I read that made me cry was Good Dog. Stay. by Anna Quindlen. If you like to read, and you like animals - you need to read this book.

6. One book you wish you'd written.

This was a hard one for me to figure out. I've been writing 'books' since I was 8 years old, and I still have a fantasy of one day being published. However, I have to say that right now the book I wish I'd written is ScreamFree Parenting: Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by
Hal Edward Runkle, LMFT.

"Why do I wish I'd written this?", you ask. Well . . . if I had written it, then I wouldn't need to READ it, now would I?

7. One book you wish had never been written.

Everything on this list. (Especially the L. Ron Hubbard book, but that's a different post altogether.) Why? Because it taunts me with my own stupidity of not making it through ANY of them yet.

However, there is one on that list, that I would be sad without. Without Victor Hugo's
Les Miserables . . . I wouldn't have one of my favorite musicals.

8. Two books you are currently reading.

Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A have a friend who is a voracious reader and sends me books all the time. She recommended this one - I'll let you know what I think when I'm finished.

I'm also stuck in young adult fiction land and I've been enjoying the Artemis Fowl book series by Eoin Colfer. It's very interesting and a different spin on the kind of novels the Harry Potter craze seems to have sparked.

9. One book you've been meaning to read.

I started this one and never seemed to be able to finish it: Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire. His other books are great reads and some of my very favorites, and his best selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West inspired my favorite musical right now.

For some reason though, I'm having a hard time getting into the sequel. I guess maybe its time to try again.

10. Five people that I'll tag: Ha ha. Here's the fun part . . . tagging some of you to do this as well. I tag: Rett, Allison, Jamie, Sam, and UNKA STEVE (which means he'd actually have to post a blog.)

Oh - and I'd tag Ruth, but she doesn't really like to read and she'd kill me. :-)

Have fun!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Nobody's Perfect

Everybody makes mistakes... Everybody has those days...
Everybody makes mistakes... Everybody has those days...
Everybody knows what, what I'm talkin' 'bout... Everybody gets that way...
(From "Nobody's Perfect" by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus)

I am just having one of those weeks. I'm anxious about things to come, and trying hard to just deal with the present. I get like that sometimes. And then - things happen that make me remember what it was like to have anxiety as a kid . . .

Today was . . . REPORT CARD DAY (dum dum dum).

Yes, the first semester of school is already over. It's hard to believe. I have a son in Kindergarten and a daughter in 2nd Grade. My son, who is always so charming and quiet . . . we are learning is finally starting to come out of his shell . . . and his behavior did not get good marks on his report card. We had to have a long talk and a few things (like TV, his favorite thing) restricted until he starts improving. He was NOT happy.

My daughter, for some reason, ALWAYS freaks out on report card day - even though she always has all As and Bs. She is way too young to be freaking out about grades!! My rule is always this - if you are trying your very best, then you should have nothing to worry about. I know she is trying very hard, at everything except her handwriting . . . for some reason - she just can't seem to care about that. She struggles in Math - but I know how hard she tries, so I never get upset with her over that, we just try to figure out a better way to help.

After she got to hear her brother's lecture - she was REALLY worried about her report card . . . but it was great, she even improved in a few things. And her Music and Art grades were outstanding (my hubby is an artist and we are both music freaks) so this makes us very proud. Even though we had to have a small talk about her handwriting, her Daddy and I both told her how awesome she did. And she cried. No . . . she sobbed.

The poor child - she is so much harder on herself than anyone is on her. So - I have taken to singing the Hannah Montana song "Nobody's Perfect" to her, any time she feels like she is going to DIE because she made a tiny mistake. It works quite well, and is a song you can easily get stuck in your head . . . whether you like it or not.

And here's the thing - sometimes I have to sing this song to myself, and remember - that in the whole scheme of things . . . its not THAT bad.

So today - I'm leaving you with a quote - and that song you'll be hating me for getting stuck in your head . . . except when you need to remember that you are NOT perfect, and that everyone has those days.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. ~Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Memory-envoking Food

Today I had to take my car, Garfunkle, to get worked on. He needed his 10,000 mile service, and he also had a funky tire . . . turns out it had a nail in it, and I had driven on the messed up tire (I kept putting air in it!!) long enough that it messed up the whole thing. SOOOO . . . needless to say, Garfunkle was a little bit expensive today. But that's okay. Beetles make me smile - and I want to continue to drive him, so I'll pay to have him fixed.

Because the Volkswagen dealership is several miles away, I had my husband drive me and we dropped off the car, to be picked up tomorrow. We had our youngest daughter with us and decided to stop someplace we had not been to eat in a long while:


The picture shown is of an MCL Cafeteria in Richmond, Indiana, but the one we went to was in a different location. The name has now changed to MCL Restaurant & Bakery. I guess their marketing people decided that being compared to the food served in high schools and hospitals wasn't necessarily a good thing.

When I was younger, it always seemed like a big treat to get to go to MCL with my Grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa always knew everyone there, and everyone always fawned over me, because I was SO CUTE. Of course, if I had looked around at the time, I would have realized it was because ALL of the grandparents went there to eat and most older people love to be around young children because it makes them feel younger themselves.

In my teenage years, MCL came to be known as "Mom's Cold Leftovers" or "MediCare Lounge" (I know - not very nice) - and a place I didn't want to be caught dead in. But now that I am 'older and wiser' I realize how much fun it was to go that place with my Grandparents so they could show me off to other people and let me indulge in HOMEMADE FOOD . . . (Okay, I must stop to make a point here . . . my Grandma was a FABULOUS cook and I was blessed with having homemade food all the time growing up - but sometimes, even Grandmas need a break!)

When I told my daughter about how my Grandma used to take me to MCL - she said, "I'm going to go with Grandma to MCL on Saturday!" (News to Grandma, I'm sure . . .)

The restaurant brought back a lot of good memories for me and my husband (whose Grandmother took him to MCL when he was a boy.) has a great review of MCL with some pictures of the plethora of food that is available for you to choose. Yes, it is served cafeteria style - but unlike any cafeteria I've been to.

There is so much to choose from that my head explodes beforehand, and my stomach usually explodes after! But it was definitely worth it. Their Beef Manhattan was just as good as I remembered it, and their macaroni and cheese was even better! I passed on the pecan pie this time, but I drooled near it as I went by. ;-)

So, if you're in the Midwest (Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio) and you get a chance - stop by an MCL cafeteria. Just be sure to bring a larger pair of pants and a cute little kid to show off.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why I write (and now why I blog) . . .

This is part of a journal entry from a creative writing class I took several years ago . . .

Why do I write? Because if I didn’t, I would probably go insane.

When I’m not writing, things are not right in the world of IzzyBeth. And even when I’m not physically putting things down on paper (or on the computer screen), I am constantly writing things in my head.

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I will come up with a brilliant idea while driving down the road, but by the time I get somewhere to do something about it, it has run away with the other thoughts crowding my brain.

I have so many things that I want to write about – but then I get caught up in the reasons why I really want to write it, and sometimes I chicken out and don’t go where my heart is leading me.

I write because it is born in me.

Writing has been passed down through generations in my family (along with TALKING and singing) and I learned to read and write very young.

I have always gone above and beyond whenever assigned something to write . . . and sometimes it gets me into trouble. I don't do it because I'm an overachiever . . .

I write because I really have no choice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Internet Tip of the Day: My Biggest Pet Peeve

If I receive one more forward having to do with:
I think I will scream.

Here is my internet tip of the day:

Before sending on a forward, please do everyone a favor and visit this site.

Snopes does a great job of researching urban legends, email forwards and lots of other things to try and find out the truth behind the story. If Snopes says it isn't true - PLEASE don't forward it.

Even if it came from your most trusted friend . . .
Even if the email says "I saw this on Good Morning America"
Even if you are afraid you'll have bad luck if you DON'T forward it or miss out on billions of dollars from Bill Gates . . .

please help us stop the pollution of all of our inboxes.

Do everyone on your contact list a favor and read, research, and DELETE.

That is all.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Love that Hurts by IzzyBeth

Love that Hurts

I do not know
how you felt
inside warm liquid
before you took
your first breath
But I know
you were meant
for my arms
my heart

I did not form
your body
I am not responsible
for your DNA
But I will be
in charge of
what you grow into

Your Mom
must have
been terrified
she had to let go
I am
knowing someday
you will too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Morality of the Mac

Okay - so this news is from December, but I thought this was extremely interesting.

According to NPD, Mac users are more likely than PC users to PAY for their online music, and also more likely to actually purchase CDs.

"Mac owners have a slightly higher moral high ground to stand on . . ."


Read more here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

One of my favorite hymns, one of my favorite artists

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

(Painting by Hunkahubby, 2007)

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Dal­lan For­gaill (translated from the Irish by
Ma­ry E. Byrne, Versified by El­ea­nor H. Hull)

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Many Faces of Me

I had some not so great news today - and so what better way to get myself in a better mood but to make fun of myself to make others laugh . . .

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Here we have my hospital picture . . . makes me wonder about my early upbringing to be showing so much shoulder at such a young age. And winking at the photographer?

Here we have Dancing Dork around the 3rd Grade.
Nice space between my teeth, eh?
Oh what I wouldn't give for those legs again though . . .

As if the braces weren't bad enough, I had to have a mullet too??

I don't know which was worse - the mullet or the grown out after too much Sun In and then PERMED hair . . . AND the braces (for the second time).

And yes - I can't wait until the big-haired 80s come back.

My sixteenth birthday.
WHAT WAS I THINKING? Stonewashed jeans. Funky weird top.
And those glasses . . . ACK.

Dontcha just love banana clips?

And of course, me today . . . hmmm - I think I liked the big hair better.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sweet Kisses and the infamous Refrigerator Kiss

No, it isn't my anniversary or my husband's birthday or anything - but today I want to dedicate my blog to my wonderful husband and his sweet kisses.

The last few days I haven't been a very happy camper - and yet he has stayed with me through it all. Sure, we argue and fuss a little (okay, sometimes a LOT) but at the end of the day, we know we love each other.

When Hunkahubby and I got together almost seven years ago - it was very dramatic. (You have no idea how dramatic . . . )

I still remember the first time he kissed me. We call it the 'refrigerator' kiss. And no - we didn't kiss the refrigerator, although sometimes I want to - especially when I'm dieting and I can't get into it!!

The kitchen was dark and he was looking in his refrigerator to get something out. All of a sudden he whipped around, pulled me in his arms and KISSED me . . . thoroughly. I stopped breathing, my toes curled, and the world as I knew it ceased to exist.

The wonderful thing is - I still feel those things when he kisses me, all this time later. It isn't even one iota less exciting. He still makes my toes curl.

So today, cherish the ones you love and grab your special someone and give them sweet kisses.

If you don't have that special someone . . . don't push it . . . sometimes love finds you in the most unexpected places . . . maybe even in the refrigerator.

I love you honey. I love your sweet kisses. And I'm thankful to a God who allows us to have a love like ours.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Learning to trust . . .

("Crowning Glory" photo by IzzyBeth, Costa Rica)

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like nothing is going right? You feel like no matter how hard you try - you still don't measure up? And then the smallest things start to bother you?

Today has been one of those days for me. I'm stressed about some unknown situations in my life and I am worried about what is going to happen next. I hate that feeling.

And after having my own mini-meltdown - sitting on the floor crying asking God "What am I doing wrong? I've been reading my Bible every day, trying to be a good wife and mother . . . and jumping into those roles more than I ever have . . . what am I doing wrong?"

Well - just as I thought that - this popped into my head . . .

"You're not trusting Me."

Wow. Ouch. And all that stuff.

And I wasn't. I wasn't trusting God. If I am doing all I can do to be the best person I can be, then I have to learn to trust God to take care of me. That is hard. I've always had an emotional caretaker type role. And then when you work in an administrative assistant role - you become somewhat of a caretaker for everyone you work for. At the end of the day - you don't have enough emotional energy to do what needs to be done to take care of yourself and sometimes even your family.

So I've just added a new resolution to my list.

Learn to trust.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Matthew 6:27-34 (The Message) says:

"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

I'm trying . . .

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Resolution update . . .

Just thought I'd post an update on how I'm doing SO FAR . . .

My New Year's Resolutions for 2008:
1. Update my blog every day (at the least, 2x per week).

I've been trying very hard to update every day and haven't missed yet, although last night's post barely made it under the wire . . .

2. Lose 50 pounds. (lost about 4 pounds so far)

Just getting away from all those holiday treats is a big help!

3. Exercise at least 3x per week. No excuses. (need to start this!!)

I have a gym membership - but why is it that I want to get in a little better shape before I even GO there? I don't want people to see me.

4. Find things to inspire me and then let the inspiration run wild.

My kids and my husband inspire me every day - but I haven't been able to RUN WILD with it yet. Except for this blog.

5. Try out at least one new recipe per month.

Thanks to my new favorite blog, The Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, and her recipe site, The Pioneer Woman Cooks - I've already tried out one recipe and am baking the other one today.

6. Re-learn to sew.

Give me a break - I couldn't do EVERYTHING in one week.

7. Teach an online class if possible.

I have a couple people I'm in contact with to work on this one.

8. Spend more time with my kids.

Ever since I completed my Masters, this has been an easier one. I am so glad about that!

9. Have a date night at least once per month with my hubby.

The month isn't over yet!!!

10. Read more books. Especially my Bible.

I am working on the Read the Bible in a year program and reading every day. I'm learning a lot of interesting things.

I am also reading Frank Peretti's The Visitation. I love his books and haven't read one in a while. So far - this one is a great read.

11. Take more pictures - and learn how to do it correctly.

Obviously I've been taking more pictures - but I haven't got the hang of everything yet. My camera has a "sports" setting and also a setting where you can take several pictures in a row. I've been trying to combine them to get some good action shots - but I have not mastered it just yet . . .

12. Sing more, yell less.

I can say I've been singing more - but I still need to cut down on my yelling.

13. Keep my resolutions all year long . . .

So far . . . not too bad . . .

How are you doing on your new year's resolutions???

Monday, January 7, 2008


In my earlier post about our five furry 'children', I mentioned a cat that is no longer with us. She was such a good kitty and she had a few funny stories. Her name was Karma.

When Hunkahubby and I got married, he already had Britney, but I decided that Britney needed a buddy and that I needed a kitty to call my own. We went to the local no-kill animal shelter in search of a calico kitten. As fate would have it, there were no calicos that day - but we kept looking anyway.

When we got to a certain cage, there were two kittens inside and this one interesting-looking cat kept pushing up against the cage door wanting us to get her out. We asked the shelter worker to open the cage, and as soon as she did, this cat jumped onto my shoulder - purring so loud I could hardly hear anything else. She then looked over to Hunkahubby, jumped to his shoulder and then jumped back to mine.

Well - that was easy - we knew she was the one meant for us. She was named Karma and the name seemed to fit - so we didn't change it. After the 3 day waiting period, we were able to bring her home.

Karma was a tortoise-shell or 'torti'. We found out that shelters have a hard time adopting out these cats, because a lot of people think they are ugly. I thought she was beautiful. She was very loving and attentive - which often is NOT the case with cats.

We brought Karma home to meet Britney and Britney was NOT happy. But we figured she'd get over it eventually.

One of the things Karma did that we always laughed at was crawl up under the covers on the bed and sleep. This almost became a fatal choice for her! We came home a few days after bringing her home and couldn't find Karma anywhere. We lived in a VERY small 2-room apartment and we knew she couldn't have gotten far.

I looked at Britney and said, "What did you do with Karma?" A few minutes later, Britney got up off the bed where she was laying. Underneath where Britney had been sleeping was a lump - Karma had crawled up under the covers to sleep and Britney had decided to lay on top of her!!! I don't know if it was intentional or what - but we've always laughed about Britney trying to off Karma by smothering her.

Eventually - Karma and Britney learned to get along and were quite content to be in each other's company, especially when more kitties were introduced into the household. They learned to stick together.

Unfortunately - pets don't live forever, and sometimes they have to go before it is their time. Karma got trapped in the laundry room one day and and something heavy fell on top of her - I got home in time to pet her and she looked up at me and meowed several times. We then rushed her to the vet, but I'm sure she was gone before we got there. It was very tragic. This was the first death of a pet that the kids had to experience - but I think my husband and I were worse than the kids were.

Karma was a neat cat. She liked to sleep on our pillow at night and "knead doughballs." She made chirping noises and always talked to us. She knew that the other cats didn't like her as much, and she didn't care - she seemed happy with who she was.

I truly believe that pets are here to teach us things - so here is what I learned from Karma:

1. Be yourself - don't worry about what others think.
2. Even if you look different, you are still beautiful.
3. If you find someone to love you, hold on to them tight and love them with everything that is in you - because we never know what may happen tomorrow.

I'm sure I will have other Karma stories to post - but for tonight, I just want to remember what a great cat she was and think about her curled up under a big heavenly blanket dreaming great kitty dreams.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Daddy, Jesus, and Dinosaurs

My son got this cheap little toy voice recorder in his stocking at Christmas. You press record, talk into the device, and then play it back. It has little buttons where you can bend the pitch of the playback to make it sound like a monster, a chipmunk, or somewhere in between . . .

Tonight, while I was fixing supper - I hear him laugh hysterically and then come running down the stairs. He said, "Mommy, listen to this!" He hits play on the toy and a very high pitched version of my son's voice says, "Daddy, Jesus, and Dinosaurs". He cracks up laughing again.

I guess those are the 3 things most important to my middle child and only son . . . and I was too busy laughing to ponder the fact that I wasn't on that list.

And . . . while searching for an appropriate picture for this post - I found this. How funny. Interesting concept. Weird that I found it with what I searched for. (I Googled Daddy, Jesus, Dinosaurs.) Of course now I suppose my husband is going to use the "What Would Jesus Do?" argument to convince me he needs a motorcycle . . .

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It has begun . . .

This afternoon, the phone rang. I answered it and almost told the person on the other end that they had the wrong number. Then I realized they were asking for my oldest daughter. She was so excited when I told her the phone was for her!

It was her friend from school who lives down the street. She was calling to ask if my daughter could spend the night. She was so excited about it - there is no way I could have said NO. However, I'm nervous because other than Ruth and family members, my daughter has never spent the night away from home in a strange house.

Halfway through the phone call, my daughter said in the sweetest voice to her friend, "thank you so much for asking me to come to your house." Of course, I cried. I think she will be just fine tonight.

Her Daddy and I looked at each other though and cringed -
because with that one phone call . . . .

It had begun . . .

Life (and phone bills) as we know it, will never be the same.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Reading the Bible in a Year

One of my New Year's resolutions is to read more books - especially the Bible. I know several people who have done the 'read the Bible in a year' program and decided to try it myself. I was unaware that the program is available online, so once I found it, I thought I would share it with all of you.

If you go to this link - it will show you the chapters to read each day (they say its about 15 minutes per day . . . unless you're like me . . . because I have a Quest Bible and I like to read all the notes and commentary.)

However, if you don't have a Bible - or one that you can easily understand - this website also makes it easy for you to read the Bible translation of your choice ONLINE, courtesy of

This program does not have you read the Bible chronologically - for example, on January 1st - you read a couple chapters each from Genesis, Matthew, Psalms, and Proverbs. I really like it.

Even though we're already a few days into the year - I think it would be pretty easy to catch up if you'd like to go on this journey with me!!

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Snow Snow Look at the Snow

We actually got some snow in the past couple of days. I was really bummed that we didn't have a white Christmas. We had a pretty good snowstorm the week before Christmas, which promptly melted away. Then we got a light sprinkling for the past couple of days and now it is REALLY COLD. The problem with Indiana is that it is very hard to predict the weather from one day to the next.

One day, you may need to wear boots, long underwear, two sweaters, a coat, hat, scarf and mittens - and the next day, you could get away with wearing shorts. It's nuts - but something we've pretty much gotten used to. The bigger issue is - the constant change in weather, temperature, humidity, etc. means constantly fighting off colds. That part - not so fun.

I went out and took some pictures of our backyard covered in a light sprinkling of snow.

From these pictures - you might think I have a pretty large country backyard . . . well . . . you can go right on thinking that, but it is not true. :-) My husband is just really good at doing the best he can with what he has been given. We actually walk out our back door, walk about 10 feet (if that) and we're in our neighbor's house. That is the one thing that makes me a little bit sad. I grew up with a HUGE yard - plus my Grandparents lived around the corner and all the land on that corner was theirs. I could walk to their house on the road, or walk to their house through the woods behind our house. I had lots of outdoor adventures when I was little - and there is a part of me that feels like my kids are getting cheated out of that.

Perhaps someday - we'll have a big yard again . . . but for now, I'll just look at these pictures and pretend.

Thanks honey for giving me that option. And thanks God for the snow, whether on Christmas or not . . . it is still beautiful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cat People

Well, since I still haven't found a way to make myself comfortable with posting pictures of my children on a public blog - I get to torture other people . . . and my cats.

My husband already had a cat, Britney, when we got married. Then as time went on, I kept convincing him we needed more. We now have 5 cats and 5 people in our house. We've tried dogs - several times, and one of these days, I'll tell you about that. We love all kinds of animals - but for now, we are solely cat people, and that is okay.

Since I got my new camera, that actually TAKES the picture when I push the button - I have been having a lot of fun trying to take pictures of the cats with funny looks on their faces (even going as far as dabbing food on their nose so they have to try and lick it off.)

So here is our little cat family . . .

This is Britney, whom Hunkahubby found as a tiny kitten in a snowstorm, several years before we were married. She isn't so tiny now . . .

Her nickname is MOOSE. But I did get a nice shot of her licking her chops yesterday . . .
Next we had a Kitty named Karma . . . but she is no longer with us. I promise to tell you her story one of these days. (If I hold to my resolution of posting every day - I'll be running out of stories!)

I've always loved Calico cats. And when my friend Kara, who lived on her parent's farm at the time, was overrun with cats - and ended up with a new Calico kittten . . . I offered to take her off of her hands. ;-) She was named California, but we have always called her Cali.Yes, she's a ball. Not so tiny anymore. We call her Mini MOO.

Next we have Rufus. My baby. You can read more about him here. He was my 30th birthday present, and I think he thinks I'm his Mommy. He's also part human - as every time I went to take his picture, he would pose very regally for me.
Then there is Max. Max is definitely my Hunkahubby's cat. I kept saying we NEEDED a new cat and where I worked had an online classified posting system. A lady who works there fosters cats until she can find them a home. She had posted an ADORABLE picture of a buff colored kitten . . . and when I showed it to Hunkahubby - he was SUNK. So we went to meet the kitty and ended up bringing him home. He has been Hunkahubby's shadow ever since. When he isn't here, and I am, I have to listen to this pitiful cat walking around the house making this mournful meowing sound. So - Max gets two pictures today as well . . . . because I'm doing what I said I would - and taking more pictures.

The picture on the left is Hunkahubby's view of Max - the picture on the right is Max's view of his Daddy. Hee hee, I love my new camera.

And finally - we have the bane of all the other cats' existences . . . Gracie. The youngest is always the most hated by others, isn't that right? Because I knew this was my LAST CAT for a long while - we had to make it a doozy.

When I was in high school - we had a cat named George. He was a long haired kitten, very playful and sweet. He almost died of distemper and I remember sitting up with him in my lap all night until Dad could take him to the vet the next day. He made it through but had a respiratory problem that made him sneezy for the rest of his life. My Dad adored this cat and even though he was "technically" an outdoor cat - Dad used to let him inside all the time.

I wanted a long-haired cat like George . . . and so Hunkahubby found Gracie for me. (Get it? George and Gracie??)
She is still a kitten, and VERY rambunctious - but the nights when she hops on our bed and buts up against my arm, purring to beat the band - she is SO forgiven for climbing the Christmas tree and scattering ornaments everywhere.

Seriously - how could you stay mad at this??? -->

So, there you have it folks - the reasons we are, at this point in life, solely cat people. The coming days will most surely have more entertaining stories and pictures of our five furry children.