Friday, January 30, 2009

Frugal Cooking

Months ago I found a site on the computer--Living On A Dime by Tawra Kellam. ( I highly recommend this site for anyone looking to make their dollar go further. (and who isn't?) So anyway, after reading her newsletter I decided to order her Dining on a Dime Cookbook. It is awesome! It not only has some great, yet simple recipes, but the basics of frugal cooking, planning your meals, menu ideas,and how to eat better and spend less.
Check out her newsletter and enjoy!

"Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We are eating well.
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss.
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Living The Simple Life

As most of my long time readers know, my family is in the process of building our new house in rural Ohio. We haven't moved in yet...still more to do on the house before that happens! Hopefully, within the next couple of months we'll be able to call Ohio our home. While working on the house Scott and I have had the opportunity to befriend several Amish families. A large portion of society looks at these "plain people" and they don't understand them or their ways. They are seen as peculiar at best and just plain odd at the least. But you know what? I have so enjoyed their friendships. I know what it is "to visit" in the winter evenings, seeing only by the light from lanterns. I know what it is to be warm and toasty from the heat of the wood stove. We've been given the gifts of home made bread, and cherry turnovers. We've gotten eggs from a local Amish family....where if they are not there when you arrive for your eggs, a sign says, "Take what you need and just leave what you owe." How often do you see that these days? It feels like community. It feels like trust.
No. I don't think I could live like the Amish. I am way too spoiled by convenience. Indoor plumbing and electricity are necessary for me...and yes, I love my computer. BUT---there is a lot to be said for a more simple life. Family and friends are close by. There is a caring network of people always there to lend a hand. Unlike the general populations who hardly know who their next door neighbors are unless it is to just give a quick wave when they back out of their driveway.
A more quiet life, with less distractions. Without all the extra distractions one has more time to concentrate on the important things. They are not overwhelmed by "the urgent".
Yes, it is a lot of work without modern conveniences to aide you and riding in open buggies in the winter has got to be freezing cold, but when I am visiting with my new friends I can see the positives of living a simple life.
They don't have to worry about soaring gas prices, huge electric bills, and who to choose for their internet provider. They don't have to give a thought to the latest fashions or makeup. I kind of think that living the Amish lifestyle would resemble what the pioneer families of the late 1800s experienced. (Well, maybe easier because the Amish do have modern medical care available to them)
I can only speak for myself, but as one who loves history AND loves to listen to stories AND happens to be an avid people watcher I love that I have some new friends. I look forward to both learning and sharing with my new friends about all our differences, but also all the things that deep down make us the same.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baby Doll Jihad

This is ridiculous! Who in the world did this?! Parents beware of your child's toys..... After "Islam is the light", what's next? Maybe a doll that states, "Islam is the light...beware, I have a bomb in my belly."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sometimes He Calms His Child

Sometimes things happen in our lives. Things that rock us to our very core. A death of a loved one, an unsettling diagnosis, a lost job, a broken relationship. One steps back and asks, "Why me?" But then God quietly whispers, "Why not you?" It is easy to praise God when all is going well in life. It is harder when life is leaving you bruised and broken. That is the time when one must decide if the God that he/she serves is bigger then any problem that can come their way. Being a Christian does not mean life will always be perfect. We all live in an imperfect world where pain and loss are often an uninvited guest... because I am a Christian and have a real relationship with Jesus Christ...I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will never leave me nor will He forsake me. The closer I stay to Him, the safer I will be... No matter what storm comes my way.

One of my all time favorite songs is entitled, Sometimes He Calms The Storm by singer Scott Krippayne. I have added a verse of his song to today's blog. This song is a wonderful reminder of how the Lord will take care of me, and for all of us that call on His name.


Lyrics to Sometimes He Calms The Storm by Scott Krippayne

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered peace be still
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child
He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet peaceful place

Our 16th President

I received one of my home school magazines yesterday in the mail. There is an article about Abraham Lincoln in this issue. It was an article about his early life with many good books to reference to learn even more about him. He really had an interesting life. Not easy...but interesting. He really only attended formal school for about a year in rural Indiana. When I say formal I just mean a log cabin school house that he attended. His childhood education "stint" in the school house consisted of rote memorization of the alphabet,multiplication tables, rules of grammar, and Scripture passages. Mostly, Lincoln was a self learner. He had a desire to read and learn.He found books where ever he could. I can relate with the desire to read and then write down the passages that were memorize the lines of certain books or stories. I learned that Abraham Lincoln also not only read, but liked to read aloud. When asked about this he replied, "when I read aloud my two senses catch the idea. First, I see what I am reading, and secondly, I hear it read, and I can thus remember what I read the better." (Seems to me, as a school teacher myself, that he was on to something far before it became the norm to use a multi-sensory approach to learning.)
The few books he could get his hands on were not trivial. He read The Bible, Shakespeare's plays, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, Aesop's Fables, the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Weem's Life of Washington. Elton Trueblood, in his work on the spiritual life of Lincoln wrote, "Thereby, the lack of formal education was partly balanced by ...the habitual vision of greatness."
Abraham Lincoln was an amazing man, and as we all know has graced history as one of our country's most beloved presidents. This February, on President's Day, take a few minutes to think about Mr. Lincoln. Or better yet, read a good book in honor of him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

U.S.A headed towards Socialism?

This is an excellent article.

U.S. economy predicted to collapse under socialism
Pete Chagnon - OneNewsNow - 1/26/2009 7:00:00 AMBookmark and Share

downward trend U.K. official says his predictions of economic collapse are coming to pass.

The Telegraph is reporting that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, agrees. He says the Labor Party's continual borrowing for social programs is to blame.

"Every Labor government there has ever been from 1926 to the present day has always ended in exactly the same way because they essentially try to run a communist financial system," he contends, "and it doesn't work any better here than it worked in the Soviet Union."

He adds that hope does not trump experience. "We have politicians who simply haven't had enough experience in the real world before going into politics to know how things run, to know how many beans make five," Monckton notes.

Monckton says U.K. markets are starting to realize that tax revenue is collapsing, which in turn makes investment in debt undesirable.

"So you've got government revenues collapsing and government expenditures rocketing because not only do they have to pay the cost of unemployment and other very lavish benefits for people who are no longer employed," he points out, "they're also having to pay eye-wateringly large sums to bail out the banks whom overspending and over-regulation drove under."

He believes the U.S. is poised for the same collapse should they hold fast to a doctrine of socialism.

"She is a large, and for the time being, a relatively prosperous nation, and I think that the likelihood I'm afraid is that Obama is going to change that for the worse. He has all the kindliness intentions I have no doubt; the left usually do," he adds. "They would love to have motherhood and apple pie, as would we all. But they are so busy working out how to distribute the apple pie, that they never think about the people who are going to have to roll up their sleeves and bake it. And that's the difficulty with socialism. It is all about redistribution and not about generation of wealth."

Christopher Monckton says both the U.K. and the U.S. need to return to Margaret Thatcher's "handbag economics," or living within a person's means.

"What it meant was that you always knew you had enough to buy your baked beans because you were careful with your money," he concludes. "And if the government is careful with the people's money, then the people can prosper."

Going After Rush

What's with the prez going after Rush? Those of us that are fans of Rush know that he wants him off the air because he speaks the truth...which is more then I can say for "the one". For all Obama's pre-election promises and warm fuzzies it is becoming all too obvious that Mr. Obama is going far left. Those of us that are true conservatives can only look on in horror at what will happen of our beloved country. This, my friends, is going to be a long, bumpy ride down a road marked by huge pot holes of extreme leftist mumbo jumbo.
The radical pro-abortion agenda of Barack Obama is in high gear.

For example, Obama and the Democrats have included "hundreds of
millions" for birth control and family planning in the economic
stimulus package.

How is birth control an economic stimulus? According to Nancy Pelosi,
babies are costly! Here's the quote:

"Family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost.
The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of
what we do for children's health, education and some of
those elements are to help the states meet their financial
needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned,
the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the
federal government."

Also, on Friday Obama revoked the Reagan-era policy that prevented our
tax dollars from funding abortions overseas.

That means, in less than a week, Obama has moved to force taxpayers to
fund overseas abortions AND stuff his "stimulus" package with a
massive expansion of the Left's anti-life agenda!

Mileage Tax???

What in the world? I guess the government thought that the gas tax wasn't enough....did they think they were missing out on some money somewhere? So now several states are trying out this mileage tax. Some sort of gizmo on the car to show how many miles a person has traveled...then tax them for their travel. I guess everyone will just be staying home.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best Small Towns

I just received my latest edition of Southern Living magazine. There is an article about the best small towns in the south. You know I have a sweet spot for the south since I've spent the past 22 years of my life here in Tennessee. Yes, when I first was "transplanted" I was considered "a yankee". I could live with that...and after awhile I became one of them. Living in the Tennessee Valley, in the eastern part of the state, in the foothills of the Great Smoky's beautiful here that is for sure. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN. are considered a primo family destination. All that fun right in my own backyard!
One of the best small towns in the south is right over the mountains from here...Blowing Rock, N.C. I've always wanted to go there and visit. I've heard great things from my friends. Rumour has it that it is also the the town that Jan Karon's Mitford Series is set in. (One of my all time favorite series and one that I highly recommend!) Now, I've been to Savannah, Georgia and I've been to Mrytle Beach, South Carolina but I really want to go to Charleston. Southern Living says that Charleston is one of the top five cities for a weekend getaway. I love history so I think that would be an extremely fun trip.
Those of you that keep up with my blog know that several days back I did a series on my "Bucket List". One of the things I want to do before I (some day) kick the bucket is to visit all 50 states. I know I have readers from all over the country and all over the world. I would love for readers, to tell me where you live and what makes your home town special. Should I visit your town in my travels? Is your town exciting and never sleeps? Is your town quiet with the best home made ice cream around? Are the buildings in your town historical and tell a story? Or do you live somewhere new and cutting edge? Seriously people....let me know! Magazines are great and travel books are inviting, but I'd love to hear what you think about your own home town. Please leave me a comment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Needing A Belly Laugh?

A friend sent these to me in an email. By the time I was done reading them, I was laughing so hard my eyes were tearing up. If you need a good laugh out loud then check these real life stories out...

We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, 'NO, it's not.' Four is larger than two..'

We haven't used Sears repair since.
My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, 'you gave me too much money.' I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back.' She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said 'We're sorry but they could not do that kind of thing.' The clerk then proceeded to give me back$1 and 75 cents in change.

Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.

I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'
>From Kingman , KS .

My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.' He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.
From Kansas City

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?' To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.'
Happened in Birmingham , Ala.

The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!'
She was a probation officer in Wichita , KS

At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker. She was leaving the company due to 'downsizing.' Our manager commented cheerfully, 'This is fun. We should do this more often.' Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.

I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriffs office, no less.

When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the drivers side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. 'Hey,' I announced to the technician, 'it's open!' His reply, 'I know. I already got that side.'
This was at the Ford dealership in Canton , Mississippi

They walk among us... and the scary part is that they VOTE and they REPRODUCE !!

Stick It In The Microwave

Sorry that I haven't blogged in several days. When I'm up here in Ohio my schedule is all messed up and blogging is not at the top of my list. (Staying warm, working at the house site, and trying to sleep are top priorities)
Speaking of staying warm....I read something on a mom site about just that thing. You can imagine that I took time to read it! This mom suggested buying some tube socks and uncooked rice. Pour the uncooked rice into the tube sock until it is fairly full, then knot the top of the sock. Pop the rice filled sock in the microwave for a couple of minutes (depending on the microwave) and Wa La! one has a nice little "heater" to put under the bed covers to warm the feet. It wasn't very expensive and now at least the kids and Scott and I can have toasty toes. These will also be good to use for an achy back, a sore neck, or to be used like a heating pad. These are just as good, and a lot less expensive then the similar ones that can be found at the store.
I guess that is it for now...hopefully, I'll be able to find some time tomorrow for blogging. I miss it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Santa Claus Dinged My Car

You just never know who you might run across....At the bank this afternoon there was an older gentleman in the line next to me that was the spittin' image of Santa Claus. I would not kid about such a thing. My theory is that after the whole Christmas rush he takes a couple of months off and heads to warmer climates. He must have picked Tennessee this year. Maybe he will visit the Great Smoky Mountains national park, or go to many of the country shows in Pigeon Forge. Unfortunately for him, Dollywood is closed for the season, or he could have enjoyed the roller coasters and water rides, maybe even got to see Dolly Parton herself!
After our transactions we both walked out to our vehicles. Now, Santa parked right beside me (much too close) and when he went to get in his mini van he whacked my passenger door and mirror with his door. I was not pleased. Santa wouldn't look at me. Maybe he was embarrassed by his little blunder. I guess I'll cut him some slack this time and not stay mad at him, after all he's probably not used to driving anything but a sleigh.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This morning I have been working on some calligraphy (Calligraphy is derived from the Greek words “kallos” or beauty and “graphe”, which obviously means writing.) . I've been practicing my writing. I have had this hobby on and off for years but just recently have become more involved with it. Calligraphy is beautiful. There is just something about forming the letters with the swirls and curly cues that make it almost an art form. This particular hobby is a lesson in patience. Seriously. For it to be right, one has to work at it.
One video I watched had a lady showing various calligraphy styles. She briefly discussed how monks would work in scriptoriums, patiently and painstakingly writing scripts. It got me to thinking that hundreds of years ago the common man didn't know how to write. Only the elite were able to write. Before the printing press everything had to either be communicated orally or be handwritten....and many people didn't know how to read so the text needed to be read to them. In this day and time with all the communication media that we have, it is hard for me to even imagine what it must have been like.
I love to read. Words. I love to blog and write. Words. I have calligraphy as a hobby. Words. Are you seeing the theme? You think I might have a love of words? Hmmmm......

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

He Doesn't Know Jack!

Now, as many of you know I am a HUGE fan of the political drama, 24. Not only is it the fastest paced show on TV...Jack (actor Keifer Sutherland) is, in my opinion, very easy on the eyes. That aside, he can also kick some serious tail and save the world in less then 24 hours. I mean come on...who doesn't love that?
In November (in a 2 hr. movie, Redemption, that bridged the gap between Season 6 and Season 7) Jack was dragged back to the US from a stint, working with aide workers in Africa at the start of a regional civil war. This new season finds Jack sitting in front of the Senate sub-committee being asked about his having tortured self proclaimed and unrepentant terrorists in order to get needed information. The smug faced senator claims Jack broke the law of the Geneva Convention and wants Jack to admit he is sorry for what he did. He wants him to admit he was wrong. Jack sums it all up and says (in my paraphrase) "Look, we had captured terrorists they knew information that would help us to stop another attack on many innocent civilians. Are you asking me if I'm sorry? No, I'm not. You ask the people whose lives we saved if I am guilty of something wrong."
This scene has caused quite a stir. I've watched several different (real) news shows discussing this scene. They say that the writer of 24 (who I understand is a conservative) is writing in fiction what a lot of people believe in reality.
Should known (and self proclaimed) terrorist-killers have the same rights as everyone else? Militant terrorists that want America dead? Who see us as infidels that deserve no mercy? That cheer in the streets when our people die for no other reason except they happened to be on an airplane the morning of September 11, 2001? Terrorism is becoming worse all over the world, just turn on the news any day of the week and see. Our military men and women blown up on ships (USS Cole on Oct.12,2000), Embassies in several countries blown to bits, restaurants and hotels in foreign lands targeted because of their "westerner" guests (Mumbai, India 2008). Even today I read a blog that showed people in Iran burning Barak Obama's image on a flag. So much for peace with the new administration. They are not feeling the love.
So, what is your opinion? Should terrorists be treated differently in order to save innocent lives? Speak out. Leave some comments.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Washing Machine-0 Me-1

You know how people talk about missing socks and say the washing machine ate them? Well, I read an article about that, and it is true! Socks get sucked down and go out with the water when it drains and end up where ever the waste water goes...... Well, today one of my good black trouser socks almost met its grim fate. I saw it wedged in down under the agitator thingy-ma-bobber in the washing machine. Oh no you don't! You are not stealing my sock! I managed to wrestle it free from the jaws of my Whirlpool. Of course, in the ensuing battle of tug-o-war I think I stretched my sock out of all proportion. Now, when I wear my nice black trouser socks I will have one that fits and one that is all stretched out and resembles elephant ankles. You know some days it just doesn't even pay to try......

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What's Your Alarm Clock Personality?

At my house we have alarm clock personalities. Now, you might ask what in the world is that?
Each of us is different when it comes to getting up in the morning. Each of us greets the day in our own "unique" way.

1. Mom (that would be me) I have a "Smart" clock. It sets itself through some satellite thingy...don't ask me the details...I got it at Walmart. It scared me at first because I didn't understand how, when I got it home, all I did was plug it in and it set itself to the correct time. How did it know??? A little unsettling. It is a good clock and has an excellent annoying whine when the alarm goes off. The only down side is that when the time change, changed to a week or so later then what it used to be, my smart clock didn't know it....and there is no way to fix it. So for a few weeks each year in the Fall and Spring I have to put up with the wrong time, until it catches up. This clock fits me...I always feel like I'm trying to catch up too.

2. My husband pretty much is a cell phone alarm clock person. He sets his phone and it has an annoying beep when it goes off in the morning. He usually turns it off and does not get up right away.....unless I'm already up and bring him coffee. He said the smell of coffee is better than any alarm.

3. My oldest son sleeps like the dead. I have literally jumped on top of him in the morning, yelling at the top of my lungs and shaking him and he barely moves. To say he is a heavy sleeper is an understatement. The boy could sleep through WWW III. I bought him an alarm clock recently with a propeller on top. This is how it works....When the alarm goes off the propeller shoots off across the room. The alarm will NOT go off until the propeller is found and is placed back on the clock. The hope is that the alarm is annoying enough, that my son will be forced to get out of bed to find the propeller gizmo to turn it off. This gets him up and moving around. That is the plan anyway.

4. My other son is much better about getting up. He sets his alarm and will actually get up when it goes off. He has an alarm clock that has different settings. Does he want to wake to the sound of a rooster crowing? A waterfall in the Amazon? or seagulls at the ocean? Or he could just go with the regular boring buzzer. It depends on his mood. Oh the choices!

5. Lastly, there is my daughter. She also has some trouble getting up and moving in the morning. She is bad about just turning her little alarm clock off. So....the other day I let her borrow my old fashioned alarm clock. The kind with the big bells on top with the little hammer that goes back and forth banging on them. She has to wind it up every night and set the alarm. She sets it on the dresser away from her bed so she is forced to get up. The clock is loud enough to wake the dead. I'm not kidding. I'm sure there are some residents of the cemetery down the road that are curious what that noise is around 8:30 each morning that disturbs their eternal rest.

Oh, the fun of getting up in the morning!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Bucket List--Part 3

Well, it was definitely a lot harder then I thought to come up with things for my bucket list.
I am sure this list will change over time but for now here are things that I really want to accomplish before I "kick the bucket".

1. Complete journals for each of the children. ( I've kept a journal for Kendrick since I was 5 months pregnant. I plan on giving him his journal when he turns 21.) I am keeping a journal for Bradley and Breanna from the time that they came into my life, three years ago. The journals are full of memories and (hopefully) bits of wisdom and things that I would like them to know about me and the world in general.

2. Hand write a letter to each of my family members and friends, telling them what they mean to me. Hand written letters can be saved and reread. They are much more personal then electronic media. (Besides, after I am gone there is something about having something in my own writing that will mean something to them, I hope.)

3. Meet and befriend at least one new person a year. Learn new things from them. Make contact with old friends that I've lost touch with.

4. Volunteer. (with children, the elderly, special needs individuals) Make a positive difference.

5. Read my Bible all the way through....Begin and actually finish.

6. Write down a blessing a day. Put it somewhere I will see it.

7. Travel to all 50 states. Go down the back roads. Visit small town U.S.A. Meet people. Hear their stories. Enjoy the journey.

8. Write a book. I have so many books in my head. I need to get them on paper.

9. Paint a beautiful picture.

10. Watch all the old, classic movies. (mostly from the 40' excellent decade for movies.)

I'm going to start working on my bucket list. To all of you who read my I'm not planning on dying anytime soon. I hope I am blessed with a long and wonderful life. I hope to see my children grown, and be able to play with my grandchildren. I desire to celebrate many anniversaries with my husband. I plan on many happy memories yet to be made with family and friends.......... But it's never too late, or too soon to get started on the rest of your life.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Bucket List ---Part 2

"We can change the world inside our own houses. Take the gift of this moment and make something beautiful of it. Few worthwhile experiences just happen; memories are made on purpose."
~Gloria Gaither
*** Most of the things on my Bucket List have to do with people and relationships. You know the saying (my paraphrase), "You might only be one person in this whole world, but you are the whole world to at least one person." In other words, I will probably never be famous or glamorous or wealthy but to my friends and family and those I come in contact with, I can make a huge difference. A real difference.

"Life is an adventure or nothing at all"~ Helen Keller
*** I don't think God put us here to sit around and moan and groan about life. Life is what you make it of it. Sure, no one has a "perfect" life...whatever perfect means. And really when you think about it, would you want a perfect life? Wouldn't that be boring? I like Helen Keller's IS an adventure because we never know what is around the corner waiting for us....and that my friend gives us all a good reason to get up in the morning.:)

I will share my own Bucket List in Part 3.

My Bucket List --Part 1

Most people like to believe that they will live a long life....that there will be more good times then bad....that they will accomplish positive things and that they will leave this life peacefully. Sometimes that happens and sometimes not. No one knows for sure...and that is what makes life, and death for that matter, so scary. Even though I am a Christian and know I will be in the presence of the Lord when I die, the "not knowing" the details of that can be unsettling.
Most of us, and I am no exception, go through life thinking that we will have many tomorrows to work on our projects, to write the letter that needs to be written, to say the words that need to be said, to travel and see the sights, to hold a hand, or to help someone. I know for me, there are times when I've held back and not done things I would have liked to have done because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of what others would think of me, fear of the unknown. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize more that fear is normal and it can be overcome if I just step out of my comfort zone once in a while.
We think we will watch our children grow up, enjoy our retirement and live until we see a head of white hair, and deeply etched wrinkles when we look in the mirror. But alas, time is a gift, and not everyone has the gift of a long life....but everyone CAN have the gift of a life well lived whether that is a few hours on this Earth or whether it is celebrating a centennial birthday.
Now I can only speak for bucket list will be different from others for sure. The things that are important to me might not be as important to others. That is okay. Each of us has but one life to live, and God has put us here, at this time, for a purpose. Each life counts. No one is forgotten.

Tomorrow I will write Part 2 of My Bucket List.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Bucket List

I have not seen the movie yet, but I've heard the gist of what the movie is about. It got me to thinking about my own "bucket list". What things do I want to accomplish before I kick the bucket?
While pondering this I came across an article that I will link. I think I'm going to do a three part series on my bucket list. I'm going to think about it and get back with you, my bloggy friends tomorrow.

Pictures of Israel

I was upset that the other video of the TRUTH of what is being done to the Israeli people was taken down because it was too graphic. (from my blog a couple of days ago) The truth is the media is NOT showing what is really going on. News programs are questioning whether Israel is doing the right thing....
Look at these pictures I found....look at the faces of these people....look at the picture of the child's shoe, look at the destruction....Is Israel doing the wrong thing? NO!
I am not Jewish, nor am I Israeli. I am a Christian and I live in America, but I stand behind Israel. Israel is being terrorized while the world stands by and watches.

I hope this works--just paste the address.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

I know a lot of people don't have any idea what this law is...I didn't find out about it myself until fairly recently. What was probably meant to keep our young children safe, has turned into a very poorly written law that will have a serious impact on all of us who buy (or sell) anything for children under the age of 12.

An online business that I have bought some wonderful products from will have to close at the end of this month...before the law goes into affect on February 10, 2009. The home school group I belong too will be affected because they will no longer be able to sell used curriculum. Used book stores will be affected, as will thrift or consignment shops. Anyone that sells anything for young children will be required to have all their products checked for safety...these safety checks (allowing products to be "certified") will cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Only large companies will be able to afford that! Small second hand or home businesses will be forced to go out of business.

You can read all about it from my friend Rebekah at Hope Chest Legacy.

Hope Chest Legacy

January 2008
It is with a very heavy heart that I write the following:

There may be several of you who have heard of the new law taking affect on February 10, 2009. This law was created due to the many problems Chinese made toys and children's items created in 2007 - they call that year the "Year of the Recall."

This law may have been intentioned to protect American children from lead and high PCB levels, but what it will actually do is cause havoc in American homes and in our economy. It is a VERY badly written law, vague and open ended in many ways. Although written with China made products in mind, it is open for ANY item sold in the USA regardless of where the item was manufacturered.

This law requires that ANY item that comes in contact with a child who is 12 years old and under, to be tested at a government approved testing facility and have a 'certification' placed on the item. Sounds simple enough, but the fallout is much more intense.

The cost of having a single wood block tested is $150. To have a wooden baby's teething rattle tested would be $4000. Even books, DVDs, clothing, handmade toys or blankets, children's clothing, the bags items are packed in and sold in, etc come under this new law. ANYTHING that comes into contact with a child under 12 years of age is required to be tested and certified.

I personally believe there is a hidden agenda in place, but pinning that down is impossible.

For Hope Chest Legacy, EVERY single book title, every type of sewing kit, child's toy, etc would need to be tested at $4000 or more per test, per item. Any time anything is altered or a new brand used (like exchanging DMC embroidery floss for Coats & Clark floss), etc in an item that has already been approved, it needs to be retested, recertified and I need to pay for it all over again.

Several have mentioned simply increasing the age level for our items, but that has multiple areas to get snagged in. First, it is fairly simple by reading our books that they are written for young children (Grandmother's Hope Chest series especially) and the kits would be as well. The other books could easily be used with, or handled by, children under 12 if they were purchased for home use. So legally, I would still need to be certified. But also, I could not morally lie and change all the age levels to 13 and up because I KNOW what age I wrote these for, and so does the Lord. I can't hide from Him, even if I can outsmart the government. So changing the age level won't work.

There have been no amendments presented to change this new law. Businesses all over the USA will close because of this new law. Selling used curriculum, children's books, children's clothing items, strollers, car seats, children's toys, etc will need to cease in the USA. Ebay,, thrift stores, boutiques, families who make items to resell from home, all of these businesses and companies will no longer be able to sell items unless the item has a certification. Goodwill was interviewed about this new law and they said they are not worried, if they need to stop selling infant and children's items they will - it only adds up to about 10% of their sales (in other words, they are not fighting against this law either and will simply stop selling items that could get them in trouble.)

If someone is caught selling an item without the item being certified, it is a 2 year prison sentance plus a $100,000 fine.

Many people have not heard about this new law yet. Those who have are either worried, or sceptical that this will happen and how it will be enforced. The truth is the law has already been passed in Congress last August. It goes into effect Feb 10th. It is already a law...

Because big business is able to afford the testing, they are not worried. Also, they will bring in more sales when smaller companies are no longer in business, so this is actually good news to them. Less competition, more income for them.

The homeschool community may come to a virtual standstill. ALL homeschool based companies are considered small (many are family run - even the big ones are not as 'big' as most in the business world), and will not be able to afford the testing - and they will not be able to sell the items they have in stock in order to reprint on certified paper. Families will not be able to buy or sell used curriculum because it has not been certified. I have no doubt the homeschool community will find a way around all this, including more downloadable items or 'teachers manuals' with reproducible workbook pages, etc.

One of the problems that is already being seen, is that in order to be 'certified' the cost of the items being sold will be increased dramatically. The leading German company that produces wooden toys and sells a large number in the USA has already closed down all sales here as of Dec 31, 08. They said they would need to increase their prices by 50% (!!!) in order to continue selling their items with certificates in place, and that would cause the product price to be so high it would be out of the market range and customers would not purchase the toys.

The same holds true for companies here in the USA. The cost of books printed on certified paper will increase - which means higher costs for customers in an already stretched economy. Even if Hope Chest Legacy could afford to print on certified paper (which at this point we can't), we could not afford to have each of our kits tested and certified - and retested and certified if we had to switch brands or exchange items in the kits for something similar.

We are, as MANY others are in the USA right now, praying and hoping an amendment can be added to this new law that would allow items made in the USA to be free from testing. So far, the only amendment we have heard of has fizzled out and there are no others forthcoming.

What does this mean? It means that Hope Chest Legacy will be closing - simply putting this in writing is extremely difficult for me and a very emotional situation to be facing (as well as financial for my family). We will remain open until January 31 before making the final decision to close - but at this point, we will not have a choice.

If you have ever wanted to purchase any of our items, NOW is the time. Once this law goes into affect, our books will never be able to be sold new or used either online or in your local areas. The Consignment Items we offer will also be stopped.

We are hoping and praying something happens and soon, but so far all is very quiet. I am praying about whether to continue with Hope Chest Legacy solely with online downloads (I would love feedback from our customers on whether this would be something you would support). I won't have a decision any time soon. Our website will continue to be an online presence but I am not sure what we can offer other than downloadable products.

I do not walk in a spirit of fear, nor in a spirit of panic or hysteria - I am calm, practical and level-headed. But I have researched this new law, I have joined in discussions, I have called my state representatives, I have called the Consumer Product Safety agency, and I will continue to monitor all this very carefully...and make that final decision on January 31.

I will update with any additional information I find. But for now, Hope Chest Legacy will close January 31 if nothing changes, although we may possibly continue with downloadable items after that date. We will see as the time draws nigh.

This is not just about our company either - it is about ANY company or business in the USA that sells items geared for children 12 and under - or whose items may have contact with children 12 and under. MANY families will be affected by this law, both in not having income by making and selling products from home - or from the higher cost of purchasing items that have been forced to be 'certified'. So this also affects YOU too. YOU will be paying much more for items you purchase for your children and home.

Let us join together in prayer that God could bring people into positions to create changes or alter this new law!!!


Rebekah Wilson
Hope Chest Legacy

Today, I'm.....

FOR TODAY--January 6,2009
Outside my window….. there is snow on the ground and it is cold!
I am thinking… that I hope the kids are quiet tonight...I have a headache.
I am thankful for… my husband, he is a good man.
From the learning rooms…it is touch and go.
From the kitchen…unfortunately not a was microwave meals today.
I am wearing… thick socks, long johns, pants, a t-shirt, a hooded sweater, a flannel shirt and a scarf around my neck...and yes, I'm STILL cold!
I am creating...memories.
I am going…to sit right here and surf the internet while I watch House on cable.
I am reading…nothing right now, unless you count the booklet we got from our new Satellite provider. (checking out new channels you know)
I am hoping…that we get into our new house in the next 2 months. I'm tired of living "in limbo". It is very draining.
I am hearing….the heater in the apartment running and the TV.
Around the house…(which right now is the apt. in Ohio) is a mess. 5 people in a 2 room apt. is chaos.
One of my favorite things… currently that would be sleeping....which I don't get enough of.
A few plans for the rest of the week: traveling back to TN. tomorrow, my son's orthodontist appt., going to Walmart, watching the new 24 season on FOX.

From the Simple Woman’s Daybook—–

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pray for Israel

As Christians we should pray for Israel and her people. This video is extremely graphic. I'm adding this to my blog because I think it is important for people to know WHY Israel is fighting back. If even one missile hit the USA we would be at war in a minute...yet Israel was long suffering. Until now. This TERRORISM happens to Israel on a weekly basis. The main stream media does not show this footage on the nightly news....but people need to see this. Pray.

Update: Evidently my link is not working this morning. It has been removed or deleted one. Very frustrating because it was video that needed to be seen. I will try and find it again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Things I've Learned...

There are things that I've learned in this house building process..... I feel compelled to share my vast knowledge of building our house. (those of you that know me, know what a joke that actually is!)
My top 10 list of things I've learned
1. One will never finish on time...or at least the time YOU thought you'd be in the house. (I went from optimism in the beginning...then nervousness about when we'd actually be IN, to finally, "well, we'll get in sometime this year, right? Right? RIGHT???!!!!)
2.Building a house in the winter is cold. A house with no heat is no fun. (I am forced to jog around the inside of the house to keep warm)...and when my husband says, "It's not that cold", I want to smack him.
3.It does not matter how much "cleaning up" one does. Dust is your friend when building. Embrace it.
4.One tends to get excited over the smallest things. "We have a door knob! It's the most beautiful door knob I've ever seen!" I now appreciate the small things.
5.I found out that toilets can be very interesting. ( I might be lying) But I have done research on whether or not a toilet is a "10" or an "8". We are going for the 10. After all I am all about a good flush. Non of these mamby pamby energy saving toilets for me.
6. Staining doors at 30 degrees in an unheated house is not optimum, but one learns to deal with it and just go with the flow....or in the case of cold stain...No flow. (Yes, I learned that the hard way.)
7. Buying a warm, furry ear flap hat is a MUST. I don't care if I look like a Russian diva in my furry hat. My ears are warm!
8. Building a house allows one to make friends. We've gotten to know all the people working on our house. They might find us strange...but I think we've kind of grown on them. I'm going with that.
9. Building a house together makes ones marriage stronger....because no one else understands the ups and downs of bank draws, trips to Home Depot, and the beauty of a job well done like the two of you that are going through it TOGETHER.
10. God has blessed us more then we deserve and for that we are unbelievably thankful.