Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring: Part 2

I don't know how I missed it, since the You Capture theme was (nearly) the first thing I thought of as I snapped these photos, but I completely forgot about this when I posted my Spring photos. (So if you came by way of the You Capture blog carnival, please let me direct you to my official post here.)

This little guy bird ended up on our front porch last week after falling from the nest. (Ouch!)

Oh, excuse me. Grace always reminds me that this little guy is actually a girl.

Josiah and Grace worried over her until I gently scooped her up with a rag and placed her back in her nest where she belonged.

I assured the kids that the mommy bird would come right back and started feeding her baby again.

And then I hoped that the mommy bird would return. I kept hearing the baby calling out from the nest, but didn't see the mommy bird for the longest time.

But she did come back. I finally caught the mommy bird feeding her little one as I watched the nest from the kitchen window. And the baby bird is growing quickly, just as she should.


On a related note, how much of a homebody do you have to be for a bird to build a nest in the wreath on your front door? This is what we found last May. We, of course, added a bird of our own briefly before removing the nest.

Well, at least he's developing study skills

My oldest son (age 12) has found that typing a summary of a section in his science book helps him prepare for an upcoming quiz or test. I happened to read the first paragraph in his latest typed pages:

The human circulatory system transports nutrients and other vital chemicals around the body. It also picks up wastes, such as science books much like this one, to be expelled from the body.

He used to title his science notes files as "Boring Science Stuff," and now it is simply "Module 14" or whatever section he is currently studying. That's an improvement, right?

I think I'd better print and frame this post by my friend Dawn that I ran across today. My favorite quote from her article? “God has a plan for your child and you won’t mess it up.” I'm holding onto that...

You Capture: Spring


This week's photography theme for You Capture is Spring...which, around here, brings to mind pollen.

But let's not talk about that.

It also brings to mind baseball...

Josiah in the batting cage

Josiah at 3rd base. He made his team's only run in during last night's game! I told Jason the score was "only 9 to 1"...he laughed and said I was such a Mom. ;)

Gorgeous sunsets...

Sunset at the ball park

And flowers.

My newly updated $2 wreath...$2 worth of flowers, and a handmade wreath I made years ago from branches off a bush. (I won't do it again, so don't ask!) It may not be fancy, but I like it. :)

Grace was tickled to get the leftover flowers to put in her very own vase.

Visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry to check out other You Capture entries!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Overheard: Flashbacks

Sometime before Christmas last year, Grace (age 3) made an announcement out of the blue to Jason and me...

Grace: You two are on the naughty list 'cause y'all spank me!

Jason: Daddy doesn't spank you.

Apparently Jason was afraid of remaining on the naughty list. ;)


During the month of December last year, Grace began asking me what I would like for Christmas. I always replied, "obedient children." Then Josiah (my 7 year old) asked me the same question one day...

Josiah: Mom, what do you want for Christmas?

Me [without skipping a beat]: Obedient children.

Josiah [pausing, and then turning to Grace]: Hey, Grace--can we wrap you up?

I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that one...


Today Grace (now 4 years old) again asked me her question:

Grace: What do you want for Christmas, Mommy? And ya can't say "obedient children"!

That was my request anyway, but she protested.

Me: OK, children who show that they love each other by doing nice things.

Grace sighed, exasperated, then immediately brightened up.

Grace: I have 100 children who do that. How many do you want?

Me: Just named Robert, one named Josiah, and one named Grace.

Grace: OK! You can have three.

My question is, do I have to wait until Christmas?


I showed Grace the huge piece of paper and crayons I had placed on the kitchen floor for her...

Grace [in a matter-of-fact way]: It's to keep me busy while you do school with Josiah, isn't it?

She was also suspicious of her infant swing at a very young age. She knew she was being "parked" there to keep her occupied.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Overheard: What I Learned This Week

I'm joining Julie at From Inmates to Playdates for What I Learned This Week, which I haven't participated in in a while...not because I haven't been learning anything, but because I've busy learning how to set up and facilitate a Facebook group for our women's ministry, and then having guilt over not posting frequently to it to keep the chatter momentum going. And it's only been up for less than a week now...

I think I have a lot more guilt in my future.
But on with what (else) I learned this week.


There is
a song in a ministry video Jason found that the kids have loved to see over and over...and over...again that is to the tune of the "Boom de yada" song. It's called "I Love My Church," and Josiah and Grace have been singing the words they've memorized (or almost memorized) for days now. Grace still occasionally forgets the words:

Josiah [correcting Grace's misunderstanding of the lyrics]: No, Grace. It's "I'm part of something big." Ya see, it's a big church and if you mess up, everybody's gonna know about it.

Well, I really wish I hadn't learned that.


I learned that Grace will eat bats. Not that she has actually eaten bats, but she's not against the idea. Jason gave me a case of dark chocolate bars (with cacao "nibs") that he bought online, and they have a photo of a beady-eyed bat on the wrapper because the sale of the chocolate bars support endangered species. We've been calling them bat chocolate, because...well, why not? These are actual conversations I've had with Grace about the bat chocolate, who has been made to believe thinks these bars have a bat on the wrapper because that's what they're made with:

Me [gesturing to the bat on the wrapper]: Isn't this a cute bat, Grace?

Grace [ever mindful of the importance of tact, and not wanting to be rude and say that the bat is ugly and has beady eyes like her mother will]:'s a yummy bat.

Me [slightly shocked but laughing]: Doesn't it bother you that you're eating a bat?

Grace [coolly]: No, it doesn't matter to me.



I learned that Robert will still draw humorous additions to his school work...The question was "Which continent does the North Sea touch?"


I learned that if you eat dark chocolate and then soon after that eat a lemon Starburst, you will have a taste like lemon-scented cleaner in your mouth. It's going to be a while before I can eat lemon Starbursts again...


On Sunday, as some ladies were setting up tables and tablecloths in preparation for a bridal shower, they noticed stains on the white tablecloths. Our friend Steve said that what they needed to do was to spread flower petals or something else on the table; this would create "texture" and draw the eyes away from the flaws on the tablecloths.

So that's what I'm calling the clutter in my house now: texture.

And that's what I learned this week. Click over to see what others have learned this week, too!

If you are on Facebook, be sure to read what I've written about what I've learned (so far), especially if you use the "Friends of Friends" privacy setting. I also tell how you can easily clean up your home page by "hiding" the apps like Farmville, etc.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


This is the song that 4 year old Grace has been walking around singing these days: "Come, Jesus, Come. Come quickly. Come quickly." Break Open the Sky is from Toby Mac's new CD, Tonight. Let me know what you think of it! (Click here if you can't see the video within this post.)

From the lips of desperation
Different nations, every man's cry
Comes a song of anticipation
As we wait for a crack in the sky
Side by side, we recognize that
Hope has brought us together tonight
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Break open the sky
Won't You turn off gravity so we can fly?
We wanna see Your face
So tear the roof off this place
Jesus, break open the sky

So we sing
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

We believe, and we imagine
'Til the dawn of our beautiful dream
Through the noise I hear the voices
Melodies that are flooding our streets
Not forgotten are your people
So let a thousand church bells ring
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Come, Jesus, come
Come quickly
Come quickly

Break open, open the sky.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You Capture: Fresh


This week's theme for the You Capture blog carnival is Fresh.

We have a fresh layer of pollen around here after record highs last week and then a good rain. This photo was taken last week on the day with the highest pollen count, and the yellow haze of pollen dominates the photo...the count was over 5700. (Click here if you don't believe me.) Today the pollen count is "only" 1470.

But moving on to better things...Here is Josiah in his fresh baseball uniform heading off to his first game of the season yesterday.! (Really...couldn't they come up with another team than that for a bunch of 7 year olds?!?!)

Visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry to check out other You Capture entries!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Overheard: Van Love

A conversation as we returned from looking at a minivan...

Josiah [looking out the car window and contemplating my many allergies ]: Mom, you should live in Saudi Arabia! There's not much grass and trees there.

Grace [truly horrified and more than a little tearful]: NO! I don't want you to go to Saubi Arabia!

Josiah [in his matter-of-fact, big-brother-explains-it-all voice]: We weren't really gonna send Mom there--I was just sayin' that 'cause she has allergies.


After we bought our new van, Josiah rode with Jason. He talked non-stop, and as I drove behind them I could see his arms going up and out as he checked out everything he could reach from the back seat. He didn't stop talking once he got out of the van, either...

Josiah: This is the BEST DAY EVER!! I got to play outside all day long, we got a van, and we ate at Stevi B's for supper!!

This is the same kid who, when he was about 3 years old, said, "Yay! Water!" when the waiter brought him the water we had ordered for him. If you guessed he has had a number of "BEST DAYS EVER," you are correct. ;)


The next morning, Josiah got an early start to the continuous van talk. This is what he said before he even said, "Good morning" to me:

Josiah: We have room for TWO MORE KIDS now...Hey, Mom! We could have twins!

And this was followed immediately by:

Josiah: What kind of car do people have if they have TEN kids? [He doesn't even a pause for anyone to answer, and continues, with total sincerity] I'm thinkin' a limo.

Robert apparently overheard this one-sided conversation and, as he came into our room to join everyone piled on mom and dad's bed, he said,
"No twins."


Isn't she lovely?

Her name is Bill, which comes from the combination of letters on the tag. And, yes, I know you're supposed to name vehicles with women's names, and this qualifies: My paternal grandmother was the youngest of 8 children, and her daddy really wanted the last child to be a he nicknamed her "Bill." The nickname stuck--I can't remember a time my grandfather ever called her anything but Bill. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

What I learned about Facebook

I mentioned going to a web-based communications class in Duluth where I took photos of fabulous murals. The class topic was focused on using the various online communication tools in ministry. One of the communications tools talked about was Facebook. This was particularly of interest to me, since I have grand plans of (eventually, but hopefully soon) using Facebook as a means of communicating with our wonderful group of nursery volunteers as well as our ladies' ministry, since a good many of us are on Facebook and I am trying (trying) to be more active there.

With the Facebook portion of the class, there were the more obvious-if-you-think-about-it things, like leaving political views and affiliations vague at best on your profile page and being careful about what you post in regards to such things if you are a public face for a ministry. It was also suggested that you never post your phone number or address on your profile page for security reasons. The reason behind this is the "Friends of Friends" privacy setting.

Assuming that each of the following people have the "Friends of Friends" setting in place, suppose I am friends with Jane. I can click on any of her friends and see their profiles, wall, and photos; let's say I click to find out about Jane's friend Sara. While I'm on Sara's page, I click on her friend Tina, and then Tina's friend Barbara, etc. I don't know anyone except Jane, yet I can see all of these other people's profiles, wall posts, photos, and comments by all of their friends, all with the help of the "Friends of Friends" setting. Yikes...I like my privacy. ;) I have all of my Facebook privacy settings set to "Only Friends."

Now onto photos...You can change the privacy settings on individual photos while having a global privacy setting for all photos. The example given was if your global privacy setting for photos is "Friends of Friends" or "Only Friends," you can change the setting to "Only Me" if there is a photo of your niece in one of your albums and your sister doesn't want the photo to be seen by anyone. Go to your photos, click on "Edit Photos" along the top of the photo, click on the "Edit Info" tab along the top of the photo, click on the "Privacy" drop down menu, choose "Customize," and choose "Only Me." (You can also block certain people from seeing individual photos here, too.) NOTE: I have only one photo I've uploaded to a Facebook album--all my photos are on my blog--but hopefully these steps will be the same if you have many photos.

One more note about photos...any photo in your Profile Photos cannot be made individually private. After I realized that, I deleted the photo I had uploaded as a Profile Photo of my kids (with their names and ages listed) and put it in an album. I use pseudonyms for my kids on my blog, which is totally public; I don’t want their names to be available to anyone I don’t already know on Facebook, either.

I also learned how you can "Hide" people and/or applications. I love this, and it doesn't take as long as it sounds like it will take to do it. I have hidden applications such as Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc.--things that my Facebook friends do but I have no interest in--and it has cleaned up my page tremendously! Now I can easily read the activity that I'm interested in without scrolling through Farmville updates or seeing a new high score on Bejeweled Blitz. (I'm really not picking on y'all! :) It's just not something I play, OK?) To "Hide" an application, hover on the applicable post and the little box that says "Hide" will appear; click on "Hide" and you will have the option to hide the person or the application.

You also have the option to "Hide" the person rather than the application. You can do this if, for instance, you reconnected with your long-lost friend from middle school but you have vastly different views on life now. You still want to keep in touch and don‘t want to go so far as to remove them from your list of Friends, but you don't want to see the off-color things she and her friends post on a daily basis; you can "Hide" this person and she will remain in your list of Friends, where you can send her a message anytime you'd like. For information on how to unhide people or applications, see

If you want to remove someone in your list of Friends, they will not get a notification of any kind that you did this; you will simply no longer show up in their list of Friends. To remove a Friend, go to Account, Edit Friends, click on your list of Friends, and click on the X beside the person’s name to Remove Connection.

One last thing about Facebook, and this wasn't at all part of the class but I will share it...I consider my online activity to be much like the way I consider my phone and even my front door. I don't always answer my phone just because it's ringing, and I don't always answer my door just because someone has rung the doorbell. This can really drive my kids a little nuts, but my phone is there for my convenience, and my home is my private area. In the same way, my computer is for my convenience. I am "invisible" most of the time when I am on Facebook so if I only have a couple of minutes to spend at my computer, I don't have to explain to someone that I don't have time to chat. To be invisible on Facebook, look at the lower right corner of your screen and click the "Chat" box. A small box will pop up, and from there you will click on "Options" and then "Go offline." To go back "online," all you have to do is click on the "Chat" box and you will immediately be back online and able to see who is available to chat with you.

Have you learned any tips for Facebook? Please share!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lead Me to the Cross

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' " (Mark 16:5-7 NIV)

Happy Easter, everyone!

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