the clock strikes once more

Yesterday was my birthday.  Today is PhotoOp Friday, so I figured I would photoOp my birthday.  Here it is.Homemade crusty bread….still warm.Olive Garden’s “Zuppa Toscana” soup…..homemade, AND right on!

We had ice cream for dessert (Ben & Jerry’s as a special treat!)  The kids really liked it!!  Except for Tyker, he didn’t have any.  He had the bread and LOVED it. 

The moonrise was especially pretty.  Happy Birthday to me!And my birthday present from last year, Christmas, and this year was a new camera!!  Check out the close up of the moon!  YAY! 

And this one I took a couple of days ago.  It was going to be PhotoOp Friday anyway, but I added the rest.  So now, it is a bonus!  So pretty.

Have a blessed day!



Well, I messed up again.  I noticed that I hadn’t had many views on OAF this past week with a new post and all.  Then I realized my new post was scheduled to post in Jan of 2013.  Whoops!  So, here it is.  A little late, but not as late as it could’ve been.

I learned a lesson this week.   I had a full skein of yarn.  For those to whom that phrase may be foreign…this is a skein of yarn.

Essentially, it is a LOT of string.

Our home is old.  It is also in a circle.  Puddi found this 1 lb. skein of yarn and, while she was to be tidying the living room and I was working on getting some coloring sheets for the kids off the internet upstairs, she proceeded to run the yarn around the entire “circle” about 3 or 4 times.  She was also sure to wrap it around EVERY table leg, chair leg, and doorknob in the house.  When I came down with the coloring pages, I was greeted with what looked like a GIANT spider had spun its web ALL through my ENTIRE house (living room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, bathroom, kid’s room).  It was a-w-e-f-u-l!  So, I did what any sane mom would’ve done.  I told her to pick it all up and bring it to me.  So, along she went collecting a bigger and bigger mess of tangled yarn.  When at last she arrived with it, it was ONE. BIG. TANGLE.  

I then told her we were going to untie it together.  So we began on our LONG  journey of un-knotting the yarn.  It took forrrevvvverrrr.

I started pulling out long untangled strands just to find that the knots in the ball would seem to get smaller, but tighter.  During this process, I saw a lesson.  When we come to the Father, our lives are a tangled mess.  He begins the process of pulling the threads apart and loosening the strands.  We begin to look more and more like yarn and less like tangles.  However, our knots seem to become more concentrated, and sometimes FEEL a lot tighter (read: conviction).  It takes a lifetime to completely unravel the mess that sin has made of our lives.  But, God is patient.  He keeps working on us.  Because He LOVES us.

Well, as it turns out, I asked Puddi to keep working on the yarn while I ran to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  When I came back, she had found a GOOD, SHARP pair of scissors and proceeded to chop every last bit of that yarn into bits no bigger than an inch.  I guess that just goes to show how we are not as patient as our Father who loves us.  All of that yarn ended up in the burn box.  BUT, the lesson I learned will hopefully last longer than the yarn.


I’m sorting through ideas of what to post for PhotoOp Friday.  [It’s actually Thursday.  I usually do my posts ahead of time and then schedule them to show up on Friday morning because I’ve been really bad about forgetting in the past.]  It started snowing last night and has continued to snow throughout most of the morning.  Now I’m in a pickle, because I had a photo picked….but the snow, it gets me every time.  I LOVE it.  So, I have decided on a little white treat for you this week.

Ok, so why did I misspell ‘white’?  Actually, I didn’t.  You see, Bic makes corrective fluid called Wite-Out ®. It’s great for doing its intended purpose, but when used by a 3-year-old…that could spell disaster.  Let me elaborate….

One of my sweet, darling children (which shall remain nameless to protect his or her identity) thought that it would be great fun to sneak upstairs to Daddy’s office while he was in the shower and while Mommy was packing Daddy’s lunch for work.  Here’s where the problem begins.  Upstairs is not really kid-friendly.  I mean, there are some dangerous objects (like outlets and scissors)  so the kids are NOT allowed up there by themselves.  Two of the kids went up together.  alone.  When I found them Puddi looked like this.  They had painted “make-up” on her eye…and on Ben’s wallet…and on the chair…and on the desk…and on some papers…and on the rug…and…I think you get the idea.  So, I googled “how to remove witeout ” and “from toddler” actually came up.  Ha ha. but not really ha ha.  At least I knew I wasn’t alone in this mess.  Baby oil.  cotton balls.  that’s it.  As for the other objects…they are still sporting the wite-out.

P.S. the next day, Puddi tried to paint her nails and her hat and her hair and her tummy with BLUE nail polish.  Oy vey!  I think she’s a little too artsy for her own good.


here’s a quick thought.

Genesis 3 describes the Fall of mankind.  Before the fall, humans were made to not die (or deteriorate).  The force of gravity aides in our ‘downhill spiral’ [pun intended].  It causes our bodies to start sagging.  I wonder if maybe the force of gravity was not as strong before the fall and then, because of the curse, gravity was kicked up a notch and…..we fell, literally.           bahahaha

Ok, I know, bad joke.  But….sometimes these things just come to me and I feel it isn’t right to keep it to myself.

Handy Fact #671

  • In case you’re wondering: 9.8m/s^2 is the average force of gravity on the surface of earth.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

See this.  This is a memorial on the bank of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary.  It honors the Jews that were ordered to take their shoes off before being shot into the river during WWII.  Legend has it that a few jumped just moments before being hit and were able to swim to safety on the other side.

It is also a very personal memorial for me.  A jumping point in my life.  Do you see the protrusion of concrete at the end of the memorial?  Early in July of 2005 I sat there with my feet dangling over the edge.  My mind was in a swirl trying to figure out what I would actually do once I got back home. 

It was the summer before my senior year in college.  So many questions plagued me.  Would I go back to Missouri and finish my undergrad and move onto med school?  Would I go to Illinois State and get my teaching degree.  What would I do?  As I sat there wrestling with what I thought might be best for me and my future, my good friend asked me a question.  It was meant to cut the tension, but it did so much more.  “Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?  Do you want to be a doctor?  Do you want to teach science?  What exactly do you WANT to be?” 

Seriously? What do I want to be when I grow up?  I’m 21.  I am grown up.  And then, I started to try to answer the question. 

Well, I kind of have to be a doctor.  Why?  Because that’s what I told everyone I wanted to be.   Ok, so is it true….still?  No, not really.  Alright, then med school should probably be out.  What about teaching?   Well, I guess that’s my only other choice.  Why?  What else can I do with 3 years of science?  And…..I do like kids.  So then, you WANT to teach?   Yeah, I guess.  What is it that you would do if you didn’t have to make money and be paid?  Promise not to tell anyone?   Yeah.  I’d be a wife.  and a mom.  Then why don’t you?  What???  I can’t just run around with a sign that says “I’m single, you free?”.  That would be weird, to say the least.  So find a husband.

Wow, that was profound.  I hated my friend that day.  Life was so straight forward for that friend. 

I had always had this belief that I had to be something.  My dream of being a stay at home mom had to take a backseat.  Sometime in my early childhood I began to think that “wife and mom” wasn’t a worthy title.  I had to make something of myself before I could do what I really wanted.

When asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” I jumped from Olympic figure skater (which didn’t work out for obvious reasons) to veterinarian to missionary doctor to midwife to teacher to U.S. Army.  Even through all the different jobs I wanted to hold, I would always come back to “after I do that I am going to have a family.”

That day in Hungary made me wonder if it were possible to just have a family and NOT have to have a career too.  The thought was embarrassing.  BUT, if only it could possible be true…  I took the leap.  I went ahead and went to school for teaching, but only as a backup.  Just in case I didn’t find a husband. 

Just a few weeks later, I completely surrendered my life to Christ.  Little did I know that He would be able to take that surrender and use it to lead me to a man who loved God and me (and was cute too!)  And also lead me to my dream job.  Ben and I were married within a year of that day.  I also got to teach at a Christian school until our first child was born.

Even though I was already grown and had already put several years towards a particular career, that question changed my mindset and my life.  It is never too late to ask yourself: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  You may just surprise yourself with the answer.