Friday, January 30, 2009
So anyway, I had her in my lap and was gazing into her precious face trying to apologize for having her cut open when I noticed that her face is not symmetrical.
Her whiskers on the right side of her face are shorter than the ones on the left side. Hmmm...this is odd.
Then I notice that the ends of her shorter whiskers are slightly curled and feel a little, well, crunchy. Why, I said out loud, her whiskers look singed!!! What did they do to you at the vet?!
Then my 8-year-old says, "Um, yeah, about that...I meant to tell you."
She continues, "Yeah, the other day when Emma was here, Tess fell in the fire."
OK. Deep breath. Count to 10.
Using my concerned, but reasonable voice:
A) Why are you and Emma playing with fire?
B) How does a dog just FALL into a fire?
C) You didn't think this was something relevant that I needed to know?!
We still haven't figured out the answers to A and B but I'm pretty sure we have come to an understanding for future reference on C.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ever have one of those days when something happens that on the one hand could be a good, on the other hand might be bad, but at the very least things will be different and you're not really sure how you feel about it?
I'm not normally indecisive. Unless someone asks me where I want to go eat.
But this one has me stumped. I don't even know how I feel about it much less what I should do. But doing nothing is not an option. My gut isn't telling me anything on this one. Huh.
And what I decide, one way or the other, could/will directly impact the lives of some people around me.
I'm sorry I'm being vague but it's necessary.
Oh, and we've had some teenage drama today which only adds to my discomfort. Can't even tell you about that one since it involves someone else's kid and only indirectly, but dramatically (according to her) affects mine. Oh, teen angst!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Why must you lure me into your seasonal Valentine's aisle with all its chocolatey goodness? I have no self-control as evidenced by the Ghiradelli assorted chocolates that found their way into my buggy. (That's a shopping cart to you non-Southerners.)
Also, I would like to humbly suggest that your customers be required to take and pass an I.Q. test before being allowed to use the self-check line.
And could you please not allow people with too much time on their hands, that are indecisive and/or whose rear-end is wider than one-half of the shopping aisle so that you cannot pass them to shop during peak shopping hours, a.k.a. the hours that I like to shop?
Also, did you know that your craft lady is over-medicated? I have never seen anyone move so slow in my life. And she had to measure my fabric twice because she lost count of the yards...I only asked for two.
Your cranky customer who should have eaten lunch before shopping because hunger makes me irritable.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Word of Promise: The Gift of Psalms is a beautifully bound book. The paper is heavy and glossy with an elegant damask background. It includes excerpts from fifty of the best-loved Psalms and features corresponding devotionals by Lori Jones.
The Psalms that are included cover topics such as the righteousness and sovereignty of God, trusting in God, faith persevering in trials, repentance, and taking refuge in and finding joy in fellowship with the Lord. The devotional that accompanies each Psalm offers commentary on the context of the particular Psalm and practical application to everyday life. There is also a prayer to go along with each devotional and Psalm.
The book also comes with three CDs which contain dramatic readings of thirty selected Psalms by people like Jason Alexander, Gary Sinise, Marsha Gay Harden and Richard Dreyfuss. The CDs are part of The Word of Promise Old Testament Audio Bible by Carl Amari, CEO of the Falcon Picture Group.
This book would make a great personal devotional book or a lovely gift and the CDs would be great for someone who spends a lot of time in the car or who doesn’t like to read but might enjoy hearing the Word of God.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Joanne at The Simple Wife has a really encouraging post today. Oh, and she's been nominated for the 2009 Ladyblog Awards. You can go vote for her here. Also, when I first looked at that button on Joanne's blog I thought it said "Ladybug Awards" and I wondered who in the world would want to win a ladybug.
I saw an article yesterday that says according to the American Kennel Club the German Shepherd is the 3rd most popular breed followed by the Golden Retriever in 4th place. Maddie and Dazey are very proud. However, I would like to point out the injustice that was done to the Sheltie which, in my opinion, is THE very best dog anyone could ever have. (I have asked Tess not to tell Maddie and Dazey that mommy said that.)
I'm going to try to start on a couple of projects. I'm not really motivated but I'm hoping that telling you about it will put some positive peer pressure on me to get movin'.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Oh. My. Word. She looks like she's been gift-wrapped. On the other hand, I have to admit there's a small part of me that wishes I could pull off a hat like that.
Oh, and she butchered "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
I'm glad to see that Michelle opted for glam and not warmth. All us women know that it's much more important to look good than feel good. Frostbite is such a small price to pay.
Note to self: When having someone who has never administered the oath before give it to someone who has never taken the oath before, practice makes perfect.
The musical arrangement by John Williams and performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Antony McGill: very cool. But what else would you expect from the guy who wrote the theme to "Star Wars?"
Monday, January 19, 2009
I chose this Scripture to memorize last week because if there is anything our family needs right now it is endurance, encouragement and hope.
The following is excerpted from an email that my sister-in-law sent out to update everyone on my sweet niece Hannah's condition. I don't think she would mind if I share it with you. And we would dearly love to have you join us in praying for Hannah.
Many of you who receive these email updates joined our journey in the middle, and some of you only very recently, so we wanted to take a little time to review the events of the last eleven months. In February of 2008, Hannah began having some very unusual symptoms, including severe headaches and nausea in the mornings, double vision, and dilated pupils. We took her to our regular doctor, who referred us to an ophthalmologist, who referred us to a local hospital for an MRI. The MRI was done on February 20th, and indicated the presence of a tumor in the pineal region of Hannah's brain. We entered Arkansas Children's Hospital the next day, and on February 25th, surgery was done, the tumor was successfully removed, and sent off for a biopsy. She remained in the hospital for about six days following the surgery. When we returned about a week later for suture removal and to find out the results of the biopsy, we were told that the tumor was a Grade IV glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly aggressive type of cancer. We met with our oncologist that day, and he told us that this type of tumor was extremely rare in a girl Hannah's age (she was 16 at the time), but because she was so young and healthy, he felt that she had a 60-80% possibility of a cure. Hannah began a 6-week series of radiation treatments to her brain and an oral chemotherapy regimen. For several months, all went well...she completed her sophomore year with honors, enjoyed a fun summer, and began her junior year in the fall. MRIs were done every two months, with an "all clear" each time.
In September, she began having symptoms which were eerily similar to what she had experienced in February. An MRI was done, about a week earlier than was scheduled, and the results were not good. On September 25th, all four of us went to meet with the doctor, and he explained to us that her cancer had returned, in the form of multiple tumors in her brain and spine. He outlined a new treatment regimen which we were to begin immediately, but told us with tears in his eyes that even with treatment, her chance of cure was less than 5%. On the way home, we decided as a family that we would only share that 5% number with immediate family and a few very close friends and then disregard it, because we don't believe that our God is a God of percentages. Hannah began a series of 20 radiation treatments to her brain and spinal cord, and was to begin a new IV chemotherapy regimen within a month after completing radiation. The radiation was quite effective in shrinking the tumors; however, it took such a toll on her body that we were unable to begin the chemotherapy as scheduled due to extremely low blood counts. She was finally able to start the chemotherapy treatments the week before Christmas, and she is scheduled to receive a total of four (one every two weeks) to be completed on February 2nd. At that time, a scan will be done to determine the effectiveness of the chemotherapy and to help determine what her treatment plan will be from that point. We feel that she is in very good medical hands at Children's Hospital, as this is the same chemotherapy protocol that she would be receiving if we were at St. Jude's or Duke.
We've had a bit of a setback just over the last couple of weeks, in the form of worsened double vision (she's had some double vision ever since the surgery) and a greater feeling of being off balance, which has made reading impossible and walking somewhat difficult. An MRI done on January 4th showed a return of cancer cells in the area of the original tumor. This area cannot be re-radiated, and another surgery is not possible. We are proceeding with the chemotherapy treatment plan, which our oncologist acknowledges will need intervention from God to be effective. Hannah's mind is as clear as ever, her wit is sharp, and her faith is strong. She continually tells us not to worry about her...that she is going to be "just fine."
The reason we share all of this (including the 5% number) with you right now, is to let you know that we are continuing to pray boldly for Hannah's complete healing, as we know so many of you are. The more bleak Hannah's medical situation appears to be, the more glory God can receive by providing a miraculous healing. He is an amazing God, and we know, without a doubt, that He is able to heal her, no matter what the medical doctors may say. At the same time, we do understand that in His sovereignty, He may choose to heal her by taking her to heaven. And when viewed from an eternal perspective, we know that her future is secure. Our job, as those who love her, is to boldly pray for her healing, and to be ready to accept her Father's will for her life. How great our rejoicing will be if He chooses for her to remain on this earth for many more years...and what an amazing testimony she will have! Far more difficult will be the "sacrifice of praise" we will give if He takes her home sooner than we would choose (I think I finally truly understand that phrase). In the meantime, we will live one day at a time, enjoying every moment we have with our family, and remembering that God is good, all the time.
Jill & Brad
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You." Psalm 39:7
"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name." Hebrews 13:15
Friday, January 16, 2009
This hits especially close to home for me since our daughter Caitlin was rushed to AR Children's Hospital when she was born. She required emergency brain surgery and the doctors warned us the surgery was very risky and she might not survive and even if she did they were pretty sure she'd be handicapped. Caitlin is now 8 years old and is a running, laughing, living testimony to the grace and mercy of God. She was just recommended for Gifted and Talented at school and is turning out to be quite an athlete.
Our God is faithful and merciful and He is still on His throne. He's watching over Harper and He's the Great Physician. He's not worried about the doctors prognosis.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Now I realize that you people up north think we're wusses down here for thinking the teens is unbearable. But consider the fact that a few days ago it was 70. And I was wearing flip flops.
Of course, you Yankees also think 90 is a heat wave. Don't talk to me about a heat wave until you can literally fry an egg on your driveway. Sissies.
On the bright side, I made myself some clown pants.
Let me explain.
I heart fleece pajama bottoms. But did you know it's almost impossible to buy them without the matching fleece top? I don't like the tops, just an old t-shirt for me, thanks. I had the bright idea that I would buy some fleece and make my own. Most of the fleece seems to have Hannah Montana on it but I finally found some orange fleece with cream paw prints that wasn't too bad. I have long legs so I usually have trouble with pants being to0 short after they've been washed a few times. So I was mostly concentrating on making sure they were long enough. Oh, they're long enough alright. And wide enough.
They are GINORMOUS!!
They fit Wes. He's not really excited about orange with paw prints. I don't think they are quite macho enough for him. I tried to convince him that they were Auburn Tiger pants. He didn't fall for it.
Well, I'm cold enough tonight that I'm wearing my clown pants. They are nice and toasty. And the plus side is I don't even have to wear socks...I can just tuck my feet into the extra-long pants legs.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Here's what you do:
1. Go to your 4th folder where you store your photos.
2. Select your 4th picture (no exceptions)!
3. Post the picture with an explanation and link it back to your tagger.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same!!
I organize my photos by year, then by season and then by subject so I am going to make the executive decision to use my current year, current season folder (still 2008, Winter. I haven't rolled forward to 2009 yet)and choose the 4th subject folder. I'm all a-twitter! I can't wait to see what it is. Here goes...
This is a picture of Caitlin and her friend Abigail decorating their sugar cookies at the school Christmas party. I normally purge my pics at the end of the year. I'll go through and delete the ones that are not good enough to keep before I organize into folders and roll forward. This is probably one that won't make the cut. It's a little grainy and you can't even see Caitlin's face. Oh well! I did get some other good ones. Too bad you don't get to see them!
Stephanie at My Answered Prayer
Amber at The Goodrum Five
Meredith at Life at 7000 Feet
Christi at Writing the Waves
...tag, you're It!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
"A B is still a pretty good grade." I replied calmly.
"I've never had a B before!" Caitlin shrieked.
"Now I won't get all A's for the year!" she wailed.
And cried all. the. way. home.
Oh the drama.
When we got home she refused to get out of the car and sat in there having a pity party for a while. I quietly went about my business unloading the groceries.
She came inside and went straight to her room and slammed the door.
Have I mentioned that she's a little bit of an over-achiever?
Eventually she marched into the kitchen where I was peacefully preparing dinner and declared "I am NOT going to be a teacher now!"
Hmmm...how to respond? "Why not, dear?"
"Just because you got one B?"
Angrier glare followed by the following statement: "Now I'll just have to be a veterinarian!"
Monday, January 12, 2009
I decided to take a picture because A) it was beautiful and B)I'm not usually up in time to see the sunrise.
Also, my favorite lines from the two-night premier of '24.'
1. I will kill you and this time you'll stay dead.
2. This is gonna hurt.
3. Jack's whole speech before the Senate hearing committee. Awesome!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Piper has been with us for 16 days while her mom and dad are on a mission trip to China. Don't worry about Piper...she always looks this sad. She's really very sweet and happy, it's just hard to tell from her facial expressions. She's also a little needy. I attribute that to the fact that she's a former pound puppy. Anyway, our little Sheltie pup, Tess, is fascinated with Piper and they have become BFFs. Tess is going to be sad when Piper leaves.
It is interesting to note that it took me a week to have the revelation that her name is "Piper" because her dad is a pilot, not, as I erroneously imagined, because they are huge fans of Sarah Palin. Well, they may be fans of Sarah Palin, too, I'll have to ask them.
Say, isn't that the most snazzy, fabulous collar that Piper is sporting?!
Piper was gracious enough to model some collars for me. After all, she did have to earn her keep! If you like Piper's collar, check out my other blog,Pet Panache and my Etsy shop. Be sure to check back often as I add new items all the time.
Friday, January 9, 2009
PETA (People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals) has embarked on a new PR campaign for fish.
I kid you not.
They are proposing calling fish "sea kittens" because who would want to eat a "sea kitten"stick, really? Broiled Sea Kitten, anyone?
There is actually an online petition to ask the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to stop promoting "sea kitten hunting" (otherwise known as fishing.)
They really scary thing is as of right now 2,516 people have signed the petition.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
This is the first book by Max Lucado that I have read. For The Tough Times: Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope is a very quick, easy read. I read it in less than an hour. Lucado’s style flows easily and has a nice, relaxed, comfortable feel to it.
This little book would be really good for a new believer or young person but it is probably too simplistic to appeal to anyone who has done a lot of in-depth bible study. I also wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is in the midst of a crisis as it tends to come across a little trite and cliché.
I was a little disappointed because most of the book builds up to the climax question of “How should I pray in times of great suffering?” but then only offers the usual examples of Job and Lazarus. Nothing really new or earth-shattering here but instead offers a good reminder of things we probably already know.
If you just want a simple, quick read that will remind you of some basic principles regarding pray or if you want something easy to jump start a study on prayer this book will offer several Scriptures that would make for good in-depth study.
Oh, and Dazey was right, it could have used a little more salt!
Good news...it came today.
Bad news...my Golden Retriever, Dazey, decided to "review" it first.
Wes found the packing slip in the yard or else we wouldn't have even known to look for it. Here's what we found first.
We proceeded to look all over the yard and even looked in her Dogloo...I like to read in bed, maybe she does too.
Here's what we finally found. It could have been worse.
Here's Dazey's review of the book:
"Needs salt and maybe a pinch of garlic powder."
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
If you had a dog that you were trying to find a home for, would you name it 'Cujo'?
I wonder if people are going into the Humane Society and looking at the available dogs: Fluffy, Fido, Spot, Rex etc. And then they see 'Cujo' and think "Yeah, that's the one. The one named after a rabid possessed St. Bernard."
I think the Humane Society needs some help with their marketing. I'm just sayin'.
Monday, January 5, 2009
You people have got to be tired of hearing from me. Mercy, three posts in one day! I won't make a habit out of it.
I wish I knew how to make that handy dandy button up there take you to Joanne's blog but alas, all I am capable of is copying the image.
I'm also participating in Beth Moore's scripture memory challenge over at The LPM Blog.
My verse this week:
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Here's what I'm saying "Hmmm..." about. I just found out that the first book I'm supposed to review is Max Lucado's For the Tough Times. This is what the website says about the book:
"When we feel that life is out of control, He is in control.
When tragedy strikes, people desperately search for answers. Believers and unbelievers alike find themselves turning to God. Best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado points to the only real answer to tragedy and crisis: Prayer. In For the Tough Times, Lucado helps us understand how to pray despite our doubt and fear."
Did you read my previous post today? Can you say "Providential?!:
It was a nice girl with KLOVE radio and she politely thanked me for being a supporter and did I have any prayer requests? So the cynic in me thought, "Oh, they want to make sure I keep making my monthly donations." So I gave her my knee-jerk, don't-wanna-talk-on-the-phone-especially-to-a-stranger response: "No, but thank you for asking." I hung up and immediately felt ashamed. You see, I DO have a really huge request that is my thoughts daily, even hourly. I have a precious 17-year-old niece who is battling an aggressive brain tumor.
Why did I not tell the KLOVE girl about Hannah? While I pondered this question I got in the shower which is where I do my best thinking. So I thought about prayer. Why do we do it? How does God use it? Is there more effectiveness with numbers? That is, the more people we have praying for a situation is God more likely to respond? Sometimes I get the impression that's what some people think. Can we persuade God with the sheer volume of our prayer? Volume as in amount, although volume as in level of sound might fit here too. Is it ok to keep asking God repeatedly for the same thing? Lord, please heal Hannah.
As I write this, I just got a call that Hannah's oncologist says there is a reoccurrence in the original tumor site. My first thought was, "Lord, if I had asked the KLOVE girl to pray would it have made a difference?" The image in Revelation of the angels tipping over the golden bowls of incense which are the prayers of the saints comes to mind. I once did an Anne Graham Lotz study where she questioned whether the prayers were filling up the bowls in order for them to tip over and pour out. If so, what if MY prayer is the one that tips the bowl? Or even worse, what if the prayer I meant to pray but never did was the last one needed to fill that bowl? Or what if it was the KLOVE girl's prayer that I didn't even give her the opportunity to pray?
I hope you aren't reading this expecting any answers. I'm fresh out. All I have is questions. In the meantime, I'll keep praying. Lord, please heal Hannah.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Then he met Jesus.
A simple Christian tourist in Jerusalem happened to invite him to a bible study they were having and he went. This tourist probably had no idea who he had just invited to his group. Can you imagine?!
Mosab says that while he was in an Israeli prison he witnessed his own uncle, also a leader in Hamas, torture fellow Hamas members suspected of collaborating with the Israelis. This was the turning point for him.
After his release from prison he happened to be in Jerusalem and ran into this tourist. It changed his life.
He began to study the Bible side by side the Koran. This next part is what grabbed me...
when the interviewer asked him how the Bible compared to the Koran, Mosab simply said "I loved Jesus immediately."
Can you imagine what it cost this young man to utter those words? He had to turn his back on his entire family, his devout Islamic upbringing, his hometown, his friends, his future destiny that he had been groomed for since childhood.
How casually do I let those simple yet powerful words roll off my tongue? "I loved Jesus immediately." It costs me nothing to say them. It costs people like Mosab everything. Would I have the same courage as Mosab under those circumstances? I'd like to think so but I doubt it.
Mosab now lives in the U.S. and attends an evangelical Christian church. He has applied for political asylum because Al-Qaeda has issed a death sentence for him because of his conversion. If you want to know more about him, you can go here.
I hope that Mosab will not only serve as a witness to Muslims all over the world, I hope that his story will remind those of us who have the freedom to choose Jesus that we should never take that freedom for granted. May there be nothing casual about my love for Jesus. Ever.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Plus, this solves my storage problem. I'm running out of room in my floral stash so I'm storing them in plain sight!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I started with these supplies:
Do you see my new BFF, Gorilla Glue?! Seriously, that stuff is amazing!
The Rust-oleum Metallic spray was supposed to dry into a hammered copper finish. It IS copper but not hammered. I think the humidity or temp was wrong or maybe I applied too much or not enough. Whatever. It's still pretty!
I had my sweet hubby cut out the molding to frame my sheet metal and then I spray painted everything.
While I waited for everything to dry, I gathered these supplies:
and made these:
I opted not to use the gold paint pen. It just didn't pop like I wanted. I used a simple black Sharpie instead. Yea for Sharpies!! I actually free-handed the letters. I'm no Shannan but I'm kinda proud of them.
I sealed the board with matte acrylic sealer. I also learned that matte acrylic sealer doesn't like Sharpies so I didn't seal the magnets. Then it was time for the real fun...the decorating! I just used some scrapbooking supplies I had on hand and robbed a flower from one of my fall arrangements. And of course I used my trusty friend, the hot glue gun, that I've had since college. Ah, hot glue gun, please don't be jealous of my new love, Gorilla Glue.
What is it with me and adhesives?
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions. Mostly because I can't stand the pressure of trying to keep them. I usually just resolve not to make any resolutions. That one I can keep.
However, this year I'm making a resolution of sorts. I am a regular reader of Beth Moore's blog and she is encouraging us to commit to memorizing Scripture this year. Just two per month. Come on, even I can do that one! If you want to participate just go here. Just so you'll know, this is the verse I have chosen to start off my year...
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8 (NIV)