Morning Glories

Do you ever wonder why certain foods are always eaten for breakfast? I think one reason people do corn muffins is that it looks so sunny and cheery. That tint of yellow is the perfect thing to look at as I start this busy day.
Have a great one, everybody!

Whatcha Worried About? Wednesday

No, I won’t start a weekly whine post- that was sortof a joke. But, I do have something going on that is bothering me. My hair is falling out.

I looked to Dr. WebMD, M.D. the other day, trying to find out if I was doing or not doing something specific that would help/hinder the situation, and all I came up with was that it might be normal. It said that at around three months after giving birth, a woman’s hair loss can increase, as it hasn’t been shed all through pregnancy. This gave me some comfort for, oh, about a week, when I noticed my ponytail had decreased by 50 %. Caleb is approaching the four month mark, I need to come up with another reason it is still coming out. Any thoughts?

Bright side: they have some pretty nice wigs out there these days.

Bright side: I may just become a blonde.
Photo: Some killer locks my parents had!

The Fourth Verse

In church on Sunday, we sang some hymns. As the congregation would finish the first verse, the leader would, quite predictably, tell us to skip to the third, then to the last. I understand the constraints of time and wanting to get at least a little of the song sung, but it is a bit sad to not sing the whole hymn. I have this funny picture in my mind of these yellowed-sheet music cartoon figures dancing around with picket signs that say “DON’T IGNORE THE FOURTH!” and “NOT THE FIRST, BUT STILL HAVE WORTH”. Many hymns have ‘too many’ verses to completely sing them in a church service, and I have noticed time and again that we breeze by quite a load of theology when they all aren’t included in the morning worship. One of the things I liked about BSF was that we sang the whole hymn, verse by verse.

Here’s a look at what we miss when we go skipping through some well-known sacred songs:

From the middle of What A Friend We Have In Jesus, by Joseph Scriven:
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

He Hideth My Soul, by Fanny Crosby:
With numberless blessings each moment He crowns
And filled with His fullness divine
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!

From Amazing Grace, by John Newton:
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God who called me here below
Will be forever mine.

O Thou, In Whose Presence, by Joseph Swain:
He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice
And myriads now wait for His word
He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.

I saved the best for last. Do you know what ‘myriad’ means? Really big- innumerable. As I read the words of this verse, I am suddenly transported to the Throne itself, in the midst of stadium upon stadium of angelic beings all waiting, with baited breath, for the moment HE says it is time to go get His Bride. If you haven’t heard Fernando Ortega sing this hymn, you have seriously missed out.

Have you hugged a hymnal today?
Photo: a scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Make It! Monday

We are trying to keep the Christmas gifts for the kids at a minimum this year. I would like to play up the creative arts, and play down the toys. What joy didst fill my heart when I ran acrost this gift idea- a book making kit! So far I have collected cute mini-markers, stapled books together out of copy paper and card stock, and a clementine box to hold it all. I’m now on the hunt for stickers (dollar store), and unique pens and pencils- have you seen any cheap ones?

A-Major really enjoys writing stories, and Big-S will once she is reading and writing more. I must share a part of one of A-Major’s stories that she wrote for A-Minor last year. It is talking about a mermaid:

“…and her fin was blue. Her b**bs with the seashells on them were purple…”

(thanks for the reminder, angela!) When A-Major wrote the story, she read it aloud to me. I didn’t think I heard her right when she said that part, so I asked her to read it again. Sure enough, she was writing a Harlequin! I HAVE NO IDEA where she heard that word. Too funny.

Well, let’s hope my little authors stay G rated while using their Christmas present.

The Promised Review

I’m not done reading The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, but I have read enough to say a bit about what I have learned. The book is about how social epidemics (like the sudden re-popularity of Hush Puppies in 1995) get their start, and the factors involved. Gladwell talks about the notion of a tipping point- the moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior takes off, and begins to multiply exponentially. He explores the way ideas, tv shows, even crime rates in New York can be examined by being attentive to this phenomenon. One example I found fascinating was the story of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride. I didn’t know that another man, William Dawes, made a similar trek to Lexington that night, but was not as successful as Revere in drawing the attention of the towns’ militias as he passed. Gladwell explains why Revere is the one we remember, using elements of his philosophy of the tipping point.

Basically, there are three people involved in creating a social epidemic, those who cause a tipping point- connectors, mavens, and salesmen. The connectors are those kinds of people we all know- they have many business acquaintances or personal friends, and many people are able to say they met so and so through them. They are important to social epidemics because they are the ones who have the influence, that can spread the information to the largest group of people.
Mavens are the people who gather information on good deals and good quality products. A connector doesn’t usually spend time learning the information himself, he relies on the maven to tell him where to get the best deal. Then, a connector will pass this on to hundreds of his closest friends, and a tipping point may be reached.
The salesman is the kind of person who is able to persuade people to think or do a certain thing. These people are extremely expressive, optimistic types, and can’t help but spread the good cheer to those around them. They are contagious.
Then, there’s the ordinary folk, like me, who get to watch these three extraordinary people in action. I still contribute to the epidemic by googling Hush Puppies (in response to the mentioning of them in this book), and finding a really cute pair of brown ballet flats. If I was rich as well as ordinary, I would plunk down the $78 for some of my very own, possibly starting a re-re-popularity of the brand.

I enjoyed thinking of people I knew (very few, as I am not a connector), and seeing if they showed signs of being close to any of the above personality types. Luke, I think, is almost a Maven, as he really likes getting good quality at a good price. My childhood friend, Jon, is definitely a connector. I gotta tell you one neat story-
We were still doing Hope Community Church, and a couple came to visit one Sunday. After the service, we were talking, and the girl was saying she went to Worthington Christian High School. I brainstormed people I knew that went there, and asked her if she knew any Michael’s. She answered that she was a Michael, which left me stunned for a minute. She was Jason’s sister, Jason (himself a connector) was a friend of Jon’s. I wouldn’t have known Jason apart from Jon, and, while I would have met Jenny sooner or later, I wouldn’t have that particular connection to her without Jon. Interesting stuff. This is where “six degrees of separation” comes from- the idea that any person is connected to another by an average of six people. And it so often is less- about half the time (ha ha ha). As you can see, this was my favorite part of the book to think about.
There is so much more to the book, but this is getting long, so I’ll quit here. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in sociology, psychology, or just modern trends and how they come to be.
Also on the subject of books, I’m thinking it is time to start the Mitford Series again. I soooo enjoyed reading them by Christmas tree light last year. I’ll try to highlight my favorite parts here on the blog this time. Anybody with me? Angela?

Weekend Thoughts

I’m off to prepare for Thanksgiving. Tune in next weekend, when I may have finished a fascinating book, and may have something fascinating to say about it. Let us go forth with grateful hearts.

“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content
in whatever circumstances I am.
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

What If I Weren’t

-an African mother living in poverty who has watched two children die of starvation, and wonders what life is
-a businesswoman living alone in the city, too busy to care what life is
-a girl in China who, because of strict laws against religious freedom, may never hear about what life is
There are so many places and times that I could have lived. Sometimes it hits me with such a force that I was born and raised by parents who acknowledged God, the Author of Life. What if I weren’t? I shudder to think where and who I could have been. This makes me thankful, and makes me want to go forth today, and tell someone about what life is.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

The stores are packing their shelves with all things Christmas- some have been at it since early October. While it is a little obnoxious to see an ornament before I’ve even carved a pumpkin, it does serve to remind me that the gift-giving season is upon us. I posted Monday about the joys of making gifts, but there are occasions (and recipients) for which one would choose to spend money rather than time on a Christmas gift. Today, I thought I’d share some cute gift ideas I have come across in my internet browsing, to get our Christmas-shopping juices flowing:

Coloring Books from Dover Publications. These are great for using in homeschool or Sunday school lessons. Sign up to receive free samples via email here.

The Nana Cheese Grater from Pylones. For the non-cook in your life who likes to collect cute tools, or a little girl wanting to help mama in the kitchen.

Reasonably priced art prints from PosterCheckout.com You local folk even have a quality matting and framing business nearby…

A cute apron from Amazon.com. Me like, me like.

And, of course, go back and read about my trip to the art museum’s gift shop.

What’s that you say? These items reflect only the wants of a creative, artistic housewife? Well, help me round out my wish list by adding your “Dear Santa” to the comments.

One last thing- can anybody recommend a decent, inexpensive digital camera?

On Travel And Home

In the church service on Sunday, we had the privilege of hearing a concert pianist who told us that he had visited all fifty states, played in forty-four of them, and numerous other countries around the world. Luke got to thinking about how many states he’d been to, and I did, too. So much for really listening to the guy play. I figure I’ve been in at least two more than Luke, since I flew out to Washington State and visited Idaho while there. The rest of our lists, along the east coast and California, match each other. I thought about how I would like to be able to say I’d been in every state- a worthwhile goal for our family. Traveling is something I really enjoy doing, and I hope that we are able to do more when the kids are a bit older. I’m pulling for Hawaii to be the next new state we visit- maybe our 10th anniversary. Yeah, I can dream.
On a related note, Luke and I often joke that our next house could be an RV- hey, we could just travel the country indefinitely, never having one particular acre of it be owned outright. This thought doesn’t bother me as much as maybe it should- when I think of ‘home’, the first thing that comes to mind is never the walled building you decorate. I really couldn’t care less if I never have a house of my own to fill with stuff. The stuff always ends up taking over, and then my time is dictated by how to take care of all of it. I must be feeling overwhelmed by the materialism that surrounds me right now, to the effect of me wanting out, out, out! The thought of only having a few square feet of living space to call our own sounds downright pleasant. On wheels- a bonus!
Although, I’m not sure how to get my recreational vehicle onto a Maui beach…

Make It! Monday

After noticing that a can of pumpkin, a can of evaporated milk, and a box of yellow cake mix were sitting on my shelf collecting dust (for shame!), I made Great Pumpkin Dessert yesterday. That is one of the many, many, many delicious uses for a box of yellow cake mix. Another among them is Peach Cake. Still another is Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Cousin Sara was making cookies out of cake mixes last year; I bet she made some fine ones with yellow cake mix. Does an “I made it out of yellow cake mix” cookbook exist yet? If not, that may just be my calling to fame and fortune- collect all these yummies into one delectable volume.

In other Make It! Monday news, check out the “Handmade Holidays” button on my sidebar- that blog will be posting a handmade gift idea every day in November. I’m already brainstorming the mittens on Nov. 9th. They aren’t knit, so I might just be able to get them done!

And lastly, make this Veteran’s Day memorable by thanking a veteran!