Help! My Heels!

This may come as a bit of surprise to some of you, but I am not the alabaster goddess I appear to be. Over the past few years, I have had so much trouble with my heels. They are very dry, they crack and can get quite painful. There are many remedies I have tried but haven’t helped me: lotions, butters, oils. I even consulted a dermatologist about it during my yearly skin check-up. (That doctor visit would have to be a whole other post- he was a real peach of a guy- not!) The dermatologist prescribed some expensive cream, and that didn’t work, either. The only thing I haven’t tried is standing on my head while drinking a half empty glass of water. (Oh, right- that’s for hiccups.)
So, I thought I’d ask you all- is there anything you would recommend for extremely dry skin? If it is a change in diet you think I need, you have another think coming I might be willing to try that, too. Fire away!
Photo: One sock down, one still to go. That’s the trouble with socks and mittens. Ya think just wearing one will ever come into style?

That’s One Way To Exhaust A Box Of Tissues

Ahhh- I am experiencing the blessing and pure joy of breathing again. We moved most of our belongings to Carol’s on Wednesday, then I got a good day of work in on Thursday. But when I went to bed that night, I had…..a sore, scratchy throat. Telltale sign of impending doom for me. It really stinks, because I just had a cold, and spent plenty of time complaining here about that one, that I shouldn’t even mention this one. I will say that this one was Niagara Falls, and the one three weeks ago was only our old leaky bathtub faucet, as colds go. This is the first day of feeling halfway normal again.
Today’s Elisabeth Elliot devotional was just the encouragement I needed. I hope you all are signed up to get these; they often speak to our very circumstances.

What weakness are you feeling today? The inability to manage circumstances that cry out to be changed? Helplessness in the face of another’s deep need, or of evil you have to watch perpetrated on others you love? A sense of inadequacy for some task laid upon you? Physical weakness or pain? The need for power to forgive an injury or keep silence about unjust accusations against you?
Christ has been there before you. Every form of human limitation He knew, and out of that utter poverty we have been made strong. Yet, again and again, in the life of each disciple, comes the experience of weakness in order that we may live His life for others.
“We who share His weakness shall by the power of God live with Him in your service” (2 Cor 13:4 NEB).
This sharing of His weakness is one aspect of the death of the cross, one of the conditions of our discipleship, and hence cause for joy rather than bitterness. For we walk the road, not alone, but with Christ, “well content to be weak at any time if only you are strong” (2 Cor 13:9 NEB). The mystery is constantly being worked out–strength out of weakness, life out of death.

Happy Bloggiversary To Me!

Okay. I tried to figure out how to get confetti to spit out of your monitor speakers as you happened upon this post, but I don’t think it can be done.
One year ago today, I started this blog. It was destined for greatness from the beginning- the initial entry had reality in a firm grasp: “This is the first post to this blog.” Gratefully, things got more interesting after that, as I began to tackle the topics that matter most: good TV (LOST), good food (granola, monkey brains), and good life (family, homeschooling, what God is teaching me). It has been fun sharing what I think with the virtual world, but the real reason I write here is so I have some main events preserved for myself and my kids, to look back upon later. Now that I have accumulated a year’s worth of posts, I want to go back and look them over again. I might post some of my favorites in the coming days.
“Get to the good stuff, already!” you say. “I’m not here to reminisce with you, I want to know what’ll happen when I leave a comment!”
What is a party without sweet treats? Conjure an image of a favorite candy in your mind right now. Nothing fancy, please- it would need to be found in a Wal-Mart checkout lane. Tell me what your favorite sweet is by leaving a comment on this post, and you will receive a sweet treat. Yes, you read me correctly. I am all about letting my readers celebrate with me on this special day! For under a buck each. Call it the gift (leaving a comment) that keeps on giving (you got a little nougat on your chin, there). I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

My Favorite Cold Things

For the past couple of days, we have been without air conditioning in our home. Sympathy cards and virtual Klondikes may be sent to It has been very difficult for me; I don’t know if it is more mental-“It is hot, therefore I am hot”- or truly and completely physical-“What a shame; only two popsicles left, kids, guess I get them both”. I am really trying to maintain a good attitude, and keeping my thoughts positive. I mean, in some parts of the world, they have never seen ice, let alone had a freezer to keep it in. While thinking of all the cold things in this life I have ever been able to enjoy, I very nearly burst forth in a song that goes something like this:

Girls in pink swimsuits getting wet with big splashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Brown covered ice cream all frozen to a stick
These are a few of my favorite cold things

When the fan stops, when the sweat stings
When I’m feeling steamy
I simply remember my favorite cold things
Then I just feel 99% as hot-ot-ot
{Big orchestral ending}

Next time you see a pregnant woman trying to climb into the upright freezer at Walmart, just walk on by. Just walk on by.

Weekend Thoughts

This was circulating among email inboxes as a forward some time back. I enjoyed reading it.

The History of ‘APRONS’

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress
underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans
from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was
even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs,
fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the
hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the
peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had
fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how
much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved
her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will
replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill
to cool.

Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
Photo: Luke making our breakfast this morning. What a man!

What? She’s Waited Til Now To Get Organized?

I just got done labeling posts about the kids saying funny things, and it took waaaaay too much time. I’ll have to ask Luke to show me a more efficient way of putting labels on my past posts. Labels look to be helpful. They can be seen at the bottom of my posts from now on. That way, when you are reading a post, you are a click away from finding out if I have blogged about something related to it before…Very likely, since my mind travels in tight circles.

Confession Time

“Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

I’ve mentioned to Aliyah a few times this week that her misbehavior is just as bad as that of the sibling she has come to tattle on. It is taking a while for this truth to sink in. Sure, the consequences and hurts of each sin may be different, but in God’s eyes, it is all a stench. No one is sinless.
My thoughts turn to our national sin of abortion when I think about this; even if I am not involved in the act, I feel partly responsible, and completely guilty for this heinous wrong committed against the unborn. We must collectively take responsibility for these sins. From The Book of Common Prayer,

Morning Prayer

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.

We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us.

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name.

Amen. (boldness mine)

I am encouraged when I read about the neat things happening in crisis pregnancy centers around the country and world. It is a pleasure to donate to these centers, knowing that this is one way I can make a difference and, in some small way, right the wrong. Time Magazine has an article about them which is surprisingly good. Read it here. Thanks to Barbara for first mentioning the article on her blog.


To the LOST-writer people that had anything to do with last night’s show:
I don’t appreciate having to stay up all hours of the night waiting to watch an episode that involves a silly story line about the origin of Jack’s tattoo. Being lured to last night’s program by the promise of not one, not two, but three questions answered, I think the least you could have done was keep your promise on more than one front. It is enough to make me want to turn the tv off and never look back. I will, of course, tune in next week to see if you have improved on any of the points in my memo.
a loyal viewer
Photo: Aliyah perfecting her withering glare

Reality Needed And Aprons For Sale!

As I went through my morning yesterday, I was compiling a sort of “Day in the life of…” post, to share with everybody what it is like at our house on a normal day. At about mid-morning, I read over what I had written, and yawned. The kids were behaving so well, and the day was going so smoothly, that I just knew that a post about this day wasn’t going to be entertaining. I’ll have to wait until the next overflowing toilet or meltdown at Meijer, and start jotting notes then. That’s much more true to life than yesterday was. They all slept at naptime! That was due to playing in the snow, sure to wear any preschooler out. Stay tuned for a reality post someday soon, though.
In other news, Connie, who won the grand prize apron in the Apron Power Photo Contest, actually makes replicas of the very apron she won, and is selling them here. This would be a great apron for just about any female needing one; it flatters any body shape, and is very durable, made from oilcloth. It would look good simply hanging in your kitchen! Which is why I entered the contest and tried to win it. But I am glad to know where else I can find an apron like that- made by Connie.

I Won!!!!

Well, not the whole thing, but I got fifth, which means I win a book by Barbara. Yea! Thanks to all who voted for me. I don’t know if the nifty but annoying banner up all week had anything to do with it or not. Or me threatening to charge readers who didn’t vote. Maybe a teensy bit.
I prepared a little something to say on such an occasion:
I’d like to thank God, Who created me and gave me the ability to feed and care for my family, and to make big messes, necessitating an apron.
I want to remember the supermarket chains, without which I wouldn’t have the food at my table (and under the table, and on the floor, and on the walls, etc.) to fix and clean after we’ve eaten our fill.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Barbara, who allowed those of us who wear aprons to show off.
See all the winners here.