So Begins Another Week

I had a very productive weekend, thank you for asking. Friday, I was able to cook ahead for the freezer, and Saturday was a full baking day for the freezer. The only problem was kiddies hanging around, wanting to try some of everything, so I didn’t get to put away as much. That’s alright. One of the things I made was bagels, which turned out surprisingly good, considering I used the bread machine for the first part and the dough came out a strange, death-pallor hue. But when done, they were chewy on the outside, soft in the middle. Just like a bagel should be, only resembling Herman Munster in color.
Remember me talking about the lady I saw in Aldi that one day? It turns out that she and her family attend the church we visited yesterday. I walked into the nursery to drop off Abbie, and there she was! After the service, I got to tell her personally (after I told all of you, ha) how much I enjoyed seeing her and her family that day. Small world.
Has everyone heard of GodTube already? It is like YouTube, only saved-and-on-its-way-to-Heaven (smirk). There is some funny stuff there, like spoofs of the Mac/PC commercials, and some thought-provoking stuff, too, like watching a pastor witness to a guy dressed like the devil, and someone debating about the value of life with a pro-choice activist.
We saw a wonderful movie this weekend as well- The Pursuit of Happyness. Two thumbs up! Really makes me appreciate how good we have it.
Have a great week! I hope to, in spite of the continuous un-Spring we have been having.

Happy Birthday, Little-S!

In honor of Samuel’s 4th birthday, here are four things that make him special:
1. He has a scar on his back, to always remind us of God’s faithfulness.
2. The only kid so far to be attached to anything, he has a blue crocheted blanket he has had since he was a baby. It is literally in shreds; every once in a while he will agree to throw it away, only to dig it out later.
3. Pirates are all the rage right now- swords, knives, anything that can kill and maim- isn’t that lovely?
4. He thinks his daddy hung the moon- Sam wants to be just like him.

Valerie’s Favorite Things

Oh, I’m sure that retailers and restauranteurs won’t run out of these products as soon as I name them, like what happens to Oprah’s ‘Favorite Things’. I would need two more people paying attention to this blog for that to happen. But, for the sake of sharing all things lovely and delicious, here is a list of things I like, that are only-my-favorite-things-in-the-whole-wide-world:
Snickers Bars
The Ocean
The Mitford Books by Jan Karon
Donato’s Pizza
Max & Erma’s Tortilla Soup
Fernando Ortega
Mocha Lattes on Ice
First and Second Peter
Potato Chips and Onion Dip
The Smell of Hyacinths
Chris Rice
Sour Patch Kids
Above Rubies Magazine
Moose Tracks Ice Cream
Clothesline-Dried Clothing Smell
Downy Baby Foreheads
Green Grass
Blue Sky
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Girl Scout Thin Mints
Silence in a Deep Snow
Reece’s Cups
Blogging About It All

Moving Toward Transparency

Meredith at Like Merchant Ships wrote this week about losing her digital camera. I imagine that one of the worst things about having that happen, especially to such a frugal person like she is, is the knowledge that she took such care in finding the best value for that camera, but in one moment of carelessness, it was gone. We all know the sinking feeling that follows an experience such as this. A moment of silence, please, for Meredith and her lost camera.
After reading about this happening to her, I feel that I should share about something I did a few weeks ago, the thought of which continues to bring on that same sinking feeling in waves.
We have this armoire type thing for our tv, dvd/cd player, subwoofer, and dvd/cd storage. This whole arrangement was purchased with great care and attention to quality and value by my husband, with tax return money, some years ago. A while back, the shelf that holds up the tv gave way from the wall of the armoire. At the time we were considering going tv-free for a while, anyway- read a post about that here. After being held up for a few weeks by some books and the subwoofer, the tv was finally removed from the armoire, and put away. We were tv-free! The air just felt cleaner, the sounds coming from outside and in were crisper, and a peace settled over our home. Good times-until a few hours later when LOST was due to come on. When time came to watch something, Luke would haul the tube out, set it on a table, and plug it into the dvd player when needed.
One day I was the only one home, and had to connect the tv and dvd player myself. I only briefly noted that the prongs in the end of the plug were very thin, and that they had to be in just the right position to go in the back of the tv- a more careful observer would have done it just right, and wouldn’t have anything to blog about, so they should get their own perfect people’s blog- I set about the task. Of course, impulsive person that I am, I jammed the thing in there, and bent one of those tiny, delicate prongs. I caught my mistake at this point and bent the prong back straight, but, careless person that I am, on my next try at plugging the prong broke off and lodged itself in the back of the tv. Sinking feeling to the nth degree! I try all sorts of things, like trying to pry it out with a safety pin (the smallest one is still wider than this prong!), and stick some glue over it and hope it comes out when I peel off the glue. Nothing.
When Luke came home and heard about it, he tried a couple of things too, but it was pretty clear that that prong wasn’t going anywhere. Luke has since arranged something with a portable dvd player we have, so we can still watch movies. But I am reminded of my foolishness every time we do.
Sick, Sick, Sick. My stomach still turns when I think about it. Now we have this tv that can’t operate with its fancy dvd- player partner. Great. Guess what I’ll have to be asking for for my birthday?!
It feels good to get that off my chest. I know you all out there think I am this wonderful, careful, meditative soul, but the truth is that I am terrible at keeping nice things nice. I get on my kids about the same thing, but in my head I know that I still am figuring out how to be a good steward of the things I’ve been given, too. There’s probably a movie about that, but we wouldn’t be able to watch it in surround sound.

Moving Around On Our Big Blue Ball

This has been a week with hardly any creative juices flowing through my brain. Thank goodness other people have been posting some good stuff for me to promote.
Barbara Curtis at Mommy Life has a link up to a neat Powerpoint presentation about Planet Earth. Check it out! If you are impatient like me, you might need to right-click ‘next’ to keep it moving along. I especially liked the pictures where part of the world is at night, and part still in daylight. Neato.

Moving Piece of Information for You

Did you know that in 2002, it was found that 91–93% of pregnancies with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome were terminated*?
Note that this refers to simply a diagnosis. Sometimes a diagnosis can be wrong, but 9 out of 10 women still chose to do the unthinkable, based on this information.

Words fail me.

*Source: Wikipedia

Moving Right Along…

***This is the second book I have completed from Callapider Days’ reading challenge. A review of the first book, Thundering Sneakers, can be seen here.
I read a fair bit of Jewel this past week, and wanted to share my thoughts.
First of all, it was labeled “Inspirational” on the book’s spine, so I assumed it would be relatively clean, as every other so-labeled book I have ever read has been. Well, that book must be mislabeled, in my opinion. It is definitely not something I would want someone stocking in or picking off of the Christian Fiction shelf! I thought I remembered hearing it was an Oprah’s Book Club selection; this helped it not be so much of a surprise when I first encountered questionable material.
Aside from it being labeled wrong, the plot itself seemed to drag. I like for a book to get to the good stuff, and get there fast. It is a wonder that I ever got through At Home In Mitford, and subsequently read the whole series more times than I can count, because that book took forever to get going. I remember initially liking the character of Father Tim, but it was a few chapters before I could ascertain why a whole book would be written about such a boring fellow, let alone a whole series. (Don’t worry, he gets less boring, and a lightbulb should be going on in your head as to the reason my blog is named, Consider It Done, if you, too, have read any of the Mitford Books. They are only some of my favorite books in the whole wide world!)
So, this book, too, had me at a loss for why we should care about this woman, Jewel. Yes, she has just found out she is pregnant with her sixth baby, and there is a hint that this baby will be important to the plot, but, ay yi yi. I thought it dragged.
I wouldn’t describe myself as officially ‘hooked’ on the story until Jewel has her baby girl, who, as it turns out, has Down Syndrome. Now, this happened in the 1940’s, when they called children with this condition “Mongolian idiots”, and didn’t expect them to live past age two. When Jewel was told what was wrong with her baby- who was five months old but had rarely woken up from sleep, not rolled over, not done anything normal babies should be doing- the doctor recommended she put the baby in an institution to be cared for the rest of her (they thought) short life. Can you imagine? Like Jewel is just going to give up her child she bore and had nursed for five months. But Jewel does spend some dark days after that diagnosis, going back and forth in her mind between keeping Brenda Kay, her baby, and having to eventually watch her die, and what she called “an escape”: the option of giving her up and putting her in an institution. She concluded that neither choice was really an escape, either choice would be difficult. It appeared to her that God’s will was for her to keep her baby and take care of her the best she could, so she did.
I read on, and discovered the happiness that Brenda Kay lived a lot longer than the doctors’ predictions, and the drain of her medical expenses that took a toll on their marriage and family. To remedy the situation, Jewel got this thought in her head of moving the family out to California; I don’t know what they would have pursued out there, or why there, or if they even got there, because that is where I stopped reading the book.
Here is where you get to laugh at me. I didn’t know if this author, Bret Lott, was a man or a woman. I didn’t bother looking inside the back of the book jacket to see; I avoid reading book jackets because I feel like they give away too much of the story. So I start this book and as I am reading along, every once in a while, I get this feeling like, this isn’t how adolescent girls/women/mothers really think, is it? Many parts of the book were overly sensual, and Lott brought up things that, I believe, a female writer wouldn’t have, because she wouldn’t think that way. Lo and behold, I look and discover that Bret Lott is a man, a hot-blooded male, apparently, by the way he writes. This was the last straw for me- I don’t need to be reading stuff like this, stuff that ultimately will not encourage me in my daily life and struggles. Therefore, after reading a good portion of Jewel, I can heartily discourage you from picking it up at your local library. Go on past that one to the next one on your list of books you’d thought about reading. And, never judge a book by its “Inspirational Fiction” cover.
The one thing I gained from what I did read was to learn a little of the history of Down Syndrome. How difficult it must have been in the past to deal with this and other birth defects, not having all the information, and medical breakthroughs, that we now have. For all our advances, however, I came across a startling statistic that I’ll share tomorrow: one that proves we as a nation are still looking for that way of escape when we think trouble has come our way.
It deserves its own post.

Have A Wonderful Easter!

“There are many tombs where we may be held if we succumb to the powers of sin and death. Hatred, self-pity, bitterness, resentment–these are tombs. By the power that raised Jesus Christ from that sealed and guarded tomb we may be delivered from whatever seals us off from life. Jesus came to give us life, nothing less than life, abundant life.”
~Elisabeth Elliot
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

A Perfect Spring Day

We won’t have this luxury today. Nor yesterday. But three days ago, this is how it looked. Luke was finishing reading The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe to the kids after dinner. I got to stay inside with Abbie and wash up the dinner dishes. That’s okay- I know how it ends.