Monday, March 31, 2008

The Waiting Game

I LOVE my business. Well, I LOVE when I have business. Last summer when Phil's dad got sick & we thought we might be moving, Phil asked me to not do any live shows with my business. In the fall, it picked back up & I had some shows scheduled for January. Needless to say we had to postpone those shows, then we lost Bill in February, and by then I had not had the time or energy to call & get shows booked for March. I've had several wonderful friends who've done catalog shows to keep me afloat. Thank you!

As a director, I have goals I have to meet monthly, and my team has to meet a certain amount of sales monthly, as well. Really, the amount is quite feasible, in a normal month, when I am working. The beauty of owning your own business is that you can set your own schedule. The downside is that if no one tells you when to work, you don't work! In January and February, my team was not able to meet our goals, mainly because I was not working. THEY were doing a great job. But, with my business, if I have 3 months in a row where we don't meet goals, I forfeit my role as director. That means the loss of my team (aka "downline," consultants who signed up with me), and the loss of additional income that has been very helpful. I've been sending out notes about special sales & calling people. God has provided SO many sales for both me & one consultant who has some shows to turn in. We are still a little bit short. If you think about it, would you say a prayer that I can keep cooking with this business! I am ready to go cook for people and help my team. Thanks!

You think that dryer is dry yet, or do I need to add another post?

Church Tonight

When I was a little girl (okay, that just made some of you reading this stop reading because I'm going down some bunny trail to get to the main point!) in Marietta Georgia, we went to a church that was Methodist, but had as many church meetings as any Baptist church. Of course, we got out earlier so we could get to the cafeteria first! LOL! I remember having Sunday Night church. My most memorable experience with this is the night my friend & I went to the church playground before church started. We didn't know what time it was until our mothers found us about half-way through the service and marched us back into the sanctuary. I am pretty sure I saw steam coming out of my mom's ears, which was a rarity for her.

As I grew up, and we moved around, churches didn't seem to have services on Sunday nights. We had youth groups, but not a regular service. One church I attended as an adult, fresh out of college, did have Sunday night services, but I only went occasionally. I was normally furiously grading papers on Sunday night! Today, it is very difficult to find a Sunday night service, even in those good ol' Southern Baptist churches. Saturday night church has caught on (hey, the Catholics had that idea a long time ago, and the Jewish community had Saturday WAY before that!), but Sunday night has faded away.

Almost. One church, at least, in San Antonio has started up a new service on Sunday nights. It's an offshoot of Trinity Baptist Church, where my nephew Nils is the youth pastor, and where Katie (his wife) grew up. We went a couple of weeks ago. Bethany didn't like the music because it is VERY loud. I mean, concert volume loud. It is kind of cool, though, because the church bought an old grocery store, and that is where this new church service is held!

Sunday for us have become a day of rest. TOO much rest. We often are so physically exhausted by Sunday that our bodies will not wake up. Today the girls & I did get up in time to go to a different church, where the music isn't AS loud (hee-hee). When Phil got up he asked if we were going to church, then said we could go tonight to the night service. So, what did the grown ups do? Take naps!

Sunday afternoon means AWANA (Approved Workmen are not ashamed---2nd. Timothy 2:15-- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.) from 4:00 til 5:45. It's a Bible based group that is international and helps kids learn the Word of God and how it applies in their lives. Today we tried going straight from AWANA to church. I THINK we can do this. Plus, AWANA only has a few more weeks left.

Nils had told us the speaker tonight was a guest & was really good. When I told the girls someone different was speaking, Bethany said, "I hope it's Katie or Kelly." Kelly is Katie's sister. Then she said, "I think Chris should preach. But I don't think he's ever preached." I thought she meant Phil's good friend Chris Loyd, who is a preacher in New Jersey. I said, "Of course he's preached. That's his job." BOTH girls knew what I meant, and filled me in on what Bethany meant, "NOT THAT CHRIS. Becky's husband Chris!" So, there you go, nephew, I not only messed up your birthday, but mistook you for someone else!

He was good. His name was Scott Crenshaw. He was funny, yet had some great things to say. Being the deeply spiritual person that I am, the thing that struck me the most was that I am SURE I knew him in college. I didn't recognize him (I doubt anyone from college would recognize ME today), but the name was SO familiar. Then he told us he graduated from the same college I went to. I couldn't tell how old he was, so I checked on the Internet. He is 44. I'm 43. Yep, he was there the same time I was. So, if ANYONE reads this and knows me from college (fat chance!), PLEASE tell me if we knew this Scott Crenshaw person!

I know I should have something deeply inspiring to say about church. He talked about the fact that to get to new places with God, sometimes we have to let go of old places. That makes me think of the passage in John where Jesus said that He is the vine, and we are the branches. If you've never seen the tiny little book, The True Vine, I highly recommend it. It's a short devotional based on that passage. I read it in college (see, there WAS a connection in all this) the first time. I remember being struck by the passage that told me that He prunes the vine to allow for new growth. It doesn't have to be bad growth, but it is usually stagnant growth, or overgrowth. What things was I holding onto that needed to be gone for Him to work more abundantly in me & through me? What things am I now holding onto that I need to let go of?

And, back to having church in a grocery store. I took Bethany to the bathroom (you do know that it's a rule that one child MUST have this sudden urge right in the middle of the best part of the sermon). The area where church is has big black stage curtains cutting off the rest of the, well, store. When we walked past those, it was quite funny to see grocery carts and the different sections where the pharmacy or meat market would have been. And it's the only church I've been to with automatic doors.

If you are wondering why I'm rambling so, it's mainly because I have to wait for the dryer to finish before I can go to bed and you get to "listen" to me wait. Aren't you glad you popped in today!

P.S. Becky, I've now blogged about Katie, just sayin'! xoxoxoxo

Saturday, March 29, 2008

*Updated* Please pray for Rylee, a 2 year old

In case some of you pop on here & aren't either on the e-mail list I sent out or on SCS, I wanted to post this prayer request.

My friend Laurie, who lives in Wisconsin, has a nephew named Rylee, age 2. Rylee fell this evening in the garage & hit his head on the cement floor. They took him to the hospital & found out he had fractured his skull and there is swelling with possible fluid on the brain. They are transporting him to Children's hospital in Milwaukee. Rylee's parents also have a baby boy about 1 month old. Laurie is sick & can't go visit Rylee, which is frustrating. Please keep the family in your prayers. Thanks.

***UPDATE*** Sunday morning from Laurie
Rylee got home at about 4am. They had an eye specialist, plastic surgeon and neuro surgeon in with him. They never realized until sometime around midnight that he hadn't been given any pain meds. Can you imagine??? That poor little guy. No wonder he was screaming (and I mean screaming) NO when the docs touched him! SO, they got meds in him and after a few consultations with the eye specialist and redoing the CT scan they found there are 2 fractures right by his right eye. There is a huge amount of swelling as well. They feel that as of right now he does not need surgery, but there will be follow up appointments to keep track of all of this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chalk it up to Dorkdom

I'm part of an online group of friends called the Traveling Dork Sisters. We are not too proud to admit our complete and total dorkiness. From getting lost in the parking lot to forgetting where we put something (or in my case EVERYTHING---I have the worst memory for locating things, but the best memory for trivial info that has no use in life), we share our dorky moments with one another.

Here is a dorky thing I did. I listed all those birthdays in my last post & forgot about my new Nephew-in-law Chris. His birthday was March 24th. Happy birthday Chris, even if it is late!

I think I've mentioned that God gave us a special day to celebrate in January. While Steve died on January 19th, 1978, we now have a birthday in our family to celebrate: Ruth's (Phil's mom) birthday is January 18th! Now we have a birthday the day before Steve's and Aunty Edna's to celebrate! Don't you love how God does little things like that just for us? Becky could have married a man with a birthday 364 other days (or 365 if he'd been born in a leap year), but God chose one with a birthday the day before Steve's so we can celebrate life!

Chris, so glad you got to have an Incredible Pizza Company birthday!

March 25th

March is a huge birthday month for us. Phil & I both have March birthdays. His Grandma's birthday was about a week before his. I had a great-great aunt whose birthday was just before mine. My aunt's birthday is March 20th (oops, I forgot! Happy Birthday Aunt Carol!). But March 25th is a remembrance day now. My mom's Aunty Edna was born on March 25th in 1910. On March 25th 1960, my brother Steve was born. Aunty Edna called him her "Golden Birthday Boy" because he came on her 50th birthday! I think it was as hard on her as it was for my grandparents when Steve died in 1978. It's been several years since Aunty Edna passed away now. But, the birthday of someone who has passed seems a much brighter day than the remembrance of the day they died. It's a day to really reflect on the life that God gave them.

Today as Natalie was bouncing around, I told her she reminded me of her Uncle Steve. My niece Becky also has some of those traits. Becky has no fear, like Steve. She can be a total ham like Steve was. Yet, quiet Bethany is the one who looks so much like him, and has the gift of art that he had. As far as I know, no one in our immediate family besides Steve could draw. I mean, beyond stick figures. I tried. I don't know that Greg (my big brother) ever drew at all. But, Steve could draw well. It's really interesting to see the things that made him special reflected in the "next generation."

I guess in these pictures you can't see the resemblance, but I don't have any of Steve as a teenager. You can see that we (and they, in the before I was born picture) were all SKINNY back then! LOL! For the record, this was the first and last of Steve's saxophone playing days. He later moved onto the drums. Greg, however, is a very good guitar player. To his credit, I must say he no longer wears the boots, and doesn't often perform with his pj's on. At least not in public!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Kids

I was an aunt long before I was a Mom. In fact, I was an aunt for 16 years before I gave my nephew & niece a cousin. I was only 15 when Nils, my nephew, was born, so he & I are actually closer in age than he & Bethany are! Nils & his lovely wife Katie live in San Antonio now. My niece, Becky, and her lovely husband Chris (LOL! Just had to say that! Becky is beautiful!), came into town last week. They all took the girls to a cool place called, "Incredible Pizza Company." They took these goofy pictures. You can't really see the guys, but they are in the last picture. I think they all had a great time! It was a really nice break for me to do some errands and get some things done at home. Thanks guys!

Monday, March 24, 2008

He is Risen!!!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Yesterday was the day we celebrated our Lord's Resurrection. Not only did He die to pay for our sins, but He gave us the promise of eternal life! For all who would call on Jesus as Lord, we can be assured that we will one day stand in His presence. Or, we will bow down in His presence. There will be no more tears, no more suffering, no more death. What a great God we have!

On Saturday night we watched the Disney movie, "Enchanted." It was a cute movie. In the movie the fairy tale princess often used the term, "Forever and ever." If anyone said, "Forever," she would add, "And ever." That is the way fairy tales go, after all. To me, it brought to mind the fact that God's grace and love and goodness are forever.....and ever. Life isn't a fairy tale. "True love's kiss" doesn't mean there is always a happy ending. And as of yet, I've never had a fairy godmother spin me a dress and a carriage. But we do have a Father God who gives us the promise that while there are trials in this life, one day we will be with Him and have that "happily ever after" that we can't even begin to imagine here on earth.

While we've always made Easter a celebration of Jesus' resurrection, we've also let the girls enjoy being kids with an egg hunt and fun goodies. Here are some pictures of them in their Easter dresses (that I finished sewing on Saturday night!) and with some of the goodies. If I knew how to put a movie onto my blog, I'd do that. You'll just have to imagine them running through Grandma's house looking for eggs. It was a dreary day, so they hunted inside.

We hope you had a blessed Easter Sunday and will continue rejoicing in our Risen Savior all year long!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

When you were a child, did you ever wonder why it was called GOOD Friday? I remember being little and hearing about Jesus dying on Good Friday. I wondered why in the world this was a GOOD thing?

As a teacher, I had a reward program. Each Friday, if you had behaved during the week, you got to choose a prize, or I gave out cookies or something. We called this "Goody Friday." Well, when Easter time rolled around, the kids would refer to this day before Easter as Goody Friday.

As an older teen, then adult, I understood why it was GOOD Friday. My sin separates me from God. Plain and simple. I can never be good enough for Him. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 God is perfect. There is no way we could ever be good enough to stand in His presence. The punishment for our sin is separation from Him. Death came after Adam & Eve had sinned. I don't know why He chose this way of making us right with Him, but early on He told people that to be right with Him, they could sacrifice a lamb. The animal's death would take the place of our death. But, that wasn't enough. A lamb could not ever fully pay for our sin. It took the death of God's own Son to do that.

Why was that a good thing? Because He gave us a way to get rid of all our sin in His eyes. He let Jesus leave Heaven to spend about 33 years on earth, then die, all so we could have our sins paid for or "atoned." It means I don't have to try to be good enough for God. The good that is in me comes from Him. Most importantly, it means that one day I can stand before Him perfectly blameless. How do you feel when you have to face someone you know you have wronged? There are feelings of guilt, regret, and maybe sorrow. If you can accept that Jesus already took on our guilt, then you can stand before God with none of that baggage!

Easter is coming. That is when we remember the most important step that came after Good Friday. But, for today, on "Goody Friday" I think we have the greatest prize ever: Jesus!

Going to bed at 3 a.m.

I just had to put this here because it's my mother's fault. NO, she didn't teach me to stay up til the wee hours. No, she isn't standing here telling me to stay awake. Certainly she will fuss at me for being up this late. However, I still claim it is her fault.

You see, when I was little, and even when I was bigger than little, my mom made a lot of my clothes. And it went something like this: While we were gone to school or playing with friends, she would start the dress. Then, I had to try on this dress with pins stuck all over it, accompanied with the admonition, "BE careful not to let the pins poke you." Now, I was somehow responsible for maneuvering my body around the pins. "Be still! I can't measure the hem if you keep moving!" Oh, wait, is that just what I tell my girls. It all runs together now.

Suddenly, Mom would realize that it was the day before whatever the occasion was for the dress, and she wasn't finished. Thus, she would stay up til the wee hours finishing the dress. Or, sew a hem as we drove wherever we were going.

When I got married, I made my wedding dress, under the guidance of my mom AND my soon to be mother-in-law. Yes, it gave me plenty of time to practice "ripping" what I had "sewn." My dress was to be made with this one condition: It had to be FINISHED one month before the wedding. Mom's orders. And, with the help of several friends and the moms, we had all the pearls and beads sewn on in time.

That was then. This is now. Have you heard that children learn more by what they see than what they hear? Yep, it's true. You see, Easter is in 3 days. We will leave Saturday to go to my mother-in-law's house. I started the girls' dresses last week. Now, in 3 days, they need to be finished. Meanwhile, we have had days away from home, sleepover guests (which required far more supervision than anticipated), and even a night at an ice show. So, here I am, 3 days before, wait, it's after midnight, make that 2 days before Easter, at 3 a.m. going to bed because I must get some sleep. I am determined to finish these dresses before we leave.

If I don't, well, just blame it on Mom. I think she'll approve if I'm still sewing hems in the car. But, if the girls get poked with pins, I'm sending them to MAMMAW to explain it!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The sweet sound of laughter

It is now nearly 12:30 a.m. I am to the "shhhhhhhhh!" stage in this sleepover. I think our 7 year old guest is out cold. The other girls are going to play the movie again b/c they talked through it. Earlier I heard giggling. Much giggling. The kind of giggling that only pre-teens can have.

For the "normal" parent, or parents of "normal" kids, this may not be such a big deal. But, I have an autistic child. I have a child who would not answer a yes/no question before she was 5 years old. She would not participate in Sunday School. She would hide under tables at birthday parties if I weren't holding her. Now she is having a sleepover with her "birthday twin" (one of our neighbors is a little girl born about 1 1/2 hrs. after Bethany). AND she is giggling. It is a sweet sound.

The other reason I love that sound is because of the memories it stirs. Beverly & Denise at my house. Denise & I at Bev's house. Bev & I at Denise's house. If it was a Friday night, at least one of us would be at the other one's house, and often all 3 of us. Oh, we giggled so much. I think that MAY be why my parents bought a house with the kids' bedrooms upstairs & theirs downstairs! We didn't have a TV in every room. We only had a few stations and it was back in the days when you had to actually walk TO the TV to turn it on & off. So we usually listened to records (those big black things that went around & around). But mostly we giggled. We giggled ourselves silly til we cried and our sides hurt. We continued this well into young adulthood.

The last few times that the 3 of us have been together, it's been the 8 of us with kids, and it was our kids laughing. They were little, so it was the precious giggles of preschoolers splashing in water, fully dressed. We were all too tired to laugh ourselves silly.

My mom always told me that her dad would tell her & her sister when they got the giggles, "If you keep laughing like that someone will end up crying." Well, as I was typing this I heard a big clunk. Natalie just fell off the bunk bed. She's okay, but I guess it proves my Grampie's point!

Maybe I need to call Denise & Bev & see if they want to laugh themselves silly with me!

It rained MUD today!

We went outside this morning. I had not watched the news. My car was COVERED in mud. It looked like we'd been 4-wheeling. Everything from "Were the girls out here playing yesterday with water?" as they'd been getting muddy in the backyard to "Pollen is heavy, but this is BROWN not yellow" crossed my mind. I then said, "It looks like it was raining mud. But it doesn't rain mud. That's crazy!" I told the girls we'd have to stop at the gas station & clean the windows. My windshield cleaner tank thing has a leak, so I can't use it. Natalie said, "Mom, you need to clean them now so you can see." I was like, "Nah, I can see enough to get to the gas station." I thought it was just the glare on the car. I backed up & realized I couldn't see. I had to get out & clean the windows just to get TO the gas station. Natalie & I tried to clean them better, but apparently everyone else had been there, too as there was next to no cleaner in the holders. I started looking around & it was then I realized whatever this was had affected ALL of us. My parents told me what it was when we got there. Apparently dust from Mexico blew in at the same time the rain hit. Weird!!!!

And, just as an aside, sometimes in our pollen count we have marijuana when they are burning fields in Mexico! Now you know our secret to happiness!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hey, we could sell that!

Today we went to my parents' house to help Mom, though, truth be told, the only help we had to give her was fixing lunch! She's getting around really well.

Last night Bethany asked why we were going.
Me: To help Mammaw while Poppaw plays golf.
B: Oh, yeah, and if a robber broke in Mammaw couldn't move fast enough.
Me (stifling a laugh): That's true. Plus we need to help her with the leg bending machine.
B: Why can't Poppaw do that before he leaves?
Me: Well, she can't stay attached to it for the whole time he's gone. That would be 6 hours or so.
Nat: That's how long she's SUPPOSED to stay on it.
Me (proud of her for listening & knowing that fact): Yes, but not all at one time!

Today we were there & as I picked up the table for lunch, I threw away a tissue. I asked first if it was Mom's & if she needed it. "Just throw it away. You can't keep it!" she teased. So I asked the girls (just feeling ornery) if they wanted an autographed tissue from Mammaw. Girls, "It's not autographed." I told them it was autographed by her nose.

Later Bethany pipes up, "If Mammaw were really famous, we could sell her SNOTOGRAPH on the internet and make money!" Ha! ha! I asked where she heard that word. B, "Oh, I just made it up." SNOTOGRAPH! I have to remember that next time I blow my nose.

Tonight we have sleepover guests. It's spring break here so the kids who go to school can sleep over during the week. Really, though, WHY is it called a SLEEP over or SLUMBER party? We all know THAT ain't happening any time soon! I am attempting to calm them down with "light's out & watch a movie." That has become lights out & we'll "pictochat" on our DS's, while talking to each other. HUH? Back in the day that would have been like writing notes to each other while talking. Soon it will be DS's off. Maybe by 3 or so they'll fall asleep!

As for me, I worked on Easter dresses today. I have a piece of Natalie's in my lap. I was on my way to the sewing machine when my ADHD kicked in & here I am!

Good night!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Do you LOL?

Do you really Laugh Out Loud when you put LOL? Or do you just think it's funny in your head & laugh? It would look really weird to put LIMH (laughing in my head), I suppose.

Do you ever call your husband "dh"? Do you ever mean something other than "dear" when you type, "dh, dd, ds, etc."

Have you ever referred to your mother-in-law IRL as MIL? Do you ever say "IRL" in real life?

Have you ever really LOLPIMPRDML? Laughed out loud peeing in my pants running down my legs? Yes, I've really seen that!

OOOOOOH, how about this? Have you ever ROFLOL? Really, have you ever rolled on the floor when you were laughing out loud?

AND, do you have any interest specific of these abbreviations? For example: PC (Pampered Chef), EAD (Easy Accent Decorator), USG (Ultimate Slice & Grate, but now it's the Ultimate Mandoline). Or for stamping: SU (Stampin' Up), SCS (splitcoaststampers), PE (Pearl-Ex), EP (Embossing powder), or WWC (wonderful watercolor crayons). And, my favorite: AS, ASD, dx, rx, PDDNOS, pdoc, NT.......otherwise known as Asperger Syndrome, Austims Spectrum disorder, diagnosis, prescription, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (that's what they say when they can't QUITE call the child autistic & it stinks because insurance generally won't pick up charges for kids who are PDDNOS), psychiatrist/psychologist, Neuro-Typical (this is the "normal" person---HA! Is there a normal?).

I think my all time favorite of these acronyms is TTFN: Tigger's ta-ta for now! But, it makes me laugh because a dear friend (or is that DF) didn't know what it meant. This friend lives with 3 boys in her life (her dh & ds's!), so she thought this meant: Time to f-a-r-t now! LIMH!

GTG. BBL. TTFN (the Tigger kind, not my friend's).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to me, I live in a.....

Wait a minute! Zoo doesn't rhyme with me! Oh, well.

Today is my 25th birthday. Again. My niece & I are the same age now! LOL! Okay, so maybe I wasn't born 25 years ago, or even 30 years ago, but it is my birthday.

I got to sleep really late today. I woke up & Natalie greeted me with a big, "Happy Birthday" & a hug. Bethany was coerced into doing the same. She has figured out how to send cards from sites like, so she sent me 2 cards. She asked what her e-mail address was. I had to tell her she didn't have one, so she sent it from "" which was pretty creative! Then Natalie gave me a scarf that she knifty knitted (under the pretense that it was for her!) and also 2 beautiful beaded bracelets. I must say the girl has better fashion sense than I do!

I've been cleaning in the kitchen. I know, I know, it's not a birthday kind of thing to do. However, my oven has been fuming the last few times we used it, so I sprayed it with caustic oven cleaner last night that had me gagging. I wiped it down & it needed more spray, so now we are all choking, or just avoiding the kitchen. I'd tried a more "gentle" cleaner but it didn't do the job. Plus it made my food taste like what I think cleaner must taste like (I have no personal experience, for the record). Phil sent me an hilarious e-card and has offered to REALLY clean the kitchen. I'm doing the top surface stuff. He says he will actually make counter space for me. THAT would be nice! He's also forewarned me that things will be thrown away. Thus, I must go in there first & salvage anything of value!

Since we ate out for his birthday on Tuesday night, I'm cooking tonight, but picked up some steak & potatoes, so we'll be set. I need to go put some kind of marinade on them now.

You know how people will say, "It's hard to believe I'm (insert age here). I don't FEEL that old." Well, I can honestly say I don't feel 43. I feel much more like 63! I guess the achiness the past few days (where every muscle hurts), is from fibromyalgia. This is new to me, so I'm just figuring out that there is a reason I feel that way & it isn't all in my imagination. Today I feel better, though, so will enjoy the energy while it's here!

I have two birthday twins I want to send greetings to, also: Happy Birthday Jeanne! Happy Birthday Karen!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Booty Kickin' Mammaw!

I heard something yesterday that I have never heard about my mom and don't think I ever will. If you don't know my mom, she is pretty quiet and shy around anyone she doesn't know. She is very polite. She is gentle (Bethany has said she likes that about Mammaw). Actually, she's a lot like Bethany. They even look somewhat alike.

The supervising Physical Therapist came by yesterday for her final check-up. From now on she will go to outpatient PT to finish her therapy. Well, at least therapy for her knee. Therapy from raising us is way too costly, I'm sure! So, this guy comes in and his first words to her are, "From what I've been told you are Kickin' Butt!" It took everything in me not to bust out laughing. Mom was grinning, too. See, Mom never let us use that word. It was "bottom" or "backside" or "rump." With my kids our favorite words are "Hiney" or "tushy." But (no pun intended) never the B-u-t-t word (spelled out as my kids do). I'm not so strict as my mom about it & know that it's the normal word to use now days. Even mom will say it is okay to use NOW. Still, I've never heard HER say it. And certainly she has NEVER said she's Kickin' one. AND REALLY never been TOLD that she is kicking one!

I think her grandkids all need to get a shirt now that says, "My Mammaw kicks B......."

Or not. LOL!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Delouse: out of da house & Mom update

We THINK we are done with lice. We treated again yesterday & I washed & dried clothes, bedsheets, towels and I'm sure more, from the time I got up til 2 a.m. Phew! I double treated mine with a "RID" substitute (a shampoo for delicing) and a "NIX" substitute (a lotion you put on after you use regular shampoo). I didn't feel itchy at all today. Well, not til Phil said his head feels itchy. Now I do, too! UGH! I haven't seen anything suspicious in his hair. He's got really dark hair with a few sprinkles of gray, so the nits should show up pretty well, right? I hope it's all "in his head!" LOL!

Mom got her staples out of her incision today. I talked to Dad & he said she felt a lot less pain when they took those out. I imagine they do hurt. The girls & I are headed over tonight to help out tomorrow & some on Thursday. I hope to work on the girls' Easter dresses while we are there, too. We might go back next week for a day so Dad can get out again.

Tonight we went out to eat for Phil's birthday. I was so proud of myself for finding an online coupon for a free appetizer for T.G.I. Friday's (where Phil wanted to go). I picked an appetizer as my main meal, Phil got a hamburger & the kids' meals were pretty cheap. We were given some birthday money so used a little of that, but still did pretty well keeping it lower than it could have been. I used to do a lot of frugal things. While we are not extravagant now, there are things that we can cut out (like fast food) to help even more. Anyway, we were able to eat out & not spend too much of our gift money.

Now I have to see if the LAST of the clothes are dry. Our dryer is S-L-O-W because it vents up, not out. Long story. Good night.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Homeschooling Illegal in California

In case you haven't heard, a court in California ruled homeschooling ILLEGAL in California. Here is the Fox News version:,2933,335808,00.html
And a different source:
Here is HSLDA's (Home School Legal Defense Association) response:
And another on one news now about HSLDA:
If you would like to sign a petition on HSLDA you can go to

Interestingly, I searched on CNN, for an "unbiased" report. They don't even have it on their website, at least not using the search criteria I entered. From my understanding of things, this is saying that all homeschool parents must be certified teachers in California. Also, it sounds like they require that students take standardized tests and report progress to the state.

I have a bit of an opinion on this matter. Before I share the homeschool mom side, let me share the classroom teacher side. Teachers work hard to get their degrees. I don't know how many other degrees require that you spend a semester as an unpaid intern (student teacher). I don't know how many other fields require you to pass a state mandated test to earn your certification, in addition to your college degree. I do know that teachers are taught all they can be taught in a college classroom, yet are never truly prepared for the job they must do. No college class can adequately prepare you for a principal breathing down your neck over test scores, or a parent complaining to the principal because little Johnny didn't make the honor roll. No class makes you ready to try to help little Shawnequa, who is the oldest of 7 children, at age 8, with "Daddy" being whoever is sleeping with Mama that night, who is so emotionally disturbed that she can't even sit in her chair, or look at you, and needs 2 desks because she hoards so much "stuff." No professor tells you that you will sit in ARD's prepared to get help for little Shawnequa, and the only words from the principal's mouth are "Can she pass the TAAS test?" or TAKS, or whatever the test d'jour is. No one can prepare a teacher for the endless hours she or he will spend grading papers, writing lesson plans, calling parents, and worrying over 20+ kids that are in her or his care. Teachers work a thankless job most the time. I know this. I've been there.

I meet part of California's standards. Well, not really, but if they had the same standards here. I'm a certified teacher. Phil has a BS in Science, and could easily obtain an "emergency" teaching certification. Yes, they really do give those out when there is a teacher shortage, which there always seems to be. If I had to stand before this same court, these are some of the things I would like to tell them: NOTHING I learned in college is necessary to teach MY children. I would tell them that I have seen some teachers with a license to teach whom I would NOT want teaching my kids. I would ask if they've ever picked up a teacher's manual to see that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to teach a child. I would ask if they've ever watched a DVD or satellite broadcast of a homeschool lesson. I would ask if they have kids in public school, how much one on one attention their child gets per day, per lesson. I would want to know how filling in little circles on a standardized test qualifies a child for the real world. Oh, the list would go on & on.

Oh, yeah, I would also say I think ALL parents should be accountable for what they teach their kids: things like getting drunk is okay, using foul language is okay, watching shows with inappropriate material is okay, that sleeping with whomever "daddy" is that night is okay. Yep, that's what some parents do who send their kids to school for 8 hours. And trust me, those kids aren't normally your honor roll students, or high scorers on the standardized tests.

I have many friends whose kids are in school, public or private, and they have made the choice that best fits their families. These are wonderful parents who are giving their kids what they've decided is best for THEM. By the way, when I taught at a private school, having a teaching certificate was not a requirement. I don't know if it is or not now, but there were some amazing teachers there. My point is that there are parents who love their kids and are involved in their children's lives and education, in a school setting.

On the flip side, there are some parents who see school not as a privilege that our country offers, but as a right. They expect the school to take care of their kids from breakfast til almost supper.

Now I'm going to the homeschool parent role. If you take homeschoolers AS A WHOLE, you will find that a MAJORITY of homeschool parents are educating their children as a CHOICE. They want to provide the very best education possible for THEIR children. Isn't it ironic that the government would look at people who have PURPOSELY CHOSEN to educate their children and question their ability? Yes, there are some, who, for whatever reason, are not educating their children with their best interest in mind. Yet, there are certainly a good number of parents whose kids go to school, whose skills at safeguarding and teaching their children life skills, and how to be a productive citizen, should be more of a concern than parents who actually want to educate their children!

I contend that MOST homeschool parents are doing an acceptable, if not exceptional, job of teaching their children. We need only look at studies of graduated homeschoolers (now that we have reached that stage) to see how they compare to their peers to find that most of these young adults fared quite well. I've often said in regard to homeschooled children, "The proof is in the pudding." You can't judge a child's outcome until he or she has, well, "come out."

As a classroom teacher, I truly hated standardized testing when used as it is in public schools. Testing such as this should be used for 2 purposes: 1) to obtain a comparison of how the child has progressed from the previous testing to this one, and 2) as a diagnostic tool to determine in what areas the child needs help. Now, this may sound very flippant and disrepsectful, so I ask for forgiveness up front, but when I see a sign on a school that says something about the school being exemplary BASED ON TEST SCORES, I just want to scream, "WHO CARES???" I want to ask, "Are you teaching the kids how to use these skills in real life? Are they learning to respect other students? Can they work together on a project? Can they solve problems individually, and as a group? Or can they just fill in circles on a test to make the principal look good?"

I've heard people say that it is frightening that people without the proper training are trying to teach their kids. Scary, teaching them to work together, to love others, to honor God and their parents. Yep, scary, isn't it.

Finally, words from the Edumator, The Governator, the Terminator, Ahnold:

"Every California child deserves a quality education, and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," Schwarzenegger said in response to the ruling, which said children educated at home must be taught by a credentialed teacher.

"Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education," Schwarzenegger said. "This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts, and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."

Read entire article HERE.

Stepping off my soapbox. Quietly backing away. Good night.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My funny girl

Bethany has developed a love of "word play" that I have, so we enjoy exchanging puns and silly word play. Today I used the word louse again. She asked what a louse was. I told her that it was the singular of lice, many are lice, a louse is just one, single. She quipped, "You mean it's not married?" with a smirk on her face! Silly girl!

I've seen no signs of the little buggies last night or tonight. I'm greasing down their hair with glosser still, and will do mine. It's messy but if it keeps the lice away, that's great!

We are itching to get out of the house (pun intended), but glad today wasn't the day. We've had a last bit of Old Man Winter here today. After 92 last week, it's been in the 40's all day and we had a fire in our fireplace! Crazy weather.

Update on Mom

When I talked to Mom yesterday, she told me she had slipped in the bathroom, but thankfully had not fallen all the way down. She did bruise her elbow pretty badly and cut it, but was able to get the bleeding stopped (she is on blood thinners right now). Today the Physical Therapist came. Mom said she is sore, but sounded better tonight.

On Friday Ruth (Phils mom---sorry, my keyboard is not letting me put in apostrophes) is going to Mom & Dads house. She will stay until Sat. afternoon. We will go over for lunch Sat. to celebrate our birthdays early (Phil & I both have March birthdays, just 4 days apart, plus 8 years!). Next week, Lord willing, and louse gone, the girls & I will go over Tuesday night & stay til Thursday afternoon.

We are still working on delousing. Some of my friends have shared some hilarious puns about this. One thanked me for the "heads up" warning I sent. Another told me this was really "lousy." Then one had a whole paragraph full of "nit picking" and "itching to get rid of this." I have to laugh to keep from crying. Phil has an itchy head, but I cannot see any signs of lice on his head. I am not sure if they have come off when he combed his hair (he keeps it really short), or if it is psychosomatic, you know, all in his HEAD! hee-hee! Had to explain that word, since it was a real HEAD SCRATCHER. Okay, I will stop. Just do not get me started on chickens and eggs. My friend Stephanie will have to be here for that.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This wasn't in the job description!

I read the books. You know, those of you who've had a baby, the books that you read when you find out you have a new life inside of you. One that doesn't REALLY come with instructions, but someone is getting rich pretending to have the instructions. I can tell you that nowhere did I see a book titled What to Expect When You Have an Autistic Child or What to Expect When Your 9 Year Old who is Stubborn as a Mule Doesn't get to go to the Zoo with her friends. Nope, didn't find those. I read the books about Strong Willed Kids. I learned, well, that my kids were, indeed, strong-willed. But the instructions that would actually work weren't there. I assumed that the books I DID read were my job description. Starting with pregnancy and on through stories of Homeschoolers who have gone before me in this journey, I've tried to find what it is I'm to do with these kids. I can GUARANTEE that NO JOB DESCRIPTION said, "You will have a lousy immune system, that, once compromised, will keep you sick for a few months before you feel well again. You will have multiple bouts of sinus infections. You will not get sick leave when you have these days. Your children will be crankier than usual when you are sick. You will find lice on their heads, and while the doctor says you should be resting, you will be combing Nit Removal Gel through your child's hair. Your elder child will have your genetic make-up in the hair department. Her thick hair will be the envy of many, until she gets lice, while you are sick. " But, that should have been there. It is totally unfair to hand a new mom a baby and give her these instructions, "No heavy lifting for 3 weeks. Rest when your baby rests. Don't have caffeine if you are breast-feeding your child." First, who is going to do the laundry and pour your glass of milk when the grandmothers have gone home? Second, babies rest? See, they must have confused the little bundles they gave me with some other life form, because my babies didn't do what I expected, especially in the resting department. No caffeine, no spicy food, no ANYTHING with much taste for 3 weeks and guess what? The baby who doesn't sleep cries anyway & has tummy problems! Those first few weeks should have been a clue that the books were wrong.

So, fast forward to 11 1/2 years later. Because the father of these children (aka my husband) is concerned about lice in his own hair (and desperately hoping to find one, just one, so he can work from home), he wakes me up to check his head after I've had maybe 5 or 6 hours of sleep, if that much, and that with a very stuffy nose making it hard to breathe. I fall asleep, but wake up again, this time to be greeted by, "I am going to the zoo." You know, I was about ready to send her for a few hours at that point. The monkeys could have nit-picked for me. I've combed through 4 heads of hair today. My own is the most challenging, so I'm just going to wash it & comb through as best I can. Bethany's I did morning and tonight. Found live lice. Gross. Someone suggested oil, so I covered her head in hair glossing oil. Then a friend told me tea tree oil. I have a little container of tea tree gel, so I worked that into her hair. I have washed so many items in the past 24 hours that I really could qualify as washateria. THAT wasn't in the job description either.

I tried sleeping more on the couch while we watched a movie, The Game Plan. Phil had previewed it & told me to fast forward through the beginning. There were other parts I could have ff'd through, too. But, the gist of the movie is that a self-absorbed football player suddenly discovers he has a child by his ex-wife. He doesn't want her at first, but by the end of the movie, he realizes that she is the most important thing in his life. Okay, the Author of the REAL Instruction Book had to remind me that my job description may not include nit-picking specifically, but it does include loving and nurturing my children. It includes teaching them in God's ways. It includes feet washing, self-sacrifice, and a thankful heart. Ouch. I don't like that one all the time.

It was a good thing I had that revelation at the time because the next thing that happened was our TV died. More accurately, it became a radio. We totally lost the picture. Yes, it is good to have quiet and have the TV off, NORMALLY, but when it happens on a day when Mom is sick & kids are quarantined, it's not so good. Thankfully, we have some hand-me-down TV's and my very smart husband was able to get us set up when he got home. Side note: I laughed when he was working on how to hook up this TV & said, "This piece is not part of the equation." Wouldn't a simple, "I don't need this part," be easier? LOL!

Now, tomorrow when I get up & am cranky again, someone will remind me to be nice, right?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Um, Natalie, what's that in your hair?

Have you ever had one of those days? Weeks? Months? Or, in our case, years? I'm running fever, my throat hurts like crazy, my ears keep popping, and I'm sleep deprived from not breathing well while sleeping due to a stuffy nose. We managed to make it to the doctor's office, and somehow, with a stroke of genius, I brought schoolwork for them to do at the dr's so they wouldn't cry "BORED" the whole time. It was a new doctor, since mine quit her practice. I had a gazillion new patient forms to fill out. "Did your 2nd cousin twice removed ever have the flu?" Okay, that's exaggerated, but they did want info back to my grandparents. The schoolwork came in handy while I did my own paperwork.

I finished all the papers about the time that Natalie finished her work. She was standing close enough that I could see a black speck in her hair. I thought it was a piece of dirt or something. She came closer, I reached in to remove it, and the piece of dirt moved. So, I pulled it off and flicked in on the floor. Yeah, really smart. I looked and found a few more of these moving specks. I knew that lice nits were white, but had no idea what color lice were. My first words to this brand new doctor were, "What color are lice?" "Black. Does she have them?" I told her about the black specks & she said, "She has lice." Then she checked me (not for lice, but for the respiratory crud), prescribed a z-pack and sent us on her way. I wonder if she disinfected the room after we left. Or the office. Shudder.

When we got in the car, I had to remember who the girls were last with. AWANA, they were at church last night. They took a friend with them. I called the friend's mom. I thought I'd had another dropped call because after I mentioned something moving in Natalie's hair and heard her say, "Oh, no," the phone went silent. Turned out I had just put her into temporary shock. At Wal-Mart we stocked up on Lice killing shampoo and spray. My friend, meanwhile, started the research for me & when I got home I had "Louseology 101" waiting for me!

3 heads have been treated. We've sprayed the couch & bedding that can't be washed (um, that's the mattress). I've washed at least 3 loads of washable bedding in very hot water. I've called Call-A-Nurse (again, I told the nurse I was afraid she'd answer with, "Oh, it's you again.") to find out how long we need to be quarantined (until no nits or live lice are found; not too helpful!). Phil has gone to work to get his laptop, which he normally brings home, thinking he might quarantine himself to the house for a day. Now we have to wait for pillows to dry. They take a very long time to dry. A VERY long time.

I've also called my dad to officially bow out of being a helper at their house this week. I've listened to Natalie cry and scream, "I hate lice! I'm mad that God made lice! Why did God have to make stupid lice?" I told her my theory is that God made them good but satan made them bite. Yeah, it's in the LMV Bible (Lori's Mom version). I've looked over Phil's head, several times, listening to him asking, "Don't you see ANY of them on there? Are you sure? Can't you find ONE?" He has very dark hair (minus the grays, most of which have Natalie's name on them), so it's hard to see at first, but it's very short (unlike the time to dry the pillows; oh, did I mention that?). I found one piece with a white something at the end. I told the Call-A-Nurse that he was wondering if he should stay home & she laughed & said for him to show up at work, start scratching his head & go home!

I have NEVER, I repeat NEVER had head lice. Not as a child. Not as a teenager. Not in college. Not even as a teacher (and I caught every other bug they brought me). I even had Dad ask Mom & she said, "Nope, never had them." However MOM had them as a child, so Dad said to blame it on her.

I called 2 of the neighbors to notify them. They'd received notes from school that lice is going around. One mom checked her kids & called me back. They are clear so far. I'm so glad as she has a newborn baby. She doesn't need lice right now! The other I notified, but haven't heard if they found any. I've notified our homeschool co-op by e-mail. I feel like we have the black plague or something.

By the way, I still am running fever, throat hurts, ears are popping, and I feel just awful. But I don't get sick days. What's up with that anyway? I think I need to contact my union. Oh, wait, I live with the union. Oh, well! At least if the Union stays home tomorrow, we can run to vote without kids.

I have to ask a question now, and you need to leave a comment with your answer. Did your head start itching just reading about lice?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I just want to bang on the drum all day

I think our neighbor has this song memorized, at least the percussion part. He's been playing his drums all afternoon and evening. He is INSIDE his house with all the doors & windows shut. We have DOUBLE-PANED glass, and I can still hear him. I turned on K-love on the computer to see if I could drown it out. Nope. I do not want to play on the drum all day. I want to go smack a drumstick upside someone's head, but I'm pretty sure that's not "what Jesus would do."

After my 2 rambling posts, here's an update. Just talked to Mom. She sounds really good. She was tired, but didn't sound groggy at all like she has. She said the Physical Therapist (PT) who came out mashed on her knee yesterday & it has hurt ever since. A different PT will come out next week. She said the one that came set her knee bending machine higher than she thought it was supposed to be set, too. I asked if she wanted me to go beat him up. She laughed. Some friends were over visiting her and had taken supper. My nephew, Nils, was there, too. Wonder if Katie got to eat tonight. Nils never misses a meal. What am I saying? NO ONE in our family misses a meal! Once I asked my brother Greg if he ever forgot to eat a meal & he told me no, but that Nils told him that he sometimes forgets he's eaten & eats again! LOL! Back to mom, she was tired, but sounds like she is doing well.

Phil took the beautiful day to ride his motorcycle up to work on Ruth's computer. It's WAY cheaper to take the bike than the van (something like 70 miles per gallon), and he loves doing that. It's his therapy! I sometimes tell my dad that Phil is "golfing" when he's riding his motorcycle. Golfing is Dad's therapy. He should be home soon.

The girls have been at neighbors' houses all afternoon. They came home from one & got a call to go to another house. It's been nice & quiet, which is nice because I feel yucky today. I think the allergies have gone into infection. Natalie called a few minutes ago. She started with a nice voice, "Mommy, how are you feeling?" That was my first clue something was up. "I'm sick, honey." "Oh. We were wondering if (neighbor girl) could spend the night." "No, honey, I'm sick." "But MOMMY, we will leave you ALONE!" "No, honey I'm sick. AND you have to finish cleaning your room." "But MOMMY, we FINISHED it." This went on for a couple more sentences. I won. Have I mentioned I never want to be a single mom?

That's what's going on at our house. Hope you are all having a great day!

Therapy 202

I do have a second therapy that used to be mainly for pleasure, but has become a necessity, and an occupation. I have loved cooking and baking since I was at least 7 years old. I know this because my mom has oft told the story of little 7 year old Lori asking, "What does the t stand for in the cookbook?" Mom explained about teaspoons and tablespoons. I went back to the kitchen and made a PIE CRUST by myself! All was well until we bit into it and discovered that I had not learned the DIFFERENCE between teaspoon and Tablespoon. The pie was a bit salty.

I spent many days in the kitchen growing up. Baking was preferred to cooking. I love sweets. And, for most my life, I could eat what I baked and enjoy it without any consequences. Now that I have hit the "over 40" mark and been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, that's changed a bit. I've had new challenges in baking. Imagine trying to make a loaf of bread without gluten: no all-purpose flour, no bread flour, no whole wheat flour, no spelt, no rye, no barley, and normally no oats. It's definitely challenging! One of my goals in life is to create the first Gluten Free Crescent Roll that will taste like Pillsbury crescents!

When I attended my first Pampered Chef show, I was quite pregnant and went just for the free food! The only time I'd ever REALLY sold anything in my life was working at Payless Shoes in college. I was a teacher, and now a mom. Yet, when I saw these tools, I thought, "WOW! If EVER I were going to sell something, THIS would be it." 3 years later, I signed on the line, and started a business doing something I love. Little did I know that getting the kitchen tools free or at greatly reduced prices would be a lifesaver a few years later.

Some people cook from scratch because they love it. Some people cook from scratch because they have to do it to feed the family. I do it for both of those reasons, and others. I can no longer grab a can of cream of mushroom soup and a bag of noodles to make beef stroganoff. I have yet to find a can of mushroom soup on the shelves in our stores that is gluten free (apart from the $3.00 cans at the health food store). A loaf of bread, you know, that thing that can be bought for as little as 69 cents if you go generic? If I buy a pre-made tiny loaf of gluten free bread, it will cost $5.00 or so, and will likely taste freezer burned and cardboardish. A mix is about the same price, but makes a bigger loaf and tastes better. To make it from scratch means mixing several different flours together (rice, potato, teff, quinoa, and other assorted "exotic grains"), adding some xanthan gum, which kind of acts like gluten (providing elasticity), and just the right amount of liquid; not overmixing, not over-proofing, and baking just the right amount of time. Because the bread dough is more of a batter, I can't freeze the dough in portions like I could with wheat bread dough. I have to say, cooking at home, in my tiny kitchen, with all the changes for gluten free, is NOT therapeutic like it used to be.

THAT is why I love my job as a Kitchen Consultant. I LOVE going into homes where I can actually see the countertops, have exactly the ingredients I need in front of me, and not worry about food allergies (unless, of course, the host or guests are allergic). I love our company's mission. We are putting families back around the table. Our new shows are focusing on FAST recipes that, combined with our FAST tools, get you in & out of the kitchen FAST. I am ready to get back to cooking for people and showing them how easy it can be when you have the right tools! I am teaching a class of middle school students how to cook. If THEY can cook, then I know any adult who wants to provide healthy food for their families can do this! Do I sound like a woman on a mission? LOL!

There, you have read about my 2 therapies in life. If only I could find time to DO those things! My first and most important priority within my family is to be a wife and a mom. Stamping and discovering a million ways to make gluten free bread have to wait. However, I do sometimes get the girls to stamp with me, and am teaching them to cook. You know measuring DOES count as a math lesson........

Therapy 101

Do you have a "therapy" in life that is cheaper than Therapy? Of course, turning to the Lord and His word are the first course. But, sometimes we need to think of day 7 of creation, when even the Lord took a day off of His work to rest. And maybe my "therapy" wouldn't be considered rest by some, but, it is so soothing to me. Actually, over the years I've had different types. But there is one I have now that traces back to my childhood. If you walked into my tiny house today you would probably NOT peg me as "the child who did everything perfectly." I didn't do EVERYTHING perfectly, but I am SURE that I was the best at coloring in the lines as a child.

As I got older, I learned to sew, which is somewhat like staying in the lines. You have to cut pieces just so, and match them, then sew them oh, so carefully. The sewer's mantra is "As you sew, so shall you rip," meaning, if you don't do it right, you will be removing stitches (I've done that plenty of times, which means I obviously didn't do it right all the time). Then came other crafts: needlework, crochet, painting on fabric. In college my friend Bev (who lived with my family our first semester of college) and I would come home after a stressful day at school (who knew those people who said college was a cake walk compared to real life were serious!) and pull out coloring books and crayons. Yep, two 18 year olds would just lay their watching reruns and coloring. We always had a bowl of Bluebell Ice Cream, too (and stayed amazingly thin, which has nothing to do with coloring, but is a nice memory).

Now, so many years later I have a new therapy that has taken me full circle. It's rubber stamping. Those of you who have this same addiction, um, I mean therapy, know what I'm talking about. This isn't the old happy face stamp, or the "paid in full" office stamps of days gone by. These are stamps that take someone like me, who can't draw very well, and turn her into an artist. I am still in the amateur division of this art, but it is still so therapeutic. AND, I've discovered that there are a LOT of ways to color in the lines! I can stamp a picture, then use markers, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, or watercolor crayons to color in the the picture.

People have told me they thought I was spending too much money by having a hobby like this. We have always had to be frugal in our marriage, and this is another area where I've learned to be frugal. Stores that sell some of the things used in stamping have coupons almost weekly. That's one way to save money. Another, and my favorite way, is to host a show. I've had friends come over to watch my Stampin' Up (a company that sells stamps through home parties, much like I do with Pampered Chef) demonstrator show us how to make a card, then let us make one ourselves. Like Pampered Chef, as a host, I earned free product. I've also found a few age old ideas have come back to life. Bartering has become a way of life. Remember watching shows about the "old West" when people would pay the doctor with eggs and bread? Some of my stamping friends will swap stamping supplies for Pampered Chef items. Another "novel idea" is sharing. The first time we went into a stamp store, Bethany (about 5 or 6 at the time) asked, "Do we have to pay or do you just borrow this?" My friends and I share our stamps. And, here's another brainstorm: Generosity. If you see a stamped image you like, but you don't live close enough to borrow the stamp (though, I've mailed stamps to people far away to borrow), we will stamp images for one another. I also must say that I have been blessed by some of the kindest, most generous stampers around. I have had people give me stamps "just because." I am always shocked and amazed when this happens.

There you have it. Confessions of a stamper, Therapy 101. I'll share about another therapy in a different post.