He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9



Sunday Afternoon Daybook :: July 17

::Outside My Window::
An overcast, rainy afternoon.  Perfect for napping and blogging and reading and lego-playing.  I love storms! 

I had many, many, (many!)  kid interruptions this afternoon. (All of which I responded to with sweet and loving patience, of course.  teheehee.)  So now it is Sunday night and I see the glow of the summer sunset reflecting outside my window.

::I am Listening to ::
Jonathan Park is playing on the ipod in the boys' room. As usual.

By the way:  Investing in Jonathan Park recordings is one of the best things I have done for my kids.  They are dramatized stories about creation science.  My kids listen to them for hours and hours and hours.  And because of these stories, they are far better at defending (and articulating) our Creation beliefs than I am! When we recently went to the Smithsonian museum in Washington DC, we walked into an exhibit hall that turned out to be all about the evolutionary beginnings of mankind.  As we went from one exhibit to the next, we would stop and the kids would tell me why the exhibit was wrong - what presuppositions and false assumptions were involved in the evolutionary story that was being told. Not gonna lie.  It was an awesome mommy moment for me.    

The recordings are expensive, but in my opinion, they are worth it even if you pay full price.  But they run sales.  I got in on some kind of massive buy-it-all sale years ago.  Sign up for their emails and wait for a sale.  Ask for them from the grandparents (instead of more toys!)  Use them as birthday presents.  Whatever you have to do....get these!

You can buy them at 
Or at Amazon.com

::I am Thankful For ::
 My husband's safety.  Friday night, David and Bro. Mowery had a very dangerous and terrifying  high-speed off-road experience on their way back from Bus Convention meetings in Pennsylvania.  The state troopers told them that if their vehicle had come to a stop 200 ft. later, they wouldn't have found them for days.   They both walked away unhurt.  God would have been good if the story had ended differently, but I am thanking Him over and over for His mercies.

::I am Pondering ::
 Ok.  This one is super random, but it's my blog and I'll write what I want to. 

I am pondering the negative talk I've been hearing hither and yon about all of our Bible Colleges.  I'm not gonna dig too deep here, except to say that Bible Colleges are not magicians.  If a kid goes to Bible College selfish, or socially untrained, or lazy, or undisciplined, or unfocused, or bibilcally illiterate or un-burdened for souls, or hungry for money and fame, or all of the above.... there is no guarantee that the teachers will be able to miraculously change all of those things while simultaneously giving them a quality education.  Bible Colleges are desperately trying to teach incoming students the BASICS of BIBLE and THEOLOGY knowledge! 

Frankly, much of the freshman year requires things that kids coming from Christian homes and holiness churches should already know! (That's another blog subject for another time...)  And furthermore - I think in all of our philosophizing and complaining about how there aren't any good Christian workers (music, missions, preachers, I've heard it all....) coming out of our Bible colleges, we need to seriously consider what exactly it is we are asking them to do.    I don't know who it is that YOU know, but I know A BUNCH of Spirit-filled, incredibly gifted, well-trained Christian workers who are out there. Now. Working.  Loving.  Doing.  Obeying.  So maybe I just know the good people and you need to meet some of the people I know.  I don't know.  But I'm just saying.  Bible colleges are doing good, hard work.  And Bible college teachers are super heroes in my book!!  Please stop sitting around and griping unless you've been there and walked their worn, faithful, goodwill shoes for 30 years or so. These are real people you are criticizing while you sit around and complain! Not just paper cutouts in a PR booth.  And even if you think you have all the answers and you could run things better, I'm pretty sure you'd be human too if you were doing their thankless jobs.

 But maybe not.                     Guess we'll never know, will we?

Thank you very much for listening.  Moving right along....

:: I am Remembering ::
A wonderful week in Alabama.  David was an evangelist for the camp, and I got to spend some quality time with some of God's amazing ladies. It was like God closed us in.  His Spirit was powerfully sweet as He did His good work.   It was positively healing for me.  Thank you, friends, for the circle of acceptance, your amazing attention, and the many (ongoing) conversations. You know who you are!

I am also basking in a beautiful, beautiful service full of  His Presence this morning.  It is so good to be home with our own people.

:: I am looking forward to/Dreaming of :: 
Hmmm...what I am dreaming of......
I dream of someday traveling the west with David in a jeep with two kayaks strapped on top.
OH!  And I can't wait to go ziplining soon!

:: Some of what I've been reading::
I have wanted to read through the books in The Well-Educated Mind.  But knew in this season of life, with all the other books I want/need to read, I would not be spending the hours it takes to ingest all of those books.  So I got the idea to start listening my way through the audiobooks.  Many of them are available for free on Librivox.com.  So I'm starting with my very first ever Jane Austen novel!  I am actually excited about branching out and reading some novels.  I have read relatively few in my lifetime, and I think it will be good to listen to something that is story based rather than information-based.   I enjoy listening to audio books while I do laundry and work around the house.  I have invested in some good bluetooth headphones and a speaker that plays loud enough to hear my audiobooks over the roaring sound in my busy laundry room. : ) 

::From the Kitchen::
 I am thinking about starting Trim Healthy Mama.  But it doesn't seem like a simple, stream-lined system.  It looks like a complicated, make-everything-brand-new-with-weird-ingredients-my-family-will-hate system.  I can eat anything.  But what I don't need is complicated.  Guess I'll just have to read the book and see for myself.

::I am Thinking::
 I am thinking I'd better stop blogging and get my junk together for family devotions.  I forgot that we are starting our Answers for Kids series tonight. 

::I am Creating::
 I've been enjoying these coloring cards:  Kayla loves them too.  She used them as her thank-you cards at band camp. I especially like them because they are small enough to finish in one setting.  I usually don't get to finish a whole grown-up coloring book page at one time.

:: Towards raising hungry learners::

Here are some of our current resources:
Image result for rosetta stone images         Audible Audiobooks     

::Towards Rhythm and Beauty::
 Ah!  Rhythm!  I can't wait to have some normal weekly home rhythms these next two weeks!

::To Live the Life ::
God has been answering prayers and working miracles for me.  More on that later...

::I am Hoping and Praying::
 Just so thankful for SO many answered prayers!!

 :: In the Garden::
 My flower pots didn't die while I was gone for two weeks!  I'm so excited!  
Meanwhile - the back yard bed looks like a tropical jungle!  I was thinking today I'll probably just mow the whole thing down. (Sorry, Mom....It's beyond my scope of abilities.)

 ::Around the House::
 I am hoping that the weight of what I need to accomplish doesn't weigh me down this week....hoping for buoyancy, efficiency, and know-when-to-quitiency!  (I made that last word up.)

 ::One of My Favorite Things::
 Iced mint green tea

::The Kids::
 They are eating after-church ravioli and laughing their heads off at something funny they are watching.  I absolutely love to hear them belly-laugh.

:: The Man of the House ::
I'm just thankful he's here.  So very thankful. 

::A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week::

 Monday:  (Date Day/Family Day)  
Finish unpacking some odds and ends. Cleaning.  Finish Camp Laundry. Date or family fun.
Tuesday:  (Desk Day)  
I need a good, long desk day.  I need to catch up on our Mvelopes system,  do menu planning, and I have lots of papers to sort, file and throw away. Oh! And about a thousand dog food rebates.  Icky-Uggh
Wednesday:  (Errands Day)  
Returns Day!  I put this off because it involves lots of store ins-and-outs and is tough to do dragging 6 kids in and out of the car.  I'd love to make this an alone-time getaway, but Ha!
Thursday:  (Summer Project Day
Trying to decide which big project to tackle this week.  There are so many.  I think I'd like to tackle the attic.  But it's probably gonna be deathly hot.  Maybe the craft closet?
Friday:  (Kids Day/Church Prep) 
Corin's Birthday.  Gideons International Pastors Banquet in Indy
Saturday:  (Cleaning Day)  
We do an end-of-the-week family cleaning hour.  It is delightful.  Just ask my kids.  Going to dinner at our friends' new home!
Sunday:  (Worship & Rest) 
(That's when I get to say howdy to you!)

:: Love this Quote! ::

:: A Picture from our world::

We just sold two litters of these beauties:



OUTSIDE MY WINDOW:: traveling up 65 north towards Nashville

Been listening to Big Daddy Weave :)

David and I have been discussing pre-college-planning for Kayla. She will be a high school freshman this year. By the end of her sophomore year we would like to have taken her to several colleges so that we can get a feeling for the campuses and start exploring the degree programs that interest her. We are also talking about the option of clep testing to give her a jump start in credits, lighten up her college schedule, snd save some moolah. We don't want to get to her senior year and realize that there were prerequisites that we need to scurry for. She already has saved up enough to buy a car through her job in our dog business, so hopefully in 4 years she can have a decent college savings built up. I can't believe we are here.

Getting to the hotel in Nashville within the hour. The baby has only slept about an hour ALL day and the screaming is getting TO ME!!!!!!

I have so many questions about serotonin right now. I'm learning stuff. : ) Did you know that 80-90% of the serotonin produced in the body is produced in the gut? BUT! Serotonin cannot cross over the blood-brain barrier. So the brain has to produce all of its own serotonin. Just a teensy glimpse at thd Good brain stuff I'm learnin.....

An absolutely wonderful week at Alabama Bible Methodist Camp in Pell City, AL. Good friends and fellowship . God-filled services. And some incredible times with some amazing, real ladies. It was positively healing for me.

At the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness as a bedtime read-aloud with the boys. It is part of the Wingfeather Saga Series. It's weird, but in such a good way.

Working hard on my thought life. Reprogramming some very deeply entrenched lies from my brain wiring. Cool work going on. More to come on that later.

Getting ready to work through an Answers in Genesis curriculum with the kids in summer family devotions. They eat that stuff up.

Indiana Band Camp starts tomorrow! We are meeting the kids there tomorrow. David will drop me off then head back home to Frankfort to work for a few days before going to Pennsylvania at the end of the week for Bus Convention meetings.


FROM THE BOOKSHELF: How To Read A Book A Day: The Ultimate Guide to Quickly Retain and Absorb Information

Author:  Thomas Brown
38 pages
Format:  Kindle ($4.99)

This is not written particularly well, which was a little shocking, coming from a guy who claims to be able to read a book a day.  It seems that, perhaps, this gentleman's first language is not English.  BUT.  I gleaned some great tips from this tiny, quick read.

You don't have to read every book word-for-word.  You can glean the nuggets of a book without spending hours and hours. You look over a book 3 times, using these 3 steps.

1.  Preview: (5-10 minutes)
Look at the
     * Title
     * Table of Contents
     *Copyright date (He actually says "Copy write date."  Yikes!  Drives me bonkers!!!)
     * Author
     * Read the first and the last paragraphs of each chapter throughout the book.

2.  Overview:  (15-30 minutes)
     * Go somewhere like Wikipedia to read a summary
     * Power Skim (quickly skim each page and note headings, subheadings and phrases that pop out to you.
     * Read the first sentence of each page and skim everything else or read the first paragraph of each page.

3.  Actual Reading (60 minutes)
He says that you already have an understanding of the main points of the book, so reading and retention are higher.
     * Divide the read into 20 or 30 minute sessions
     * Slow down on the first sentences
     * Identify the main content chapter and read it slower
     * look for the 1-2 main ideas or golden nuggets of the book
     * move your hand down the page to encourage faster reading

So...there are some interesting ideas.  I have noticed that sometimes the unfinished books on my shelf are books from which I have already gleaned the big idea, and am having trouble slogging through the extra words.  So in that way, these ideas sound somewhat helpful to me.  I like the idea he suggests of just picking up a book out of my pile and spending 15 minutes doing the Preview (step 1), then working through one book at a time.


On the road Daybook

the green hills of Kentucky as we roll towards Alabama camp.

Josh Groban. Rain on the windshield.

I dream of teaching my kids to snorkel and taking them on their first real snorkeling trip.

We found my lost phone literally minutes before pulling out for two back to back weeks of camp. It had slipped under one of the carseats in the van.

Also thankful for my mom and dad and sister who are caring for and making memories with our 4 oldest while we speak in Alabama.

Working through the 21 day brain detox. It sounds hokey but its not. It's powerful - good. And connecting some dots from years of study and experience for me.

Swimming with a giant sea turtle while snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii.

How to Be a People - Helper
By Gary R. Collins

Every Thought Captive : battling the toxic beliefs that separate us from the life we crave.
By Jerusalem Clark

(Speaking prep....)

I had some answers to prayer last week, thanks to the prayers of some wonderful friends.

I am working through a curriculum by Center For Lit for teaching your kids to read critically through Socratic questioning. And we are discovering ans experiencing some wonderful books in the process.

On our way to speak and preach at Alabama Bible Methodist Camp in Pell City, AL. Then we scurry back next weekend because the kids and I have a week of band camp and David heads to meetings in Pennsylvania. Busy times.


15 years: a few highlights

Chicago Air Show - 2011


Our favorite Chicago pizza - Maggianos (2008)

Chicago - Christmas Eve 2010
David and Max - the Patriarch of our Golden Retriever line

Dublin, Ireland

Northern Ireland

HAWAII - 10 year anniversary

Our first full Marathon - 26.2 miles

Buying our first house - June 2014
David becomes a Doctor


Random Household Tips and Tricks

1.      Peeling Bananas:  Peel a banana from the bottom and you won’t have to pick the little “stringy things” off of it.  That’s how the primates do it.

2.      Storing Bananas:  Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.  If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

3.      Cheese:  Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.  It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

4.      Pepper Power:  Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.  Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

5.      Lean Frying: Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.  It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

6.      Rich Eggs: To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

7.      Cool Dessert: For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed.  Melt Andes mints in double boiler and pour over warm brownies.  Let set for a wonderful mint frosting.

8.      Garlic: Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe of you want a stronger taste of garlic.

9.      Holiday Candy: Leftover snickers bars from holidays make a delicious dessert.  Simply chop them up with the food chopper.  Peel, core and slice a few apples.  Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

10.  Reheat Pizza:  Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm.  This keeps the crust crispy.  No soggy micro pizza. 

11.  Easy Deviled Eggs:  put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag.  Seal, mash till they are all broken up.  Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.  Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

12.  Expanding Frosting:  When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes.  You can double it in size.  You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount.  You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

13.  Reheating refrigerated bread:  To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water.  The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster. 
14.  Newspaper weeds away:  Start putting in your plants; work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds.  Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

15.  Broken glass:  Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

16.  No More mosquitoes:  Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.  It will keep the mosquitoes away.

17.  Squirrel Away!  To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper.  The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

18.  Flexible vacuum:  To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum.  It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

19.  Reducing Static Cling:  Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress.  Same thing works with slacks that cling to men’s socks.  Place pin in seam of men’s slacks and – ta da! – static is gone.

20.  Measuring Cups:  Before you put sticky substances into measuring cup, fill with hot water.  Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup.  Next add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

21.  Foggy Windshield:   Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car.  When the windows fog, rub with the eraser!  Works better than a cloth!

22.  Reopening envelopes:  If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two.  Voila!  It unseals easily.

23.  Conditioner:  Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs.  It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth.  It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair…

24.  Goodbye fruit flies:  To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass and fill it ½ inch with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

25.  Get rid of ants:  Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants.  They eat it, take it “home” can’t digest it so it kills them.  It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works & you don’t’ have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

26.  Info about clothes dryers.  A waxy coating builds up on your lint filter.  Wash filter with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least every six months.  Good for fire safety and long life of dryer.

If you recognize this list and know the source, please let me know!  I've had it for  years, and don't know where I got it. 


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