Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Screwtape and Discussions With Robert

For the last month or more Robert and I have been reading and discussing The Screwtape Letters. Okay, well I read them and Robert listens and we discuss. It has been really intriguing and very good. We have enjoyed it so much we are going to continue our plan to find good books and read and discuss them together. Our next find is on the Founding Fathers, their writings and speeches. We found so many great insights into ourselves while reading this book. We talked about how Robert read it in school, but his teacher told him how this book is like seeing people we know and the mistakes they make. Though one can see that, it is not the best part of this book. People don't want to have it be a window to their own mistakes and sins, but that is exactly what it is. And even more so as C.S. Lewis put it, it was a window into his own soul and therefore a window into the natural man. I sat with my highlighter going over my favorite parts of this book. So many that I can't possibly quote them all. But this was one of many favorites:

"The Enemy (meaning to the devil Screwtape, his enemy which is God) wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in he own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in he neighbor's talents... He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His longterm policy, I fear, to restore them a new kind of self-love- a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbors as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbors. For we must never forget what is the repellent and inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really loves the (people) he has created, and always gives back to them His right hand what He has taken away with His left"-- The Screwtape Letters

If you haven't ever read it. I suggest doing it. And read it with your spouse. It is a great book to share together because of the discussions it leads to on how we can become better together. Robert and I really like reading things to each other and discussing deep topics. It was what drew us to each other in the first place. Now on to the next book. I will update you on the books I read myself and the ones we read together.

Constitution Freedom Blog

Don't forget to click the button on the right and check out my blog about freedom and Constitution.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh What Do You Do in the Winter Time...

... when all the world is cold, dead and grey? The cold weather has caused Emily to be as stir crazy as I am. We have played Barbies on and off. Sometimes I can't stand to play another day of Barbies and we find other things to do- like My Little Pony Memory. That is a LONG game! Or Uno or Candy Land. We have made lap books for homeschool. We read a LOT and we admit to watching more movies than normal. I mean hey we can only watch Wall-E, Night at the Museum and Curious George for a billion hours before we get sick of them right?

I have scrubbed a lot of dishes to keep myself busy and I have just about had it for that form of business. I have read books, painted and lets not forget the endless hours of house hunting during this cold depressing time. Actually the house stuff has taken a good chunk of our time and the kids would tell you the same. I can't even count the many houses we have walked through.

Emily and Lindsey play pretty well and fight just as well too. But there are definitely times when I just HAVE to play with them for the sanity of all. And other days where NOT playing helps my sanity. I had a friend help show me how to work my sewing machine I got for free from a friend and made two Barbie skirts for Emily. They are a little odd and you can tell they are my first pieces. I sewed on some snaps with them and for now, they are kind of fun.

Daddy Game Night

Robert was trying to show Emily how to play one of his favorite computer video games. Lindsey of course could not be left out. Aren't they cute!

Gum Blowing

I really like blowing bubbles with my bubble gum. My sisters and I used to buy big rolls of Bubble tape and stick the whole thing in our mouths.
My girls have never seen my excellent talent of blowing so much that my jaw hurts and my TMJ acts up and my jaw won't stop popping. The other night I put 6 small gum balls in my mouth and chomped away. I started blowing bubbles and got the best reactions from the girls. Lindsey would tell me "blow agin Mommy, agin" and she would watch me and stick her tongue out to imitate it. It was so funny and cute. And then when the bubble would start going she would back up and get scared and then squeal when it popped. It was hilarious so I did it over and over and got a few priceless pictures. Emily wanted me to show her how to do it, but she just had her teeth brushed.

Bubble is getting ready...

Bubble getting bigger...


I just hope that if I teach Emily how to blow bubbles it won't end up like this:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What We Are Learning

Find out what the girls have been learning at our Homeschool Blog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lost and Gained

We did loose the house that we really loved. It was such a good find that we were not the only ones that wanted it. It is hard to see a house that amazing go, but we feel it was best for us at this time to not have all of the added expenses that the house would have brought. We have accepted the condo and are now moving forward with closing. We are looking at 3-4 weeks closing and then 30 days to move and get everything ready to move in. That is what we will be spending most of our time on and we will keep everyone updated with it all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


My thoughts and feelings on the "stimulus". Oh, the anger and the frustration.

Frustrating "Stimulus"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Life Reflections

Why is it in life that there really are ups and downs for everyone? Why when things seem to be going so well for Robert and I and we are close to buying a house, a miracle for us, why do other family members struggle so much? Health problems and financial struggles. We have had our share of both and are beyond grateful to be on the positive end of both problems. And we feel so helpless that those we love are having such a difficult time. My sister-in-law Lori is recovering from her second round of radiation and received some bad news today of another tumor that the treatment didn't kill. My other sister-in-law Jill has had a very difficult recovery from her brain surgery and my heart goes out to them! I wish I could do something more. My heart aches for them and their families. They are both amazing women who have such strength and power. They have both welcomed me in with open arms into the family and I am so grateful to them for that.

There are so many ups and downs in life and I have learned to be grateful every moment because no one ever knows what the next moment will bring. It sure doesn't help to complain about small petty things. I know that God allows trials into our lives and there must be opposition in all things. We don't always get the answers we want, but He is always there to carry our burdens and we just need to have complete faith in Him and submit to His will in all things. It is a lesson that isn't easy and I know I will struggle my whole life trying to learn and re-learn this concept. I am so thankful for the good years and the bad years and I wish I could make the bad years for my loved ones easier than they are. But there really are some things only He can do.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Where Oh Where to Move?

I think it is time for our house hunting update. The condo we have waited MONTHS on finally accepted our offer. Which is great and all, but they accepted it right when we found the most awesome house EVER! And because it is a house there is no HOA to deal with and that makes the prices about the same. This house isn't in our most favorite area, but its not that bad either. If we could we would exchange the condos location for this house's location.

The neighborhood it is in is pretty cute. The house sits on nearly half an acre, 5 beds, 2 baths, 2 fireplaces, huge backyard, good storage, crown molding, 2 car garage, etc. the list goes on with how cool this place is. We really like it, but we have a pretty good chance of loosing it in a bidding war. So at this point we are happy to have a potential place to live, but we are dragging our feet on it hoping we will get this super cool house. I don't even know what I would DO with 5 bedrooms! The thoughts of not having to deal with HOA, people next to us, on top of us, parking, etc. would be so great. And to have a yard... Well, right now there is nothing I can do but wait and know that whatever happens will be what is supposed to happen.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken

After my adventures at Pei Wei I decided to find my own recipe and tweak it a little. It was SO yummy! And it really isn't that hard to make. I have found a new favorite recipe and I am so happy to find something new and different.

1/2 Cup brown rice flour
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
minced garlic clove
1/4 tsp salt

Put chicken pieces in container with tight lid and shake to coat chicken. Fry chicken breast pieces in the oil of your choice until crispy and done in the middle.

1/2 Cup sugar
2 1/2 TBS cornstarch
1 Cup orange juice
1 TBS GF soy sauce (I use liquid amino acids)
3 TBS tomato sauce

Whisk and add small amount of cornstarch to avoid clumping. Coat chicken pour over rice and veggies. MMMM....