The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gift Giving

I was over at Mama's Coffee Corner recently, and Linda was talking about preparing for Christmas. Like her, I try to take advantage of sales throughout the year so that the Christmas season is not so stressful on our bank account. I like to give something unique that fits the recipient; however, I sometimes run out of Christmas gift ideas. Then I am left in the usual quandary: do I really want to give that person a sweater yet again?

Last year, I recorded a CD and made jars of homemade hot chocolate mix for everyone. Some people really liked that, but others seemed to think that was not such a great gift. I like Meredith's idea of making toasted nuts and would like to give tins of that in conjunction with another small item, but I want to give something people will appreciate.

I have a stash of things I've picked up for the kids throughout the year, but have not yet purchased much for the adults on our list. A family photo put on canvas would be great to give to everyone but unfortunately is out of our budget. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for thoughtful yet frugal Christmas gifts?


Pulse Oximetry

Since I had never heard of a pulse oximeter before I received this assignment, I decided to do some research to find out exactly what this device is and does. I found myself intrigued by this useful invention.

At Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, I found the following information on pulse oximetry:

  • What it does: a pulse oximeter "monitors the percentage of haemoglobin (Hb) which is saturated with oxygen."
  • How it works: the probe portion of the device usually clips onto a fingertip or earlobe where it emits two lights, one red and one infrared. The computerized monitor to which the probe is linked measures the rate at which the light is absorbed by the blood. "By calculating the absorption at the two wavelengths the processor can compute the proportion of haemoglobin which is oxygenated."
  • Users: asthmatics, pilots, athletes often use this device. They are particularly useful "for monitoring oxygenation and pulse rates throughout anaesthesia. They are also widely used during the recovery phase."
Are you familiar with this device?


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Defending My Reputation

Remember my post about Sen. Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against God? [Edited 9/27/2007 11:21 a.m.] An anonymous (of course) A not-so-anonymous-anymore (thanks to Stat Counter) [end edit] visitor left the follow comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should use more sources than Fox News (what a joke of an organization). Every other source I've come across all said he's doing it to protest frivilous [sic] lawsuits, not to protest legislation that would prevent them. This is why a good blogger uses multiple sources.

9/27/2007 8:33 AM

Had I not consulted multiple sources before posting my thoughts, I would have conducted another search. If I had found that the information in my post was, indeed, incorrect, I would have published a correction and an apology. I believe in publishing truth on this blog.

Here is my response to "Anonymous":

Revka said...

Hi, Anonymous. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave your comment. I appreciate it. I do hope you have subscribed to the comments for this post so that you may receive my reply.

First, let me say that I do strive to be a conscientious blogger. I check multiple sources for stories like this. I just happened to choose Fox News as the story to which I linked.

I can understand how you reached the conclusion that Sen. Chambers filed his frivolous suit to protest other frivolous suits. Some news sources have edited Mr. Chambers' remarks in such a way that they seem to say that he was protesting the filing of frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Here are further (non-Fox) sources proving this point.

Quoting from KETV7, an ABC TV station serving Omaha, NE and surrounding areas:

"State Sen. Ernie Chambers is suing God. He said on Monday that it is to prove a point about frivolous lawsuits.

Chambers said senators periodically have offered bills prohibiting the filing of certain types of suits. He said his main objection is that the constitution requires that the doors to the courthouse be open to all.

"Thus anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody -- even God," Chambers said." [italics and bold mine]


"He [Chambers] said he's trying to make the point that anybody can sue anybody."

From an NBC affiliate, WOWT6:

'Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers has filed a lawsuit against God. He says he just wants to make the point that the constitution allows a lawsuit to be filed for any reason. ... Senator Chambers says, "This is a way to show that anyone can sue anyone including God."'

Also see the Omaha World Herald, Head-On Radio Network, Now Public, ... I could cite numerous other sources, but this comment is plenty long.

In the future, it would behoove you to make sure that you have your facts straight before accusing someone else of not having their facts straight.

Thanks for dropping by. You have a nice day now.

9/27/2007 9:48 AM


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Marriage Vows with an Expiration Date?

photo courtesy of StockExpert

In one way, it's nice to know that the U.S. of A. has not monopolized the "brainless politican" pool. Apparently, Germany has its own "creatively thinking" politician, Gabriele Pauli, with whom to deal.

According to a recent article in Britain's Telegraph, the attractive, twice divorced Pauli is now considered a serious contender for the position of "the country's most powerful female conservative." That doesn't sound so bad, does it?

There's more to the story - of course, or I wouldn't be posting about it. As ABC News reports, Pauli is seeking to revolutionize the whole marriage tradition. Her proposal? She wants marriages to expire after seven years. If the couple chooses to renew their marriage contract, that's fine. If not, they simply go their separate ways.
"This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your vows if you still want to continue."
Wow! I can see where Ms. Pauli, a two time divorcee, is coming from, but I could not agree any less. Her proposal negates the basic principle behind marriage: a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman. Ms. Pauli's idea of marriage appears more similar to officially-sanctioned shacking up.

I know that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. However, I don't know of one that started out with plans for less than a lifetime of commitment, and I must say that I would not enter marriage with the knowledge that I am only committing to seven years of marriage. A marriage with an expiration date attached would not give me any security or any reason to learn to expose my true self to my husband. Marriage takes a lot of investment by both spouses, and there is no way I would knowingly chance investing that much time and energy and making myself that vulnerable to my husband only to have him casually reject me in seven years.

Ms. Pauli, I'm sorry you have been through two divorces, but your experiences do not mean that marriage should be restructured. Your proposal undermines the symbolism of the wedding ring: a never-ending circle representing the couple's love.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Economical Tampa Real Estate Fees

If you are interested in buying or selling Tampa real estate, Homekeys (follow the preceding link) looks like a site worth investigating. They give buyers 50% of their commission, and sellers can list their home in the MLS for a flat fee of $269. For sellers who need a bit more help, they offer higher levels of service at reasonable rates.

Thankfully, I am happy with my home. I did not enjoy the moving process one little bit when we moved nearly two years ago.

save our homes


New Product at RS Designs

I finally took the plunge and created a whole Blogger template instead of just the header and images. The result is the Bubbles template. Here is a screen shot.
Bubbles is currently for sale at RS Designs. To celebrate creating my first template, I am offering a 50% discount on this particular design. The cost is only $20.

Bubbles features include:

  • Three columns
  • Widget ready design
  • Header bubbles will be customized to fit the blog's title
  • Customized Navigation bar
  • Expandable posts using the "Read More" link - I'll tell you how to use it
  • Customized comment link: reads "[number] remarks floating around"
  • Link for visitors to subscribe to comments for individual posts
  • Customized signature
  • Bubble divider built in to the bottom of each element added
  • Recent comments widget - this will be customized with your blog's information after template installation
Check it out, and let me know what you think.


Customizing Your Comments

At the bottom of each post there is a link to leave a comment. This link's wording can be customized to fit your blog's theme, and it's actually pretty simple to do. (Hat tip: Blogger Help article, though I had to do some trial-and-error testing before I figured out what code to replace.)

  1. From your Dashboard, click on the Layout link for the blog you wish to edit, or from your blog home page, click on Customize.
  2. Both ways take you to the Template tab. Choose Edit HTML.
  3. Click the box to Expand Widget Templates.
  4. Scroll down until you see the following code:

  5. <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'>
    <b:if cond="'data:post.allowComments'">
    <a class="'comment-link'" expr : onclick=href='data:post.addCommentUrl' expr : onclick="'data:post.addCommentOnclick'"><b:if cond="'data:post.numComments == 1'">1 <data:top.commentLabel/><b:else><data:post.numComments/> <data:top.commentLabelPlural/></b:if></a>

  6. Replace the code I emphasized (including the greater and less than signs surrounding it) with the wording of your choice. I chose 'visitor has dropped by' and 'visitors have dropped by'.
Another neat trick I learned today is how to allow visitors to subscribe to the comments so that they do not have to keep visiting to see new comments. My source is the very helpful article by Blogger Buster. I opted to add this in my post footer section instead of at the end of my posts, but I tested it as directed first, and it works just fine that way, too.

I hope this is helpful to you. I'm still trying to figure out if I can add the comment feed directly onto the comment page. No luck as of yet, but if that changes, I will let you know.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

One-stop Shopping

I know I'm going to need several baby gifts soon. First, I need something special for my new niece. Then, three ladies at my church are expecting; one first-time mother is having twins, bless her heart. I am excited about the reason for the gifts, but I am dreading the gift selection process because I am quite indecisive when it comes time to pick out a gift. That is why I was excited to find out about the Babies and Toddlers Items section of Shop Wiki.

Shop Wiki claims to have found nearly every baby and toddler product available through on-line stores. I decided to put that claim to the test. (Obviously, I did not conduct exhaustive research.) Here are some of the products that caught my eye:

  • Several pages of sling baby carriers - my back hurts nearly all the time and even more so when I have to carry around a baby. I bet new mothers would appreciate this gift.
  • Health and hygiene products - I love to give new mothers a basket of useful supplies: a thermometer, diaper rash cream, teething gel, pacifiers, baby shampoo, and such.
  • Infant clothes - this is a safe gift to give. I like to give clothes larger than 6 months. So many people give newborn and 3-6 month clothing that the infant usually has too many clothes in that size and practically nothing in the larger sizes.
So, Moms, what would you most like to receive for your baby?


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Beauty Check

We ladies are very particular about our outward appearance, aren't we? We apply lotions, paints, and powders to our skin to make it more attractive. We purchase clothing that is cut to flatter our shape. We prefer to wear certain colors because of how they complement our natural coloring. We spend hundreds of dollars each year on hair care. We even twirl in front of a full-length mirror in order to complete a 360 degree evaluation of ourselves before leaving home for the outside world.

There is nothing wrong with our wanting to look our best. I know our men appreciate the effort we put into our appearance. I believe that God intended women to be beautiful and to enjoy beauty. Looking our best is a worthy goal.

While we may be lovely to behold outwardly, that outward beauty will be completely negated if inward beauty is lacking. That presents a convicting question:
are weam I as concerned with my inward beauty as I am with my outward beauty? How beautiful have my attitudes, thoughts, and actions been lately? Do they reflect the beauty of a life in step with Christ? Or do they reflect a life focused on self? How often do I run a thorough "hidden beauty" check? I can tell you that it is not often enough.

"Pretty is as pretty does."

Proverbs 31:30 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."


Friday, September 21, 2007

Life with the Incredibles

Some scenes are just classic examples of life here in the Incredible household. Take, for example, a peek inside our recent loan closing.

Having no baby sitter, we are left with no option but to take our three girls - ages two, three, and four - with us. The girls and I meet Mr. Incredible at the bank, the set location of the closing, about five minutes before we are scheduled to close.

We all traipse up the two flights of stairs to our Loan Officer's area only to be told that we will be closing in a conference room downstairs. Consequently, we all traipse right back down the two flights of stairs we had laboriously climbed only minutes earlier.

We meet our attorney in the conference room. Our Loan Officer tells us that we are in good hands (which we are) and returns to his upstairs office. We get each of the girls settled in a chair at one of the conference tables and finally get to sit down ourselves.

Our attorney pulls out the bajillion papers associated with any loan closing and proceeds to tell us where to sign each page. The girls only make it through about a third of the papers before they become restless. Musical chairs becomes the order of the afternoon, and a game of tag is started before I sternly order them to sit in their chairs for the rest of the closing. I pull out the crayons and paper I brought to entertain them, but they want no part of it.

Baby Bear decides she is not going to sit in her chair and tries to join Pookie in her chair. I foil her attempt and hold her captive, decidedly against her will, on my lap. We sign a zillion more papers.

Miss Muffet joins Pookie on her chair. I decide she can stay as long as they both behave. Understandably, Baby Bear is not happy with that decision. We sign a million more papers.

The girls finally settle down. We sign about a hundred more loan documents. Finally, everything is set. We thank the attorney for his time and collect the footwear and ponytail holders littering the room. Shoes are put back on the feet to which they belong, and we marshal our little army out through the conference room door, through the bank lobby, and to our waiting vehicles.

End of scene.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? *smile*



I'm working hard today - running errands, designing, schooling my girls, cleaning up, and now ... completing an assignment for vacation home Orlando.

My girls have been busy, too. First, unbeknownst to me, they set a nearly full pitcher of juice on my couch. Of course, it tipped over. *sigh* Then, they decided they needed to take a bath. I let them get in the tub by themselves, like normal. When I went in to turn on the water, Pookie and Baby Bear were giggling as they slid around the tub which has pink liquid all inside it. It wasn't shampoo or body wash. Pookie Bear finally admitted it was my dish soap. *sigh* Well, they got bubbles for sure!

How has your day been going?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Suing God?!

I tell you, people are absolutely insane, and some of the biggest loonies can be found on Capitol Hill. Take, for example, Senator Ernie Chambers (D) of Nebraska. FOX has reported on an exceedingly frivolous lawsuit filed by Senator Chambers:

"Nebraska Democratic State Senator Ernie Chambers has decided to go straight to the top in an effort to stop natural disasters from befalling the world. Chambers filed a lawsuit against God in Douglas County Court Friday afternoon, KPTM Fox 42 reported."
How did Senator Chambers decide to file suit against God in Douglas County? "Chambers bases his ability to sue God, as, 'that defendant, being omnipresent, is personally present in Douglas County.' "

What was the man's quarrel with God? Apparently, Sen. Chambers is suing God for causing "fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornados, pestilential plagues..." - natural disasters.

When asked to explain his reasoning behind the lawsuit, Sen. Chambers declared that he really had nothing against God. He merely filed the suit as a protest against other senators' bills proposing restrictions on frivolous law suits.

Um, Senator Chambers, I think you just proved that such bills are, in fact, necessary!

(Hat Tip: Haemet via Girly Blog Designz)


Welcome, Addison Brooke

My new niece was born on Monday, September 17. I was told that she weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20 1/2" long. I can't wait to see her! Until then, I'll have to adore her pictures at Sho's blog.

Isn't she a doll?!

Congrats, Sho and Spencer!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Little Girl's Dream

Seeing how quickly little girls discard their dolls in favor of more "grown up" toys saddens me. They don't realize that they should cherish their childhood, for it passes all too quickly and can never be regained. I know a lot of parents contribute to their daughters' attitude by pushing them to grow up, and I have to watch myself to make sure that I don't do the same.

Even though I was a tomboy growing up, I still would have loved to have a highly detailed wooden doll house like these. They are simply exquisite, and you can purchase miniature furnishings, home lighting, and people to create a pretend world perfect for exercising a little girl's imagination.

Some kits cost at little as $25, but they are not as wonderful as the more expensive models. Perhaps Mr. Incredible would be willing to make a detailed doll house for the girls? I think that would be a wonderful Christmas present for all three of them.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Fun Days

This was probably the best birthday I have had in several years, even though, as the card my family gave me stated, I have left behind my twenties. (I bet you wondered why I posted that list of '30' Top Tens, didn't you?) What made my birthday so special?

  • Rosie kept the girls for six hours on Thursday, telling me to take my time with the errands I needed to run and just enjoy myself.
  • As a result, I was able to meet Mr. Incredible for lunch at a restaurant we had not previously tried. Unlike Outback Steakhouse, we liked it well enough to put it on our list of favorite restaurants.
  • Mr. Incredible thought of me on Friday - he sent me an e-mail that made me laugh my head off.
Subject: OLD WOMAN


(Mr. Incredible's real name)


  • He also surprised me by bringing home a small cake. Again, that let me know that he was thinking of me, and I must say that it was nice to have a cake for my birthday for once. I bake cakes for everyone else but don't want to go to the effort for myself.
  • He gave me the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion collectible dolls from Barbie's Wizard of Oz series. I already have Dorothy, Glinda, and the Scarecrow, so I am only missing the Wicked Witch, the Munchkins, and the Guard.
  • We all went out to the good Mexican restaurant in town. (There are two, but one is no good.) I love Mexican food! I miss that from home.
I had so much fun and felt special because of the out-of-the-ordinary things that Mr. Incredible did for me. The best part was that he demonstrated that he was thinking of me. That makes me smile!

Oh, my birthday card was funny, too. It said, "In sympathy for the loss of your twenties." As usual, I added the card to my bag where I keep special mementos - notes from when we were dating and engaged, friends' graduation announcements, ticket stubs from concerts, anniversary cards, and the like.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Well Put, Indeed

I was very happy to read such an articulate article generated in response to Kathy Griffin's appalling acceptance speech for her Creative Arts Emmy Award. (I wasn't even aware of this until I was sent an e-mail. Thanks Ashley!)


'30' Top Tens

Top 10 Reasons to Love Being 30:

  1. It's inevitable, so why not embrace it. *smile*
  2. Have left behind your twenties, you are no longer completely wet behind the ears.
  3. Thirty is the new twenty. *laughing*
  4. Thirty is seasoned youth. (Twenty is absolutely young, and forty is almost no longer young.)
  5. Thirty means that in just a few years, I'll be finished having children. (Too much information?)
  6. Thirty is less than half of the average lifespan. You probably still have most of your life ahead of you!
  7. Thirty magically gives access to the "truly adult" club.
  8. Thirty is the start of a new decade of life.
  9. Thirty means you won't have to have a driver's license picture taken for another eight years.
  10. Because you're in good company - mine!

Top 10 Reasons to Dislike Being 30:
  1. You are no longer a carefree twenty-something.
  2. You have to renew your driver's license which means you get to have a driver's license photo taken.
  3. Everyone says thirty is the new twenty, but your age still says 30.
  4. Strange things begin to happen to your body.
  5. You have to act like you really are an adult.
  6. It's one year closer to the end of your life. (I know, that's really morbid.)
  7. You can no longer blame your character flaws on your youth.
  8. You've already lived for two decades, which sounds really old.
  9. Lines start etching themselves on your forehead and around your eyes.
  10. Your children think you are really old.

Top 10 Goals for My Thirtieth Year:
  1. Make my relationship with God my top priority.
  2. Do a better job of showing my husband how very much I love him.
  3. Play more with my babies.
  4. Eat healthier.
  5. Get more exercise.
  6. Get control of my housework.
  7. Be kinder and more compassionate.
  8. Think of others more than myself.
  9. Relax and take time to enjoy life.
  10. Quit shutting people out for fear of getting hurt.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bringing Down the Walls

Warning: This is not my "normal" post, but I thought that expressing what I am feeling would be cathartic for me.

Most of you don't know me very well. In fact, most of you know about me only what I write on this blog. In real life, I do not seem to have the ability to make numerous close friends. I found it interesting that when I sent a few people an e-mail requesting them to describe me in one word, my sister, Sho, who is one of my closest friends e-mailed back the word "reserved." I think that was actually the truest description I received, although the ones saying "sweet," "kind," and "loyal" were nice to read.

I have finally figured out why I can make plenty of friends but seem unable to develop really close friendships. I am afraid of getting hurt. So I erect walls, rarely allowing people to come close enough for more than a superficial friendship. If I do let a person "in" and they end up hurting me badly (I'm good at shrugging off the little hurts), I never confront them with my feelings, opting instead to shield myself from further hurt by holding that person at arm's length. I am always polite, but I often use that very politeness as a defensive weapon to keep others at bay.

Another way I cope with hurt is to run away, whether figuratively or occasionally even literally. I would rather run away than confront someone who has wronged or hurt me. During my teen years, I can remember times when I would not tell anyone I was leaving but simply took off walking because I was upset or hurt. After I got my first vehicle, I went for a very long drive a couple of times. Now, I no longer have that freedom and instead retreat into myself.

I also refuse to show emotion if I can possibly avoid it. Mr. Incredible told me that I am the only girl he knows that will not show emotion. Somewhere I got the notion in my head that openly showing anything other than pleasant emotions would make me weak and vulnerable. It does not bother me when others cry; it's just not okay for me. So I hide my true feelings, stuffing them away to pop out another day in another way (usually as anger).

Let's see - in me you have a person who is unwilling to risk getting hurt, who retreats when she is hurt, and who refuses to show or even acknowledge negative emotions. Yeah, I've got all the right qualities for developing great friendships - you know, the ones that demand that you be vulnerable so others can get close enough to really know you.

This whole problem came to a head recently, and I finally acknowledged my fear of being hurt and my unwillingness to make myself vulnerable, even to those whom I love the most. I decided that I am tired of shutting out the very people with whom I want to have a deep relationship. After deep reflection (deep breath), I have resolved to tear down the walls I have erected. I know this will leave me vulnerable, but I am now convinced that being vulnerable is better than being lonely.

Does this affect you? It might. Instead of simply saying nothing when something is wrong, I may mention that I am not having such a great time. What you won't see is me sobbing out all my troubles on this blog. That's just not me. But if, after reading this post, any of you have any advice pertinent to my situation, I would be most happy to hear it. Thanks for listening.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jesus Is Still the Answer

Even a person like me who doesn't care at all about celebrities and their doings has heard of the infamous Hollywood bad girls: Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Nicole Richie. In and out of drug rehabs, constantly in trouble, and always demanding (mostly negative) attention, these girls make nearly everyone wonder what they are thinking.

I can tell you what is wrong with these girls. Even if you don't agree, I know this is true. They need Jesus. I'm not talking about joining a church or paying lip-service to knowing Christ. I'm talking about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We were created with an emptiness inside us that only God can fill, and when we choose to reject God, we are left trying to fill that void on our own. The Hollywood bad girls' filler of choice is obvious - booze, drugs, material possessions, fame. Other people attempt to use work, family, or charitable deeds to fill the emptiness inside. None of their attempts will work.

I am not saying that accepting Jesus as your Savior is a quick fix for your problems, nor is it a guarantee that the rest of your life will be smooth sailing. On the contrary, we Christians are promised that the world will hate us because it hates Him we serve. However, we are also promised peace even in the midst of our trials (John 16:33). I can tell you that I would rather have trials with Jesus than to have the "perfect" life without Him.

Here is the inspiration for this post's title, a chorus that I love and that has a great message.

"Jesus Is Still the Answer"
Jesus is still the answer,
Though time and ages roll.
Jesus is still the Answer;
He's the Answer for your soul.
And though some may say
He doesn't fit
With their philosophy,
I know Jesus is still the Answer.
He's always been and always will be.



photo courtesy of

  • the terror that was unleashed upon our nation six years ago
  • the thousands of lives lost that day
  • the heroes who gave their lives to help others
  • the heroes who worked tirelessly to rescue survivors and recover the bodies of those who died in the rubble
  • the hatred of the religious extremists who planned the attacks still burns, spurring them to do us further harm
  • the reason why we must never let down our guard but always be vigilant to protect and defend the freedoms we cherish
  • our resolve never to succumb to threats of violence or allow fear to rule our lives

Though we may not have personally known any of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, each life lost, each survivor found impacted our lives. We must never forget, for to do so would be to negate the value of those lives. God bless America!


Monday, September 10, 2007

I Have a Question

Do any of you have wood blinds in your home? If so, I am interested in finding out how often they need to be dusted. (I may have mentioned once or twice that I despise that chore.) Also, are they better than mini blinds as far as cutting down on the amount of heat that comes from the sunlight shining through the windows?

Thanks in advance for your answering my question.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Think Outside the Box

Do you want to garner a top spot for a particular search phrase? Try following this company's example.

The anchor text was assigned as follows: golf apparel ladies. Me? I would have wanted the link to read "ladies' golf apparel" - proper English. To my way of thinking, this link would only be found by someone searching for ladies who model golf apparel. This company, however, realizes that people often do not conduct searches couched in proper English. They took advantage of that fact and will surely reap the benefits of their creative marketing.

I once completed an assignment from a different company that actually ordered the anchor text to be misspelled, another good example of thinking outside the box. Think about it: how many times have you searched for something only to realize that you misspelled a word in your search?

Are you, like me, so stuck on the "rules" that, because it lies outside "the box," you fail to see a wonderful solution to a problem? Or are you a creative thinker who commonly utilizes unorthodox methods to achieve your desired goal?


If You've Ever Wondered

Here is how my blog would be rated, if there were such a thing as blog ratings.

If you've ever wondered about my theology, I do, indeed, find myself most closely aligned with fundamentalists.

You scored as Fundamentalist. You are a fundamentalist. You take the Bible as the foundation of your faith and read it very literally; it shapes your worldview. Non-fundamentalist Christians have watered-down the Gospel, in your view, and placing our faith in academic study of the Bible can prevent us from 'taking God at his word.' You believe that true science never contradicts basic biblical truths.
What's your theological worldview?
created with

However, I like to think that I am not a stereotypically hate-filled fundamentalist. Rather, I strive to live my life with the compassion for people that Christ exhibited. He always extended mercy and grace to sinners. Judgment and condemnation He reserved for the Pharisees and other hypocrites. (As a side note, I believe there are many hypocrites in fundamentalism.) Any sinner who comes to Jesus in repentance can have the assurance that his sins will be forgiven and God's mercy will be extended.

When it comes to football, I do understand the game better than people normally expect women to understand it. In fact, in high school, the guys would beg me out of Home Ec class to play with them. (I really didn't miss much from that class, certainly not anything useful.) Nowadays, I opt to root for the UNC Tarheels rather than for the Penn State football team. I'm still not what you would call a devoted fan, though.

Do you have a burning question about me that you would like answered?


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Anniversary Trip - Friday

I am just doggone slow sometimes! I've shared about actual anniversary day and trip experiences and photos from Thursday. Here are Friday's happenings.

We got to stop off and see my friend, Karen, which was a nice treat. I haven't asked permission to upload the photo we took together, so I guess you won't get to be awed by the loveliness. (laughing)

Rather than going to Dollywood and taking advantage of an incredible Pigeon Forge cabin rental like we had semi-seriously considered, Mr. Incredible and I decided to camp out at Lake James State Park and enjoy the swimming and boating areas. However, when we got there, the swimming area was closed due to low water levels created by the drought. We looked at the map and decided to try the next closest camping location, Mount Mitchell State Park. Incidentally, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. We were able to take some mountain highways and travel several miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway. While we were on the Parkway, rain started to fall, and the temperature noticeably decreased. Here are some photos taken along the Parkway.

We found an empty site at the park and set up camp. I helped Mr. Incredible until the last bit when I figured he could handle it himself and started taking pictures. I hope that didn't annoy him.

I loved the privacy of the campsite. To even get to the site, you had to ascend these beautiful steps cut through the vegetation, and then the site itself was surrounded by beautiful flowers and other foliage. I took plenty of pictures there; in fact, Mr. Incredible overheard some other campers talking about the lady who was taking all the pictures. Um, sorry if I disturbed you!

We had decided to stack two air mattresses for our bed, hoping that we would not find ourselves on the hard ground in the morning. The novel idea worked, although it initially felt as though we were in a water bed.

I'll post more camp pictures another day. Suffice it to say that the sky and surroundings were breathtaking.


Rearranging My Days

As you can see, I haven't had as much time for blogging this week. I knew it was coming; I just failed to warn you.

Yesterday, I began homeschooling our girls. I knew that I would need to be focused in order to accomplish my homeschooling objectives, so I created a schedule which I am doing my best to follow. That schedule only allows me one hour of computer time - I'm definitely going to have to be efficient and make the most of my time! Though it may be a crunch, I know that my girls' education takes priority over my blogging and design work.

For Pookie Bear, I am using the Letter of the Week curriculum from Brightly Beaming Resources; for Miss Muffet and Baby Bear, I am using the Preparatory curriculum. All three girls have enjoyed themselves these past two days. I hope the trend continues!

"What are they learning?" you ask. That's a good question. Pookie Bear's lessons focus on letter sounds, while Miss Muffet and Baby Bear will be learning letter names. Since they are all together, I expect that the younger ones will learn from Pookie's lessons as well.

So far we have covered the following:

Pookie Bear -

  • Writing upper and lowercase A
  • A says a (short sound) as in apple
  • Theme words that begin with the short a sound: astronaut, apple, animal, alligator, ambulance
  • Poem - "Ten Red Apples" (memory work) and Alligator Pie
  • Story - Ten Apples up on Top by Dr. Seuss
  • Color - aquamarine
  • Science - antelope (similar to a deer, has hollow horns, eats plants, has four stomachs, runs fast and jumps straight up when surprised, lions like to eat them)
  • Bible - Adam and Eve (creation story and today we talked about how they sinned and had to leave the Garden of Eden)
  • Math - simple addition using the snack, animal crackers
  • Song - The Ants Go Marching
  • Supplementary work - letter practice in an alphabet workbook
Miss Muffet and Baby Bear -
  • Theme - cow
  • Vocabulary word - calf
  • Letter - uppercase A (coloring page; write with finger in a bowl of salt)
  • Story - "The Humongous Brown Cow"
  • Poems - "The Purple Cow" and "Little Calf"
  • Shape - square (find squares around the house)
  • Songs - "Old MacDonald" and "The Cow"
  • Gross motor skill - move like a cow
I know it has only been two days, but I think that our schedule is going to work well. Here's a look:
  • 7:00-7:30 a.m. Fix breakfast
  • 7:30-8:00 a.m. Eat
  • 8:00-9:00 a.m. Dishes; make beds; clean bathrooms; start laundry; complete any other cleaning for which there is time
  • 9:00-10:00 a.m. Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies - We start out with prayer followed by the pledges to the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible, and then we sing the first verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner." After opening exercises, we go through Miss Muffet and Baby Bear's lesson for the day. Both days, that has taken about 25 minutes. By that time, the two younger ones have lost interest, and we move on to Pookie Bear's Language Arts, Science or Social Studies, and Math lessons. By the time we complete that, the remaining scheduled 30 minutes have passed.
  • 10:00-11:00 a.m. Free time
  • 11:00-11:15 a.m. Snack time
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Play outside
  • 12:00-12:30 p.m. Prepare lunch
  • 12:30-1:00 p.m. Eat lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m. Bible, Art, Music, Story Time
  • 2:00-4:00 p.m. Nap time; I have 30 minutes for personal devotions here (I never make it up early enough in the morning to have them before I start my day), followed by one hour for computer work and thirty minutes to complete my daily chores (mopping, dusting, vacuuming, etc.)
  • 4:00-5:30 p.m. Prepare supper (this is rather flexible)
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Eat supper (again, this is flexible; it certainly doesn't take that long to eat)
  • 6:30-7:00 p.m. Clean up table; wash dishes
  • 7:00-7:30 p.m. Family Bible reading and prayer time
  • 7:30-8:00 p.m. Family play time!
  • 8:00 Girls clean up and go to bed - whew! I'm always exhausted by this point!
How do you schedule your days ? (I'm asking everybody, not just those who homeschool.)


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Becoming Mrs. Incredible

Over at Weekend Kindness, where I am a contributing author, MInTheGap has created a new meme called "What's Your Story?" The meme is simple: share your engagement story and then tag 3 others to play along. Mine is the story of dreams which were broken and then refashioned into something more lovely than I could have imagined. (This is going to be a long post.)

A boy who attended my high school for one year ended up attending the same college as I did. Our first semester of college found us bumping into each other, rarely at first and then with increasing frequency. Finally, Stephen asked me on a date, and I accepted his invitation. We soon were "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend. A year and a half later, he asked me to marry him, and we set a wedding date 3 years into the future.

Halfway through our engagement, the Lord used circumstances to make clear to Stephen that we were not to be together, and he sadly broke off our engagement in the first week of September, 1998. I had never felt so rejected and betrayed in my life.

My older sister had graduated from college in May and had accepted a teaching position at a Christian school in a place she had never been and knew no one. I had chosen not to re-enroll for the '98-'99 school year. When Sho learned of my broken engagement, she asked if I had any plans. Since I didn't, she invited me to come visit her. The day after my 21st birthday (mid-September), I made the 11 hour drive up to my sister's house. I had already determined to go job-hunting, figuring that perhaps the Lord intended for me to relocate there.

As a matter of course, I attended church with Sho and decided that I liked what was there. Soon, we both became members, and I was almost immediately asked to become the church pianist. That fulfilled a long-cherished dream, and I happily stepped into my new responsibilities, not realizing that the Lord would use that position to catch my future husband's eye.

Still dealing with the effects of the breakup, I was not at all interested in getting to know any guys. I wouldn't even look at any male who happened across my path. (Apparently, that didn't faze Mr. Incredible. I later learned that he and one of his best friends, who also attended our church, had a conversation regarding Sho and me in which each one laid claim to a girl. Mr. Incredible loves listening to piano music and laid claim to the church pianist. The funny part is that each of them did end up marrying the girl he claimed.) So matters stood for about a month.

Sometime in October, I started to be included in a group of youth and young adults. I enjoyed making new friends and started to feel more at ease with the notion of having guys as friends. At the end of October, the church had a "fall festival" which I attended. A game of volleyball ensued. I immediately joined in because I had played since 6th grade and absolutely loved the game. I ended up on the same team as Mr. Incredible and noticed him for the first time. (I had probably seen him before, but I didn't remember him at all.) I was not impressed because he seemed like a nice guy with no substance.

About a week later, Mr. Incredible invited the group I hung out with to his house to celebrate both his birthday and his success in attaining his pilot's license. He made a point of inviting me personally, trying to make sure that I would be there. I thought his party sounded like fun and decided that I would go.

The day of the party, I played tennis with a male friend (who was younger than me by three years and reminded me of my little brother). I had beat him, as usual, and, at the party, was boasting of that fact. Mr. Incredible spoke up to say, "I'll play you." I was completely shocked and asked him to repeat himself, which he did. Dumbfounded, I agreed, and he got my phone number so he could call me later to finalize details. I was puzzled by his request but was still not interested in him.

When he called me a couple of days later, we ended up talking for nearly an hour, and I discovered that there was much more to him than I had initially thought. By the end of the conversation, he had captured my interest to the point that I was actually looking forward to our date the next day.

The next day proved to be rainy. I was willing to reschedule, but he had taken time off work (that should have told me a lot right there) to make the date and wanted to go ahead and keep it anyway. We walked around the local (tiny) mall, talking for several hours. My interest grew.

After that, he asked me out on a few more dates and then, shortly after Thanksgiving, asked me to be his girlfriend. I unhesitatingly and very happily agreed, and he gave me his class ring to wear as a symbol of our new relationship.

Four months later, in March of 1999, he sent a dozen beautiful roses to me at work. He had never done anything like that before, and the ladies at work insisted that he was going to propose to me. I enjoyed my roses and, despite the fact that we had never even discussed such a thing, grew a bit excited at the thought of his asking me to become his wife. I received the roses on Tuesday, and we had a date scheduled for Saturday night.

Mr. Incredible took me to The Legacy, a very nice restaurant, and I enjoyed both the food and the company. He seemed rather nervous and kept checking his watch, at one point making a comment about having plenty of time. When I asked about that statement, he only made a vague reply. After we finished our dinner, he suggested going by a particular park, which I thought was a good idea. The park had a large pond with a bridge across it, and Mr. Incredible directed our steps that way but turned back when he realized that someone was on the middle of the bridge leaning against the railing and smoking. We stopped to talk. After awhile, he asked to see his class ring. I gave it to him, and, as he studied it, he asked if he could have it back. I immediately thought that he was either breaking up with me or was going to propose after all. I assured him that he could have his ring back if he really wanted it, and he got down on his knee as he offered me a diamond ring in its place, asking if I would consent to be his wife. I ecstatically agreed, and five months later we became husband and wife.

The Lord has blessed me abundantly, and I thank Him for extracting me from a relationship that was not what He wanted for me. I love being Mrs. Incredible and marvel at how an incredibly painful circumstance led to a lifetime of happiness.

Now you know how I came to be Mrs. Incredible. What's your story? I would like everyone to feel free to play along (if you do, please let me know in my comments), but I am going to tag Amy, Kiy, and Frank to share their engagement stories. MInTheGap has allowed us to hot-link to his photo. The URL is I look forward to reading the story of your engagement.