Friday, February 29, 2008

Who Is Your Real Master?

This man says he has been a Christian all his life, but that is not possible.  Believing in God does not make one a Christian. Being born in a "Christian" nation does not make one a Christian. One is born into the family of God spiritually, not physically. This is why you need to be born AGAIN.  Just like your first birth, you go from darkness to light in a moment. You'll know when it happens!  Lost religious people can't be expected to share the gospel based on their love for the Lord. But if you have been saved from your sins once and for all by the blood of Christ, and you are not making any effort to tell others that they need to be saved also, check yourself. 
Who (or what) is your real master?

More and MORE Questions...

Mama, did you feed Daddy mashed bananas when he was a baby?  
(Whispered) How do you get married?
(Whispered) How do you get born again?
Why don't hummingbirds hum?
Maybe she is growing up a bit -- those first three questions have real answers!

Now I have another child asking questions. An older child, with hard questions. And I have no clue about these.
Where does static electricity go when it disappears?
How is cardboard made, and why is the corrugated kind stronger than regular cardboard?
How does a speaker transmit sounds and how do they make the sound that comes out of them real? (Why does my voice sound like my voice??)
Why does a speaker have a magnet in it? (After taking one apart to find the answers to the questions above, and not finding them!)
What are those round screw-looking things on top of electric poles, and what do they do?
How do they get pictures and sound onto video tape? Does it have to be black or brown tape? Or could you do it with white or red? What is the most mathematical color -- is it blue, or green? (Editor's note: Is that a real question -- one that has an answer??)
How am I supposed to find the answers to all the questions YOU don't know the answers to?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Small Investment in Our Marriage

I go out of town for twenty-seven hours, and you all posted at once!!!  I think my friends' latest posts were five pages long!  So there is no way I am going to catch up here -- I am already behind in the house work and everything else.  Including my exercise program, Carrie.

My dear husband and I went out of town this week for our twentieth wedding anniversary, to a little historic town, Boulder City, NV.  This is close to where we live, but not too close.  Boulder City is where the people stayed who built the Hoover Dam (also called Boulder Dam, if you have been confused).  The building of the Hoover Dam provided jobs for 5000 men during the Great Depression.  The history of the area is very interesting, and the world looks upon the dam as an engineering wonder, which surely it is.  But the men withstood the blowing sand, 140 degree temps, and the dangers of the construction to keep from losing their jobs... there must have been a lot of hardship.  In fact, it really looks like it was slavery.  Men will do what they have to when they are desperate, huh? It truly is a feat.  I don't think there are many people today who would go through that. That was a different kind of character than most of what we see in people today. 

We stayed at the oldest hotel in the little town, where the managers and bureaucrats and diplomats and movie stars stayed when they came to see the great dam back in the 1930's.  It is done up very nicely and has been modernized so that there is a computer for the clients' use (very important for those of us who would keep up with our blogging while away from home!)

We had a very, very nice time together... I do love my children so much, but being alone with my husband for 24+ hours was very good for the marital relationship. We made a stop at my DH's favorite cycling store, where I very patiently waited for him to quit talking shop with the store owner, when he was supposed to be totally focused on ME. (Get a load of this -- the store owner THANKED ME for "letting" my husband ride his bike.  Please. My DH does not need my permission to do anything.)  The next morning we walked through the old section of town and stopped in a couple of crafty/thrifty stores so I could get even with him, lol.  NO, not really. But he does hate that kind of shopping!

We tried to take a picture of ourselves together on this special day.  What a couple of goofs!
"HA HA! That's terrible! You try. The button's on the wrong side of the camera for me to do it."

"Oh no, I have my eyes shut.  Try again."

"That's better... We'll touch it up with Photoshop."

On our way home we drove over the dam, parked, and walked halfway back to take some pictures.  We have seen the dam before, but it is worth seeing more than once.  For one thing, the landscape is beautiful. And unless you have been there, you just can not imagine the size of that thing and the engineering that is being put to work there. Ever since 9-11 security is really tight, prices are sky high and there are signs everywhere telling you all the things you aren't allowed to do.  But it's still a good place to see. I enjoyed listening to all the foreign languages being spoken!  So here are a few pics, which do not do the place one bit of justice:

This is up-river from the dam.  The colors in the rocks are so beautiful, but you can't see them here.  The water level is really down right now.

These intake towers, which are some 400 ft tall, are where the water goes into the dam, and then down and through the turbines that generate electricity for parts of Nevada, Arizona, and all of Southern California... maybe some other places, too.

This is a view of the other side of the dam. See the microscopic cars down there on the road?

When they are letting water over the dam, it comes out these round holes here on the other side. (There are two of these buildings -- one on each side of the river.) The openings don't look very big, but the water that shoots out of ONE of these would fill an Olympic sized swimming pool in three seconds. 

A couple of years ago a big crane broke and fell on the highway or something, and for a while all the traffic was detoured for a long way.  Traffic can go over the dam now, but there is a huge project going on to build a bridge over the gorge.  When that is done, traffic will no longer be allowed over the dam. If you like to do research, find out how they are going to make this bridge. Will it partly be a suspension bridge? There is no way they can put any more of these big pylons down the face of the cliffs. Wish I had gotten the water in this shot so you could see how steep the gorge is. See the street lights along the wall?  This bridge is SO HIGH!!!  UPDATE:  I found a "photo" of the new overpass here, and it is not going to be a suspension bridge, after all.

This is a view of the front of the dam.  It is one of the highest dams in the world, and not a place to look over the edge if you are afraid of heights! To help you see how huge this is, if you look very closely you can see teeny weeny people along the rim, and a motor home on the far side. I'm thinking these horizontal lines in the face of the dam are five feet apart. ??

Well, there you go. That is the extent of my filming abilities.  Not very good -- I wish I had a really good perspective shot.  So.  We had a wonderful time.  And so did my girls!  They were very unhappy to see us show up to get them. Well, we'll just have to do it again!

Oh, and for the curious, what did I get my dear husband as an anniversary gift?  Well, we aren't big on gifts for each other, but thanks to a tip from bubbebobbie, I got him a bag of something he loves, but does not need -- green M&M's. No, he's not overweight.  What I meant was, he has me!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Boredom Buster, or Desert Beauty Treatment

Are your kids bored?  Here's a simple solution.  Take one prickly pear cactus and pick all the fruit off it.

Then, mash the fruit in a bowl.

Paint cactus juice on face, fingernails, feet, cement, or whatever.

Check out the results.

Pretend to be an Indian at war or a fine lady at the beauty spa. Rinse off with water.
What a fun big sister!

MOM Monday

Today is my first day reporting in for the Moms of Many Exercise Challenge.  I have nothing to report yet, except that the teeny weeny weights I lifted on Saturday have made the backs of my arms sore, especially right above my elbows.  That's a good thing, right? And my right forearm is really hurting, but I think that is nerve related.  Hey, maybe I compounded the problem by doing weights! There's another excuse not to exercise.  I don't have to look very far! lol! 

My biggest excuse, which is really one of the reasons why I need to do this in the first place, is that I am insulin-depended diabetic, and every time I start exercising it really messes up my blood sugar control.  Since it's all out of whack right now, anyway, I can't really use that one today....  Okay, I am going to go do those weights again.  My goal is three days a week for a while.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Apparently Not Homeschooled

I did make sure my kids know the answers to these questions before I posted this funny commercial.   And, you Californians, don't be personally offended.  I am one, too!  This is so typical!! (There's a reason for stereotypes, LOL!)


Exercise Challenge

Moms of Many Exercise Challenge

Thanks (I think), Denise, for sharing with me the Moms of Many Exercise Challenge. (To join, click on the button.) I joined.  Starting Monday.  If I don't do something soon, I won't be able to do ANYTHING. I am getting so decrepit it is scaring me.  Pray for me.  I need a drill sergeant to stand in front of me and MAKE me do this. I am a consummate failure at any sort of exercise plan at all... but getting more desperate than ever!

I started today, with 30 reps each of five different weight exercises. I am only using the 2#'ers.  To me, the absolute worst thing about any exercise program, worse than the pain, worse than the time it takes, worse than having someone watch me (ABSOLUTELY NOT, KRISTY) is realizing at the start how feeble I am! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (Insert clip-art of woman holding weights up, with U-shaped biceps.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mohave Thorn Scorpion

As you know, we did some desert hiking last week. Well, truth be told, I can not include myself in that word, "we". I personally enjoyed some very sedentary quiet time, which was a blessing to me. I really didn't need the sedentary part of it, but the quiet was very nice.  So anyway, my family goes hiking out there in our wilderness, which has been determined to be safe and snake-less this time of year, and look at this scary creature that hitch-hiked home with them! The dreaded Mohave Thorn Scorpion. Here it is crawling across my kitchen floor, trying to get me!

No, it doesn't bite, or even sting. Actually it's harmless, unless you accidentally sit on it.   It's really a piece of barrel cactus skeleton. (Too bad this isn't April -- this would have made a great April Fool's joke!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Application to Date My Daughter

Okay, I have to join the fun here.  SuzyScribbles posted a nice Friday Show&Tell advertisement offering her son for marriage.  He might be quite the catch -- he is a very handsome Christian man and he loves babies and children. He is an engineering student at the university, and his mother is famous!  Well, Suzy, I have four beautiful girls for whom we are husband shopping.  Please have Andrew fill out this application.  And Ryan, too, while you're at it, since processing takes 4-6 years. (And please don't be offended at the personal nature of some of the questions.  ALL interested men must fill out this application.)


NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, history, lineage, recent FBI background check, psychiatric evaluation, and updated medical report from your doctor.

1. NAME  _______________________________
     DATE OF BIRTH ________________
2. HEIGHT ______________
     WEIGHT __________
     I.Q _______
3. SOCIAL SECURITY # _____________
    DRIVERS LICENSE #  __________________
4. BOY SCOUT RANK______________________________________
5. HOME ADDRESS _____________________________________
    CITY/STATE ___________
    ZIP __________
6. Do you have one MALE and one FEMALE parent? _____
    If No, EXPLAIN ________________________________________
7. Number of years your parents have been married _____
8. Do you own a van? _____ A truck with oversized tires? _____ A waterbed? _____
Do you have an earring, nose ring, belly button ring, or a tattoo? _____
    (If  "yes" to any of #8, discontinue application and leave premises)

9. In 50 words or less, what does "LATE" mean to you?

10. In 50 words or less, what does "DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER" mean to you?

11. In 50 words or less, what does "ABSTINENCE" mean to you?

12. Church you attend ___________________________
    How often do you attend? ________________________
13. When would be the best time to interview your father, mother and       pastor?____________________________

14. Answer by filling in the blank: please answer freely. ALL answers are confidential (That means I won't tell anyone-ever-I promise.)
    a) If I were shot, the last place on my body I would want wounded is____________
    b) If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my____________
    c) A woman's place is in the_______________
    d) The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is_______________
    e) When I first meet a girl, the first thing I notice about her is her________________

(NOTE: If your answer begins with "B", discontinue. Leave premises keeping your head low. Running in a serpentine fashion is advised.)

15. What do you want to be IF you grow up?___________________
Signature (that means sign your name)

Thank you for your interest. Please allow four to six years for processing. You will be notified in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. If you do attempt any communication before your application is approved, automatic disqualification will result.

If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentlemen wearing white ties and carrying violin cases (You might want to watch your back).

Do you still want to date  my daughter?
_____ Yes, please accept my application
_____ I um, no, I uh, think I have the wrong house...

EDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT:  Some of you said you aren't doing the dating thing.  We aren't doing the dating thing, either.  Lord willing, I will have four sons-in-law named Mark ("Mark the perfect man," Ps. 37:37). God will just make four pure and perfect young men out of thin air and direct them out here to the wilderness where my daughters will be when it is time to marry. God knows where we are, and I have no doubt the only four eligible men in America will find us.  

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More About Snakes

All this snakey talk got me doing a little more research on snakebites. Here is what I found out:

  • 90-100% of reported snakebites occur between April and October, NOT in February.

  • The national average for snakebite-related deaths is only four per year, with Texas, Florida, and Georgia being the states where snakebites occur the most frequently.  

  • The vast majority of snakebites (is that one word, or two?) occur on the hand, NOT on the ankle or leg, which explains the next fascinating fact:

  • The most common profile of a bite victim is a young intoxicated male. (Duh.)

  • The ratio of male to female vicitims is 9:1.  That means most of my five-female, one male family is safe, lol.

  • Many adult venomous snakes deliver "dry bites" containing no venom, since they prefer to warn larger animals away without wasting the venom they need for their next meal. They know a human is too big to eat.

  • In this country, more people die from being hit by lightning each year than from being bit by a venomous snake.

  • Injuries and fatalities caused by dogs, cats and horses also vastly outnumber problems caused by snakes!

So.  This last little tidbit puts us in a much safer environment than some of our friends here, PlainJane and Cherryblossoms.  Ha ha!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Homeschooling Dad

We have found that the best time to teach the kids a lesson is when Dad doesn't believe it.  Over lunch one day Mom and Dad and Alizona were talking about gravity, and why things are heavier on the earth than they are on the moon.  This led to a discussion about the classic experiment that is attributed to Galileo (but he probably didn't do it), in which two similar objects of differing weights dropped from the same height both hit the ground at the same time. Dad said, "Wait.  You mean to tell me that if I drop a bowling ball and a marble from the roof, they will both hit the ground together?" He looked doubtful. Alizona insisted, "Yes, they will!" So Dad and Alie did some experiments, and she gave the scientific explanations for the results. We made a believer out of Dad, and a teacher out of Alison.  See?  Homeschooling IS for everybody.

Where Are the Snakes??

Copied from a comment on the previous entry:

"I was wondering while looking through the photos, don't you have to worry about rattle snakes out there in the desert?"
No. The snakes know it is still winter (and many of you would agree, I know), and they are hibernating, or at least cold enough not to move around. Well, let me do some research... tick tock tick tock tick tock... Okay, here ya go. All of the info I saw on snakes says that they come out of hibernation after the last frost.  Oh. Heh, heh, we don't have frost around here too often... Well, let me think about this.... okay, here's a good theory:  The area where we were hiking is a couple or three thousand feet higher in elevation from where we live, so it is cooler there, and the nights are still cold. So we are safe, right?   We have hiked around here for over four years, and we have yet to see or hear a live snake. We have not even seen a dead one.  Most of them are timid and will get out of the way when they hear/sense someone coming. We do have one aggressive variety, the dreaded Mohave Green Rattlesnake (no, that is not one in the photo -- that one is rubber, ha ha!), but locally, every time someone has been bitten the idiot victim was trying to prove something to his drunken buddies and was harassing it or trying to pick it up. This does not happen often in these parts. (The biting part, I mean. The drunkenness happens a lot, unfortunately.)

So the answer is, at this time of year we are about 99.5% safe from snakebites.  We don't start hiking until about November, and we don't hike into April. But we probably could.  There are plenty of poor ol' homeless fellows, real Louis L'Amour types, who sleep in the desert year 'round.  I'm sure a few of them have had a snake or two curl up in their bedrolls at night.  Eeeek!  But us, we're safe.  Right? Right, Cherryblossoms? We're safe?

The Desert in February

Congratulate me! I do believe I have set a personal record for non-blogging, eight days!  I have been keeping up with most of my blogging friends, but we have been so busy enjoying the lovely local weather here that I have not been posting anything, not even comments!  And sometimes it seems I just can't come up with anything interesting to say, even though things have been happening, Emily is still asking questions, and there have been lots of informative and interesting posts out there (made by other people, not me!) to share with you all. Call it blogger's block.

This is the time of year when I used to call home crying, "Please let me come home, I HATE the snow!!!" I lived on my college campus in Minnesota. I hated February and March, and  we were always blessed with a blizzard in April, too. Shudder. So I am very happy to say we have had some delightful days here the past week, and I feel so sorry for some of you who are still in the land of Winter!

We have some fun and exciting visitors with us this week, my MIL and FIL, who drove all the way from Virginia to see us! Here's what we have been busy with the past few days.  Don't hate us.  We can't help it that we live where the sun shines.

The big girls skated to the park this morning while Nana and Emily walked, then I did some errands and joined them at the park with Emily's bike:

We broke the rules.  Wheelchairs only!

Yesterday everyone but Emily and me went for a desert hike. (We had a nap  That smiley is me.  This one is Emily:  ) These pics below were taken either in California or Nevada, somewhere close to where they meet on the map. Yes, behind those
heavy, snowy clouds  hovering over those of you who are in Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc, the sky IS blue still!

Nana brought along something I was supposed to take home with me when we were with them last year, a vase-painting kit for the girls. (We didn't have one extra inch of space!) So the girls enjoyed painting yesterday morning with the warm sun on their backs:

And the big guys went for a macho bike ride.  Out here in the West, image is everything, you know.  That is why my DH is wearing long pants and is barefoot, lol! Yes, he always wears long pants (modesty is for men as well as for ladies), and no, he does not really bike in his bare feet. We call him Pants Armstrong, lol.

One of the reasons we enjoy having Nana and Papa with us is that they always bring such good things to eat with them!  This time they loaded us with oranges and grapefruits from Phoenix, as well as cookies from Germany, and roasted almonds from Costco, lol.  I think I will be 10 lbs fatter after this week, just when I was hoping to lose some weight. Well, I am ALWAYS hoping to lose some weight.  It never happens, and I know that is because weight loss DOESN'T just happen!  It's so much work.  Totally against my personality.  Like housework.  Housework and weight loss.  Same kind of thing!  sigh.

This morning my own parents left for a two and a half week trip to Thailand.  Not my first choice, for sure (I hear Bangkok makes Las Vegas look like kindergarten, and I know what Vegas looks like!) but I do enjoy seeing new places.  I think I got that travel bug injected deep into my veins when I was a little kid.  Unfortunately my DH seems to have been immunized against traveling, so we pretty much stay home.  But home is where the heart is, right?

Well, I am just blabbing for the sake of posting something, so I had better get off here and go do something real. I'll see you all here in the neighborhood somewhere!


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thankful Today

O Father up in Heaven
How good you are to me.
I thank you for the beauty
Of all the things I see;
I thank you for your kindness
In everything you’ve done,
And most of all I thank you
For Jesus, your dear Son.
I’m glad that he was willing
To die for me one day,
So he could be my Saviour,
And take my sins away.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Book Tag

PlainJane unfairly tagged me this morning with this book tag.  She knows this is a tag-free zone and she did it anyway!  How could she?! (She could, because she knew I would do this one!)  Okay, here's the tag:


1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the 5th sentence.

4. Post the next 3 sentences.

5. Tag 5 people.

With all the junk on my computer desk, it's sort of weird that I would have to go hunt up a book.  But I found one, no, three.  Here you go:

From George Orwell's 1984:
But at some time or another he had tasted chocolate like the piece she had given him. The whiff of its scent had stirred up some memory which he could not pin down, but which was powerful and troubling.
    "Where did you get this stuff?" he said.
    "Black market," she said indifferently.

(Can you imagine a world without chocolate?  Horrors!)

Next, from The Sword, The Ring, and The Parchment, by Ed Dunlop, first in the Terrestria Chronicles:
    "Believe it or not, these people are subjects of King Emmanuel. If you were to ask any one of them, he or she would claim loyalty to His Majesty. In fact, every person here used to dwell in the Village of Dedication."
    Josiah looked at him in astonishment. "The village by the Castle of Faith?"
    Sir Faithful nodded. "Some of them used to dwell in the castle itself."
    "What happened to them? If they used to live in the Village of Dedication and they served King Emmanuel, why would they want to leave there and come to this dreadful place?"

And finally, from Daughters of Destiny, by Noelle Wheeler Goforth:
    In an instant the axe fell, and the tragedy was consummated. An involuntary groan from the assembled multitude seemed to acknowledge that vengeance had been satisfied, but justice outraged.
    Lady Jane -- or Queen Jane, as she should more properly be called -- was little more than seventeen years old when she thus fell a victim to Mary's jealous fears and hate. Her heroic death demonstrated how well she had profited by the lessons in her early years. She did not waver in her faith, but rather drew strength from Christ, the Great Comforter. With this vision before her eyes, Lady Jane bore herself with serene dignity and with the true courage of a martyr.

Excuse me while I get over my fit of giggles here, lol!  Jane, it's nothing personal, honest.  It's not revenge for tagging me, honest!!!  I pray your faith and courage might be as Lady Jane Grey's.

Okay, I tag some new friends:
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