Thursday, April 29, 2004

Oatmeal Bread

2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 quart boiling water
1 package yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
1 cup brown sugar or molasses
¾ tablespoon salt (scant)
8 cups flour

Pour boiling water over oats in a large bowl and let stand until cool. Add remaining ingredients as named and mix. Mix at night and let rise until morning. Knead 8 minutes and make into 3 loaves. Rise again. Bake 45 minutes to one hour at 350° F.
Favorite Hymn
After posting a hymn last night, I started to think of my favorite hymns. This one tops the list. I'll share more later.

O Sacred Head
by: Bernard of Clairvaux
O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish, which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me! When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.
My Son, The Evangelist
Colin: "Spencer, why do you love Thomas [the Tank Engine]?"
Spencer: "I'm playing with Gordon [the Tank Engine]."
Colin: "But, why do you like Thomas things?"
Spencer: "I like cars and trains."
Colin: "Why don't you love God more? Did you know He made Thomas? And He made you. And someday we're going to live with Him in Heaven. Isn't it wonderful He made all this because He thought you would like it? And He made Keenan. He made your best friends. And He made you beautiful and holy. And Jesus died to wash away our sins so you will be clean inside. Did you know that?"
Spencer: "Yea."
Colin: "Do you like God? He loves you very much and He will never forget to love on you. Can you remember that?"
Spencer: "But He's up in Heaven, 'emember?"
Colin: "But He made this world beautiful for you. He builded everything for you. Chase and Cole and this world and this house. He made you oh, so wonderfully."

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

God of Our Fathers
by Daniel C. Roberts
God of our fathers, Whose almighty hand,
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band,
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war's alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
Forget Being Polite!!!
At work today I heard about a case involving two drivers, the left lane driver and the right lane driver. It seems the right lane girl really wanted to be in the left lane to turn left, so she looked over at the guy in the left lane while they were at a stop light. His eyes seemed to tell her she could go in front of him, so she proceeded to turn in front of him when the light changed. He didn't know about what his eyes had seemed to say, so he ran right into her. She sued him!!!!

Well, when I got home, I found this gem of a case. Guy waves to girl and allows her to cross the street in front of hiim, but someone else runs right into her. Her family sues the "nice" guy for negligently waving to her!
Anny’s Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, roughly cut into 1 1/2" pieces
3 lg. cloves garlic, peeled and coarsley chopped
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
2 T. olive oil
Toss together in a roasting pan. Roast 40 min. at 375, turning occassionally.
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
2 T. chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
Season potatoes just before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Anny is my neighbor. She brought this to one of our annual Christmas dinners and everyone loved it. She always brings the BEST food!
At Last
Colin's class sang for the mothers today at BSF. Finally, I hear something positive from him this month:

Colin: "Mommy, did you see me singing today?"
Me: "Yes, I did!"
Colin: "I saw you, too. Didn't I sing beautiful?"
Me: "You certainly did."
Colin: "I always sing beautiful when I see you."
Lazy Cat
Our cat Hobbes lives in our back yard. He is currently sitting under the honeysuckle bush, just yards from our back porch, watching the grackles eat his food! THAT is lazy!
I Can't Get No Satisfaction
We have lots of little things wrong at our house. A portion of the roof is rotting, birds have moved into the attic, the screen door needs replacing, doorknobs need fixing, trees need to be cut down....the list goes on and on. I've hired THREE different people to fix these things. Yes, THREE. Two of them have been promising to come over and give me a bid. One gave me a bid, which I accepted without any negotiation at all. He even took a piece of wood from our roof line so he could make a replacement piece before he returned. All of them promised to arrive within two weeks. None of them has appeared. What is up with that? And where is the plumber that was going to replace some pipes in the upstairs bathroom last summer? Where do all these guys go? If business is that good, I suppose I should suggest my children pursue the handyman career! Anybody know anybody I can add to my list of hirees?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Vinegar Rules!
Mom brought me this list of all things you can do with distilled white vinegar. Pretty amazing!
Remove stains, kill weeds between patio blocks, rinse hair, soften fabric, dissolve chewing gum, deice windshields, remove wallpaper, kill dust mites, tenderize meat, get rid of hiccups, sooth a sunburn, inhibit nail fungus, control molds in humidifiers, add gloss to you dog's coat, cut grease, clean ears, repel ants, reduce fly bites on ponies, unclog drains, dissolve glue, keep cats out of a sandbox, polish furniture, remove rust, soothe hemorrhoids, preserve cut flowers, control yeast infections, eliminate pet odors, de-scum a dishwasher, set colors in fabrics, clean eyeglasses, take the sting out of a jellyfish sting, clean radiator valves, aid digestion, and vaporize garden slugs.

Monday, April 26, 2004


"...See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9

"...When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it..." Mark 11:1-10 See also: Matthew 21:1-5; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:14-15
Gibson Grills Kerry

Dan has alerted us to this transcript of this morning's interview of John Kerry. For me, it brought to mind the following quote, previously posted here on March 31st:

"I think he's a man who likes complexity, understands it and doesn't shy away from looking sometimes as though he is saying one thing and doing another, when in fact anybody who understands this knows exactly what he means." Teresa Heinze Kerry on her husband, John Kerry.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sounds Great!
Colin (as we pass Coit's Drive In): "How about we have a float? A float is a very nice thing to have!"
Observing the Sabbath
I'm old enough to have experienced the days of the Blue Laws and I've attended church all my life. But, I've never really been taught much about observing the Sabbath until this week. I once had a Jewish boss who observed Sabbath every week and I know she had to prepare in advance for Saturday. They used no electricity on the Sabbath so they had to cook ahead, and I'm sure they had to have other things on hand since they would not be shopping. I also have Christian friends who eat at home every Sunday, but I don't know if its Sabbath observance or just tradition. In sum, I just don't know much about it. But last week's study of Nehemiah has made me question my own Sunday "routine" and wonder if I should do more to observe the Sabbath.

"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." Genesis 2:2

"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Say to the israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath because it is holy to you." Exodus 31:12-14a (The passage goes on to say that anyone who desecrates it must be put to death).

After Nehemiah accomplished the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem, he went home. When he returned years later, he found the people were not observing the Sabbath. He rebuked them, "What is this wicked thing you are doing - desecrating the Sabbath day?"

Hebrews 4 discusses the Sabbath in a whole new way. It speaks of "rest" as though the "rest" is our salvation. We can stop working and rest in Him. So, does this excuse us from observing the Sabbath? Jesus warned us not to observe the law so tightly that we refuse to help others. He healed people on the Sabbath. But, he never said the holy day was to be no more.

My teacher said that since the dawn of time, God has set aside a day of rest and called it holy. She thinks we should not be legalistic, but that we should make the day a day of rest and not spend it playing catch-up. So, I've put a lot of thought into it, and this week I decided to make this day a Sabbath day. No eating out, no shopping. Just worship, Bible study and relaxation. Family and God time. It took planning, which was the suprise bonus. Throughout the week I was thinking of things I should do to prepare for God's day, which kept me focused on God. Its like when you have a party or a date, and you spend the week planning and preparing. The anticipation is part of the experience. And, so it was this week.

I still don't know the "rules" of the Sabbath, and I would love to discuss it with somebody. (Please). But, I can tell you this week felt right, and I'm glad I've done it.
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights
I'm really not much of a video game person, but this one has me.
Here's a Bucket of Cold Water in Your Face
Dawn has alerted us to what's going on over at Planned Parenthood in her post entitled, "Disgusteen." I checked out all her links and can report that it ain't good. They have gone beyond supporting abortion to actually promoting sexual activity of any and every kind. They even have links help teens find homosexual lovers on-line!! Please go read what Dawn has written.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Darling, I love you, but give it up or I'll sue
This seems ridiculous, but it is necessary in these days of the law suit. Ah, yes....Green Acres is indeed the place to be.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

One Hundred Twenty One
There are 121 registered sexual offenders in Oklahoma City. If you want to see which ones live in your neighborhood, go here.
Me: "You are my sunshine,"
Spencer: "You are a boo bonk."
Me: "My heavenly sunshine,"
Spencer: "NO, I'M NOT THAT!"
Me: "You make me happy..."
Spencer: "I'M NOT SUNSHINE!"
Me: "When skies are grey."
Spencer: "NO! I DON'T!!"
Me: "You'll never know, dear,"
Spencer: "QUIET!!!"
Me: "How much I love you,"
Spencer: "QUIET!!!!"
Me: "Please don't take my sunshine away."
Spencer: "I'm not THAT! I'M JUST A BOST BOY!!"
Warm and Fuzzy Thoughts
As we cuddled before bed last night, Colin and I had this touching exchange:

Me: "You know what is one of the best things God ever did?"
Colin: "No."
Me: "He gave you to me."
Colin: (smiles, then gets serious) "I don't think that was such a good idea."
Me: "Why?"
Colin: "I didn't enjoy it so much."
Me: (after hesitating) "Well, that kind of hurts my feelings!"
Colin: "Well, I just didn't have such a good time."
Sugary Shenanigans
Woman eats a pound of licorice EVERY DAY and is suprised to find that this caused her some health problems!

What to do?
What to do?
I know!
Let's Sue!!

I love Fox's idea for a warning label.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This morning as I drove my son to school, a dense fog rolled in. We were driving up Penn and I noticed I could not see 50 Penn Place. The building is 17 stories high and just off the street. I can usually see it clearly from 40th and Penn, but not today. As we got closer, we started to see a faint outline, but we never saw more than that. Even when we were right there, it was nearly invisible. Had I been flying around with no idea where I was, I may have run right into it.

So, I started thinking about God and even Satan. I know they are there. I have experienced them. But I can't see them. If I don't know "the Way," I could run right into them and not even know it! But, through the study of God's Word, we can learn how to recognize them. Just as I know there is a tall building on 50th and Penn, I can know God's characteristics, and I can know when Satan is deceiving me. Satan could have told me there was no building on 50th and Penn, and that is why I could not see it. But I know better. And I know God's ways so that Satan can't trick me about that, either.

And then I started to see cars coming toward me from out of the fog. Most had lights on, but some didn't. So, I started to analogize Christians to the cars with lights on. We are the light of the world...and having our lights on can help others navigate in this spiritual world.

"So, let your light so shine before men."
Things I Don't Understand
I don't understand why, from time to time, I'll turn on my computer and everything looks like its under a magnifying glass.

I don't understand how my computer came to have Microsoft Word, Microsoft Word (2) and Microsoft Word (3).

I don't understand why I can't remove the icon for "My Network Places" since I'm not on a network and the computer itself acknowledges there is no network.

I don't understand why I can remove AOL from my computer, but it still searches for it every time I turn the thing on.

I don't understand how radio frequency works.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Cost of Doing Business
If you were to read the cases I read, you'd know why insurance rates are so high for doctors, OB/GYNs in particular: (1) lawsuits and (2) high jury awards (millions and millions of dollars). The following article from CBS in Chicago highlights a doctor who just couldn't make money anymore. I'm afraid this will happen with increasing frequency. And, why spend years in medical school if it is not profitable?

Doctors Protest Malpractice Rates

Mar 24, 2004 10:00 pm US/Central
CHICAGO (CBS 2) On Friday doctors will march through Chicago's Loop to protest what doctors are calling a crisis in Illinois, skyrocketing insurance rates.

The cause of this crisis is being argued in emergency rooms, court rooms and smoke-filled rooms. But this story is not about who's at fault or the reasons why medical malpractice insurance premiums have soared in the past few years. It's a story about how some doctors are dealing with it and how that could change the way you get your health care.

Dr. Eileen Murphy has been delivering babies for 18 years, including Governor Blagojevich's daughter, Anne. But on April 30 she'll see her last patient. She just can't afford to do it anymore.

"I haven't been able to pay myself in three months. I'm paying the cost of doing business," Murphy said.

The problem's not her $170,000 a year salary. It's her insurance premium which jumped to $138,000 this year. Without insurance she can't get hospital privileges.

"If anything goes wrong, even if it's a possible complication, a possible natural outcome, you can almost guarantee that you are going to be sue," Murphy said.

Dr. Mark Macumber, a family physician in Berwyn, also got a shock when he opened his insurance bill.

"What drove me over the edge was my premiums went from $10,000 a year to $40,000 a year, in one year," Macumber said.

So he took the radical step of dropping insurance all together. He asks patients to sign a form explaining that he has no coverage. He does not ask them to sign a promise not to sue. But Macumber says he'll risk it until something is done about soaring insurance costs.

"Sometimes they're tort reforms, sometimes they're controls on the way that insurance companies are controlling their premiums. But some states are able to control it. Illinois needs to control it," Macumber said.

Dr. Hunt Batjer is a neurosurgeon at Northwestern. Two years ago, he and his colleagues paid $70,000 each for insurance.

"Our department is now paying $240,000 each per year,” Batjer said.

But many can't afford it. The state neurological society says that 18 percent of Illinois' active neurosurgeons are expected to retire, relocate, or stop operating this year. Dr. Batjer says he's finding it difficult to recruit or even train doctors.

"Well, I've seen it in the courses I teach for the medical school here at Northwestern. The students have a great interest in neuroscience, but they want no part of the business of practicing neurosurgery," Batjer said.

"At some point someone's going to need a neurosurgeon, and they won't be there. Or someone's going to need an obstetrician, and they won't be there," Macumber said.

That's already the case in Belleville, Ill., where there are no doctors who will handle hi-risk pregnancies. And the situation is likely to get worse statewide. A group called the OB-GYN Crisis Coalition says 13 percent of Illinois obstetricians either dropped their practices, or moved out of state last year. Right now there are no neurosurgeons in the entire Joliet area. Cases of head trauma must come to Chicago.
Yummy Fundraising
Thursday, ALL DAY, is Crossings Christian School day at Panera Bread on Northwest Expressway. If you eat there, please say, "I support Crossings" and they'll give us 10% of your purchase. Hey! You could buy bagels for your office in the morning and then eat an Asian Chicken Salad for lunch. And if you come by in the evening, you can enter a drawing for prizes, which will be awarded every 15 minutes from 5:00 - 8:00! The Roast Beef Asiago sandwich would be a good choice for dinner. Or french onion soup. How about a chocolate croissant?? See you there!

Monday, April 19, 2004

Blast From The Past
I was looking through my old 80s scrapbook today and saw an article I had saved about my friend Doug Powell. Back in college I had a collection of friends who were, by some standards, on the fringe. Okay, by most standards. Anyway, my friend Kim wanted to introduce me to Doug because, as she said, we were two straight arrows in the midst of insanity. Its hard to say why this group of people accepted me, really. I was a sorority girl who wore preppy clothes, went to church, didn't drink.... They were, well, quite opposite. But, what I liked about them was that they didn't seem to care much about appearance, but accepted people as they were.

Doug was making a guest appearance with a band called Defenestration, which was Tyson Todd Meade's band. I remember meeting him in the Owl House, which was basically a party house. The music was loud and people were slam dancing (before slam dancing became popular). Kim was so excited to introduce the two of us soda pop drinkers!

We became friends, but that was it. Doug gave me a tape of his music he was making at home with a four-track recorder. It was Christian music, but it did not sound like Christian music. Back then (1983), Amy Grant was about as wild as Christian music got, and Doug was making music that would be more popular in 2010! His lyrics were incredible. My favorite was a song called "Voguely Vague" and was about relativism.

So, I checked Doug out on the web today to see if the music world has discovered him yet. It seems it has. He's even played on Conan's show! Doug is living in Memphis and is in graduate school studying Christian Apologetics. I hope you'll check out his music. I think you'll like it.
Nice to a Fault
I once had a boss tell me I was "nice to a fault." I found her comment interesting and pondered it for quite a while. Nice to a fault. Hmmmm. I decided she was right, but that I would go ahead and keep that particular fault. I must say, there are plently who disagree with her about my 'niceness,' and I won't pretend I'm as 'nice' as she thought. But, I got a taste of her meaning last night.

I was nice to a cat. Now, the number one rule is you never approach an injured or frightened animal because he WILL attack you. I've known this truth for some 35+ years. But, last night I forgot it momentarily. A stray cat got caught in our garage door when I closed it for the evening. He was up high with his paw stuck between two panels and I had the brilliant idea that I could hold him up while James opened the door.

A few hundred dollars later and after 3 hours in the local ER, I'm home with a red, white and blue arm and a bucket of medicine.

"Nice to a fault." (aka "dumb to a fault").

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Good Grief
I was reading one of my favorite blogs this morning and truly enjoyed her post, One Fine Day. Dawn has a way of taking things I've thought and putting them together for me in a coherent message with a touch of pop culture here and a cup of God's truth there.
5-Year-Old Faith
Colin: "Spencer, if you'll do good things and do what God wants you to do, he'll protect care of you and carry you safely through."
Spencer: [silence]

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

-William Wordsworth
from "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood."

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Back when I was single and lived in an apartment, my neighbor Lois found a little black fluff of cat in the parking lot. I could hold all of him in the palm of my hand. He must have been about 4 weeks old. He had a spindle of a tail sticking straight up from the fluff, and it was broken at the end. I already had a cat and had no intention of having two. But every morning when I opened the door, he was there. Lois talked me into keeping him and she named him "Bentley" because of his broken (bent) tail.

Bentley grew to be a majestic Maine Coon cat with long, soft fur and a big fluffy tail. His long nose gave him an aire of confidence. His big yellow eyes were full of a longing emotion. He was big. He weighed 21 pounds and when he needed a hug, he could stand up and pat me on the waist. He was the sweetest cat I ever knew. He knew no malice.

I can remember moving to Norman to go to law school and living in a house next to a large field. Bentley liked to play outside. He had a habit of collecting kitty cat friends (which is odd for a cat). One night I looked out of the window to see Bentley and his best friend romping across the yard into the field, side by side.

A few years ago Bentley started to lose weight and seemed ill. We kept trying new foods and treatments, but nothing seemed to help. Finally we had him X-rayed and discovered he had swallowed two pennies and a nickle! They had begun to deterioriate in his body and were causing considerable trouble. We had them removed and brought him home. He has never been the same.

This winter was especially hard on Bentley. He has lost so much weight, he probably weighs about 5 pounds. He is sick all the time. So, we've made a heart-wrenching decision. Friday it ends.

I'll miss the way he rubs his forehead on my chin. I'll miss those big paws. And that look he gives me. And those mile-long whiskers. I'll miss you Bentley.

Posted by Hello
A Pretty Price to Pay

Some attorneys have gathered a class of victims of vanity who spent too much on cosmetics. The defendant cosmetic companies (who sell their products at department stores) have been accused of overpricing. The companies have agreed to a settlement which would provide the "victims" with a coupon to receive a free product (probably worth $18-$25 retail) for a total of about $175 million. The attorneys? They'll get about $24 million.

Boy, I sure am glad those guys are protecting me from purchasing over-priced cosmetics!!!! They deserve their mansions, vacation homes and luxury automobiles, don't you think?

You can read all about it in this article, from which I've lifted the following quote:

"This settlement exemplifies a textbook class-action settlement abuse where the plaintiffs' counsel and defendants stand to receive considerable financial benefit and the class member would receive little or no meaningful compensation for their injuries," Mr. LeClair wrote. "This settlement is tantamount to a $24 million ad campaign," he wrote,alluding to the amount of fees the defendant companies have agreed to pay to the plaintiffs' lawyers.
Unanswered Prayers
As Garth Brooks sings, "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. Remember when you're talking to the man upstairs, that just because He doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care." Choice of words aside, I do love that song. I've had a lot of "unanswered" prayers. Really, the answer was just, "NO!" And, you know what? "No" was the right answer in every situation. I prayed to marry someone who, in hindsight, wasn't the right one for me. I prayed for God to take away my tears before I learned why God gave them to me. I prayed to be in control.

God's answers are better than my plans. He meets my deepest desires - even those that are unknown to me. But He often uses my situation to teach me, and were I given what I asked for immediately, I would not be in a place to learn the lesson. Like rain, our desires are often most appreciated after a long, hot dry spell. We learn in the midst of the drought why the rain is a blessing and why it is necessary. When the rain comes after a drought, we have joy. God does not give us everything we want because He loves us. He knows better.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Dude Ranch Casserole

2 ½ cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 can diced green chilies
¾ cup sliced green onion
1 dozen flour tortillas cut into triangles.

Mix everything together except one cup cheese and 12 tortilla triangles. Spray casserole pan with cooking spray. Put mixture in pan and cook at 375° F for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and tuck tortilla triangles around the edge. Bake 5 more minutes. Let casserole rest 5 – 10 minutes before serving. Good with tortilla chips and salsa.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Email at a Snail's Pace
Don't know what's up with my email, but I'm not getting it all and from time to time I can't send any. So, if you really need me, call me.
We just bought our tickets to ride with Thomas the Tank Engine on October 2nd at the Oklahoma Railway Museum! Thomas was in Branson last year and they sold out quickly, so get your tickets now if you want to go! (We're riding in Car A at 9:50 a.m.).

Friday, April 09, 2004

Date Night
Colin and I went on a date last night. He was as reluctant as most of my dates have been in my life. I just dragged him along anyway, as I am accustomed.

We went to Norman (OU) for dinner and a concert. I let him choose the place to eat, and we decided to eat at the student union. He was hoping they would have a Taco Bell. They had Sbarro, which was good enough. We sat outside and ate as we examined the buildings and said hellow to the passing students. Despite all his protestations on the way there, he clearly enjoyed dinner. I bought him some frozen yogurt with sprinkles for dessert in hopes he would feel some obligation to enjoy the concert with me. Turns out he's about as easy as I was on dates. He can't be bought.

We walked across campus to the music school and purchased our tickets. He was the only child there because all the other parents are much smarter than me! I showed him around the building and we listened in on some of the musicians practicing in the practice rooms. Then we found our seats. Then we found some other seats. And finally, we found some other seats. Of course, we then had to switch seats so Colin could sit in the seat with the "5" on it (as if he would be sitting).

The concert began with an eerie, modern marimba band. It was way too intellectual for Colin (and possibly even me) so he entertained himself by folding himself into his seat and popping back out. The next piece was much better. It consisted of snare drum, tympani, bass drum and various accessories. It kept his interest, so I hoped we were there to stay.

The third piece was absolutely incredible: Concerto for Piano and Percussion Orchestra by David Gillingham. The first and second movements in particular were rich and beautiful, making one feel as if she were dancing through a flowery meadow in the mountains. I could have listened all night.

Not Colin.

Soon after that, we left. We missed the last eight (8!) pieces!! Colin was cold and tired and thirsty and bored. They were just playing too much music!!!

Despite all Colin's complaints, I think he really did have a good time. I know he learned a lot about college and music. I was proud to see that he already knows when and when not to applaud (by watching the conductor). So, I'll drag him along some other time, too.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

It Just Keeps Getting Better
For those of you who don't know, I read cases for a living. Real, live cases of law. One would think after 8 years of reading cases (and for 6 of those years I read about 30 a day), I may have read it all. NOPE! Every day I see something new. It is amazing what people can think of. More incredulous is the lack of shame. People just don't take responsibility for their own actions! Yesterday I read a Washington state case about a woman who went to Burger King on a rainy day. When she stepped into the restaurant on a tile floor, she slipped and fell. It seems tile can be slippery when wet. BUT NOBODY TOLD HER THAT!!! (I'm guessing she hadn't lived in Washington long!)

My all time favorite case was from Michigan. A woman with multiple personalities went in for surgery. I think she had her gall bladder removed, or something like that. Anyway, she sued the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the hospital because they had failed to anesthetize 14 of her 15 personalities and those 14 suffered great pain!

You gotta love it!

So, now we have the case of the ruined jacket. Notice the plaintiff himself adhered the sticker to the jacket. I can only imagine his theory of liability must be that he felt he was under a legal obligation to wear the sticker since the poll volunteer guy suggested it. Who knows.

And that, friends, is one reason I love my job!
Bad Luck
Dan has alerted me to the lastest in lawsuit insanity. It seems Virginia had a problem with gambling. She put herself on a list in Michigan, where she lives, that bans her from entering a casino. According to the rules of the list, if she enters a casino, she may be arrested and will forfeit any money she wins. So, she goes into a casino and LOSES everything. What will she do now? Gamble on a sympathetic jury!!! Maybe she can win everything back in court! In my opinion, the list should have banned all kinds of gambling, including lawsuits, and she should be arrested for bringing this suit.
Colin: "Spencer, let's be kind to each other. Then we will make the debil small and Jesus will be big and we can go to HEAVEN! Spencer, they have real Thomas engines there..and paper ones and play ones. And they have DONUTS! But there are no germs and no debil. The debil can't go up there. And there are computers and everything good. And Jesus and God are there, too. But no germs. Just good things. And it will be so, so cloudy up there."
Spencer: "Okay!"

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

My Favorite Composer
Sergei Rachmaninov won my heart in 1981 and I am still amazed at his talent. Nothing moves me like a Rachmaninov piano concerto, especially Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and Prelude in G Minor. I'm not much of a pianist, but I was once determined to play Prelude in G Minor. So I played it very slowly, making sure to include every note. It took me almost 2 hours!!! (I think its about a 3 minute piece!) I hope you'll listen to one or all of these compositions. Try to do it when you can sit and listen...its not background stuff. (Hint: You can borrow it from the library!)
"Mommy. Spencer's brain is broken. Do you think we might have to go to the doctor in the morning?"
The Living Temple

This is my own, personal Bible study for today, inspired by a prayer at church on Sunday:

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." (Acts 17:24)

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" (1 Cor. 4:8)

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (I Cor. 6:19-20)

At church last Sunday the man who prayed over communion talked about the Old Testament method of purifying the temple with the sacrificial blood of animals. The temple now resides in each of Christ's believers, so we purify the temple by taking communion as Christ instructed us to do in rememberance of Him. His prayer added a whole new dimension to communion for me. To think that each time I take communion, I am cleansing the temple. (Of course, I cannot cleanse it, but I allow Christ to cleanse it by accepting His sacrifice).

The Old Law: "The priest is to sprinkle the blood against the altar of the Lord at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting...For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the alter." (Leviticus 17: 6, 11)

The New Truth: "When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (Hebrews 9:11-12)

The Holy Spirit testifies: "'Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.' And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." (Hebrews 10:6)

The following devotional came to me by email from Christian Woman Today:

By Suzanne Benner

Throughout the book of Revelation, Jesus is known as the Lamb of God. Let's pause today to think about what that means.

In the Old Testament, we are told the story of the sacrificial lamb. God provided a ram on Mount Moriah for Abraham to sacrifice instead of his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). The Israelites were instructed to kill a lamb, spreading its blood on the doorframe, to keep the angel of death from destroying their firstborn on that first Passover in Egypt (Exodus 12:21-30). Year after year, sacrifices were offered to take away the sins of the people (Leviticus 4:26). Then finally, when Jesus walked this earth, John the Baptist saw Him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

On our own, we cannot stand before God because of our sin. Yet we are not lost, because Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament story of the sacrificial lamb. "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).

May the deep meaning of the title, "the Lamb of God" resound in your heart. Jesus gave up His life for yours and mine!

~Jesus, we join with the 24 elders singing, "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:9, 10). With the angels we sing, "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!" (Revelation 5:12)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Video Update
Cheryl tells me we can also scan in our scrapbook pages and add things to them like music, movement, "flying embellishments," scrolling journals, audio journals and other effects. Pretty cool, huh? I think she's on to something big!!!!
You go, girl!

Monday, April 05, 2004

My friend Cheryl has her own internet shop! She sells things to help you turn your volumes and volumes of home videos and photos into beautiful home movies. She made a video for a family reunion with music, photos and old videos that was truly moving. She made a video notebook of all our highschool friends (the group I still keep up with), which was hilarious and oh, so funky. Then, for Dana's wedding, she made a video meshing together the lives of the bride and groom.

So, now she says we can do it, too! If you're concerned you won't know where to start, she'll walk you through it. She walks me through stuff on my computer all the time and I can attest she knows how to guide a COMPLETE, uh, shall we say..."Novice." ; )

And, by the way, I'm proud to tell you that Cheryl was a computer animator for the famous movies "Jimmy Neutron" and "Olive, the Other Reindeer." She knows what she's doing!

Anyway, I've attached her website at right, and I'll put it right here, too.
"Rainbow Willanay Verses" (aka Rainbow Vanilla Wafers)
We gotta get us some of those! (Apparently everyone else at my son's school has FIVE boxes!!) (This is why being a parent takes a certain talent).
By popular request (aka Kyndal), a re-cap of the Family Vision Conference.

First of all, it was fantastic. I highly recommend it! The two families that put it on have practiced what they preach. One has 7 children and the other has 6! We talked about the importance of having a plan for any goal you want to reach, especially for your family. Then we went to work fashioning our own goals. We started with a vision and a mission. It was sort of a, "we purpose to...." kind of exercise. We had to boil it all down to less than 8 important guidelines for our family and one, concise statement about who we are. We selected some Bible verses (we'll narrow it down to one) that represent our family. In essence, we set a plumb line against which to measure every action. We planned family nights and scheduled a time to make yearly goals for each member of the family. We'll write letters to our decendents. The purpose of it all is to get everyone in the family on the same page and working toward the same goals. The hope is that the plans and standards we set will last for generations to come (as with the Rechabites of the Bible, who still have family members following the family laws).

In sum, I hope you'll take the class some time. It is worth every moment and its worth finding a babysitter.
Resurrection Eggs
At Christmas we use the Jesse Tree as our "advent calendar." For each day there is a Bible lesson, a verse, some songs and an ornament for the tree. Now I've found Resurrection Eggs, a cool way to teach children about Easter. Here's an article from Christian Woman Today's on-line magazine:

The ancient Romans believed that "all life comes from an egg." Although the origin of the Easter egg is unclear, Christians believed eggs to be the "seed of life," and so they are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Eggs are a marvelous way to teach children the Easter story. A dozen hollow, plastic eggs are used and each egg cradles a different item such as a cross, thorn or nail, along with a relevant verse in Scripture. Of course, the twelfth egg is empty, representing the empty tomb, and Jesus’ resurrection. As each egg is opened, the resurrection story comes to life for young children.

You can make your own, or complete kits are available at the Campus Crusade for Christ New Life Resources web site.

Each kit includes plastic eggs, complete with a donkey for describing Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Other eggs hold items such as a crown of thorns, three nails, a spear, and a stone. A booklet is included with each set.

Here are some suggested items and Scripture verses for your own resurrection eggs. If plastic eggs are not available, copy or draw a picture of a listed item, along with the relevant verse onto a small slip of paper. Insert under the wrap of a chocolate egg.

Piece of bread or cracker (The Last Supper) Matthew 26:26
A dime (Judas’ betrayal) Matthew 26:15
Piece of rope (Jesus arrested) John 18:12
Purple cloth (Jesus taunted) John 19:2
Thorn (Crown of thorns) John 19:2
Cross (Forgiveness) Hebrews 12:2
Nail (Jesus nailed to the cross) Acts 2:23
Sponge (Vinegar) John 19:29
Toothpick with foil tip (Spear) John 19:34
Gauze (Jesus’ body prepared for burial) John 19:40
Rock (Tombstone rolled away) Matthew 28:2
The message of Hope and Life in Jesus - oh, how sweet it is!
Box Tops! Box Tops!
Okay, I got the scoop on the box tops contest today. The contest lasts for the whole month of April (I thought they were due today). So, if you would like to help Colin's class win a party, I'll gladly accept box top donations! Thank you!

Sunday, April 04, 2004


Friday, April 02, 2004

Those Wascally Wobbahs
Son: "Mommy, Lydia had a wobbah in her house! Do you know what that is?"
Mommy: "No! I've never heard of a wobbah."
Son: "It's when someone comes in your house in the niddle of the night and takes your things."
Mommy: "Oh. That's a 'robber.' Can you say, 'robber'?"
Son: "Robber. But, Mommy, they had a wobbah!"
Free Books!
I've just run across a website where you can read books online for FREE! How cool is that? I'm going to start with Chesterton!
Employee Incentives
I just went to Sonic (the drive through). As a former student of restaurants, I usually look back in the kitchens, especially at the signage. I find it interesting. (Yes, I'm a nerd). Today's find literally cracked me up:

Attention all employees:
New Incentive Program!!

Or Get Fired!!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

More Engrish
There are some great finds in the recent discoveries today at!