Sunday, September 19, 2010

The View From Grandma's Front Porch Blog

Due to a lack of interest, (on my part) in doing what it takes to lose weight, as of late...I'm taking a break from my "Losing it" Blog and have started a brand new one. This will be a more general blog, called, "The View From Grandma's Front Porch." You can get there by clicking HERE. Check it out, and once I get my motivation back...I'll resume this one, strictly as an account of my weight loss. Thanks! Catch ya on the flip-flop.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #38 ~ "Dogged Determination"

CJ's first T-Ball game. He's on a team called the Blue Dogs.

Check out the closed eyes, and the tongue sticking out!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thanks, Ray! You Made My Day!

Earlier this year, the stackable washer/dryer we were using in our rented farm house, gave up the ghost. First the dryer, (after months of a very noisy squealing noise while in use), and then the washing machine decided it shouldn't have to work anymore either. I guess it figured if the dryer was retiring, they might as well go together.
Anyway, for WEEKS now, we've been hauling about six loads of laundry to the local laundromat each week. That's only for 3 of us. If I did Jessica and CJ's too, it was more like nine loads. The washing machines cost $1.75 per load, and the dryers could be bribed to go a whole 8 minutes for a quarter. It was quite an expense, not to mention the chore of hauling it all out to a vehicle... and into the laundromat...and back to the vehicle... and into the house... Ugh! To say that I hated laundry day was a gross understatement. Some would say that it should have been the landlord's responsibility to repair or replace the appliances, but they've been very kind and patient with us, and besides, we had a perfectly good washer and dryer sitting out in one of the out-buildings here, from the house we lived in before.
So...first of all, we had to move the freezer from this corner, to where the stackable unit had been, so we could vent the dryer out the wall. Then Ray bought a laundry tub, which he later assembled and installed.

Notice there is no plumbing, gas hook-up, or electricity in this corner...
(Pay no attention to the hideous, filthy linoleum, circa 1930. It doesn't GET any cleaner)

Next, he cut a hole in the wall to put the dryer vent hose through...

And a week after I took the first pics, he had the electricity, LP gas and plumbing all ready to go. There was even hot and cold running water in the laundry tub!

Ray then hauled in the dryer, and I cleaned it up and set it in place, just to see what it would look like. It was finally starting to seem like this project might actually come together!!

But first, my old dryer had to be converted from natural gas to LP.
After that was done, he brought in the washing machine and hooked that all up...

And voila!! My laundry room was finished! I was pretty excited. No more traipsing to the laundromat! Yay!! We tried it out with a small load and it worked just great. The next day, I was happily doing my laundry, and had even brought a small TV in the room to watch while I was folding. Here's the thing that I DIDN'T expect to happen...
*My grandson, CJ thought it was a great place to hang out, and he (along with the two dogs) sat in there (in a laundry basket of course), watching cartoons for the remainder of the afternoon.

And to top it all off, when Molly came home, she promptly made herself a PB&J sandwich and joined him in there. She's sitting on the table amongst the folded clothes...Silly kids.
Oh, and if you're wondering how I took a picture from over the laundry tub...since this room was added after the rest of the house was built, there is a window between my laundry room and the living room. Quaint, don't you think?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"360* Life - Ten Ways You Can Live More Richly, Deeply, Fully" by Billy Joe Daughtry ~ Book Review and Giveaway!!

What if you only had a few days to live?

Would you love?

Would you laugh?

Would you give?

Would you live differently than you do right now?
--Billy Joe Daugherty

That's how this book begins...
The idea of a 360* life, is that we start with God, enter the world, touch others during our brief stay here, and then finally complete the circle to enter eternity with God!

The really interesting thing about this book, is that the author did not live to see this book in print. Sadly, his own brief journey here on earth was over before it was published...which is in itself, a testimony to the fact that this earthly life, is only temporary.

I took my time reading this book, and was once again struck by the way God chooses to get my attention while I'm reading...with everything else going on in my life at the same time, (He tends to do that a lot with me). One of the first times I sat down to read this book, I ended on page 65 where the 23rd Psalm is printed in its entirety. The very next day, I went to a tea party at church, (a REAL tea party, not one of those political ones), where the pastor's wife opened in prayer. She read us the 23rd Psalm! Of course many of us have heard that psalm numerous times in our lives...I was just struck by the "coincidental" timing of it.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a new bible study, "Becoming More than Just a Good Bible Study Girl." The night before, I'd been reading page 21 in this book, about David and Goliath and "Rising Above Your Circumstances" and facing your own giants. There is a video that goes along with this study...yes, in the video that day, she talked about the story of David and Goliath. Imagine that.

Chapter 6 is called "Hearing God's Voice" and talks about learning to hear His Still, Small Voice. The topic of our sermon LAST SUNDAY, was "Be Still and Know That I am God," and was about that very topic. In fact, on page 91 the book talks about 1Kings 19:12, where God sent a strong wind, a violent storm, an earthquake and finally a fire. God's voice was not contained in any of those things...but in a still small voice. Yup, that's what we heard on Sunday too. Coincidence??

So what am I hearing God telling me to do these days? He's telling me that I have been put here on this earth for certain specific tasks...and that I need to learn to listen to Him, and hear His voice, so that I know exactly what it is I am supposed to be doing. He wants me to know that not only did he create those works for me to do, but that He also created ME to do them! He wants me to know that I am loved my Him, and that I should trust in Him, and not worry or be fearful about things. He wants me to pray for my needs with faith and thanksgiving. Believing in my heart that He will provide...

As a matter of fact, I believe I'm going to read this more time. I know there are things in it that I have already forgotten... My memory has never been great.

If you would like a preview of this book, you can download the first chapter here. 360* Life is available at, and I would also like to give you, my wonderful readers, an opportunity to win this excellent book. All you need to do, is leave a comment after this post. You can come back and leave one comment each day for more chances to win. I will do a random drawing on May 15, 2010. Make sure to leave me a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you in the event that you are the winner. Good Luck!
Include the FTC disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy 2nd Blogoversary to ME!

Okay. It took a total stranger, to leave a comment on one of my posts today, and wish me a happy blogoversary, to alert me to the fact that it WAS my blogoversary! Thank you, Teena in Toronto! I knew that I had started some time in April, 2 years ago, but haven't really been posting a whole lot lately, and didn't remember the exact date. I'm not even exactly sure how Teena knew it WAS my blogoversary today. Unless she went all the way back to the beginning of my posts or something. I DID have a countdown thingy on here, but for some reason, it hasn't been updating correctly, and says there are 162 days to my 2nd blogoversary.

Since it has come to my attention, and I have been planning on recommitting myself to what this whole blog of mine was started for 2 years ago...I will take that as a sign that I have detoured off of my journey to fitness long enough and I'll start my diet tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #37~March in Minnesota??

The Return of... Pod-Molly!

Now, my 13 yr old daughter, Molly has never been remotely organized, (and of course, she gets it from her mother) this was a nice surprise. She has rarely gotten out of bed for school on her own, in fact, we have usually had to yell up the stairs numerous times to rouse her each morning...and then you never knew if she was actually going to get up and catch the bus. Well, for whatever reason, the night before St. Patrick's day, she wrote this on the white board in our kitchen:

And she's been using this check-list daily, ever since then, changing the date and info each night. She's been getting herself up every morning, and has not missed the bus even once during that time. I used to have to bring her to school at LEAST once a week. Ray brought her to school this morning, but that was only so she could pick up some stuff for a lunch for her field trip today. Otherwise she's gotten on the bus every morning before 7AM. This is huge for her...and a welcome change.

She's made some other steps in a positive direction too. Last Friday night, she offered to babysit for free for a young couple, so they could go out with us. She did say that "free will offerings" would be accepted...but I'm pretty sure she was joking. She also decided to join the Youth Drama Team at church, which I think she will really enjoy. She's always been a natural drama queen actress, and a very good narrator. I can't wait to see the skits they will put on.

I'm very excited about these positive changes in my daughters life, and I hope that she will keep up the good work! Good job, Molly!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Golly, Miss Molly Was Even There Too!

Last Friday, Molly was extremely excited to participate in another "All-City" Choir Concert. This is where all the choir students from 4th grade through 12th grade come together in the H. S. gym and sing as one mass choir. Before they all sing together, they sing a song or two with their own class. Molly is a seventh grader this year, and here they are singing "Splish Splash." She especially liked the parts of the song about her. You know, "good golly, Miss Molly was even there too...and then there was something about Molly "dancing on the ceiling." That was kinda fun.

After listening to each individual choir; middle school, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, H.S. and Concert Choir, was the best part of the night. This is approximately 600 students singing a song called "Look at the World." I really enjoyed that song. Molly is in the front row, way to the right -hand side. She's standing next to two H. S. students, and her friend Nevynn, who coincidentally ended up wearing the same exact white shirt as she did.

The kids did a great job, and for the most part, I enjoyed the concert...other than the fact that we were smashed into a gym with all the rest of the parents/grandparents/siblings etc. of the 600 students that were singing. Hopefully, there will never be a fire during one of these events....I fear there would be several people trampled if we ever had to evacuate the gym during one.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #36 ~ "Hey There, My Little Chickadee..."

"Mind if I hang with you awhile??"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Angels: Who They Are and How They Help ~ What the Bible Reveals ~ A Book Review and Giveaway

There have been a lot of books written about angels over the years, just go to any site that sells books, and type in "Angels." I just did that, and came up with over 5,000 entries. There are all kinds of myths and folklore about these beings too, perhaps because of the mystery and romance surrounding these heavenly creatures, we seem to want to know all we can about them. I have one book about angels, where someone claims to have met Gabriel, and another angel that is not even mentioned in the bible. While it is POSSIBLE, I can't prove his story. That book was definitely entertaining to read, but I'm not sure how reliable the information in it is, since it's not in the bible. I have to take his word for it.

On the other hand, Dr. David Jeremiah's "Angels" book is completely based on biblical facts. Do we each have our own "Guardian Angel?" Can we call on angels any time we need help? These and many other questions are answered purely based on what the bible tells us about the subject. I found it to be a very interesting and informative book, and highly recommend it.

What are angels? What is their role in God’s plan? Are they present? Do they appear? Do they give us personal insight about our work, our worship?

Many contemporary beliefs about angels are based on misconception and myth. Dr. David Jeremiah uses scripture to unveil the remarkable truth about these agents of heaven, and their role and work in our world—and lives.

More than 60,000 units of this powerful book have sold in two past editions. This repackage of the original 1996 paperback will surely capture the attention of readers of all ages who seek a broad and thorough survey of scripture that clearly separates fact from fiction as it relates to angels. The book will appeal to the thousands who follow Dr. Jeremiah’s books, and radio and TV broadcasts.

Relevant, little known biblical facts help readers sharpen their knowledge and sensitivities toward the spiritual reality of angels. Dr. Jeremiah’s enlightening findings are supported with illustrations and insights from Billy Graham, Corrie ten Boom, C.S. Lewis, and more.

Dr. David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and chancellor of San Diego Christian College. He is also the founder of Turning Point, a ministry committed to providing sound Bible teaching through national radio and television broadcasting. Dr. Jeremiah has authored numerous books, including the best-selling "Captured by Grace," "Life Wide Open," "My Heart's Desire," and "Sanctuary."
This excellent book is available from Random and other booksellers. To win a copy of "Angels" by Dr. David Jeremiah, simply leave me a comment after this post. You can leave one comment per day for more chances to win, and I will leave the contest open until March 14th, and then a winner will be chosen by a random drawing. This contest open to all residents of the continental U.S. that are over the age of 18. Please leave a valid email address, so that I have a way to contact you, in the event that you win. E-mail addresses are not used for any other purpose. Good luck!
This book and an extra giveaway copy, were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jannessa and Drew, Who Knew??

About a year and a half ago, I blogged about the "small world" we live in, in a post called, Coincidental Connections. One of these "coincidences" was the fact that my niece, Jackie at one time had a little boy named Joey as one of her first foster children, along with his younger sister, Kryssy. Joey eventually went to live with his father, here in P-town, and about 10 years later, I met him again at my church, after I moved here...but I didn't put two and two together at that time. Well, Joey just HAPPENS to be very good friends with Drew, who is the son of one of my very good friends, Lisa, (QTPies7).

And now, you're thinking, "Okay, but you've told us all of this before, you really ARE losing it now, aren't you? What's the big deal??" (I'm TRYING to make a long story short...but it's not working). Stick with me... after having had Joey and his sister, Kryssy in her care, my niece took in a set of three siblings, Tiffany, Jannessa and Timmy...and then she adopted them all, along with (eventually), Joey's two biological half-sisters, Kryssy and Lily. Anyway, before Joey left for the Marines, in July of 2008, Jackie had a party for him, and invited his friend, Drew. Here's a picture from that party:
For reference, the guy bending over, comforting the little girl in this photo, is my brother, Bob. Directly behind Bob, is Lisa's son, Drew. Then L to R, Kryssy and Joey. In the right-hand corner, (with the date across her chest), is my great-niece, Jannessa. I don't know if this was the very first day they met, (I think Jackie said Joey had brought Drew to their place for dinner before this), but it was right around that time. Now....the big deal is... almost exactly 1 year and 11 months later, Drew and Jannessa will become HUSBAND and WIFE!! Therefore, my friend, Lisa and I will soon be related...sort of... Here's the happy couple:

(I borrowed this pic from Lisa's blog)

Lisa is having a lot of fun helping the bride and groom get everything ready for the wedding, and I think it's pretty cool, knowing the entire wedding party myself. They're having all of their siblings involved in one way or another, and since I happen to know them all, it should be a very fun wedding for me to attend. Now, just one question...which side of the church do I sit on, the bride's, or the groom's??? Lol!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LANO!!! (Ladies' ALL Night Out)

Friday night was our monthly Ladies' Night Out at church. This is always a good time for the women of our church to get together and talk, eat, play games and just get to know each other better. There is a core group of us that have been meeting monthly for quite some time, and there are others that come occasionally too. We're happy to have anyone join us, and it's always the second Friday of the month, in the fellowship hall.
Here are Cindy, Regina, Jody and Christina, playing "Things" along with Lisa, Sarah, Anna and me. It was a fun game, but because there were so many playing, and we were getting tired, it was really hard to remember who had already asked whom, what questions...if that makes any sense.

The littlest "lady" there, was Jody's brand new baby, Tessa, (held here by Sarah), who was born January 8th. She was born a few weeks early, and is just a little peanut, but is absolutely perfect and adorable.

Here's Anna, holding little Tessa. They were both wearing the same shade of pink, and I just had to take a picture of them.

This last one was one of our "later" LNO's with 5 of us staying into the wee hours of the morning...we left the church parking lot at 4:00AM. I was about a mile from home, when I received this text msg from my husband. "Are you COMING home?" I called him and assured him that I was indeed almost home, and he said, "I knew it was called Ladies' Night Out, but I didn't realize it was going to be Ladies ALL Night Out!" So...I think we have to change the name of our monthly outings at church to "LANO" now, whatdaya think??

Wordless Wednesday #35 ~ My Froggy Valentine's Day!

Molly found my little froggy in the van, I hadn't left him behind after I took a new picture, and switched them. ;-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Beautiful Winter Wonderland Morning!

Having gotten home from our monthly Ladies' Night Out at 4:00AM on Saturday, the trees were already coated with a very thick hoar frost. It was absolutely beautiful, so I attempted to take a couple of pics as soon as I got home.

When I woke up later, (noon?) This is what I saw outside:

CJ looked out the window at this pretty little tree, and said, "That tree is BEAUTIFUL, Grandma! I think we should KEEP it like that!"

These first two were taken through the window, and also through plastic that covers them to keep the cold out!

I opened up the side door to get these two. The pictures honestly never do the beauty of God's masterpieces justice though.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy 78th "Snow Day" Birthday, Mom!

For her 78th birthday, (01/10/2010), my mother decided she'd like as many of her kids, grandkids, great grandkids etc. to come out and play in the snow. Most were happy to oblige. There would be snowmobiling, sledding, plenty of food, hot cocoa and a toasty fire in the garage's parlor stove to warm up, on this cold mid-January day. I believe the temp was somewhere around zero, which almost felt balmy compared to what it had been the first part of the month.

Below is the cake I decorated for the occasion. I thought I'd stick with the snow day theme.
Since at Mom's house, every day at 3 O'clock in the afternoon is ice cream time, we decided to surprise her with an ice cream "bar" at precisely 3:00PM.

(I "borrowed" this pic from my sister, Kathy)

I know, I know, only hearty Minnesotans would have ice cream while snowmobiling...but on the bright side, it saves room in the freezer, if you just put it all on a table outside!

My dad has lots of excavating equipment, from years of being in the business. Just because he is retired, doesn't mean he doesn't like to get it out and play with it once in awhile. Here is the sledding hill he made for the kids to play on.

This is my grandson, Christian going for a ride...whee....

There were a few more modern motorized "sleds" out there that day, but this one is Mom and Dad's favorite machine I believe it's from around 1973:
Here's my Mom and Dad, cruisin' in the old Ski-doo...
I know, not your average septuagenarians...
Mom's turn to drive...I was busy watching the kids sledding down the hill, but apparently she had a hard time getting anyone to ride with her. My sister, Laurie finally agreed...but took her cup of hot cocoa along, to ensure that Mom wouldn't go fast enough to spill it, (or her out of the machine). I hear she's a pretty crazy driver!!

A beautiful end to an awesome day, as my sister Kathy takes ONE more ride into the sunset... and back again...
Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A "Killer" New Year's Eve Party!

This New Year's Eve, we were invited to a murder. Well--a murder mystery party, anyway. Our good friends, Jody and Dan hosted it, with Dan participating in the drama, and Jody making sure everyone was well-fed...organizing the entire event, and keeping everything running smoothly.
It turned out to be the most fun I've had on New Year's Eve in a very long time!
The setting was in the Wild West town of "Roadkill" in the Wyoming Territory in 1881. We were all invited there for a good old fashioned hangin', but first...we had to determine who the guilty parties were...

Here's the cast of characters:

Left to right, back row: Yours truly, as "Dee Adela Muerte" (which apparently means "Day of the Dead" in Spanish), a Mexican beauty, who is plagued by bad luck and has been thrice widowed. Her first husband was a local politician, but since her second and third were the town pastor and the undertaker, she now performs both of those duties for the citizens of Roadkill, in her husbands' absence.

Next, (played by my husband Ray) is the former sheriff of Roadkill, "Wyatt Hertz" who is now retired, ever since a shotgun blast caught him in the "tender parts." He now runs a lucrative "Rent-A-Horse" business. What? You never heard of Hertz Rent-A-Horse?

On the other side of Ray, is my friend Lisa, (of QTPies fame), playing "Helena Handcart" matriarch of the Handcart clan. Sadly, Helena lost all 13 of her sons in a shoot-out at the "Parkay Corral."
Here's a close-up of "Elvira" and "Butch."

"Elvira Lynn Fection," played by none other than our own Sarah (Sassyfrazz), is the famous madam of The Pigeon Ranch, the best litttle you-know-what in Roadkill. Next to her, in the dungarees, is Anna, who is Moving Forward as the legendary "Butch Chastity. She's known for many train robberies, and can drink her fellow outlaws under the table, and has been known to kill a man, just as soon as look at him!

"P'Elvis Swagarin," was played by Donnie, (Mr QTPies). P'Elvis is a mysterious lone gunslinger, who recently rode into town. Solemn, poker-faced, and bowlegged, he's a cowboy's cowboy. Born Peter Elvis Swagarin, he's known to his friends as P'Elvis.

This is, (of course), the famous " Chief Breaking Wind" of the now apparently extinct Cowpai tribe. The Chief, is played by Terry, who is also known in bloggyworld as "Mr. Sassyfrazz." Don't you just love his braids?

Last, but certainly not least, is "Elias Truist Heath," (say that name out-loud a couple of times to catch the meaning), played by our host, Dan...also known as one of Jody's Joys. Elias is an up and coming heartthrob gunfighter, who was orphaned as a boy and raised by the honorable judge Waylon Payne. Ain't he handsome??

We were each given a booklet at the start of this adventure, and were instructed not to turn the page until we were told to. There were four "rounds" in which our booklets told us certain facts to keep hidden, unless we were asked directly about it, (in which case we had to tell the truth), and certain facts that we had to reveal about the other residents of Roadkill before the end of each round. This wasn't always easy to work into the conversation...but it was fun nonetheless.
I don't want to give away any more of the story, or reveal who the murderer (of Judge Waylon Payne) was, in case anyone wants to get it and do this murder mystery party game. Jody said she got it off of, where I see there are others available too. This one was called, "The Good, The Bad and The Guilty." if you're interested.

Thanks, Jody and Dan, for an awesome party and a great way to ring in 2010!

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