Saturday, May 22, 2010

Days of Play--Memory Lane

Happy 1st Birthday, Pax!

In celebration of Paxton's first birthday, we'll be doing a walk down memory lane.

You should do it too--your kiddos will love it.

Get out photo albums, ratty toys, and other baby memorabilia and share with your children how they came to be (okay, maybe not the specifics) and how much they are loved.  Share silly stories, first words, etc.

Maybe, like Paxton, they'll be "too young" to get it but you won't be.  An emotional stroll down memory lane is always good therapy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Frugal Fashion Friday: Wearing Patterns?

Remember when clashing wasn't cool?

Now mixing and matching patterns is all the rage!  Want to mix patterns and prints without looking like a clown?  Follow these tips:
  • Stay within the same color family.
  • Mix a large, bold print with a smaller subdued print.
  • Don't wear prints head to toe.
  • Make sure to wear a fitted piece (if you wear everything baggy or flowy you'll look like a curtain).
  • Pull it together with a neutral piece (spring jacket, belt, neutral pants or denim, etc.)
  • Use patterns in your accessories (do this if big pattern pieces--like shirts--scare you).
  • On a personal note, I don't dig mixing animal prints.  Other than that, I'm kind of a fan of mixing stripes with polka dots (or flowers), flowers with plaid, etc.
Stripes and Flowers (gosh, it's hard to tell but the dress has a striped bodice and floral skirt)

Polka Dot and Plaid

Big and Bold--Soft and Subdued Florals

Floral and Animal Print

Here's one of my pattern mixers! Same pink/brown family--one bold pattern, one more subdued.

I love this top!

So what's your vote?  Mixing prints and patterns: A trend to embrace or a trendy disgrace?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things I love--Suspense

I love getting good news (now there's an original thought! haha!).

I recently got some good news and I can't wait to share it with you.

But not today.  Because I also love suspense.

M. Knight Shyamalan movies are some of my favorites because of how beautifully they build suspense.  They aren't scary and yet the purposeful withholding of certain information and the illusion of alternative endings promotes a delicious tension and anxiety.  Waiting is so hard and so rewarding.

So you'll have to wait to find out what my big news is.  How long do you have to wait?  A few days?  Six weeks?  Who knows?!?!

Did I win a free blog design?  Am I moving?  Throw out your ideas--I'd love to see what you mind is entertaining!

(If you are one of the few who knows what the good news is, I encourage you NOT to tell but do try to mislead my loyal readers by dropping some very plausible hypotheses of what is to come ... In this line I guess you could let the cat out of the bag because no one would likely believe you anyway ...).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I Think About--Jennifer Knapp and Cannibal Christians

If you haven’t already heard then it is upon me to tell you that Jennifer Knapp is a lesbian.  And Christians everywhere are boycotting her.

I just recently finished reading the Bible in 90 Days—more on that in another blog—and as I rummaged through my notes I was surprised to see scribbled down Galatians 5:15, “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Is this a warning against becoming cannibal Christians?

What do I mean by that?  Cannibal Christians, a group I unfortunately have been a part of at one time or another, use their words and actions to bring death—not life—to others.  Condemnation, judgment, criticism, disapproval, blame—these are the spoiled fruit of a cannibal Christian.  Phelps and the Westboro church with their “God Hates Fags” signs are famous cannibal Christians.  Lay-cannibals are in our own churches--perhaps in our own homes.

Is it surprising to you that many people view Christians as hypocritical, judgmental, insensitive, too political, homophobic, and boring?  Does it surprise you that these opinions are formed based on EXPERIENCE with Christians?  How did Jesus’ teachings go from “love one another” to where we are today?  What are the consequences of misrepresenting Jesus? 

When I think of cannibal Christians I think of Jesus and the adulterous woman.  John 8:3 says the teachers of law and Pharisees brought before Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery—a sinner. 


Where is the man?  This is an important question.  Mosaic law required both men and women who committed adultery to be stoned (Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:22).  So why is just the woman being exposed?  Is her lawless act of adultery more despicable to God than the man’s? 

Don’t we still do this?  Don’t we elevate one sin above another?  Homosexuals be damned but gossips—not so bad?  Isn’t all sin, sin (James 2:10)?

While the teachers and Pharisees speak to Jesus, he writes in the sand and then says those words that forever highlight our need to be compassionate and merciful towards others—“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)

Jesus ends this encounter with the adulterous woman by saying, “Neither do I condemn you.  Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11).

Where am I going with all this?  I have a point.  I promise.

As Christians when we deal with others, especially those outside of the Church, we can be judgmental and critical.  In fact, many of us use Jesus’ words “go and sin no more” as our battle cry as we condemn sinners to hell with our proverbial bullhorns.  Is it wrong to challenge one another to lead pure lives?  NO!  A thousand times NO!

However, did we forget the first part of His sentence?  Neither do I condemn youNeither do I condemn you. Perhaps if Christians followed the first part of the sentence, the second might more readily apply.  If we lovingly and compassionately dealt with those without Christ, if neither did we condemn them, then maybe, just maybe, they’d come to know Christ and begin to address the sin in their lives. 

When it comes to homosexuality, asexuality, transexuality, intersexuality, etc., I believe Christians are facing a huge showdown with their theology.  Do we really believe that Christ came for the sick?  For the sinners?  Do we really believe that he died for the least of these?  That he died for us while we were his sinning enemies?  And if we believe that for us, do we believe it for others?  Did he die for them and their sins too?  Does “God hate fags” or did he die for them?  Are there any sins so deep and so dark and so icky that the blood of Jesus cannot wash and redeem them?

From where I stand, the answer is no.  Jesus is big enough and His love can cover a multitude of sins.

But how will people ever know that Jesus died for them if cannibal Christians, with all their judgments and hypocrisies and “holier than thou-ness” keep people from seeking Him?  How will people know that He is good, and loving, and merciful, and gracious and willing to forgive 


As a Christian woman I am challenging all of you to remember what Paul wrote.  “What business is it of mine to judge those outside of the church?  Are you not to judge those inside? (1 Cor. 5:12).  It is time to put our faith where our theological mouths are. 

Your feelings on homosexuality need not be dismissed—your judgments of homosexuals must be.  Do not condemn homosexuals.  Love them.  Let Christ love them through you and He’ll take care of the rest.  Our role is not to judge when others sin.  That is God’s role.  Our role is to be forgiving and compassionate--to love as He loved us.

Finally, Jennifer Knapp.  Boycott if you think it will help her.  Boycott if you think it will show the world God’s mercy. Boycott if you think it will keep another Christian from stumbling.

But know this, I won’t boycott Knapp.  I don’t listen to her music anyway but I’ll pray for her as she fights the Christians who would rather devour her than love her where she is for who she is as she seeks to be the woman God made her to be (all the while trusting that He is working in and through her).

Is Knapp doing something that is against biblical standards?  Yes.  Do I do something every, stinking day that is against biblical standards?  Yes. (Galatians 5 has a great but not inexhaustible list of sins including: hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissention, factions, envy …). 

Will we allow Knapp to be the symbolic adulterous woman who will be stoned while the judgmental, merciless, gossiping Church, symbolic of the adulterous man gets off Scott free? 

Call sin, sin.  Don’t be afraid of that.  But when you do it, do it in front of a mirror and point to the plank in your own eye.  And then praise Jesus that He died for all sinners.  For you.  For me.  And then spread grace and mercy as willingly as He did.

Go, spread life and not death. 

And that’s what I think about Jennifer Knapp and cannibal Christians.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--Cleaning Exterior Windows

In general I really enjoy cleaning but some chores are a thorn in my side.  I don't love laundry, vacuuming, or cleaning windows.  It's not that any of them are hard, it just that they are tedious and irritating to me.

I'm not a great window cleaner but I'm working on getting better.  Here are some window cleaning tips.
  1. Clean your windows on an over-cast day (too much sun will make the window cleaner dry too quickly.  I'm sure you can guess why you shouldn't do this in the rain).
  2. Clean around the window.  Use a paint brush to dust away excess dirt, cobwebs, and grime.  On inside windows, use the vacuum. (if you don't do this, you'll make mud on your window.  Sort of the opposite of clean!)
  3. Spray the window with a hose or wipe it down with a cloth and water from a bucket to get off the initial ickiness.
  4. Now, get a squeegie (like the kind at a gas station), a clean dry cloth, a wash cloth, and a bucket of cool, clean water (add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar if you choose).
  5. Wash the window.  Using a pattern (up to down or side to side), squeegie of the water.  After each stroke, dry the squeegie blade.
  6. Dry the window with newspaper *I'd wear rubber gloves for this or you'll get newspaper ink all over your hands.*.
  7. If you clean the inside and outside windows on the same day, use the same pattern (up and down for outside, side to side on the inside).  That will help you know which side the streaks are on (if there are any).
Well, I'd wish you happy window cleaning but there is nothing happy about it.  So, good luck!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My New 'Do!

I'm totally NOT one of those women who is married to my hair.  I've experimented ... a lot (with hair, that is).  I've been known to chop of 13 inches of blond hair and end up with a nearly black bob.  Once I even dyed a portion of my hair construction cone orange (it was for my high school graduation.  My mom didn't find it funny).

Anyhow, whenever spring is nearing I itch for a new 'do.  This most likely stems from the fact that I do not like heat and my fine, uber thick hair is an incredible insulator. Ick.

I've got this great stylist Erin and she's totally game for hair do experiments (probably because by now she knows I won't melt down into a teary-eyed puddle of mush if a quarter inch of hair is cut off).  I went to visit Erin bright and early Saturday morning.  I looked like this:

Okay, honestly don't be too critical.  My friend Beth and I went to a late showing of Letters To Juliet (you'll be glad you saw it but won't want to own it) and I was up at 5:30ish.

Two hours later I left the trendy salon looking like this:

Super blond--super short (for me!).

And everyone knows the true test of a good hair do is whether or not you can style it yourself the next day.  

I totally nailed it!  P.S. My sister made me a necklace, earrings, and bracelet in the brown/black theme.  I'm wearing the earrings.  How awesome is that?!?!

So, a pretty bold move but I'm absolutely in love with my hair style.  It took less than a dime-sized amount of shampoo to wash it and I can blow it dry in under three minutes.  Ahhhhhhhh!

What about you?  Any summer 'do plans?  Something you'd love to do but don't have the guts to try?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What's Cooking 5/17-5/23

And on the dinner menu this week:

Monday--Spiced Chicken and CousCous salad
Tuesday--Pepper steak and rice
Wednesday--Soy-Glazed Halibut with wild rice and steamed veggies
Thursday--Country roast with potatoes and carrots
Friday--Grilled Steaks and home fries
Saturday--Out to dinner--guest in town  **Happy Birthday Paxton!**
Sunday--BBQ for Cousin Luke's Graduation!

Need a recipe not attached to a link?  E-mail me at