Thursday, July 31, 2008

A New Addiction...

I realize there are many social networks out there. I haven't joined any of the them...until just recently. I am now on Facebook! Can you believe it???!

I was under the impression that it was for the younger generation of people (not that I'm old...yet). I was wrong. I actually have quite a few friends and some family members on there. I guess I'm a little slow. But now that I'm more hip and with it, I have a

It's a lot of fun and I can't believe already that it's enhanced some of my relationships with people I didn't have opportunity to communicate with as much. It is a great tool to keep in touch. I do need to be careful though, I did notice that I was spending quite a bit of time on there...yikes!

Another cool aspect of it is that it's another tool to promote our business too. One thing I've learned this year is that the key to getting your business moving is to network with other people! It is so important to get people to trust you and know how you operate as a business owner. Once you earn that trust, they feel comfortable using your services and giving our referrals which is where most of our business comes from.

Which reminds me....I need to go update my profile!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Christmas in July

The kids were given this gingerbread house kit last Christmas. They've been itching to get to it ever since. I forgot that I had put it up in the cupboard for something to do at a later date. I had it in my mind that after all the holiday excitement wore off and the house was vibrating back and forth to the 100th degree (like January/February) that then would be a good time for a distraction/project but I forgot about it. I lovingly refer to this as kidtimers. (I know....groan...)

As I was digging in my cupboard for a cookbook, I saw the kit sitting there and so did the kids. Squeals of excitement met my ears. I hate to disappoint the children so of course, I said that it was time to pull it out and have some fun, fun, fun!

Grace being the creative one and having a certain plan in mind for this creation, had a bit of a time of it with her younger siblings. She was in charge of putting the house together and to hold it in place while the icing dried. This did not set well with the younger ones. They did not for any reason ever want to wait to put the candy on. I am amazed that they didn't lick all the sugar off the gumdrops or suck on the gumballs till they were a sticky mess. That would have certainly added a different dimension to this project.

Finally, it was candy time! They did a marvelous job minus a few eaten pieces. Before it was even completely done, they were itching to eat it. I, being the Mom, had to inform them that they needed to wait till after dinner to start having a munch fest. The disappointment was evident.

During the course of dinner making, I noticed that there was one gummy drop missing, then another and another. I looked over and there was eight little fingers holding on to the cupboard along with two eyes and a nose peeking at me. Upon looking further, what I found was a mouth full of yumminess oozing down her chin. Kara was the gummy thief!

Then another kid noticed that she had been stealing the candy and decided he would try it too, then another and another. They are sneaky buggers. Pretty soon the front lawn to our beautiful gingerbread house was all gone. Do I not speak in a language they can understand? Should I try a different one to see if that works?

Amazingly enough, there was some left for an after dinner dessert. I left the room for a few minutes and what was left wasn't even enough to satisfy a mouse.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hope In The Midst Of The Fog

I haven't mentioned our struggles to too many people. It's a hard thing to talk about. Sometimes, I think I might fall into a puddle of tears if even one person shows me some compassion and I am not saying to not show me compassion but I hate crying in front of people. My eyes get puffy and my face gets all's just not a pretty sight.

I know that there are so many people around us that are losing their homes, their cars and their jobs. When we lost so much including our apartment and car back in the 'early' years, I was so embarrassed, humiliated and felt so empty inside. It's a hard thing to swallow when you can't take care of yourself and your family. Sometimes your friends can't even handle it and relationships are broken at that point.

I keep hearing people talking about how awful things are right now in our economy and our state. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the negativity. I agree that things are rough. We are all living it whether it's the grocery prices or the gas prices. However, I know that we are a resilient people. I think we are all pretty smart too. I know and have faith that we as a people, in this country, will find ways to improvise and to make things better. That is just what we do.

We have so many more opportunities to make a change for good. With the internet and the technology available to us, I know we can do it. One thing that I have been feeling God laying on my heart, is to be watchful of those around me, listening for ways I can help a neighbor or a friend or someone I don't even know. I think that is one of the first steps in making a change. If we can focus on helping others even if it's just to keep hope alive, what an impact we can have!

The last couple of weeks I've been saying to my husband that we, as a family, are thirty seconds from destruction. I suppose that is not being little miss cheery sunshine. It certainly isn't helping our family keep their chins up. One day, my husband looked at me and said this....'we may be 30 seconds from destruction but we are 29 seconds from victory!' He's right, you know. It's so easy to spew out negative thoughts and for some of us, we get so wrapped up in our situations and what's going on around us, that we lose sight of the hope God has to offer us.

I decided to try to be more positive even though I am not feeling it. I am a female and my emotions are all over the place. One day, I am feeling up and the next moment, I can't see the light through the fog. I do know that even when I am not feeling it, I can still say something positive. Your words have a definite affect on those around you. If we are going to make it through this, we've got to encourage those around us to see the good, the positive, the silver lining.

We had a miracle yesterday. We came home from church and there was a envelope in the door. It contained $200 with a little card that said 'you are precious in His sight'. An anonymous gift that had God's fingerprints all over it. I cried, Bob cried, we all cried. Bob had stayed home with the younger two and commented that he didn't even hear anybody open the screen door. My response was...God is stealthy like that.

If you ever wonder if God really cares, HE does...very much. Wait expectantly for Him to reveal himself. HE ways you can't even imagine. Maybe my God-size miracle will come in little packages. Only He knows and I am looking forward to seeing how He works all of this out.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Rough Road

It's so doggone hard to write a post when life feels like it's closing in on you from every side. I refer to it as being in a pressure cooker. Have you ever felt like that? I like humor. I like to laugh. I'd much rather be passing on encouragement or writing a humorous post that has people in stitches than having a big ol' pity party for myself. Sometimes it's hard to find the good in all that is going on when you are in the middle of a mountainous mess.

My first response is to question God. Is He punishing us for something? Why, when things are at the bottom of the bucket, does He seem so far away? Why does it always seem like His answer is No, no and no.

I've been reading the book of Job lately. I was encouraged to see that Job, the man that found favor with God, had himself a big ol' pity party...just like me. It let me know that even in spite of my emotional roller coaster, that God still cares for me and is listening. Sometimes, there are just no answers for what life is throwing at us. I was listening to a sermon once on this very topic and was reminded again that just because we belong to God, doesn't make us exempt to the evil forces of this world. So God isn't punishing me, I just happen to live in a sinful world. Thank goodness, I have God to carry me through all this mess. I can't imagine how things would be if God were not on my side.

I have to continue in faith and trust and believe that all things will work out. I made a comment to my husband the other day that I wondered why it always seems that God's answer is no, no and no again. His response was a good reminder to me also. He said that we don't see every thing that God is working through to answer us. I suppose he was right. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, not seen, right? You have to hold on to hope. That is what keeps you going. Don't lose hope. (Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)...What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.)

I don't want to go into all the details but it's pretty heavy for me to bear on my own. If you think of it, I would really like for you to pray for us. We need God's wisdom, His strength and a pure God-size miracle.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another loss

We recently lost another family member from my husband's family, his father's sister. It has left a gaping hole in our family. Aunt Loretta was diagnosed with cancer last year and fought furiously to beat it. We will miss her. Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Am President.....

Hear me 'Roar!'

I am the president of our company, Bob's PC Pro LLC. Why, I don't know but it does have it's benefits. I've met some very neat business owners who are trying to get their name out there and make a difference in our community. One other benefit is that I have to attend 'PPN'. For those of you who are wondering what that is, it is this....Presidential Pie Night. I have a very good friend who is also the president of her company and PPN happens to be like a support group for us.

Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to talk about our company. My husband has 14 years of experience in the computer industry. Since losing his job last May, we decided to embark on a scary (for me) adventure. It's hard getting your name out there so that people become familiar with it and find out it's a name they can trust. It really has been a learning experience for both of us.

One area we are trying to specialize in is 'Remote Support.' What a pain it is to have to pack your computer up and take it in somewhere. With remote support, we can hook up to your computer through a secure connection and see what the problem could be. You can even watch what we are's that for some fun entertainment??! There is no cleaning involved to make your house presentable for someone to come to your home and you can even be in your pajamas without us knowing :-) Of course, if we find out that it is a hardware problem, then you will need to make human contact which we also do too. Unless of course, you are in Wyoming....then we would recommend you take it in somewhere near you.

We've had several people attempt to go through a well-known company's remote support only to not understand the person on the other end of the phone line along with them just wanting to wipe out your computer's hard drive losing important information. Often times, they get their computer back in worse condition then when they originally took it in along with having to pay tons of money for a non-fixed computer. My husband has been able to help repair computers without losing any data. We also run our business on integrity and make sure it's working right before we are finished. He is really good at what he does. This isn't just a hobby for him, it's a passion. He loves technology and he loves impossible computer problems. This makes him excellent at what he does.

If you need help setting up a business email for your company, are in need of a website or would like to purchase a computer through Dell, we do that too. Why not give us a try? We would love to be of service to you!

Did I mention I'm the advertising specialist!

Friday, July 11, 2008

What's In Your Backyard?

It was mid-morning, the sun was shining, the kids were playing outside and I was happily sitting at the picnic table enjoying the day. As I was chatting at one of the kids, I realized that Kara had become very, very quiet. You know someone is getting into something at that point.

Grace found her at the back fence. She was picking berries off the branches on the fence. She had some in her little play bucket and the rest were squished in both of her hands. Hmmm....I thought to myself. There are quite a few kinds that poisonous. So I looked in her mouth but I couldn't tell for sure if she had eaten some or not.

I had Grace take her into the bathroom to wash her hands and arms thoroughly while I went to the internet to find out what I could on this mysterious berry plant. I couldn't find the exact match but what I did find is that if she had eaten any, it would cause some abdominal distress like vomiting and diarrhea. So I wasn't too freaked out.

Brad finally woke up from his hibernation period, found out what was going on and immediately 'Googled' it and found what we were trying to find. It happened to be the Deadly Nightshade. When we went to the site, in big, bold, red letters it read "POISON!!!" Apparently, it's a very dangerous viney-weed-like plant which can have FATAL effects on children if only a couple berries are consumed.

Bob called poison control and they told him they couldn't identify the plant over the phone. We needed to take it to a florist for exact identification. We happen to know someone who is a horticulturist and she said that it was definitely the Deadly Nightshade. So off to the emergency room we went.

The doctor was very concerned when I showed him the sample of the plant we took with us. He said that it was indeed what we had thought and that she was going to have to stay for at least four hours so they could monitor Kara's breathing, her heart rate and to watch for convulsions. Now I'm freaking out. I also had to get her to drink that awful charcoal drink. After wrestling with her to get it down, she and I both looked like we had been in a coal mine.

God was merciful to me during our stay.....Kara finally fell asleep in my arms instead of the screaming hysterics that were previous to that. I am sure the other patients were thanking God for His mercy too! We were finally released with the caution to watch her for the next twenty-four hours. (So good!)

After we had eaten dinner, I went to town at pulling all those vines out of the fence. It is growing over the fence from the neighbors yard so it made it somewhat difficult to get all of it. However, I removed all the vines from as far as I could reach. My husband had contacted the neighbor while I was in the hospital with Kara to let them know. We just had no idea that, that weed was so dangerous and there was so much of it along the fence. I filled up our garbage can with it and it was full when I finished.

I guess I should pay more attention to what is growing over the fence from all of our neighbors yard. Just because it's a pretty vine with pretty purple blooms on it, doesn't mean you should let it grow. Lesson learned!

Today, I am grateful for God's protection and His mercy. I am also thankful that my baby girl is just fine and is able to find all kinds of more trouble to discover.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Marked Adventure

Once upon a day in the land of fairies and squeals, lived a girl named Kara. Kara loved, loved, loved to discover new things and conquer new lands.

One day as she was skipping and twirling along the river (we peasants call it a livingroom), she came upon a lift (chair). Dear Sir, (she squealed) will you help me upon it? Oh, nevermind, I can do it myself, she announced most emphatically.

Up on the lift (chair) she went which lead to new lands undiscovered. With a twitch of her fingers and a sparkle in her eye, she went ahead with this new adventure. As she moved her fingers about in anticipation, they came across a beautiful dark as the deep night sky black Sharpie marker.

A flittering about this little fairy went. In her mind, she had discovered a piece of make-up to be put upon her face making her the most beautiful one in all the land. She was such a precious little one who loved to share her 'treasures'. Who better suited to display her new find than Mr. Bear, of course! (You can't see it in the picture but the bear is wearing her mark of creativity too.)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy 4th!

The fourth of July is another one of my favorite holidays. Not only does it symbolize our independence but it also is a reminder to us that we are free to worship our God boldly, gather together as family and friends, move about as we please without fear. This is a priceless gift that I never want to take for granted.

My mother in law planned a wonderful celebration for this holiday. We gathered early in the day and left late. It was the perfect day for all our festivities.

The kids were given butterfly nets and net containers. They spent hours trying to catch them and of course, crickets too.

We played badminton, volleyball, jumped around in the sprinklers (well...not the adults, the well water was a bit chilly) while I hogged my new niece, Emma. She's a keeper :-) In a previous post, I mentioned that Aaron decided to play putt-putt golf billiard style. Well, today, he invented a new way to play badminton. I must say it was quite creative and effective. He went and got the butterfly net to use as his badminton racket. He was able to catch the birdies. Now hitting them back wasn't quite as efficient. He was having a great time though. You should have heard his laugh. It kind of sounded mischievous.

Tim, my brother in law, planned a hayride for us. The kids were so fascinated by the dogs that chased our hay wagon as we passed by the neighboring farms. I don't want to forget to mention the throwing of the hay as it also was a hit (with the kids, not necessarily with me). What could be more fun than trying to bury your Mom in the hay and her coming out beneath with hay in places that just weren't meant to store hay. It's kind of itchy! My mother in law lives on forty acres of beautiful country. Naturally, she's the one who hosts our holidays.

To end our wonderful family day, a bonfire along with s'more making and fireworks were the grand finale. Thank you, Dave, for being our willing fireworks ignitor.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Homeschooling Journey - Part I

I always enjoy reading or listening to other people tell their journey on how they came to homeschool their children. It's like listening to their testimony on how they came to God. It's one of those decisions that drastically changes your life, your way of doing things, they way you think.

I grew up in a Christian home, had two parents and two other siblings. My Dad worked for a auto maker on the line, was extremely involved in Boy's Brigade at church and was very dedicated to his family. My mother was an extremely talented seamstress (she made my wedding dress), worked part-time at a local store and raised her children to love the Lord.

Junior High was rough for me. I was a timid, shy, afraid to make mistakes for fear someone would laugh at me kind of young lady. I didn't fit in. As a believer, I was o-d-d. I chose not to listen to the kind of music the others did, I didn't smoke, do drugs or dance. I wasn't allowed to attend homecoming or any of the other parties that were going on. So people laughed at me anyway. They cajoled me on the street corner before I even got into the school building and they harassed me on the way out not to mention what happened between classes. My stomach was in knots and I felt sick pretty much for three years straight. Kids can be very cruel. To me, they seem worse now that I have kids of my own. They are not just cruel, now they are violent. I am so grateful for a Mother that helped me through that battle.

High School wasn't as bad. I seemed to have found my own place along with a group of friends with which I 'hung' out with quite a bit. I was still very odd because I wanted to serve God with my whole heart. I disagree with people who want to send their kids to public school so they can be a light in the darkness. It doesn't necessarily work that way. Most of the time, instead of goodness being of influence on the sinfulness, the sinfulness seems to be the influence of choice. I did not embrace what was around me at the school and I got teased for my stand. By God' grace, I was able to stand firm on my faith in God. And somehow I made it through but I do remember one thing: I was overwhelmed much of the time.

I remember my Mother contemplating homeschooling at one time. She even had a book on it that she was reading. I remember praying and praying and praying that this would happen. It didn't and I was disappointed. Looking back now, I know that I could have done so much better in school had this happened. She thought she just wasn't capable. I disagree.

I am amazed at parents who think they aren't capable of teaching their own kids. If you can go through labor, you are capable of homeschooling. From day one, you are teaching your children. We teach them how to walk, talk, eat and use the bathroom. Those are great feats....why is helping them develop their brains by introducing them to reading, mathematics and how to spell any different? I was one of those parents. I thought that I couldn't teach my own kids. I am here to tell you, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work. - Booker T. Washington