Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I know, I know

OK IE users I know the blog is all messed up again. Working on it. Maybe it's the Peter Walsh pix, or maybe something in the template. I'm working on it. Can I just say- please, get Mozilla?

EDIT - ok, fixed - I think.......

Peculiar Aristocratic Title

OK, so I couldn't choose......they are all pretty funny. What's your vote?

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Imperial Majesty Karen the Weird
of Wimblish upon Frognaze

Viscountess Karen the Capricious
of Grasshopper in the Hole

Milady the Right Reverend Karen
the Sonorous of Lardle Midhoop

Imperial Majesty Karen the
Talkative of

Duchess Karen the Educated
of Waterless St Mildred

Her Excellency Karen the Unique
of Nether Wombleshire

Her Grace Lady Karen the Antique
of Piddletrenthide on the Carpet

Entirely Miss Reverend Lady Karen
the Convincing of Praze-an-Beeble

Duchess Karen the Unusual
of Lardle St Earache

Reverend Lady Karen the Foamy
of Snotting on Wold

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Peter Walsh

So, last night Dana and I went out for her birthday. Olive Garden - yum, yum, yum. Then we went to the Border's in Schaumburg to see/meet/hear Peter Walsh from Clean Sweep. Every time I watched that show I got inspired. For about 5 hours. LOL. I wished I could be brave like those people and have him come here and help me simplify my life.
Anyway. It was fun. He was fun and funny. He relates well to people and is an excellent story teller. Not surprising that he used to be a teacher. And of course I love the Australian accent.....
Here are a couple pix . Note the Bears colors - go Peter!
Now, if I could just get motivated to put his theories into practice..........

Friday, January 26, 2007


Just for fun......

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water?
Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE

2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?

(My sentiments exactly!)

3. OK.... so if the
Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the "Jags" and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known
as the "Bucs," what does that make the Tennessee Titans?

4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?

5. There are three religious truths:
a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters.

6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

7. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

8. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

9. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?

10. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

11. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

13. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

14. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

15. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me ...they're cramming for their final exam.

16. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? toothpicks?

17. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

18. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

19. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

If a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out of her nose?

Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?

24. As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice: When you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Women from Church History

I found a cool website today in my wanderings.
A couple months ago I read about an idea in a book. (Sacred Pathways) It suggested the concept of worship by going beyond the traditional holidays and remembrances of the church to learning about the saints and other historical figures and their lives. The examples of Pascal's experience on November 24th 1664, or Bonhoeffer's martyrdom on April 23, 1945 are examples. They are things we know nothing about as average Christians. I love history, so it kind of appealed to me more than I'm sure it would to other people. So today, in my down time during testing I did some researching on saints, feast days, historical christian figures and the like. As I wandered, I found this website: Women from Church History.
So, now I am intrigued and ready to learn something new....and this seems like a good place to start.....

edit: I also like this site - What happened this day in Church History?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Propping my eyelids open with my thumbs....

So - it's PROBE testing week here at my school. Sounds pretty painful - it's actually just reading skills tests. I have to sit at a computer all day and enter scores. I could enter them all in about 2 hours if I did it all at once, but no, I have to sit here all day and enter them in dribs and drabs. Lots of down time. Pretty boring.
So, I decided to use the time to learn something new. Yesterday I learned about the crusades. Well, more about the crusades, I knew the basics. And about the castles and strongholds built at that time. And also, about the Council(s) of Nicaea. Interesting. Obviously I was a little ADD and not able to stick with one topic for very long. Today I'm researching pantry basics and spices. I have to reorganize and restock at home. Actually, it would be great if I could just pitch it all and start over. Monetarily - not so good. And I can't throw stuff out anyway. I feel like I'm wasting it. What - 5 year old spices? LOL.
Now I'm tired of that and need something else to contemplate or research. Hmmm. Nothing's suggesting itself.
Guess I can catch up on blogs - maybe something will interest me there.
Or just go enter more data. :(

OK - I surfed. But, what the heck? Check it out....
Christian "Idol"

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

You're the pride & joy of Illinois,
Chicago Bears, Bear Down!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Get outta my head......

Don't you hate it when the Sunday morning sermon/discussion seems to be a lesson taken from your own current life......... ?

Friday, January 19, 2007

If you have someone who will weep with you, delight in the goodness of your glory, and confront you honestly and tenderly about your failures, then you are singularly blessed.

Dan Allender Leading With a Limp

This, That and The Other Thing

So, It's the end of the week - and it's been an interesting one. Lots of stuff to think about and process. It was a week to touch base with people I haven't had contact with for a good while. It was a week to learn more things about myself. It was a week of living with new decisions, seeing how they will work themselves out in practical every day life. So far, so good. It was a week of fighting the FAFSA website so I could finally submit my daughters information in a timely manner. So I just thought I'd do a "What did I do, find, read or learn this week post. Here goes.

First of all - Sunday. L O N G day. Really. Church was good. We were in our new space in Yorkville and it was great. Lunch.....oh my. Lunch was good - when we got it. LOL. One of those days. It took about an hour to get our food. But that gave us all lots of time for good conversation! I think lunch with our Via Christus family is one of my favorite times of the week.

That evening Dana and Jen came over to our house and we made Paula Deen's Pot Pie. Supposed to take 30 minutes. With the three of us - it took 90. It was a blast tho. We were supposed to eat, and then watch 24, but instead we were still cooking when 24 came on. Needless to say we didn't catch all the significant details that evening. I had to watch it again later. But we had a blast. Jen also shared her Breedlove interview - which was quite interesting. D and I are thinking about joining her for a week of her experiment.....

I read a really interesting post on GoteeMan's blog this week regarding friendship. It's not too long, so I thought I'd re-post it here:

People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need. You or they have come to assist through a difficulty, to provide encouragement, guidance and support, to aid physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend - and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that the need has been met, the desire fulfilled, the work is done, and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done before. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season, and once the season is over, it is time to move on again.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. You grow together for a lifetime, and share deeply. This type of relationship is lifelong and lasting, and if we value it, can be a great treasure.

This post really spoke to me and helped me resolve some issues that I have been struggling with. Thanks Jeff!

Over at Darla's blog, Wild About Life, she has set up a forum to discuss issues that tend to pop up on everyone's blogs: finances, eating well, relationships, tips, books, movies, spiritual formation, resources, and just about anything else that seems relevant to life. I'm sure parenting will pop up there some time soon also. Check it out if you get a chance.

Also this week, we were exploring personality types at our Via Christus Leadership team meeting. Interesting and fun. And helpful to understanding each other. If you haven't taken the test, and are interested, here is an online version: personality test. Descriptions are here.
It would be fun to know what your personality type is - lemme know if you feel like sharing! I am an INFP. These descriptors are pretty dead on:

Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right.

Lots of other interesting insights too. Give it a try!

I just finished reading two good books - The Last Word by N.T. Wright - which deals with understanding what "authority of Scripture" means. I recommend it for a good overview, tho you may want to explore it in more depth after reading this book. And I also read Leading With a Limp: Turning Your Struggles into Strengths. Again - good read, and it had some practical insights and suggestions regarding leadership: what a leader is, what makes a good leader, right and wrong leadership styles, what to expect to experience if you are a leader - lots of good stuff. Good leaders, effective leadership - It might be different than you think!

And of course all these books and things I am learning point out nuances in my character, personality, and motives that I was unaware of and are quite helpful!

Monday night, for any of you that are in this area, we will be having our up/rooted meeting for January. The topic will be "Becoming Conversant With Islam" We will be watching Muslims and America, an episode of Morgan Spurlock's TV series 30 Days, and then discussing the issues raised with Pastor Fred Nelson from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Park Ridge IL. So, if you are in this area and are interested in learning more about Islam please join us!

OH, and Mike has a interesting post on his blog
about hell, and the taping he participated in for ASK GOD, a round table discussion among pastors and theologians on the local Christian TV network TLN. According to Mike, he was the heretical voice in the group and the Moody guy was attempting to get him saved before he left the studio. LOL.

OK - I think that's it for the week......

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Stories shared and entered - even to a small degree - weave our hearts together for a greater good."
Dan Allender Leading With a Limp

Wisdom from Le Petit Prince

Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
(or - one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes.)

Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le cœur.
But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart...

Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

C'est le temps que tu a perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante.
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamais rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours leur donner des explications.
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always explaining things to them.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You have my attention now.....

Well, since I couldn't elaborate on the problem, I also can't elaborate on how God is responding. But suffice it to say that God always makes his presence known. Always. Even if it's in a little way that to others would seem insignificant. Yeah. To me, it was a huge thing. Something so relevant that it astounded me. When I picked my jaw up off the floor, I was humbled. That such an innocent, tiny thing was a colossal reminder that God is still there, still cares, and is still waiting for me to trust him.

Complexity is everywhere....

This week I have experienced the complexity of words.
Words. How can such little bitty things have such power? In the hands of a word master they can either be a wonderful thing, or very destructive. And written words are a bigger problem, without nuances or body language to assist the reader. Words can uplift, or they can hurt. Badly. The same sentence can be interpreted in multiple ways...totally distorting the intent of the author/speaker. It's just that with the spoken word the contextual clues - the tone of the voice, and the facial expressions of the speaker, assist with understanding. With written words you cannot asses how you are being perceived. Emoticons don't help. You can use a smiley or winking emoticon to mask a catty remark. Words can hurt. And we don't even realize it. Misunderstanding is the bane of the Internet. Not that this is a new problem - letters have been written forever. It's just a symptom of a society in a hurry, dashing off an e-mail here or there, expounding or ranting on a blog...we don't think through the consequences of what we say. Or if we do - shame on us. How easy it can be to manipulate, to play on emotions. I think IM's are even worse - in responding quickly, in jest, in sarcasm, in whatever way we would talk to another if face to face, we say things that come across wrong. I sent a quick response this week, and realized a second later how snotty it sounded.

Words are complex - check out this article. It's long, but you'll get the point in the top section:
The Power of Words

So, words are tools. Words are weapons. And that article was basically referring to spoken word. Add in the complexity of the written word and it's pretty scary.

"Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!"

A strong horse can be controlled by the bit in its mouth. Likewise, a large ship can be turned by a small rudder. Both of these are small, but extremely important. Words can have tremendous power, for either good or evil.
And the tongue is a fire...The fire of the tongue has been used to burn many. Children are told sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. But that child’s rhyme isn’t really true. The bitter pain of a word spoken against us (intentional or not) can hurt us for a lifetime, long after a broken bone has healed. What others say to us and what we say to others can last a long time. The casual sarcastic or critical remark can inflict a lasting injury on another person. In the words of Smokey the Bear, "only you can prevent forest fires."
Proverbs speaks of the person who doesn’t consider the destructive power of his words. Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, “I was only joking!” (Proverbs 26:18-19)

Things to ponder:

The well-timed encouragement or compliment can inspire someone for the rest of their life.

Every word has three explanations and three interpretations.
(an old proverb)

Words are like bees, they have honey and a sting.
(an old proverb)

To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming.
(an old proverb)

We need to try to read our emails and/or blogs as our recipient may see it. Before we send it. We may be able to avoid potential misunderstandings and inappropriate comments. Those of us who don't think of consequences as we write have to understand how we may inadvertently cause pain.

Oh that we would remember our words are powerful. The words we speak and the words we listen to. The words we write. They touch our lives and they touch the lives of others more than we know.

Um....just because I'm ruminating on this today doesn't mean I am thinking of any of you specifically. Nope. Just pondering. Please keep commenting and emailing! LOL

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Christian Rock - blessing or blasphemy?

Rhetoric so similar to what I heard in my teen years that it scares me. Only then "secular" music was targeted. Hmmmm - so "Christian" teens took things into their own hands and created "acceptable" music. Here is one man's take on the result. This whole article amazes and frightens me. Check it out. BTW - I got so angry/frustrated I couldn't finish it......

I am NOT supposed to be here.....

It was His final word as we walked beside the sea
"You will be led where you don't want to go,"
I knew that he would test my faith and all that I believed
But just how far then I would never know

And He would send a vision then, once more beside the sea
To a rooftop where my ecstasy was seen
To ask what was unaskable, three times the vision came
And demanded I embrace what was unclean

You know I'm not supposed to be here
To cross the line no one has crossed before
To simply be one of the fools
That you've called to break the rules
And to go someplace I'm not supposed to be

My stumbling faith responded to what my mind said wasn't right
So I left that place and followed in a dream
To find unfamiliar strangers who were hungry for the Light
Then I realized that no one is unclean

But I was born to be a winner
And not to serve some fallen conquered king
Who took up the cross and bled
When he broke himself for bread
In a place where he was not supposed to be

And you know I'm not supposed to be here
And to go someplace I'm not supposed to be
To cross the line no one has crossed before
To simply be one of the fools
That you've called to break the rules
And to go someplace I'm not supposed to be

Michael Card

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Habit forming

This is the third January in a row that has been very difficult for me. For different reasons, which I won't elaborate on here. New can be good, change is hard. Re-evaluation is scary and convicting. And things just don't seem to go the way I want them to, or think they should. Actually, it's not January itself but rather the second week in January.....that's when it always seems to hit the fan. Three years running. Guess I should just go ahead and block this week out on next year's calendar. So I'm prepared....

Friday, January 05, 2007

Good Times

Good friends, new friends, good conversation, good food. Nothing better than a night in the city at The Grafton. (more) Or hunting for a cafe in the rain afterwards. Or being shown the reason for Emma's existance......;) (Don't ask.) Anyway - good times, despite the convoluted way the GPS took us home - you know, when you know enough to know it isn't quite right, but not enough to fix it? LOL. Thanks Jen - we had fun!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Carissa's Dinner Party

The third annual Christmas dinner party. The food was yummy - I know, I sneaked some..... ;) Especially the roast and the cheese/scallion buttermilk biscuits.