Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I've learned...

Just this past week, I have learned the following:

1.) You can use Papa Gow's famous homemade fudge to bribe your kids to smile sweetly for the camera!

2.) It is possible to receive TOO MANY candy canes in December, causing you to resort to throwing some away! (I mean, you can't just keep passing them off to others, right?)

3.) You do win the contest for the most brittle and dry Christmas tree if the branches snap off and fall to the ground when you are on the other side of the room watching!

4.) It is easy and fun to IM, especially with your sister-in-law who lives in New Zealand. (Why didn't I do this before?)

5.) Coffee that is two-days old and still sitting in the pot should have gone down the drain, not into my coffee cup and thus into my stomach. Yuck!

6.) I'm not sure if I want my sister to see what I look like while I'm talking on the phone with her. (She got us a webcam for Christmas!)

and I saved the best for last...

7.) There is practically no limit to what my husband will do to eat a cookie. (Yesterday I walked into the bathroom to find a chocolate-chip cookie on the windowsill. It had to be two days old because that is when our neighbor brought them over. I showed it to Eric, who got excited and said, "I remember setting it there to eat after I used the bathroom. I must have forgotten about it." Then Eric took it out of my hands and started eating it.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hurting Heart

Wednesday afternoon I received devastating news that a good friend of mine died unexpectedly from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her name is Kelly (Nordyke) Murphy. When the fog in my head clears, I will try to write something about this amazing young woman whom I had the privilege of mentoring from when she was in 6th grade to her her high school graduation. But for now, I will share a small story about my 3-year-old, Autumn Brooke.

After receiving the sad news Wednesday, I was sitting on the couch crying when Autumn asked if I had an owie, if I was hurt anywhere. I told her that my heart was hurt and she immediately went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. She brought back a cold orange and put it over my heart and said, "That will make it feel better, mommy." And for a few moments, it did feel better.

Kelly and her husband, Joel. Summer 2005.
Teen Girls Bible Study in my home. Kelly is 4th from the right.

Forest Home Winter Jr. High Camp. Kelly is on the bottom left.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


A few days ago in school, Amber had to read and write a list of words. She also had to say each word in a complete sentence that she though up on her own. For the first few words, she thought up standard sentences like "You are my mommy and I love you" for the word AND. Then we got to the word CAN and her sentence was, "I'm opening a can of sardines." It only got sillier from there. Here's the rest of the sentences she created:

PAN: I'm cooking sardines in the pan.
TAG: This tag says there's sardines in the can.
PAD: I am writing 'sardines' on a pad of paper.
HAD: I had to cook sardines for our dinner.
JAM: I'm putting jam on my sardines.
PAT: I gave the sardines a love pat.

With each sentence she created, she got giddier and giddier. I am glad she enjoys school so much!


We got this in our box of organic veggies Thursday. What is it and what can I do with it?

I'll even give a prize to the first person to identify it and another prize to the person who gives me the best recipe for it (Gina, you could still win one out of two).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy as a Bee

My daughter, Amber, was in the church Christmas musical last weekend. It was a fun musical, and she had a blast up there on stage singing and dancing and saying her one line. She did great! I've been taking her to practices since October, so I have memorized all of the songs and can't get them out of my head. One song in particular spoke to me during this busy Christmas season. It's called Prince of Peace and the lyrics are powerful. So I though I'd share them with you. Too bad you don't know the beat to the song so you could sing along...

There's lots of Christmas cards I know I need to send,
and more parties than I ever could attend.
It's so crowded at the stores; I can't do this anymore.
It's noisy and it's late; it's hurry up and wait,
and all we hear this time of year is Christmas cheer! Argh!
All we hear this time of year is Christmas cheer.
The gifts I try to buy are always out of stock.
To mail my packages, the line's around the block.
Mom, my chores will have to wait. Dad, again we're running late.
I'm cranky tired and cold; this season's getting old. (my favorite line)
I want to pout, or shall I shout? I'm Christmased out!
I want to pout, or shall I shout? I'm Christmased out! Wait!

My life shouldn't be this way, Lord Jesus.
This isn't why you came, Lord Jesus.
I want my life to change and find a better way.
I want the Prince of Peace to reign, to reign!

Prince of Peace, King of Kings,
Your steadfast love is all I need.
I will seek Your face and celebrate Your birth.
Prince of Peace reign in me; I'll let your spirit guide me,
For You came to bring me peace, peace on earth!
Prince of Peace, all I need, reign in me...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You've got to be kidding me!

That's my phrase when things seem outrageous or when things go from bad to worse, as they did just now. I was in the kitchen making hot chocolate in a sauce pan on the stove and talking on the phone (mistake #1). I boiled the hot chocolate over and covered the stove and the underneath part, too! I cleaned it up, which took awhile, and then poured the remaining hot chocolate into a carafe. I poured it while the carafe was on the counter, not in the sink (mistake #2) and the hot chocolate missed the carafe and spilled all over the counter. I cleaned that up, filled up the carafe and got my second carafe down to fill it up. Then I discovered that there was only about a cup of hot chocolate left, instead of another carafe-full like I started with before all of the spills. So, I poured that into a cup and decided I would at least enjoy some chocolate. Well, as I reached over to get the dish rag to do some final cleaning, I knocked over the cup, leaving me with about a swallow-full of hot chocolate. Then I said my famous phrase "you've got to be kidding me!" and left the kitchen never to return (well, at least for a few minutes while I write this blog).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Guest Blogger Eric Tells a Fish Story

My hubby, Eric, wrote this little ditty and posted it on the spearboard. I thought it was a great story, and the title was so clever. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (F.Y.I. "bugs" are lobster.)

After Black Friday Comes Yellowtail Saturday

By Eric Hodge

My dad and the kids and I went out for a morning bug run to the Islands on Saturday. After getting some bugs and catching some rock fish, the water looked nicely clear (40-50 ft visibility) and maybe a little on the warm side, 61 degrees, for this time of year. I thought to myself, "Maybe the Yellowtail don't know it is after Thanksgiving. Maybe they don't know they should be down deep feeding on squid or in Mexico or wherever they go in the winter, but maybe they just are messed up in the head or something." Plus, I just needed to prove to myself that they were not where I would find them in the summer (near the surface and curious). Well, I was wrong. They were up and about and acting semi-friendly. I managed one 30 pounder, and ended up floundering on a couple other shots. All in all it was a great day on the ocean with the family.