The First Hundred the light of eternity. "Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." Wilson Mizner

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Girl Scout Cookies

My brother called last night, selling Girl Scout Cookies. He was actually selling them for six-year-old Abbey, who is just a little shy (at least she is with me).

"May I interest you in some delicious Girl Scout Cookies? Paula (our next oldest sibling) just ordered four boxes."

Not to be outdone, I naturally replied, "Put me down for four, then!"

We chatted a while, and then he had to hang up. The orders were to be handed in at 7:30; he had 45 minutes to go. He was obviously making good use of his time, getting some last-minute orders from his soft-hearted sisters. (Two down, one to go...)

I sat there a minute, then got a strange thought: I wonder if he actually called me first, and is now calling Paula.... 'Karen just ordered four boxes'. I quickly dialed Paula's number and got her voice mail. Hmmm, could be she's on the phone with someone. I left her a message, but was laughing so much I hoped she'd be able to decipher it.

In a few minutes the phone rang. It was Paula, "Hey, Karen, that was pretty funny. But, he did call me first. Now, maybe you or I would've thought of that ploy, but Mark... nah, that would never have crossed his mind." I knew she was right.

This was our little brother; the compliant, easy-going child of our mother's "old age" (41). In his pre-school years he was doted on by three older sisters. Because of lots of good "mothering" (or maybe in spite of it), he grew into a very loving and gentle man. I don't know why I might have thought he would stoop to "deception"....

Unless it's the fact that he's a pretty darn good lawyer.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Time will tell...

We had our annual church business meeting today; a long meeting, as usual. But it was a good meeting. I'm not saying that our church is without problems and struggles; we actually are at a "crossroads" of sorts.
2005 was a tough year, with assaults from the enemy on various fronts. But it seems there is a new resolve toward unity and commitment to God's calling. Time will tell if we remain faithful. I'm going to print our church covenant here, as a reminder to myself of my own responsibility to this local body of Christ.

"And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul." 2 Chronicles 15:12

Having been led by the Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and having given public confession of our faith through baptism in the name of the triune God, we do now in the presence of God joyfully and sincerely enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We determine as a body of believers that our primary purpose is to bring glory to God through worship, edification, and outreach. We determine to walk together in Christian love, striving for the advancement of God's kingdom in justice, righteousness, and mercy. We determine to promote the spirituality and prosperity of Christ's church by upholding His ordinances, practicing discipline, and following biblical teachings. Through the resources entrusted to us (spiritual gifts, time, and finances, etc), we will contribute to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and oppressed, and to missions; home and abroad.

We also determine to foster spirituality in our families and in our own individual lives, to educate our children in the faith, and to seek to be the presence of Christ to our families and acquaintances. We resolve to walk carefully and responsibly in the world, to be the salt and light in society, to be just in all our relationships and exemplary in lifestyle.

We further determine to care for one another in Christian love and concern, to uphold each other in all areas of life, and to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the teaching and example of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We moreover determine that when we move to a different location, we will unite with another congregation of like faith and practice in order to continue to carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

When Machines Talk Back

For a few months I've been helping out on Wednesdays in the church office, while they're "between" secretaries. Mainly, I put the bulletin together but there are plenty of other things that need doing, so I keep busy. Usually I can crank out the bulletin in around four hours. That's when all the equipment is working the way it's supposed to...

Today was one of those days when nothing wanted to work right. The copier is limping along, waiting for some parts that are on order. This week, it wants to be hand-fed and mollycoddled, so everything takes twice as long. It was a great copier when it was new (about ten years ago) and can still do a good job when it wants to. When I have trouble with it, I just call in PR. It seems like the copier sees him coming, because as soon as he pushes the button, it behaves perfectly.

Then there's the bulletin folding machine.... Our bulletin is double-folded, and up until today the machine always did the second fold backwards so I ended up having to refold that flap by hand. Well, PR worked his magic, and today, for the first time, the machine got it right! I was so excited that both folds came out exactly as they should... until I noticed that about every 7th bulletin came out with a crinkly chunk taken out of it. Arrrgh! No wonder the previous bulletin person had set the machine to reverse that second fold. It's an obvious revolt of the machines.

I know there's a sermon illustration lurking here, but I'm too tired to look for it right now. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What if.....?

Check this out. My son has too much time on his hands....
Here's a video clip he sent me.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

You Are What You Eat

I think you can tell a lot about a person by what's in (and on) his/her refrigerator. This is another post-your-photo-challenge from Susie. Personally, I think the outside of my fridge is more interesting than the inside....

A Room with a View

Today I have a beautiful view from the comfort of my computer desk. The higher the sun rises, the brighter the sky. I am blessed!

"He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes." Psalm 147: 16

Friday, January 20, 2006

Red Letter Day

There was a big event over at Karina's house today (Friday, Jan. 20). Check it out.
Practice makes perfect.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Get Outta Town!

There are many good reasons for getting out of Chicago for a while. Here are two of the best.



And here are two great reasons for coming back home. (PR and Josiah)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

See You Later

My daughter has sent out an SOS (Save Our Sanity), so this grandma is off to lend a hand, a lap, and a bunch of hugs for a couple of days. The boys are getting over bronchitis/bad colds, and cabin fever is setting in for Karina. So, after work today, I'm off on a mission! Hopefully, I'll have a few new photos when I return. In the meantime, you can catch up on Reiley and Luke here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Favorites

Last night I was minding my own business (isn't that the way these things always start?), editing my bookmarks; managing "My Favorites", if you will. Just seeing what was there, removing the obscure ones that I didn't remember the reason for bookmarking, trying to make some semblance of order. I had just started alphabetizing my blogging buddies (don't laugh, you should see my pantry shelves after my daughter has decided to line things up for me... I guess she comes by it honestly). Anyway, that's when the power went out. Or should I say, a circuit-breaker broke, or whatever it does. Yes, I had my trusty electric heater going, and yes, I had a few lights on, and of course the dehumidifier was humming away in the crawl space, and maybe the washer and dryer were going.... But the final straw was that PR had just re-filled the water distiller and turned it on. Now, I'm not blaming him. That task could have fallen to me, and I'm grateful for all the things he does around here.
Anyway, it wasn't a big deal. Just turn off a few lights/appliances, unbreak the circuit breaker, or whatever it is you do, and then re-boot the old Sony. Right?
Well, you don't want to be editing your "favorites" list when the power goes out. My bookmarks were gone. Totally, consummately, entirely, fully, thoroughly, wholly, altogether, purely, quite honestly gone. And I mean gone AWOL, gone elsewhere, gone missing. Vanished.
But I've discovered it really isn't that big a deal. Through my blog, and comments from blogger friends, I've recuperated the most important links :-) and I get to start with a clean slate for all my yet-to-be-discovered favorites.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I've Been Tagged

OK, Uncle Joe, thanks for the tag. I guess there's a first time for everything. You can't imagine how long it took me to come up with these answers...

2 names you go by: kk; Vovó
2 parts of your heritage: Norwegian; English
2 things that scare you: my grandson(s) possibly getting hurt while I'm babysitting; getting alzheimers or dementia
2 of your everyday essentials: at least one shower; quiet time with God
2 things you are wearing right now: sweater; socks (both essential for warmth)
2 things you want in a relationship: trust; affection
2 truths: God is Sovereign; that's all that really matters
2 of your favorite hobbies: knitting; blogging
2 things you want really badly: a granddaughter; my progeny to live a godly heritage
2 places you want to go on vacation: someplace warm; anywhere with PR
2 things you want to do before you die: answer these questions; ?
2 ways that you are stereotypically a dude or chick: I wear comfy jeans with my dressy leather coat; sometimes I tuck in my shirt
2 things you are thinking about now: something else I want to do before I die; how to answer the rest of these questions
2 stores you shop at: Target; Old Navy
2 personality quirks: I like the toilet lid closed, unless it's in use; I can leave things lying around, but I don't like it when other people leave things lying around
2 favorite items in the house: PR, computer
2 stores i wish we had: I live in Chicago... what don't we have?
2 things that make me cry: thinking about the granddaughter we lost; thinking about Jesus's sacrifice
2 things i wish I could do different: grow decent fingernails; style my hair
2 things I do very badly: grow decent fingernails; style my hair
2 favorite superheroes: PR; Charlie Brown (they are superheroes to me)
2 hidden talents: manicurist; hairstylist
2 people to tag: Jenn; Bill

Friday, January 13, 2006

Consider it all joy...

Pastor Rich called me at work yesterday. (Pastor Rich, henceforth known as PR, is my husband.) The first words out of his mouth were, "Consider it all joy". As I mentally finished the quote "when you encounter various trials" (James 1:2), I knew this wasn't going to be a "Hello, Sweetheart" kind of a conversation.

"OK, What happened?"

PR - "Well, first I lost the car. Then I came inside, and the kitchen was flooded."

"What?! You lost the car? What happened?"

PR -"No, I washed the car."

"Oh... whew! You had me worried for a min........ Whoa! The kitchen's flooded?!" But I already had the scene pictured:

Outside temperature = 50F
50F = Springlike conditions in Chicago
Spring = wash the road salt off your car
wash car = hook up hose at side of house near kitchen
old hose hookup = cracked pipes??

PR -"But I got it all mopped up."

"No big deal then, right?"

PR -"Well, I started wondering about the crawl space....."

"Oh, boy."

PR -"Yep. But it's only about an inch, in most places...."

So now we have the dehumidifier working non-stop in the crawl space. I'm glad for the day last summer when I cleaned in there, and joyful that God is working on our endurance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Salad Update

I'd almost forgotten about my daughter's Christmas Eve salad, when she called to tell me she had received a reply from the salad company. They thanked her for writing, apologized for the inconvenience, explained how they strive for excellence, described their packaging process, stated they were glad she had notified them of her concern, and promised to use the information to work at making things better. Enclosed with this very nice letter, there were vouchers for three free bags of her choice of salad, and a few coupons for 55 cents off their products.

It's nice when a company comes through with good customer service.

I guess there's hope in the case of the faulty merchandise I mentioned the other day. Wouldn't it be great to have all companies stand behind their products? (I feel a sermon illustration coming on, here.....) Aren't you glad that when God "fixes" us, His work is guaranteed?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Save Your Receipts

What do a vegetable peeler, Jockey shorts, and an electric heater all have in common? Now that I have your attention..... OK, I'm not kidding. Yesterday I got another reminder in a "life lesson" that actually involves these three items.

I had a brand new, stainless steel vegetable peeler I was itching to try out, so I decided to fix a potato salad before heading out the door to Sunday School. Easier said than done, however, because that peeler was duller than the paint on my friend Nancy's old Ford Tempo. I had to press hard to get it to work at all, and then it would gouge out thick slices. I was disappointed for a couple of reasons. First of all, this was a new peeler, and I expected it to work like a new one. Secondly, a task that should have been a snap took so much longer than I had anticipated.

Enter, the Jockey shorts.... Later in the day, as I was folding clean laundry, I noticed that some of the stitching on Rich's brand-new, worn-only-once underwear had come loose. I was beginning to wonder whatever happened to quality in merchandise. This was brand name underwear, and expensive!

This brings us to one of my electric space heaters, which decided to quietly give up the ghost last evening, three days shy of two month's dedicated service. Humph! I seriously thought I'd get at least one winter's use from it. What in the world was happening?

I'll admit it wasn't my first thought, but after some reflection I remembered that God's Word admonishes us to be thankful, not necessarily "for" all things but "in" all things. In other words, look for something to be thankful about in spite of circumstances. Life's small inconveniences are more easily overcome with a thankful attitude. Relax! Things can be repaired, or returned for a refund. Be thankful for what you do have, not upset by what's broken.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Boys Will be Boys

Josiah was having such a good time with Daddy's music tape, that Andrea didn't have the heart to scold him. I mean, just look at those puppy dog eyes on the face of the cat that ate the canary. Ya just gotta love him!

Friday, January 06, 2006


Sunshine in my kitchen!
Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Random Thoughts

Ok, I just couldn't resist posting one more photo of Mark; this time in his "Class A" uniform. There's just something about a man in uniform.

Other random thoughts:
If it's a constant 63F in my kitchen, why was this month's gas bill $380?

So, my husband dreamed about a flaming pulpit last night. I can't wait to hear his sermon this Sunday.

The sun is always shining. Somewhere.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cloudy Days

I don't really need to see the sun shine in order to survive, but a few minutes of glimmer might be nice. I'm trying to remember how many days it's been since ol' Sol graced us with his presence. I think there was a brief, slight crack in the sky on Christmas day, but I guess it wasn't long enough to make it that memorable.

On the other hand, the Lord is working on me in the area of contentment, so when you catch me complaining too loudly or often, please feel free to let me know.

"Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stall,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation."
Habakkuk 3:17, 18

And, I'll enjoy the sunshine when it returns.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Dream

The water runs out while I'm in the shower,
My head covered in bubbly shampoo.
I look, and behold, I'm still wearing my clothes!
Oh, what in the world should I do?

Next scene, I am naked, where are my clothes now?
I'm hiding, avoiding all looks;
I'm ten minutes late, the teacher's irate
And I can't find my locker or books.