Archive for June, 2007

Five Things quiz from Laura

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Laura tagged me to do this quiz.

For you who will be tagged by me, this is how it works. Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.
Like this:
The Epic of Mom
The Informal Matriarch
All About Aidan
Life According to Laura
Mom’s Musings

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, this grandma was taking care of her own one-year old baby. Yes, Seth was just one year old.
Ten years ago was a busy time, since all the children were young: 14, 12, 12, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.
We were a homeschooling family back then.
We were attending the Associated Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What were you doing one year ago?
One year ago I was a busy mom (as I continue to be), doing lots of driving, taking everyone to their various activities.
We were preparing for having the four youngest children in public school, a first for us. By the way, it has worked out really well. The children actually have social lives now, having met some quality friends. Hooray! Three of the children have discovered that they are interested in sports, something I didn’t know about them.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:

1. Sliced apples
2. A salad with all the fixings (I know this isn’t a snack, but it is my favorite food.)
3. A cup of coffee, really good coffee
4. A piece of chocolate
5. A few salted cashews

Five Songs That You Know All the Lyrics To:
Sorry, I go about my daily work without wearing an ipod, so my repertoire is limited to little kid songs such as nursery rhymes, and portions of the psalms, metrical version. 😛

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:
1. I would like to go back to college.
2. I would like to build a little country cottage (designed by my husband, of course) for Rick and me to live in when we are old.
3. I would like fast, dependable internet, quite a valuable thing to one who likes to keep in touch with others in that way. 🙂
4. I would get a gym membership and use it.
5. I would build an art studio for my girls.
6. Those who know me know that REALLY I would greatly enjoy giving most of the money away. It’s true. 😛

Five Bad Habits:
1. Knowing I should get more exercise, but not doing so routinely. 🙁
2. Staying up too late for no real reason.
3. Being a Matchmaker to folks who have not asked for that service.
4. Being too hard on myself when my entire TO DO list isn’t completed each and every day.
5. Getting really sad when someone is upset with me. Boo-hoo-hoo!

Five Things You Like To Do:
1. Read blogs (friends and family)
2. Write on my blog
3. Read, read, read!
4. Go for a relaxing walk
5. Do my domestic duties (bake, cook, clean, etc.)

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:
1. Maternity clothes, since I’m now grandma-age
2. knee socks
3. head bands
4. tight shoes
5. uncomfortable clothing which is too dressy

Five Favorite Toys:
1. My laptop computer with reliable internet connectivity
2. My Suzuki Grand Vitara, for going places using a minimum of expensive fuel
3. My coffeemaker is not a toy, but is useful for brewing my favorite beverage
4. My husband is a lot of fun, but again is not a toy
5. I enjoy my children’s company also. Guess I’m not really into toys. 🙂

I am tagging:

1. Bianca
2. Cheryl
3. Willena
4. Toni
5. My mom-in-law

On Vacation – The First Night

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

We left home early (think 3:30am) Monday morning to begin our road trip, eventually heading south on 101 along the Washington, Oregon and California coasts. The children have been great travelers, a combination of sleepy most of the time, and awake and engaged when it’s time to stop for interesting sights, activities or a meal.

A couple of weeks before leaving on vacation, we made a camp site reservation through Reserve America. For only $35 we were able to stay in a yurt at Beverly Beach in northern Oregon. We also had access to a clean, hot shower as well.

The yurt is a large circular hut, constructed of a wooded framework with waterproof canvas over all. There is a tall conical roof, also covered with canvas, with a skylight at the top. Inside was a bunk bed and a futon couch which converted to a double bed. A sturdy table and two chairs were also provided. We did manage to sleep eight inside, with one person on the floor and three people sleeping where two people were meant to fit. 😛

No eating or drinking is allowed inside the yurt, so Rick purchased charcoal briquettes for the fire pit, and we had roasted beef hot dogs, potato salad and Snapple juice or pop for dinner. Fittingly, the children roasted marshmallows for dessert.

I really enjoyed this modified type of camping. The fresh air and outdoor cooking were invigorating, but the hot shower and the heated, waterproof yurt were much enjoyed as well. I think this is the way we’re hoping to travel from now on. It’s much cheaper than a motel room, and much more pleasant as well!

The children or I will post some pictures soon. Toodles!

The Brain That Changes Itself – book excerpt

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007


I’m in the middle of reading a fascinating book entitled The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D. Much of what I’ve read thus far has application to principles of optimal child development. Here is one excerpt from the book that I found enlightening:

Most people think that the dangers created by the media are a result of content. But Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian who founded media studies in the 1950s and predicted the Internet twenty years before it was invented, was the first to intuit that the media change our brains irrespective of content, and he famously said, “The medium is the message.” McLuhan was arguing that each medium reorganizes our mind and brain in its own unique way and that the consequences of these reorganizations are far more significant than the effects of the content or “message.” (page 308)

Television, music videos, and video games, all of which use television techniques, unfold at a much faster pace than real life, and they are getting faster, which causes people to develop an increased appetite for high-speed transitions in those media. It is the form of the television medium – cuts, edits, zooms, pans, and sudden noises – that alters the brain, by activating what Pavlov called the “orienting response,” which occurs whenever we sense a sudden change in the world around us, especially a sudden movement. We instinctively interrupt whatever we are doing to turn, pay attention, and get our bearings. . . Television triggers this response at a far more rapid rate than we experience it in life, which is why we can’t keep our eyes off the TV screen, even in the middle of an intimate conversation, and why people watch TV a lot longer than they intend. Because typical music videos, action sequences, and commercials trigger orienting responses at a rate of one per second, watching them puts us into continuous orienting response with no recovery. No wonder people report feeling drained from watching TV. Yet we acquire a taste for it and find slower changes boring. The cost is that such activities as reading, complex conversation, and listening to lectures become more difficult. (pages 309, 310) (Emphasis added)

Poor Connectivity. Boo Hoo :(

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

I haven’t been able to post in quite some time due to Clear W’re being so unreliable and temperamental. We are on the very outskirts of being able to receive their signal. Also, rainy weather, which is frequent here, seems to interfere with the signal. I find this a source of frustration and disappointment, since we are paying to be connected to the Internet, after all, but so be it. So . . . I will sneak some postings on at some opportune millisecond when Clear W’re is operable. 😛

Dr. Scott Clark on the singing of psalms in the worship of God

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Dr. R. Scott Clark is a minister in the Oceanside, California United Reformed Church. He is also Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California. The official position of the United Reformed Church is that mainly psalms are to be sung in the public worship of God, but that hymns that have been approved by the elders may be sung as well:

Article 39

The 150 Psalms shall have the principal place in the singing of the churches. Hymns which faithfully and fully reflect the teaching of the Scripture as expressed in the Three Forms of Unity may be sung, provided they are approved by the Consistory.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Clark’s post entitled Lex Credendi:

For URCNA [United Reformed Church of North America] types, tell me why we’re not just a little more conservative than the CRC [Christian Reformed Church]? Shocked, why? We’re mostly using a Psalter-Hymnal that is only a few decades behind where the CRC wants to go. Where will we be in 2013? On what principle are we different from the trajectory of the CRC? We can reprint the 1959 Psalter-Hymnal until the cows come home but we’re just reprinting an older collection of (mostly) psalm paraphrases and hymns.

We jumped a chasm in the late 1920’s and early 1930s when we began singing uninspired hymns and using musical instruments in worship. In for a penny, in for a pound. Are we willing to reconsider our worship as a matter of principle or will be content to try to react conservatively to the progressive developments in the CRC and RCA [Reformed Church of America]?

A cool quote from Dr. Joel Beeke

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Currently, Martin Downes of Against Heresies is doing an interview with Dr. Joel Beeke.

Here is one thing that Dr. Beeke has to say in response to Martin Downes question, How should a minister keep his own heart, mind, and will from theological error?

Read the best, sound, scriptural, classic books, especially those by the Reformers and Puritans, that
address your mind with clarity,
convict your conscience with poignancy,
bend your wills with conviction, and
move your feet with passion.

I take this reading recommendation as being useful for the private Christian as well.

The entire interview is edifying and quotable, so read it for yourself.

A recipe for Laura

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007


4 Tablespoons butter

½ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

4 tomatoes, sliced

2 large green peppers, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

2 long loaves French bread

4 Tablespoons oil

12 slices bologna, fried

8 strips crisply cooked bacon

8 slices provolone cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet; add onion and garlic; cook over moderate heat until onion is golden brown. Add tomatoes, peppers, salt, pepper and oregano. Cook over low heat until peppers are just soft.

Split the loaves of bread in half lengthwise; sprinkle cut surfaces with oil. Arrange layers of bologna, pepper mixture, bacon and cheese on bottom halves of bread. Cover with tops. Wrap tightly in heavy aluminum foil.

Place on grill over hot coals and heat about 15 minutes, or bake at 350 degrees for about 15 or 20 minutes. Cut into crosswise pieces.

Serves 8.

It’s been a long time since I made this, but Laura remembered it and asked for the recipe, so here it is. 🙂
This is a fun, picnic-y food. Not health food, but good for the occasional summer meal.

Martin Luther has something to say

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

I know all too well that I fall short of the standards set by God’s wholesome law. As I read in I John 1:8-10:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Because of this awareness, I’m appreciative of the following quote from the famous reformer Martin Luther:

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be but we are growing toward it.
The process is not yet finished but it is going on.
This is not the end but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.

– Martin Luther

I found this quote on an article entitled Personal Reflection which was recommended on the Reformation 21 blog. I’m looking forward to reading that article this morning.

A Favorite Post From a Favorite Blog

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Martin Downes has an excellent post on his blog Against Heresies entitled “The Gospel is Worth Fighting For”.


Sunday, June 10th, 2007

There is a helpful article posted at the Christian Women Today web site. The article, by Mary Kassian, is entitled Connect With Body Language.

The author presents the following acrostic:
S – Smile
A – Affirm
L – Lean Toward
U – Unlock Posture
T – Touch
E – Eye Contact

The explanations the author gives are quite helpful, so read the article if you want to know more!