Said by a Naughty 6 Year Old

I left my listening ears at home.

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Out of Our Comfort Zone

Last year was a year different from any other. It started with:

Once upon a time (in early January) HP came home from his usual Saturday morning meeting. He sat with me at the kitchen table and said, “Last year was a year that I went out of my comfort zone. I asked myself ‘How can I get out of my comfort zone even more this year?’” He came to the conclusion that he should go on a short term missions trip. But, that wasn’t far enough out of his comfort zone for him. He looked at me and said, “I am sending You on a missions trip and I will stay home with BP.” Whoa, that is far out of our comfort zone!

But that is what we did. I went to Nicaragua (nicknamed pooparagua by BP because she was not thrilled that I was going). This was way out of my comfort zone. It turned out to be a great trip. I planted cucumbers under lime or lemon trees (I always thought they were lemon trees.  Turns out they may have been lime). I planted watermelon under papaya trees. I went to a dump and helped serve a meal to the people who scavenged there. I went to a prison and worshiped God with the female prisoners. All around us females could hear the men of our group singing and worshipping the Lord with the male prisoners. We did so many other things that I had never done before. Way out of my comfort zone, but I am glad I went.

BP was fine at home with HP. They had fun, played with cousins, had M come down for a few days, and went out to eat. 🙂

BP went out of her comfort zone this year as well. She’s not a big fan of change, but she has handled some transitions very well this year. She has started attending Sunday School at our church. She loves it. She is taking ballet classes. She loves it. She attends Kids Club at our church. She loves it. She started a new curriculum for school. And she loves it (at first she hated it though).

HP went further outside of his comfort zone. He continued his Bible study with the homeless. He stayed home with BP for the week I was gone. He baptized a few of the homeless that he had been meeting with on a regular basis. He also went on a mission trip to El Salvador. While there he went on home visits, practiced his Spanish and helped build a retaining wall. He preached his first ever sermon in El Salvador.

All in all the year was one of stepping where God lead us. The mission trip I went on was announced the day after HP talked to me about going. BP attending Sunday School was because we switched to a different campus of our church and one of her favorite people turned out to be her teacher. HP moved the Bible study from outside the library to our new church location leading to a more formal study.

Not all of our times were good last year. I would be remiss if I did not remember my cousins’ son who fell through the ice and passed away at the young age of 4. I don’t want to forget MS who passed away of a drug overdose. Nor shall I forget SG who left this earth before being able to watch his children grow.

The things I want to remember from last year are: helping watch the kids at MOPS. Helping at a one day a week camp for inner city kids throughout the summer. Transitioning to a new curriculum where I am learning right alongside with BP. I guess the bottom line is: it was good to get out of our comfort zone, but I really enjoy our every day lives and am glad I get to continue in it.

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Seasonal Produce Sorted by Color – Fall

Hello Everyone,

I’ve been writing in (in my head) about our food journey and someday will put it down here on ‘paper’.  For now I would like to share my Produce list.  Very few diet plans (ways of eating) eliminate eating fruits and vegetables, so I thought this list might be helpful to some people other than just me. 🙂

We are told to eat 5 a day… eat our colors…. eat clean produce or organic if it is considered part of the dirty dozen, and so on.  We are also told to buy in season.   I’ve looked and looked and I could not find a list that combined everything all in one.  So I present to you: my produce list for the fall.  These are the items that are in season, marked with a (c) if they are considered clean (don’t need to buy organic), or a (d) if they are considered dirty (buy organic if you can afford it).  They are listed by color and then alphabetical in their group of color.  Whatever that means. 🙂

**Please note: I am not perfect – some of these I have never heard of – so if I got their color grouping wrong, I am terribly sorry.  I will be happy to fix it if you let me know.


Vegetables Fruits
Color Name Color Name
Blue Belgian Endive Blue Huckleberries
Blue, Green, Red, White, Yellow Swiss Chard Blue Dried Fruit
Blue, Green, Red, Yellow Bell Peppers (d) Green Avocados (c)
Green Arugula Green, Purple, Red Grapes (d)
Green Beet Greens Green, Red, Yellow Apples (d)
Green Bok Choy Red Cranberries
Green Broccoli Red Pomegranate
Green Broccolini Red, White, Yellow Asian Pears
Green Brussels Sprouts White Bananas
Green Butter (Bibb) Lettuce White, Yellow Passion Fruit
Green Celery (d) White, Yellow Pears
Green Celery Root Yellow Cape Gooseberries
Green Endive Yellow Kumquats
Green Kale (d) Yellow Quince
Green Leeks Yellow Lemons
Green lettuce Yellow Papayas (c)
Green, Purple Cabbage (c)
Green, Red, Yellow Hot peppers (d)
Purple, Yellow Carrots
Red Radicchio
Red, White, Yellow Onions (c)
White Cauliflower
White Daikon Radish
White Jerusalem Artichoke
White Jicama
White Kohlrabi
White Mushrooms (c)
White Parsnips
White Shallots
White Turnips
Yellow Acorn Squash
Yellow Buttercup Squash
Yellow Butternut Squash
Yellow Pumpkin
Yellow Sweet Potatoes (c)
Yellow Winter Squash
Posted in food, Nutrition, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

5 A Day

Don’t worry: we ate plums and strawberries to get the other two colors in. *Do you think I can roast them too??

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Happy Mother’s Day

In honor of Mother’s Day I give you BP quotes (because without her I wouldn’t be a mother):
1. The favorite thing in my body is the Golgi body. (It’s a real thing – I promise)
2. Let’s talk about vegetables… If it doesn’t have seeds then it’s a vegetable, so donuts are vegetables.
3. Let’s go talk to the Master. (That would be Pastor – very different)

While talking to someone who hasn’t had a lot of BP exposure as of yet:
4. When food goes down my esophagus… (She butchered pronouncing it, but really – whose 4 year old says that anyway?)
5. Let’s just enjoy Tiffany while she’s here.

And one last one:
6. When an organelle sends a message to a ribosome, does it use a pen?

Posted in Baby Person, Family | Tagged , , , , , , ,

My Trip to the Big City

I’m mostly a homebody.  In fact, at this time I haven’t left my house in my vehicle since Monday.  It’s been nice. 🙂

But on this particular day, I had no choice.  I needed to get some paperwork from the ‘local’ courthouse.  I say local because it’s in another state.  Not exactly local in my mind.

My co-pilots were BP (of course) and Tim.  Now let me explain Tim a little.  He is my GPS.  A TomTom as a matter of fact.  I’ve had him for 8+ years and he has mostly served me well.  I say mostly because there was this one time he brought me to the edge of a cliff and told me: ‘you have reached your destination’.  No, no I haven’t, I told him.  *I always have wondered if he has had it in for me or not.

Now back to my trip to the big city.  This particular big city is right next to a bigger city that I have always said was a city of one-way dead end streets.  *Keep that in mind for later…

I had all my ducks in a row on this day.  BP was prepped and ready to go on our adventure.  I had a Mom-sitter lined up to feed Mom her lunch and put her to bed after.  The day was bright, no rain in the forecast. I had already looked at the map (I confess I used Google maps 😦 )  I was ready to conquer the world!

The trip went well for the first 40ish minutes.  Then I got to the outskirts of ‘the city’.  Now I expected traffic, but not THAT much.  We were still several miles from my exit (which was an earlier exit) and we were stopped.  Dead stopped.  As we inched forward I looked at Tim and he said I should go a few more exits.  But the exit sign I was coming up to was the one I thought I should get off at…

What to do, what to do – I actually chose right and got off the exit.  🙂

It curved around as I expected it to and landed me on the route I was supposed to be on.  According to Google maps I was 8 minutes away.  Not bad, not bad at all.  BUT I wasn’t quite sure where the courthouse was so I followed Tim’s directions.

I drove and drove and drove.  All the while BP is happy as a clam and chattering along.  Side note: I should have peed before I left and I was realizing this now. 😦

I drove along and passed a street sign that made me think I was about 2 blocks away.  Tim didn’t think so.  I drove and drove and drove.  I passed another sign that made me think I drove too far.  I even saw a business I recognized and seriously considered parking in their parking lot and walking to wherever I needed to be.  But it was cold and I had BP with me.  Best just to press on.

So I did.

I kept driving as the minutes ticked on.  I kept driving as I followed the detoured that threw Tim off completely.  I kept driving till Tim said I was back on track.

He brought me to a deserted(ish) area with no businesses – and certainly no courthouses, and told me: you have reached your destination.  No Tim, no I have not.

And now I really need to pee.

I tried to use my maps program on my phone – no go. *I safely pulled over to do this.

I drove and I drove and I drove.  I finally arrived at a grocery store that had free wifi.  But not from the parking lot.  I got BP out – left Tim in the car – I was upset with him, and went in the store.

I should make a little side note that I yelled at Tim and my phone and was policed by BP to not use those words.  I was told they were Dad words , not Mom words. 😉 Ah, ever listening. 🙂

First things first: I found the bathroom. 🙂

I then sat down and used their wifi to find where I needed to be.  I was only 3 miles away.  I needed to be: right back where I saw the street sign that had made me think I was almost there.  But at this point it was 40 minutes later.  *I hate the big city.

When I finally arrive I find a safe place to park, grab everything that I think I will need and off we go.  We walked as quickly as we could seeing as it was colder than we expected.  At the front door we find a sign that says to use the side door.  Ugh, no biggie.  At the side door I face what I expected: metal detectors.  I wondered how BP would do.

Not so good.  She started to cling to me saying: bad strangers, bad strangers, bad strangers.  The lady who was ‘checking’ us was not amused or helpful.  I finally made it through the detectors with BP and went on over to the records department.

After explaining what I needed and showing the clerk the proper paperwork: he told me I was in the wrong county courthouse.  Seriously?!?  Yep – I needed to go to the city with one-way dead end streets.  After it took me 2 hours to get here I had to go one more city over.

He must have seen the look of desperation in my eyes and said – give me a minute, I’ll check here.  Whew.  I’m glad he did!  He had both of the files that I needed.  Now to make copies.

I glanced around and noted the two copy machines (one not working).  They only took coins and small bills.  I had a $50.

I walked back over to the clerk, asked if they could make change.  He said: nope. Dope.  I explained I would be right back and please don’t put my files away.

We walked as quickly as would could back to our vehicle as I happily remembered I had library money in the car.  Quarters – woo hoo!

After we made it back to the courthouse, back through security, back to the records department, and retrieved our files.  I separated out which papers I need copies of.  21 of them.  I had $9.45 in pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters.  I could make 18 copies.  Which 4 to leave out, which 4 to leave out…  I found 3 no problem.  I looked up at a lady who was sorting papers too and asked: May I have a nickle.  She gave me a quarter! 🙂 Score! Copy 19 papers and go home.

HAhahahahah.  It’s never that easy.  And by the way: why are copies 50 cents a page?  50 cents A PAGE?

I went to work coping and let people with one or two copies to make cut on in.  Until I realized the copier didn’t take pennies.  Uh oh.  So I looked at the nice lady again and asked her if she had change.  She did.  After we traded I tried to get the copier to take a $10 bill.  It wouldn’t.  Neither would the change making machine.  What’s the point of a change making machine if it doesn’t work?

Now both the nice lady and I were getting desperate.  I had to make 1 more copy (really 4 would be better), and she need to make many copies.  She needed change worse than I did.  She went on a mission to find change to no avail.  After looking and hunting and searching and asking.  I got really desperate.  I had already tried to buy candy out of the vending machine in order to get change – I was that desperate.  BP was doing great all of this time, but I knew it was time to go soon and get her a nap.

I walked over to the nice clerk and asked him for help.  He said go on over there and they will make your copies for you.  Huge sigh of relief.  I went on over with my papers and money, asked the lady to make 4 copies.  She did. 🙂  I took them and ran.  Not really.

I put the file back together nicely and BP and I headed on home.

Lessons learned: never trust your GPS, if you think you are almost there – you probably are (the courthouse was just blocks away from the business I had thought to park at), and bring lots and lots and then some more quarters any time you go to a courthouse.

Posted in Family, Stories | Tagged , , , ,

My First Time Skiing

It happened like this: (That’s code for this is a true story)

When I was a teenager my church’s teen group went skiing.  I had never been skiing before so I figured, hey, why not?  *That was my first mistake*.

I had many layers on because I knew it would be cold.  I found boots and skis to rent and hobbled outside to enjoy my first ‘run’ down the slope.  I stomped my skiis a couple of times just like the other experts were doing.  I had no idea why we were doing this, but hey, if they were I should to.

I cautiously made my way over to the bunny hill and happily noted it wasn’t too steep.  I could do this.  I pushed off using my poles and managed to make it a few feet before I toppled over.  It took me a while, but I managed to stand back up and ski (slide) down a few more feet.  It had to have taken me an hour (I have no idea for real), but I finally made it down the bunny slope.  It was not fun.

The only way back up was on one of those J hook type ski lifts.  You stand in line and hop on over when it is your turn and the J scopes you upish by your but and helps you glide back up the hill.  If it were only that simple.  I fell immediately after being scoped. Twice.

I finally made it up the hill.  It was worse than trying to make it down the hill.

My friend Brenda* met me at the top of the hill and convinced me that I needed to try a different slope (even though I only made it down (and up) the bunny slope once).  I trusted her.  *That was my eighteenth mistake*.

I naively followed Brenda to a slope and she said: “Follow me”, and pushed off with her pole as she expertly skied down the slope.  I pushed as hard as I could and followed her trail (for about 30 seconds until I lost sight of her).  I swished back and forth and thought: “Hey, I’m getting the hang of this.  This could be fun.”

The next think I know I am flying high in the air.  Very high.  You know those pictures of people going off jumps and their legs and arms are spread wide like an X.  That was me.  In that long short moment a flood of thoughts passed through my mind:

  1. A JUMP?
  2. She took me on a slope with a JUMP?
  3. If I live – I’m going to kill her!
  4. Maybe all of those cool pictures with people going off jumps shaped like an X aren’t really cool, but beginners being lead down slopes (by mean, evil ‘friends’) with jumps and having no idea what else to do but fling themselves wide open and pray to God that they land this stupid jump and can get off this mountain alive.

I landed the jump.  And got a WOW by an onlooker (I have no idea why they were stopped on the mountain – go – ski – get off this mountain and save your life!).

I finally made it down to the bottom of the mountain hoping that by some miracle it was time to go home.  It was not.

Brenda was there waiting for me.  I didn’t kill her.

I was thrilled to see a ‘normal’ ski lift.  But I won’t lie and tell you I didn’t hug that pole in the middle of the ski lift chair for dear life.  I WAS NOT going to fall off of this ski lift.

At the top of the mountain I mentally considered the fact that our van was parked up here – not down there.  There was no reason for me to go down this mountain in the name of fun again.  But I did.

Brenda took me to a flatter slope as I requested.  As we are skiing along I noticed little signs that I had seen before, but these were marked differently.  At the time I didn’t know what they meant.  Note to all beginner skiers: if the image you see on that sign looks like this >

Don’t, I repeat, D>O>N>’>T go down that slope.

I did.

As we worked around the bends and curves I start to notice my teeth were chattering together.  And my feet were bumping and all of a sudden I’m dududududuudududududuing quickly around a bend and smack dab into a tree.  I landed flat on my back spread eagle and turned my head to watch one of my skies gracefully glide on down the slope without me.

Some kind soul fetched it and brought it back to me.  He could have kept it – I wouldn’t have cared.  I walked up the hill/mountain to the lodge deposited all of my rental equipment and hoped I would be safe and warm in the lodge while I waited for the rest of the crazies I was there ‘skiing’ with to be done skiing.

I wasn’t safe. Or warm.

As I was chatting with Mrs. H (she was happy to be inside too) a teenager from our group meandered on over.  The mornings events turned from terrible to shockingly worse as he knelt down on one knee and proposed to me.

I said NO!

And that is the story of my first (and only) time skiing.

*In most stories names are changed to protect the innocent.  Brenda’s name was not changed > she was not innocent.  (But somehow we are still friends)

**The image of the black diamond was found on Google images.  I don’t know how else to give it credit – but I didn’t make it.

Posted in Exercise, Stories | Tagged , , , , ,

What Is Wrong With Fundamentalism?

A few weeks ago a friend of mine mentioned an article she read: After Fundamentalism.  (*She noted and I agree – it is an interesting read, but we don’t agree with all of the author’s points.)  A mutual friend of ours asked: “What’s wrong w/fundamentalism? Just curious.”

I have thought about this question many times over the last few weeks and here is my answer…

The typical answer would be: ‘Nothing’, with a sweet smile that doesn’t quite reach a persons eyes.  But that’s not true – exactly.  The problem isn’t with Fundamentalism as a whole.  It’s not the brand of church that is the problem.  The problem exists in many brands.  The article just happened to be about Fundamentalism.

And here is the problem: The church (Fundamental and others) focus on the wrong ‘key question’.

They focus on:

What: What should we wear? (Are those clothes too short, low, immodest?) What should we listen to? (Is that music to fast, slow, upbeat? We need to get the jazz out of their fingers…)  What can we drink or not drink? (Alcohol???)  What should I say to God to be saved? (Was the right prayer said?)

Where: Where can we go? (Movies, club, anywhere that serves alcohol?)  Where should we worship? (Only at this building, this time, with these people?)  Where can we have our teens serve? (At a soup kitchen, or just in our church where they will be safe?)

When: How often should we hold services? (2 times on Sunday and 1 time on Wednesday, or should it be Thursday?  Never on a Saturday night!?)  How often should we have communion? (Every week, once a month, only on months with 5 Sundays?)  When do we read our Bible? (First thing in the morning, right before I go to bed, several times a day?)

Why: Why do we meet together as a Church? (For fellowship, because the Bible tells us to, to check our box (although that is never said!).)  Why do we read our Bible? Why do we pray? (So we’ll grow, grow, grow…)

How: How should we act in church? (Solemnly, serious all of the time, reverently, never laughing or smiling)  How should we dress? (Never in jeans or pants for woman, never to attract a man’s attention, never in short shorts, never in…)  How often should I attend church services? (Every time the doors are open, of course)  How should communion be served? (By ushers, people get up to get it?)  How will it look if this scandal is found out by ‘others’?

How Much: How much should I give? (Tithe, above and beyond, as the widow with her mite?)  How much time should I spend praying? How much time should I spend reading my Bible? How much time should I spend…

All of these questions and they miss the most important one: Who.  And if they manage to think about that one it’s the wrong ‘who’ they think about.
Who: We should invite strangers in. (But we can’t associate with unbelievers outside of church.)  What will I get out of this?  What programs are available for my children?

All of the questions (including the who questions above) focus on the wrong thing/person.  None of them focus on God.  On worshiping God.  On serving God.  On what God has done.

So many churches are so focused on worshiping their traditions and man-made rules that they have forgotten about God, who He is, and what He has done.

And that is what is wrong with Fundamentalism (and many other brands of churches).


**Lest I get yelled at: Yes, I know not all churches (Fundamental or otherwise) are focused on the wrong question, but it sure seems as though many of them are.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Free Things My 3 Year Old Gets At Appointments

I took BP with me to one of my Mom’s appointments today. BP really liked one of the posters on the wall. She asked me to buy her one ‘just like it’.  I told BP I would try, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to because the poster was several years old.

The man with whom we had the appointment made BPs day when he gave her the poster to keep!

We now have this poster hanging in our living room:

Posted in Baby Person, Family, Photography | Tagged , , , , , ,

Conversation overheard a few months ago

It went something like this ->

BP: thanks for working hard for us, Dad

HP: you are welcome.  I don’t work too hard.

BP: no, you work FOUR hard!
I love that kid!  Thanks for working four hard for us HP! 😉

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