Friday, November 02, 2007

Dump Truck Cake

Here's the cake I made for DW's 3rd birthday. We had a construction themed party in our backyard.

I made a house out of a refrigerator box that I cut into 4 sections - two 2-wall pieces and two roof pieces. I assembled it and anchored it in the box bottom so that it would stand up. I cut slots in the roof pieces so that they would slide on. I cut out windows and made a door that opened and closed. Then I took it all apart.

During the party I let the kids put the house together and put on the roof. Then I gave them sidewalk chalk to decorate with. They had a great time climbing in and out of the doorway into the house.

We also had blocks to build with, a toolbench with golf tees to hammer into styrofoam. We ran an obstacle course pushing a dump truck around the yard. And we had the dump truck cake. All in all a great day.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Times Festival of Reading

We made it to the Times Festival of Reading today. Early rains didn't even slow us down. Of course, we never made it out of the children's area, but DW had a good time. We heard "The Earthlings" sing a few songs, listened to "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" read by the Police Chief, in uniform. DW went on some of the bouncy slides and we got some Publix swag in a backpack. I never made it over to the vendor areas. Maybe I'll go back by myself when the boys are asleep?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stumped for Writing Challenge

This week's FaithWriter's Writing Challenge is on "Sunday School" and I'm stumped. Of course, it's only Friday night...

I worked on an essay for "Women of Passions" from Heart of God International. Hope it's something that they'll be able to use. If not, I'll find a home for it somewhere.

I'm really enjoying writing. It's keeping my mind active with something other than diapers and feeding.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Gift for My Children

Attended a memorial service tonight. A neighbor of ours died too young (52), but she left behind so many happy memories for her family and friends. The service was sad, but there was also laughter as her son shared a story about traveling with smelly shoes and her husband told of how they met.

There was one awkward moment that made me think. A woman, I don't know the relation, got up and spoke of our friend's faith in Jesus. She challenged those in attendance to examine their own hearts and get into a relationship with God so that they can be with him, and our friend, in heaven. Our friend's daughter, in grief, retorted that her mother didn't believe in an exclusive heaven; that you only have to be good.

I want my sons to know Jesus. I want them to know of my faith so that they are confident of my and their salvation. That just reinforces my desire to share this with them starting while they're still young. I want them to have that assurance, not doubt.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Editor's Choice Award

My FaithWriters challenge piece for "worship" netted a 1st place in Advanced level and a 2nd place in the Editor's Choice awards. It's my first time in either category and I'm really feeling honored.

Sanctuary will be published in one of the quarterly books sold on

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Go Bulls Go! Again!

If God doesn't love the USF Bulls, why is green the liturgical color during football season?

Just kidding. The BCS poll came out today and they're ranked #2 behind Ohio State. Big excitement in our family. Next game - Rutgers.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Go and Make Disciples

Today's sermon was on the text of Matthew 28:16-20 - The Great Commission

We're called to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything [Jesus has commanded us].

Why witness to others? Because we are commanded to do this. Jesus did not wait for his disciples to come to him. He called them. He went among the people to share what God is doing and how God wanted them to live: repent, love and worship God, love your neighbor, act justly and with mercy. We're called to share what God is doing in our own lives - not to get into anyone's face, but to be honest about ourselves.

I find this difficult to do because I don't want to be seen as looking for the setup. I want my witness to others to flow naturally, to be real, and not come across like a sales pitch. People who are honest and real have had the greatest impact on me.

My challenge now is to focus on what God is doing in my life and to tell myself this. Then I will be able to share with others. God has done, is doing, and will do wonderful things. Most certainly God is leading me to focus on following him and not to look back to what happened when our previous pastor left NEPC. God continues to reign even when his people make a mess of things.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

USF Wins! Could crack the top 10

The Bay Area is going nuts today. The USF Bulls gored the West Virginia Mountaineers 21-13. We stayed up to watch the game. Now we're watching Auburn vs. Florida. Hoping that Auburn wins. Who knows where USF could be in the rankings next week? FSU just defeated Alabama. It's been a good football weekend so far.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Go Bulls Go!

USF is playing West Virginia. It's 7-0 Bulls at the end of the 1st quarter. The excitement has been mounting all week. Let's go Bulls!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Silent Night - A Lullaby of Love

My entry for the Writing Challenge won 1st place in the "Intermediate" level. Wow. I'm in good company as there were some excellent entries that week. I'm really humbled.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bless the Children

When I put the boys to bed tonight DW asked for "a blessing." On nights that I remember I place my hand on his head and say, "May God bless you with the ability to hear his voice." I was watching the Jewish Jewels program one day and the mother said that she prayed this over her children at night. What a blessing.

That program made me curious about the blessings that Jewish parents say over their children. On Friday nights fathers (and sometimes mothers) place hands on their sons and say, "May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe." Why Ephraim and Manasseh? The following information is from

I hope that my two sons can live together without rivalry, look to the needs of others, and be committed to serving Christ all their lives in spite of the world. What a blessing that would be!

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. (Psalm 133:1)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Take Up Your Cross

Today's text was Mark 8:27-38 "...If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me..."

The idea is that taking up your cross is voluntary. Our circumstances are not "our cross" if they are things that we have no control over - serious illness, natural disaster. It's our response to life that is our cross. I can choose to focus only on myself and my desires or I can choose to follow Christ no matter what happens.

The cross-bearer chooses the way of love over self-centeredness.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Spiritual Disciplines

Could the week have gone any faster?

I'm trying to take these spiritual disciplines to heart. The last 2 Sunday sermons have challenged me to incorporate these practices into my every day life. It's especially challenging when I have so many other things tugging at me.

Spiritual Disciplines that enable me to "sow to the Spirit" and not to my own flesh (Gal 6:7-10):
  1. Prayer: Ask for guidance; pray for myself and others; pray every day, not just when I feel like it
  2. Meditation: Listen to God's word; rehearse God's deeds; remember his works; put myself in a spot where I hear God's voice
  3. Study: A process more analytical than devotional; challenge and change the way I think
I need to spend more time doing all of these, but I especially love the idea of rehearsing God's deeds. We're called on to remember his mighty acts. Several Psalms outline God's actions saving Israel from slavery. I know that I don't do this enough.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm LinkedIn

A couple of years ago a former colleague directed me to LinkedIn - a networking website. I set up a profile and sent out a couple of invitations.

Then I had a baby.

Now my network is expanding. I've received a handful of invitations recently from former colleagues. I've even sent out a couple of invitations.

This is fun. My biggest hangup is my ego. Everyone else has a title. My title is "mom". I just can't put something desperate like "domestic engineer". That just looks like I'm trying a little too hard. "Mom" is an important job - I just can't get over the fact that it looks a little lame on a business card. Like I said, my biggest hangup is my ego. My boys think I rock!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Northeast Presbyterian Church

Worked a bit on the NEPC website tonight after our power was restored. We're still maintaining the site even though we're going to First United Methodist now.

Good article in the St. Petersburg Times today about the split at NEPC - "Church heals from emotional split". Boy is that an understatement! Really praying that NEPC continues to thrive. Leaving there was a difficult decision, but the right one for our family right now. DW loves going to church with other kids his age. JW is happy in the nursery.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weekly Writing Challenge

A couple of weeks ago I found a website - They have a weekly writing challenge which is a fun way to work on a different writing problem each week. The first challenge was to write on the topic "Bold (emotionally)". I entered and my piece was picked for 3rd place at the beginner level. What fun!

Here it is....

The Longest Walk

John wiped the sweat from his palms as he stepped onto the floor. This was it. His heart thundered in his ears. His mouth – a desert with no taste, no feel, just dust bereft of even a drop of water. He took another step. The crowd behind him grew restless. The buzz of barely suppressed laughter filled his ears, daring him to go further. There wasn't time to hesitate. He had to make a decision. He stepped forward.

Thinking back, it all appeared so effortless. He watched his companions take the floor, graceful in their movements. When the music and noise swelled it created a comfortable bubble from which to observe the proceedings. Then it was his turn. Faces turned toward him; some nodding in mirth; others shaking with pity for what was about to happen. Yet, he was prepared. He realized that he had been preparing all year for just this moment. Every sense was alert, ready to move forward. It was time.

The object of his dreams grew closer with every footfall. Then he stopped, frozen. John couldn't tell if it was the anticipation of the event to come or the fear of the ridicule he would meet if he turned back that mortified him the most. He was in no man's land now. He swallowed the urge to run away.

Halfway there. He couldn't turn back and admit failure. The only way out was forward. Doubt nagged at him, stalling his steps. Rejection would be the realization of his worst nightmare. Yet, the end might be sweeter than he had ever imagined. The journey's end might bring the fulfillment of all his dreams.

He looked up at the clock. Time was running out. He said a prayer. No matter what the outcome, he had faith that God would carry him through. A smile lifted the corners of his lips. His steps became lighter. Courage filled his heart as he closed in on destiny. The music faded and he heard his friends behind him, willing him on as the last song began. At the last dance of his Senior year in high school, John Palmer took a final bold step and held out his hand to the woman who would one day be his bride.

-”May I have this dance?”

-”I thought you'd never ask.”

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

So where does the time go?

We were laughing last night about the large gaps in time between the last few blog entries. A year does seem a bit excessive, but there are many reasons why it just didn't seem as important to blog as to attend to the tasks at hand.

So where did the time go?
  • Graduate school
  • Diaper changes
  • Cooking and feeding
  • Cleaning up afterward
  • More diaper changes
  • Going to the grocery store
  • Going to storytime and the park as often as we can
  • More diapers
  • Laundry
  • Giving birth
  • Sleeping when I can
  • Going out to buy more diapers
  • Other duties "as assigned"
Blogging was the last thing on my mind.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My blog is back

OK. It has been awhile since I did any blogging. I started blogging with the best of intentions and 2 children happened along the way.

#1 son is almost 3 and #2 son is just over 7 months.

Now that my Master's program is finished and my children are sleeping (better) it's time to start back to blogging.