Sunday, May 24, 2009
I just wanted to stop in and explain to you all why it is that I'm not here...this time. :)
As you recall, I mentioned that I do have some kidney stones, and the doctor told me that he would remove them when they started causing problems. Well, they are now causing problems....sigh. I'll be calling the doctor this week to try to set up the surgery, and of course, I'll update you all when that happens, but in the meantime, when I'm not feeling too sick to get out of bed, I have lots of things to do around here. When I'm sick, things get out of control, so when I'm feeling better, I have to spend my time catching up! When I'm stone-free and have reclaimed my house, and my kids' schoolwork, I'll be back.
In the meantime...I did manage to make a couple of cakes that were already scheduled before the sickness started.
This one was for a First Communion...duh!
And this one was for a high school graduation. It was supposed to represent all the things that he really enjoys...reading Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, writing with an old fashioned pen and ink, and on the paper is a favorite Tolkien quote. The ink and pen are chocolate, and the books are chocolate cake and fondant. The paper is rice paper...so the entire thing was edible. This was one of the most fun cakes I've gotten to do so far.
Okay, that's it for now. I'll be in and out with updates over the next few weeks, and then hopefully I'll be all better and back to my normal bloggy self! :)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Nothing But Trouble!
PJ Sugar - Trouble Collection
PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:
After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that’s become her life, she needs a fresh start.
The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister’s wedding is Boone—her former flame and the reason she left town.
Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg, Minnesota, has seen in more than a decade.
What PJ doesn’t know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she’ll uncover much more than she bargained for—a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she’s been longing for.
This is just the first in a series of books about PJ Sugar, and I absolutely can't wait for the next installment to hit the shelves! Here's what Susan had to say about creating the title character of her new romantic comedy/suspense series.
Can you relate? I know I can!
Behind the Pages
Sometimes, do you feel like you just don’t fit in? You look around you and if anyone knew how difficult it was just to put yourself together, to smile when you feel completely overwhelmed, to even figure out what you were making for supper, they’d know what a mess you were. Maybe you totally relate to those words in 1 Peter – God’s elect, strangers and aliens in the world. Do you feel like when you look in the rear view mirror, all you see are your mistakes?
Maybe not. But if so, then PJ is your gal. I wanted to write a story about the person in so many of us who just wants to get it right…but can’t seem to stay out of trouble. My friend and I have what we call the “stupid mouth” club…and we report our weekly foibles
(usually on Monday, after Sunday church!). PJ is our charter member. She’s the girl that changes her mind, always hopes for the best, is always discovering that she is just a little different than everyone else. PJ is us.
And that’s good news. Because God loves PJ. He loves her messiness, and her impulsiveness, her heart bent toward others, the hope that fuels her actions. And He has a plan for PJ – one that includes her weaknesses as well as her strengths.
Yep, I need to hear that – need to hear that I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me, use me, sing over me. Need to hear that although I don’t fit in, well, I’m not supposed to…in fact, I’m supposed to be a little…alien.
So, to all the PJs out there – and anyone who knows a PJ -- this book is for you. Thank you for reading PJ’s adventures – I hope you come back for her continuing craziness with Boone, and Jeremy and her PI dreams, in the next book: Double Trouble. And meanwhile, may you live with joy on the outside the unique and delightful person God has created on the inside.
In His Grace,
Susan May Warren
And Susan has a really fun contest going on in connection with the release of this book as well. If you find her book in a store, take a photo of yourself with the book, and send the photo to her, you can win an advance copy of a new novella that is coming out this fall called The Great Christmas Bowl as well as a Sugar Personal Spa Basket! For all the details on the contest, go here.
And to see what others are saying about the book, you can see a list of all the blogs on the blog tour here. Some of them are even hosting contests and giveaways of their own, so go and check them out!
Friday, May 15, 2009
The party will continue all month with a blog tour and chances to win copies of Nothing But Trouble from the blog tourists! View the Schedule here.
I'll be posting my own review of this book tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure you all got a chance to get in on the fun today!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Deut. 30:1 (The Message)
So, I mentioned yesterday that there was a "Part Two" to this post. And aren't you excited to hear that it gets better? Yea!
You may or may not know that I drive a Chevy Astro van, and I love my van. When we got the van, I told my husband that I wanted him to take very good care of it because I never wanted to get another car. It was perfect! I still love that van, but...
Ever since we added that 4th child, it's been not quite big enough for our family. While there is plenty of seating (with dividers between each child, praise the Lord), and while the back cargo area is about twice that of most minivans, it is just not quite big enough for all of us AND all of our stuff. This became more and more apparent when the boys started riding motorcycles and traveling to competitions. There was just never enough room for coolers, and backpacks, and all the other stuff a family needs to take on a trip like that...even just a day trip...without stuffing things beneath people's feet, and holding things in laps.
We ended up having to take two cars to each event, and that just didn't seem to be the best solution considering gas prices, limited parking, etc. So, it became apparent to me that although I still LOVE my van, we were going to have to make the move to a Suburban.
Here is my problem...I don't really like Suburbans. There has only been one Suburban that I ever really liked, and it was a 1960-something model that a friend of mine drove in high school! A bunch of us band-geeks would pile in that thing and have the most fun together. I LOVED it. I loved the all metal dashboard, and the no-frills interior. It was just cool, and I told myself way back then that one day, I'd like to have one just like it!
Fast forward a bit, and here I am explaining to my husband that I realize that a Suburban makes sense, but I still love my Astro, and the only Suburbans I really like are the 1960-something models...and good luck with that, dear!
Lo and Behold, two months ago, my husband was mentioning my love for the classic Suburbans to a friend...who just happened to know of one that was for sale. :) Now keep in mind that I wanted the old body-style...NOT the old engine, etc! The Suburban in question just happened to be a 1969 model with a brand new, fuel-injected, computer-controlled, GM 350 short-block crate motor in it....uh-huh. It also had a stereo w/CD player in the dash, and was all prepped and ready for an A/C unit to be installed. The body was in good condition with only minor details that could be improved upon as time/money allowed. In short, it was PERFECT! My only complaint was that it had been lowered, and although every "car guy" I meet says it's tough that way, I prefer Suburbans to be up where they belong! :)
Oh yeah, and the guy selling it was selling it for about half of it's value...uh-huh.
We went through a few trials and tribulations over the thing, but we both said from the first time we saw it, that if God wanted us to have it...then He would work it out.
And looky what sits in my driveway now...
God is good! And His Word is true! And I didn't even have to give up my Astro! I got both, and can use whichever one fits my need best at the time... :) He goes above and beyond, doesn't He?
"...God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he'll have compassion on you"
Deut. 30:1 (The Message)
Can I get an Amen from the choir? :)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I actually have the second part of my previous post still to write... but not today. Check back with me tomorrow. In the meantime, watch the video again! And if the player is not working for you for some reason, try copying and pasting this link.
I TOTALLY stole this from Shalee's Diner by the way. :)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Since today is Mother's Day, I've let all responsibilities go out the window, and I've spent the day doing whatever I have wanted to do: church this morning, take out from KFC for lunch, catching up on my DVR recordings, reading my email and cleaning out my inbox, and catching up with some of my favorite blogs! And now, I plan to take a break from reading blogs to actually WRITE SOMETHING on my OWN blog!
This story actually started several years ago...
When I met my husband, he spent his weekends racing his Honda CRX in local Autocross races. During one of these races, he spun out and did something to his clutch which made the car not very competitive for future races. Since he'd just met me, and we'd just started dating, the racing kind of went by the wayside as we were spending every free moment getting to know each other better, and the CRX went back to being just a regular car that took him to and from work, took me out on dates, and drove us away from the church after our wedding. :)
My husband held on to that car long after it stopped running. I think it was always in the back of his mind to get it running again and for us to be able to use it to go out on dates just for fun. Our 2nd born son had also claimed that he wanted to fix it up and let it be his car someday. But time and money didn't allow for any of these scenarios, so the car sat....
A few years ago, we got a notice that we could not have a "junk car" in our driveway, and we were given a date to appear in court to address the situation. Ben went to the court with pictures of the car to show that it wasn't a broken down "junk" car, and to explain that it wasn't registered because it wasn't being used. The judge agreed that it was not a junk car, and it didn't need to be registered if it wasn't being driven on the street, but apparently the law states that an unregistered vehicle cannot be visible from the street, so it needed to be put in the garage. She then gave him three days to make room in the garage and get the car moved into it. Her final ruling stated that the car needed to be moved by that date, or the car would be "towed and abated".
Now, right about the time that all this was going on, we discovered that we were quite unexpectedly expecting another baby! During those 3 days, I miscarried that baby, and consequently, moving the car out of the driveway became the least of our worries. The day, I had to have my D&C, a policeman came to the house with a tow truck driver to take the car away. He felt really bad about the situation, and gave me the information of where they were towing the car, so Ben could get it back when he got home from work.
Ben came home, went to the towing place, paid the fee, and they towed the car back to our house...where it was promptly put in the garage.
There it stayed until a couple of months ago when our growing collection of motorcycles forced it back out to the driveway. We had decided to go ahead and sell it despite it's sentimental value. So, we got a "For Sale" sign and put it out on the driveway. About a week or so later, a policeman came by to let us know that it would have to be moved, but we had 30 days to sell it, or move it back into the garage...
Two weeks later, another policeman came by to inquire as to where we got that car since his records showed that the car was supposed to have been destroyed....
Um, I'm sorry, WHAT????
Apparently, when the first policeman had filed his paperwork to start the 30 day process, that whole "towed and abated" thing popped up. Did you know that abated means crushed??? Yeah, neither did we. I asked the officer exactly what type of a crime a car could possibly commit to warrant the death penalty? He told me he didn't really understand it himself, but apparently when it was towed, it was supposed to be crushed and we weren't supposed to be able to get it back!
Are you kidding me???
Seriously. Mr. Policeman was very nice and tried to help us out since he couldn't figure out why it was to be destroyed either. (I'm thinking the judge didn't know what abated meant any more than we did, and was just trying to sound official!)
Through a series of phone calls and visits to the courthouse, we were eventually told that the current judge would have to rescind the original order for abatement, or they were going to have to take the car and crush it. After several MORE phone calls and visits to the courthouse, we were finally told that the current judge couldn't overrule the previous judge's decision.
Again, are you kidding me???
I made the point that even murderers had the right to appeal their convictions...it fell on deaf ears.
Deeply saddened, we stood by and watched as Mr. Policeman and his tow truck driver took away a piece of our past. While we had already resigned ourselves that we were going to have to part with it, this was not what we had in mind.
I personally think the whole thing was terribly unfair, and if my daughter is ever in the running for Miss America and is asked what she would most like to change in the world, I hope her answer will be that she will call for the rights of cars that have been unjustly sentenced to the death penalty to have the right to appeal to a higher, more understanding court! Because the cars can obviously not speak for themselves...and they need a voice in this unjust court system of ours!
And just for the record, we did look up the definition of the word abate:
a⋅batea⋅bat⋅ed, a⋅bat⋅ing.–verb (used with object)
1. to reduce in amount, degree, intensity, etc.; lessen; diminish: .
a. to put an end to or suppress (a nuisance).
b. to suspend or extinguish (an action).
c. to annul (a writ).
3. to deduct or subtract: to abate part of the cost.
4. to omit: to abate all mention of names.
5. to remove, as in stone carving, or hammer down, as in metalwork, (a portion of a surface) in order to produce a figure or pattern in low relief.
–verb (used without object)
6. to diminish in intensity, violence, amount, etc.: The storm has abated. The pain in his shoulder finally abated.
7. Law. to end; become null and void.
Still don't see how that means We are going to crush your car....hhmmmmph!!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Today is "Snapshot Sunday", so I thought I post some pics really quickly of some of the things we've been doing over the past few weeks. :)
These are close up shots of baseball themed cookies I made for a couple of cookie bouquets...
This is the large bouquet...
And this is the small one.
This was a cake for a guy at my husband's office who has been working there for 10 years. (He works in the service department...hence, the toolbox!)
And this is the back of the toolbox...had to show you the hinges! :)
This is a picture of the kids being silly just before they went out to hunt Easter Eggs at Grandma and Grandpa's house. (I love kids who don't mind being silly!)
This is David "mountain climbing" at a friend's house. He did it so many times, he could eventually do it without his sister pulling him up at the end, or his brother giving him that initial boost!
This is Jon going up that same hill on his motorcycle...(he has since gotten a REAL trial's bike, and this one is now mine. I just have to learn how to ride it!)
This is Benji on the trial's bike that he got for Christmas this year. He took 2nd place that day. :)
This is Dave being cute! :)
Okay, I guess that's it for now. I must get back to folding laundry while I catch up on my DVR!
Happy Sunday Everyone!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
In my research with regard to my kidney disease, I read that chronic kidney disease causes memory/concentration issues in the brain. REALLY good to know since yesterday, I had some issues in that department.
You know how sometimes you will be looking for your eyeglasses only to eventually discover that they are on the top of your head? Even if it's never happened to you personally, we've all seen it on sitcoms, right?
Well yesterday, I was walking out of Target and I reached up to get my glasses off of my head, and they weren't there. I panicked for just a moment, and checked again. Can you guess where this is going?
I realized after just a minute or two of this panic, that I was wearing my glasses...
ON MY EYES!!!
Yep. No joke.
Now in my defense, it is an old habit of mine to put my sunglasses on top of my head when I go into a store, and put them back on when I walk out. Problem is...these were my regular glasses. And I've been wearing them for well over a year now...which means that I haven't worn my glasses on top of my head for over a year now...geesh!
Personally, I blame it on the kidney disease....and I'd like to chalk junior high up to this disease as well. Just for the record. :)