Governing without God

I read this quote by George Washington recently and loved it.

It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

PB Grahams

I am, for whatever reason, craving comfort foods today.  Before I ate lunch, I had a hankering for Happy Joe’s pizza (from my hometown parlor).  After lunch, I was craving cupcakes with homemade brown sugar frosting, a staple in my grandparents’ home.  I settled for another, less common treat that we got at their house, peanut butter between two graham cracker halves.  The only problem was that I didn’t have any chunky peanut butter on hand.  Still, it instantly brought back floods of memories.  Taste memories are almost as strong as olfactory memories for me; here are some favorite foods associated with favorite places:

Grandma Ruby’s Kitchen:

  • Hamburger patties and fried potato patties
  • Soggy pancakes with butter and white sugar, grilled cheese made with homemade bread (Yes, these two things actually comprised a meal.  We ate it every Saturday night when we were there.)
  • Wieners (It wasn’t until I was in college that it didn’t mortify me that she called them this), beans and chips

Grandma Barb’s Kitchen:

  • Italian Spaghetti (what made it more Italian than other varieties we ate, I will never know, but it was always served with buttery garlic bread)
  • Wheatie Bars (basically Wheaties cereal covered in chocolate…that whole side of the family loves them)
  • Homemade caramels (Grandma’s have a certain taste to them)

Mom’s Kitchen:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Homemade caramel rolls
  • Chicken covered with cream of something soup, cheese slices and croutons (She hasn’t made this in years, but we had it very often, especially whenever we had company.)

Bible Camp:

  • Isabel’s buns (Oh. my. goodness….I could eat a half dozen.)
  • Pudding from a can (This isn’t a pleasant memory, but a memory nonetheless.)

There are many others, I’m sure.  What taste memories do you have, and who or what do they remind you of?

      A Walk in the Park

      Tonight Anja and I took a little jaunt to the park.  While it was a fun outing for her, it was an education for me.  Here’s what I learned:

      1. Playground equipment isn’t just for climbing on and playing games.  It is a smoke screen where 14-yr-old girls go to make out with even younger boys.
      2. In the game of tag, what used to be called “babysitting” is now called “puppy-footing.”  At least by the seven- to nine-year-old set.
      3. Seven- to nine-year-olds cuss.  A LOT.  They even make up songs comprised primarily of cuss words.
      4. Kids still spend more time during tag discussing the rules than actually playing the game.  Thank goodness for some consistency.


      Another sweet note regarding Anja’s day from our daycare provider that I want to preserve:

      Anja colored with colored pencils today.  I noticed she is using her left hand a lot lately (her fork and pencils today).
      One of the kids was hitting another and before I could say anything Anja said, “No hit friends!”  The kids stopped and started to play together nicely . I told Anja “good job.”  She just looked at me and went off to play—like no big deal.

      Playing that scenario out in my mind has made me laugh several times.

      Perhaps I should not work out more often…

      Sunday I didn’t have time, Monday and Tuesday I wasn’t feeling well, and the result?  I lost 3 pounds.  I didn’t even try.  Ugh, how frustrating.

      The rest of this will be a mish-mosh of negativity (indicative of my brain right now), so feel free to ignore it if you so choose.


      Monday night, while feeling dreadfully ill, I went to Let’s Dish.  A very friendly person gave me a too-long orientation in the non-air-conditioned space.  Then I went about dishing my eight meals, which took me about another hour and fifteen minutes.  I left feeling like death baked in an oven.  Husband kindly put the meals in the freezer and chose two to keep in the fridge for preparation this week.  We started last night with Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken.  It tasted fine, but nothing special, and certainly not better than the stir-fries I make on my own.  Also, we found large chunks of cartilage (like whole shoulder sockets) in several of the chicken tenders.  That is very gag-worthy to me.  I’m pretty picky about my meat, when I do eat it. (My mom is nodding her head right now.)

      So, in my efforts to save myself time and some sanity this next month, have I sacrificed the quality of my family’s meals?


      I watched the Dancing with the Stars finale last night, and Gilles didn’t win, even though he was the best dancer.


      I got an email back with a “signed” addendum to a wedding contract from a client this week.  Her “signature” was her name, typed into the spot indicated “signature.”  I wrote her back letting her know that this wouldn’t suffice, and could she please mail two hard copies with signatures?  So what came in the mail today?  Two hard copies, printed from the typed version.  Still no actual signature.  I could maybe excuse this if she was a dewy-skinned, 21-yr-old bride-to-be who had never seen the likes of a contract before in her life.  But she is, at my guess, at least in her 50s, and has to, has to, know that that’s not a legal document, right?

      Since the wedding is this week, I will be bringing the addendum with me to the event for actual signature.  Sigh…


      Wedding season starts in full force this week for me, so you may not see me ’round these parts much.  Which, after today’s post (if you can call it that), is probably not a bad thing!  🙂

      Sunday Sunshine 05.17.09

      Oh, will this site make your jeans shopping easier!  I used it to find my best fitting pairs on Friday, then took the list with me Saturday jeans shopping.  It was the best experience I’ve had trying on jeans in a long time.

      I spent some time on Cake Wrecks the other night, and this one nearly made me pee my pants.  And this one is just FREAKY.

      Lastly, I was privileged to walk with a small group member of mine in a Walk for Life yesterday.  The proceeds of our team (and of all the other teams walking) went to support a local crisis pregnancy center.  God sure made us earn those pledges, by golly!  It was 38 degrees out!  I wore 3 shirts, a fleece jacket and a stocking hat!  There were two ladies who spoke before we walked; they both had come to this CPC looking for help, and both of them had their sons with them at the walk!  One was a teenager, the other was a toddler.  It was awesome to meet children who would have been aborted but were saved through this ministry.

      We still have a few days to collect donations since we did our fund-raising online.  I don’t want to post a link to them directly on my blog, but if you are interested in donating, please send me an email and I’ll be happy to direct you to my fund-raising site.  My team’s goal is $1000, and we still have a ways to go to meet that!

      How to Make the Most of Garage Sales

      This morning Anja and I went on a hunt for some pajamas and daycare-friendly clothes for her.  In case my process is helpful to anyone else, I thought I would post it here.

      1. I look up sales online and find those that list the items I’m looking for.  The local newspaper’s website and Craigslist are my favorites.  I try to fit it on one page and then print it.
      2. I highlight or circle the items I’m interested in at each sale so that I don’t get distracted and make impulse buys.
      3. I pick my top 5-10 sales that are fairly near my house and map them out on Google.  Because, honestly, after an hour two, I’m sick of it.  If you have more stamina, feel free to pick more sales!
      4. On the left side of the screen, when I’ve mapped multiple locations using Google, I move the locations up and down in the list until they form the most efficient route (no back-tracking).  Then I print a large map showing the overall route and the list of directions.
      5. I write A, B, C, etc. next to each sale on the list I printed in #1, which helps me quickly figure out when I’m driving which is the next sale I’m headed to.
      6. I don’t hold myself too strictly to the list.  For instance, this morning, one of the sales was a farther drive than the others, and I had already found some of the things for which I was shopping, so I cut it out to save myself time and sanity.

      This method takes me 20-30 minutes in prep time, but it saves me so much time on the road and keeps me from stopping at random sales (where I almost never find anything).  Not that you can’t stop at random sales if that’s your thing!  But when I go rummaging, I’m all about efficiency and finding what I need.

      While we didn’t find any actual pajamas today, we found a lot of mix-and-match knits that will work great for summer sleeping.  Plus, those same clothes can be worn at daycare the day and a half she’s there.

      Last week I was in the mall, and looked at J.C. Penney and Kohl’s for pajamas.  Even on clearance, most of them were $10 or over.  Today, here’s my loot:

      Clothes 051509

      I got 6 pairs of pants, 9 tops, 2 books and a pair of like new shoes for $11 total.  An hour well-spent!

        My Mommy Heart Glows a Little

        when I hear and see things from my sweet girl like I have the past couple of days (other than her dropping the f-bomb on Sunday night).


        Every time she’s at daycare, she comes home with a little sheet filled out regarding her day: when she slept, when and what she ate, and a set of notes about her activities.  I always read these notes with interest, but then I recycle them with little thought.  However, I have to record an excerpt from Monday’s note for posterity.  “Anja is very good (amazingly good) at taking turns with her friends.”

        Husband and I have worked so hard on teaching her to share; having some validation that it’s working is like a waft of lilac-scented breeze to my soul.  Thank you, Lord, that all the moments of frustration and discipline lead to obedience.  And may she someday do it to Your glory rather than ours!


        Second, I have again noticed a leap in the sophistication of her play.  She has long been feeding her babies, putting them down for naps, and taking them for walks in the stroller.

        But today, she dug a baby out of her toy bin and asked me to tie a ribbon in her hair.  Then she took her to her room and said, “Change diaper!  Change diaper!”  I just followed and observed.  She nudged the doll until she got her up on the changing pad, and then said, “Put on clothes.  Put on clothes.”  She grabbed a dress and a pair of jeans out of her own dirty laundry pile and stretched and reached until she got those securely up on top of the changing pad, too.  Promptly changing her mind, she took the clothes down and said, “Put on jammies,” and got her own pajamas out and flung them onto the table.  She couldn’t reach the doll to get her back down, so I had to step in and help, but I could’ve just sat and watched all afternoon.

        The nurturing streak God has put in her amazes me.  I hope that if she becomes a mother someday, I will be there to observe and marvel at it.

        Puzzle 050109