Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Six Month Cancer Check-Up

For new readers or readers who have forgotten the details
of my thyroid cancer journey,
(that's OK, it's been over 7 years,
my own family has a hard time keeping track of the details)
I'll give a brief history.

(according to Wikipedia, this is what papillary thyroid cancer looks like)
Living with cancer isn't quiet as pretty.

June 2005 thyroid and lymph nodes removed
August 2005 Radio-active iodine treatment
April 2009 surgery to remove two more tumors
May 2009 three tumors grew back,
RAI and surgery no longer an option,
increased thyroid medication to fight cancer.

I've been HYPERthyroid for awhile.
Doctors often use the line,
"Thyroid cancer is the BEST cancer to have."
Some days I don't believe it.
However, after losing three friends to cancer in the past year,
I started to believe it.
The faith is seasoned with Survivor's Guilt,
but I now believe it.

I've been told I will never be cured,
that I won't die from my cancer,
I will die with it.
Which means, apart from a miracle,
my sure cure will be death.

It makes me so thankful I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!
For those of you who also suffer in your earthly tent
you may be longing, like me, for that new body.
You may be longing to claim that
 promise of no more sorrow and no more pain
and to have those final tears wiped away with nail-scarred Hands.

But, today, my tears are of thankfulness and joy.
My six month lab work shows,
for the second time in a row,
no thyroid antibodies in my blood.
When cancer is active,
your body naturally produces antibodies to fight it.
My three tumors haven't grown, according to the previous sonogram,
so things are being held at bay.

Through seven years of cancer, He's never failed me.

I have failed to believe Him,
but He hasn't failed me.

He is faithful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Light the Fire!

It's that time of the year when the house is getting nippy,
the kids are fussing about being cold,
I'm nagging them to put on sweaters,
and we all love to crank the heat
or light a fire in the fireplace.

There's nothing like sitting in front of a crackling fire,
sipping a cup of hot coffee
and reading a good book.

In our case, usually a school book.


It was a Presto log,
so kinda' a tiny, lame fire,
but was the first fire of the season,
so had to be commemorated with a picture.
We snuggled in front of the meager flame,
enjoying the sound, sight and smell of fire.

When I add logs, huffing and puffing to get the embers to ignite,
I'm reminded of this spiritual admonition:

2 Timothy 1:6
For this reason I remind you to
fan into flame
the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

I'm also reminded of this song,
a favorite for older campers at Story Book Lodge Christian Camp.
(this isn't our camp, just a youtube video)

Listening to 100+ teenagers sing out with passion for Jesus
every summer does fan my faith into fire.

Reading God's Word is another way to turn smoldering
embers into useful, warming flames.

Cold house?
Cold heart?

The answer is the same.

Light the fire!

What are ways you use to light the fire of faith in your life?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving is Never Really Over

Thanksgiving is never really over.
I don't mean because of the pounds of dry turkey
you'll be eating for months and months and months.

Turkey soup,
turkey sandwiches,
turkey and rice,
turkey cheddar broccoli casserole,
turkey and cranberry casserole
are ways we try to get rid of the poultry.
We should never try to get rid of the
spirit of Thanksgiving
we've been feasting on for the past week.

We've discussed it's the Lord's will that
Give Thanks.

Easy to say,
hard to do.
The spirit is willing,
but the flesh is weak.

(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)

As parents, we understand
thank you.
More than a bajillion times in our parenting history
we'll remind, instruct and downright nag our kids to use these
two very lovely words.
They're two words that mean so much.

But giving thanks is more than just vocalizing the right words,
it's to be grateful or to feel thankful.
It's an act that emcompasses body, soul and spirit.
It isn't true thanksgiving without this trinity of our humanity.

When someone has given us a gift that we 
couldn't afford,
didn't expect,
don't deserve and
couldn't provide for ourselves,
we feel indebted to them.

In fact, sometimes our words seem lame,
compared to the gratitude welling up within our hearts,
but we say them anyway,
hoping, in our weakness, to convey the depths of our thanksgiving. 

The Lord has given us a great gift that we
couldn't afford,
didn't expect,
don't deserve and
couldn't provide for ourselves.
It's right that we feel indebted to Him.
It's right that we go through life
thankful for our beautiful Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.

Long after you've eaten the last turkey leftovers,
may you still be consumed with thanksgiving,
because Christians understand thanksgiving isn't a holiday,
it's the Lord's will for our lives.

'Cuz, ya' know,
thanksgiving is never really over.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful to the LORD~

1 Chronicles 16:34
O give thanks unto the LORD;
for He is good;
for His mercy endureth for ever.

Psalms 97:12
Rejoice in the LORD,
ye righteous;
and give thanks
 at the remembrance of His holiness.

Thankful for YOU~

1 Thessalonians 1:2
We give thanks to God always for you
all, making mention of you in our prayers;

May my dear friends, family members
and followers continue to enjoy
the holiday weekend.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Really, Lord? Thankful in EVERYTHING?

First, we learned being thankful is the Lord's will.

Then, we learned that we are to give thanks

(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)

The second word of the verse can be just as challenging as the first.

See, we're two words into the verse, and we're under serious conviction.



We might doubt the wisdom and expected execution
of our dear Heavenly Father.
Really?  Everything?

Christmas is coming up.
If you're like me, you'll make sure there are several gifts
for each family member under the tree.
Do you expect your children to thank you for every gift?
Even the socks?
Even the underwear?
Even the chia pet from the auntie?
Give thanks for every gift?

If we can expect this of our children,
our Heavenly Father can expect this of us.

Wait a minute, I hear you protesting,
trials aren't the same as gifts!
That's not a fair comparison!

It isn't?
We only think of these situations as trials
because we can't see the Lord's big picture.

We got a flat tire once.
Friday rush hour traffic on I-5.
It was raining.
Bumper to bumper traffic trying to escape Seattle.
We could have complained
and fussed and moaned.
We thanked the Lord and changed the tire.
We missed a 10+ car pile-up.

I know you what know what everything means,
but let's just spell it out anyway.

the whole
all things

It's easy to give thanks to the Lord when we  buy a new house,
have a new baby, get our income tax refund back,
make a new friend, get a front row parking place,
enjoy a family vacation.

These good things from the Lord should cause our hearts
to overflow with thanksgiving.
He is the giver of all good gifts.

But, giving thanks in everything has to include cancer.
It has to include losing friends to cancer.
It has to include moving.
It has to include accidents.
It has to include trials.
It has to, because it's the Lord's will.

And if it's the Lord's will,
then it's the right thing to do.

We give thanks in everything
because we don't know every part of God's plan.
We don't know every person He's trying to touch through our situation.
We don't know every blessing the Lord wants to give us.

We can't pick and choose when we want to trust the Lord.
We either trust Him or we don't.
To trust Him it means giving thanks in
because nothing is out of His care or His plan. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give Thanks IN...

Being thankful is not just a suggestion...
not just a holy hint...
not just a good idea for a good life.

Yesterday we learned it's God's will that we're thankful.

(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)

The Lord even gives us a few guidelines for abiding in His will.

Today we're going to talk about one simple word.
Just one.
One eensy, weensy, little word that should cause us all
to quake in our boots.


The verse begins by telling us when to be thankful.

A simple two letter preposition gives serious time parameters.

It means being thankful
"in the midst, in the middle, in that time."

OK, you're waiting for a great revelation
because you know what in means.

Let's talk about what it doesn't mean.

It doesn't mean being thankful underneath the trial,
hiding out from the circumstances in quaking disbelief and fear.

It doesn't mean being thankful beside a situation,
sidestepping spiritual responsibility and the work of the Potter's Hands.

It doesn't mean being thankful after a situation,
when you've seen the outcome and understand God's purpose.

It means being thankful right
before you know the outcome, the purpose or the fruit.

when the flames are the hottest,
the loneliness is the deepest,
the pain is the greatest,
the tears are the saltiest.

That's when we're to give thanks.

Do you believe that whatever you are
of God is there?
Do you believe it's His plan for you to be there?

There is a simple way I can test my heart
in the midst of a trial or hardship.
Can I lift my head and heart to the Heavens
and honestly thank the Lord?

Right when I'm

Feel like crafting to show your thankful heart?
There's still a few days left to Thanksgiving.

Summit Street Joy is offering this free printable.

Isn't it perfect?
If you use this, please stop by Lauren's blog
and thank her, since we're talking about being thankful.
 I know you'll appreciate her creativity.

 Myra at My Blessed Life
is highlighting many beautiful, free printables for Thanksgiving.

Myra also has a wonderful list of fall projects and decorating.
Stop by for some last minute inspiration.

Just remember to

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's God's Will?

(Stone from Dutch Mill, Inc.)

It's easy to sail amiss in our Christian lives,
 like ships without rudders,
trying to find the center of God's perfect will for our lives.

We pray, seek counsel, pray, seek more counsel,
but sometimes an evident answer from Heaven isn't heard.

It's never that God isn't listening,
I think we're looking for the wrong thing.

In the Scriptures, God's will is not a carefully architected
blueprint of where we'll go to school,
where we'll live, which car we'll buy or who we'll marry.

Before you think I've gone all apostate on you,
think about this.
Look up some verses.

God's will in the Scriptures is His moral and spiritual will for your life.
It's how he wants you to walk the path of life,
 not merely the actually stones in the path.

So, I'm saying God doesn't care about those things?
No, I'm not saying that.
He guides and directs and longs to be the center
of all these decisions.

But, blessing doesn't come from choosing the right college,
although the Lord may bless you at the college you choose.
Blessing comes from obedience.

Joy doesn't come from having the right job,
although there could be joy in your job.
Joy comes from our salvation.

Thanksgiving is not a one day holiday,
nor is it only a nicety of the Christian life.
It's an absolute, expected way of living,
the act of a heart grateful to a holy and mighty God.

It's God's will.

It's that mysterious plan for your life you've been seeking.

If you're seeking answers for decisions in your life,
look at how you're defining God's will.
Once you start living according to God's will,
you might have more answers and guidance from Heaven.

This week we'll be looking more at
giving thanks
because we all want to be in
God's will.

How do I know?
The rest of the verse inscribed on the stone above is

for this is the will of God
 in Christ Jesus for you.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sometimes I have projects that are
for so long they begin to be

This bag of pinecones has been around for a few years.
I'm surprised they didn't grow into trees down in my craft area.

I just  couldn't throw them away.

Wouldn't be frugal.

Yea, I know I could just pick more.
But, I'd never have time to pick more.
These were ready and waiting....
...for years....

They annoyed me because everytime I walked by them,
I would try to talk myself into throwing them out
or finishing the craft.

I usually don't listen to myself very well. 

This partially used candle had also been in my craft room
for years...
...longer than the pinecones.

I'm pretty sure it immigrated with me from Minnesota.
I'm pretty sure it moved  with me three times.

It just smelled so good, I didn't mind it hanging around
chillin' in the peace of my good intentions.

I had to turn intention into action.

This is my wax kettle.
It's only used for wax projects so I don't have to really,
really, really clean it before I use it again.
I just wipe it out with a paper towel.

I'm lazy like that.

Red Neck Double Boiler.
It works.

It can go from
"melted wax useful for crafts"
"I just burned the house down"
in minutes.

So many of my craft items are so vintage,

I'm not sure if I wanna use them.

This glitter looks like real gold.

I probably could melt them down and make my own fillings.

The idear was simple.
Dip the pinecones in the wax.

I assumed they'd be very smelly and very lavendar like the candle.
The wax lost some of the color and the smell in melting.
I also assumed this would be pretty easy.
I should have read some blogs first.
I couldn't get the wax spread evenly,
but I was satisfied.

If you dip too many times, you end up melting the wax OFF.

They needed to be dunked about four times.

On the final dunk, I spread glitter.

Remember?  All that glitters isn't gourds?

I ended up using some pink glitter, too.
It added more color.

Now that I'm thinking about it,
I'm wondering if I did it all wrong.
Ever dip candles? 
They don't let it completely dry between coats,
like I did.
They just dip and dip and dip.

Any opinions?
Any experience out there?

These will be displayed in the ladies restroom at our church
in white pedestal bowls. 

We needed an air freshener that didn't need to be refilled or lit.

To enhance the smell,
 a chunk of the candle was cut off for each of the bowls.
It will be hidden underneath the pinecones,
for nobody to know,
but everyone to smell.

The worst part about this project?
There's still some candle left.
There's still some pinecones left.
I still can't throw out either one.
They went back in the craft room,
to chill in the peace of my good intentions.

I know I'll think of another project....

...some day.

At least, that's my intention.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Take a Hint Mint!

A Myntz mint, that is.
I have a new favorite mint.

See the cool tin?
They're better than Altoids tins because the lid is flat.
No embossing that's nice to look at, but hard to cover up.

Delicious mints and useable tins,
what more could a frugal momma want?

A set of die cuts for my Cuttlebug fits perfectly in one tin.
It's not that I'm green and wanting to keep the landfills empty,
 remember, I'm frugal.

Also remember, I come from a long line of frugal women?

Ya' get whatcha' pay for.
The cheap $1 spray paint I used to use will never hold up
to this discovery. 

One coat of Rust'Oleum 2X is my new favorite spray paint.
  As long as I don't miss a spot.
Love this stuff.

The beautiful tin on my Gramma's red and chrome kitchen table.
I love crafting on the table where I know she spent hours
sitting, drinking coffee, visiting and rolling out sugar cookies.

This is the Cuttlebug.  It cuts and embosses.
She's da' boss!

So, ya' know those die cuts I needed to store?
What a better way to store them, but in a box
decorated with papers cut from the die cuts within.

Didja' understand that?

Papers were cut and Mod Podge applied.

Four sets of die cuts in four adorable boxes.

I was so pleased with them I wanted to  display the boxes
instead of putting them away in the Cuttlebug container.

The flowers would also look cute on stationary.

Maybe I should make another one to keep my mints in?

Wouldn't this be a cute little box for some
stationary and tiny pencils?

I originally bought the button die cut to make pre-school
manipulatives for my granddaughter, Brookelyn,
who is crazy about her Lalaloopsy doll with button eyes.

But, these would be wonderful sewing kits,
doncha' think?

A thin magnet glued on the inside would keep
needles and pins in place.

Magnets on the back would make these tins
stick to a fridge or a locker.

The look of the vintagey black tins
 fill me with such anticipation and promise.

I'm dreaming about other uses for them.

Take a hint.  You need a Myntz mint.

Then tell me how you'd use that adorable tin.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All That Glitters Isn't Gourd

At the end of October,
my daughter and I ran to the Farmers' Market

I didn't have the mental capacity
to climb into the attic for things
I'd just have to put back up there.

Maybe I'm still recovering from last Thanksgiving,
when I decorated the whole house.

If you wanna follow the rabbit trail of
sewing, crafting, praying and decorating,
start by reading this blog.

Last Thanksgiving truly was amazing.
I may never be that amazing again.

This year, I'm settling for small touches
as I have inspiration and ambition.

Starting with the pumpkins and gourds,

 and adding two packages of fake ones from a clearance bin,

I simply painted them with glitter glue.

That's it.  Easy Peasy Puddin' and Pie.

The idea is from a blog I read,
but now I can't remember who gave me this idea.

If you posted this, please leave your name
and the url from your blog so I can direct traffic your way.

Since I need to catch up on the classics,
and couldn't stay awake to read all of Wuthering Heights,
I watched the movie.

I toldja' ~
 all that glitters isn't gourds,
my pumpkins are glittering, too.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sometimes Ya' Gotta Get 'Er Dun

You might have noticed yesterday,
if you read the bill my daughter gave me for lunch,

there were some spelling errors.

Despite the fact that I 've always taught spelling
and my kids earned A's in spelling,
it didn't guarantee they were
able to spell the words they needed to use.

Follow me over to

and find out how

Momma Mindy
got 'er dun and rit her own

 Spellen Krickulum.

May I Take Your Order Please?

The words were music to my ears.

"Mom, can I make lunch?"

Like I'm gunna' say NO?!?!?!?!?

My youngest daughter loves to serve
and loves to be in the kitchen,
so I love to let her serve me by
being in the kitchen.

I like to avoid the kitchen.
We're not always on speaking terms.

So, I continued to work on an article I was writing,
corrected Geometry and tried not to let Facebook
interrupt my day any further.

When she called me into the kitchen later,
I knew I was in for a fancy restaurant kinda' experience.

A tablesetting with cloth napkin awaited.

After she seated me, I was given a menu,
just like in a real restaurant.
(We'll talk about the spelling tomorrow, k?)

She wore an apron and talked about the menu items,
just like in a real restaurant.

My order was written down and the food quickly prepared.

I should have taken a picture of the food,
but I devoured it too quickly.

She fanned the whole grain crackers around the mound of chicken salad.
The egg salad was served with potato chips
because we like to use it as a dip, not a sandwich spread.

It was delicious!

Just like in a real restaurant.

The bill was just like in a real restaurant, too.

"And, Mom, you have to pay me in real money,"
she said graciously, but firmly.

This is as opposed to the fake money we use
with our fake cash register
when we're studying money in school.

Real money?

Who's she kidding?

I have two teenagers in the house,
I'm not allowed to carry money.

They can sniff out dollar bills faster than
pigs can sniff out truffles.
(I've been waiting for years to use that useful
tidbit of information I gleaned from my fourth grade reader.)

My wallet was emptied.
It wasn't enough.

The piggy bank was shooken/shooked/shaken
until I felt like I was getting carpal tunnel.

The restaurant owner conceded to accept
the amount that slid out of Mr.  Piggy Bank,
who's not the truffle sniffing kinda' pig.

The change was tossed into the tip jar,
and I finished up the dishes.

Just like in a real restaurant.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Honor of Veterans

I've heard stories from a dear older man
who was on the beach of Normandy.

"Thank you" hardly seems enough.

I've heard stories from my 7th grade Science teacher
who returned from Viet Nam.

"Thank you" hardly seems enough.

We have men and women from the US Armed Forces
 returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Thank you" hardly seems enough.

My son-in-law, Aaron,
 honored a decorated Veteran and a brother in the Lord
with his photography.
His work is indescribable,
 I'll just let you watch.

Tissues necessary.

These men come back from their tour of duty
and try to fit back in with ordinary life.

But, life will never be ordinary again for them.

"Thank you" hardly seems enough.

But, if we don't say those two little words,
we might not say anything.

Thank You,
United States Veterans!

Ya' Know What SHE Just Did?

We talked about talking about our kids.
We talked about talking about our hubbies.
It's time to talk about talking about other people.
Ya' know, the gossiping kinda' talking.

You can hear the snear in the voice when someone says,
"Ya' know what she just did?"

I know you all just repeated this to yourselves,
didn't you?
Although when you say "he" and "she,"
 with scorn it sounds more like
"HEuh" and "SHEuh."

By using this tone of voice,
nothing more needs to be said.
 Negative feelings have been induced.

Sometimes, we use this trick while sharing a story
and we don't want to appear to be a gossip.
We think we're telling the story in a way that
doesn't seem to like we're disapproving,
but the inflection and the look we use
when we say, for example,
tells it's own story. 

Why Do We Gossip?
1. It's a way of comparing ourselves.
We feel better about ourselves
by finding a fault with someone else,
especially if we think their fault bigger than ours.
Remember that speck and log thing?

Women are good at this.
When we see another woman,
we judge her hair, makeup, clothing and figure,
mostly to see how she measures against ourself.
To spiritualize this activity,
Christians judge one another's hospitality,
the obedience of their children, their submission
or the fruit of their ministry.

A lot of ugly words can be used when there's a failure
to recognize the sin for what it is - jealousy.

2.  We like the feeling of being a star reporter,
and being the first one to have the scoop.

This is great when someone has a baby
or just got married,
but save the scoop for news worth having your name attached.

If I don't want to hear,
"Momma Mindy said ____________,"
I don't say it.

3.  We rejoice in someone's failings,
especially if they've harmed us or if we had predicted
their moral failings with our astute observations and discernment.

Proverbs 24:17
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;

4.  We feel spiritual pride
because we think our holiness is holier
or our convictions are more convicting
or we know the Bible better.

5.  We gossip about a person
when we're failing to pray for that person.
It's hard to talk about someone when you're sincerely  praying
to the Lord for their faith, their life and their blessing.

We can talk to people about people,
or we can talk to the Lord about people.

The first will destroy lives,
and harm our testimony.

The second will build up lives
and give us a God-honoring testimony.

Remember, the tongue is the rudder,
to steer away from the rocky shore.
The Lighthouse will illuminate the danger zone.