Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-BIG Giveaway Today!

We have a winner!  Thanks everyone for joining in the fun and for being patient with Mr. Linky! Congrats to Twice Blessed Mommy!  You now own an adorable ‘Mom’ swatch watch!

Welcome to this week’s ‘Fro Me! You can read the carnival guidelines here.

This is a special post-hurricane edition and in honor of surviving Ike, today I am hosting a very special giveaway to remind you of the fun-loving 80’s. This great eBay store is offering one of the linkers today an awesome SWATCH WATCH! ($65.00 value). She actually sent me the special ‘mom edition’ Swatch to mail to a winner and it is fabulous! Before you link up, hop over there and look around Sue’s great store and tell me what you like.

Before we left, we tried to clean up our yard a little. 
Our kids even got in on the action. And because I am ruining this show from an iPhone and a farm, I am sharing recent photos. But let’s be honest, I will never get around to scrapbooking them. 

Give your kids a rake, six inches of hurricane debris and it will provide hours of fun!

The Shack, A Review of Sorts

Since I have a little extra time, down on the farm, I thought I’d share some thoughts with you about The Shack by William Young.

A sweet friend dropped by The Shack a while ago on my front porch. The note inside said, “You’ve got to read this. Let me know what you think!
I could almost feel the intensity of her words. I’d never heard of the book and right from the start, I knew it wasn’t my normal kind of read. At all. But I love my friend and was intrigued.
And so I did it. I read every page of The Shack in 2.5 days. My hubby read it right after me.
Here’s the synopsis from the back of the book:
Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, ostensibly from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.
Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever and quite possibly your own.
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!
After I closed the last page, I called my friend and we talked about this unusual book. And since we had some questions, we googled it.
Well. That’s when I discovered that The Shack was pretty controversial. Some churches were teaching it in Sunday School while others were calling it blatant heresy.
Now, let me just say, I’m not taking sides. I’m not going to give my theological opinion on this work of fiction. I’m just not that smart.
My two cents: I just picked up the book and read it. I’m glad I did, before I was aware of all the controversy surrounding it. First of all, this is a book of fiction. I think if people are looking at it as a Biblical guide, they will find fault. Secondly, the first 5 chapters are VERY hard to read, especially as a mother. Prepare yourself. It won’t be easy.
I understand the mystery surrounding it, but it made me really think about what I believe about God. And I’m glad I read it.
Here are two different sides that I thought were very thought-provoking:
Against the book.
For the book.
The bottom line for me is while I didn’t agree with every word in The Shack, it did challenge my faith and stir my heart to know God deeper.
And in my book, that’s a good thing.

The Days of Olde

Can I just say that a home-cooked meal never tasted so good?

We made it to Oklahoma and left our devestated hurricane-torn community behind.

On the way there, we talked about the last few days. My son said thoughtfully, “Mom, we were living just like the people in the ‘olden days.'”

I thought about how life centered around the basics: food, water and shelter. The images of us waiting in line behind hundreds of cars for ice were still very fresh. And it will be some time before I forget the smell of our rotting food.

“Yes, honey, that is very similar to the way people lived a long time ago,” I replied.

“Well. The ‘olden days’ must have sucked.”

And even though I wanted to heartily agree, I decided my son needed his mouth washed out.

If I had some sterile water, that is.

On a Wing and a Prayer

My hubby stayed up most of the night thinking about gas.

Sorry. The lack of electictricy has brought out the fifth grade boy in me.

Gasoline, that is.

He crunched numbers and decided we should be able to make it far enough to replenish our tank. We are heading to Oklahoma! And I am very excited about the thought of a hot shower and food that doesn’t involve potted meat.

School has been cancelled until power is restored. My kids are devasted.

So, I hope to offer you some regular updates of our exciting air conditioned world this week and maybe some pictures of our neighborhood.

Please pray that we get to my inlaws farm in Oklahoma safely and please pray that Alice the cat doesn’t go potty again in the car.

I really wish I could tell you I was kidding.

Our little Russian friends fared well and last night we cooked our remaining food with them and shared our supplies.

Oh, and one more thing, I could seriously use a glass of sweet tea soon, so add that to you prayer list.

And thank you for your sweet emails and comments. I cannot tell you how they fortified my soul when I could get a signal to read them in the middle of the night.

They made a difference in my life.


You know those little packets that come in your shoe boxes?

The ones that say “Silica. Throw Away. Do Not Eat.”
Well.  Not that I know from experience or anything, but if you find an empty, damp one in several pieces on your kitchen floor, you will feel the panic rising.
But according to Poison Control, the little hard pellets are more of a choking hazard than actual poison, per se.
Not that I know or anything.

There is Something to that Hunkering Down Thing

Thank you so much for your prayers! We survived Ike and are so glad to be safe. We are without power, air conditioning and we are boiling water. Cell towers are gridlocked, so I can only update Twitter in the middle of the night with my thumbs and a very tired iPhone.

Our roads are blocked by massive trees and there isn’t gasoline or staples available in our community. We have heard that power could be out for a month, but are hoping they are wrong. We will be leaving if they are right because I am not in the mood to camp that long!

There are hundreds of trees down and about every third one is on someone’s roof or car, my parents being one of them. But our town, an hour from Galveston, received only a glancing blow from hurricane Ike.

Of course, my kids think this is a grand adventure!

And since we are all safe, I think they are right.

It’s about basics now —

And that’s never a bad thing.

DIYP#16- My Love of Chalkboard Paint Has Deepened

You’ve probably picked up on my newly discovered love for chalkboard paint.  I used it in my laundry room makeover and my toddler’s new art table.
I saw this idea in the summer edition of Better Homes & Garden 100 DIY Projects.
And I thought, “Well, well, well, chalkboard paint isn’t just for kids, is it?”
Here’s my new favorite thing:
Take an ornate frame (mine is from Ikea and it’s actually plastic, shhhh, don’t tell):

And rough up the glass on the frame with some course sandpaper (just enough to leave it scratched up a bit).
Take your chalkboard paint and coat the glass after wiping it off. (Or you can buy chalk board spray paint for plastic).

Let it dry and hang it.
Mine is the perfect display for some Bible versus we’re trying to memorize as a family:
If that doesn’t make you feel all warm and tingly, I don’t know what will!