The Good News & The Bad News…

I have some news.

The good news is we are home! I’ve never been so happy to clean out a mildewed fridge. We heard power had been restored and we kissed the farm goodbye and headed home in a hurry. We’ve never made such good time and I’m thinking that’s miraculous considering 2/3 of our children are suffering with a plague called Hand-Foot-Mouth Virus. It is a lovely bug.

Thank you for all your prayers and sweet comments and good thoughts you sent our way.

Now, the bad news.

I have gained five pounds this past week.

And I hold Hurricane Ike completely responsible.

When we weren’t stumbling around in the dark, we were eating. We seriously put away some serious hurricane preparedness.

Even my toddler picked up on the necessity of a full belly. This is how I found her baby doll: 

If you add the new five pounds to the old six baby pounds I never lost, and couple that with the four pounds I’ve gained from sweet tea, you’ve got someone who needs to lose fifteen pounds, just to squeeze back in her clothes (that have gone up a size with every child).

And so, I think I’m getting fat, y’all (I realize that this is based on the eye of the beholder, but let me add that I am not exactly tall). And I’m on a dark and lonely road filled with vanilla Oreo cookies.

I need some accountability. And since you guys have been so helpful in my life, I thought I’d propose this idea:

I will take a picture of myself naked every week so you can watch the progress.

How’s that for some accountability?

Oh, I kid.

I know there would be vasts amounts of internet jealousy.

And puking. Lots of puking.

So, first, I need ideas. How do I lose fifteen pounds? (please do not suggest I give up sweet tea, those comments will be deleted).

I’m thinking about just putting a thumbs up or down sign out there once a week, so y’all can keep me on track.

Or do I need to charge my camera?

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.