Favorite Food

My favorite food used to be a big, fat, juicy hamburger with "everything on it". Just thinking about this makes me sad. I used to LOVE Caesar salad and fresh salsa (I make really good fresh salsa!) but alas, I can not eat anything that is fresh. Or raw, if you want to be more specific. It really does stink. I hate watching my husband eat a salad and I can't have any. He is really good to me because he will not let me for any reason cheat and eat a piece of his lettuce. Right before I go to put the lettuce in my mouth he always says, "Rachel, you'll regret it!" And of course, rash comes and my mouth swells and all that fun stuff. My body just can't take it. Of course I react to some things more than others.

So, I bet you are wondering what my new favorite food is. Yeah, I bet you are holding your breath. It took me a long time to figure it out. I was at Miss Betsy's house for a spell one day and she told me she had left over Chinese food in the fridge. Lo and behold I found Kung Pao Chicken and I loved it so much I ate it cold. Now, I have always loved Kung Pao Chicken, but I think I realized that I more than love it. Heck, I ate it COLD.

Yeah, it is hot, yeah, it will burn in my stomach, and yeah, it will most likely give me cramps all night, but you know what, it is worth it. So now that you know my weakness do not tell my arch-enemy what can kill me. He might slip me a sliver of tomato in my plain hamburger and my throat will close off and I will surely die.


My middle child's quote of the day:

"T! (my oldest boy) Your cheeks are all rosy! It's like you're in love!"


New Blog

This new blog will be well worth your read in the many days ahead...


Medical Manual

Since my husband had heartburn last night, I am sitting here listening to my oldest son read all about it to me first thing in the morning.

Yesterday he was reading about bad breath. He read that the advice for bad breath in the manual is to merely "rinse your mouth with plain water. It does more than the mouth washes one can buy at the store." I think those people are nuts, actually.

At the moment he is reading, "...avoid tight clothing and tight belts..." And he keeps going...


One More Great Quote by Lewis:

"If God had granted all the silly prayers I have made in my life, where should I be now?"

More Lewis

I take comfort that this man is worshipping with us as we worship "with all the company of Heaven." He is like a rockstar to me. Here is his take on the Lord's Prayer, specifically the "thy will be done" part:

"...But more than that, I am at this very moment contemplating a new festoon. Tell me if you think it a vain sublety. I am beginning to feel that we need a preliminary act of submission not only towards possible future afflictions but also towards possible future blessings. I know it sounds fantastic; but think it over. It seems to me that we often, almost sulkily, reject the good that God offers us because, at that moment, we expected some other good. Do you know what I mean? On every level of our life----in our religious experience, in our gastronomic, erotic, aesthetic, and social experience,---we are always harking back to some occasion which seemed to us to reach perfection, setting that up as a norm, and depreciating all other occasions by comparison. But these other occasions, I know suspect, are often full of their own new blessing, if only we would lay ourselves open to it. God shows us a new facet of the glory, and we refuse to look at it because we're still looking for the old one. And of course we don't get that. You can't, at the twentieth reading, get again the experience of reading Lycidas for the first time. But what you do get can be in its own way as good.

This applies especially to the devotional life. Many religious people lament that the first fervours of their conversion have died away. They think--sometimes rightly, but not, I believe, always--that their sins account for this. They may even try by pitiful efforts of will to revive what now seem to have been the golden days. But were those fervours---the operative words is those---ever intended to last?

It would be rash to say that there is any prayer which God never grants. But the strongest candidate is the prayer we might express in the single word encore. And how should the Infinite repeat Himself? All space and time are too little for Him to utter Himself in them once.

And the joke, or tragedy, of it all is that these golden moments in the past, which are so tormenting if we erect them into a norm, are entirely nourishing, wholesome, and enchanting if we are content to accept them for what they are, for memories. Properly bedded down in a past which we do not miserably try to conjure back, they will send up exquisite growths. Leave the bulbs alone, and the new flowers will come up. Grub them up and hope, by fondling and sniffing, to get last year's blooms, and you will get nothing. 'Unless a seed die...'"

---C.S. Lewis from Letters to Malcolm


Peanut Cakes

I just finished making this major Wilhelm delicacy at Christmastime. Peanut Cakes. You take yellow cake, cut it into little squares, frost each side of the square and then roll the squares in finely ground peanuts. It is really labor intensive. I feel kind of gross. You know when you eat too much sugar or even when you are around too much sugar you get that sick taste in your mouth? I am right there. Ick.

My boys just came downstairs and told me that they had decided to hibernate for four days. They thought hibernating right under the tree would do well. It was short-lived because I told them "no" and once in awhile it sticks.

My house is a filth-bomb. I can not keep up with it. My house in Idaho was good bit smaller (1100 square feet) and a good once a week cleaning on a Saturday (which usually took me an hour and a half) did the job. It is not like I have ever wanted more living space. I never have. Wilhelm can vouch for that. We just sort of got what we got. I have a number of people to clean up after, so that may be part of the problem. I have one more bathroom to clean, two more sets of floors and a whole flight of stairs. I could keep going but I won't bore you. So, what am I doing on here? Heck, I don't know. Evading. Maybe blogging makes my house dirty...


I got my friend Betsy going on reading tons of Wilkie Collins, so she has picked up books that I have not even bothered to pick up yet. This woman is handing me books now saying, "Have you read this yet?"

I'm thinking, "Uh, I haven't read a book in a few months. I don't know what is wrong with me. I never thought I would say that I don't have time."

But, she gave me this one book that is pretty good so far. I decided to sit down one night and really read instead of fold laundry or something or other. It is called Man and Wife. It is basically about a maimed woman who thinks that she may be married to her betrothed's friend on accident. I know, silly, but Collins did know quite a lot about law in those days and he often made strange stories up with the information he had.

You guys should pick up some Collins, he is worth the read. At times he can be a pure mix of Dickens and Hardy. I see more and more Hardy as I read. Bad things happen, it is great.


The Rocket of Christmas

My youngest son actually whips out the calculator and counts the HOURS until Christmas. I keep telling him that he needs to not obsess about it. He will say to me, "I know, I know, I am getting obsessed. ---But I really can't wait until Christmas!"

In the car: "Only one hundred and thirty four days until Christmas!"

"How did you know that?"

"I calculated it when I got up this morning."

"Oh. You nut."

A few days ago this kid kept talking about Christmas and presents. I gave him the look that meant, "you are obsessed and Christmas means more than presents!" I think he very well knows this look because he said, " Mom, I can't wait for Christmas so much. I know I am obsessed. Please pray that I will be thankful!"

I am sure I don't help matters much at times. I caught myself telling my oldest son (the big one) that his stocking is full to the brim. He put up his fists in a surge of energy and his eyes popped out. He finished it off with the sound of a tea kettle whistling at full blast.

I know, it was shocking to me too. This is something he does periodically when he can't contain his excitement. I think on Christmas day when he gets the microscope or the gameboy games he wants he is going to spontaneously combust. I can imagine him doing the tea kettle thing again and launching off through the ceiling. No more oldest son. He went sky rocketing into space and can be seen no more.


Funny Faces

My daughter was being goofy. She was making faces at me by squinting and putting up her fists. This is a face that she seems to think is a laughable one. I told her, "Girlie, you definitely are original!"

She said to me, "I definitely am hilarious!"

Didn't know she knew that word!


A Lesson

This is on my "to read" list today. I think you all should give it a read. I have read it in the past and it did not effect me then. I think it will do me good now. The author is Doug Wilson's father, who I have been told from a trusty and knowledgeable source that when he rebukes or speaks in a correcting manner the recipient would never know, he is so graceful. I am in awe of an ability like that.


A Reason to Smile

About a month or more ago I was at a worship music meeting for my church and the lady that does the sound, Asha, told me that she just got an iPod and it is so cool. I will quote her: "I didn't really think I wanted one, but once I had one, I thought, I need this!" I am paraphrasing, but she said essentially that. It made me laugh because she was further saying that "all her favorite songs" are on this thing, so when she is walking down the streets of DC she is listening to her iPod and she just wants to hug everybody and smile at them. I went home and told this to my husband. He laughed. Guess what I got for my birthday. Yep, I don't even have to say it.

So, I am listening to a shuffle of Oasis, Eisley, Grant Lee Phillips, Sarah McLachlan, Coldplay, and u2. I don't feel like hugging anyone or even smiling at anyone (I am not as nice as Asha) but this is pretty cool.


Getting Older

My oldest is at the Dennis the Menace age where he hates to get wet and get clean. I literally have to drag him to the shower, turn it on, and guide him in there. Oftentimes what happens is that once he is in there he does not wash his hair, or he doesn't wash is body. He will come to us dripping, saying, "Well, I took a shower!" I will take a whiff of his hair and it will still smell oily. You know, that "I haven't washed my hair in four days" funk. "Get your butt back up there!" I yell. On top of this he gets pretty ripe under his arms. It's like he turned into a mini man over night. So, I have had to start buying him Right Guard and hopefully if he remembers after the shower, he will put it on for his own sake and maybe ours.

My oldest has an old friend (who is a year or so younger than he is) who moved to Wisconsin a year ago from Idaho. We got a Christmas card with a picture of her and her sisters and he noticed it setting there on the frige. "Mom!" my oldest says.

"What's that?" I ask him.

He is looking at the picture on the frige intently. "Well, Audrey will NEVER be able to get to my age at the same time as me no matter how old she gets, will she?" he says with animation.

"Nope. So, what do you think of Audrey? Does she look older? Has she changed to you?"

He starts running off and says this through the house: "Yeah! She looks older! Old enough to wear deodorant!"

My laugh was muffled but in my mind it could be heard from outside.


The Helmet Breakers

A future band is on the rise. The members include my two sons (namely my youngest son). They are called "The Helmet Breakers".
Here is a few song titles that especially struck my fancy:

1.Money's Too Much
2. Christmas Love
3. Can You See
4. Bang on the Run (a little like "Band on the Run")
5. Too Much
6. Total Blackout
7. Emergency Breakdown
8. XXX
9. The Emergency Squad
10. Magical Key (we are almost getting Beatles here)
11. Love that Girl (this, I was told, is to be like "Love Me Do")
12. Up to 100 Years Old
13. 18 and Up Can Drive a Car
14. I Am Only Six

My youngest son said that he is going to sing and then other people that he meets later in life will play the instruments. He absolutely has no real music to go with these song titles, just titles and no actual songs, so it is hilarious that he thinks that once the Helmet Breakers really rise they will write songs according to the notes of a six year old boy.



My four year old daughter was laughing in the back seat of the car last week because the trees were "bare maked". She was pointing at them in their shame.

I wonder why I just don't appreicate the beauty of my children more. This life is so distracting. I get so caught up and God has given me these little brilliant lives to care for and sometimes all I can think about is getting them to bed so I can rest! I would say that I don't know what the answer is, but I think I do know the answer. I just forget it all the time because I am a dunce. I know that if I love the Lord with all my heart I will love my neighbor as myself. I will think beyond myself and my own rest will not be the issue any longer. I will actually find rest in NOT resting! Lord, give me joy I pray!


Blank. Complete blank.



I was just playing Rumi with my oldest. He beat the living tar out of me the first game. He said just that too. "I beat the TAR out of you, Mom! I bet no one could surpass a record so strong!" The boy rarely triumphs over me at a card game (except Uno and I hate Uno!). All those years of sitting around the house as a kid playing games with my sister or just playing solitare paid off. I am shocked at how competitive I get. I remember when my kids first got the game Trouble. It is a fast-paced board game where you knock each other out and try to get "6's" in order to get back in again. For some reason kids have all the luck with dice. I remember at one point (this was a few years ago) I was so livid with anger about the stupid game because I wanted to win! What is really silly is that I was playing with my kids.

This will make my husband's eyes roll a double whammy. I remember when we were dating my brother got an x box or nintendo or something and he had this light sabre Star Wars game. If you were the best you got to be Darth Vader and just rip your opponent apart because you had all the cool tricks. My husband and I would play this game (note he was not my husband at the time) and he would just rip me to shreds every time. I was actually a really good sport at it but wanted to beat him someday. I especially hated the fact that I could never be Darth Vader because I stunk so bad at this game. Believe it or not, I would practice before he would come over and I got pretty good. I could be Darth and everything. I even learned some crazy trick that no one else knew and I became unbeatable. When I pulled this on my husband he was like, "there is no way---my control must be broken! How did you do that?!" We would be playing Darth Vader versus Darth Vader and my Darth Vader became more powerful than his Darth Vader "could possibly imagine". I really thought that it was all fun and games. Everytime I would win I would giggle and bounce around and hug my husband like he was Bob Barker on the Price is Right. I was just happy I could beat him at something. I remember one time I played Trivial Pursuit (don't do this to yourself ever!) with the man and he was the first player and his "turn" did not end until he got every wedge and won the game. No one even got a turn. He tried to teach me chess once and he plowed me down so fast I had no idea what hit me. I have tried playing Scrabble with him and I tell you, don't do this to yourself either. Somehow he always gets those 40 point triple word scores and you are essentially left in the dust with your sad little word "toy" as your only triumph because hey, you used a "Y"! In short, we never played that game again. I have since learned that it is not "cute" to do that to a guy that is used to winning.

So---when my son gloats about beating the tar out of me, sure, it hurts. Well, I guess it doesn't that bad. Besides, I think he only learned the phrase "beat the tar out" from me anyway. So I must not have learned my lesson because I still must gloat. If I can ever get my husband to play Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit with me and by some divine miracle I win, that is cause for gloating! That is a once in a life time chance to be on top of the world! I might get shot, but it would be a good death!


Mean, Crazy, Cold

The heater is not working correctly. The landlady just pretty much hung up on me after I asked her again (the fourth time) to get the problem fixed. She did a series of cut-me-offs and excuses and then said, "goodbye" and hung up. I don't get it. Another great morning beginning on the right foot.

I just wish that during Christmastime people would be nicer or at least try harder to be nice so that I would not have to try so hard to have a good time. Of course I have been experiencing a lot of things lately where I have had to set boundaries or just put my foot down. I had a dream that someone said to me, "You have gotten so mean since you've decided to set these boundaries." I have been cowardly in the past and saying no was really hard for me. If being brave, setting some boundaries and saying no when I can not or will not is being mean, I guess I am. I rather like "being mean" better. I know where I stand!

Of course I am having this conversation with myself because I am the one that thought of the "being mean" issue (because of my silly dream). So great, now I'm mean AND I'm crazy.


Embracing Plunging

I can't think of anything to write about. I woke up having to unclog a toilet full of brown loveliness, it would not work, so I had to drive in the snow to the hardware store (with three sick kids, mind you) to get a new plunger, a snake, a snow scraper for our car (which I did not have and had to use my hands!), and some bleach. Before getting to the store two cars just completely crashed right in front of me so I had to sort of slide by them to get to my destination. I was like, "Hold on kids, and pray we don't get crashed into!"

Made it home in one piece, thankfully. I was wrathful. I can't even explain to you the stench, the nastiness, the monster I was at odds with. I don't want to scare you, ladies, but when you are a mother, sometimes excrement becomes part of your life. I still have not embraced it.

The moral of the story: Get one of these.



I must admit I am addicted to Trader Joe's. I was talking to Miss Betsy about it today and she is too. What is it about Trader Joe's that is so stinking wonderful? I pretty much think it is everything. Those of you in Idaho be informed that a Trader Joe's is like a Win-co and a Cost Plus World Market combined. ---And you get these really cool thick, paper bags to use later for just about anything.

My kids hate it!



I have found that I can fight all day and every day for a douse of Godly peace and it does not come because it is already here. I find that in a twisted way, it's not the kind I want. I want worry-free days, no interruptions, no hardships. I can choose to have peace---really, joy that comes from Jesus. I think prayer is the key. As Keith Green has said, "make my life a prayer to you.." I have found in all things that I can never do any good on my own. I may just beg and plead with Him to pick me up and keep me safe when He just may choose to tightly hold my hand instead. He teaches us all in different ways.

The promise is that He is with us, that He came and death is conquered. What else can touch you? "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you."

At this "season" I know that I need Him and the enemy has no power.