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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time for Boy Scout camp

The end of June is upon us and that means one thing, it's time for Boy Scout Summer Camp! I look forward to taking my Scouts down every year. It's a week of living in the timber. We are a 'jamboree' troop, meaning we cook all our own food instead of going to the dining hall. This year I'm taking four new boys...fresh meat LOL! They've actually only been on two campouts so far, so summer camp is going to be a great experience for them. Ingersoll Scout Reservation in London Mills, IL is our camp of choice. It's over 1000 acres of timber, hiking, fishing, swimming, climbing, get the idea.

This year is my 8th year at ISR. Over these years I've had the pleasure of meeting many great Scouts and Scouters (adult leaders). Most of us camping this week go this same time every year so it's like a big reunion for us all.

One of the perks of going to camp for so many years is getting to know the staff. They are a great group people who endure far more than I could dealing with 11-18 year old boys for six weeks straight. Last year we were not able to have 'our' site as our Troop is too small. This year I...uummm...bribed the powers that be to ensure our site back. I'm taking down homemade cookies to all the staff! Anyone want to come help me make about 20 dozen cookies Saturday?

So, Dear Friends, I will me missing for the next week. Papa Bear will be holding down the fort. I look forward to sharing pictures and stories when I get back.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Manage my life??

Since we all know my life is about un-managed as can be, I thought it would be a good idea to maybe do something about it. I've already been working towards having some of my nights free....and Papa Bear is sure liking it! It's not enough though. I need a kick in the rear to get me a bit more motivated.

I bought the book Life Management for Busy Women a couple of years ago...and it's been sitting on the bookshelf ever since. Now that I'm sitting outside with the children during the day, I thought it might be a good time to get it out.

The areas of my life that should be 'managed' when I am done with it are:
Spiritual life
Physical life
Home life
Financial life
Social life
Mental life
Ministry life
Time...and my LIFE

[wipes forehead] Phew! If I'm not a more manageable me by the time I'm done with this book, I do believe there is no hope for me!

My short term goal is to write a little something about each one of these areas as I complete it. Nothing like a little accountability to help motivate.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Tea Cup

My sermon yesterday had to do with God being the Potter and us being the clay. At the end, I read the poem, The Tea Cup. I thought maybe you would all enjoy reading it. It helps to put all the trials we go through into a bit better perspective.

The Tea Cup

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores.
They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups.
This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup.
They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke.
"You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup.

There was a time when I was red and I was clay.
My master took me and rolled me and
patted me over and over and I yelled out,
"let me alone", but he only smiled, "Not yet."

"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said,
"and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.
Stop it! I'm getting dizzy! I screamed.
But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet.'

Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat.
I wondered why he wanted to burn me,
and I yelled and knocked at the door.
I could see him through the opening and
I could read his lips as He shook his head, 'Not yet.'

Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool.
'There, that's better,' I said. And he brushed and painted me all over.
The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag.
'Stop it, stop it!' I cried. He only nodded, 'Not yet.'

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one.
This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate.
I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried.
All the time I could see him through the
opening nodding his head saying, 'Not yet.'

Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it.
I was ready to give up. But the door opened and
he took me out and placed me on the shelf.
One hour later he handed me a mirror and said,
'Look at yourself.And I did. I said,
'That's not me; that couldn't be me.
It's beautiful. I'm beautiful.'

'I want you to remember, then,' he said,
'I know it hurts to be rolled and patted,
but if I had left you alone, you'd have dried up.

I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel,
but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.
I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven,
but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked.

I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over,
but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened;
you would not have had any color in your life.
And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven,
you wouldn't survive for very long because
the hardness would not have held.
Now you are a finished product.
You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.


God knows what He's doing (for all of us).
He is the Potter, and we are His clay.
He will mold us and make us,
so that we may be made into a flawless piece
of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Papa Bear has given me the go-ahead to put a playground in our backyard! This is so exciting for me! I've been taking care of children for over 18 years and in all that time, I have had to move everything in the yard for mowing, and then move it all back again.

Not anymore. We will be laying landscape bricks and then filling the whole area with pea gravel. All equipment will then go in this more moving to mow! Yippee Skippee!! I've been aquiring some larger items the last few months to add to the playground, as well as the balance beam Papa Bear will be putting in. I used to have large tires 'planted' in my yard upright that the children had a blast on. I'm hoping to 'plant' a few again (haven't passed that one by Papa Bear yet).

I'm a happy little girl right now. And another plus to this is even less mowing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

'Stuff' happens without me

Wow, came on this morning and realized it has been a week since I last posted! You all know how it goes though, life just seems to happen. It's all been good though. Not the usual can't seem to catch myself coming and going. I believe this is in great part to my new attitude. For years I have always had 'stuff' to do several evenings a week...Scouts, church, Rescue Unit, Community the throw-ins of getting my hair done, doing the shopping, children's ballgames...etc. I've decided that I just can't do it all AND be a good wife at the same time. I've actually been saying no! *gasp* Can you believe it?? Guess what I is still going on around me even though 'stuff' is happening and I'm not involved in it!!

I've been able to be here more at night when Papa Bear comes home. I've been doing more cooking for him also...oh yeah, Papa Bear is liking this!

I'm still struggling in my mind about 'stuff' I am missing, feeling I'm letting others down. Not that 'stuff' isn't getting done, I'm just used to having my fingers in it. I do have a friend though who is helping keep my on track. She's a busy-bee person also. It's good to have someone to talk to and keep accountable to when making life changes. Even better when that person understands first hand what you are trying to accomplish. Thank you Alicia!

I ask, dear friends, that you say a prayer for me to keep this up, for it not to fall to the side like so many of my well meaning attempts to declutter my life have done.

Now, time to get off of this computer that seems to suck me in and rob me of so much time that could be spent else where. See....I'm doing it!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday's Word

We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed. At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day

Today, June 14th, is Flag Day. A day to show your love of country by proudly displaying your flag. A day to honor all those who served to give you the freedom to proudly display your flag without fear of persecution.

The local paper here puts a paper flag out in their newspaper every year for Flag Day. It's a flag that many display in their window for everyone to see. I applaud the Bureau County Republican for doing this.

Even though this is not a National Holiday (except in Pennsylvania, home of Betsy Ross), it is wonderful to drive around town and see all who participate.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Breast Self-Exam

Without exception, I have a complete physical every year. I would never dream of skipping it. My 'yearly' is what caught the pre-cancer cells, which lead to a complete hysterectomy at the age of 34, before it was full blown cancer.

Why then, do I only have my breasts checked at my yearly? Why do I not take a proactive role and self-check every month? Do I not know how much cancer cells can spread in a year? What am I thinking???

In case you find yourself in the same situation as I do, and really not sure how to do a self exam, here is an easy three step process:

1. In the shower
*With fingers flat, move hand gently over every part of each breast.
*Use right hand to examine left breast, left hand for right breast.
*Check for any lump, hard knot or thickening.

2. Before a mirror
*Inspect your breasts with arms by your sides.
*Next, raise your arms high overhead.
*Look for any changes in contour of each breast; a swelling, dimpling of skin or changes in the nipple.
*Then rest palms on hips and press down firmly to flex your chest muscles.
*Left and right breast will not exactly match--few women's breasts do.

3. Lying down
*Put pillow under right shoulder.
*With fingers flat, press gently in small circular motion; then squeeze nipple.
*Check for discharge and lumps.

If you are not currently conducting a monthly self breast exam or getting an annual physical, I urge you to! It's up to you to take a proactive roll in your own health and well being.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday's Word

I was poking around in Proverbs and found myself looking at today's scripture. Boy, did I ever feel God's *whap* on the back of my head! I have put forth a great effort lately in letting the drama just go on around me without allowing it to sneak into my life. However, I confess a certain little joy when I see those who are causing the drama be brought down a little here and there. I was definitely directed to what I needed to read when I opened my Bible.

"Don't be glad when your enemy meets disaster, and don't rejoice when he stumbles. The Lord will know if you are gloating, and He will not like it; and then maybe He won't punish him."
Proverbs 24:17-18