Saturday, February 28, 2009


Oh my. I have a new addiction.... and I'm not even pregnant. These things are so good. Who knew?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And the winner is....

I've been sick, so I guess I am running low on things to blog about. :-) This is an ad for Glade candles. (Glod-ay). I love scented candles and have tried lots of different varieties. I like Yankee Candles and I like Party Lites... and I occasionally pick up random candles (usually at the grocery store) and I have about random results with them. Some I like, others I don't. I like all sorts of scents- flowery, homey, outdoorsy, etc. Some candles I buy only because they're pretty. But, I think I have found a favorite among all of my candles.... Glade "Apple Cinnamon". It has just the right amount of scent that is not overpowering, but is still noticeable when you walk into a room. I also think it is a very comforting scent. And even my kids have commented when it's burning, "The house smells so good". Best of all is they are inexpensive and you can pick them up when you are grocery shopping. :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Walls of Jericho

Last Sunday, we drove about an hour from here, up a mountain, to a hiking trail that leads to the "Walls of Jericho". I couldn't tell you if the "walls" are really neat or not... because we never made it. :-) We left after church and by the time we got there, and saw the sign that says it takes about 6 hours to hike there and back... we settled for just hiking as far as we could and coming back. We hiked a mile.... all downhill. (You can figure out what the mile back was like!) It was very beautiful! We want to go back when we have time to do the whole thing and see the the beauty that supposedly waits you at the bottom. I would prefer to go before it gets any warmer and the bugs and snakes come out. I didn't get alot of good pictures because my camera battery died.

This is how cold it was:

Libby's Bottle Project

Libby had to do a project for Black History Month where she decorated a 2 liter bottle to look like her most admired African American. She chose her homeroom teacher, Mrs. C. Here is her finished project:

Monday, February 23, 2009


"Mom! Jacob's sick!" Libby interrupted my dreams at 2:30 this morning standing in my doorway, with this unwelcome declaration. I hadn't heard Jacob calling me, apparently, because when I got to his room, the first thing he said was, "I called you, but you didn't come in time". I could see that.

So, I got him and his bedding cleaned-up and thrown in the washer (just the bedding!) and got him resettled into bed and I laid down diagonally across the bottom of the bed with an afghan so I could be there in case it happened again (and it did). At some point as we tried to sleep, his arm brushed against my hand and, being reminded I was there, I felt him move his arm closer to me and I rubbed his arm for a long time. And I thought about the way things are. A sick child naturally and automatically and sweetly moves in the direction of his mother. Why else did he call me when he felt sick and why did Libby come and get me? Because MOM will know what to do! She'll take care of it. She'll clean it up. She'll make it all better.

What an awesome responsibility as a parent- and when I think about it, I feel so underequipped to be the one someone is counting on to make things better! But I love my kiddos and I would never ignore their cries for help in the night- I would never leave them to clean themselves up- I will always be there for them and do the best I can do.

And so, in the wee hours, I thought about God and how, as his child, I am the same. Something in me knows when I'm not feeling well, when things are beyond my control, when things are not right and I need God. "God!" I call and he's never sleeping and he always hears. Or maybe I'm too sick to call and my friends go get him for me... they stand in his doorway and say "God, Brenda's sick!". Most often, he doesn't take away the "sickness" before it has run its course, but he does come, clean up my messes, put clean pajamas on me, lay down beside me and rub my arm until I feel better. He never leaves me. And thankfully he always know exactly what I need and what to do.

What an awesome God! :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another Book

I've now finished my third Francine Rivers book. After "The Shofar", I read "Leota's Garden". It was pretty good. And then next I read "The Last Sin Eater". I highly recommend this one. (As an added bonus, I just found out it was made into a movie a couple years ago and the library has it- so that's next on my agenda!!! I'd recommend reading it first, though!)

(If you don't know what a Sin Eater is, look it up!)

The book is about a young girl, Cadi, in the 1850s in the Smoky Mountains looking for redemption for things from her past- looking in all the wrong places. In the book, she has an imaginary friend named Lilybet and I liked this conversation between them:

[Lilybet speaking] "Life isn't fair. It's difficult. From the moment you draw your first breath to the last."
"Why does it have to be that way?"
"Because men are stubborn. They wanted their own way, and God allowed them to have it."
"And so Fagan and I must suffer."
"As all suffer. It's one long test of faith, refining you for what you were meant to be."
"And what's that?"
"Find out."

"Why can't I know now? Why can't ye just tell me?"
"Because you're stubborn, too. You still refuse to understand, even when the truth is all around you in everything you see from the depths of the earth to the stars of the heavens."

All the anger went from me [Cadi] and my throat tightened with grief. "I don't want to be stubborn, Lilybet. I want to understand."
"You will find all the pieces and God will bring them to light."
"When will that be?"
"In his time."

Go get it and read it! [I still have the copy from the main library here, but I'll return it soon!]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choicest Chess Cake

Recipe time! This is a very easy and extremely yummy dessert. I got the recipe from my friend Sonja- she brought some of this when she brought dinner when I was incapacitated with my back... (and I partly fault her for ruining my diet)....


1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (or margarine), melted
1 egg

1 lb. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the first three ingredients and press into a 9 x 13 pan.
Mix the last four ingredients (with a mixer) and pour over cake mixture.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes- or until it's golden and not too "shaky". (It took 45 minutes in my oven).

It looks pretty with powdered sugar sprinkled on top!

I just got done baking this and it smells SO good in my house!! I can't wait to have a piece.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Limerick by Libby

The Park Rules

No talking
No touching
No spitting
No coughing
No barking
No yelling
No smelling
No walking
No talking
No mocking
No singing
No dancing
No laughing
No crying
No sitting
No knitting
No smiling
No frowning
No standing
No skipping
No reading
No playing
No writing
No chewing
No thinking
No pets
No drinks
No food
No gum
No candy
No kids
No paper
No pencils


By: Libby Newman

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Libby has discovered the Poet Within

The Park!

The sun will then arise,

And form the happy skies,

The bells ring,

As the birds sing,

The leafs dance around,

To the rocks that they surround.

We sat on the rock, on that windy day,

There is not much more to say.

The rain was still there, from the night before,

I really want to say more.

Down below, we saw ponds,

And tons of people’s lawns.

It was peaceful, wonderful, joyful, and beautiful!

By: Libby Newman

Reader: Thank you for reading my little poem! I hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kids' Activities

This is Sarah's first year to play indoor soccer and it's actually alot of fun to watch. First, it's indoors, so the weather is no issue. :-) Plus, the games are shorter than a traditional soccer game and the action is faster. They play with a partially-deflated ball so that it doesn't bounce so much. In the picture above, the boy next to her is pushing her... as he was doing the entire game. I almost yelled, "Stop pushing my daughter, you brute!" at one point, but refrained myself. She can hold her own with the boys.

Libby is taking a ceramics class again at the art museum. This time she brought her friend Caroline. Jacob is also taking a clay class at the same time, but this past week his class was cancelled. He didn't mind- he told me the second week of the class that "Mom, art is just not my thing". Read, "It's not a contact sport". So instead we fed ducks at the duck pond next to the art museum while we waited for the girls.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good Book

I got this book from the library and read it over the weekend at the recommendation of my cousin Kristy. It's a great book (fiction) about a pastor who is trying to build a church and the people around him. It's a great faith-builder with many, many lessons for any christian. Have tissues handy. It's kind-of lengthy, but hard to put down. (For anyone local- I'll be returning my copy to the main library this week, but the binding has come loose from the pages, so it will have to be fixed before it'll be back on the shelves- it was like that when I got it, for the record).