Sunday, May 30, 2010

That One Time

"For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD's commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite". I Kings 15:5

I came on this verse in my daily bible reading a couple nights ago... it's one of my favorites! I see two things in it:

1) God may forgive you but that doesn't mean your mistakes won't follow you a LONG time (in this case, be blogged about 3,000 years later).

2) You can mess up pretty bad..... (David broke like 4 commandments with the "Uriah incident" and 5 if you include the one about honoring your father and mother because I'm sure it wasn't a proud day for his mom and dad).... and God will still love and accept you. (A repentant heart is required for the acceptance part, I think... see Psalm 51).

Do you have an "except for that one time" in your life? I do. (Not counting using MIs in worship... I'm not sure God can forgive that one). Seriously, though... I'm thankful that my life isn't defined by the exceptions... even if it's hard to forgive myself... I am thankful that God can, does and has.

From TENTH AVENUE NORTH, "You've Been Remade":

You are more than the choices that you've madeYou are more than the sum of your past mistakesYou are more than the problems you create....You've been remade!

Warning: MIs present in the following worship video. Watch and listen at your own risk.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I recently had a rather unpleasant interaction on Facebook with some legalistic religious zealots, who (it embarrasses me to say) share my religious heritage. Yes... I'm talking about the one and only true church... the church of Christ. (They'll tell you church is spelled with a lower case "c", but don't believe it for a second). This is the only church that Christ died for. I'm sorry to tell you that most of you reading this are NOT members of this church. The easiest way to know if you are a member of this church is to look and see whether you are using Mechanical Instruments (known as "MIs") to worship God. Anyone using MIs is not a faithful member of this church. Also, anyone who CONDONES the use of MIs is not a true member even if they attend a church every week that doesn't use them and even if they were baptized for remission of their sins. This weeds out lots of people right off the top, so I think this is why MIs are their favorite topic of discussion. Baptism is their second favorite topic.

And if you're not a faithful member, you know what that means.... eternal destruction in the fires of hell.

And if you don't believe ME... you can ask them yourself. They'll even offer to study the bible with you if you will keep an open mind to what God's word says about the appropriate ways to worship him. Once you agree to NEVER, EVER, EVER use an MI to worship God... they will gladly baptize you.

I know I am sounding as mean as they do (if you are reading the sarcasm in what I am saying)... but it really riled me up. It is so hard to deal with self-righteous people who jump to all kinds of conclusions about someone based on VERY LITTLE information.

And then it saddens me that they are missing out on SOOOOOOOO much in their narrow little "church" box.

And then all I can do is thank God that I am free.....

........ free to worship Him with my voice, an instrument, clapping, dancing, cleaning the house, witnessing a sunset, cleaning up vomit...... wherever, whenever and in whatever WAY He moves me.

........ free to set my mind on JESUS and not on what I do from 10:00-11:00 on Sunday mornings.

........ free to admit I am a sinner and will NEVER do anything that will earn my eternity with Him except to ACCEPT the lavish gift.

........ free to stop judging the motives of other people

........ free to discern what is really SIN and to oppose it (in myself and others) in a loving, gracious way

........ free to read the bible with my heart OPEN

........ free to experience the abundant life God has promised

........ free to accept that life with God is filled with the SUPERNATURAL (that word keeps popping up in my life lately.. you'll probably be hearing more about it here)

........ free, free, free!!!!!!! Because when the Son has set you free, you are free indeed. And if you are free indeed, you never want to be a slave again!

Go here, watch this. This is the lead singer from Tenth Avenue North and the song in the background is my favorite off their newest CD. (Notice the MIs!)

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else". Acts 17:24-25

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


You may have thought only JENNA has ducks. Not so. We have some, too. This "mating pair" come every Spring.....

... and live here.... in the drainage ditch (i.e. cement creek with trees growing in it) beside our house....

I don't know that they ever really mate, as I've never seen babies. But we (and our neighbors) enjoy having them every year. Kind-of a little gift from God.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scrabble Gone Awry

I have a V, L E and T left in a Scrabble game I am playing with my dad on FB. This is what the board looked like a couple days ago. I don't know how we managed to box ourselves into that one half of the board... but it's crazy. Don't bother to suggest an "S" in front of "COPE". I had one and didn't see where to put it and wasted it somewhere else. That would have REALLY helped. Ha.

Fun times!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Well, thanks to all who voted for a quilt for my room. I decided to go with Exhibit B and I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE it. I JUST got it home and got it on the bed and I think it looks about as good as any could against those blue walls! :-) It is plenty big enough on both sides (I have had quilts before that weren't) and I only paid $45 for the whole set- quilt AND pillow shams! Unbelievable! The purple isn't too "purple" at all, as I was afraid it might be. It really picks up the blue. And I had the red throw pillows from my last bedding... so I threw those on to complete the picture. Yay! P.S. This is my second post today, so keep scrolling if you haven't seen the girls' piano recital post, yet. :-)

God loves you!

Whosoever Meaneth You

Piano recital was Saturday Night. I'm not sure how many will remember my bad luck at last years' piano recital trying to record or even get a single good picture of the girls. It seems a trend has started. First, I searched the house for two days looking for the charger for the dead-batteried camcorder so I record them and share... but to no avail. So I went to Plan B and I was going to rely on my little camera to do the recording. The teacher starts to introduce Libby, I'm happily recording away... and then it stops and I get "Memory Card Full". I managed to delete enough videos/pictures to capture about 9 seconds of her before I got the message again. I was then so obsessed with the camera, I didn't get to really focus on Libby playing. But here you go- the 9 seconds I got.

Libby was the first to play, at our request, so she could leave immediately thereafter, because she had to get to a birthday party. She played beautifully, and though she claimed she was very nervous, I couldn't tell. Upon leaving the church, we ran into some family members who were late entering and she said to them, "My heart is still beating!!!" We were all very relieved to hear it.

Yada yada yada (that means I'm going to leave out a big chunk of the story here)...... I ended up getting back to the recital much later than I had planned, hot and sweaty, irritated, tired (and hungry), just in time to hear the end of the boy who played JUST AFTER Sarah. :-( I was SO disappointed.

Last night, Tim found the charger for the camcorder... so I will make those pesky pianists sit down and play their songs again and then I will upload them here for your viewing/listening pleasure (with the realization that it is really only my parents and MAYBE my sister who want to see them).

Don't worry... I won't leave you without ANY form of amusement here at Brend-a-muses. Before the recital started, I browsed through this....

I think if you don't get what's amusing to me about this song title... it wouldn't do me any good to explain it. (And thanks to my Mother-in-Law for pointing out to me that the verse they quote under the song is from the NIV... that just makes it all the much better.)

At the bottom of the page, my suspicions were confirmed. This song is, indeed, IRREGULAR.
Jacob and granddad... know that "whosoever" meaneth them.

*No representation is made that the quality of the services of the Baptist Hymnal are better or worse than the quality of the hymnals of any other denomination or, further, that Baptists themselves are any better or worse than the members of any other denomination. God loves all his children, probably most especially the ones who write ridiculous songs.

Sarah was beautiful, but was too nervous to smile:
Libby was nervous (and beautiful), but in a happier sort of way:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Longing for Home

I place the blame for the following sad list of "longings"... on Facebook. Finding long-lost friends, reading what they post about.... it can be alot for overly-sensitive emotions, such as mine.

I love where we live today and see alot of benefits to raising a family here. To my kids, this is "home". To me, it sometimes feels like home, other times... I wonder what in the world I'm doing 600 miles away from Michigan... and I realize my heart is still there.

So....... here they are, in no particular order, the top ten things Michigan has (and I love) that Alabama is lacking....

First, and foremost.... Flint Coney Island Hot Dogs. If you've never been to Michigan, you've never had one and you are missing out. In googling for a picture, I found this picture of the Coney Island that is RIGHT NEAR my parents house. So close, we used to walk there for lunch on occasion.
A friend on Facebook was recently talking about Fried Smelt. Apparently this is a Northern, fresh-water fish. I have seen them at the Krogers here (frozen) only ONCE in the entire time we've lived here. In Michigan, you can get them fresh- you take them home and fry them and they are SOOOOO good.

(I said "no particular order" but then put all the food first. ;-)) Halo Burger. A Flint original. When I go there, I get a burger with green olives on it and a Boston Cooler. (Basically a ginger-ale milk shake, and at Halo Burger, that means Vernors). Now, we do have Vernors in the stores here, but it's really a Michigan thing, too.
Frankenmuth. If you've never been... you're missing out.Go Right Thru for MSU....

Meijer is the original "Super Wal-mart"... only better. I make a trip there every time I am in Michigan.

While I'm there, I often buy Lestoil to bring home. This is a miracle product for getting greasy stains out of clothes. But you can't buy it in stores here. I guess Alabamians never get greasy stains on their clothes. Actually- it may just be that the stuff is very potent. My mother-in-law brought me three bottles once and since it sat so long in the laundry room, the product ATE THROUGH the plastic bottle it comes in and leaked all over the place. I now store it in glass bottles.
Ahhhh.... lilacs. True, there are varieties that will grow here, but they have no fragrance whatsoever. We had a huge lilac bush outside our backdoor growing up and when it blooms in the Spring... there is nothing better.
The Mackinac Bridge. At five miles long, it is the biggest suspension bridge in the U.S. (Okay, I think so, anyway). It is a sight to behold. It is four hours from my parents' house, but I saw it regularly as a child. It connects the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula and divides Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. I've been longing to see it again.

And finally, the best thing Michigan has that Alabama is lacking are these people....

Okay- now I will go off and cry a little and remind myself that "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through".

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Libbinardo's Latest

Monday, May 17, 2010


Today's segment is on security blankets. BLANKIES, if you will. Did you have one? Do you still have one?! I had one as a child. I still vaguely remember it and I still remember consciously deciding to give it up- I'm not sure how old I was. Maybe my mom remembers? Now I have a certain pillow that I have to have to hug when I sleep. Anyway... last night Libby and Jacob and I were talking about quilts (looking at the one my mom made me and the fabric Libby bought so my mom can make her one, too!) and that led to a discussion about their blankies, both of which are quilts. I asked if I could photograph them with their blankies for my blog.. Libby consented as long as I make the disclaimer that she doesn't sleep with it anymore.Hers was made by her great great Aunt Leona (Tim's dad's mother's sister)***NOTE: It was Aunt MARTHA and not Aunt Leona who made the quilt***. It was ADORABLE when new. Now it is tattered and worn from lots of love......and a little anger. The picture below shows the spot where Sarah at 4 or 5 years old, got mad at Libby and CUT her blankie.Jacob is man enough to allow you to see his. His is actually a quilt that was made for me when I was pregnant with Sarah by a lady at church. I didn't realize Jacob was getting attached to it until it was too late. If I had realized he was going to become attached to a blankie... I would have pushed for one a little more "manly" for him. But this isn't the type of thing you can always foresee and choose. His is worn from lots of love, too.And he wrote his birthday on the back in sharpie. ????Then, since Sarah wasn't home, we snuck upstairs and got hers to photograph without her consent. Hee hee. For the record, she hasn't slept with it in ages, but she still keeps it tucked away in a cabinet. She had this blanket (two sheets sewn together by Tim's grandma Frank) and a "changing pad" (one of those thick pads you can lay on the changing table) that she slept with for the longest time. She had to have both of them.

One sweet memory I have is this. Sarah enjoyed putting the changing pad on her stomach, under her shirt. I think she enjoyed it because it was a little "cold" like when you flip over your pillow to get to the "cold" side. Well, shortly after Jacob was born (she was five at the time and she loved him as if he were her own baby)... I walked by him in his bouncy seat and he was laying there with Sarah's changing pad under his shirt on his tummy. I guess she figured if it felt good to her, it would feel good to him, too. Sooooo sweet. I wish I had taken a picture.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where does she get it?

This was my (belated because she left it at a friend's house) Mother's Day Card from Sarah. (I did a bad job scanning, but it's 4:10 in the morning, so work with me). It says on the front "Hey Mom! Thanks for teaching me so many wonderful things over the years.Inside: Especially that potty training thing! (I can't tell you how many times that has come in handy). I laughed hard! Thought I would share. (The stuff she has written are little inside jokes with us). I love how she's developing a sense of humor so similar to mine!

Friday, May 14, 2010

My room

This post is mostly for my mom, who requested pictures of the work I've been doing in my bedroom. It seemed easier to put them here so I could write explanations rather than emailing them to her. But, of course, since I am posting them here, those besides my mom should also feel free to browse. Ha. Sorry, I didn't take any "before" pictures... but it was pretty much a disorganized mess and there was basically nothing on the walls, so you can try to picture it yourself. As a side note, I do NOT like the color of the walls... but shortly after we moved into this house, I painted them lavender (they were brownish) and HATED it, so I decided on blue for some reason (I was trying to recreate something I saw in a magazine, but failed). So I basically painted the room twice in one week. (Two coats each time, plus there is a tray ceiling, which you can't see, which required me to lay on my back on the top of a ladder, pretty much literally... ) After that, I was too tired to do it again.

Before I started, my bed was on the wall where the big picture is, between the windows. The picture is not there permanently (it was borrowed from the living room) - I am going to look for something appropriate, as well as something for over the bed. The curtains I got for $5 a panel at Target. I like sheer curtains, always have. You can see the clothes drying rack- it will have to be set up in the general area when needed.

Ironing board and iron will stay where they are because Tim has to iron his clothes every morning (or sometimes I do it for him). I have nowhere else to put it. Ha ha.I moved my new vase (from The Saving Way) onto my dresser and intalled a shelf (I think I got that shelf from Sonja years ago and it's been in my closet) just above them. (Excuse the laundry basket- it is full of shoes I cleaned out of the closet and a few articles of clothing that need mending).Do these items look familiar Melissa? Two of them are gifts from you. :-)Tim's dresser. I wish you could have seen it "before", but he probably wouldn't have appreciated me putting that on here, anyway. Now it's all clean. It used to sit on the wall where the bed is. Now it is on the opposite wall from the bed. The "Faith, Hope and Love" picture above it came from the living room. New shelf unit I got at Target (and put together myself)... it's kind-of hard to tell, but the "wood" is a very close match to our furniture, which Tim stained himself several years ago. Most of the stuff on the shelves were occupying the floor or Tim's dresser. You can't see what all I stuffed into the drawer at the bottom! Ha ha. I actually had in mind a cabinet for this space that I could close. My intention is to get baskets for the two shelves that don't have them, so it will look even "neater".This is the matching nightstand that I also got at Target for Tim's side of the bed. He didn't have one before. I probably should go back and get another for my side, so we have matching tables. What I have now is a little table Tim was using for a TV stand when he was in college. Anyway- this helps alot because Tim had all those books (and the stuff I crammed into this drawer- ha ha) on the floor beside the bed. Also, it's some place close he can put his glasses at night. (Like our "old fashioned" phone with a cord???)
Okay.... it is my plan to get a new quilt. Below are the two I am seriously considering. Please vote and let me know which one you like best.....

We'll call the first one EXHIBIT A:
And the second one EXHIBIT B:The second one is cheaper. Ha ha. And finally, below, just a snapshot of our loaded (and completely unruly) rose "bush" from a couple days ago. I love it every year when this thing blooms- it is SO fragrant. Of course, the rest of the year, it's just a big pain in the butt. Ha. I've never been a big fan of plants that crawl up the side of my house.

That's it! Have a nice day!!!! :-)