Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Christmas story...

Ah, Christmas Eve....a day of magic and wonder, children's laughter, period???!!!! I haven't had a period since before Zoe was conceived, close to two years ago, and it comes back today, to join my sinus infection. One big happy family. Can you feel the love?

Just had to add a little vent to express my surprise at the irony or coincidence of it all. And don't know how we're going to fit everything in the car....hmmm. Well, at least I have a duck baking--never had duck before--this might be interesting. We have chips and dip and cheese and lots of candy and cookies as backups :) I'm excited to see Zoe open her first Christmas presents. I'm sure she'll like the paper and boxes the best :)

Hubby brought home my big present yesterday--a treadmill that is--get this--like new and cost $700 when bought. He got it for $50. Wow!!! What a deal! It is big and we'll have to rearrange the downstairs bedroom to get it in there, but it has incline functions and heart rate monitors and all that. I'm so proud of him. He got me other stuff too, but that would have been enough. Isn't he great?

Well, off to move our second cat into the garage to join the first. He decided to poop on my bed again this week, so we moved him in there early. Poncho is missing Charlie really badly, so we'll put them together tonight and they can have Christmas together :)

I hope all of you have a great Christmas and can really sit back and enjoy all the special moments. Love you all!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas sniffles

Yep, another cold, probably gonna be a sinus infection again. Can't smell, can't taste. Don't have time to visit the doctor. *singing* " I'll be drugged for can't talk to me....please have Tylenol ...and Nyquil....and a nice warm blankie for me......"

Seems like one of us is always sick on Christmas. A couple years ago, my hubby had a stomach bug--that was unpleasant.

Still, I refuse to give up all my Christmas spirit. I baked cookies yesterday and will make some more today probably. Still have many presents to wrap. Making duck for Christmas eve dinner. My hubby probably won't like it, and I probably won't taste it, but I'm making it anyway. I'm going to try to deliver goodies to some friends today. I took some Chocolate Chip pumpkin bread to my neighbors Tuesday. Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Makes 3 (9x5”) loaves

3 cups sugar 1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
1-15 oz can pumpkin 2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil 1 ½ tsp salt
2/3 cup water 1 cup miniature chocolate
4 eggs chips
3 ½ cups flour ½ cup chopped walnuts,
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9x5” loaf pans. In large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Place batter in prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from pans.

Some more baking tips for you:

1. Try to make cookies the same size for even baking. Use a cookie scoop to get uniform sizes.
2. Rotate cookie sheets halfway through baking to get even browning.

I hope all of you have a great Christmas and remember the reason for the season--not the colds *sniff, sniff*, not the presents, not the food, not the decorations--but the best gift we have ever received--Jesus! Thank you Father for your indescribable gift, a gift no one can ever top, a gift for anyone who asks--salvation through your Son. Amen

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas time's a-comin....

Less than a week now. I have yet to wrap anything. Still need to decorate my dining room table. Lots of baking to do. Would like to hang up Christmas cards. Still need to mail a couple. But at least most of the shopping is done! That is my least favorite part. I'm not a typical woman, my husband says. I hate shopping. I love giving, but hate the shopping. I did most of it online, which is so convenient, especially for moms of young kids. No dragging them all over the place from store to store--just get it sent to your house. Ahhhh! The shipping doesn't cost much more than all the gas I'd have to buy and most places have holiday shipping deals going on too, like, where if you spend $25 or more, shipping is free. Nice.

On to other matters, haven't blogged for a while--busy, busy, and I don't know anyone who isn't this time of year. I don't know if people were too busy to respond to the Biblical ages posts or were offended. Sorry if I stepped on any toes, but still stand by my explorations.

How about some Christmas baking tips? Most people at least do a little baking for Christmas. Here's a few cookie tips:
1. Use butter flavored shortening if you want chewier, fluffier, cookie. Butter works better for crispier, flatter cookies like sugar cookies. You can buy the premeasured Crisco sticks now and don't have to do all the messy measuring.
2. Bake your cookies on parchment paper on the cookie sheet. You don't have to grease anything. The cookies will come right off and won't spread too much and you can use it through the whole batch. Best of all--no washing cookie sheets!
3. Don't overmix cookie batter. Just mix until combined. You don't want tough cookies.
4. Use cooling racks. Take cookies out of the oven, place the cookie sheet on the rack for 2 minutes (or what recipe recommends), then remove cookies to the rack. Don't cool them on the stovetop--it's too hot there.
5. Don't put your cookie dough on the sheets over the oven--again, too hot and the dough could spread before you actually start baking it.

That's all for now--I'll post more when I think of more. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Biblical lifespans revisited

I did a bit more research into the Bible lifespan thing and found this on

There are many factors that could account for the lowering of the life spans after the flood. The Bible states that the flood would not only destroy the land dwelling air breathing animals but it would also destroy the earth. (Gen. 6:13; 9:11)
After the flood the earth was completely different than the earth before. There were widespread global differences. These would include changes in the climate, composition of the atmosphere, hydrologic cycle, geologic features, cosmic radiation reaching the earth, ozone concentration, ultra violet light, background radiation, genetics, diet, and a host of other subtle and/or profound chemical and physiological changes. These changes caused a rapid decline of the longevity of post flood humanity.

I've also come across some interesting (and strange) ideas such as men crossed with aliens who had long life spans, the earth's magnetic field was more stable back then, the lifespan of one "person" was actually the sum of lifespans of their descendents, God decided we were acting too badly to live that long, etc. Now, I'm not questioning the truth of the Bible, for anyone who may come to that conclusion, just wondering how and why things happened the way they did. It's a normal human trait to explore and investigate the unknown, and many things in the Bible are not explained in detail. states that:

We know—scientifically—that: (1) aging “is a metabolic process”? (2) the process is indeed controlled by a “pre-programmed genetic limit”? and (3) “human bones continue to fuse together right up to advanced old age.” If people at that distant point in human history possessed slower metabolism rates (an extremely reasonable suggestion, considering the condition of the world in which they were living at the time—see Dillow, 1981), and if the human genome contained genes for greater longevity, then the patriarchs could have lived to vast old ages, and the slower metabolisms would result in fossils that appeared to have formed from much younger individuals. In short, scientists actually could be in possession of—could be staring at in their laboratories—bones from people who had lived to ripe old ages, and they never would know it! Thus, the allegation that “most bones of ancient men turn out to be twenty or thirty years of age and none has been found older than eighty years old” (to use Clayton’s exact words) means absolutely nothing in light of the actual scientific facts concerning human aging.

To elaborate on the genetics issue:

If this suggestion has merit as the major (if not the sole) cause of great pre-Flood ages, then the obvious question is how some of these longevity genes were lost. The human population went through a severe genetic bottleneck at the time of the Flood—only eight individuals. The phenomenon of “genetic drift” is well known to be able to account for “random,” selectively neutral changes in gene frequencies which may be quite rapid. Also, loss of genes is far more likely in a small population....
It is also likely (if not more so) that genes coding for lesser longevity arose by mutational degeneration, with their frequency of possession rising as time passed. At the moment, too little is known of the exact mechanics of the way in which cells are programmed to die in order to offer more specific suggestions (1994, 8[2]:139-140, emp. added, parenthetical comments in orig.)

I would suggest that you read the entire article to get the whole gist of it. It seemed, however, that they come down really hard on scientific investigations into Biblical history, like it's not right to investigate anything the Bible says in a scientific manner. People are just supposed to accept it all and be quiet about it. I just don't agree. I DO believe the Bible as the inspired word of God, but I see nothing wrong with questioning how things happened the way they did. I think God meant for us to investigate and explore the world around us, or He wouldn't have given us the minds we have. I also think that God meant for us NOT to know everything, so everything known to HIM is not in the Bible--could you imagine how BIG that Bible would be? No one could ever read through that one :) But I don't think he minds if we try to figure it out--just if we doubt it's truth. He probably laughs at us sometimes, saying, "They'll never understand THAT one!" I know some are just supernatural, God-powered events that have NO scientific explanation, but some things, like the ages of the patriarchs, could possibly have scientific explanations behind them, and it's interesting to try to figure it out.

Here's another hot topic for some debate: Did dinosaurs live alongside man? Most scientific theories say otherwise. What are YOUR thoughts about that?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Snow Day

Got up this morning to see on TV that school is cancelled this morning. Apparently we're supposed to get 2-5 inches. Hubby just left and said there's a layer of ice everywhere. That's probably about all we'll get --we never get enough snow to play in. I love to take Meg out to play, but we just end up falling on ice. Sometimes I wish we lived farther north just to get more snow, instead of stuff that just annoys everybody.

I'm feeling a bit better this morning. I bit the bullet and went to the doctor yesterday. I got a fever of 100.4, so felt crummy, and my right cheek felt like somebody had popped me one. Got a Z-pak and some Nasonex spray. Started running a humidifier in my room. I almost tasted and smelled my breakfast this morning, and the sinus pressure is minimal now. I guess since we'll be home all day, I can try to get rid of this thing a bit more.

I got the cheese spreads and truffles I had ordered from Swiss Colony. I hope I can taste them soon. I like to order those each Christmas for some great munchies. They have nice food gifts that you can send to far-away friends and family too.

I may just get the gumption to finish decorating today, but if it's too icy to walk to the garage, I may have to wait on that. Definitely need to clean the house. I slacked off a bit due to my sinus infection. Hope everyone has a good day today, and may God bless YOUR snow days!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Biblical ages?

Already have a thought to ponder. Have you ever wondered how folks from the Bible like Methuselah (sp?) lived for 900 some years? Did they report time differently? Did they eat better, live more cleanly? Exercise more? Today, when we have advanced medicine, we are lucky to live to 80. Is it pollution? What was it that kept them around so long? Was it a spiritual thing? Closer to God or something? Any ideas are appreciated.


Today, I officially feel like crud. Is that a bad word? Makes me think of stuff on the bottom of a shoe, so definitely a "dirty" word. And that's how I feel. My cold has progressed into a sinus infection. Symptoms of blowing nasty looking mucus out of my nose, alternating between being able to breathe and not, no sense of smell or taste, possible fever (haven't checked it, but feel a bit feverish), tender cheeks, pressure under eyes, headache, all-over bodily "ickiness" and weakness. The girls are almost all better. Zoe just has a little runny nose, but here I am getting worse. I want to crawl uner a blanket and not do anything--right!!! The dishes don't wash themselves, babies don't change or feed themselves, and Meg is begging me to play with her. I read that acute sinusitis can last up to three weeks. I started the cold along with the girls over a week ago, and these symptoms have lasted about 4 days now.

I'm hoping this will pass before hubby's company Christmas party next week--good catered food at a country club. I sure want to taste it. If I don't see improvement by the weekend, I'll try to see a doc and get some antibiotics or some such stuff.

For now, trying to rest as much as possible, taking Nyquil, Ibuprofen, drinking hot tea, putting warm washrags on my face, and just got a humidifier for my bedroom. I usually enjoy this time of year, but it's hard to when you can't breathe, taste, or smell.

I hope I have something better to talk about later.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sick day

I took a sick day yesterday. Missed church, laid around all day in my pj's until I remembered that we had reservations for our church's Christmas banquet. So I showered, got the girls dressed and off we went. The church was all decorated, and the Sunday school rooms were decorated and tables set up in there to eat. It was a great atmosphere, everyone really having great fellowship and enjoying the good food. I couldn't taste mine and couldn't hear well, so I hope no one asked me something to which I did not reply. They had some great music after dinner, or so I hear, but we didn't stay since my head was throbbing. Tried to rest on the couch when we got home, but baby Zoe started crying, Megan wanted to lay by me, and I started coughing when I was horizontal just long enough to start to get relaxed. *sigh*

Moms don't get sick days, more like sick moments.

Megan did well in the opening night of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever". Took off her angel halo and wings and tried to remove her angel robe--very cute really. At the end, she kept bowing--cute little uncoordinated bows that made everyone laugh. Don't know if she will make it through all the performances, but I was glad I got to see the first one. Zoe was even pretty good sitting with me. Thanks to my friend's hubby for helping keep her entertained, and a sweet elderly gentleman beside him as well. It really takes a village sometimes to raise babies. Big, BIG, thanks to the stage moms, including my friend, who kept the kiddos under control backstage.

Still not well today, but Zoe seems better. Meg is almost completely well--definitely has the energy back. I am loopy-headed from cold meds, so if I ramble incoherently, forgive me. I think I'll sit back in a little while drink some coffee and eat some Kroger Christmas sugar cookies, imagining that they taste wonderful :)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Potter vs Narnia again

In response to a comment from earlier today and to some reading I've been doing over the interenet, I still have trouble seeing why many Christians shun the "Harry Potter" series, while hailing the "Narnia" and "Lord of the Rings" tales. All have stories of good vs. evil, with the evil side being negatively portrayed, and all are filled with magic. The "Narnia" and "Rings" stories can be loosely paralled to the biblical story of Christ, but there is no outright Christian message in the stories, so why are those any better? Not sure how one story could spur anyone on to practicing the occult any more than the others.

Again, I welcome any comments and am open to debate.

Ok, now I'm depressed

May be hormones, may be the cold medicine that's making me foggy-headed. My husband won't be able to make it to Tennessee after all. He's got to handle the lights for the Christmas play my daughter's in and there's a big time conflict. I ordered some flowers to be sent to them, but wish we could be there. I hate it when I feel so bogged down by life. These stupid colds and this play seem so inconvenient right now. I feel kind of out of control. I can't help out with the play as much as I'd like, because hubby is working lights and I've got to watch our baby. Having no grandparents or family nearby is a bummer sometimes. Can't go to Tennessee to be with our family because of colds and obligations. Feeling really guilty and down today. Physically feeling icky too--chest congestion, scratchy throat. Just want to lay around but have girls to tend to and housework to do. Just bogged down and had to vent. Bless your heart if you made it this far.

Memorial Service

Baby Ryan Neal Baker will be remembered tomorrow at a graveside service in Tennessee. My husband will go on our behalf and I'll remain here with our girls. I sure would have liked to have had another nephew to spoil. I've decided to write a little poem:

Today we say good-bye
To a baby we never met.
Though we still don't understand,
We never will forget.

Someday we hope we'll see you
On Heaven's golden shore.
And we'll laugh and skip and play,
Like we never could before.

Dear Father, hold and love
This little baby boy,
And help us understand Your plan,
Help us again to feel Your joy.

Dedicated to Ryan Neal Baker, stillborn November 30, 2005

"Harry Potter vs Narnia"

I've been thinking about this since the movie previews of "The Chronicles of Narnia" started. Many Christian groups are opposed to the "Harry Potter" series, but seem to hail the "Chronicles of Narnia" stories, when both contain magic, witches, sorcery, and fantasy. I am not as familiar with the Narnia stories, though I saw one of the old movies years ago. I have seen all the Harry Potter movies, though haven't read any of the books. I personally have no problems with Harry Potter or any fantasy movies aside from the fact that I wouldn't take my kids to see that last movie--my hubby and I saw it and it had parts that really scared me. So aside from having scary scenes, I see no problem with Harry Potter or any sci-fi/fantasy stories from a Christian perspective, except that some may not be appropriate for young kids due to violence.

Can someone share your perspective on this?