Thursday, March 31, 2011


Kaycie's vocabulary is cracking me up. As is typical of kids just learning to talk, some things come out not quite right. And she loves watching sign language videos, probably because it's real people and not cartoons, so she's been picking up some signs. Except she doesn't always use them correctly. It's pretty funny.

Books are "boops". I really have to catch myself saying it correctly to her because I think "boops" is so dang funny I use it when I talk to Greg now. But if Kaycie is going to learn, I have to say it right to her. I don't want her starting kindergarten saying "boops!"

Another favorite is signing "cold," which is basically holding your arms and shivering. She'll do it and say, "Brrrr. Cold!" She learned that yesterday and thinks shivering is hysterically funny. So is the sign for "monkey," combined with a monkey noise.

Dogs, of course, are pups. She really likes words that start with "P," like Papaw. Which is more like, "Papaaaaaaaw!"

She'll say daddy too, but that too comes out more like, "Daaaaddddddyyyyyyyyyy!" She won't say Mamaw or Mommy. I don't think she likes "M's" very much.

Yesterday she also started saying "drink." Only it's "dink." She has a tough time with those combined consonant sounds.

She's got "baby" down pat. And "dog," only it comes out more redneck. Like, "dawwwwwg." That's my girl. Tonight she told our waitress "Thank you." Sorta. And she repeated my mother-in-law when she was naming off their pets, then said, "good cat." She can also say, "bad pup." Greg taught her that one.

Her signing is funny too. She can sign cold, monkey, eat, and more. Except more isn't usually used correctly. It's used more randomly, and sometimes I have no idea what she wants more of. Sometimes it just means "milk" in general.

I'd like to point out that three weeks ago she only had like 4 words. Today she's probably said a dozen or more different words. Poof. Like magic.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I very nearly posted a very whinny post at 4am, but literally didn't want the pup to think I was keeping him company in the living room after waking up multiple times overnight. Probably a good thing, as I hate being whinny. Instead you get bread.

Last night's dinner wasn't exactly tasty, but the homemade bread I made to go with it was quite yum! I've successfully made two breads in the past week or so with good results using my $10 bread machine from Goodwill. Go me! Both actually use the dough setting on the bread machine, the bread cooks in the oven, so if you want to try this and don't have a machine it should be easy to convert. Here's a site with a general explanation of how to do that. And here's another one. Here are the recipes, both from the Taste of Home Baking Book:

Soft Italian Breadsticks

1 C water (70-80 degrees)
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 C bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I use bread machine yeast)

1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (or as needed... I used more!)

In the bread machine pan place all the bread ingredients. I do liquids first, the flour for a base, and yeast last so it doesn't come in contact with the water before it's supposed to. Select dough setting on the machine and run. Check it after 5 minutes to see if it needs an additional 1 to 2 tbsp of water or flour to get a good consistency.

When cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Cut each portion into 12 pieces; roll each into a 4-6 inch rope. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. (This is the part where I actually only cooked 6 and put the rest on a separate baking sheet close together and immediately shoved into the freezer to flash freeze before they could do a second rise.) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. I had to watch closely for the last couple of minutes because my oven burns EVERYTHING. Immediately brush with butter and sprinkle (liberally) with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm and toasty.

Garlic Herb Bubble Loaf

Remember making Monkey Bread out of biscuits, butter and cinnamon? Same concept but with real bread and garlic. Oh yum.

1/2 C water (70-80 degrees)
1/2 C sour cream
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I use bread yeast)

Garlic Herb Butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp each dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary, crushed

In bread machine pan put all bread ingredients, starting with the liquid and ending with the yeast. Put on dough cycle. When cycle is complete, turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Cover and lest rest for 15 minutes. Mix Garlic Herb Butter ingredients in a shallow bowl while you wait. Divide dough into 36 (approx) pieces. Dip each ball into the butter mixture and place into an 9X5X3 loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack, serve warm.

Ok, so my bubble loaf burned on top, making the top part not so tasty. But my oven burns things. This is why you don't get a picture of the bubble loaf. The middle, however, was extra yummy tasty and I snacked on it for a few days. YUM.

Notice the basic bread ingredients and dough process are pretty similar. I think I'm going to mix up a few batches of the dry ingredients for each and store them in jars (I do love me some jars) so when I get ready to make them again I can just throw in the liquids, toss the contents of the jar into the machine, and go.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This is not what I had wanted to blog about today.

As I posted on Facebook moments ago, I really wish there was a way to determine if Kaycie had an ear infection without making an appointment, driving half an hour across town and dropping another 60 bucks.

She's been crazy fussy this morning. Could be she's super tired; she's been giving me her zombie look for a while so I just put her down for a nap an hour and a half early. She's been shoving her fingers into the back of her mouth and chewing on them. Could be some of those new teeth she's had coming in forever. She's been clingy and wanting me to hold her for two days. Could be that developmental leap I talked about in the last post.

She's had the major sniffles for a solid week. Could be an ear infection.

Because of the sniffles I've been anticipating an ear infection, so maybe I'm a bit sensitive. She's eating and sleeping fine (or as fine as she's eaten in the past few months), which makes me think I may be wrong. And the idea of doing another 10 days of antibiotics makes me want to crawl under a rock. She does not do antibiotics well. Not to mention every time a doc says "ear" I cringe waiting for the "tubes" shoe to drop. It hasn't been mentioned yet, but at this rate I fear it's going to be inevitable. I want her to feel better and if it helps then we'll do it, but I was really really really hoping it wouldn't come to that. If it wasn't for the constant fight of allergies we wouldn't have these issues. Oh wait, she's Greg's child, and we do live in Mississippi. I suppose they should have gone ahead and put in tubes at birth.

Sigh. Guess I'll see how she's feeling after lunch then go ahead and call the doc's office.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Declaration of Independence

I knew it. Back when I wrote this post about Kaycie's new attitude I was really hoping it was a sign of another developmental spurt and not my kid losing her mind. Days later I got a warning email from Wonder Weeks about how she had an upcoming leap due*. Whew. At least I'm not crazy, and at least she'll work her way out of it fairly quickly!

So what do I expect to see with her 17 month developmental leap? Independence, of course. According to the book she's learning that we are individuals, not everybody is the same, not everybody is like her. She's moving out of the egocentric stage where she thinks she is, quite literally, the center of the universe. I can see where that can be a difficult transition.

Some interesting things coming up for us - she should start to have more imaginary play, spend more time playing by herself, start understanding about choices and wanting to make more choices and decisions on her own. I was a little surprised this weekend when I showed her four outfits and asked which one she wanted to wear, she immediately pointed to one! I've started giving her two choices between snacks, too. It's a new thing for her. She has always just accepted whatever I gave her.

It's also time for her to figure out how all living things are different, and start measuring those differences. She'll be exploring plants and animals and how people are made and act different. She'd already figured out that some of us have some different parts that others don't and I suspect that will get more interesting as she goes along!

The book specifically mentions that during this leap they start to understand how people live in family units, and that our family unit is different, has different routines and lives in a different environment, from other people, such as grandparents and friends. She's already started recognizing when we drive into our neighborhood, and when we go get Greg for lunch she starts saying "Daddy!" when we get in sight of the hospital!

This is also the leap where power struggles usually start in earnest. She's learning about control and that she has the choice to do what I tell her... or not. It's a definite time of pushing boundaries and exploring new things. Old toys get played with in new ways. She should start testing her physical limitations (like when she did a cartwheel of the couch this weekend?) and she has already started learning the art of imitation and mimicry. Heaven help us.

It's fun to watch her develop in spurts like this. I always know it's coming because she shows the classic "3 C's" - Crying, Clingy and Cranky - a few weeks before it hits. The theory is that they have a hard time coping with all the new things they are starting to understand and get overwhelmed easily. By the time the leap fully hits they calm down and handle things better. Kaycie is already starting to come out of the C's. Her attitude is getting better, and while the clingy is still there it's not nearly as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago. Right on time. I look forward to all the new fun we'll be having as she grows into herself!

* I love this book and recommend it for anybody with a kid under 2. I didn't read it cover to cover, I just read each chapter as she comes up to that spurt. I don't do much on their website, but I did sign up for the leap alarms which give me warning a few weeks before she's scheduled to have a developmental leap. That helps keep me sane when she gets all crazy on me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Everybody Sing Along...

One of Kaycie's noisy Emmer-hand-me-down toys plays this classic song:

Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day.
Little children, little children,
little children want to play!

I would like to suggest a slightly altered version:

Rain, rain, don't delay!
Come and wash the pollen away!
Cause little children, and big children
All the children want to play!

Spring Sorting


During our visit with BFF Lauren and her family she and I went on a bit of a shopping spree. You know I hardly ever buy "stuff" and when I buy clothes for Kaycie it's usually second hand and not until I'm nearly desperate. We have been super lucky that her grandmothers both love buying her clothes and have supplied much of what we've needed, but she's suddenly growing out of 18 month clothes (mostly because they won't go over her head!) and our selection of 24 months/2T was kinda slim. And of course Lauren has a family full of boys, so shopping for girlie things is always a treat for her! So we bought clothes. Clothes for Kaycie and shorts for me, since I could fit into exactly zero of my shorts from last summer and was pretty much under threat of death from my hubby if I didn't buy myself some. So I did. We came home with two pair of shorts for me and giant pile of clothes for Kaycie!

Today I got serious about unpacking and quickly realized I had to clean out her closet first. I've been keeping a garbage bag in closet to toss things in as she outgrows them and had one already full. I came away with two more for a total of three bags of clothes! Then I had to do some reorganizing. It's easy to pick out clothes when you have a total of 8 or 9 outfits to choose from. Now she has a closet full! So I sorted into sets, individual shirts, and dresses, then made room for a few leftover long sleeve things and some things I think she'll still need to grow into a bit. Geezum peetes.

Tomorrow I need to sort my own closet. It's time to swap out the winter for the summer, which is a sad collection of ill fitting shirts at this point. Maybe next month, when we've recovered from my spending spree, I can go find some shirts. I so hate shopping for myself. Last time I went to look for short sleeve shirts I took BFF Sharonda with me and between the two of us we only found one to buy! Sigh. Maybe after I clean everything out I will realize I have more stuff than I thought, but the same extra pounds that made my shorts situation dire is also causing some issues with the rest of my summer wardrobe. I could solve all kinds of problems if I could drop just five pounds...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Fun Than Most People Can Stand

HOME! Happy to not be traveling anymore, but missing the Emmer family already! We always have fun with them and this time was even better because it was Kaycie's first trip and she was absolutely adored by Edwin (age 8) and Ian (age 5)! They followed her around, offered her every toy they own to play with, gave her hugs and kisses, and were constantly asking, "Where's Kaycie? Can Kaycie do this..." She ate it up. She would randomly walk over and hug them three or four times a day. Awesome. I will admit that she seemed to show a little preference to Ian, but I don't know if that was because he's her destiny or because he was closer to her size!

The drive was brutal but the baby girl was a trooper. If she can manage that well for a 13 hour trek, hopefully she'll find a 5 hour hop to the beach to be a breeze...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top 5 Car Toys for a Toddler's Road Trip

1. Say It With Sign DVD. I don't care if she learns toddler sign, but the people were way more entertaining for her than the cartoons we offered.

2. Fisher Price CD player. Doesnt actually play cds but does have butons and music and a slot to put the plastic discs through. She loves this thing at home and it has now made two 10+ hour road trips with us. Its awesome.

3. Books. We had several new books in hiding waiting to be introduced in the car. Baby girl does love her books.

4. Empty parmesan container and cotton balls. No, not kidding. I flipped open the "pour" side of the lid and handed her cotton balls to stuff inside. Loved it. Then she learned how to flip the lid up, then to unscrew the big lid. I may regret that skill.

5. Momma in a silly hat making faces. Or using a stuffed cat to get her feet. Or give her "5." Or just sit in the back with her for company.

Its been a long drive, but I can almost see the Mississippi state line from here. Looks like we will make it home tonight after all. It will be nice to wake up in my own room in the morning rather than a hotel along the way!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Breaking News

I hate packing.

I really hate packing

Really really hate packing.

Packing is one of the least fun things ever.

I do not like it, Sam I am.

But it wouldn't be a trip if I didn't grip about it, right? =) Have a great rest of the week, peeps!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Heads Up

I'm probably going to be MIA for the next week. Taking a little trip and don't plan to spend a whole lot of time online. I do plan to continue to update my 365 blog because if I get behind uploading pics I'll never catch up. A few thoughts before I go:

My uncle, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, is stateside for the next 3 weeks. Whewsh. I feel a lot better knowing he's in the US, even if he won't be home for another week or so. His wife and kids are headed to Virginia to spend this week with him before he comes home. I was thinking today that if Greg was in the military and was deployed for a year or two I'd totally go loony. Not because I couldn't hold down the fort at home, because I can. I'd have a massive support system. But I'd miss him to the point of insanity. I just like hanging out with him. I like talking to him. I like watching TV with him. I just can't imagine him being gone for that long.

The thing in Japan is so horrible. The first video I saw reminded me of video of Katrina, but so much worse because there was no warning. I fear for what will happen to that country. It's humbling to see how a country that is so advanced can be brought to its knees in a matter of minutes. We think we're indestructible. We aren't.

My trip this week is to visit my BFF Lauren and her family. I'm stoked. We haven't been out there since Kaycie was born, although Lauren's been here twice. The drive is going to be a nightmare, but I really hope Kaycie has fun with Lauren's boys!

There's an awful lot going on among my friends this week. Some good, some not so much, but all big deals. I'm praying it's a good week.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Food Post - Yummy Orzo Pasta! (Updated)

So I tried out another recipe for lunch on Friday and it was quite tasty. No, Greg won't eat it, but Kaycie ate some and I thought it was wonderful. I really love risotto but hate the attention it requires. When I found this recipe for Broccoli, Carrot and Cheese Orzo and saw how little attention it required (and how quickly it cooked) I knew I wanted to try it. Plus it hides the veggies for those with an aversion to textures and such. Yum. I made a few changes - not because I wanted to but because I didn't have everything it called for (scallions), had some veggies on hand that it didn't (bell peppers in the freezer) and can't measure correctly (the cheese). I feel confident the original is yumtastic, but here's what I ended up with (I also halved it, since I was making it for one and half for lunch!)

Carrot, Broccoli & Cheese Orzo (serves 2)

1/4 Cup Bell Peppers
1/2 Small Garlic Clove
1/4 Cup Baby Carrots
1/4 Cup Broccoli Florets
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter or Olive Oil
1/2 Cup White or Whole Wheat Orzo
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Place baby carrots, broccoli and garlic in food processor and pulse to chop. How fine depends on how icky you think veggies are.
2. In a medium boiler, heat butter or olive oil and sauté the chopped vegetables, raw orzo and salt for 4 minutes stirring continuously.
4. Add the water and broth to the pot and cook over medium heat for 10
minutes uncovered, or until the liquid starts to evaporate and the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally
5. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

If you don't like Parm (you're insane...) it would work great with any melty cheese. Mozz, Gouda... yummm. Gouda. Probably even cheddar although that seems weird to me. I don't know how well this will heat up, but I'm going to give it a try since I had a little bit left. Actually, I may go give it a try right now...

UPDATE - made this again today with mozz (because I was out of parm) and some of the frozen chicken. To be honest, it wasn't nearly as tasty as the parm. But I'm a big fan of parm so that could be why. And just FYI, it did heat up quite well last time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Money Money!

Today seems to be money day. Every time we turn around today there's been money arriving! I can only imagine that means our taxes will arrive in the mail today...

First, remember how I shipped off my old camera a couple of weeks ago? Well I knew I needed to sell it to fund my two new lenses but I wasn't comfortable selling it on Craig's List or Ebay. Instead I did some research of camera shops and other places that buy used gear. All of the camera shops I looked at required you to send in the equipment before they would give you any kind of quote (despite the words "Instant Quote" in giant letters on their website. Not cool.) I found two places that would give me online quotes and went with the higher one - They take all kinds of electronics so we also sent in Greg's old iPod Touch.

The quote (based on information I input about the condition) was for about $30 more than I anticipated getting for all my gear, without my flash. Plus another $40 for the iPod (it's an old 2nd Gen version). They paid for the shipping and notified me when it arrived and had been checked in. A few days later I got notice that my gear had been inspected and the condition verified, which means I got the same price I was quoted. I was afraid that was where they'd screw me - tell me the condition was not as good and reduce the offer. Nope. Got every penny they quoted on all 4 items. The money arrived in our Paypal account today! It would have taken longer if we'd requested a check, but from start two finish was just under 2 weeks. Very smooth process. I'd totally use them again. They not only resell products but will recycle things they can't sell.

And I still have a hot shoe flash for a Nikon camera to sell... $40 - excellent condition! Anybody? Anybody? (chirp chirp chirp.) Sigh. I'll figure something out.

We also got our trade in credit today. Back in January we sent them a bunch of video games we didn't use anywhere and got nearly $100 in gift cards (they take books and textbooks too). There was one game that we couldn't find the accessory for at the time, so when I found it a few weeks ago we sent it off too. Again, they paid the shipping so it didn't cost me anything to send it in. It went out the same day as my camera gear, so it took the exact same amount of time. Another $20 and change in Amazon gift cards!

Since we were on a roll I checked my Swagbucks account and sure enough, I had a $5 Amazon gift card waiting there.

AND we should have about $20 in Best Buy coupons posted to Greg's Reward Zone account either today or tomorrow.

I think Greg may have gotten a little Paypal deposit from WorldWinner today too.

Whew. Now I'm afraid to check the mail...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Food Worth Posting About

More often than not when I try new recipes they flop big time. But lately I've scored not one but TWO tasty temptations. I figured I'd better post them here for future reference or I'll never remember where to find them. Like the Taco Soup recipe, which I know BFF Jen has looked up half a dozen times here because she lost her recipe in the move nearly 5 years ago! (Sorry if that posts shows up in your feed reader again, I edited it to add a tag for recipes.)

Anyway, I've made two things in the past week or so that was worth remembering. First up are some tangy baked pork chops. Here's the original recipe, but I made few minor changes leading to this:

Baked Pork Chops

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 pork chops, trimmed

Mix marinade ingredients together and place in a zip top bag with the chops. Refrigerate for an hour. Or two. Or five. Or not at all. Whatever.

(Here's the kicker)
Mix a SECOND batch of the sauce and set aside until you're ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 350. Dump chops and liquid in a baking dish. Bake 15 minutes. Turn over each chop, cook another 15 minutes*.

When you take them out of the oven you'll notice the sauce is very very thin. Heat up the second batch of sauce to boiling in a saucepan. Remove the chops from the baking dish, leave the thin leftover marinade in the pan, spoon the fresh sauce over the chops. Yum

Served up with a couple of veggies and some tasty bread, couldn't be easier. If you want to make it even easier, buy chops ahead and freeze them in the marinade, then they soak while they defrost and all you have to do is throw them in the oven and make the sauce. Dinner's ready!

*Please note the original recipe says to cook for an hour. Those chops must be a lot bigger than the ones I buy, which would likely disintegrate after an hour. The 30 minutes is based on some basic on-sale less than an inch thick loin chops. Giant chops will likely take the hour.

The other super tasty thing I made last week was a roasted chicken. Here's the original recipe.
The only thing I did different was instead of a whole chicken I had half a bag of leg quarters I needed to do something with, so I baked those on top of chunks of onion. Worked just fine. As a matter of fact, sitting on the onion kept the chicken from sitting in the juice that built up. Next time I find a whole chicken on sale, you better believe I'll be making this again. I'm pasting the recipe here just in case the link ever dies. This is so worth keeping!

Roasted Chicken

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 onions, quartered
2 (4 pound) whole chickens

In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees. Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.

In all fairness, we ended up not eating this as a meal. The day I was making it we ended up going out of town unexpectedly, but I had already prepped it and had to cook it so I did, sampled a piece, and put the rest in the fridge to deal with when we got home. The piece I tasted was wonderful. I won't be buying any more $6 rotisserie chickens. Since we didn't eat it while it was hot, I pulled all the meat off the bones and stuck it in the freezer. I have half a dozen or more recipes I can think to use it in - stir fry, chicken fajitas, pastas, dumplings... Maybe I should post those as I make them. You might have to remind me of that, though, because you know I'll forget about it in about 10 minutes.

The Teenage-Tot

My baby girl turned 16 (months) today.

You could see it coming all week.

Moody. Going from happy-go-lucky to grump in .3 seconds. Testing boundaries, doing things she knows she isn't allowed to do, stretching her independence, wanting to make her own choices, being difficult...

I'm guessing her teen years are going to be this week multiplied by, well, 16.

And she looks waaaay too teenagery in that picture.

It doesn't help that she's cutting 3 teeth (numbers 11, 12, and 13, by the way). The molar is mostly in, the other two are in the front and taking their sweet time coming on in. I need to go stock up on teething tablets before our trip next week (if I can find them, they were recalled last fall and I don't know if they ever went back on the shelves).

It doesn't help that we are again transitioning from two naps to one. She started this transition back at the end of January, then she got sick and everything got screwed up for a couple of weeks while she was recovering. Now that she's 110% again, she's either not even trying to take a morning nap or wanting/needing it but refusing to go to sleep. That leaves us either taking a good nap around 1 or 2, or puts us off until 3 or 3:30 which makes for a nightmare evening. She woke up from her nap at 5:45 last night. Not good.

We will survive this week. My baby girl is growing up so fast, I don't want to begrudge her the fact that sometimes she's moving forward so fast her attitude can't keep up. Sometimes I think she literally doesn't know how to handle all of her new developments and just grumps in self defense. Other times I think she's delighting in her new found independence and opinionatedness. But for right this second, at 2:13pm, she's napping, and all is peaceful at 803 Bellevue.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gathering Some Thoughts

Y'all know I don't do a lot of posting on religion, but I've been sorting some thoughts on theology after reading some posts by my friend Allison over the past few weeks and I thought I'd take a minute to sort through it here, if you don't mind. I'm not, by any means, claiming to be a theologian, just trying to work out a train of thought. Which for me is harder than you'd think! Ignore the rambling nature of whatever I say next, it's just the way my brain works.

There are different ways to share your faith; and you have to figure out which one will be most effective with the person you're dealing with.

When talking with people who are somewhat open minded, curious about the Bible but have questions and doubts because they've never really understood or become familiar with Christianity, I think exploring and debating Biblical passages can be very effective. Those are the easy ones.

Too often people are not open and curious but belligerent and defiant about religion. They think they know what the Bible's all about and often reject in on intellectual grounds because they don't understand the context. It's easy to see all Christians as hypocrites from their eyes. The problem with trying to debate these people with verses and quotes from the Bible is that if you look hard enough you can find a Bible verse to support both sides of many arguments. Slavery was defended through the Bible! The Bible in itself is a rather contradictory work and when you add in different translations, different accepted versions among different canons, and stir in a good dose of Old Testament... You can argue all kinds of bizarre things just from Leviticus and Numbers alone.

Perhaps I'm wrong about this, but the way it was explained to me (in a class by someone who I do consider a theologian) was that the Old Testament represented a covenant God made with his people to keep them safe. The New Testament represents a new covenant God made with his expanded people, through his Son. The old covenant was replaced by the new.

Back to my thoughts on the subject (so as not to slander Bob). You have to consider the historical significance of the situation. A people with no laws, with no government, no means for health care, and no permanent home. Many of the laws thrown out in the early Old Testament appear crazy to us because they weren't really meant for us. They made perfect sense to the people who received them. Many of the food laws were a matter of food safety. Pigs weren't fed on grain back then, if you know what I mean. You know the saying about how God comes to us where we are? He came to the Jews where they were. When the situation changed during the 400 years between the two major parts of the Bible he returned in the form of his Son. The people had changed, the world had changed, their needs had changed. He came to them where they were, which was somewhere completely different from where the Jews were during the Exodus. They no longer needed instruction on planting crops and governing themselves. They needed instructions on how to treat one another with love and respect.

I'm not suggesting we disregard the Old Testament. I'm not about to slap down the Big Ten or the contributions of David. There are lessons to to be learned and applied there. Clearly the very idea of laws and governing (and food safety!) are rooted in the Old Testament. I'm suggesting that directly applying random verses out of context in an attempt to win over somebody who wants a fight can easily lead to failure. There's a bigger picture there.

By those same ideas, it's been a lot longer than 400 years since the New Testament was written. The world has changed again. People who are prisoners to that World can poke all kinds of holes in the verses of the New Testament and the ways in which Christianity has ignored its own teachings. I don't for one minute believe that God intended for us to create so many factions of Christianity, to have so many conflicting translations and interpretations of the Bible, or to have groups arguing over the smallest details of the law (dunk or sprinkle, anyone?). That was the job of the Pharisees, as I recall. it's no wonder some people reject religion. It would be easier to witness to them if God had offered us another new covenant, but he hasn't. I have to wonder if the next one won't come with Judgment. Perhaps while our world has changed, the basic guidelines set down in the New Testament haven't. The key there being to love one another, live honestly and resist sin. I'm not sure we've gotten that down yet.

For those who choose to actively fight against the love of God (as opposed to just not knowing how to accept it) preaching to them isn't going to change them. Showing them that Christianity isn't a religion of hypocrites, actively being the body of Christ by showing unconditional love, making a point through positive actions instead of negative words, is perhaps a better approach. It's important for them to understand the Word, but if they don't trust Christians as a whole, they won't be listening. The key is help them understand that all Christians are imperfect, but we can all strive to be better.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I don't have the time or energy to post the complex thoughts I was intending to post yesterday, but I'll offer up this one:

My dad had cataract surgery yesterday. A conversation with my mom:

Mom: "He's fine, just needs eyedrops for a few days and can't lift anything over 20 pounds."
Me: "What does he lift with his eyes???"

Since we're headed up there this afternoon, I'm wondering if I should point out that Kaycie weighs over 23lbs...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attempt Failed

For the record, I tried to write a real blog post tonight but our internet service wouldn't stay up long enough. Perhaps I will try again tomorrow.

AND my first two attempts to publish this from my phone failed. Geez Louise!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bring on the Magic!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you... the 2011 Magic Quarter.

Yes, I picked this beautiful piece of 1965 currency a little early, but being the idiot that I am I planned a road trip for opening week of March Madness and we need to roll coins before then. I've never picked a magic quarter this early, so maybe having it early will actually be better. We'll see. I waited until March 1 to make sure it would be a magic quarter.

And yes, that's my picture of the day for my 365 project.

I didn't post about last year's quarter because I barely got one picked and a bracket filled out, thanks in large part to having an infant and not having slept in four months. It fell during my blog hiatus. But I did have a quarter, and while I didn't win, I did come in second to Greg, which means I still beat Benji, which is all that mattered. I'm still 2-1 for wins and 3-0 against Benji.

Don't know the history of the magic quarter? Here's a link to previous posts on the subject.