• Blogging
  • Weaving Strategies For Success Into Operating Your Apps Information Website

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    Market segmentation and research can make a difference when getting your apps review website ready. Successful promotional activities depend on you knowing your ideal customers. If not, confusion may arise about your merchandise. To assist design your site, take a look at the suggestions in the following article.

    When it comes to creating an apps review website, it is certainly indispensable that you have a high-speed frequency. One surefire way to optimize your site’s operating speed is to have it hosted by a top-notch web hosting firm. When it comes to increasing functionality and speed of an apps guide site, CSS is a great resource. Hot button topics like how to best boost page load speed should be at the top of the list when you’re interviewing professional website designers.

    A designer can create a professional looking apps review website for your business. Be certain that you have crafted a well thought out idea of what you want the site to become. This intensive thought can promise that you get your needed result. Before you make a hiring decision, ask prospective designers for hyperlinks to websites they have created for other clients, to give you an idea of their capabilities.

    A professionally planned, easy to explore, and charming design is really the primary element to a successful site. It’s essential to keep the site’s navigation easy and the content stimulating and not tricky to read. If your site just isn’t visually appealing and easy to use, guests won’t return. Locate some different locations that identify with your industry and hope to perceive how they are accepting their customers and putting significant substance and discussion on their pages.

    Having a lot of domain names can help with SEO optimization. Keywords are used to assist visitors to find your web page when conducting a search. To get extra traffic and visitors, you should make key phrases part of the domain name. You can likewise help the enhancement procedure by adding important substance to the page.

    Key phrases should be directly related to your apps review website content. If you highlight key phrases that don’t coordinate well with your web page, you will attract the wrong type of guests. When starting out, choosing, the bad key phrases can ruin your website’s reputation permanently. With regards to guaranteeing ideal key phrases are being utilized for your web page, contract an apps guide site designer to examine your web page and present you with a legitimate evaluation.

    Forums can be a way to have the latest most relevant content on your apps review website without spending a lot of money. As visitors continuously add to the forum, the content grows and evolves for you. You could have visitors who set up accounts to discuss topics on your forums which provides a perpetual flow of content. Having a busy forum will gain the attention of the major search engines and enable for greater website placement.

  • Blogging
  • Business of Faith

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    Mike and I have started reading (or in Mikes case, listening)  to “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis.

    From the outset, Mike has noticed something with which he disagrees. That of course, led to pretty neat discussion.  I’m going to provide the quote Mike is referring to, then our discussion as it was (with fixed spelling, etc.myself).  Please feel free to ask Mike anything that you would like to know.  Also keep in mind we’ve been discussing these very things intensely for over 4 years.  So, if it seems like we’ve jumped over some things it’s because we’ve already covered it. However, I am confident the issues of morality, beginning of life and the like will be revisited since we’ve not been able to agree on them.  So sit tight- this is what literally one quote out of a massive book can spill out in our minds!  Are we nerds? Yup.  Do we really research this stuff and come back weeks later with a reply?   If you’re like us, get the books or follow the links to the articles and research alongside us!

    ” Every one has heard people quarrelling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kind of things they say. They say things like this: “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?”-“That’s my seat, I was there first”-“Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm”- “Why should you shove in first?”-“Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine”-“Come on, you promised.” People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups. Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes them is not merely saying that the other man’s behaviour does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: “To hell with your standard.” Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse. He pretends there is some special reason in this particular case why the person who took the seat first should not keep it, or that things were quite different when he was given the bit of orange, or that something has turned up which lets him off keeping his promise.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Chapter 1, The Law of Human Nature

    Mike: The part where he says “show me a man.” He is very wrong. He doesn’t understand atheism. He claims that if we don’t agree to some kind of universal morality, that we have no reason to keep a promise. He is dead wrong.  It’s a classic argument that we atheists have no source for our morality, and that we will break a pledge readily, that we don’t know “right” from “wrong” nor do we have any sense of “decency,” basically we are some kind of savages.

    Beth: Right, I actually know exactly what argument you are talking about, because it’s that’s common. What is your reply to that?

    Mike: As we evolved and became more complex, we became less able to survive without the cooperation of others. Those beings with the strongest ability to bond and work with others survived at a higher rate than those who tried to function alone. Ultimately, we evolved into a species with strong emotional ties to each other, and a need for each other’s love and respect. This need gives rise to such feelings as sympathy and empathy, etc. Morality, as we call it, leads to a stronger civilization and a greater likelihood of survival. This is fundamental in evolution. Those beings best equipped to survive do survive, leading to a stronger species. This is true among animals as well. Not uncommon to see animals that live in groups to enhance their likelihood of survival. Those animals that didn’t have the social needs did not mate as frequently and were, over time, eliminated. The concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, are by-products, simply terms we’ve invented for convenience. They have no real meaning in the universe. If I make a promise to you, I seriously want to keep it, because I want to be the kind of human who has strong ties and bonds with others, and keeping promises is part of what allows that. It makes me healthier and it is consistent with nature, as we have evolved.

    He also makes a distinction between “wanting to help another in need” and “believing you SHOULD help another in need.” I think he is drawing a distinction that doesn’t exist. Nature has created us to have a desire to help others. All discussion as to whether we SHOULD is based on a moral code that is an invention of man. We WANT to help others. That’s good enough, and it’s real. It’s how we are and it simply is meaningless to talk about “should”. That’s the atheist view, anyway.

    Beth: You use the word created, so nature created itself? Or am I misunderstanding?

    Mike: We evolved. We were created, but not by any intelligent beingI probably use the word carelessly, but the truth is that no one really knows how everything got started, or even if it did. There are a lot of things no one knows, and I’m comfortable with that. We are here, therefore we were somehow created. However, that doesn’t mean our creation was planned, any more than an icicle is planned. It is created when water is dripping off the roof and it freezesOne might argue that God plans and creates every icicle and I couldn’t prove them wrong. But it’s sure not how I see it.So., we are kind of fancy icicles.

    Beth: I just got all caught up, sorry. We had Red River Carpet Cleaning doing the carpets again. Pretty sure they are my favorite people on the face of the planet. I bet your favorite people are Willmar Carpet Cleaning, huh?  One question I have is why do people then, in your opinion, do bad things? Where does ‘evil’ or the notion of ‘bad’ come from?

    Mike:  They don’t do “bad” things. They just do things. They are only “bad” in the view of (some) other people. But why do they do things that would not make you or I feel good? It’s because the system isn’t perfect. Nature isn’t perfect. As wonderful as this system is, it has flaws and some people are exceptions. Over time, those exceptions get removed from the species, so they are in the minority, but they still exist in small numbers. I’m talking mainly about people who are mass murderers, rapists, etc…the worst. You can find the same thing in the animal kingdom. An animal will kill another animal seemingly without purpose or cause. It’s hard for humans to interpret animal behavior, but in some cases an animal will behave outside of its norms inexplicably. Perhaps this is the animal equivalent of sociopathic human behavior. But again, “bad” is an undefined concept, which not all humans agree on the meaning of. Without humans roaming the earth, it has no meaning whatsoever.

    •  

      Beth: So you believe all animals/people evolved? What did we or they evolve from? Or, if you aren’t sure..what just your thought or theory? And were there ever any animals that didn’t NEED to evolve? Were there any species perfect the way they were? Serious question lol! And I’m not trying to be mundane…I have somewhere I’m headed with this…but you are usually always a few steps ahead lol.

       Mike: Nothing is “perfect”. Things are constantly evolving, but there are species that haven’t changed much in many eons, as their environment hasn’t changed much and they are well adapted. We evolved from more primitive forms of life. I don’t know if any of those forms of life are still around or not. Dawkins would probably know that.  Perfection, unfortunately, is not part of nature….or the universe.

       Beth: So, the giraffe. Have you heard this one?

      Mike: Not sure.

      Beth:  Essentially, creationists say it’s impossible that the giraffe evolved. It had to be created because of it’s complex system it needed because of it’s neck.  In order to drink water, the head goes below the heart, but to eat it goes above, all day so the heart system or whatever (I’m so scientific) is specifically designed.

       Mike: Demonstrating once again that creationists don’t understand the difference between “impossible” and “unlikely”.

       In nature we find all kinds of such examples that one would think MUST be designed by an intelligent being. That is where our mind instinctively goes, but that is far from a scientific approach. There are probably tribes in Africa who see airplanes go overhead and consider them proof that God exists, because it seems so impossible.

      Beth: But scientifically, giraffes couldn’t have survived without starting off exactly how they are now. So how did they get here?Remember, I’m science dumb. And I’m seriously curious, people have used this on me before and it makes sense to me but I know you will have another thought.

      Mike: I would ask you to support your assertion that giraffes had to start exactly as they are.

      Beth: I have a link explaining it, it’s really long lol! Do you want that?

        http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j16_1/j16_1_120-127.pdf

      Mike: That’s a good article. I have no reason to believe that it is misleading or deceptive. What it says is that the giraffe is not good evidence in support of Darwin’s theory of evolution and that many problems exist in current explanations as to how and why the giraffe exists as it is. In other words, we don’t know. Perhaps it makes no sense that the giraffe’s neck evolved as a device for foraging high branches. I don’t know, and according to the article, neither do scientists. However, this is a LONG way from saying the giraffe did NOT evolve. Perhaps we don’t have evidence to support its evolution, but this is by no means proof of anything. Science is comfortable with “gaps” in knowledge. That’s just what they are…..our brains are limited, and while we are constantly learning, there are many things we still don’t know. How the giraffe got here may very well be one of them, but that in itself, is not support for creationism either. At this point in the discussion, all we can say, based on the article, is that the giraffe is a mystery to humans.

       The article challenges evidence. This is exactly what science does. I’m not sure what “evidence” exists to prove that the giraffe was created, but that evidence would be challenged as well.That’s not a scientific leap. They can’t say it did not evolve. They can merely challenge the current theories on how and why it evolved, and point out that it can’t be used to support Darwinism. If they want to make a case for creationism, they need to provide more support than just “there are problems with the theory of Darwinism”.

      Beth: I ‘think’ I understood most of it lol! That’s fascinating!

      So, readers, what do you say? Are we just “fancy icicles?” Did giraffes evolve, or have they always had that long neck they are famous for? Speak up in the comments!
      (There’s quite a bit more from this one discussion, but there’s a lot of information in there for those of you that are following the links provided! Within the next couple of days, I’ll post our discussion on the Cambrian Explosion, Fossils, and wherever that leads. And of course, more from, “Mere Christianity).”
  • Blogging
  • Business of School

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    Wow, I’ve been so excited about all the feedback from readers! I seriously only thought my Mom and Dad (and close friends that are obligated by association) would read it. I love how the blogging world is such an outlet for..well..you and I. I love how it unites, and encourages, sparks debate, and just enriches our lives. Ok ok, enough cheesiness.
    So my husband is a rock.star. Not in the ‘pants so tight it’s NOT even sexy’ way, but in the, ‘I support my wife and listen and know exactly what she needs’ kind of way. Which, is sexy. Right ladies? Anyhoo. Ever since I made my choices for curriculum I really wasn’t at peace. I kept feeling like I was on the right track…but not there yet. So Levi (super rock star husband) had me list out loud the choices, and my purpose for that. During this processing, he opened up his laptop (which actually annoyed me at first) and showed me this. Did you click on it (and notice I figured out how to add links lol)? Isn’t that amazing?! What made Levi get that for me, was I was explaining how the timelines I had found were great, and right at Ayden’s level but they weren’t…everything. Not that we are going to memorize all that, but when we are looking at it while eating dinner…we can just explore. It will help me (a visual learner) see the big picture, so Ayden can too. Someday.
    THAT discovery made me realize I didn’t have a lot of material that would excite Ayden. Yes, I know that’s kind of the point with classical education…it’s memorization first and lets be honest…we won’t always have fun doing that. But what makes Ayden’s eyes open wide is science. Seriously, we really need to move back to Eugene where science and nature dominate. He loves everything science. His love for science is actually what helped me choose Latin over Greek. Someday, he’ll be very glad for his Latin background. I want Ayden to know you can love science, and God. I want Ayden to see God, through science. I want to encourage his love for all things science and never accept that it has to be God, or science. If he becomes a scientist, like he wants to, I want him to be a force to be reckoned with in a world where God cannot be mentioned. So I went to the Hip Homeschool Moms blog (seriously, this blog is AMAZING and by far has been my best resource) and read the discussion on science. I ended up choosing the Astronomy Curriculum from Apologia. It was then I noticed Apologia had a World Views series so the domino effect of curriculum hunting was in full effect. For my next addition to the curriculum you have some history. When I look back on my life and my education two things stand out to me:

    1. I was never taught to critically think or apply reason. When I learned, as an adult, to do that- absolutely everything made sense and learning became fun. I couldn’t get enough of it.

    2. I had heard all the bible stories, knew the major players, but never fully understood who God is.

    To give Ayden these two major gifts, from an early age, is one of my highest priorities. I would give up Latin, Math, and probably coffee (notice I said probably) to give Ayden a solid foundation of both those things. Apologetics is also high up on my priority list- but so far we are able to just discuss how to defend the faith in our daily lives. I know, as Ayden hears and even asks BIGGER questions, we will get into some deeper research. But for now, I decided to add the, ‘Who is God’ curriculum from Apologia. I’m beyond thrilled. I realize this could be for older kids, but the biggest thing I’ve learned during this homeschooling life, is that we tend to underestimate our children. We dumb things down for them. We trick them into learning because they couldn’t possibly have the capability to understand deep things as they are. We add cartoons, simplify, and expect very little from our kids. I expect a lot from Ayden, and he’s blown me away by rising to the occasion everytime.

    Now that I’ve rambled on and on- here is the revised curriculum. And I have actually ordered it! It’s final…for now.😉

    From Memoria Press I have ordered:
    Prima Latina
    Intro to Composition
    Copy Book 1
    English Grammar
    More Treasures Reading Set
    Timeline
    Ancient World Maps

    From Apologia:
    Around the World in 180 Days
    Who is God
    Astronomy

    Lollipop Logic:
    Book 1

    Writing with Ease

    Bible- I’m using the Bible Road Trip here and there from blogger Danika Cooley She has some amazing blog posts and her free printable’s from The Bible Roadtrip is well worth your time! I really like it, and when we do use it, it has sparked such great discussion! And seriously, read her blog. I’ve posted some of her blogs on my Facebook page and the feedback is always awesome!

    And for us Moms, aka teachers the best thing has been itunesU (iTunes university). I’m not going to lie, a lot of school for me as a kid was spent daydreaming about boys. And I would dream about my wedding with the prettiest flowers and my favorite local dj, Adagio Dj.  I’m a dreamer ok?  Anyways. Sooo, I don’t remember much. I’ve been listening to an open class at Yale University about ancient history, so I can sort of look like I know my stuff. Ha. But really, if you can..use that amazing resource!

    I hope, by over indulging you through why I chose what I did helps you choose too. It’s a tedious process, but so very fun!

  • Blogging
  • The Business of Dental Implants

     

    Dental Implants Portland Oregon

    If you’re looking for dental implants- then you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll

    discuss all things dental implants so you can make the best decision in regard to getting implants, not

    getting them, what to expect and how to get the best quality dental implants Edgebrook at an

    affordable price!

    If you have yellowing teeth that, no matter what kind of teeth whitening you’ve tried, just get more

    yellow in time- then dental implants would be exactly what you need. Or maybe you had some teeth

    fall out from health issues or just years of not being able to afford the dentist. Perhaps you have bad

    genes, and no matter how much your brush and floss you always have a cavity and you’re just sick of it.

    Maybe you just don’t like how crooked your teeth are and dental implants sound better then braces?

    Whatever the reason you are needing dental implants, or simply wanting them- chances are they truly

    are the best option for you when compared to other options.

    Chicago Edgebrook Dental Implants

    There are a lot of places to get dental implant Edgebrook and a lot of options if you’re looking for good

    quality yet affordable implants. Most clinics prices vary on the type of implants, the materials they are

    made of, and how you pay. Because of this, it’s hard to tell you exactly how much you can expect to

    pay- but we can tell you what to look for and what to avoid. We want your implants to last a lifetime,

    which should be no problem if you know what to look for!

    What to Look For

    The biggest thing you want to look for is the material of the implant itself. A good quality dental implant

    will be made of titanium- this material allows the implant to form and bond to your gums and mouth-

    literally becoming part of you. Once you pick a good quality material, you want to look at the reason

    you need the dental implants and look for Chicago Edgebrook dental implants.

    Multiple Implants

    If you’re needing multiple implants a lot of people will do a combination of dentures (in the back) and

    implants in the front. The dentures then can be attached to the implants- meaning that no healthy teeth

    will be impacted- and it will save money. There’s typically no reason back teeth all need to be implants-

    so if you’re looking for a way to cut cost- this is a great option! Keep the front teeth implants and have

    the back be dentures or bridges even. Don’t forget to talk to a dentist at Chicago Edgebrooke dental

    implants- there are lots of options for you!

    Single Implant Needs

    Dental Implants are perfect if you have one place that needs a tooth- or multiple but they aren’t near

    eachother. Dental implants stand alone, and never need another tooth in order to be set securely into

    the gums. This is why more and more people are choosing dental implants over dentures, bridges, or

    simple leaving the spot empty. They are simply the perfect solution!

    Recovery

    No matter how many implants you need- the recovery time will be around 4-6 weeks from the time the

    implant was put in. This gives your gums time to heal and mold and bond to the implant. During this

    time you will meet with your surgeon or dentist so they check on the progress of the dental implants

    and help prevent any complications should there be any. Once the gums have healed, and everything

    looks good you will finally have the cap fitted and put on- and then you’ll have a full toothed smile

    again!

    A lifetime of Healthy Teeth

    The best thing about dental implants Edgebrook is that they are meant to last a lifetime. This means no

    more fitting or surgery and no more hassle. You simply take care of them exactly how you would normal

    teeth. However, they will not get cavities and will never need any sort of root canal! This can save you

    thousands of dollars. When you consider how much hassle, discomfort, and cost we you go through just

    to save ONE tooth from decay or cavities, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of the problem teeth (or

    tooth) and find a permanent solution that takes just one procedure.

    If you’re not convinced that Chicago Edgebrook dental implants are you for- call and talk to someone

    about them! We understand they are different then most things, but everyone from the college student

    that wanted to be confident when he smiled to grandma who was sick of her dentures have found

    freedom and confidence because of their dental implants.

    Stop being embarrassed about your smile, and come in to finally get the smile and teeth you’ve always

    wanted! Dental implants are giving thousands of people their confidence back- it’s time you were one of

    them!!

  • Blogging
  • The Business of Growing

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    I’m not picking up little toys as much as I use to.  There are always a few here and there- but nothing like before.  I don’t have to sign into Netflix accounts anymore for the kids- they know how.  Today I stayed in my warm bed while the kids ate breakfast and ran around sliding on our floors with socks.  Their giggling and laughter was what I always imagine having kids would be like.  I just sat there and enjoyed every second of it.

    The truth is when I dreamt of having kids- I dreamt of older children.  Never was a baby something I desired.  Or a toddler. In all honesty I never thought we would move to Fargo, ND either but hey- that’s life.  Sometimes I joke that I must have thought I would give birth to a five year old because I was so shocked when I realized what actually comes out when you’re done pushing.  I’ll never forget looking at my first born in the hospital and wondering what the heck I’m suppose to do with that thing.  If I’m honest- I wondered that up until he was four.  I’m slightly convinced kids that are younger then four are aliens.  I have no evidence to support my theory but in this day and age evidence isn’t much of a requirement. So aliens- That’s what those young toddlers and babies are to me.  I know there are those people out there that love babies and never ever want their kids to grow up- but they’re crazy and I’m sure need some sort of intervention and/or treatment of some sort. Because torture isn’t something normal healthy people wish would last longer. Just throwing that out there.

    So this morning, I’m typing this and watching my kids unload the dishwasher and put the dirty dishes in it.  Happily.  I’m talking to Mom about their Christmas present ideas and there’s not one toy. We’ve moved into the  serious Lego and video game season of parenthood and I couldn’t be more happy about it. I feel as though this summer, along side grief and loss, my children pulled us all out of the trenches of parenting little aliens and because of it life has been a bit brighter.  I’m enjoying most days where before it was survival of the fittest.  I’m finding that I have time on my hands- a lot of it.  I even got bored the other day.  Someone asked me a while ago if I was tired and I actually said, “no, not really. Not at all actually.”  I feel like I must be speaking another language.  Not tired?? Bored?  Time??  No toys??  Hello life. Hello beautiful beautiful life.

    So if you’re like me and not really into the raising aliens thing but are still in the trenches- rest is coming. Sweet relief and help is on the horizon.

    The older kids are where it is at.  

    From four years old and up- you can actually have conversations with your little people and reason with them.  You can correct and teach and see that they actually listen because they trust you and they want to grow and learn. Leaving the house feels less like herding cats and a lot more like leaving the house in a timely fashion (unless you have a husband- then disregard that). And having an eight year old?? Holy heaven folks.  It’s pure love, snuggles, and maturity. It’s heaven I say.  My eight year old is mature and old enough to stay home alone, do school on his own, and hold down a “job” here at the house to earn money- but he’s still young enough to need Mom snuggles and cozy blankets.  It’s everything you ever thought it would be.  Unless you’re of the troubled souls that like that alien stuff.  I’ll provide links below for places to seek help.

    The other day my husband came home from work and we were all content, rested, and busy doing our own thing.  He sat down, a bit- tense and looked around.  I suppose he was ready for his second shift?  He must have sat there for a good ten minutes before he said, “so if you all don’t need my help I think I’ll go up into my office and watch my show.”  His voice trembled a bit.  I looked above my glasses and didn’t need need to say a thing- I just smiled and up the stairs he confusingly went.  So Dads- this is for you too.  Second shift gets better.

    Anyways. Moms. Dads.  Aunts.  Uncles. Friends.  If you’re in the trenches hang in there. Hunker down, dodge the bullets, and survive!!!!! A new day is coming.  Peace.  A clearing of the the clouds.  A bed with just you, and your love. Not the kid love, the spouse love.  You’ll awake and realize it’s still just you two.  You’ll smile, lay back down, stretch, and proudly sprawl and cover as much as the bed as you can and then you’ll EXHALE….and you’ll stay there as long as you can because YOU CAN.

    Don’t despair.  I mean, you can totally freak the heck out because it’s crazy insane, but don’t despair.  The trenches are temporary and worth it all.  God knew what He was doing in making the trenches be the start.  Roll with it.  Survive.  And when that day comes- enjoy every second of sprawling out on your bed while the kids bring you coffee and do the dishes.  You earned it.

    This- it’s real and can happen. Promise.

  • Blogging
  • The Business of Kids?

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    I actually found a dust pan in my toilet- and sadly, that was a relief.  No really, I did and it was.  I have witnesses. Finding my dust pan in the toilet is why, though I hardly ever leave my house, I’m absolutely exhausted. It’s also likely why, though I don’t cry much, I feel like crying at any given moment.  It’s why I”m afraid to sit down.  It’s why we can’t have nice things.

    Today my three year old has been doing that fake cry thing where he throws himself on the floor and screams.  Why? Because he’s full, “up to my neck” he says.  So he wants me to make him toast, but I tell him to finish the lunch he didn’t touch.  “But I’m full!!! Now make me toast right now!!!!!!!!”  Repeat, I kid you not, for the next five hours. During that time, I’m cleaning and doing school with the seven year old and painting the trim of our house.

    Ohhhhhhhh THE TRIM.  I’ve actually painted it three times now.  First, because it was hideous- the 80’s called and they wanted their golden oak back.  So I sanded, painted, and then painted again.  Well, primed then painted.  Waited for the coats to dry, repeated.  Finally I was done, and the white looked so gorgeous and I was so happy!!! I backed away from the stairs to look upon my shiny new white railing and just then, my oldest came sliding down the stairs with…nails on his fingers…digging into the painted railing. Like blood oozing out from a deep cut, came the oak and then, my heart.  My bleeding, bleeding heart. “It adds character.” I thought.  It will be story!!!  A few minutes later, came my three year old (then two) with his dump truck, on the railing.  “Ooooo, paint!!!”  He noticed it scratched so he helped it along on purpose.  Like peeling the skin off the sunburn.  I did everything the way I was suppose to, why is it peeling??!! I re-read all the do-it-yourself blogs and I did everything how I was suppose to.  So why, why was it peeling??!! Kids.  That’s why.  Kids. They are born with this super human power- all they have to do is touch something and POOF, it’s done for.  I cried internally for a bit and moved on from the railing.  Can’t win them all, right? Flash forward to a year later, I finally felt ready to re-paint everything, again.  I get everything all ready and touch up all the peeled off places (yes, I even sanded again).  Oh man!!! It looked so good, it was so satisfying.  Everything dried and seemed to last- even with the kids.  As I was vacuuming however, I kept finding these little white flaky things all over the floor…as I followed their track I realized they were from the trim behind the curtains. Those little twerps!!!! The somehow peeled that.  Then, I looked around…and it was as if a little paint peeling elf had gone all over the house.  I simply hung my head in defeat, and in complete rage tore even more paint off.  If you can’t beat them, join them right?!  The kids thought this was awesome and began peeling places that hadn’t yet been peeled.  “Mom is the best!!! We get to peel this all!!!’  It wasn’t really what I had in mind, but hell…whatever. Flash forward to today, about six months later.  Today, I claim victory.  Despair and victory.  I sanded, primed, and painted again.  But this time, oh this time, I was armed!  With craft gloss sealing spray.  Because, kids.  Don’t judge.  I let all the paint dry, opened all the windows despite that is was freezing out, and sprayed all the trim with craft sealing spray.  Yup. Because I win.  I’m in the business of winning! Because I will have nice trim dangit!!!!!! And the kids, they loose.  Loosers.  Pffft. No but really, I was tempted to take out a business loan with Square Capital Funding, just so I could hire someone else to do all that nonsense.  But I decided I liked the battle….a little.

    Anyways, that dust pan in my toilet thing. So my oldest son walked into the bathroom and told me I better come look.  I was afraid.  No, I was terrified.  No, I was shaking in my Uggs, about to pee/cry/laugh go insane.  And I’m medicated ya’ll.  Anyways.  What will I find in there?  Poop all over the wall? Not like I haven’t seen that.  What about kitchen utensils in the toilet? Been there.  The sink overfilling and flooding the bathroom? Check. Oh oh!!!  Dogs that got into the paint buckets that were locked in the linen closet??  Pfft, been there.  You can still see puppy paw prints even!! And in my favorite grey color too.  So I sat there, scared to go look in that bathroom, but just too curious.  I walked in, trembling…to see that glorious dust pan in the toilet.  I exhaled, giggled, and thanked our glorious savior that it wasn’t that bad.

    Anyways, I spend most mornings feeding the twerps beautiful children in whom I bore in my womb then cleaning up after them.   I finally make my breakfast, and sit down.  Then it happens- my oldest son grabs the other chair and moves it AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to me.  He leans on my left arm and says, “I love my Mommy snuggle time. Ohhh..what’s that? Can I have it?”  I say, “no.” He replies, “then can you go make it for me?” I say, “No.” Then he proceeds to beg me- on my left shoulder (I’m left handed mind you, so everytime I move my arm his head moves with it) for the entire duration of my breakfast.  Which, is about two minutes because I give up and just give him the &*45!@! food.  I could loose some weight anyways, you know?

    After I they eat my their meals, I tell Ayden to get his pencil and paper for school.  He sits down and starts to do his writing for the day. Like nails on a chalkboard I hear it.  The first, “awwww ooohhhhhhh maaaaaannnn” of the school day. With tears.  Afraid to ask, but knowing I need to atleast act like I care, I ask what’s wrong. The conversation goes like this;

    Ayden: I made a mistake and…and….(now crying) I don’t have an eraser so I have to start all over

    Me: Why don’t you have an eraser?

    Ayden: Because I eat them off (more crying).

    Me:  So whose fault is this, and who can do something about it?

    Ayden: Me, but I just…I’m so tired and there are no erasers because I eat them! Whyyyyyyyyyyy do I have to…(now he’s weeping folks) eat my erasers??!! I don’t understand why I, waaaaaaa dooooo thaaaaat.

    Me:  Say nothing, slowly back away and get the wine. It’s only 9 am but, sanity folks…sanity.  I’m convinced any mother that has not gone off the deep end drank a lot of wine.

    Sometimes wine though, makes me have to use the bathroom.  So I run into the powder room trying very hard not to have an accident (because, childbirth…because…kids) and come to a screaching hault.  I don’t actually see the roll of TP, just the TP rolled out all over the floor.  Knowing this is my oldest sons doing, I know what’s next.  Muddy footprints on the toilet seat. Yeah, you read that right.  The kid struggles when it comes to number 2, ok?  Before it was even a thing, he decided squatting was easier. So, he um, squats.  With muddy feet from being outside.  Also- he’s very passionate about not using too much TP, so he uses teeny tiny little squares and tosses them behind him hoping they make it in. Which they don’t, because…squatting. Because, kids.  I digress.  As I’m about to pee my pants I see the horror that is the bathroom after my oldest has used it.  Do I clean it real quick?  Do I deal and just, go??  At this rate, going outside would be cleaner….I momentarily consider it before I realize there are no tree’s and no privacy.  But alas, I’m a Mom and this is a lesson to be learned.  I yell for my son to make him clean it up and pray for the entire twenty minutes it takes because I still really have to go.  FINALLY he’s done, and I can pee.  So…I sit down and the bathroom door slams open. “Mom, I can’t figure out this math problem” yells Ayden.  At this point I’m just, are you freaking kidding me?!  Behind Ayden runs in a naked three year old- “Mom, fix my jammies so I can put them on!!!!” Behind him comes the cat, being chased by both dogs.  I sigh. I explain the math. I fix the jammies,  I shoo the animals. I forget to pee.  I get up and wash my hands anyways, because kids.

    In my distress, I was messaging a friend and she kindly reminded me I don’t even have a car, and can’t even go drive my van off a cliff.  She even had a truck picture to help illustrate.  Reality is so dang hard, you know???

    And that’s why we can’t have nice things.  Because kids.  Because poop.  Because boys.  Because a dust pan in a toilet is a relief.  Because we forget to pee.  Because our carpet will also look gross and we’ll long for Red River Carpet Cleaning to come save the day. Because we’re stay at home Moms. Because kids. Because I’m exhausted.  Because we love them anyways. Because dangit, we love the little twerps. And wine. We love wine.

  • Blogging
  • Guest Post!

    Have I mentioned how great my wife is at writing?  Well she’s rad- take a look.

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    “Mommy, I can’t sleep,” is what I heard last night when both kids are usually sound asleep.  He was wide awake, climbing on the railing of our stairs and trying not to smirk.  His eyes shifted behind my husband and I, and his smirk was no longer hard to contain.  “What’s going on, Mom?  Was that a bomb?  Did that news just say we are at war? With who? Can I watch?” I looked over at Levi and we both just seemed to have an entire conversation with our eyes.  “No.  Go back to bed and dream of monster trucks and fast cars.  Dream of being a scientist that cures cancer,” is what we wanted to say.  Instead, as if accepting some sort of defeat- we dropped our shoulders, hung our heads, and told him to come snuggle up and we would explain everything.

    “So will Daddy go back and fight?” was his first real question after explaining the bombing of Syria.  Thankfully, we could say no.  Of course, he was instantly relieved and then all of the sudden decided telling us what he would do if he were President of the United States.  Being the people we are, we challenged every plan of his and undoubtedly frustrated him.  He quickly realized it’s not so easy to be President. You can’t just do whatever you want (ahem….or SHOULDN’T).  After a while he quieted down, and just watched the news with us.  Eventually we all turned off the TV and went to bed.

    The following morning I decided Ayden would in fact be- President of the United States of America.  We threw out all the math, spelling, and reading and focused on the current events.  Ayden appointed his little brother as Vice President, and of course I became an adviser.  We ate breakfast, watched the most recent developments of Syria and ISIS- and then got to work. We’ve talked so much already about ISIS and current events that he was thankfully pretty aware of what was happening.  To be sure, I went ahead and asked him questions to make sure he really understood.  I really wanted to take a back seat, and do my best to not influence his answers.  So I just asked questions, and wrote down his answers word for word.  It should be noted, the President requested to just be called, “Ayden.”  ;o)

    Me to Ayden:  There’s a problem in the world right now, what is it?

    Ayden: War

    Me: What about war?

    Ayden: This one is like bad, not good.  Not that war is good, but this one is bad.  Ishl….Is…Islams are killing Christians.

    Me: Are they just killing Christians, and is it all of Islam or a group that came out of Islam?

    Ayden: Some, not all of Islam are killing lots of people, not just Christians.

    Me: Why are they killing people?

    Ayden: Because they want everyone to be Islam.  They are asking people to like, convert to Islam and if they don’t they are killing them.

    Me: Why are they doing that? What’s their end goal?

    Ayden: They want the world to be Islam. Like, they want everyone to believe in their God.

    Me: Don’t Christians want that too?

    Ayden: But Christians don’t kill people that don’t believe in Jesus.  We just kind of tell people about Him, and then just…you know…like walk off.

    ~~Right here we took some time to talk about extremists in religion- all religions. We talked about what terrorists are, and how even out of Christianity can come evil. Ayden was very. We took a good hour to just talk about it and process it together.~~

    Me: OK Ayden, so we know what the problem is.  As President, how do you intend to solve the problem?

    Ayden:  I don’t know. Like, that’s just a really hard question to answer…I just don’t know.

    Me: Well, I could help you make a list of choices and then you could choose from that list. And as we go through making the list, you can try to think of other ideas as well, ok?

    Ayden: Ok. Yeah, I just don’t even know like…how to help.

    ~~So at this point, I mentioned the choices President Obama has right now. We talked about the nuke, we talked about battle, we talked about humanitarian aide.  Ayden came up with some ideas, and I did.  We compiled the following list (these are his words too):

    1. Train other Armies to fight the battle on their own

    2. Drop the Nuke

    3. All Christians and good guys go fight by air, ground, water, and swimming.

    4. Only humanitarian aide.

    ~~Notice that doing nothing wasn’t on that list.  I had suggested it, and Ayden very confidently said no.  It was not an option to him, to do nothing. At this point we systematically went through the list and talked about the effects of each choice.  After discussing these, Ayden changed his list to the following:

    1. Train other Armies to fight the battle on their own

    2. Evacuate all refugees, provide them homes in the US with foster families and in the White House.  When all good guys are out of the area, drop the Nuke on the bad guys.  Then, help bring all the refugees home and help rebuild their country.

    3. Soldiers will got to battle form the Air force, Navy, Army, and Marines.

    4. Humanitarian Aide only- but a big one.  Like, all the Christians go and help and if they die because of the bad guys it doesn’t matter because they will go to heaven.  I think that’s what Jesus would do.

    ~~So we went over the list, and Ayden decided on number 2.  I then explained to Ayden that he first needs to have congress approve his plan- and that’s going to be hard.  He’s going to need to convince them that it’s the best plan.  Ayden took some time to think about it and when he was ready, he gave me reasons for his plan.  I didn’t write any of that down, I just listened, because I was just really into it. But he wasn’t convincing, and congress did not approve.  They were worried about the overall cost of a plan like that, and that it seemed unrealistic to be able to move an entire country to America- and only the good guys.  Financially, politically, and for homeland security’s sake it was just too risky.

    Ayden and I then went back to the list and he chose to send the Military to strike and help teach the Armies how to fight- essentially he chose what Obama did but with boots on the ground right away. Of course, Congress approved this plan and Ayden was very excited.

    “Are we done? Is that it,” Ayden asked.  “Well,” I said, “not really.  Do you believe in Jesus as God?” Ayden replied, “yes,” as if to say, “duh Mom.”  “Does God have something to say about our enemies, and about fighting?”  Again, Ayden replied, “yes,” but this time he become more quiet as he thought.

    Me: Ayden, what is our chief goal in life, our purpose?

    Ayden: To glorify God and enjoy Him.

    Me: Should we see if your plan glorifies God?

    Ayden: Yeah.

    So we grabbed the bible and opened it up.  First, we read Luke 6:27-36,

    “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

    Hmm.  Ayden quickly began to question his plan.  We then read Romans 12:14, and 12:20

    “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”
    “To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’”

    Proverbs 27:14-15 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.

    Matthew 5:43-48
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”

    Now, I understand that we need to take context into the picture, and we’ll get to that as we continue to study this.  I’m going to keep this going as long as Ayden is interested. But for now, I decided to stick to the basics as much as possible.  After reading these verses, and examining the life Jesus lived, Ayden’s belief that Jesus would not harm anyone was confirmed for him.  In Ayden’s word, he was, “in a pickle.”  How, as a Christian, does Ayden also lead and protect his country? Can he do both?

    “Mom, It’s like I’m the President of the United States, and God is the President of me.”

    We sat there for a bit…quiet.  A couple times Ayden began to come up with ideas on how to make one of his Presidential plans work, while glorifying God but then he would stop before he even finished, realizing it wouldn’t work.  Then Ayden said, “I would rather have God then be President.”

    I said, “Ok.”

    And that’s where he left it…so that’s where I left it.

  • Blogging
  • The Business of Getting Sick

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    I love how consistent our God is.  He’s the beginning, middle, and end…..and knows all- yet nothing is new to Him and he consistently loves on me.  I don’t know why, but He does.  I’ve been down for some time, the most sick I have been in a very long time and it feels rather familiar.  I vaguely remember praying, and asking for rest a few weeks back- and here I am, being forced to rest and complaining about every second of it!  That got me to thinking about a time I was very sick (yet didn’t know it) and begged God for rest.  I was sick emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It was like sitting in a bouncy house trying to rest when it’s full of toddlers.   I was not glorifying God, I was in fact doing the opposite.  I was not living the way Christ would approve of and I was on a downward spiral that would have very quickly led to some serious problems.  I remember being tired, lonely, lost, empty, and in a quiet whisper I begged God to provide me with rest…doctor ordered rest that I could then use to take the pain away…the emotional and physical.  My life was spinning, and the only one powerful enough to stop it was God. Kind of like watching a toddler with chocolate ice cream run around over white carpet- you know a mess is happening but you can’t stop it.

    Shortly after I whispered a prayer I was sure wouldn’t be heard- it happened.  I got diagnosed with Graves disease, went through a ton of medical tests, radiation on my thyroid, and I was ordered to rest. I slept for 3 months. I could not walk….I didn’t eat.  I slept.  And for the first time ever- I was pain free.  As I stayed in bed, I did a lot of talking to a God I didn’t know very well. I let go, and handed it all over to Him.  Throughout this process, my friends stopped coming around (which was, I am sure, intentional by God) and somehow while out to the doc I ran into a handsome old love (had I ONLY known then what the heck God was trying to say lol).  As I got stronger, I didn’t bother calling my old friends…I moved out of moms house and into my own place, and applied to Northwest Christian University.  I got a do-over….and desperately wanted to know this God better, this God that heard me. Through that process, real love came my way, and I haven’t stopped getting closer to Christ since (a journey that never ends).

    That little whisper…that little plea for help that I doubted would be heard- set the course for a life saved by our Jesus.

    So this time around, seeing as how I have Influenza A and haven’t been this sick in years….I wonder what God has in store for me?  I wonder what I will learn, I wonder the area of my heart God is focusing on?  I trust, from past experiences, these are the times where God really digs in if we let him…I can’t wait to come out of this new.  What a sweet, and precious gift we have- to be made new!

  • Blogging
  • Before Hockey- My First Love

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    “O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. 2Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
    Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. 3O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.” Psalm 131

    Woah.  Did you read the end, did you REALLY read the end?  “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. 3O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.”  Have you ever seen a Mom of three or four kids….once of which is a baby and all around is chaos- the three year old is in the bathroom begging for help to wipe, the four year old is running around as superman and the sauce on the boiler is bursting, phone is ringing, Dad is arriving home, clothes are washing, lawnmowers mowing, dog barking, cat meowing, carpet needs cleaning-yet closely and intentionally placed is the baby- sound asleep on Moms chest. Baby is in complete and utter peace, nestled and settled there with Mom while chaos ensues around.  I have days, even as an almost thirty year old where I just drop my head, pout my lip and say “I want my Mommy.”  What strikes me the most is the picture that verse paints and how loudly is speaks to the chaos of my soul. I long for peace. I long for rest.  I long for quietness.  I have been contemplating this passage for some time, and desiring to my core what it speaks of but have yet been able to figure out how to achieve that kind of peace.  Don’t get me wrong- I have peace in my everyday life.  Things break, businesses fail, you need to take a business loan out with THOSE people you said you never would, people fail, dogs pee, bugs bite and so and so on…and I manage to get through relatively in tact and somewhat sane.  What I am longing for is that intimate, up close and personal trust and love in my Savior so much so that I can just throw it all up in the air, put my head down and settle before my Father with a “he’s got this” trust.

    After a lot of praying, thinking, and some rather obvious hints from God I have realized the answer is right there- right in Psalm 131.  Notice how King David starts off by saying his heart is not proud.   I could go on and on about pride but to be honest…it’s something I currently struggle with.  What I can say is- any amount of pride, any reason for ones pride can and will keep you from an intimate and honest relationship with Christ.  If we at all think our good deeds, thoughts, or moments of comedic relief are because of our wisdom, sense of humor, or knowledge then how in the world can we find the peace that transcends all understanding when we don’t really believe we need Christ?  Nothing good comes from me.  Nothing wise comes from me.  The laughter from a joke I make is not mine. The good thoughts that bounce around in my head isn’t mine.   The only thing that comes truly from me is sin.  Yet everyday I am new, and too often I somehow convince myself I had something to do with it.  The more humbled I get (ok embarrassed too) the closer to God I feel and that directly correlates with the letting go of pride.

    Now notice how King David says his eyes are not haughty in other words he really sees himself for the wretched human being he is- and sees how desperate he is for Christ.

    The next verse “Nor do I involve myself in great matters or in things too difficult” caused me to pause for a bit. It caused me to pause so much, that as I type this it’s three days after the “pause.”  I have experienced a circumstance that was too much. It evoked fear, mistrust, confusion, fear of death, concern, compassion, patience, and pretty much any other emotion.  I have been burdened like I never thought possible and, again, Psalm 131 kept running through me.  Normally, I am a talker and a situation like this would cause me to retreat to my friends, family, or anyone.  I did talk to my most trusted friend and although it was helpful it left me completely and utterly empty- it was not what I needed.  My burden was still heavy, and my spirit broken.  I retrieved to myself for a bit- not talking to anyone, not even my husband.  My soul quieted.  After hours of this state I laid in bed, rolled over and overcome with my grief and burden I brokenly said, “Lord” to start talking to Him in a way I never have.  I needed Christ.  I wanted Him.  I was almost saying “Lord” in a way to check to see if he was even there….and as I quickly as I said “Lord” came the response “Yes” as if He was there all along, just waiting for me.  I was overcome with relief, gladness, joy and comfort because for the first time I sank- I sank into my Fathers arm knowing He was there. I felt Him and wept.  Like a newborn child….I rested in complete peace.   The reason I feel this experience to be so relevant to this verse in this passage was that, finally, I knew this burden was too great for me.  I NEEDED my Lord.  I chose to not involve myself in this matter, I chose instead to seek Christ.

    “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9

    To whomever reads this- I have ,with my entire heart and soul, sincerely sought my Father.  I have longed for Him.  When I didn’t feel He was there (which has been the past 3 years) I searched harder.  At times my heart grew weary but I trusted, I believed, I always fell back on what I knew and I have been greatly blessed.  I don’t pretend at all to all of the sudden have it figured out, but I am sure- sure that if you do the same you too will be blessed with the presence and sight of our heavenly Father.  And like me, you will be changed forever.

    Like a weaned child I am before my King, and he carries me.  My soul is quiet, and my heart full.  My eye’s are not haughty for they are fixed on my King.  I am a sinner in need of a savior…my hope and joy come only from Him…….

  • Blogging
  • It’s me, Paul the Business Guy

    Yeah- I decided it would be good to talk about business stuff. It might not always be BUSINESS related- I might give tips and I might just complain about stupid people in business.  Or smart people.  Either way, business is complicated and I like to talk about.  Did I mention I am a self made millionaire?  And I’m only 34.  So there’s that.

    I might talk about the towing guy that is running a brilliant business.  I might talk more about faith and how it helps business, or the other way around.  I might talk about those small locally owned businesses you need to support.  Who knows!