Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Birthday Boy

Our family does "non-traditional" for birthday "cakes". None of us really like cake, so we either have ice cream cake or some other dessert. This year Cody chose cheesecake. I wish I could say that I baked six different cheesecakes and placed two slices of each on a serving platter, but the grocery store did that for me! Cody couldn't decide what kind he wanted, so since he was the birthday boy I cut a circle of cheesecake for him, which included the tip of each slice--he got mini-bites of each kind of cheesecake!

Cody's Birthday

I've hesitated in posting this because of my desire to be seen as a competent, well-organized women and mom. However, I have to admit that when a friend confides something similiar to what you'll read below, I have a small feeling of "whew . . . I'm not the only one who . . . " and hearing that a friend has an . . . unexpected experience . . . in no way lowers my opinion of her as a competent, well-organized woman, but instead, reassures me that even when I mess things up, it's OK! So I hope you'll enjoy this recounting of Cody's birthday.

We decided to have a quiet dinner at home with several long-time friends, so I was preparing prime rib, yorkshire pudding, a new recipe for brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes brought fresh from the field in Colorado, where two of our guests were from, and birthday cheesecake (no, I didn't make it--although I love baking cheesecake--I got it from the grocery store).

I'd planned dinner for around 7:00 and was happy to see lights coming down the driveway about that time--it's such a busy time of the year with the sale and I was afraid something would come up and dinner would have to be very late.

I took the roast out of the oven, popped the Yorkshire pudding in, stirred the brussel sprouts, and went to finish setting the table, proud of myself because the timing for everything seemed just right--it would all be done when everyone was ready to eat!

I tuned to come back in to the kitchen, and saw that . . . the oven was on fire!!!!!!!!!! I ran in the kitchen, turned off the stove, got the Yorkshire pudding out, and sprinkled baking soda on the fire, putting it out immediately. Then I started opening windows and doors to let the smoke out before the smoke alarms went off . . . and Jenny, our beagle, ran outside into the darkness and wouldn't come back!!!

By that time I was actually laughing, because the situation had deteriorated so quickly--from everything-under-control-and-on-time to the-oven-is-0n-fire-and-the-dog-ran-away in about 30 seconds.

Thankfully, Jenny just ran around the house and came in with the guests, and I made some tortellini to take the place of the Yorkshire pudding. Our guests were very gracious and helped wave the smoke out, and patiently waited a few minutes while I made the tortellini. The night turned out great, and Cody will remember his 17th birthday!

(enough blogging . . . I have to finish cleaning the oven!)

December Nebraska Family Times

It's hard to believe another month is almost over and articles for the December issue of the paper are due next week!

When I put together "my" first issue of the newspaper, the task seemed almost overwhelming. As with most seemingly overwhelming tasks, however, when I was able to break it down into smaller tasks it was "doable."

This week I will e-mail regular columnists, reminding them of a Monday deadline. I talked with several people/businesses about advertising, so will also remind them of the deadline. Over the weekend I will start researching articles to include in the paper. I really enjoy searching different websites for information that I anticipate readers will enjoy and that will benefit them in their lives.

One of my goals is to give you information that you probably won't find in any regular, mainstream publication. I also want to provide information that you can apply to your life, your family, immediately.

Friends who know me well will not be surprised to learn that I have a detailed checklist (although not color-coded, as some of my lists are!) of articles needed and things I need to do to complete the paper.

This month also marks the debut of a new column, "Stupidity 4 Dummies." You'll laugh, or just shake your head, when you read of the antics of some people!

The paper will be printed Monday, Dec. 8th, and mailed out that week.

If you would like to see articles on a certain subject, please let me know! The paper is for you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Old Enough to be the Mom of a 17 Year Old?

It's hard to believe that 17 years ago Tim and I were preparing for the birth of our first child. We didn't find out the sex, and neither of us had a feeling as to if Cody was going to be "Cody Edward" or "Alisha MaryAnne".

I will never, ever forget the joyful moment of Cody's birth at 1:52 PM on November 18, 1991! I read once that before you have children, you can never imagine what your life will be like after you have them . . . and after you have kids you cannot remember life without them. I agree! Having children has been one of the greatest joys in my life and I'm sure Tim agrees with that.

It has been amazing to watch our children grow and change. I pray that the way Tim and I have raised Cody and Morgan will ultimately make a difference in the world . . . to someone . . . I don't know exactly how, but I'm confident that with the gifts and talents both of our children have, with God's help and guidance, and with the encouragement of those around them, they WILL change at least their little corner of the world for the better.

Cody hasn't decided what he wants to do for his birthday. I know it will be a family thing . . . perhaps we'll eat at our favorite restaurant, and as an alternative I've offered to make him the meal of his choosing if he'd rather stay home. We're not big cake eaters, so I'll probably get him an ice cream cake for dessert.

As a 17 year-old, it's difficult to figure out what to get him as a gift for his birthday. Today, however, I had a brainstorm of something I can make him that I think will be PERFECT! On the off chance (waaayy off chance!) he reads this blog (or someone who reads it and would share the secret with him), I'm not going to post what my gift to him is, until his birthday. Suffice it to say it combines one of his favorite activities with my favorite hobby.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him."
Psalm 127:3

Great Minds Think Alike

I was talking to my mom on the way home tonight (it was a country road; I'm very careful when I'm driving and talking on my cell phone!). It was almost sunset, and I was just thinking to myself that the sunset was beautiful, when my mom gasped and said, "Wow, the sky is beautiful here!"

I find it amazing that mom and I were each looking at a beautiful sunset, even though we are hundreds of miles apart!

Mom suggested that I post some of the pictures I've taken of sunrises and sunsets. These are from this spring and summer. I am humbled when I think of the love our God must have for us to give us such beauty to gaze at . . . if only we take the time. I was doubly blessed tonight to be able to share that beauty with my mom! I hope you enjoy the pictures as well.

Many Hats

I think all moms wear many hats (dads too, for that matter), and I'm no exception!

This morning I started with my "mom" hat. Tim and the kids are traveling to Kentucky to a cattle show this weekend, and I was running through my own checklist with the kids this morning, asking if they'd remembered pajamas, underwear (Cody rolled his eyes at that!), shampoo, and so on. Since they're flying they were working to minimize their luggage as much as possible.

After a few "looks" (anyone who has or has ever had teenagers knows the "look") and eye-rolls from the kids, I concentrated on preparing to wear my nurse hat for my shift with my private duty patient. I enjoy my patient and her family and I am so blessed to have a job that fits into the other aspects of my family and life so well.

Tim picked the kids up at school so they could go to the airport, and since I had errands in Columbus anyway I met them at school for one more hug (Cody checked to be sure none of his friends were watching . . . Morgan was generous with long and tight hugs, and so was Tim!) and to wish them a safe, fun, and successful trip.

Then I put on my "errand" hat and did a few things around Columbus (see next post for details on what I shopped for).

My mom called as I was on my way home, and it was so nice to talk with her and catch up with what's happening in Missouri, where mom and dad and grandpa live. As an added treat, my dad called later! We don't get to talk very often so it was great that he called.

By the time I got home it was time for the "feed the animals" hat--namely, Morgan's sheep and the dogs.

Now, it's finally time to put on my "newspaper publisher and editor" hat! I'm working on some records and writing and mailing a Christmas letter to all of the advertisers, subscribers, and sponsors. I love reviewing our year and writing a Christmas letter, and this year was FULL of changes and momentous happenings.

If you are interested in the Nebraska Family Times, or this blog, please e-mail me (at with your name and address. I'll send you a sample issue of the paper AND our Christmas letter.

I am blessed to have the time and opportunity to wear so many hats! And I hope you enjoy your own hats as well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Election Results

History was made in Presidential Election last week!

Perhaps the election didn't turn out the way you'd voted and prayed for. I encourage you to read this Breakpoint commentary, which offers insight as to the positives of the election as well as what all Christians should be doing during the next four years.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day

I'm ready for election day! It is an honor and privilege to have a say in not only the next president of the United States, but state and local officials as well.

No matter the results, history will be made!

I hope all of my readers feel the same way and exercise that right and privilege. Of course no candidate is perfect . . . but I hope you will weigh the positive and negative points of each, consider their values as related to your values, pray about your decision, and consider whether or not each candidate will do what they swear to do when inaugurated, which is uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.

Please pray for the election to go smoothly . . . for election officials to be honest and efficient . . . for voters to be patient and honest . . . and for all Americans to accept the results.

As you prepare to vote, please consider the following verse:

"But select capable men (and women!) from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate honest gain--and appoint them as officials . . . " Exodus 18:21

Missons (Almost!) Accomplished

WHEW! It was a good, quiet weekend. I had a long list when it began . . . and (miraculously!) got almost everything done by last night!

Once I got all of my NFT customers' names, addresses, and other particulars into the computer, it just took a couple of clicks of my mouse to make invoices . . . and another click to print them! (Believe me, I held my breath after clicking "print" . . . and what a sense of accomplishment it was when the invoices . . . printed!)

It was satisfying to see that stack of invoices, all ready to mail . . . and to get them in the mail. I don't know if my customers will be quite as satisfied when they actually get the bills . . . but I hope the newspaper is of high enough quality that they don't mind too much.

My other major job of the weekend was to update Tim's sale catalog mailing list. Our sale is November 23rd, and in the catalog are pictures and the breeding of the cattle that will be on the sale. I don't understand all of that (even after 20+ years knowing Tim I still don't know if the "sire" is the bull {father} or cow {mother}, but don't tell Tim that!) Luckily I didn't need to know any of that . . . I just go through the database of all the names and addresses (almost 3,000 at last count!) and delete the addresses if the catalog came back last year (because the person had moved) or change the addresses when the new address was on the little yellow sticker the post office put on the catalog . . . before they sent it back to us.

I hit "send" on that database last night, feeling very satisfied . . . until this morning when Tim asked me if I'd gone through the list line by line to see if there were duplicates (if the most minor thing is different--a letter not capitalized, a variation in the address, the label will get printed twice, and the person will get two catalogs).

I hadn't done that, and since I was going to work it was up to Tim to go thru the list. He found enough doubles, and enough names that were not on the list but should have been, to make it worthwhile.

NOW I am going through LAST year's sign up sheets to see if there are any names on that list, that are not on the mailing list but should be!

I really don't mind the computer work . . . it's not too stressful, just monotonous. But it's easy to do between tasks like putting a load of laundry in, eating lunch, letting the dogs out . . . letting the dogs in . . . (and surfing the net for just a few minutes for a break).

If you'd like a sneak peek of the cattle that will be on the sale, go to If you want a catalog, you can e-mail me at

So, all in all it's been a productive weekend!