Cola Catastrophe


WARNING! Do not leave a carton of pop in your van when the forecast predicts sub-zero temperatures. The results could be disastrous.

Notice how the sheer force of the expanding soda burst through the cans and even ripped open the cardboard container.Cola Catastrophe 2


Tops popped offCola Catastrophe 7


Aluminum was ripped open.  Ouch!Cola Catastrophe 3


Physics in the works!Cola Catastrophe 9

Imagine what this sounded like!

Luckily for the poor, anonymous (ahem) people to whom this happened, there were no injuries.  And frozen cola is easier to clean up than the liquid form.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from I’m Working On It.


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Not Just Another Day Off

Monday, Monday…here we go again. But it wasn’t the same. The kids had a two-hour delay for the start of school because of the weather. My husband had a doctor’s appointment, so he left the house at the regular time. Once the job of getting the kids to school was done I remembered that Jayson had the day off of work. I kept thinking about his doctor’s check-up and forgot about this “free” day.

I love it when he has a day off, because it usually means just him and me. Alone time for a couple with five kids can sometimes be tough to come by. After his appointment, we met up, ran an errand, went grocery shopping, and had a nice, leisurely lunch. Afterward, we each sat down with a laptop and proceeded to work on a family history project.

When I had finished my part, I took the opportunity to stop and reflect on Martin Luther King, Jr. Sure, I am grateful my husband has the day off, but I am also grateful for the man behind the holiday. I took time to look up the famous “I Had a Dream” speech. Interestingly enough, I learned that the “I had a dream” part of the speech was totally improvised. Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer and Dr. King’s friend, shouted to him during the speech to “tell them about your dream.” Dr. King put the prepared speech aside, and started preaching. (Check out www.mlkonline.net)

Little did I know it, but my husband was on his computer doing a little MLK thing of his own. He was looking up related Youtube videos to share with the kids. I’m sure we will bring up the subject for discussion at dinner, too.

Today is not just another day off. It’s a day of historical importance. A day to remember a man with a dream.

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Sunday Celebration!

January 22 is the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed legalized abortion. Many view today as the start of Pro-Life week, a time to stress the importance of protecting life from the point of natural conception to natural death.

Yes, I am adamantly pro-life. However, today I am not going to lecture about the evils of abortion. Now, I would like to briefly touch on other pro-life matters. Each of us is a wonderful, unique creation of our Creator. Our lives are of great value, whether as a pre-mature newborn or an older person in the final stages of life; the healthiest athlete or one suffering physically; the brilliant academic or the Alzheimer’s patient. Each should receive the same love and dignity despite our life’s situations. Just because it is not obvious to see the “usefulness” of one’s life doesn’t mean it does not have value. Although a person may be labeled in a vegetative state, the soul is separate from the body, and can still be of great benefit in praying for you and me.

I chose today’s song, “Wonder” by Natalie Merchant, as a reminder that each of us is special and can overcome what others perceive as obstacles. Happy Sunday!

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Sunday Celebration!

Today’s Sunday Celebration! video is from Mark Hart, the Bible Geek. It is a letter he composed for any boys that want to take his daughter on a date. We might have to borrow that someday.

Happy Sunday!

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Fun Flashback Friday

I just really, really, really like this song.  I have no particular reason for choosing this song today, other than I really like it.  Happy Friday!

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Linus Van Pelt. Such a wise young man.

Wishing you and your family a very blessed Christmas!

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The End of Christmas Concert Season

DSCF1209I should get a medal, or at least some sort of certificate, for I have survived another Christmas Concert Season. Some may be confused as to my big sigh of relief. After all, Christmas concerts, especially those involving children, are a beautiful way to celebrate the season. True, it is a beautiful thing to see your child perform on stage, but it can cause a lot of chaos and stress at home.

They say:

“Mom, where’s my choir shirt?”
“Mom, there’s a big hole in my tights!”
“Mom, I need to bring my instrument home. Where should I put it?” (baritone horn, slightly smaller than a tuba)
“Mom, where’s MY choir shirt?” (different kid)
“Mom, I can’t find any black socks.”
“Mom, I need new shoes. My old ones don’t fit.”
“Mom, I need knee-hi white socks by tomorrow morning.”
“Mom, by the way, I had a mandatory dress rehearsal last night that I missed.”
“Mom, my black pants shrunk! We need to go shopping! NOW!!!!”
“Mom, do I have a pretty sweater to wear with my dress? The auditorium is cold. We need to go shopping! NOW!!!”

To which I reply:

“Where did you put it?”
“That’s because you tried to put on your little sister’s tights”
“Whatever happened to ‘I want to play the flute’?”
“Why isn’t it hanging in your closet?”
“If you would put your dirty socks in the hamper, I could wash them and then you would know where they are.”
“That’s why I asked you to try on your shoes last week.”
“Sorry, I didn’t find any white knee-hi socks in the men’s department. However, I did find these white thigh-hi stockings with a pretty lace trim at the top in the women’s department. They should work out fine for you, son.”
“Now you tell me!”
“Hmm…it does appear that one pant leg is 6 inches shorter than the other. I doubt anyone will notice. Just go ahead and wear those.”
“OK, I will go shopping for the sweater, but while I am gone you need to take a bath, blow-dry your hair, make and eat dinner, brush your teeth, curl your hair, help your sister with her hair, find black socks for your brother, help your older brother with his Geometry homework, and get dressed. We need to leave for the show in an hour. But, hey, you’re a tough 5 year-old. I’m sure you can handle all that.”

It all started on a Monday evening with a band concert. Then there were two performances of a Madrigal dinner on that Saturday. The next week there was a middle school choir concert on Tuesday. On Sunday was a high school choir concert which also featured one my elementary school kids. Last night three of the kids were in the elementary school show.

The performances technically aren’t over. Today, one of the school choirs is performing for a luncheon and another is caroling at different schools tomorrow. But as far as my involvement goes, I am done!

Despite all of the chaos and disruption to our normal routine, I enjoyed all of the shows. I have talented kids and I am one proud mama! I love watching my kids on stage, and more importantly, they enjoy it and have fun. I feel very blessed.

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Christmas Shopping with the Kids

A friend asked me how we managed gift giving with the amount of kids we have. With five kids, it can get quite expensive. We considered the idea of doing a name draw or Secret Santa or not giving gifts at all. But we came up with a solution that works well for us. The dollar store.

Each year we take all the kids to one of those stores where everything is just one dollar. They can then pick out a gift for each of their siblings plus parents and grandparents. This tradition has become one of our favorites.

Through the years we have gotten some…interesting gifts. For example this lovely blue fuzzy hat that my husband got from our Curly Girlie when she was four or five years-old. Not really a practical gift, but it was picked out especially for her Daddy and given with love. It makes us laugh, but the feelings and sincerity behind the giving are as warm and fuzzy as the fur on the hat.

Last year we all received professional wrestling action figures from Mr. Dude. I don’t think he quite grasped the concept of considering the interests of the gift receivers, but instead picked out something he liked. I never recall Grandma saying, “Gee, I wish I had a wrestling doll.” As you would imagine, Mr. Dude spent the days after Christmas playing with the toys he bought for everyone else.

The gifts are as varied and unique as our kids. Sometimes they are goofy and useless, but as the kids get older the gifts are well thought-out. It’s touching to see the kids consider what their siblings might want. One year, the Oldest picked out a Disney princess nightlight for the Curly Girlie when she was going through her princess phase. My husband has received travel coffee mugs because the kids know he needs his morning coffee. Babies have been given bibs and I have been given chocolate.

This is one tradition we all look forward to each year. It’s kind of crazy because we all go to the store together, dodging each other in the aisles, trying to hide what’s in our shopping baskets. True, they aren’t the highest-quality items, but everyone gets to buy everyone else a gift. It’s fun and it’s teaching the kids to think of others without breaking the bank.

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What Happened to Advent?

OK, I need to vent a little. Why the big rush charging into Christmas the day after Thanksgiving? Or should I say Halloween? Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, define Advent as follows:

noun \ˈad-ˌvent, chiefly British -vənt\

Definition of ADVENT

1: the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting


One would think that those who celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ, would be Christians, but when I look around I don’t see “a season of prayer and fasting”. Most people have hit the fast-forward button and gone straight to Christmas. I see plenty of Santas and Snowmen but few Advent wreaths.

The season should be a time of preparation to renew our relationship with Christ, to welcome and celebrate the little baby who was born for us. Born to show us how to live to serve one another and give of ourselves. Born to endure unthinkable pain and agony so that we may be reunited with our Heavenly Father.

Don’t think I’m all high and mighty. I haven’t been using this preparation time wisely, either. I planned to, but it hasn’t happened. I picked up an Advent daily devotional book at Church, vowing to read it faithfully. Yeah, well…I’m not even sure where it is now. I wanted to put up a Jesse tree and have family prayer time every day. You guessed it. No Jesse tree. No Advent wreath either.

There has been one ray of hope during this Advent season: my Curly Girlie. Several nights, my sweet 10 year-old has gathered the family together for scripture reading and prayer. It was beautiful. Simple and beautiful. We all climbed onto our queen-sized bed (yes, it was crowded) as she read a passage. We talked about it a little then we took turns mentioning special intentions for which we all prayed. We ended with the Lord’s Prayer and hugs. Simple and beautiful.

I’m not giving up on Advent. Just because we are almost halfway through it and I haven’t done all that I planned doesn’t mean that it is a complete failure. I can still make this a holy season. Baby steps. Just little bits at a time.

I ask you…no, I challenge you to make this season a time of prayer and spiritual growth. You don’t have to have a big, complicated schedule of praying, fasting, praying, fasting. Little acts can be a place to start. Maybe switch your car radio to the Christian music station. Instead of cursing the idiot driver tailgating you, pray that he gets to his destination safely. Smile at the overworked mother pushing a full cart at Stuff-Mart. Give thanks for what you have.

Let’s try to reclaim this Advent season and return it to the Lord. What are you doing for Advent?

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Sunday Celebration!

I think this song about thankfulness is very appropriate as Thanksgiving week comes to an end.

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