DebCorner

finding joy in the journey

Real Genius

It probably wasn’t a genius on my part to let my young crew watch this movie, but they enjoyed it all the same. It did have quite a few parts that made me cringe and hope they didn’t really pick up on what was going on. I know I didn’t realize all THAT was in this movie when I was their age.

I like the reviews over on Common Sense Media. I probably should have checked there first instead of scrolling Netflix for something that didn’t sound boring.

The kids are 12, 10, and 9. I know. I know. A little young. Common Sense Media suggests 13. They handled it just fine though. The boys loved the explosions, fire, the hole through everything on campus, and, of course, the popcorn.  They also loved the potty humor. Of course, they did! All 3 of them did, actually. I’m surrounded by potty humor nearly every day movie or no movie.

As for me, I still really enjoy Real Genius. It cracks me up even more now looking at all that 80’s!

Try Not to Laugh

This is an appropriate title for my first stab at a reaction video complete with video editing!

Enjoy!

I created the video capturing with OBS – my husband/son introduced me to this tool. I edited the video with Adobe Premiere Pro and created the intro/outro with Adobe Spark. All the while getting near constant input from my son on how to actually do it all! I have experience in graphics editing and Photoshop, but nothing to do with videos. That’s a whole new world!

Update: My son (12) uses the free version of Resolve for video editing, and states that “it is the best editor in my life.”

Custom Sidebars and Blogging

I had more fun playing with the WPMU custom sidebars plugin today than doing any actual writing for the blog. There’s now a different sidebar for the post pages that doesn’t include the long string of Instagram pictures. Post pages are probably never going to be long enough to warrant all of that.

I then realized I didn’t have a search function on the site. So, I added one and then I added a custom sidebar for the search results. Oh yes, I do find this stuff loads of fun! This is good because when I’m not homeschooling or mothering, websites are my job!

Speaking of blogging, I’m considering moving the more blog-like posts from my professional website over to here. This is the blog. That is more of my living business card. Of course, that means I’ll need another bucket for my more geeky posts.

For now, I’ve been slowly adding in bloggable posts from my collection in Evernote. Some of them may very well have been published to this blog in one of it’s earlier iterations. When I do add those posts, I backdate them for when they were originally written.

God’s Weapon

Jesus could have struck down Satan any way He chose. After all, He was the Son of God with an endless arsenal. But, instead, He engaged the enemy with the only weapon that guarantees victory: the sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

What would Jesus do? Use the Word of God!

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of weapons and battlefields in everyday life. That is unless I get trapped into yet again arguing with a strong-willed child. That definitely feels like a battlefield!

There is no weapon more powerful than God’s Word.

So, if you find yourself on a battlefield feeling alone, don’t lose heart and don’t reach for the wrong weapon. You are not alone, and you have the best weapon ever! God’s Word is the weapon that will bring you victory, comfort, and provision.

What weapons do I normally reach for? Overeating, yelling, running away (me time!), or drinking. Yeah – those don’t work so well at all! What about when I lecture the kids on what is right? What about when I am right!? Those never really work so well either.

I really need to do a better job of using God’s Word in my daily life rather than only having it as something I read and study. Lord, help me do that better.

If you don’t follow Jennifer Rothschild’s blog, you should! Her writings often encourage while convicting me. These excerpts are from her article The One Weapon You Need to Fight Any Battle.

My son discovered we have both Sprite and lemonade. He loves mixing those two. He’s all excited and asks me, “Mom, what’s your favorite mix.” I’m sure someone will call my bad parenting skills to the stand, but I at least I answered truthfully – “vodka and cranberry juice.” I love my boy! He nodded his head and responded rather seriously, “Ah.” LOL

Crochet Techniques

I recently spotted a short video clip of a woman crocheting on Instagram (embedded below). It struck me how very differently she holds her hook, yarn, and wip from how I do things. (wip = work in progress)

A post shared by B.Hooked Crochet (@bhooked) on

She has this overhanded hold on her hook and a way of twisting the hook to pick up the yarn that was beautiful to watch. It also seems a more relaxed hold on things as compared to my style. I don’t think her left hand (the yarn hand) does anything other than be there for the yarn to run through.

I hold my hook much like a pencil in my right hand. Then, I work the yarn with my left hand over the hook as I hold my wip along with the weaker fingers of my right hand. I found this little series of photos I took back in January 2010 that shows a little bit of my hold. (The animation is thanks to Google Photos.)

Crochet in Action

I wonder if my technique is odd? I wonder if her technique is better? I wonder if I can change my style so drastically?

I gave it a whirl. I had to laugh at the pretzel my fingers turned into. It’s like I was first learning crochet all over again! I think I might persist though because it is a much more relaxed hold and it’s far less tiring on my hands. I could crochet even more!

That’d be cool.

Decisions

I’ve been trying to narrow my blog’s focus to one topic. That’s hard! Maybe my corner is meant to be more of a journal. A simple place for me to practice my writing and remembering what I learn along the way.

In that vein, I want to define the boxes into which my writing will fall into. I’ll use categories to hold these boxes of thought. I’ll try to stick to those boxes.

In pondering tags,  I found this article on WordPress helpful. I think I’ll take the tact of treating tags as a unifying set of subcategories based loosely on the topic being covered.

Category and Tag Ideas:

  1. Bible Study
    1. books of the Bible
    2. fruits of the Spirit
  2. Crafting
    1. crochet
    2. sewing
    3. cross-stitch
  3. Humor
    1. topics (ie. animals, homeschooling, etc.)
  4. Organized
    1. GTD (getting things done)
    2. services
  5. Opinions
    1. books
    2. movies
    3. games
    4. services
    5. products
  6. Ramblings
    1. topics (blogging, web admin, shower thoughts, etc.)

I didn’t order these ideas for any particular priority or preference. I’m simply brainstorming. Although I will try to stick to these 6 categories, I did not make an exhaustive list of tags. That list will build over time organically.

I’ve built many websites over the years, and I’ve dabbled in blogging for only a little bit longer. I’m considerably more experienced and skilled at building websites, than blogging. I look forward to learning more as I go along.

Organizing Batteries

We might have a few batteries…

I’m working on my blog, and I hear my daughter helping my son with a computer glitch of some kind: “Oh! All you have to do is Alt-Carl-Delete.”

15 minute yoga book

15 Minute Yoga

It only took me about 45 minutes with figuring things out and all the kid interruptions. I did finish!

Meanwhile, my son injured himself falling off the kitchen counters. He forgot we have a step stool. Sigh…

Yoga is dangerous on more than one level, apparently.

Joking aside, I really like the approachable nature of this book, and although the moves aren’t simple for this total yoga novice, it was easy enough to follow and I feel like it is in the realm of accomplishable.

The book I have didn’t come with a DVD, but here’s the link should you want to get this yourself: https://www.dk.com/us/book/9780756629267-15-minute-gentle-yoga*

*This is not an affiliate link.

Magic Ring

I’m learning new skills!

This is known as the magic ring. It’s a way to start working in rounds, which I do a lot of with these Christmas ornaments.

Gem Bag

My son purchased a gem excavation kit, which came with a small gem bag.

He determined the bag was too small and asked for my assistance in making a new one.

He picked colors and sewed up the sides, and I helped with the drawstring.

I love the results and he does too!

My First Christmas Ornament

I wanted to make something fun and meaningful for Christmas. I’m giddy at how well this turned out!

I used scrapped t-shirts for filling, but I think I’ll use standard polyfill next time – it’s lighter. I also re-wrote the pattern some to make it less confusing. I had no less than 5 false starts! That got a little frustrating. Next improvements are to get a smaller hook and improve how I start the rounds (another pattern rewrite).

Making Your Loudest Voice Calmer & Your Truest Voice Stronger (excerpt)

This is an exceptional article. Here is the portion that spoke the loudest to me.

At my loudest, I was heard the least.

At my loudest, I felt the most pain.

At my loudest, I caused the most hurt.

At my loudest, my voice was most voiceless.

In those agonizing moments after my tearful, over-the-top meltdown, I’d frantically rummage through the junk drawer looking for my car keys. I needed to get away—far, far away.

One night I made it all the way out to the car. I was in my pajamas and my skin felt cold against the leather seats. I was shivering as my barefoot stepped on the gas pedal.

But I could not leave.

I went back inside to get my children. I gathered them up, one in each arm. I remember how they cried in confusion and fear. I made it to the door and realized I could not leave without my husband either. And I could not leave without my beloved calico cat, Callie. I could not leave my people.

Something needed to change.

I needed to find my voice—my truest voice—the one that could be heard … felt … and understood.

Source: Making Your Loudest Voice Calmer & Your Truest Voice Stronger by Rachel Stafford, the Hands Free Mama.

The author speaks of writing in journals, which is something I do myself. It really is incredibly helpful! If writing is not for you, and you’re curious about other ways to help you stop yelling, then check out The Orange Rhino – it’s another great resource.

Focus on One

A friend shared with me an article from this e-book*, and it really struck me.

Focusing on one task means that you simply choose one. Forget thirty. Forget ten. Choose one thing that you can do and do it…
One is a powerful number.

She goes on to describe a few scenes that could have come straight from my home. Scary and reassuring, actually.

One idea I never really fully considered though is in how I  choose the one thing I focus on doing next.

When you are able, choose the one thing that makes the biggest impact. I know you can’t always do this…

However, when you have the opportunity to start with that, do it.

Take housecleaning for example. The one task in house keeping that makes the biggest impact for me is picking up all the clutter in the main living spaces. Long time ago, I gave up on the picture-perfect (and even slightly attempted) organized play room. I have a bin in the living room to throw everything into that doesn’t belong in the living room. I take that to the kids room when it is full, dump it on the floor, and charge the kids with the task of putting their things away. It takes many days, and I often step in to help here and there. The point is that my main living spaces are not cluttered.

Even knowing this, I often choose to start the laundry or tackle the dishes first. Then, I look around exhausted and feel overwhelmed by all the clutter. For me, I need to start with the clutter.

The author, Jenny Herman, had a pretty cool blog which also had a nifty “The Power of One”** compilation. Fantastic stuff.

One final thought that keeps resonating with me is when Jenny Herman wrote:

Focusing on one does us no good if we are going it in our own strength. We need to look to God for our strength.

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

I can do ONE thing through Christ who strengthens me.

And then…

I can do ONE MORE thing through Christ who strengthens me.

Just keep going.

One thing at a time.

* The e-book was linked, but that link is no longer available. I believe it was called “Well Planned Homeschool Avoiding Common Back to School Mistakes.”

** The blog post is no longer in existence, but she now has a book on Amazon for $3. I haven’t purchased it, and this is not an affiliate link.

Interesting Bible Study

I’m reading my Chronological plan in ESV, and my “real” Bible is NIV. This really isn’t a big deal, but I’ve grown to love the ESV translation. So, I decided it was time to buy an ESV Bible. I got a lovely purple ESV Bible with only one column and no red letters to distract – it is all God’s Word, after all.

It is odd to have a Bible without any notes and highlights in it! I decided to go through my old Bible page by page and transfer my notes over. This turned out to be an odd little Bible Study:

  • Why did I highlight that passage?
  • What does that note mean?
  • What is that reference that I wrote down?

It has been very, very interesting! I finished this little project yesterday. It took me all week!

I knew I had some Bibles from when I first became Christian hiding around somewhere. I decided to dig them out, and go through those as well. My first Bible is interesting – I highlighted the gist of the stories – not really significant scriptures for growth or understanding. I was just learning the story back then. Now, my notes take apart the stories, include original language notes, and life application notes. I never really realized my growth like that before – kind of cool.

My favorite notes to come across are the hearts, stars and letter P’s I drew in. I didn’t know I hearted so many verses! The stars I drew were verses that impacted me in some way. The P’s are promises of God. It is such a joy to find and re-read these verses.

My new Bible is already becoming a rich landscape of all my learning thus far, and there’s so much more in there!
I just love it.

Whether you get a new Bible or not, pull your trusty companion out sometime, and go through it page by page seeing again all that you marked, learned, and loved. You’ll be blessed by it.

Spiral Scrubbies

I’ve been experimenting with bath scrubbies for a while now. I tried a bath loofah-like thing, but the yarn got so HEAVY when wet. It also didn’t hold it’s shape.

I’ve settled (for now) on some plain old over-sized washcloths (right). I single crochet with a large hook about 20 stitches across and make the rectangle long enough to fold over into hand-sized. I’m not in love with this idea, but it works.

Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve found a great new pattern!
Spiral Scrubbies.

I think my search is over!

My first attempt reading the instructions from my cell phone at McDonald’s while the kids played didn’t go so well. I can’t imagine why?! lol

I re-read the instructions at home on my computer (more screen space), and realized there was a video link! That video makes all the difference!

This one is too small for the shower, but I love the idea! So, I grabbed a larger hook (10mm, I think) & crocheted two threads of yarn simultaneously for thickness. I’ve made two for the shower, and Steve has asked me to make some more just like it. I’ve found that the trick to the whole thing being durable is to pull the yarn VERY tight when closing up the scrubbie. The cotton threads stretch when wet, and you don’t want the center opening to stretch open too much.

I’m currently pondering what yarn material would make a better scrubbie, and if I could crochet nylon fibers into it (like those used in commercial loofahs). I’m not done experimenting!

Update 7/6/2018: I re-discovered this entry and I have the perfect material to try this on – the Red Heart Scrubbie yarn! I can’t wait to try that out.

Out for Drinks

A couple of nights ago, I was out for a few drinks with some friends at the Marriott Hotel and I had a couple of cocktails and some rather nice red wine.

Knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I’ve never done before: I took a bus home. Sure enough, I passed a police road block but as it was a bus, they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident, which was a real surprise; as I have never driven a bus before and am not sure where I got it.

–emailed to me by a friend, source: unknown

The Inefficiency Commandment

Leviticus 19:9-10
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.


These verses immediately bring the story of Ruth to mind, and both show immense value in being less than efficient. Efficiency is a prized goal for many people… including me! However, God shows us that being deliberately inefficient will bless others in significant ways. This idea can bless you as well.

I recently learned a “trick” of shifting priorities. If I intentionally became less efficient in certain daily activities, I will burn more calories. The extra activity is not exactly exercise, but burning calories is burning calories, right?

For example, I bring only one or two bags of groceries into the house at a time. The “efficient me” wants to bring them all in with one or two trips to get the job done quicker and with less overall effort. The “inefficient me” puts a higher priority on burning calories and takes several trips. It’s better for me, and I’ve since learned it gives my family more time and opportunity to help me on their own, and they usually do! That’s a blessing for all of us.

Try being deliberately inefficient in some activity. You’ll be glad you did.

The Fall

Genesis 3 introduces us to humanity, Satan and God’s plan for redemption.

That Darn Tree

The methods employed by the snake (Satan) are interesting to take apart. First, he asks Eve a question. Questions beg to be answered, don’t they? Satan’s question especially so because he didn’t get it completely right. Eve needed to respond to set the record straight.

Eve’s response corrects Satan’s error but highlights the one negative Satan wanted her to focus on – the prohibition of eating from the tree of knowledge. Eve was thorough in her instruction and included that the Lord God said she would “surely die” when she did eat that fruit (2:16 & 3:2).

The Lord was primarily referring to spiritual death, not immediate physical death. However it is the lack of physical death that Satan used to bolster his argument. Satan also made eating the fruit very attractive by pointing out that “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.” (3:5)

Now, Eve is pondering this forbidden tree. (3:6)

DANGER! 

  1. Its fruit can be eaten – it won’t kill her, the snake said so!
  2. It is very pretty – always a consideration.
  3. The fruit will make her wise and make her more like God – wow.

WAIT!

Eve neglected two important points in her consideration about eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. I’m hearing Mater’s voice from Cars here…

What did God tell you about eating this knowledge fruit?
Tuh not to.

Secondly, knowledge isn’t wisdom. That’s a big idea that Eve may not have been able to conceptualize. You can know lots of stuff and still have no clue how to use that knowledge.

knowledge := acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles
wisdom := knowledge coupled with just judgment as to action; discernment or insight
(dictionary.com)

Well, you know how this story goes. Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was with her during this conversation. They were removed from the Garden of Eden where God walks. They were separated from God, spiritually dead.

Salvation

After a brief game of blaming (3:11-13), the Lord gives hints of the plan for their salvation. They aren’t even booted from the Garden yet, and God has a plan. I find that pretty cool.


Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”


Verse 15 states that Eve’s offspring will bruise Satan’s head (implying a deadly injury) and that man would have a bruised heel (suffer but live). Christ Jesus was one of Eve’s descendants, and He delivered the death-blow to Satan through his death on the cross. Done.


Hebrews 2:14
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.


Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for providing this record of how to recognize Satan for the liar that he is. Please continue to guide me in Your light and truth. Lord, thank you for being God. You are the ultimate planner! Thank you for the plan of salvation realized in your Son, Christ Jesus. Lord, thank you for the Bible, the living Word of knowledge and teacher of wisdom. Thank you also for the Internet with all the knowledge available through it. Please grant me your Spirit of wisdom in how to use and apply that knowledge to your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Making Plans

Guard your heart, avoid obstacles, plan ahead and stay the course!


Proverbs 4:23-27
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.


I love these verses because they so clearly outline what we must do and not do as we live our lives. I also find it interesting and hugely significant that 3 things come before you plan your steps.

  1. Guard your heart
  2. Avoid obstacles (perverse & corrupt speech)
  3. Look ahead “fixing your eyes” on Jesus
  4. Now you can make those plans.

Once you are done, don’t get sidetracked! Stay the course, and always keep Philippians 4:13 tucked away in your heart.


Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. (NCV)

I Know that My Redeemer Lives

Reading through the misery of Job, I came to verse 19:25 and it was like a breath of fresh air!


Job 19:25-27
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. An after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!


Yes, Job was miserable. However, his hope rested unfailingly on his salvation and his resurrection, and this hope was not dimmed in the slightest by his suffering. I need to take a page from this book, for sure! My sufferings are nothing in the light of the knowledge of the life to come.

Here’s the part that boggles my mind a bit: I’m reading the Chronological Bible plan, and Job story comes right after the story of Noah. Jesus wasn’t born yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross yet. Jesus didn’t defeat sin, death and the devil yet. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead yet. STILL, Job KNEW that his “Redeemer lives, and at the last, he will stand upon the earth.” Wow.

Discovered Ravelry

I discovered ravelry.com yesterday, and I got kind of addicted. I never considered organizing my crochet projects. I just picked up some yarn, some hooks and stitched along at whim. I sat down last night crocheting, and my husband asked what I’m making. I replied, “Nothing, I’m just playing.” I had just finished a large Crazy Blanket for my sister and hadn’t really chosen another project just yet.

I picked up crochet a few years ago on a whim. I loved doing counted cross-stitch, but I felt compelled to give it up for something with larger needles (or no needles) with my 3 kids being 3 years old and under. This decision was solidified when I had to tear apart a Thomas the Train pillow to find the needle my son hid in it!

Crochet is fun and fast and I absolutely love it! My grandmother tried to teach me years ago, and more recently I picked up a sample granny square and hook from a friend giving me pointers on how to start. In just a few short years, I taught myself to crochet and have made way more stuff than I thought!

On Ravelry, I’m tripping down memory lane adding my projects and discovering that the yarn I have stashed everywhere in my house is more than I realized!

By the way – while I fiddled with some yarn, I made up my next project: A Granny Square Throw:

I have 5 squares already completed… of course, I stayed up entirely too late! I couldn’t help it. I was on a roll and catching up on old Star Trek Voyager episodes on Netflix. lol – The fifth square I finished up this morning:

I’m not 100% sure what the pattern will be yet, but it will be these two yarns – the solid blue and the “Banana Berry Print” variegated yarn.

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