Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Basket Full of Lovin'

The following little ideas would be great for a basket for your hardworking Cowboy. Don't get yourself all overwhelmed trying to be perfect! He's hardly going to notice the bows on the sachets or the way it was laid out in the basket. But he will notice his pretty little wife who is spoiling him something awful!

If you are not in the mood to pamper your cowboy just this once, you could always put the following into a basket and give it to newlyweds or to someone on their anniversary. Choose one or all items to put in your basket, and add a cute card that says, "Handmade by ____ ____, " because you want them to know you worked hard at it!

Chocolates (in the craft and grocery stores, you can find melt and pour, or use a good fudge recipe or a turtle recipe)

English toffee: This is like making peanut brittle, except you cook it less long and add chocolate as a layer on the top. My favorite candy! I use the Better Homes & Garden cookbook recipe.

Massage oil: Give a small jar of olive oil with a little essential oil in it (you could also use almond oil or jojoba oils, etc., but olive is at the grocery store). It is rumored that men love the scent of vanilla; try it!

Bath tea: Cut squares of cheesecloth or cotton material, add herbs, and tie off with a rubber band. The user will toss this sachet into the tub as the water is running into it. Chamomile and calendula are especially great for the skin.Candles: You can make candles the long way or the short way (with granules or melt and pour). Add essential oils. If you make your own, use scents that match the massage oil and bath tea.

Body scrub:
I love this one especially. Put sea salt or brown sugar or white sugar (I've even seen coffee grains used!) into a container. Add oil (olive oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, jojoba, etc.) to the salt/sugar until the mixture is damp but not dripping wet. Almost slushy. Add essential oils for a scent, if desired. The user puts a bit of the mixture in the palm of their hand and scrubs it on their body. When they rinse the scrub off, the oils remain on the skin, leaving it soft. This is my dh's favorite foot scrub. I rub it on my elbows, feet, knees, and hands for softer skin.

Bath milk: Mix 2 parts powdered milk to 1 part ground old-fashioned oatmeal. Essential oils may be added. The user places a small handful of the mixture into the tub's hot water (note: If you don't want to grind the oats, use a sachet or a cheesecloth for the mixture so the oat flakes don't clog the drain). It will leave their skin soft.

Sachets: If you have some herbs on hand such as lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, calendula, mints, etc., you could make some pretty sachets for drawers or linen closets. Just sew three sides of a square from your fabric stash. Add a ribbon or a drawstring. Or, sew all four sides and give them as herb squares without an open top. (note: dh may be embarrased to have lavender-scented t-shirts for work. Be thoughtful, now!)

Herbal Tea: Also with herbs, you could create some herbal tea from chamomile and mint. I do a 50-50 mixture. This also makes great cold tea, and doesn't need sugar, IMO. They may not drink tea, but it smells nice. It also looks nice on the kitchen counter in a glass jar.

Hot Cocoa Mixture: For dh, and anyone else who doesn't seem to be a tea drinker, make a batch of hot cocoa.

Dream Pillows:
Sew another sachet out of breathable fabric, such as cotton, but this time sew a rectangle. Add a mixture of herbs just like above for the sachets. Add a ribbon. This dream pillow will be placed inside a pillowcase for use. The bedroom will smell pretty and they'll likely be sleeping better with it. My dh loves his dream pillow and wants it every night, especially during the Spring when he has 2-3 months of allergy agony. The dream pillows clear his sinuses up so he can breathe well enough to sleep. In his, I use mints, eucalyptus, calendula, chamomile, lavender, and mugwort - or whatever I have on hand out of those. For a more romantic floral pillow, use: lavender, chamomile, calendula and rose petals. Mugwort may also be used, as it is supposed to help someone sleep.

What are your ideas?

by Lori Seaborg

Bella is Upset at Me!

Bella is upset at me ... and her nose is in a petunia!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Over a year and a half ago, I was teaching children's choir, teaching adult education classes two nights a week, singing in the adult choir at church, homeschooling two children with two babies underfoot, taking the children two full days a week to extra classes, preparing to move to a new location for dh's job, and running a website as a business. I was overwhelmed!Knowing that I was reaching my sanity's limit, I prayed for God to help me, with a please!

One night soon after my prayer, I walked into our six-year-old daughter's room and saw a basket hanging from her bunkbed with a stuffed animal and a note in it. I remembered that Brittany had told me she had a surprise for me, and to please come and look at it, but I was too busy filling an order for my business. Later, after I sent her to bed, she called me again to see her surprise, but I said was still too busy and I'd come when I could.Much later in the evening, I remembered that I had never gone back to see Britty's surprise. Feeling a little saddened that I was seeing it after she was asleep, I opened the note.

On it was written: "I want to do 100 things for you."For Brittany, a brand-new 6 year old who had four ear surgeries, writing that note would have been very difficult. It touched me to the core. In tears, I said aloud, "I want to do 100 things for you, too."It was as if a light turned on in that moment as I saw how busy I had made my life. Each activity was noble, of course, and worthy of someone's time, but it was not to be my time that was used. That night, in my little girl's room, I felt God's whisper. I heard Him whisper that I am to be first a wife, then a mother for this moment. He reminded me how quickly children grow up. It is only for a blink of time that they live with us. With my focus cleared, I immediately closed my website. I had always given it to God, so I didn't question that he could provide for us financially without my side business. Since we were moving for dh's new job, I was able to gracefully bow out of choir, children's choir, the extra classes, and teaching committments.

My husband became a top priority. I started caring whether or not he had clean clothes. I began greeting him as he walked in the door from work. Our children also became a higher priority. I started reading to them at night and singing with them in the day. I focused on their little faces and the fun we could create together. The house also became a priority. With practice, it became a joy to create meals and decorate and surprise my husband while teaching our children how to manage a home happily.

It has been over a year since Brittany's note and God's whisper. Lately, I have felt God's nudge to write again, as a ministry and as a home business. It is good to help others outside the family. It is good to make a little extra income. But I know that my ministry, business, or activity must never be more important than my family and my home.

If we young mothers talked to older mothers more often, they'd tell us that children grow up quickly. We already know that, but do we realize it? We fill our days to overflowing with activities; we run after ways that we can serve in the church; we start new businesses or keep old jobs; we agree to be the room mother or the leader of a group; we seek to minister to others.

Meanwhile, our families, the very ones that God specifically gave us to minister to, are set aside.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Ask God to help you, with a please. He just might whisper in your ear, too.

by Lori Seaborg

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Early Mornings with God: Laine's Letters

I want to encourage you to visit a website that I have thoroughly enjoyed, called Laine's Letters . It is a simple website, with letters for you to read and recipes to try.

I'm pretty sure God put the URL in my path right when I needed it, last fall. I have been so encouraged by the letters that Laine writes to women. She gets up early in the morning to have time with God and speaks of her quiet time often. I found that so inspiring that in late October I started getting up at 6am, which is one hour before the children wake. Often (and oftener!) I mess up and miss that God Time hour (I am such a night owl), but when I have it, my entire world is more right side up.

Check out Laine's site and see if God doesn't use her words to knock you over the head a bit, too.

by Lori Seaborg

Monday, July 25, 2005

Today, July 25, 2005

In the Oven:
Lemon Bars

On the Stove:
Whole Wheat Pancakes

Sounds I'm Hearing:
Laying Hens Clucking and the Rooster, Princess (we thought he was a girl) rescuing them

Sights I'm Enjoying:
Canna Lillies, Zinnias, and Hydrangeas blooming

Smells I'm Smelling:
Whole Wheat Bread that's rising; oregano, which is getting out of hand in the raised herb garden

Sips I'm Sipping:
A Turtle Deluxe Latte with Whipped Cream from Latte Da, my neighborhood coffee and book shop

On the Nightstand:
"Creative Counterpart" by Linda Dillow; "Thrush Green" by Miss Read; my Bible

In the Craft Basket:
A scarf I'm knitting (I'm a beginnner, so really I should say "a scarf that I'm twisting and undoing and twisting again); Bead Bookmarks; Book Making

Topics I'm Teaching:
Genesis 1; The U.S.S. Alabama Battleship history; Pop-Up Cards

Coming Out of My Pen:
An ebook, a devotional for The Upper Room, and a website I'm creating (technically that is coming out of my computer, not my pen!)

Coming Out of My Head:
"There are only 5 months until Christmas! Not all that much time to figure out how to knit a scarf into a recognizable shape for a gift! Ack!"

by Lori Seaborg

The Disturbed Child May Need Help

This photo came from a parenting encyclopedia from the 1930's. Do you see the caption? LOL!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Making Pop-Ups

Heard in our House:

"Well, if nothing else, our kids will know art!" ~ me, to dh, as the kids and I are caught during "school hours" doing yet another art project.

This time, we were making Pop Up Cards, with these easy instructions.

Brenden (10) made an army guy and a Calvin (as in Calvin & Hobbes)

Brittany (7) made a frog

Stone (5) made something indescribable, and it makes weird noises when he opens and closes it (I think those noises came from his mouth, but don't let him know I'm onto him)

Tim (dh) and I were co-artists in making a fish (Tim said it started out as a flounder, then morphed into a rainbow trout. I say it's just a cute fish with big eyes and big lips). We put cardstock as a cover for our pop-up fish, and gave it to our cute little Bella (2). When you open that card, the fish mysteriously sings opera in Mama's voice. Curious!

If your kids are bored today, try these pop-ups! All you need are 2 pieces of paper, scissors (or rip it!), and some crayons.

by Lori Seaborg

Friday, July 22, 2005

Buying a Vehicle on eBay

We bought our last 2 vans and 1 old truck on eBay and were able to get EXCELLENT vehicles at EXCELLENT prices there! Besides reading the auction well, viewing every photo carefully, and writing to the seller (or calling them) to get a feel for how legitimate they are, here are a few ways to make sure you're getting a good deal:

1.) Don't pay upfront, unless there is a small fee for "good faith". Get yourself to where the vehicle is within the timeframe listed (eg. 10 days to pay -- get to the car within 10 days), so that you can see it without having already paid. If you don't think it is as good as listed, back out! They were not following the auction contract by listing it wrong, so you're under no obligation to buy at that point. We always see our vehicles before paying anything! Keep in mind that you are buying a used vehicle, so don't expect perfection, but if there are any glaring dents or if there is a loud noise coming from the hood, that should have been mentioned in the auction.

2.) eBay insures (for FREE) most vehicles (with a Service Agreement) for up to 1000 miles or 30 days. Look at the auction and you should see this offered. Our 1966 truck that cost only $400 did not have that insurance, because of the age and condition. We didn't mind. On our 2 vans, we did have that insurance. We didn't have to use it, but it was nice to have.

3.) Buy a Vehicle History Report for your vehicle. You'll see this on the auction pages, too. For $14.95 you can get 10 reports. For one, it's under $8. A Vehicle History Report lets you see the vehicle's history. This tells you if it has been in a flood, when it was registered, if its been in an accident, etc. When you buy this report, they give you free buyback insurance that what they've said is correct. When we bought an Explorer from a local dealer in 1999, we were not lucky enough to be offered this information or the insurance. What we bought was a vehicle that had been in the middle of major floods in the MidWest. The dealers up there sent their cars down South, where people didn't know about the floods! We had a lot of problems with that lemon.

4.) Check on the Kelly Blue Book value of the car you're bidding on. With both of our vans, we bid --and won-- only at trade-in price. That's great! We lost many vehicle auctions that went too high. It's worth waiting and watching. You dont' have to wait long, though! Within 2 weeks of our accident that totalled our other van, we had received the insurance check on it, bid on an eBay van, flew on a plane from FL to OH to get it (the auction price was worth the $150 ticket), and drove it home!

5.) Get the title in your hot little hands. With our truck and one van, we bought the vehicles from a regular person on eBay. With both of those vehicles, the title was transferred to us and handed over on the spot. With the other van, we purchased the vehicle from a dealer who had listed the auction. They did not have the title on hand, but the transaction was the same as if you went to your local dealer and picked up a used car. They gave us a temporary title, all the papers needed, and a note that the title would be arriving in the mail from Ohio's vehicle department. Within a couple of weeks, the title arrived. Some people have bought vehicles on eBay and neglected to get the title from the seller, by accepting the seller's excuses. Do NOT allow that to happen!

We've had MUCH better luck on eBay than we have with local used car and new car salesmen. It might be the same for you!

by Lori Seaborg

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Clarity, from a Child's Viewpoint

Brenden , our nine-year-old, and I were at the table last night around 10pm. I was letting him stay up late for no reason other than that it is nice to spoil a child now and then. If I spoil all 4 at once, they seem to gang up on me and expect it more. If I spoil only one at a time, it is our secret, so nobody finds out about it. Spending time with them one-on-one is one of my favorite things to do, and yet I have to talk myself into noticing that I haven't done it in a while! Why is that??

Anyway, Brenden decided to make some hot chocolate. He was sitting at the table, noisily slurping it from a spoon. I was engrossed in a book but decided to put it down and join him. I wondered where our conversation would go, as it always leads to interesting places when he is my companion.

To start it out, I asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The answer changes almost weekly. He said, in a too-mature voice, "Well, actchically (he says actually, his favorite word, wrong every time), I'm not sure. I might be an inventor, though."

I said, "Oh, my, you'd make a great inventor," as I do about all of his chosen occupations. We talked for a while about inventions and things to invent and inventors.

After a lull in our conversation, I heard myself say, "I want to be a writer."

Brenden, still lost in inventor-thoughts, absentmindedly murmured, "Oh, yes."

"Wait a minute!" He looked at me full in the face, alert. "You already are a writer!"

There is not a book with my name on it; there is not a magazine masthead with "Lori Seaborg" on it; there's not even yet an e-book with my name listed as the author...

But Brenden thinks I am a writer simply because he sees me write.

There is nothing like a child to see you for who you are or for who you have the potential to be.

by Lori Seaborg

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Have You Had Your God Time Today?

(a re-post, from January 2005. With Tropical Storm Cindy on Tuesday, then Hurricane Dennis on Sunday, I slipped back into my old ways of not having God Time in the day.)

I have not been having my morning God time.

I've been frustrated for the past couple of weeks with the housework (it seems to be multiplying), with my fatigue (always tired), with the children (who are always needing things like meals and clean socks), with Tim (who needs clean jeans for work, how dare he), with writing (because I'm not doing it), with homeschooling (guilt consumes me here) and with the animals (who need food every day instead of when I randomly feel like giving it to them).

In short, I've been annoyed and frustrated.

I've found that if I start my day out with God time -- a consistent God time, a time that is scheduled as if Jesus were sitting in my rocking chair in the library, waiting for me to join Him -- then the rest of the day goes much smoother.

Things get done, jeans get clean, animals are enjoyed, the children are happier, dh gets spoiled, I am less tired because I am more scheduled, and I am less frustrated with all the Earth and every person in it.

Sure, trouble still comes, but it is more tolerable because of the time with God where Scriptures have been memorized, even accidentally, and praises have been sung.

Most amazing to me, the little annoyances almost disappear.

With a song in my heart and a verse in my head, I'm not as upset about things like sticky tables or playdough in the carpet. My eternal perspective improves.

Have you had your time with God today?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Helping Children Through a Trial

In the past ten months, we have had two natural disasters (both hurricanes ) and a job loss (our sole income). Our children act as if nothing happened!

No matter who you are, you will go through a fiery trial eventually. Yours may be a trial like mine, or you may have a death in the family or terrible sickness to a family member. Or, you may have the trial of all Americans as we went through 9/11 or that of the world as we watched the London bombings this week.

Whatever the trial, there are a few ways to help your young children cope:

Routine: I cannot express this one strongly enough. Have the children keep up with their regular morning routine and their normal chores. If nothing else, be sure they have their usual bedtime ritual.

Turn off the News: The news makes things more scary. Turn it off now and then, so you can view life through your own eyes rather than that of the news anchor. When Hurricane Dennis came this week, I needed to listen to the news for weather updates. For a few hours, I watched on the family t.v. Finally, I noticed how upset my tummy was, how the children were arguing constantly, and how fussy the 2-year-old was. I turned off the t.v. and moved to the kitchen, where I could listen on the radio. I baked cookies and grilled chicken breasts while the kids played in another room. Soon, all of us were much more calm.

Let Them Be Near You: Have you heard that country song that says, "Let them be little. Let them sleep in the middle." ? Just this once, let them do that! Let them be near you as you do laundry or cook. It helps them to see mama act normal.

Conversation: Talk about what is happening, in a calm and casual way. Our five-year-old asks so many questions when life is bumpy. Recently, he wanted to know if we were going to die like Great-Grandma who had cancer. I let him ask his questions, and answered him simply, without sugar-coating it. But I also let him know that it was not likely that one of us would get cancer soon, and that it was also not likely that we would die soon. Great-Grandma was very , very old, I told him. We are not nearly that old.

Prayer: Pray with the kids, but don't sensationalize the trial. Pray for the trial along with the dog's fleas, the lost shoe, and the vegetables in the garden. With older children, you'll want to pray longer and more seriously, but with young children, make it a quick, simple prayer.

Your children will rebound faster than you'd think. They will certainly rebound faster than you will, so take care of yourself, too!

Lori Seaborg

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Hurricane Dennis 8:15 p.m.

Everyone in our area is so happy! Hurricane Dennis weakened when it made landfall. It made landfall at Navarre, Florida, and then curled closer our way, but just North of us. Even in the areas that had a direct hit, the storm didn't seem too bad, especially compared to what we all experienced with Hurricane Ivan last September.

All day we had Tropical Storm-force winds; very gusty, with a few small branches flying. Since we had Hurricane Ivan last September, then Tropical Storm Arlene in June and Tropical Storm Cindy only five days ago, there wasn't much for Hurricane Dennis to blow around. We are still surrounded by trees, but I mean that all of the weaker trees and branches have already been blown off.

Our power went out around 11:30a.m and was only recently restored. Our neighbor had lost a pine tree on the power line. We know that our entire area must be doing well, since the power company was able to come so quickly. After Ivan, they couldn't come for a week to repair the damage.

Thank you, everybody, for your prayers! If you are a Gulf Coast tourist, you will be delighted to know that our factory outlet malls are fine, and our beaches are as beautiful as ever! We are just so thankful that God spared us this time. There are 4 tropical systems in the Atlantic, so we may be in for this ride all over again soon.

Now on to our regular programming....

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 10:30 a.m.

Hurricane Dennis is making things gusty around here now. It's reminding me of Tropical Storm Cindy who came by last Tuesday.

The hurricane may go to our East, which will place us on the "good" side of the storm. The strongest winds in a hurricane come out of the East, so if we are on the West side, we are in much better shape than others.

Still, we're definitely in the thick of things. It really doesn't matter where the exact eye makes landfall. The eye of Hurricane Ivan made landfall in Gulf Shores, AL last September 16, 2004, but Gulf Shores looked MUCH, MUCH better than Pensacola, FL did. So when you are watching the news, they will constantly say, "It's heading to Destin, FL!", etc., but the entire area should really be highlighted. Not only one town is devastated in a hurricane.

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 9:40 a.m.

Jeb Bush is giving us a press conference. He is such an awesome governor!

He just said two cool things:

1.) "Don't use your generator in your house." LOL! We are in Redneck Country, so he knows it is necessary to say that!

2.) "Those who are not in the storm path, please pray for your fellow man. It is very important that we pray."

He is now saying the same things in Spanish.

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 9:10 a.m.

Here is my local news station online:

They will keep you updated with hurricane updates and aftermath coverage.

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 9:00 a.m.

Peanut butter cookies are cooling on the countertop, chicken breasts are cooking on the stove, rice is simmering, and pancakes are stacked in a pile on a plate. When we lose electricity, it will be nice to have these things already cooked and baked. The best thing about a hurricane is that you have advance warning.

Possible good news: Hurricane Dennis is just now heading on a more northern track (it's been heading northwest, right at us). If it continues on this northern track, it will make landfall east of us. That puts us on the western side of the storm, which is the nicest side to be on. Certainly, our weather will still be intense, and it is already too late for us to not be affected, but it won't be the worst case scenario.

My 17 chickens are running loose about the yard. Their pen is situated very near our river (Fish River), which will flood today. I'm hoping the chickens are smart enough to go into the woods or at least stay on lower, less windy ground. The mama hen and her three babies are in my garden cart on our front porch, where they should not have much wind, and no rain.

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 7:50 a.m.

The 2-year-old and dh (Daddy) are still sleeping. The other three (10, 7, 5) are playing Nintendo. They can do that all that they want today, as I know the power will be out soon enough. It will likely be at least a week before it gets turned back on, so we'll let the kids rot their brains today! ;)

I'm going offline to bake some cookies. When you know your power is going out, it's funny what comes to mind. Getting the laundry done, charging up the cellphone and computer, and baking cookies come to my mind.

If the power goes out before the cookies are done, we'll just eat cookie dough!

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 7:30 a.m.

As a typical mother of four, my first thought during hurricane preparations is: I need to get all the laundry done before the power goes out! So I was doing laundry at midnight, at 3am when I woke up to check on the advisories, at 5am, and again now. It's finally done!

As a typical homeschooling mom, I pulled out my Masters of Disaster lesson plans that I got from the American Red Cross. In it is a lesson on hurricanes. We're going to have a teaching day, even in the midst of a vicious storm!

by Lori Seaborg

Hurricane Dennis 7:15am

It looks like Hurricane Dennis, a very strong Category 4 storm (out of 5), will pay us a visit today, an unwelcome guest, for sure!

We've decided to stay at home here in Fairhope, AL which is on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. We have a brick house in a valley, and didn't have terribly hard winds during Hurricane Ivan (which was also a direct hit, but was a Category 3).

It is 7:15am CST as I write. It's only a bit gusty outside, no different than it would be for a thunderstorm. Landfall of the hurricane is around 5pm, but we will have Tropical Storm weather and then Hurricane weather for hours ahead of that.

I'll keep you updated as often as I can, but our power will likely go out later in the day.

by Lori Seaborg

Thursday, July 07, 2005

In Case Hurricane Dennis Comes...

Thought I'd wave to all my new friends, and let you know that unless I can sneak a quick blog in on Sunday morning, I likely won't be blogging for a few days. It's not wise to tell people you won't be around your blog, or they might forget about you (or so I read once, somewhere), but I'm taking the chance because I also need to request a little prayer from you all. Hurricane Dennis is a mean ol' fella and is heading straight for us, according to the latest projections. Of course, he may veer left or right, but even a side swipe by a Category 4 storm doesn't feel good.

Our area suffered from Hurricane Ivan on September 16, 2004, only 10 months ago. You can see below for a bit about that, at the end of the Frugal Emergency Preparations post. I'm in a rush, so can't stay here long enough to find the link for you.

We'll be fine, we always are in these storms, and we have weathered many....but still, they leave a scar or two, on the garden, on the riverbank, on the new coop, on the chickens, on our children, and even a litle on our souls.

When you watch the news, you may wonder exactly where we are. We're in between Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL. Our town is Fairhope, AL and is on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. It is just North of Gulf Shores, AL.

by Lori Seaborg

When Someone is Mean

Brenden, age 6, was sitting on a stack of several bags of potting soil. Crying. The kind of crying that makes my heart squeeze, not the kind of crying, loud and full of self-pity, which makes my eyes roll. This was a sad cry.

The neighbor boy was being mean to him, he said. Calling him names.

For a moment, I focused on me - why didn't he tell me sooner, instead of crying alone like that? Then I felt indignant - should I tell that kid what I think of him now? Next, I wondered if Brenden had "done the family proud," and punched the mean child. Somehow, miraculously perhaps, I kept quiet through these thoughts until Brenden was done with his story and had calmed down a bit.

Then, I gave Brenden a list of things to remember:

1. Always remember that God loves you. You are special to Him. He loves you as much as He loves anyone. He'll always be your friend.

2. If someone causes you to feel bad about who you are, then leave. You do not have to stay around someone who is making you feel that way.

3. (I had three fingers up to this point, until I realized he was distracted by them) Your family loves you. You can always come home, and here you will be welcomed. We will not be mean to you. We will be your friends.

4. Do you feel awful inside? (he nods) Good. I want you to remember this feeling forever. (at this, he looked up at me with a big "why" in his eyes) When you think of being mean to someone else, even your brother and sister, remember how you felt when someone was mean to you.

5. I love you. Do you want to do something with me?

At that, Brenden's disposition changed entirely (maybe it was because mama was finally done talking!). He decided to have his own fun with me. Within minutes, the offending neighbor boy came with an apology and wanted to join us.

I had my happy boy back again.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Today, July 6, 2005


Reading...blogs like a Blogaholic, a word that I'm sure will be in Webster's next year.


Wondering...if you knew there is a word for blogging too much:  blogorrhea


Chasing...two baby chicks round and round, through the woods, under the azaleas, over the cedar logs, under the crepe myrtles, over the chicken wire...for over a half hour last night, to rescue them from the Tropical Storm Cindy heading our way.


Saying...aloud, to 10-year-old son, "Let's just cook them when we catch them, for all the trouble they're causing us."


Hearing...10-year-old say, "Oh, Daddy and I always say, 'Let's just chop off their heads and be done with them.'"


Having...a word or to to say to the 10-year-old's Daddy , whom I did not know was threatening my chickens!  It's less scary when it comes out of my mouth, somehow. 


Catching...the offending chicks by releasing their mama, who gathered them within minutes.


Blowing...around in the yard, when I ventured out at 5am.   Tropical Storm Cindy was small, but a bit fiesty.


Preparing... for Hurricane Dennis who is headed our way this upcoming weekend. 


Admitting...that I love a good storm.






by Lori Seaborg

Monday, July 04, 2005

Born on the Fourth of July


My mother was born on the Fourth of July in 1945.  If ever there was a real-life Yankee Doodle, it has to be her.  When we lived in Papua New Guinea as missionaries, she'd hoot and holler off the porch that was facing the house of our Australian co-workers.  She'd wave an American flag and sing the "Star Spangled Banner" as loudly as she could. Our co-workers would come to their windows, wondering why mom was so "disturbed" that day.  The natives would watch from the dirt road, also wondering about this strange woman who lived among them.  Mom would yell, "It's the Fourth of July!"  Ah, yes, America's Independence.  The Australians would then understand. 


My parents are in Brazil this summer, building homes and churches for missionaries there.  When they are not overseas on short term mission trips, they live near us in Pensacola, Florida, in their red, white and blue-decorated house.


Today, Mom turns 60 years old. 


I can't give her a hug since she is in Brazil, so I am instead sending her this blog.  Instead of singing "Happy Birthday" to her today, we will sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and shoot off some fireworks along with the rest of America. 


Happy Birthday, Mom!


...and Happy Birthday, America!


by Lori Seaborg

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Keeping the Family Content

It's a simple thing, really, to keep this family content.

For Tim (dh), contentment is clean clothes, knowing where the remote is, and something in his tummy.

For Brenden (9), contentment is getting some alone time at the computer in the evenings and reading before bed.

For Brittany (7), contentment is quality time with Mama every day and a picture to draw.

For Stone (5), contentment is getting to ruin his brain by playing the X-box, Nintendo, or computer all day, without breaks. Since Mama always stands in the way of this goal, he is also content to be noticed, even slightly, by his big brother.

For Bella (2), contentment is her thumb and blankie with her, and everyone noticing her.

For me? Contentment is knowing that I've taken good care of my family for the day. Knowing that, contentment is then the reward of a peaceful evening alone with books, pen and paper.