Sorry to do this to ya, but my latest post is up on my OTHER BLOG.

Change those links, bookmarks and bloglines!



Here's a recap of all the blogs who participate in the tour last week.
5 Minutes for Mom -”After reading the book, I realize that my parenting has already embraced some of these changes. I’m sure that if I keep my mind and heart open, I will continue to evolve with the culture in some ways, while remaining steadfast in areas which I know that the Lord would not want me to change or compromise.”

Christian Preschool Printables-(quote from an interview with Mary)"Every pre-school parent can absolutely prepare their children for the future by loving them firmly, establishing boundaries, and walking and talking with their kids, establishing a great relationship."

Christian Work at Home Moms-"This book is a great introduction to the thinking found in our ever-changing world and Mary's open and honest parenting advice is a breath of fresh air." Jill also posted an audio interview with Mary on July 17th.

Getting Real-(quote from interview with Mary)"The greatest challenge? For parents to deliberately take time to consider their role as soul-nurturers of their children. How do we nurture souls? A lot of time together."

Good Word Editing-"There’s a strong element of this book that functions as a memoir for Mary. She tells wonderful stories from her experience as a parent, then interprets them for the reader."

Illuminating the Word Through Fiction-"It's a new experience for me to join a blog tour, but it's the least I can do as a fan and as a parent who believes in Absolute Truth."

Radiant Lit-"Mary is amazing - articulate, honest and very authentic."

Simplifying Motherhood-(quote from interview with Mary) "I love this verse: 'But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ' (2 Corinthians 11:3). For me, for my children, that’s my prayer, that we’d be simply and purely devoted to Jesus no matter what worldview we find ourselves in."

Snapshot-(quote from interview with Mary, answering question on how to stay connected as a family)"...make it a point to read to your children. Choose all sorts of books, nonfiction, fiction, picture books, and keep your ears open."

Spaghettipie-"In the book, Mary is not trying to make a statement for or against postmodernism. She’s merely pointing out that postmodernism is the state of the culture we live in. Our children will encounter postmodern thinkers. So, how do we parent in light of that?"

The Journey of Writer Danica Favorite-"I've always loved Mary and her perspective on parenting, because she's not one of those "perfect" moms who get it all right, all the time. However, she is intentional about being the best mom she can and improving all the time."

Check out the right hand sidebar for links to the participating blogs this week!


New post...

I have a new post up at my other blog. Check it out.

For those of you with links to my blog, if you want to still link to me, please update it to my new blog address (spaghettipie dot wordpress dot com). Thanks!



Just three days left until the big one. Or shall I say the big 3-0?

My husband asked me the other day if I felt older, and really, I don't. I mean, one day doesn't really make that big of a difference. What is crazy to me is to realize that we're no longer twenty-somethings. We're entering middle age, with a family, a mortgage and careers. I've been considering volunteering with our college ministry next year, which caused me to reflect upon my time in college. Through my church, I had an "adopted family" who invested in me, let me do my laundry and fed me a home-cooked meal on occasion. They were more like surrogate parents than buddies. And then I realized, if I get involved with college students, THAT'S how they will view me!

But never fear. I'm not stressing over aging. I'm actually really excited about what this next decade may bring and what God will teach me.

So look out thirty, HERE I COME!

Photo: I am 30, hear me ROAR! (2007)

Defining "Postmodern"

What do you think of when you hear the word "postmodern"? For me, I figured it was the current descriptor of our culture, just as we had the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Modern World. But evidently, the word postmodern carries much more passion and controversy than I ever knew.

By definition, postmodernism is used to characterize the movement, particularly in the last 25-50 years, that arose in direct opposition to the perceived failures of the movement of modernism. Generally speaking, characteristics of postmodern thinking include deconstructionism/reconstruction, social obligation, community, relativism, and skepticism. Evidently, controversy exists regarding postmodern art, architecture, politics, and you guessed it...religion.

When you mix postmodern thinking and ideals in with religion, then things get really sticky. People begin to use the word postmodern interchangeably with other incendiary phrases like “emergent church” and “liberal Christianity”. Technically, these phrases are not synonyms, even though they are used that way. Regardless, they are still emotionally charged words.

Unfortunately, as a result many are quick to judge books and authors who espouse any postmodern ideals, quote anyone related to the emergent church movement or merely use the word postmodern in the title, regardless of the context.

Obviously, you have put together the clues and see where my ramblings are headed. Don’t let the title Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture scare you away from an amazing parenting book. The title does not say How to be come an Authentic Postmodern Parent or You need to be postmodern to be a good parent or even I love Postmodernism and so should you. It says Authentic Parenting IN a Postmodern Culture. In the book, Mary is not trying to make a statement for or against postmodernism. She’s merely pointing out that postmodernism is the state of the culture we live in. Our children will encounter postmodern thinkers. So, how do we parent in light of that?

I loved this book from beginning to end, and I’ll be posting more of my thoughts on it over the next few weeks. I hope you won’t judge this book by its title (okay, I know it was cheesy, but hey...it worked!). Pick it up and once you've read it, let me know what you think.


APT Week One

It's finally here! This week marks the first week of our six week blog tour for Mary DeMuth's latest book, Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture. When Mary first asked me to coordinate her tour, I was excited not only to help my dear friend, but because I'm fascinated by this marketing technique. I enlisted the expert help of Marcus Goodyear to track and measure the tour's effectiveness. I'm sure he'll be posting some of our lessons learned, as will I. Please be sure to join us in this adventure. I'd love any feedback or questions you have along the way.

You can always find general information about the tour, including links to the other bloggers (and a link to buy Mary's book!) in the right sidebar. I'll be posting a review of the book later today or tomorrow.

Okay, off we go!


On Shopping

If you've seen my wardrobe, you know I haven't been shopping in a while. And it's been even longer since I've actually wandered around the mall from store to store, really shopping. My sweet husband took my daughter for the morning and better part of the afternoon so I could wander the 1.6 million square foot madness that is not even one of the largest malls in America. Fortunately, I learned from a friend not to try on any tube tops (no link here, but you know who you are!), and the zipper didn't get stuck on any dresses (ahem, BJ). I got some amazing deals, and walked away with six new pairs of pants, four new shirts, one sweater and one dress for just over $150. But the best thing of all? Being reminded of yet one more thing I love about my husband while listening to his iPod playlist during the drive: I sang along with Mercy Me, and then immediately following danced to House of Pain. What can I say, but he's well-rounded in his music tastes?



Just for fun, we did this at the mall today and I thought I would share.


promises, promises

Okay, I hate to not deliver on something I mentioned, but I'm just not going to get that next blog on community up this week. I've got it in the works, but it's not finished. With Mary's Blog Tour beginning next week and trying to find a better balance between my family and writing, I can't get to it.

Sorry for the delay. But I'll at least leave you with some fireworks.
Happy Friday!




Oh, a big one! (As my daughter said)


Photos: Fireworks shot off by various neighbors of the family who hosted our church 4th of July party (2007)

Climate Complaints

Last month was the second-wettest June in recorded history in our area. While I appreciated the cooler-than-average temperatures, I was ready for the sun to come out after three weeks of thunderstorms every day. It was difficult not to complain. I mean, when you have a toddler who likes to go, a brand new swingset in the backyard and a pool down the street, and yet are confined to a few hundred square feet in the living room, who could blame me if I did? I made a conscious effort to appreciate the fact that we were finally not in a drought, but some days the complaints slipped out.

This week, summer has finally shown its face. The swampland we affectionately call our back yard is drying out, and it’s warm enough to swim without going into hypothermia. You’d think I’d be thrilled, right?

And yet, complaints have already begun to rumble in my heart. Man, it’s too stinking hot to play outside! Oh, it’s so humid, I break into a sweat just walking to the car! Now the electricity bill is going to kill us…

Paul says he learned the secret to being content in any circumstance. It’s hard for me to think about Christ being sufficient for my climate complaints, but He satisfies every need I have.

So, today, I am thankful for air conditioning and a house that protects me from the elements. I’m thankful for clean water to satisfy my thirst, water that comes directly into my house, on demand, ready to drink. I’m thankful for a refrigerator that keeps my food from spoiling. And I’m thankful for my daughter who is dancing around with a bucket on her head, saying “Hi, Dog!” to her stuffed animals and entertaining me as I type.


A Few Things I've Been Up To...

I mentioned I was working on some shower invitations. Here's a look at how they turned out:

The sun came out today! The humidity was thick, but we ventured out to the zoo with a friend.

Are the monkeys on the inside or the outside?

Close encounter of the gorilla kind.

Yes, I let her lay on the ground to feed the bird (just long enough to take a picture!)


All's quiet on the western front...

Sorry it's been so quiet here. We've been off wreaking havoc over in LL's living room, and I've been trying to get some baby shower invitations ready to go in the mail. Definitely more on Community and other things this week!


Happy Fourth of July!

Although this might have been a little white trash...

(Yes, that's a rain gutter attached to a smoker)

It sho' wuz some good eatin'!

Dessert was good; but it had nothin' on this sweet moment.


Who says you shouldn't eat spaghetti on a first date?

Photo: Twirling, shmirling; go for two hands! (2007)


What your car says about community

Generally speaking, I'm against bumper stickers. And I think a limit should be set as to how many you can have on your car. Like, if you can no longer see the bumper of your car, that's too many.

Now I have been known to laugh out loud at a bumper sticker before, but for the most part I’m tired of seeing Calvin peeing on a truck brand (or kneeling at a cross) or a reference to your smart kid and his or her school (or how your kid beat up that kid). And occasionally, one really makes me mad; such is the case as I traveled home two days ago.

Picture it. You’re driving along, minding your own business, toddler in the back chattering happily. A nice tan Cadillac, with a middle-aged gentleman approaches on the left side and begins to pass you. Then his bumper practically screams in your face: "Abortion doesn't make you UNpregnant. It makes you the mother of a dead baby." (and in red!)

Seriously? Did the vehicle owner look at that bumper sticker in the bumper sticker store and think, “Man, thank goodness I found a sticker that so eloquently expresses my very thoughts!”? I’ll try to give the benefit of the doubt - that it’s just misguided passion for an important issue. But Mr. Tan Cadillac man, please scrape that sticker off!

When we decide to prominently display our opinion on our shirts or blogs or bumpers, we need to remember to speak the truth with grace and love. Sometimes we get so caught up in speaking our mind, we undermine the very point we’re trying to make. In the example above, the car owner is obviously trying to persuade women to not get abortions, but do you think that’s an effective way to do it? Not really. Most likely, it would make a woman considering abortion angry or frustrated. And does a woman who has received an abortion experience God’s grace and love through those words? Does heaping on more shame and judgment draw her to Christ?

If we want to build community (and God’s kingdom), we need to be careful with our words, always seasoning them with an extra measure of grace and love.


Good times...

What could be more fun than your daughter throwing up in her carseat, two separate times, due to coughing?

Oh, yeah..Spending two hours in the local children's hospital ER and getting home after midnight because your daughter needs more powerful breathing treatment than you can give her at home.

Throw in a healthy fear of nurses, doctors, respiratory specialists and all other hospital employees, uncontrollable sobbing off and on for an hour and a half, and you have yourself a REAL party.

It was so much fun, I felt left out that I'm the only one in the family without asthma...