Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

OK, so it's not really. Fall is, finally, arriving in East Texas and I love it! But, as most of you know I LOVE Christmas. I love everything about it. I love the smells of baking, especially gingerbread! I love watching the children's faces, I love the music, the (prayerfully) cold weather, the decorations, hot cider, decorating the tree, buying/making gifts for other people, especially strangers, etc... EVERYTHING. Not to forget Christmas lights!
If you will recall I started listening to Christmas music back in July. :-)
Well, this week one of my FAVORITE places opens. Santa Land. I LOVE, Santa Land. My favorite sections are the religious section and Angels All Around. We have a light there in memory of our nephew, Glenn Thomas. :-)

I want to go there so badly this weekend I think I may be more excited than a child on Christmas morning. :-) To me, this starts the holiday season. :-) I just can't help it, I get that excited. :-) The other that will make it exciting is using my new camera to take some pictures of the lights. I think I may be able to get some great shots this year. :-) I am going to try everything I can to get there this weekend. I would even consider it part of my Christmas present if my sister wants to help pay the entrance fee. :-)
I know I have blogged about my favorite Christmas memories, here, and they are still my favorite so far. :-) What about you? What is your favorite Christmas memory? Blog about it, and then let me know you did so I can come and read it. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Well, I have entered so many giveaways at the "Fall Ya'll Bloggy Giveaway" that I decided I need to go ahead and give away something now, instead of waiting for next time. :-)

So, I went into my room to browse through my books to see what I had. I have decided to give away "The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer" by Lisa Whelchel. It is in perfect condition. Never been used. Even if you wouldn't use it yourself it would make a wonderful gift. Put this into a basket along with a box of herbal tea and a nice mug and you have a fantastic little gift. :-)

I will choose the winner on Sunday, November 4th. (I am sure I can learn how to use the random number generator by then.) :-) To enter, just leave a comment, and if you don't have a blog, please leave an e-mail address where you can be reached should you win. :-) I am sorry, but this time around I will only be able to afford postage within the U.S.


Wendy Darling

Monday, October 29, 2007


I was going to send an update on why I have been MIA, but I think I will do that tomorrow. :-) I wanted to go ahead and let ya'll know what is going on over at Rocks In My Dryer Shannon is doing another "Give Away Carnival", and there are over 300 giveaways going on right now. You have until the end of the week to sign up for most of them, so make sure you take some time to visit them all. :-)

It is so much fun, I do believe I will be participating in the giveaway next time. :-)
Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And it all started with this....

My mom might be a little offended by this post, but it is not meant to be offensive. Honest. :-)
Laslo has blessed my brother with an Ipod. So, some switching around of technology has taken place in our home, and now my mom has an Ipod. Yesterday morning I saw Mom putting headphones on her ears and listening to her Ipod. My Mom. Ipod. It just struck me....

I have no idea why, but I began thinking. Just about 40 years ago my mom was probably walking around listening to a transistor radio, and thinking this is the coolest thing ever! A radio that I can hold and walk around with. And, it even had a little "ear plug" that she could put in one ear to listen to. :-) Of course, they pretty much only got AM radio, so they were stuck with whatever the local stations were playing, but they were happy!!

Then, they came out with cool tape recorders. I had one sort of like this,

but mine was silver, I think. It might have been black. I'm not sure. I'm sure Queen B will correct me, because she got one exactly like it that Christmas as well. :-) I remember it took 4 "D" batteries, and we would hold it up to the record player speaker, the radio, or the TV to record. After about a minute it got heavy, and our hands would move down away from the speaker. We could hear a difference in the volume later when we listened to it. :-) Also, if anyone made ANY sound during recording the whole thing was ruined. I remember the tape I got in my stocking was Frankie Valley and the 4 Seasons. :-)
Now, my Mom is walking around with a very nice set of headphones, with a SMALL player in her pocket, they ways NOTHING, and she has close to 100 songs, and old radio shows on it that she downloaded off of the Internet, and she still has room to add more! :-)
Man, technology sure has come a long way. :-) I wonder what it will all be like in 10 years down the road....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thank you, RYKA!! :-)

I would like to publicly thank RYKA for my new shoes. :-) I had completely forgot that I signed up their drawing, and yesterday I received a wonderful surprise when I received these in the mail. :-)
I immediately put them on, and they are so comfortable!! :-) I was just saying how badly I needed a new pair of athletic shoes, and then God blessed me with these. :-)
They are still having the giveaway until October 25th, so you still have time to register. :-) They are giving away 50 pair of shoes a day. :-)
Thank you, again, RYKA. :-)
Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I guess I still have a lot to learn....

Well, I decided today was the day to catch up with our weigh-in. After all, I exercised so much last week, and yesterday, that my knee is now swollen and keeps popping, so I must have lost a bunch, right? Wrong!! I lost 8 oz. Yep. That's all. 8 oz.

I keep telling myself, "At least I didn't gain 8 oz." But, in reality that doesn't make me feel better. Especially because I know the reason. When "Little Mark" was gone I took the opportunity to "Stress Eat". I wanted to relax afterall, and what better way to relax than to have cheese dip? I still did it in moderation. Believe me, it wasn't even close to what it would have been in my "pre-diet" life. But, it was still bad for me. And, I tried to rationalize it by saying, "Look at how much I am exercising?!" So, I guess my thinking hasn't changed as much as I thought it had.

What's worse is that I know I should go back to phase 1 for a few days, and I did do it for 2 days last week. But, only 2 days. How on earth did I last 9 days in the beginning when I can't get past 2 days now? I know in the end I will end up doing it, and I will do better, I am just angry with myself, and again, it is all mental.

BTW... the whole knee thing is probably because it is cold here. Autumn has finally arrived in East Texas!! :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm Back! /Rambling
Well, I got back from my retreat last night. I had a lot of fun, but very little sleep. I stayed awake scrapbooking until 4:00 am, and then I woke up around 6:30am. I got dressed and walked down to the lake to get some pictures of the sunrise. :-) Have I mentioned how much I love my new camera? ;-)
One thing that was so interesting was when I was scrapbooking a spread for the New London Museum. The lady sitting next to me saw my pictures and told me that her first cousin died in the explosion, she was 9 years old. She gave me a lot more insight into the explosion. We definitely had a long conversation.
I took a nap after church today, and I think I am catching up on my sleep. Speaking of church, I have a little something for you that would be under the "kids say the darnedest things" category. :-) We were discussing God using helpers, namely Missionaries. Well, the little boy got out the picture Bible, and opened it to the New Testament. He was asking the assistant teacher what the story was about (This is the 5 year old class, so they don't read yet), and she said "The shepherds are spreading the Good News about Jesus's birth." The little boy sat for a moment, quietly, and then asked "What's the bad news?" We were both speechless. :-)

Another thing that left me speechless today was when I had told my youngest nephew to pick up the Tinker Toys for the thousandth time (yes, I do exaggerate), and I said, "If you don't pick them up you are going in the corner." "Little Mark" then piped up, "Men don't clean." Excuse me? Where did you hear that? Because, we certainly don't categorize housework by gender in this household. He is 11 and he's becoming sexist. Or is it lazy? I'm going with lazy.

We also had a bout of the "I Wants" a lot today. From both of them. I don't remember us saying that as much when we were little. My mother would probably beg to differ, I am sure. It used to be pretty much around Christmas time though, but now it is all the time. A few weeks ago I had the youngest nephew and the "little angel" in the store. They both must have said, "I want" about almost everything we went by. Some of it they didn't even know what it was. "Little Mark" is bad about too, but all of his is expensive electronic stuff.

Our standard answer of "save your money" was not received well. When we came home from church the youngest nephew was still going at it, and after about the 10th "I want" I finally said, "If you say that one more time I will not buy you a Christmas present." Needless to say, he stopped.
I tried to remind "Little Mark" about what we had learned at the concert on Thursday. About the efforts of the band and World Vision to provide water to those who do not have clean water, or have to walk MILES a day to fill small buckets, and then carry it home and do it all over again, all day long.

I even thought of sending the money we would have spent on them to World Vision, or adopt a child with that money. Maybe I will. I don't know. Not just to teach them a lesson in greed, but to also teach them the value of money. And we already do that. I hate to say they are "spoiled", because they don't get everything they want. But, I have to admit that "Little Mark" doesn't have to work REALLY hard for it either. I mean he does, but not back breaking hard. Am I making sense?
And it's not that he doesn't want a job. He does. As a matter of fact he can be a little entrepreneur in the ideas to make money he comes up with sometimes. Unfortunately, they are usually undo able on his part, or ours with start up money. Or, he wants to do things we won't allow him to do, like mow lawns. He mows ours with supervision, but that is all. I am sure it will all work out. I guess at the end of the day they are just kids doing what kids do. :-)
Wendy Darling

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's a Beth Moore giveaway! :-)/ Bye Bye.....

I love me some Beth Moore!! Lisa over at The Preacher's Wife is giving away a Beth Moore Bible Study kit. The whole kit ya'll. Just go here for all of the details, and sign "Mr. Linky". ;-)

Also, I am off for the weekend to attend a scrapbooking retreat. :-) Ya'll have fun, and I hope to have some great blogging stories for you when I get back. :-)

Wendy Darling
The concert was AWESOME!!!!

Just in case you were wondering. :-) We got home a little after 11:30 pm. :-) The place was PACKED! It was such an awesome concert/worship time. :-) And, yes I am POOPED!

John Waller and Leeland were the opening acts, and they were so wonderful.

Then, the entire time Casting Crowns was on stage it was like one huge worship service, it was just too awesome for words. ;-)

We did get some really nice pictures, and "Little Mark" got a black cap with a crown stitched onto it. :-) He had a really great time. As we were leaving he told the security guard, "That was the COOLEST concert EVER." :-) I'm glad he liked it.

My favorite part was the very last song, the "encore" song. :-) They did "What if His People Prayed", and the audience sang it so loud with them. Here are the lyrics:

"What If His People Prayed"

What if the armies of the Lord
Picked up and dusted off their swords
Vowed to set the captives free
And not let Satan have one more
What if the church for heaven's sake
Finally stepped up to the plate
Took and stand upon God's promise
And stormed hell's rusty gates

What if His people prayed
And those who bare His name
Would humbly seek His face
And turn from their own way

And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day
What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the family turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

What if His people prayed
And those who bare His name
Would humbly seek His face
And turn from their own way
He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He’s answered loud and clear,
YeahIf only we would pray

If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray
If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray

What if His people prayed
And those who bare His name
Would humbly seek His face,
Yeah And turn from their own way
He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He’s answered loud and clear,
Yeah If only we would pray

What if His people prayed

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I am improving..... :-)

Some of you may have noticed it has been past 10 days since the last weigh-in. Since "Little Mark" has been out of town I haven't been to weigh. Hopefully, we will get to that this week. :-)

I have been improving in the exercise department though. I went to the gym yesterday and today BY MYSELF. :-) It was great. :-) Yesterday I stayed 1 1/2 hours. I rode 5.5 miles, and then did my weight resistance in the pool.

Today, I stayed 2 1/2 hours. I rode/walked 11 miles. Yes, you read that right, 11 miles. I also put a small incline on the treadmill, to start building that up. I rose my speed to 2.7 mph instead of 2.3. I went 1 mile. Hey, it's progress. ;-) Then, on the cycle I put a resistance of "2" on it, and rode for 10 miles. Needless to say, my face was pretty red, and I was SWEATING, but it was good. I then went in the pool and swam/did weight resistance for about 40 minutes or so. Then, I did the water aerobics class.

I was feeling really good, until I got a cramp in the back of my thigh. Yeah, maybe I overdid it a little. :-)

Then, I came home, showered, and dressed to go clean dressing rooms ( more like a small cabin) for the concert tomorrow night. I spent 2 hours on my knees cleaning a kitchen, and then moved water, tables and t-shirts. But, it was worth it to get to free tickets to the Casting Crowns concert. :-) Tomorrow night is going to be long, but it will be a lot of fun. :-)


Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

DC Talk is fantastic!!

I was introduced to DC Talk in college. These two videos are of songs from their "Free At Last" CD. My FAVORITE. :-)

The first video was actually filmed at the prison where Michael Tait's brother is an inmate. If you ever get to see the interview from this it will really touch your heart.

"The Hard Way"

This next one is actually a song by Larry Norman. If you read Cleggy's blog the other day he mentions him. Both of these songs always have such an impact on me.

"I Wish We'd All Been Ready"

Wendy Darling

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dear Lady at Indigent Care Program,

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed our conversation this afternoon. It was so very enlightening. First, I am honored with the fact that your office, without any request or prompting, contacted me and asked me to fill out an application to see if you could help with my latest medical expenses. That was so very thoughtful of you.

Oh, and I had so much fun spending two hours answering all of the questions on the 4 page application. Front and back. Thank you for that. I was trying to figure out what to do with that block of time. :-) And, I really didn't have anything to do during the half hour I spoke with you on the phone. I will always treasure our pleasant conversation.

I also want to thank you for showing me the error of my ways. You are so right, the fact that I am unmarried, and have no illegitimate children, gives me no right to think that I can be considered a homemaker. After all, I have never cleaned a house, made any kind of repairs, or attempts at organization. I have never fixed a meal for my family, scrubbed a floor on my hands and knees, kissed a child's "boo-boo", taught a child to tie their shoes, made a bed, made curtains for the home, stayed awake most of the night with a sick child, scrubbed a toilet, made appointments or important phone calls for others in the home (since they were out working a REAL job). I have never changed a diaper, taught a child to walk/talk, potty trained a child, mended even one piece of clothing, or wrapped a single birthday/Christmas gift.

Shame on me for actually believing homeschooling a child and building their character is actually worth more than getting a "real" job that pays money. Their integrity, and building a better future for our country, "be damned".

I want to thank you for bringing the fact that I have "free loaded" off of my family long enough, and that I should grow up and move on with my life. Your right, it is my choice to have the role of the "homemaker" in my family, therefore I must accept the consequences of my actions/choices.

Thank you, again, Ma'am. I will close this letter now, because my soap opera is back on, and my Bon Bons are beginning to melt.

Your Truly,
Wendy Darling

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My personalDNA Report

Click the above link to read the details of my report. :-)

Wendy Darling
Yes, I am being selfish...

I know this is terrible, but I am being selfish and I am OK with it. ;-) "Little Mark" is visiting his dad this week, until Wednesday. Mom is in Dallas, until Thursday, my brother and sister are working, and will work each weekday this week.

Which means that after homeschool co-op on Monday I am FREE, BY MYSELF, during the day until Wednesday afternoon. :-) No, children!! Yep, I plan to do nothing but watch movies, crochet, get on the computer, do my Bible Study and sleep. :-) Well, I do plan to go to the fitness in the afternoons BY MYSELF! :-)

I even cancelled a 4-H meeting on Tuesday, so I could have the day to myself. Yes, I know it is selfish, and I admit it. I did reschedule the meeting. :-)

On Wednesday I will help clean the dressing rooms for the upcoming Casting Crowns concert, to earn free admission for "Little Mark" and me. The concert is on Thursday, and then I will spend Friday night and all day Saturday at a scrapbooking retreat. :-) Yep, life is good!! :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I am going to HAVE to start writing stuff down....

Okay, in the last couple of days "Little Mark" has said some pretty funny things. Real "blog worthy" stuff. But, for the life of me I can't remember any of it now. :-( I am really going to have to start writing these things down.

Today was really busy. We cleaned out the garage, and it looks GREAT! The Lord really blessed us with COOL weather. :-)

Little Mark and I went to the fitness center. Between the cycle and treadmill I went 5.5 miles. Then, rather than do the weight resistance machines Little Mark talked me into getting into the pool. So, we drove home and changed into our suits. We went back and stayed in the pool for about an hour. I used the Therabands for most of that time, and my body is HURTING! But, it is a good hurt. :-) I am actually thinking of going to the gym tomorrow afternoon and doing the same thing, again, on top of our regular water aerobics tomorrow. Afterall, we will be missing our workouts on Thursday and Friday when we go on our "vacation" day trips.

But, then we will be walking a lot. That counts. Right? :-)

My sister is entering a pumpkin carving contest at work. She is going for "cute". Here is a pic of what she did....with a little help from my brother. :-)

Man, I still can't remember any of the "blog worthy" stuff. :-( I really am going to have to start writing this stuff down.

Wendy Darling

Monday, October 08, 2007

Win a digital camera!

They are having a wonderful contest over at 5 minutes for Mom. They are giving away a special-edition pink Casio digital camera.

Here are the details: " Casio Pink EX-Z75 digital camera specially bundled with a camera case with pink stitching and a pink ribbon-clad lanyard to show support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).

Yes, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Casio is putting on the pink.
They’ve taken their pink EX-Z75, a 7.2 megapixel digital camera which is part of Casio’s highly-regarded zoom line of EXILIM cameras, and are offering it with this special camera case and pink-ribbon lanyard for the month of October.

The special-edition pink EX-Z75 will be available beginning October 2007 and can be purchased at Sears, La Curacao, Fred Meyer, BJ’s, Nexcom, AAFES, Staples, and Future Shop. The bundle package will have an MSRP of $179.99, and will proudly sponsor the National Breast Cancer Foundation. For more information, please visit"

Head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom and sign Mr. Linky to be entered into the drawing. I am trying to win it so I can give it Princess Ladybug for Christmas, but don't tell her because it's a suprise. :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Quick thought....

It is a quick post, but I wanted to share something that I learned today. I was reading my Beth Moore Bible study on "Daniel". She quoted Charles Swindol. It said, "If you have enough money to purchase a book, and you have the education to read and understand that book, then you are richer than most people in other countries."

That got me to thinking, and being thankful, that we truly are richer. Most of us aren't rich financially, but we do have much richer lives, and we can do more because of where we live, and our education. With that we at least have a chance for success, whatever your definition of "success" is.

Paul said all we need to be content is clothing and food. The Lord will provide everything else. We do indeed have a lot to be thankful for.

Wendy Darling

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The lazy days of...well... autumn

Today has just been one of those days. The kind that you just take real slow, and just catch up on some things.

Today I pampered myself by soaking my feet, and using every product in the foot care kit. The scrub, the wash, the foot butter, etc. It was real nice. :-) I watched "Quilt in a day" on RFD-TV. It really put me in the mood to quilt again. :-) I have been wanting to do something creative with my hands for a long time, but so far I am only crocheting a blanket. I would really like to quilt though. :-)

I also took my time getting dressed. I chose some pictures that need to be printed for my scrapbooking retreat. Then, I filled out Christmas cards. :-) Yep, you read that right. CHRISTMAS cards. FlyLady would be so proud.

I really like to get mine filled out VERY early. I leave the ones that need pictures or letters included open, and seal them later. I buy my stamps a book at a time, so I don't have to put out so much money at one time on stamps. I have them ALL ready by the end of November, and then on December 1st all I have to do is drop them in mail. :-)

I guess if I really wanted to be productive I would have caught up on my Bible Study work book, since tomorrow is Bible Study and I am 3 weeks behind. But, you know sometimes you just have to do things that are productive, but take little thought. :-)


Wendy Darling

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Just a "hodge-podge" post.

I have been MIA the last few days. It has been a very busy week, and I just haven't had the energy to sit at the computer to write. I should actually be in bed now, but I have to many things flying through my head, so I thought I would type them out. This may or may not actually become a blog entry. I'll have to wait until the end to see if I actually hit the "post" button. :-)

We had the youngest nephew visit this last week. It has been a lot of fun, and I sure wish I could bottle his energy. :-) I'd lose every pound I need to in just a matter of days. :-) It has really been something to watch "angel" and the younger nephew play together. They always play Power Rangers and Spiderman, and they must "save the world" at least a dozen times a day. This time "angel" had a real treat, because younger nephew brought BOTH of his Spiderman costumes. The "original" and the black one. So, they were both Spiderman. At. The. Same. Time. Oh yeah, it was fun to watch. ;-)

"Angel" turns 4 next week. We looked at dolls for her present, and we did look for Yoda, because she saw a picture of Yoda, and "has to have one." But, in the end my sister said, "who are we kidding? The kid is getting a Power Ranger suit, because that is what she REALLY wants." She is right, of course. And I am pretty sure she will demand to put it on right there in Chucky Cheese. :-) If that happens, you better believe I'll be taking pictures. This is blackmail in the making, ya'll. :-)

The youngest nephew left today and, unfortunately, woke up with a fever this morning. I was told that he slept all of the way home, and the fever was gone. So, that is good. Hopefully, it was just a one shot deal. On the other hand, "little mark", my brother and my sister are all getting colds. I am fervently praying for 2 things. 1) they get rid of them quickly, and 2) they don't feel the need to share, because I AM TO BUSY TO GET SICK!! I have way to much to do, ya'll. Not that they don't, they do. But, I would have to find 3 subs for my co-op classes, that includes preparation and teaching, get my assistant to do everything with 4-H, which is A LOT at the moment, get someone else to teach Sunday School, and we can pretty much just give "little mark" a vacation from school, because that won't be happening. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get a sub to go exercise for me. :-( That would be cool though. Get someone else to do work while I reap the benefits. Oh yeah! :-)

Speaking of the Sunday School, I am kind of in a dilemma there. I have been asked to help teach a class. I am giving it a shot through the month of October, and I really enjoy it. But, I have so much else going on that I am afraid I would be setting myself up for "burn out", again. But, then I feel guilty for not "serving." I know there is more than one way to serve the Lord, and I do feel a call to teach, but in a way I feel like I am already doing that. I also don't mind doing it on a rotation basis, but I just don't think I want to do it full time. Is that selfish? I don't know. I do know that I have experienced burn out twice in the last 5 years, and "IT AIN'T PRETTY, PEOPLE." After the second burn out I went into the nursery. That means no Sunday School or church, and you just really don't get filled/refreshed that way. I mean, there is only so much "Daniel and the Lion's Den" and "Moses" someone can teach before it becomes "routine", and then no one is getting anything out of it.

These last few months I have really benefited from ADULT Sunday School, services, and Women's Bible Study. It has seriously been beneficial to me. I just don't want to lose that.

OK, time to switch gears a little. Last week was "See You At the Pole." Our youth group got together that night for "Saw You at the Pole." We had 200 kids show up. We served them hamburgers, had a concert and the youth pastor led a service that was AWESOME. I really enjoyed it, and you could tell the kids really did too. There were about 30 of them that walked the aisle afterwards. It was awesome. One of the things that was really powerful was the skit the kids did. It was simply amazing, and I found out that there is a video of it on God Tube, so I thought I would share it with you. :-)

I am really looking forward to the Casting Crowns concert on the 18th. I also have a scrapbooking retreat that weekend, so I will be EXHAUSTED, but on the up side, I should have a lot to post about. :-)

Well, looks like the "random blabber" will make it as a post after all. :-)

Wendy Darling