Monday, September 29, 2008

Talk Amongst Yourselves Tuesday

Miss C wants to know, "Do you see God on TV?"

Friday, September 26, 2008

No Other Gods-Week 2

Hey ladies! I'm putting this up a little early this week because I have a house full of people coming and know I won't have time to get it up tomorrow. As it goes today I've been reminded of my internal battle between my Mary and my Martha.

I've got brownies baked, apple pies cooling on the counter, chili in the crock-pot, a sparkling clean house, and here I am trying to "squeeze" in time to post the Bible Study questions. I wish I could say that I put this first today, but instead I find that I let myself get all the other "gods" done before I sat down to honor My God! Another learning experience and reason I am so grateful that you all have joined me in this study. This is definitely a phase of my life where I need to do some god de-throning! Thanks so much for studying this with me!

I really enjoyed your comments last week. God always amazes me in how much I can learn from other women. We all have struggles and yet they all are different, but we can come together and read the same scriptures and God will speak to each one of us in an entirely different way. What a wonderful God we serve!

I just want to encourage you this week to do as Kelly mentioned and make sure to set aside time five different days this week to do your study. Put Him first! Alright, here are this week's discussion questions. Again, answer as many as you desire. I'll be back Sunday to post my answers! Love you all and loving learning about you through your comments!

1. Is there one thing you've always thought might help you gain identity? From this week's study, how have you been convicted that this one thing may not deliver what it promises?

2. From page 41, describe a time when God was not showing up fast enough for you and you were convinced you had to fix things on your own.

3. What are some says that we turn God's gifts into gods as the Israelites did in Exodus 12?

4. Which verses on page 50 (about fear) struck you the most. What touched you? How did a verse or verses relate to your idols and/or fears?


If you recognized any fears in your life this week, send me and email and we'll pray for them with you! I can't wait to hear your comments!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Family Field Trip: It's Golden!

Remember the Red Plate and all the accomplishments we plan to use it for?


First day of Kindergarten: Check.


First Olympic Gold Medal: Check.



That's right, Olympic Gold! As her father says, "She won it in the 300 meter individual medley relay." Here's a closer look.

You looked too close, didn't you? Yes, it actually says Men's Volleyball on it. ;) Okay, so here's the guy who really earned it. His name is Scott Touzinsky. You can read all about him here. That's his wife Angel in the background. She's my husband's cousin, so we now have an Olympic Gold Medalist in our family. We are so proud of him!


They were visiting his family in St. Louis and were able to find some time in between an interview with local radio and throwing out the first pitch at the Cardinals game, to meet all of us and share the medal with us. He is a wonderful guy and we had a great time getting to see them (and the medal of course!)

Thanks so much Scott and Angel for sharing your medal with us! We enjoyed getting to see you! Hopefully we'll see you again before your next gold medal!

The girls were really into watching the Olympics with us this summer and we've studied about the history of the Olympics in our homeschooling, so this was a great field trip to get to see and hold one in real life! The girls thought it was so cool to get to actually see one of the medals they had been seeing on TV!

So, what is your favorite Olympic sport to watch? I'm all about the gymnastics and swimming, what about you?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Loser Lowdown List

1. I love The Biggest Loser. Have I mentioned that before?

2. What's with Jillian giving marriage/life counseling? I love Jillian, but I was really disappointed in the pathetic advice she gave Michelle. "Her mother did the best thing she could by leaving her father because she wasn't happy?" Hello? For better or worse? How about, you are not to blame for your parents' divorce. You can CHOOSE to forgive her, forget the past because you cannot change it, and work on the relationship NOW.

3. The Grey Team and The Yellow Team really needed to be at the ranch longer, I didn't want either team to leave.

4. Having said #3, I thought the Yellow Team should have gone because they were the ones who "gambled" to put themselves under the yellow line.

5. Having said #4, I thought the Grey Team should have gone because they technically had the lowest weight loss for the week.

6. I'm obviously torn about the decision.

7. I'm obviously a little too into the whole show.

8. Instead of my typical ice cream snack while watching the show, I chugged the rest of my water for the day!

9. I spent the whole night getting up to pee.

10. That was way too much information and not about The Biggest Loser at all.

11. I want a big hill, a big water slide, and a big clock. That workout looked like a lot more fun than my treadmill and weights! :)

12. I always thought "The Ranch" was out in the middle of nowhere. Funny, seemed to be a lot of traffic on the street at the end of the water slides!

13. The husband actually watched this episode with me. He got all excited about Rocco's cheap recipes, added up how much it would cost to just repeat the seven recipes four times a month. Didn't say another word about it once they showed what the recipes were. Did anyone else find that none of the recipes looked even remotely appetizing?

14. I loved that Bob removed the yellow line in the gym. However, I think he was a little too worked up over a big piece of tape.

15. I could do without Jillian's cursing at the contestants.

16. I could do without the contestants cursing back at Jillian.

17. I think the lack of ice cream and chocolate is making me a little too opinionated.

18. I couldn't end on an odd number, does that make me odd or just a big loser?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Learning with Finger Paints

What a little finger paint won't do for motivation! It looks like a huge chunk of snot on Miss O's paper, but that is just what yellow finger paint looks like if you don't use it within the first year, apparently.
Miss C practicing handwriting with finger paints. She's right-handed. I wonder what her left hand was getting paint for, hmmm?

Miss A doing her spelling words and sight words with finger paints. Spatial relations aren't really her specialty. Miss O doing what she does best with finger paints, milk, yogurt, snot, poop, you know anything squishy and smearable.


Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Just Sayin'

I saw Miss O doing this at lunch yesterday. I thought to myself, "Self, what on earth is your child doing putting a carrot in her eye?"

Then, I remembered this...

Maybe I'll stop pushing the whole carrots are good for your eyes thing, at least until I get a new type of mascara. I'm Just Sayin'.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Other Gods-Week 1

Are you ready for this? I am super pumped about this study. God's really been working on me in some specific areas of my life and I anticipate that He is just going to make it even clearer through this study. I'm sure I'll be sharing more about that in the weeks to come, but for now, I want to welcome you!

Aimee-I am so glad you are joining us, and we can't wait to celebrate the birth of your baby with you! I hope that you are able to kick your feet up these last few weeks and really soak God in with us!

Nancy-I so enjoy seeing your beautiful face every week at church. I'm praying for you in the adoption process and hope to be celebrating with you too soon! Oh, and we can totally hold you accountable, if you really want us to. :)

Carrie-I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog too! You're probably the most sleepless one of us right now, so we'll forgive any grammar and spelling errors in your comments, though Aimee will be rivaling you for that position soon. :) With your husband doing school and working, I'm sure it is difficult to have a break from the kiddos. I hope that you will be able to find some special time for you to grow in Him each week with this study and with us here on the blog!

Kim-I'm looking forward to doing this study with you too. I've already been enjoying your blog and getting to know you some that way! You'll be our resident NOG expert, so please feel free to impart any wisdom you have from doing this a second time. I love how much God can give us a fresh perspective each time we study His Word.

Dianna-I hope the family travel has been going well and pray you will make it safely home. I miss your joyful presence on Monday nights, and I'm totally looking forward to what God does through this Bible Study too!

Kari-Kari didn't make it to the roll call because she is having some technical difficulties, but she will be joining us also. I'll let her introduce herself in her first comment, but I'll just tell you that she is another one of my Monday night Bible Study friends from this summer and she is the sweetest thing! She's a teacher and in the throws of a new school year, so I'll be praying for her to find time too. I can't wait to see how God works in your life through this study as well Kari!

Okay, so that makes seven of us. I think that is a great number. We should have a wonderful time getting to know each other and really be able to pray for each other and learn from each other over the next 8 weeks. I would really like to make prayer an important part of this study, so if you would like, please send me a brief email each week telling me a specific way we can all be praying for YOU. I'll then put them all together and send out a group email so that we can be praying together. Send them to hdvogel@gmail.com Alrighty then, let's get started...

Here are this week's discussion questions. Feel free to answer any or all of them as you feel led.

1. Think of a few examples of functional gods in our society. (top of page 15) Are there any new functional gods you've come across this week?

2. Can you think of any biblical character who had the same plight or idol you are dealing with? How can this person's story help you to put aside your idol?

3. Share the situation you wrote about in response to the Personal Reflection prompt on page 20. Did reading about the Israelites make you feel any better or give you any comfort about your situation?

4. Share your answers from the bottom of page 23. What skills do you have that you can use for God's glory? Help one another think how you can use your skills in your church or community.

5. At the very end of the week on page 27, we were given a Creative Reflection challenge. If you came up with one, share it with us!

See you in the comments, and remember to check back often to add more to the discussion! Have a great week in the Word!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Family Field Trip: The Apples of My Eye

You want to know one of the great things about homeschooling? We get to go on field trips as a family! We went out for our first field trip this past week. Miss C is studying the letter A this week, we're studying trees and seeds in science, and our read-aloud for the week is Johnny Appleseed. Any guesses where we went?

Well, the apple orchard, of course!

I grew up going to the apple orchard every year (and the peach orchard, and the strawberry patch, and the pumpkin patch, etc.), and I have such fond memories of it. The fun tractor ride out into the orchard.
Searching for the perfect apples, which were always up really high. Just high enough, in fact, that we HAD to climb on Daddy's shoulders to reach them!

Eating apples right off the tree.

The smell of apple cider and apple butter and all things apple inside the "Country Store". And, of course, posing on a silly bench with silly faces just so Mommy can get a family picture.

We went on Monday and the girls are still talking about it. I think the youngest one keeps sneaking into the kitchen and taking bites of the apples. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday-Weight Loss Accountability

After having four kids in five years, my body is in desperate need of an extreme makeover. I've been trying for awhile now, but with no success.

A few confessions. I love food. I don't like cooking. I do love exercise. But, I also love sleep.

The last five years, there has been a lot of food. Not much cooking. Some exercise. Not much sleep. What does that add up to? A lot of extra weight and unhealthiness.

I want to be the healthy mom that I imagine myself to be physically. I want to be the healthy woman that I imagine myself to be spiritually. Through my Bible Study and prayer time these past few months, God has really been working on me and how much I need to DEAL with this area of my life.

So, no more excuses, I want to GET IT DONE! But, how do I do it? Here's my approach, and so far, it's working!

1. Call upon God for His help! Seriously, we are able to call upon the same power that resurrected the body of Christ! Why have I tried so many times to do this in my own power when I have access to the All Powerful Creator? (Check out the book Faithfully Fit for some daily inspiration with regard to this!)

2. Have Bible Study and prayer time every morning. Yes, I love sleep. I am NOT a morning person. But, I'm letting God know that I am serious about putting Him first and breaking this stronghold (because that really is what it is!) Up at 5:30 I will be! I've learned that if I wait to do this later in the day, someone always needs me and it doesn't happen. But, they can't need me when they are fast asleep in the mornings. (Check out Breaking Free and No Other Gods for studies in putting God first!)

3. Pick a diet plan and stick to it! I'm choosing to do Weight Watchers (not meetings though, I'm also working on our budget). I've had a little success with it before, but didn't hang in long enough. Any sensible diet plan works if you believe in it and actually do it!

4. Pick an exercise plan and stick to it! I'm doing the Body for Life weights and also walking 1 hour a day. (The hour exercise may seem like overkill, but it is a spiritual walk with prayer time for me. Read the book PrayerWalk to learn more.) I've been doing it for two weeks now, and I feel so much better already! I really am one of those rare people that likes exercise, so this works for me, but this and this and this are great options too.

5. Find some accountability! This is the best part of it all. I have started a new private blog with another female friend who is struggling with exactly the same thing as me. Together we are going to do this. We've committed to one month to start with, and halfway through the month, I don't think either one of us will come remotely close to quitting there!

We are each posting our daily menus, our exercise, and weigh-ins. We're encouraging each other through Bible Study and prayer. There is something amazing about knowing that someone else is praying for you in this area that is so helpful. There are tons of weight-loss sites out there where you can become part of a community, and I'm sure they are helpful.

What I like about a private blog with one other person, is that you KNOW when they have not posted. You can help figure out how to improve diet and exercise. You can PRAY for each other daily! It is wonderful! My weight-loss partner lives 2 hours away, so you can choose any one to do this with! Also, you don't have to be on the same schedule. I post when I have time, she posts when she has time!

6. I'm expecting great things to happen. No more wondering if my plan will work. I know it will. Why? Because when you call upon the God of the Universe, you can EXPECT great things to happen!

Anyone else out there have experience with weight-loss accountability? What other recommendations do you have?

That's what is working for me. There are hundreds of ladies posting things that work for them over at Rocks in My Dryer, go check them out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Losers Are Back!

There are tons of shows on TV that I like and would watch if I had no other commitments in life. But there are two shows that I watch no matter how many commitments I have. They are the two shows that I will carve out a space in my schedule to make sure that I see them. Now you might think I'm going to say Grey's Anatomy, or ER, or Desperate Housewives. Nope.

I'm talking The Biggest Loser and LOST. LOST won't be back on til next year, but tonight was the night for The Biggest Loser Season Premiere! I got all the kiddos in bed early, snuggled into my little spot, and spent a blissful two hours watching other fat people motivate me. Ahhhhh. Such is the life of an American. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Other Gods-Roll Call!

Today is the day! I'm so excited to get started with this study! My book came a few weeks ago and I have been wanting to dig into it ever since, but I have been patiently waiting. Okay, so I actually just had a lot going on and didn't have time to dig into it, but whatever. I was still patient, right? If you know me well, you know that patience is not really my strongest fruit of the Spirit. On that note, let's jump in.

First, let me explain how this will work.

1. There are five days of study for each of the 8 weeks. Do them whenever you can throughout the week, just have them done by Saturday.
2. Each Saturday morning, I will put up a post with some of the questions from the leader's guide in the back of the book to spark some "comment" discussions. Feel free to jump on the blog at any time during the week and join the discussion. You can comment on Saturday and then come back on Monday and add some more, whatever you have time for or feel compelled to do. We may have better discussions and get to know each other better by stopping by a few times a week. I'll keep the "latest post" link on the right sidebar to make it easy to find.

I'm hoping and praying that our lives will be changed through this study. This is one of those topics that I don't think you can study too often or too much. We must constantly be making sure who is on the throne in our lives, and getting rid of anything or anyone that doesn't belong there!

If you just stumbled across this post and want to join, it's not too late! Order the book from LifeWay here and then download the first week's worth of material and jump in. If you ordered your book, and it's still not in, then you can download the first week too.

So, if you are committed to joining us for these 8 weeks, introduce yourself in the comments below. Tell us a little about yourself and what you hope to get out of this study! Thanks so much for joining us, I hope to know you all well by the end of this study. Have I mentioned that I LOVE being in God's Word with other women? Well, I DO! So, let's get started! I'll introduce myself in the first comment. See you there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pinkadoodledoo, Where Are You?

Apparently I hit 100 posts and then dropped off the blogosphere. Where have I gone?

1. Lake Day
2. Grocery Shopping/CVS/Walgreens/Staples/Wal-Mart
3. Impromptu Golden Field trip (more on this as soon as I can get some pictures to work).
4. Filming a testimony video.

I'll be back soon to fill you in on the above list. For now, I'm getting to bed at a decent hour and having sweet dreams filled with days of relaxation and not a responsibility in sight. Nighty Night!

Friday, September 5, 2008

100th Post, For Such A Time As This!

I know your 100th post is supposed to be 100 things about yourself. I don't really think there are 100 things to write about myself, I am seriously uncultured and well, um, for lack of a better word, boring! Here are 9 things about myself, sort of.

1. My favorite Bible character is Esther.
2. I've always wanted to name one of my daughters Esther, but we choose names based on meaning and Esther means star. I decided if I ever have a daughter born around Christmas, I will name her Esther Noel (Star of Christmas), though the husband is not convinced of this.
3. I've had four daughters. None of them born at Christmas, thus, none of them named Esther.
4. I stayed up way tooooooo late last night and the night before watching the Palin and McCain speeches at the RNC.
5. I'm actually excited about this election now, For Such A Time As This!
6. My favorite Bible Study teacher is Beth Moore.
7. Her latest study coming out in November is ESTHER!
8. Check out the trailer here. I am far more excited about this than I am about my 100th post, and the timing, it is CRUCIAL!
9. Just a thought, Esther will be out right when we are done with No Other Gods!

Costume Fridays

This is what the girls got dressed in on this Friday morning before starting school. One more bonus of homeschooling. No one can look at them strange for going to school that way, and I DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM TO CHANGE THEIR CLOTHES!

I think we may have accidentally created a new tradition, costume Fridays. Welcome to the V Academy, where fashion takes an ugly turn every Friday.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Name That Picture





Got your guess?


Scroll down for the answer, because I'm sure you are bumfuzzled right about now.









Oh, you might think that is a half-eaten pickle on a fork, but you would be mistaken! According to Miss C, that is a pickle paint roller with which she "painted" the entire table before eating it. Disgusting, I tell you, disgusting!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

Okay, so I love reading Rocks In My Dryer's Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I never participate because I don't usually have anything productive to share. However, this week it is a BACKWARDS week! That means I get to post a question that you all can help me with! I know, it's a little selfish, only participating when I can get instead of give. I promise to give back, as soon as I can think of something that might actually help people.

Anywho, here's my question. I need to take better care of this here face God has given me. I'm in my early 30's now (holy cow, when did that happen?) and I typically just use a facial wipe thingie (technical huh?). I would really like to start using some kind of system with cleanser, toner, moisturizer, etc.


There are two conditions though...


1. Must be sort of fast and easy to do. I'm wiped at the end of the day (pun intended).


2. Must be fairly cheap.


Okay, what do you recommend?


Now, head over to Rocks-in-My-Dryer and check out all the other things people need help with today. There's bound to be something you can help with!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random Eavesdropping

A Lifeguard's Worst Nightmare
Barbie played by Miss A.
Polly Pocket played by Miss C.

Barbie: "Hey, don't you all think maybe we should take swimming lessons. This pool is getting a little crowded with all the rafts."


Polly Pocket: "Maybe we should. This is kind of dangerous."