This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Summer's End Camping

Here are a couple of pictures from our camping trip. It was full of relaxing, sand sculptures, swimming, bike riding, and gluttony. Other than the fact that Sam slept miserably due to his rotten snack of rocks and lake water, it was awesome. I ended up having to share my mummy style sleeping bag with him. Obviously this was not even a little bit comfortable. Especially because he is a wiggly worm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Style Weekend Update

One more night of my Critical Thinking class. We are responsible for presenting ten popular fallacies people fall for out of a list of 27 good ones. Here is my speech for the "false dilemma fallacy" where Cookie Monster is shown simply devastated because he is out of milk to wash down his cookies. There are four people in my team, and we are delivering our speech in true Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update form. Cracks me right up! I love school!Here is my speech:

Good evening, and welcome to the (SAY EXACT TIME) news on LOL Fallacious Reasoning TV. My name is Shontell, and I am joined by my colleagues Christina, Kelly, and Andrew.

Before we get into our top story, we have breaking news concerning a certain loveable, blue, fuzzy monster. Cookie Monster was spotted earlier this week slipping into a seriously deep depression when, during his usual snack time of cookies, he was left high and dry with out any milk. The tragedy of it all is that Cookie was apparently so high on sugar from years of gluttony, he failed to consider any other beverage to help wash down his sugary treats. What Cookie has here is a false dilemma. And, now to Andrew with our top story.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No pics, but..

We just got back from camping with our friends at Frenchmens. What a beautiful lake. For those of you who live in Reno and haven't been, I suggest you go before the summer ends, then again when the leaves start to turn, then again when it is time to cut down a Christmas tree. Just beautiful. My kids had a fantastic time getting as dirty as possible, roasting marshmallows at all hours, munching, playing games, fishing, building forts...anything that screams "I am a kid at the beach!" It was almost too great. We didn't want to leave. We packed up our four room tent (huge, I know!) and headed back to reality.

Because we are getting better at this parenting thing, we bribed the kids with a trip to the ice cream parlor if they helped unload everything, shower willingly, and help get everything in order for our new week. It worked. We are all squeaky clean (though our bathtubs could use a pick me up!), my van is back to less than bursting at its seems, and our bellies are full of Baskin Robin's tasty treats.

It was a great weekend together. Just us. Just family and friends. Great memories.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just one of my all time favorite commercials

Just pause my music on the side there to listen properly. Yah, it's that good.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Isaiah 58

I am missing church. I KNOW I KNOW! I am the church, but I still miss going. In my attempts to read through the bible, I have made it to Isaiah. I only have the rest of the old testament to go, and I am looking forward to it as there are a lot of books I haven't even rustled pages in. Anyway, I read through this chapter, and though it was encouraging, convicting, and full of promises, it made me miss church. Happy Sabbath.

"Shout it aloud, do not hold back.

Raise your voice like a trumpet.

Declare to my people their rebellion

and to the house of Jacob their sins.

For day after day they seek me out;

they seem eager to know my ways,

as if they were a nation that does what is right

and has not forsaken the commands of its God.

They ask me for just decisions and seem eager

for God to come near them.

'Why have we fasted,' they say,

'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled

ourselves, and you have not noticed?'

"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please

and exploit all your workers.

Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,

and in striking each other with wicked fists.

You cannot fast as you do today

and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Is this the kind of fast i have chosen,

only a day for man to humble himself?

I sit only for bowing one's head like a reed

and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?

Is this what you call a fast,

a day acceptable to the Lord?

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-

when you see the naked, to clothe him,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help and he will say: Here I am.

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger

and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath

and from doing as you please on my holy day,

if you call the Sabbath a delight

and the Lord's holy day honorable,

and if you honor it by not going your own way

and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

then you will find your joy in the Lord,

and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land

and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."

The mouth of the lord has spoken.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


For you non Reno- onions, our church is celebrating a month long sabbath from the regulars of church. For more on this check out our free podcasts through iTunes by looking up Hillside Foursquare Church. Good stuff. Check it out. DO IT!!

Anyway, our family is using this time to catch up on being a family before Mike's schedule sets in. I love God's timing..usually. On the surface, I am tempted to be irritated that SOOOO much is happening at once, but when i began to dig a little deeper, I realize just how right it all is. First, I am a lists, goal setting kind of girl. I like time lines and deadlines. The fact that I have to have EVERYTHING done before September 3rd is a challenge (I hope I am up to it).

Secondly, most of what is taking place leads to further peace or lots of fun. We have been given our thirty day notice of intent to sell our home. I will admit that I cried for a week, but my husband so happily reminded me that God is bigger than the boogie man; I don't need to be sad, I need to be praying. So we did, and we are going to try to buy our house. In addition, we are smack dab, in the middle of painting and revamping our home. Those of you who have ever done this know how tricky it can be. Those of you who have done this with five children..can you call and give me tips please? We made a master list...ten pages long (literally) of things to be accomplished. We are about five pages into it, but the peace that comes from this organization will be a major blessing and stress reliever. We just have to push through. I am reading Emilie Barnes' Survival Guide for the Busy Woman for inspiration. In addition to this, my kids are branching out to extra curricular activities. This will obviously only lead to humor. Football and cheer leading... it almost doesn't get better than this!

Thirdly, my husband has just been offered the career of his dreams. God's hand has been in every part of the process and my husband has been able to see it. He is allowing God to grow and stretch him in new ways. It is tough for both of us, but humbling to see God doing so much work in our little home.

Please pray for our sanity and a solid finish.