Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I was at the store a couple of weeks ago with my boys. This particular store has you bag your groceries and you "rent" a shopping cart (put in a quarter, unchain your cart from the cart stand, go shopping, return your cart and retrieve your quarter).

Anyhow, as we were bagging our groceries along the counter, a man dropped his grape tomato basket onto the floor, looked 10 feet down the counter and saw my boys minding their own business. He says to them, "Boys, pick up my tomatoes for me." I just about fell over! I couldn't believe he ordered MY kids around. He obviously didn't know that that is MY job!

I looked at him and said evenly, "If you ask the cashier, I'm sure she'd let you get a fresh basket." (Of course, this is from my own experience of dropping eggs and having them replaced. Oh, and tomato and strawberry containers. Have I mentioned I can be clumsy?) He said, that he didn't mind picking them up and washing them extra well at home. He then said (whiningly), "Can't your boys help me? I have a hard time bending down and getting up."

Sidenote: I think whining is just the most terrible sound. I don't tolerate whining from my boys and I think it's even worse from an older man! It just grates on my eardrums!

I told him that he wasn't allowed to order my boys around and went back to bagging my groceries. He had picked up all of them, except one that was under the counter near us. He approached us and said, "Tell your boys to pick that tomato up for me." Isaac just jumped over and was about to pick it up. I told him to wait a moment and said to the man that he could ask, instead of tell. (I know it sounds like I'm a horrible person, but it also sounds like I'm dealing with an ill-behaved 2 or 3 year old.) He looked at me like he couldn't believe what was happening and said, "Please?" I guess it was all he could muster. Did I mention he had some sort of accent? I looked at my boys and said, "Would one of you boys please help the man with his tomato?" Isaac said he would, gave it to him and they exchanged thank-yous and you're welcomes.

On his way out of the store, he stopped his cart and said to me, "If you were an American, you would have helped me because Americans are helpful." My mouth fell open and it was my turn to look at him like I couldn't believe what was happening.

I didn't want to get into a "How American Are You Debate" so I dealt with the other issue: his rudeness. I told him that I would have been happy to help him, had he asked and been more polite. I also told him that no one orders my children to do other peoples bidding. He dismissed my comments and left the store.

Another man stopped and asked me what that disagreeable man said. I told him what had transpired and he shook his head and said, "That man was causing all sorts of trouble in line!"

As if this was not enough, there was a vagabond-ish person by the cart stand and as we (the three parties with carts previous mentioned) passed, I heard very loudly, "Go get a job!" Guess who said that? Yup, the tomato man. I thought he was speaking to me so I turned around and said loudly, "Excuse me?!" He pointed at the vagabond-ish person and said, "I was talking to him."

The second person told me as I was bringing my cart back to the cart stand, "Ma'am, I told that man exactly what I thought of him."


When we were visiting my sister's in-laws, a neighbor-family stopped by one evening and apparently, their younger children have very seldom seen Asians in their lives. When they saw my oldest (the more Asian looking one of my two children), she immediately asked if he was Chinese. My sister and I patiently explained that he is Korean, but also English, German, Lebanese, and various other nationalities. She didn't understand and continued to exclaim that he looked Chinese.

My brother-in-law came up with the best remark (albeit afterwards), "You just don't know what Koreans look like." Not with a mean intent, but factually, she just didn't know. That's one I'll have to remember. (Yes, there is a difference between Asian nationalities.)


After pondering all of the above for weeks after they happened, I began to realize something more important. Well, in stages of importance, I suppose.

Firstly, I should have reacted with more of Christ's love toward Tomato Man instead of the hackles rising on my neck and shoulders. Boy, my sinful nature gets in the way!

Secondly, I should not react so emotionally to those who are ill-informed or give in to that knee-jerk reaction, also know as my sinful nature. (That pops up, again, doesn't it?)

Thankfully, and only by the grace of God, He has called me to Himself. That matters more. His people are from EVERY nation, EVERY tribe, EVERY kindred, and EVERY tongue. In the presence of His people, I won't be discriminated against based on what I look like or what my nationality is.

“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.” - John 1:12-13

"... and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." Revelations 5:9

Sunday, July 29, 2007

New Giveaway!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a TV. For. Free. Yup, you heard me right! A FREE TV. Not just any ol' TV, but an Insignia® 37" Flat-Panel LCD HDTV, courtesy of Best Buy. Just had to share the news!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway Winner!

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who commented and left me such ego-boosting comments as to how crafty and creative I am. **Big, deep bow! To my new readers (or just contest entrants) I hope you'll come back and see what's new. To my faithful readers, thanks for being patient this week and just watching my comment numbers go up. :-)

Thank you to Shannon for organizing such a fun week-long giveaway, and the other participants for playing along, to the tune of over 500!!


Now, onto the method of picking a winner.... Do you know how hard it is to pick a winner?!

At first, I read through all of the comments and thought I'd pick the wittiest comment. Not so much, as there were WAY too many!

So then, I decided that maybe the winner should have a fun name. Again, WAY too many!

I came up with the least scientific and creative method of all: I called my Dearest and had him pick a number. It may be boring, but at least it wasn't a biased decision - it was completely random!

Congratulations to Aimee! You are the winner of ten hand-made notecards! I've sent you an email so as soon as I have an address to which to send your cards, they'll be mailed! Again, congratulations!!

It's Friday!!

Polls are now closed and I will post a winner by Noon, today! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dog Days of Summer Bloggy GiveAway

I'm playing along with Rocks in my Dryer
and her Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway!

Leave me a comment (with your name!) for an opportunity to win ten 3" x 3" note cards (two of each design)! Did I mention that these are hand-made by yours truly?

This giveaway is open to bloggers, non-bloggers, those in the USA, and Canada. I will be drawing the winner on Friday, July 27.

Fine print: These cards are made using Close To My Heart products (stamps, inks, and papers) and are copyright by Close To My Heart.

My First Give-Away Winner!

Thank you to all of you who entered guesses! We spent $25.66 on our produce.

Congratulations to my first Give-Away Winner: Jen! Her guess of $24.30 was $1.36 from the actual cost.

Below are the cards Jen will receive. Sorry I didn't get these posted on Friday or Saturday like I had previously posted.

Jen, email me at jjpiggins at yahoo dot com and we'll make arrangements for you to receive your cards.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My First Give-Away!!

Our local farmer’s market is finally open! We wait all year for our favorite place to open. They are open from mid-July until just after Labor Day or mid-September.

We took a quick trip to see what has arrived so far. We saw honeyrock melons, green and red peppers, sweet corn, blueberries, peaches, apples, pears, pineapples, nectarines, bananas, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, garlic, zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, cilantro, and more!

We did more than just look. :-)

We bought:
4 (1 lb) green peppers
4 (1.14 lbs) zucchini
1 Honeyrock melon
5 limes
3 lemons
7 (3 lbs) D’anjou pears
6 (2.5 lbs ) Golden Delicious apples
3 (3 lbs) Spanish onions
1 lb sweet cherries
3 lbs bananas
4 lbs cucumbers
1.5 lbs baby potatoes
2.5 lbs. of red grapes
2 garlic bulbs
1 loaf European wheat bread
1 loaf Hungarian rye bread

For you visual people (I don’t mean that in a mean way, I’m one of you too), here is a picture of my first fruit, vegetable, and grain photo shoot.

Here’s the giveaway part. Guess how much we spent on all of this fresh produce goodness!

Leave me a comment with your best guess by midnight Sunday night (Eastern Daylight Time). Bloggers and non-bloggers are welcome, as are Canadians.

The winner will receive a package of 10 hand-made cards, made by yours truly. I will post a picture on Friday or Saturday. The winner will be drawn on Monday morning.

Tomorrow's the Day!

My first give-away starts tomorrow! Are you excited?? Have you told your friends?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stay Tuned: Give-Aways Coming!!

I have a couple of give-aways planned! The first one will be posted on Friday, July 20th with the winner drawn on Monday, July 23rd.

The next give-away is in conjunction with Shannon's Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. See the fun bright green button on my sidebar!

Run and tell your friends - the more the merrier! Bloggers and non-bloggers are welcome.

Our Most Recent Trip Photos


I found this nifty site that will recommend jeans and bras that will fit you, really! After a short survey it spits out a list of companies and styles that should fit you well. You can find it at Zafu. Here's to better fitting clothes!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mosquito Relief

It is finally raining here, which means the mosquitoes are going to be out in full force very soon. Our family needs to use some sort of repellent. I, especially, get bitten quite easily. I think I have a mosquito-only-readable sign over my head which reads, "Open Buffet! Please come feast! Open 24/7!"

My Dearest found something that made my camping experience much more tolerable last year - Bite Blocker Extreme. After using it, I only got 3 bites...after 4 days camping and at least one night with heavy rain. I'm starting to look forward to our upcoming camping trip.

Tree Lines

Have you ever noticed that mountains have a tree line? Only so far up the mountain are there trees. The peaks of the mountain are beautiful and from them, you can see for miles. They are also cold and nothing grows there. Similar to our spiritual lives, when we are on the peaks of the mountains we can see our past decisions, what we have learned, and all of the growing we have done. We also don't grow when we're on the peaks. Only when we are in the valleys do we do our growing. It's painful and sometimes we don't understand why we are learning the particular lesson. We certainly don't see the beauty of the peaks. We get stretched and go through our growing pains in the valley. We continue our climb up the mountains with God's guidance and only from up there do we see, reflect, and realize how we have grown; and sometimes we see why. ~Wisdom from my dear friend Carol: prayer-warrior, mother, grandmother, and raccoon-tamer.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Strangers in the Lord

It has been a growing period for our family these last two weeks.

We needed a new fridge and had it delivered on the 4th. I felt badly that the delivery people had to work on Independence Day. When we bought the refrigerator on the 3rd, we thought it wouldn't be delivered until the 5th. Thankfully we bought our fridge from the Sears scratch 'n dent store so we ended up saving about $300.

On the 5th, we were on our way to stay with my sister's in-laws and meet my sister and her husband there. We decided that the almost 5 hour drive would be better broken up and we could all indulge in a little bit of pool-therapy since my sis's in-laws didn't have a swimmable-pond/lake/body of water on their massive property. On the way down, one-half mile from our hotel, on the off-ramp to our hotel, our car stalled, wouldn't restart, and then the radiator's slow leak just let loose. Here we were, sitting on the off-ramp with a sedan-load of various camping gear, snacks, and pillows, not to mention our two boys. My Dearest pushed the car to the nearest gas station while I steered. As we approached a restaurant, a "stranger-in the Lord" named Chad jumped out to help my Dearest push our car to a gas station. (Strangers-in -the-Lord are those who are also Christians, we just don't know them yet. We're just a bit cheeky.) Wouldn't you know, we could see our hotel from the parking lot of the gas station? My Dearest checked into the hotel and we walked our belongings over to the hotel. We didn't know if we were going to really spend the night in the hotel or complete the ride down to my sister's in-laws. My sis's father-in-law drove an hour north to where we were, dropped off his car for us and rode with the towing company to deliver our car to a dealership near his home.

We drove the rest of the way down on the 6th. My sis's in-laws have extensive property with chickens, donkeys, goats, a pond/lake, trails to walk or ride on their go-cart. We sat by their pond/lake cabin and never in my life have I been so happy to do nothing. I kept telling my sis and her m-i-l that I had never been so happy to do nothing. They just laughed at me, but let me ask you: Can you sit and do nothing easily? I know I can't. Being a mom pre-disposes me to always planning, doing, cooking, or calculating something. Anyhow, we didn't know if we were going to have to rent a car, buy a car, or replace our engine to make it back home. Knowing that God is sovereign and has planned everything made it easier to enjoy our time instead of nervously wringing our hands trying to figure out what we should do.

It turns out our car had an after-market remote starter installed (of which we had no knowledge) and the wiring prevented our check-engine light to come on. We ended up with a reconditioned radiator and a bunch of wiring taken out of our car. Plus, it was ready that night. It cost us less than we were expecting, but much more than we had budgeted for, ya know what I mean? ;-)

My Dearest changed the oil before we left on Sunday morning and found metal shavings in the oil. We drove home without any unexpected incidents.

Now that we are home, all of the mechanic-y people from My Dearest's work are recommending that we sell it, scrap it, just get rid of it as quickly as we can since the next incident with the radiator could result in total engine failure.

Car decisions, here we come! We'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I scream, you scream...

What kind of ice cream flavor are you?? This also happens to be my favorite flavor!

Stay cool out there, ya hear?

You Are A Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Girl

Creative. Expressive. Unique.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!!

As we enjoy our day off (which is often filled with food and family), let's not forget the other reason we have the day off today. We celebrate our life and the liberty that we have here in the USA!

For my Canadian readers, Happy Belated Canada Day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You the Man

My Dearest and I were talking the other night about some random things like what the boys were doing or what they said when. We were also delving into some deeper topics like what your view on Creation says about your theology (our current Sunday School topic).

During this conversation, he casually mentions that he read an article online about "Ten Things to Say to Your Man." It turns out the article is entitled, "10 Compliments That Wow a Man," but this is beside the point. The point here is that he brings this up so casually I can't help but wonder if he is digging for some compliments. Am I being delinquent or negligent about building him up?? Okay, that's not the point, either. Is there a point? Perhaps this is just rambling. Okay, read on.

He mentions that one of these "Wowing" items is, "Your arms are definitely looking bigger." My jaw dropped and I started to guffaw. Seriously? This is on the list? Then, he reminds me how he woke me up (or maybe I was up, just not quite functional yet) and he asked me if I could tell he had been working out.

Another one was, "Meow." According to my Dearest, this is the one that should be replaced with, "Honey, dinner's on the table" or the even more seductive "We ran out of white flour so I had to use all whole wheat instead."

I feel I must explain just a bit. When my Dearest was in high school, he was training to be a bodybuilder and was very particular about the food that he ate. When he was pursuing a Personal Trainer certification, he became obsessed, or passionate, he would tell you, about the food he ate. To qualify for entry into his mouth and digestive system, his food needed to meet certain criteria: whole grain (not enriched, just plain whole grains), fresh fruits, fresh veggies either raw or lightly steamed, lots of fish, chicken or turkey and the list continues, but I think you get the gist of it.

Along the same lines, we were on a date last month and walking through a bookstore. I was looking for the parenting section and wouldn't you just know it, it's the hardest section to find. Granted, this was a secular bookstore so I wouldn't necessarily expect the parenting section to jump out at me and have bookshelf after bookshelf dedicated to this topic. Or, maybe it's the adage that you can never find what you're looking for. Anyhow, we wandered through the store and came across a huge section, the cookbook section. My Dearest faces me toward the vast section and says, "Now, honey, I don't know where the section for raising girls is, but here's the section for raising boys."

The way to my Dearest's heart (and perhaps my boys' hearts in several years) is definitely through the stomach.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Country manners? I think they're charming.

We spent Saturday in the country. We took a hay ride around our friend's property, saw their 3 varieties of sheep and rams, played Dutch Blitz, ate fabulous picnic food, gabbed, watched a sheep herding demonstration, and learned to English dance.

The dancing was by far my favorite event! Now, I have always said that Asians (meaning mostly that I) don't have rhythm. I guess I was partly wrong. We learned two different dances, neither name can I remember or did I ever know? One was something "maggot" - somewhat similar to Mr. Beveridge's Maggot from Pride and Prejudice. My Dearest and I picked up the steps rather quickly, but I think I owe that to standing next to our friend Hannah and her friend, both of whom already knew how to dance. It was "capital, capital!" "There is nothing we love more than a country dance."

Our friend, Hannah, told us there is a place not too far from us that has English dancing on Tuesday nights, from 7 to 9 or 9:30. Perhaps a sitter is in order for those evenings whilst my Dearest and I go dancin'!