30 Days of Thanks – 11/24/14

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dToday I’m thankful for a pretty uneventful, non-irony-filled day!!

I went to work … settled in to my little office, which by the way, I LOVE (put up pics of the family today and my certificates and college degree, which I never thought would mean much of anything – ha, in frames I got at Dollartree) … and after peeking into facebook world, I started my morning tasks of making sure yesterday’s faxes went through (we do electronic faxes which go thru our computer not thru a fax machine).  Then I see if any electronic faxes came IN.  These are usually related to CMNs (certificates of medical necessity), which are required by insurance companies for certain medical equipment before they will pay for it.  The doctors have to fill out certain information … and I’m figuring out what docs are speedy and which ones just take their sweet time (or just are extremely busy??!).

Then onward to billing for the flu shot clinics our team has held over the last month.  There are literally hundreds of patients and shots to log.  And meanwhile, I did a little check in the ERLs (electronic rejection letters) so see which insurance billings were kicked back for mistakes/ineligibility.  Mostly they are things like the last name Gowen should have been McGowen – or a birthdate of 1966 should have been 1961.  These are usually easily fixable, but require a little research.  I think it is kind of like a puzzle though – and I feel pretty accomplished when I “fix” something!!

Lunch – I ran errands and came home for a quick sandwich.

Then more flu shot billing … yeah, pretty much 3 hours straight.  (With a few facebook breaks in between!!).

Tomorrow is my pharmacy day so I won’t be quite so self-sufficient.  No facebook checks or snack breaks!!

Daniel got asked to do overtime tonight until midnight, which is a blessing.  Even though I’m working now, the extra dollars sure help us stay on top of the bills.  We’ve come to realize it going to take us about 5 years to catch up from all the damages from the last 2 1/2 years of being so behind the financial power curve.  It is kind of like losing weight:  weight and debt accumulate so quickly  … but the removal process is slow — and usually pretty tasteless.

Anyhoo … today I’m just thankful to have had a fairly “normal” day.  No surprises, good or bad.  And now, it is time to maybe make a difference in this horrible pit of dust bunnies and dirty laundry and scummy bathrooms that I call “home”.  :)




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30 Days of Thanks, 11/23/14, Part III

This is a part 3 of THE IRONIES of AN ORDINARY HAUSFRAU started in the previous 2 posts…..

So, today, Sunday, the ironies of my life continued.

If you know me well, you know I suffer from emetophobia.  This is the fear of vomit.  Since becoming the mother of 3, I am a little bit better, but I am far from cured.  I used to have nightmares about people around me vomiting, and I couldn’t get away from them … and any talk of such illness just makes me – well – sick.  Even now, writing this, I’m just slightly queasy.

Thankfully, God has been very kind to me in this regard.  And I pray He continues to be.  We’ve had a few run-ins with stomach flues and spontaneous vomit, but overall, compared to what some parents have dealt with, I have been spared.

Today, we were running late for church … which at our church really isn’t a big deal as EVERYONE just seems to kind of come and go as they wish.  And the first hour of our church is what is called “family hour”, starting at 9:30, is kind of a random time.  We arrived at 10.

As we entered, a little boy came running out of the auditorium doors … his hands over his mouth … and you guessed it!!  He’d just thrown up all around the back of the auditorium.  :(  Nothing says WELCOME TO CHURCH like a trail of fresh vomit … *sigh*

Poor kid.  And to beat all, his MOM was on stage singing A SOLO!!  Actually, I was watching her, and she was so oblivious to anyone that she finished her song, went and sat down in her pew, and someone had to tell her that her son was violently ill at the back of the church!!

Ugh.  What a way to start the day.  I guess I should feel more sorry for that boy and his mom than for myself.

Ironically, the theme of the sermon during the main service was THANKFULNESS.



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30 Days of Thanks, 11/23/14, Part II

Continuing to dwell on the ironies of my life this weekend, I could tell about how we lost MiMi at the mall on Saturday.  Yeh, that wasn’t fun.

Annie-Belle had spent some of her birthday money on a new shirt at some little boutique store, and I was watching the transaction at the register.  Meanwhile, MiMi decided that was taking too long – and apparently decided she wanted to go on to the “smelly store” (Bath & Body Works) two doors down.  Of course, we didn’t know that .. and so Annie Belle and I spent the next 10 minutes in an absolute PANIC, looking for her.  Sadly, the girls at the register were basically oblivious.  I asked them for a phone # to mall security, and finally, when they found a number, turns out it was not a valid number.

The girl from the fitting room, where we had been earlier, WAS helpful, and she helped up look in all the clothes racks in case MiMi had hidden herself in one of them.  I need to write a note to her manager and commend her!!

So, if you’ve ever lost your child in a crowded place, I’m sure you know that you begin to think the worst.  I was already seeing Miriam’s face on milk cartons and the “lost and exploited children” board at Walmart.  I was going over how to tell my husband that I’d lost our child … and meanwhile, while I appeared calm at least outwardly, Annie-Belle was bawling.

She stepped out into the mall to look around, and apparently the nice lady at Bath & Body and the “balloon man” stationed outside of it had already called mall security about the little girl wandering around their vicinity.  One of the security officers saw Annie Belle crying and asked if he could help her, and she explained her little sister was lost.  Thankfully, he was able to say that they’d found her.

Happily, MiMi was found … she gained 2 balloon flowers from the nice balloon man – and a new friend in the Bath and Body Works clerk … but once we got over the shock and relief and excitement, I definitely made very, very sure that she would definitely think twice about ever leaving my side at a busy store again.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/22&23/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dThis weekend I’m thankful I have a sense of humor (or at least I think I do??!).

I am beginning to think that I need to rename my blog:  The Irony of an Ordinary Hausfrau … My life just seems to be full of best laid plans gone all wrong in the most incredible of ways!!

Friday night, for example.  It was a long week – it was Daniel’s pay day … and we felt like we needed a treat!  And so, we decided to take the family to Steak & Shake for dinner ($4 meals … yeah, that’s in the budget!).  Well, most of NW Arkansas seemed to have the same idea!!!  S&S was crowded, a line waiting almost to the front door.  BUT we had nothing better to do, so we signed in with the hostess and waited.

It wasn’t too bad.  The wait was about 15 minutes and our name was called.  Some other folks who were waiting too even kind of cheered for us.  So, I hurried up to claim our seats … and the hostess said, “OH WAIT … you have FIVE in your party?? .. OH… UMMMM… Never mind, your seats AREN’T ready.”  So, back to waiting we went for another 10 minutes or so.

At this point, we were asked if we wouldn’t mind a booth, even though there were 5 of us.  But we said we’d take whatever we got.  So, the hostess offered what I understood to be A CHAIR at the end of the table.  So, MiMi and Annie-Belle piled in one side of the booth, and the boys piled in opposite of them.  And I waited for the promised chair.  When the hostess came, she was carrying a HIGH CHAIR!!!!

Well, we thought we’d make the best of it and tried to get MiMi into the high chair, but considering she is almost 5 years old, she just didn’t fit!!  Instead, I squooshed myself in with the girls and we ate our dinner.  In the end, I think I was just thankful that they got our order right, and we were able to eat.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/20&21/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dI’m sooooooooooooooo happy it is Friday.  Now that I’m working, it seems like the time if FLYING!!!

And after a few nights of insomnia, I’m ready to cuddle down in my flannel sheets and NOT set the alarm clock in the morning.

SO thankful for the WEEKEND!!!!

We really don’t have any set plans.  Drew will be working concessions at the last Razorback home game of the season (The Hogs face Ole Miss) … This game will be on TV the same time as Daniel’s Hawkeyes face Wisconsin, so I foresee channel changing at regular intervals.  Tennessee is playing Mizzou … but I don’t even know what time.

I plan to do a little cooking, a little cleaning, a little bit of laundry … and a whole lotta nothing.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/18-19/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dI’m tired … my time is limited these days … and I find the hours I do have at home are precious.

BUT it is all good.  I’m thankful for my job.  I really am thankful how it all worked out!  I only work in the pharmacy on Tuesdays … and I still have A LOT to learn there (as far as the computer system and customer requests/services).  It keeps me on my toes.  I’d gladly stand in a corner and just fill prescriptions – but my job also involves the busy phones, calls from medical offices and customers and a myriad of others, then the people who come by with their questions.  Thankfully, we almost always have 2 pharmacists available to refer questions to!!  Mostly, I don’t know all the ga-billion generic medication names for the brand names (and vice versa) – or if someone says “I need my blood pressure medication refilled” … well, I often don’t know WHICH medication that might be!!

Tuesday evening as our one pharmacist was leaving for the night – he told me “good bye” and then added, “Hang in there.”  ha!!  ;

My favorite aspect of my job is the BILLING!!!  Yes, it is complicated-ish – but they are breaking me in slowly!  Mostly, I sit in my little office all day with a Pandora station playing in the background (I’m trying to hold out until after Thanksgiving to break out the Christmas stations!!).  Usually I have some coffee or a drink by my side – and sometimes a snack.  My kids’ school pics now hang on my bulletin board in front of me (need to get hubby up there as well!!) and my pumpkin-y spiced candle is burning.  I have internet access and my cell phone near by … and while my boss comes by occasionally to see if I have any questions, really, he just lets me do my thing (or attempt to!).

So, that is what consumes my days right now … and for some reason my nights, too.  I’ve been suffering a little bit of insomnia the last few nights, running the events of the day through my head.  HOPEFULLY I’ll sleep better tonight.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/17/2014



Today I’m thankful for the Bible.  I know we should NEVER take it for granted … I can’t imagine how those who don’t have the Bible live – or those are persecuted for His name feel … but I do know this:  they are the BLESSED ones!!  (more later about that thought)

On Monday nights, for a long time now, we’ve been having a Bible study with a sweet man from our church.  I’ll be honest that I really thought it would be over by now … I mean, we’ve covered a lot of ground:  ground we actually already know.  But I guess it is good to be reminded of?!  That’s how we try to look at it anyway.  The study is meant more for new Christians – but Dan and I have had the privilege of becoming Christians at an early age, attending Christian school, and then a Christian liberal arts university.  We’ve been in more churches than I can even remember and have heard a ga-billion and one sermons in our life times already.

HOWEVER, isn’t the Word of God a well so deep that we’ll never ever drain all its wealth no matter how long we’ve known of its Source??

In the last few weeks, we’ve been covering Matthew in our study.  Today we studied one of my favorite passages in the Bible:  The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:  3-12

Our study made me think of each BLESSED in a new light!  

vs. 3 – THE POOR IN SPIRIT.  (not the poor monetarily … but those who are not self-righteous because they know they are spiritually poor WITHOUT God):

THEIR REWARD:  The kingdom of Heaven!!  Our eternal Home and Rest.

vs. 4 – THOSE WHO MOURN (those who are sorry for their sin, who are ashamed and guilty … who want to truly repent):

THEIR REWARD:  COMFORT … freedom from guilt and shame!

vs. 5 THE MEEK (God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble)

THEIR REWARD:  They shall inherit the earth (the proud can not!)

vs. 6 – THOSE WHO HUNGER & THIRST (after righteousness – not after food/material gain)


vs. 7 – The MERCIFUL  (who are merciful as God is merciful … who don’t return evil for evil but return good for evil – not at all what the world and the flesh want to do!)

THEIR REWARD:  they shall obtain MERCY!

vs. 8 – The PURE IN HEART (they are not double minded)

THEIR REWARD:  they shall SEE GOD!

vs. 9 The PEACEMAKERS (those who “sow” righteousness, who seek to reconcile men to God  and man to man)

THEIR REWARD:  They shall be known as “The Children of God”

vs. 10 – Those who are persecuted for RIGHTEOUSNESS, for Christ’s sake

THEIR REWARD:  The Kingdom of Heaven, they shall have a great reward, and they are in good company (with the prophets!)

Our teacher gave us many, many coinciding Bible verses that made it all come together … because again, the BIBLE is so amazing that it fits together so perfectly, so divinely.


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/ 15&16 /2014



This weekend I am thankful for QUIET … You all know how much I cherish QUIET.  Especially after a busy week and hosting a party.

Saturday was nice & quiet … I stayed home most of the day – caught up on laundry and such like.  I had to get out in the afternoon because Annie-Belle’s gym teacher said her PE pants were too tight :(   Which I guess they were – and I’m thankful the school looks out for the girls’ “modesty” … Then ironically, at Walmart, who’d we run into but Annie Belle’s gym teacher??!!  I told her she owed me $25 for 2 new pairs of active wear pants.  ;)

Anyway … in the evening, we watched college football … and the Tennessee Vols blew away Kentucky.  Later Arkansas beat #17 ranked LSU!  Drew was working concessions at Razorback stadium (fund-raising for school) and said it was a LOUD game.  This is the Hog’s 1st SEC win.  It’s a big deal.  It was also a cold game – kick off temperature at 7 p.m. CST was 27°F!

Today was church, of course.  And now I’m spending a quiet afternoon at home … The first snow of the season has begun.  So far it is just a dusting.  I don’t know if more is forecast – but yesterday “they” were saying we might get up to 2″.  We shall see what the rest of the day holds.

Personally, it’s a little early for snow, in my opinion … but it sure is pretty outside!


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/14/2014



I am thankful for the ordinary days … and I try to be thankful for the tough days (because I know God is still in control!!) … but I am SUPER very thankful for GOOD DAYS like today!  Days when things actually go smoothly and extra nice things happen along the way, unexpected joys and blessings abound.  I know one can’t live on the mountaintop all the time – but I sure do appreciate it when I can be on up there for a little while!!  :)

I had big plans for Annie Belle’s birthday/mystery dinner theater tonight.  This involved me going home at lunch to do some prep work.  HOWEVER, one of our pharmacists invited me to go to lunch with her and a few other co-workers.  Logically, I felt I should say NO, but I also felt like I should take the opportunity to go out with my new co-workers as it was the first time they invited me. So, I went.  And I’m really glad I did.  We went to a small Mexican restaurant I’d never been to – and it was really good food.  And when our food arrived, I paused because I usually pray before a meal … and one of the pharmacists asked our marketing director to pray over our food!!!  And what a nice prayer he prayed – he even prayed about some issues that they are facing at work and blessings on our weekend.  WOW!!!!

I told them how WONDERFUL it was to work somewhere where we can PRAY together!!  Of course, we did that all the time at my previous ministry job – but this is a SECULAR job!  And I’m surrounded by Christians!!  I can’t even begin to tell you all how THANKFUL I am for my job!!!  God put me EXACTLY where He knew I needed to be!!  (Yes, Kim C, I know you saw that coming!!)

And besides all that, one of the pharmacists picked up the lunch tab!  SO, who says there is not such thing as a free lunch?!?!!  :)

When I got back to work, my babysitter texted me.  She was at my house and had seen all the dinner theater prep work I’d already laid out – and she asked if there was anything she could do to help me!!! SO, I actually had her peel 10 potatoes for me!  So, one of the things I was going to do during my lunch hour got taken care of as well.

Anyway … I did leave work a few minutes early, and everything worked out fine from there.  Annie-Belle’s friends were AMAZING about participating in the mystery dinner theater … and Drew did his part to play the detective even though he was invited to go to a friend’s house.  He did get to go to his friend’s later, but I think he enjoyed his part of the play as well.

Meet our cast:

Andy Dutch, detective.  Annie Belle Dutch, actress.  Sydney Smith, basketball star.  Charlene Fitzgerald, scientist.  Cara Jeffry, harried housewife.  and Bailey Tramble, Texas country girl.

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The “theater” was more of a progressive dinner and reader’s theater as everyone had a script … but they improvised wonderfully as well – and we laughed A LOT.

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They even incorporated MiMi into the theater as Mimzy, Cara’s daughter.

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And do you want to know WHO DUNNIT??

Well, it was Sydney, the disgruntled basketball star, who had to give up her professional career due to an injury … bitter, angry, and lonely … she plotted & executed the murder of the one person who thwarted her over and over for the last 10 years!

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What a great group of kids!!!  I had SO MUCH FUN doing this … but I’ll be honest with you.  I know some people thrive on having people over and hosting get-togethers (CORIE, I’m talking to YOU!!!!), and I had fun doing it today.  But I. am. EXHAUSTED. and won’t be doing this again for at least another year!!








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30 Days of Thanks – 11/12-13/2014



The days are flying by so quickly … I can’t believe we’re headed to mid-November already!!  I haven’t been able to post because I’m super busy with a NEW PROJECT … and my silly day job gets in the way!!  ;)  It doesn’t leave me enough time to CREATE!!

So, what have I been up to??!  Well, Annie Belle has always wanted to do a mystery dinner theater type party … and I just never got around to making it a reality … like I never had the time or whatever.  And so, since I have a full-time job now, I figured it is a good a time as any to write, direct, plan and cook for a mystery dinner/birthday party tomorrow!!

That’s right:  I wrote the whole thing – 4 acts!   Annie Belle is having 4 friends over tomorrow night, and I customized each part to each of her friends:  a basketball star, an actress, a country girl, a frazzled mom, and chemist/scientist.  Drew is being a good sport and has agreed to make an appearance as a detective!  I’m playing the part of the housekeeper … in other words, I appear as myself.  ;)

It should be a lot of fun (I hope!!).  I am sure everything will come together … but considering the fact that it is 12:10 a.m. … and my brain is still in overdrive mode, I have a feeling the big crash will come as soon as this thing is OVER.

That said … I am THANKFUL that Annie Belle has 4 good friends that are willing to come over.  This whole adjustment to Arkansas has been a process – but I think the kids are all finally feeling more at home.  I was doing ok – until I again am the NEW KID at work … but the folks there are so nice.  I know I shouldn’t feel like such an outsider; but it is hard to be “new” all the time – in the midst of people who have seemingly all known each other since forever!!  That’s why I miss my military friends – we were ALL the new kids, over and over again.

And so I end this post with a great big thanks to my “old” friends – those from way back in high school and from our Army days and our military community days – who still keep in touch via the world wide web!!  With you, I’m not a new kid, I’m an OLD kid (??!).  ;)

Speaking of this:  old friends from our Germany days (15+ years ago) are spending 2 night WITH MY PARENTS this week!  It’s a small world after all.  (Their son is planning to go to the Bible college at my parents’ church.)   I love how God often networks!






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