December 18, 2008


1. Favorite Holiday Memory - Kevin licking the candy canes off the Chritmas tree
2. Favorite Holiday Song - “O Holy Night” Fall on your knees gives me cold chills every single time I hear it. Although Harry Connick Jr.’s “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” works for me too. :o)

**Last year I had fun with my Charlie Brown Christmas cd that Kacey bought me.
**This year I have Mikey’s “Candlelight Processional Disney Massed Choir” cd that he recorded when he was in high school and that his mom brought from Florida so I could enjoy.
3. Favorite Holiday Cartoon - How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version!)
4. Favorite Holiday Movie - Die Hard! But I’m also a sucker for “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
5. Wrapping Paper or Gift bags? Both. I like wrapping paper better, and I LOVE big bows, but I hate to wrap, so gift bags or gift boxes would be more honest.
6. Real tree or artificial? Fake, baby! The last time we cut a real tree, some critter hatched out after we brought it home and we were bug-infested the entire season. Ick!
7. When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend. Always.
8. More importantly, when do you take down the tree? New Year’s Day. I’m firm on this one. When the season is over, doggone it, turn off your giant inflatable penguins and take down the garland. I will give you about a one-week grace period on this one, and then I will be yelling at your house from my car, “CHRISTMAS IS OVER!!!! TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!!!”
9. Favorite Gift received as a child? Hmmmm . . . the funniest one was a GIGANTIC can of ravioli my parents thought would be funny. It was. The most creative was from my boyfriend we'll call "Tim": He did a “12 days of Christmas” thing that included a lot of sweet and fun things like cars and fur coats and flowers and a diamond necklace. I’ll have to blog about that sometime . . .
10. Hardest person to buy for? Dad. What do you get dad? I never do know.
11. Easiest person to buy for? Kacey or mom. They both like what I like!
12. Christmas cards? Nope. Sorry, just don’t do them, but I’m happy to open yours as long as you don't include one of those "this is how wonderful my family is" newsletters!
13. Nativity Scene? Nope again. But then, I don’t even have family pictures displayed in my house, so this is not a big surprise. Jesus is in my heart, but not on top of my entertainment center. Sue me.
14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas Sushi! HaHa. Okay, grandmama’s oyster dressing. Yum!
15. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yeah, Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey . . .
16. Angel on top of the tree? Sparkly sticks and twigs and berrys and spirally things that stick out everywhere. Love it. When the kids were little we usually topped the tree with a Santa hat.
17. Open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? One present only on Christmas eve, the rest on Christmas morning, except now that the daughter-face is married and not coming home. Christmas will be weird and a week early, and on Christmas we will sit and stare at one another and sigh deeply while feeling sorry for ourselves. But at least we have cable this year, so we can watch "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" on MTV while we feel sorry for ourselves. (Yes, I'm kidding. MTV is blocked in my house for those of you who don't recognize the sarcasm.)
18. Best part of the holidays? Playing games. Especially ones that I win. Like Boggle.
19. Worst part of the holidays? Missing people who should be sharing the holiday with me. That, and putting away the Christmas decorations and getting used to seeing the house look “naked” again.
20. Weirdest Christmas memory? Asking for a doll that looked like me, and getting a Raggedy Ann doll. Not a great self-esteem booster, though now that I see her again . . . round face, pale skin, thick ankles, unruly red hair . . .

21. Colored lights or white? White, LOTS OF THEM, but NO BLINKING!
22. Ever been Christmas caroling? Yes, but it's been a LONG while! Mostly I just Christmas Carol to myself in the car . . .
23. Ever been ice skating? Once, in Alaska, while pushing Kacey in a stroller. Cold, but FUN!
24. Candy Canes or Gingerbread? Gingerbread, but star-shaped sugar cookies with colored sugar sprinkles are even better!
25. Christmas quirk? When the kids were little, I wouldn't let them see the presents under the tree or open their stockings until everybody was awake and their hair was brushed. (It's a photographer thing. Or a control-freak thing. Who, me?) :o)

December 17, 2008

my six word only blog update

Christmas shopping. No time for blogging.

Don't know what to get grandmama.

Kevin in Indy all week. Quiet.

Snow on the ground. Me happy.

Getting cable today. No longer Amish.

Kacey coming home. Uber holiday excitement!

Lindsay and Parker coming too. Yeah!

Really looking forward to NYEEE Sushi!

Saw '88 Minutes' with Pacino. Ehh.

Kids Christmas program at church tonight.

December 11, 2008

blog written. comments left. world unchanged.

Apparently Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to compose a complete story in six words. His answer, personally felt to be his best prose ever, was
"For sale: baby shoes, never used."

I took on this challenge a few nights ago at Mike’s request (he had some really good ones he was entering in a contest)

and so I came up with a few of my own:

“Love letter remains sealed. Died alone.”
“Two enemies. One weapon. No survivors.”
“Husband missing. Garden flourishing. Mystery solved.”

I enjoyed my quirkier ones, though not quite stories:
“Freaky carnival girl: my ‘fair’ lady”
“Sick of the airport - terminally ill”

Did this for a few hours. Began thinking in six word phrases.
“Getting really sleepy. Time for bed.”
“Your mom called. Please call back.”
“Laundry is done. Will you fold?”
“What’s for dinner? Whatever YOU fix!”

You get the idea.

Then Kacey and I turned it into a game that we played by text.
“Name that movie in six words.”

“Wish granted. Mother, daughter trade lives.” (Freaky Friday)
“Silly actors wear big Mexican hats.” (Three Amigos)
“Theme park dinosaurs escape. Eat tourists.” (Jurassic Park)
“Sleepy writer. Stolen story. Shoot her.” (Secret Window)
“Teens play video games with military.” (Wargames)
“Metal flowers. Blush, bashful. Kidney failure.” (Steel Magnolias)
“Shark attack. Gonna need bigger boat.” (Jaws)

Then we had fun doing only Will Smith movies:
“Impoverished Will Smith kicks advertising butt.”
(Pursuit of Happyness)
“Lonely Will Smith kicks epidemic butt.” (I Am Legend)
“Robots attack. Will Smith kicks butt.”
(I, Robot)
“Aliens attack. Will Smith kicks butt.” (Independence Day)
“Aliens invade. Will Smith kicks butt.” (Men in Black)
“Aliens invade. Smith kicks butt again.” (Men in Black II)

We started to sense a theme.
Game seemed pointless. Exercise in futility.
It was late. Time for bed.

May you dream in six words.

December 10, 2008


My Granny passed away yesterday at the age of 92. I got three things from my Granny: my green eyes, my "girls" (if you know what I mean), and my love of hot tea with milk. Granny has spent the last three years in an assisted living community where Alzheimer's was recently causing more bad days than good, and where my mom was traveling the 3+ hours to care for her on a very regular basis, so this is a bittersweet time for my family. There will only be a few of us to mourn this loss, as we are a small family who has already endured more than its fair share of grief. There will be my parents, my three cousins (and possibly their families), my children, my husband, and me. Grandaddy, Uncle Bill (my mom's only sibling) and Stacey (my only sibling) have already left us.

Though there have been some truly hysterical stories since Granny has been in the retirement home, (Kacey: I'm sure Granny STILL wants her car back!) I will choose to hang on to those childhood memories that have helped mold and shape me. I will remember the high four-poster bed, the always immaculate house, Sunday pot roast, "hon" (pronounced in two-syllables as Hu-Wun), roses, Estee Lauder, "the grandaddy", sitting on the back porch, and many, MANY trips to the fabric store so Granny could make dresses for us.

Granny lived by two principles: 1) Do good for other people, and 2) though she frequently said, "Pretty IS as pretty DOES", what she really believed was, "It's better to look good than to feel good!" :o) (I believe she is thoroughly enjoying her immortal body.)

I have no witty story ending here. Nothing profound. Just a life transition that makes this week a bit harder to bear.

December 05, 2008

salt and battery

Okay, so I just got off the phone with one of my very good friends.

This girl is amazing. She has 5 children - high school down to a 2-year old.

She also takes care of her one-year-old niece on a daily basis.

She also homeschools two of her children.

She also is brilliant and tutors my son in Algebra 2, Geometry and Chemistry.

She would not mind me saying that if you combine brilliance with 5+ children, you get chaos.

Very funny chaos.

So while we were on the phone, her 2-year-old started eating . . . a battery. She immediately dropped her conversation with me to grab the battery out of this kid's mouth. "Baby, "NO" you can't eat batteries!"

"But, Mommy, I hungry!"

Makes good sense to me.
Batteries give you energy, right?

When I read that last line out loud my son said, "Yeah, mom, but this is not a kid we want to keep "going and going and going"!

December 03, 2008

top ten ways my daughter’s $80,000 college degree (and subsequent marriage to the wonderful nathan) has cost me

Today's blog entry is all in good fun. I ADORE my daughter more than you can imagine! However, this will make little sense unless you read Daughter-Face’s blog entry first. I highly recommend it. She’s funny.

10. I had to teach myself Adobe Photoshop. But just the Elements version. No money left over after her tuition to pay for the full program or the cushy classroom instruction for me.

9. I had to pay taxes on daugher-face’s car for 2008 (even though she has been driving it for 3 years) ‘cause she’s been so busy pouring coffee that she STILL hasn’t dealt with her expired tags!

8. While she studied grammar and Greek, I spent mucho bucks on Starbuck’s Gift Cards to enable her caffeine addiction, thus once again contributing to the training for her current job sloshing Joe.

7. Her dorm furniture that I not only bought, but spent hours putting together with a screwdriver, Q-tips, and my bloody fingers wasn’t good enough for her to take to her new “married” apartment. Her new living room now consists of my mirror, my floor lamp, my coffee table, and my comfy chair that she took from me, leaving my current living room naked and empty.

6. New shirts and hoodies for every club function, every campus event, every mission trip, every new dorm cost me $29.95 every other week for two years so she could look cute in the latest logo-laden cotton top. And she still brought home laundry for me to wash.

5. Her $80,000 journalism degree has succeeded in making her blog funnier than mine, thus leaving me feeling inadequate and unvalidated. I ask you, where are my accolades? Huh, where?!

4. We lived off Ramen noodles at home for four years so she could cook in her PRIVATE dorm room with that nifty little hot pot, cute little plastic plates, cups, can opener, and matchy-matchy little towels that she is now complaining about. (Oh, and daughter-face, next time you’re frying chicken, don’t throw tequila into the greasy pan. That will prevent your little kitchen fires. Just a helpful hint from mommy.)

3. She has a minor in Greek worth about $25,000 of that $80K. Unless they serve coffee in “Alpha” cups and “Omicron” mugs at her new Coffee Shop Job, I’m not sure how helpful it actually was. At least it helped her write her sorority name: Alpha Sigma Sigma

2. Again, no money for expensive geography lessons for me. No fun-filled trips out of the country. No last-minutes weekend excursions to New Orleans with my fiance’. (Though I did have that one really exciting outing to the Saddle Boy competition in Fort Worth in September, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.)

And I had to self-locate the island of Saba on Google maps. Took me forever. Like 3 minutes.

1. I tried to fix my daughter up with a certain boy from home when she was 14 (in future tense since she couldn’t date until 16). I tried to fix her up with him again when she was 16, and then again when she was 20, but NOOOOOOO. So instead, I spent $80,000 on a Christian college education so she could find her a good man. What did she do after she earned her degree? Went off and married the boy I tried to fix her up with 8 years earlier!!!

$80,000. Sheesh.

December 02, 2008

basketball and backsides


I was on my blog fast during our church team’s too-short basketball season, so I didn't really get to blog about our boys in black. Let me just say, it was too much fun! (The basketball games, not the blog fast.) I wish I could explain to you why I find it thoroughly entertaining to watch ten athletic guys acting all manly. . . running back and forth on the court . . . getting all sweaty . . .

Um . . . what was I talking about?

Oh, yeah. There is something unique that happens when men play sports. It’s not teamwork, it’s not camaraderie, it’s not even sportsmanship. It’s simply called:

The "Butt-Slap"

My question is: WHY?

They all do it. And it doesn’t seem to matter WHY. They pop each other on the butt to mean “Good shot!” or, “You’ll get that free throw next time”, or even, “Hey, you’re slacking. Pick it up out there.”

I can’t help but wonder why women, being the more physically demonstrative of the two sexes, don’t follow suit?

“Hey, Laura (insert Butt-Slap here), great Hair Day!”

“Randi! (Quiet Tushy-Tap here) Way to nurse that baby to sleep!”


“Way to get that double-coupon discount on top of the sale price, Sara!” (Double-Butt-Slap for the Double-Coupon-Discount)

What happened to “High-Fives” or the “Jumping Chest Bump” (though I’m pretty clear on why we girls don’t participate in that one), or even a simple pat on the back?

I just think it’s funny. But far be it from me to mess with tradition. This fanny phenomenon among our alpha males probably goes back as far as Sparta or something.

Guess it’s okay, as long as they remember what Jesus said:

“. . . if someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.”

December 01, 2008

whatever form it comes in

"Take a deep breath. I smell snow. It’s coming. It’s just my favorite time of the year. The whole world changes color. I love snow. Everything’s magical when it snows. Flakes, flurries, swirls, crystals, whatever form it comes in, I’ll take it. Sleigh rides, ice skating, snowball fights, I’ll even take curling. I love curling.” (~ Gilmore Girls)

I love snow. Did you know? Love it. Some of the best memories of my life are wrapped up in this frozen water-wonder. Stirring homemade hot chocolate. Making snow cream. Building snowmen. Warming by the fireplace. Sleeping late on snow days. Creating snow angels. Bundling up so thick with layers upon layers that you can hardly move. Catching snowflakes on your tongue. Watching the Northern Lights in Anchorage over a snow-blanketed city. Breathing in the ice cold air and watching the whole world turn white. Love it. Love it. Love. It.

We go way back, snow and me.

When I was a kid we lived in Texas for awhile (where it never snows). It snowed. Five inches.

I watched the snow fall on the Chugach mountain peaks the day my daughter was born . . . August 13. Yes, August.

My baby boy was born on the coldest day of the year in 1993. Snowed that day too.

It snowed today. Just a bit. Just a flurry. Just enough to tease. What a perfect way to bring in December. Stop for a minute and watch His power.

God is so good.

I love snow.