January 23, 2009

good sex

Got your attention, huh?

One New Table
I am getting new office furniture! Picked up my table from Pier 1 yesterday and assembled it today . . . it is BIGGER than I envisioned, but I LOVE it, so I will make it work even if I have to rearrange and give up my coveted corner desk spot.

Two New Horses
The cowboy is getting two, yes TWO, more mustangs tomorrow, this time for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Ocala, Florida in April. This will be the first of two EMM competitions this year. Here's to biting off more than you can chew!

Three-Letter Word
There was a catalog on my desk today. The book on the catalog cover was entitled, "Good Sex". I told Kevin I was going to blog about "having good sex on my desk". He, for some strange reason, was not in favor of the idea . . .

Four-Headed Monster
So we had the 16th Birthday sleepover last Friday night, which consisted of 10 straight hours of video games, junk food, and caffeine, only to be briefly interrupted by something the boys called "FreezeOut". At the near-tropical temperature of 7 degrees, the boys stripped down to their boxers and ran outside. WHY? Because they could. Or because they are idiots. Or both. John Mark's dad said I should have locked them out and hosed them down . . . (See Kevin, I'm not the WORST parent!)

January 18, 2009

prayer request

On Kacey's 2nd birthday, I was blessed and privileged to hold my best friend Sherri's hand and breathe with her as she and her sweet husband, Neal, welcomed their first child into the world. They named him Tony. It was my first "doula" experience long before I ever knew what a doula was.

Over the years, Tony and his sister, Randi, have been like cousins to my kids. We love them like family. Neal & Sherri are those rare friends you can just pick up with where you left off no matter how long it has been.

We found out today, on Kevin's 16th birthday, that Tony has a brain tumor the size of an egg. Apparently this has happened quickly, with headaches, followed by numbness in his arm and face, followed by tests . . . and now he is having surgery on Tuesday. Though Neal & Sherri still live in Alaska, Tony is in Arkansas where he is in college. We are headed that direction in the morning, once again so I can hold Sherri's hand and breathe with her.

Please pray for Tony. Kevin chatted with him a bit tonight, and Tony seems to be in good spirits with full assurance that he is in God's hands.

Thanks to you all . . . I will keep you posted.


January 16, 2009

the four-headed monster

It's that time again. Pre-birthday sleepover, minus the sleep. Which means 18 hours of pizza, caffeine, swedish fish and video games for four almost-16-year-old boys, while I sequester myself in the bedroom.

Last year, Mike showed up and "kidnapped" the boys and took them for cheese fries and Klondike bars.

This year maybe somebody will show up and kidnap me. :o)

Prolly not.

Good thing I have that cursed cable.

January 14, 2009

5 hard questions from Janice

Okay, so I gave Janice the “go ahead” to ask me some interview questions, hoping for some fluffy, fun questions. Apparently, I forgot who I asked, ‘cause these are HARD!

1. You are in a unique position to see the good and bad side of Christians in our church. What is your biggest encouragement?
Truly, my biggest encouragement is watching people change, myself included. I love the shift our church family as a whole continues to make from being all about “having it right” to being more about “having God’s heart”. I love that we continue to focus on getting outside our walls and into people’s lives - into our community - granted, it’s a slow process, but at least we are not stagnant.

2. Other side of the coin, what has been your biggest disappointment?
Selfishness. People who aren’t givers - of themselves, of their time, of their way, of their money. People filled with excuses as to why they “can’t”. That, and the fact that my chromosomes don’t allow me to be seen in the way I would like to be seen sometimes.

3. What is your absolute best marriage tip?
Learn to accept the fact that it is not his job to make you happy - joy comes from God alone. Your job is to just be who God calls you to be, to love unselfishly, and to use every day to become a better person. Happiness is never a goal . . . just a hopeful, occasional by-product.

4. Did you/Do you EVER have days when your kids drove/drive you nuts? (Please don't say no.) What did you do?

YES! They drive/drove/have driven me nuts and, Lord-willing, will continue to drive me nuts for many years to come! What do I do? Listen. Ask questions. Don't overreact. There's a reason they are driving me nuts, I just have to figure it out. Maybe they are tired. Or frustrated. Or feeling they are being treated unfairly. Or . . . you name it. There's almost nothing in ANY relationship that can't be worked out with a little good communication, which starts with good listening.

Now, if there was direct defiance/disobedience/or sheer laziness, that's a different ballgame. The way I figure it, my kids are entitled to water and oxygen. Past that, the rest is gravy. I never "warn them" ahead of time that I will discipline, and I "almost" never yell (I yelled once in 1998 and my kids have NEVER let me live it down, they love to tell that story on mom . . . ), but once bad behavior rears its ugly little head, privileges start disappearing quickly. And I am doggone consistent. If I say no computer for a week, baby it will be 168 full hours, and not one second less. And if there is whining about the discipline, it instantly gets doubled.

Of course, since my kids really are perfect, all of the above is merely untested theory . . .

5. What is the best advice you can give about a grandiose wedding? I am looking for the best things and the things best left out.
Kacey & Nathan’s was not all about bigger and better, but it was all about unique and personal. Best things - the ceremony, the location, the details, the people involved should all be very special to your families. Things most worth spending money on: photography and food. Things best left out - stress. So totally not worth it. My best advice is to start early, delegate as much as possible, and pay people to clean up when it’s all over ‘cause by then you are EXHAUSTED!


Current Book:

*Saving Fish from Drowning (Amy Tan) I picked this one up at the used bookstore . . .

the first line was “It was not my fault”. I knew I had to read it.

Current Play List:

A little Jason Mraz. Mm Hmm.

Current Drink:

Water. Which I hate. Why couldn’t water be fizzy and taste like Coke?

Current Food:

Last night I made baked spaghetti, but I also just bought a bazillion “100 calorie snack packs” which, if you eat 5 or 6 at once, probably defeats the purpose.

Current Wish List:

Hmmm . . . SNOW! :o)

Current Need:

A new tube of progesterone cream. When I said something about almost being out, Kevin looked me in the face and VERY SERIOUSLY said, “You are not allowed to run out. You must buy more before this one is empty.”

I think he is enjoying having his non-crying mother back.

Current Triumph:

I am taking lessons on “how to get things done” from my bestie. On Monday I got the garage door fixed (it has been broken for 8 months), activated my debit card (which I have had since LAST February), made an appointment to get my cat fixed, listed some items for sale on eBay, ordered Kevin’s birthday gift, did all my lesson plans for both co-op and Wednesday night class, and called the gas company to come actually READ the meter rather than estimating it at $60 higher than I know it should be. Yea, me!

Current Bane of my Existence:

Cable. It is evil. And I love it. It makes me stay up too late, and keeps me in bed too long in the mornings. Cursed HGTV.

Current Indulgence:

I’m having my eyebrows waxed this afternoon. Indulgence!

Current #1 Blessing:

My amazing children. Could NOT love them more.

Current Slang or Saying:

"I’m just sayin’”

Current Outfit:

Today I am wearing this new suede jacket, which is totally NOT something I would have bought because of the price, except the sales lady was so eager to make a sale that she threw this $20 off coupon at me and then picked up this jacket and said, “It’s 70% off you know.” No, I didn't know! Okay, I’m no rocket scientist, but 70% off less 20 more dollars is like . . . well, let’s just say, in the end, I think she gave me cash back just to take it. So really, it was like I had no choice. Sort of like rescuing hungry kittens who need a good home. But since it is leather, I guess the whole "a cow had to die for this jacket" thing might negate the saving kittens analogy.

Current Excitement:

Having a new doula client . . . even though the birth is not for 4 more months, it is definitely something I can get excited about!

Current Mood:

Goofy happy!

Current Picture(s):

with glasses . . . without glasses. I'm like Superman - you can hardly tell it's the same person!

January 09, 2009

three thumbs up

I started teaching the Middle School class on Wednesday nights, and so far I am having a great time. Our topic for this quarter is “Identity in Christ”, and because I am such a movie buff, we are approaching this subject through that venue.

Week One was “Created for Community”. I showed the clip from “I Am Legend” where Will Smith is so lonely that he tries desperately to get the mannequin in the video store to talk to him. Sounds funny, but it’s not. From there we read about God’s creation, Adam/Eve, and ended with a great discussion about how much we need each other and the importance of bonding and being accepting as a youth group.

Week Two was “Citizen of Heaven”. That week we watched a clip from “The Terminal”. The clip was close to the beginning when the JFK
international terminal administrator tries to explain to Tom Hanks that he is not allowed to enter the United States, nor can he go home because his country has been overturned. He is, quite literally, a citizen of nowhere. We then read about the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, and God’s not allowing them to enter the Promised Land because of their lack of trust. We ended that night with a nice little talk about how being a citizen of heaven is not just something we hope for when we die, but something we experience and live out here on a daily basis.

Week Three was from “Hook”. Dustin Hoffman’s character, Captain Hook, hates Peter Pan so much he wants to kill him. Then he decides something even worse. What would hurt Peter Pan more than death? Turn his children against him.
Captain Hook tells the children that their father (Peter Pan) doesn’t really love them. He points out to Jack (the son) that his father loves Maggie (the daughter) more, and gives examples of why. It was such a PERFECT clip to demonstrate how Satan tries to deceive us. We read the passage from John 8 where Jesus calls Satan the “father of all lies”. I asked a bunch of questions: “Does Captain Hook love the children? (no) Why does he want the children to love him? (the hurt their father) What does Maggie call Captain Hook? (a liar) How does Captain Hook try to divide the children? (by telling them their father loves one of them more than the other)”. Then I had them parallel those questions with their own about how Satan does the same thing with us . . . especially how he tries to make us believe that God blesses others in ways that seem unfair to us.

I hope this class is half as much fun for them as it is for me! Now, if I can just get them to bring their Bibles to class . . .

January 06, 2009

lost and found . . . our weekend parable

"There was a man (for purposes of this parable, he is the cowboy) who went riding with two of his horses, Sally and Dixie. The latter got spooked by a slipped saddle and set off aimlessly for a distant riding trail, dragging her saddle, bridle, reigns and all the rest of her fair share of the inheritance with her. She soon succumbed to wild living in a strange land.

Immediately the cowboy begged for her to return. He called her name many times. He, riding on the back of the obedient horse Sally, began to search. They, and other loving people, searched diligently into the night, but to no avail.

Again, the following morning, the cowboy and the obedient horse were out before first light searching high and low for her. They searched well into the night again on the second day.

On the third day, the cowboy once again set out. This time on foot to give the obedient child, er, horse, a break. But the cowboy took no break. He walked till his feet hurt. He went without meals. He climbed every mountain and forged every stream. (Hey, that would make a great song for a musical . . . ) But, alas, Dixie would not be coming home with him.

By the fourth day, the cowboy was losing hope. He was desperate, but still determined.

"But while she was still a long way off, the cowboy got a phone call and was filled with compassion for her; he ran to his home, hitched up the horse trailer and drove off to where she was. (And though it has yet to happen for a couple more hours, when he sees her he will undoubtedly throw his arms around her and kiss her with the same mouth he kisses me. . .)

“And the cowboy will say to his friends and family, 'Quick! Bring the best saddle pad and put it on her. Put some corn in a bucket and bring a brush for her coat. Break open a new bale of hay! Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this Mustang of mine was lost but is now found.' So they will celebrate and there will be great rejoicing in their household and the households of horse-people everywhere.”

. . . for those of you not following my little parable, the cowboy and some friends went riding on Saturday and Dixie has been missing for 100+ hours in LBL. This afternoon she has been found some 20 miles from where she was last seen! And though I am NOT, repeat, am NOT, a horse-person, it has given me a renewed compassion for things which are lost that need to be found . . .

Luke 15:3-7 "Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn't you leave the 99 and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, 'Celebrate with me! I've found my lost sheep!' Count on it—there's more joy in heaven over one sinner's rescued life than over 99 good people in no need of rescue."

Thanks to all of you who worried, who took flyers to post, who made phone calls to friends, and especially to Philip and Beth who spent hours of their own time searching for the lost sheep, er, horse. You guys are the best!

January 04, 2009

2008 in pictures

Spiritual Goal: Eph. 4:29
New cell phone
Wedding dress shopping
Kevin's biology class
Kevin's drum/guitar lessons
Ice Storm sleepovers
Topaz dogsitting
Lent commitments
Sushi, sushi, sushi
BPA-free water bottles
Christ Formed artwork
Follies office previews :o)
Quest for glassware
Engagement pictures
Saba passport saga
"Green Ball"
Favorite Song: Sara Bareilles - Love Song
Favorite Movies: Dark Knight & 7 Pounds
Most listened to cd's: Jack Johnson & John Mayer
Most talked-about book: The Shack
Kevin & Mike wresting matches
Kacey's college graduation
Lindsay's high school graduation
Palmetto Bible Camp
The ongoing Superman vs. Batman debate
The beginning of the Darling building
Camp Barnabas
Jewelry & shoe-shopping with Sara
Our new kitten, still unnamed
Superhero Mystery Party
Back to School Olympics
08/08/08 WEDDING!
Sonic Happy Hour blackberry tea
2008/2009 Co-op
Fort Worth Mustang Makeover
Kevin's automotive narcolepsy
Nathan & Kacey to Indianapolis
Weekend getaway to Natural Bridge
Sanity-saving progesterone :o)
Happy Birthday to me!
Six-word stories
Zoe Conference
Emily's Countdown Calendar Weekend

Obviously this isn't all-encompasing, but it was fun to put together a "year in review" photo collage!

January 02, 2009

SHOOPerman and chew toys

Corban is staying with us for a few days! He is the kid who peed on Mike last year, so that automatically makes him one of my favorite little guys! (haha) Corban is 2-and-a-half and such a sweetie! He fell asleep last night snuggled up in my lap, and it was all I could do to make myself hand him over to Kevin (they are sharing a bed this weekend!)

Corban discovered a Superman/Batman lunchbox ornament on my Christmas tree and immediately went to his bag to show me his Superman/Batman action figures he brought with him. He was so excited! I keep asking him who his favorite is just so I can hear him say, enthusiastically, "SHOOP-erman!!!"

My favorite moment of today was when Corban called out, "Will you help me wif my shocks, Keviepoo?" YES! I love that they repeat everything they hear! Kevin, however, growled at me. Apparently, "Keviepoo" just doesn't work for my almost 16-year-old.

Speaking of Keviepoo and being almost 16: He is counting down the days to his driver's permit. He is also counting the four wisdom teeth that are working their way in. He has also been a bit under the weather lately. Not exactly sick, just lethargic with a runny nose for about 2 weeks now.

Wait a minute.

Lethargic. Runny Nose. Wisdom Teeth.

MY TEENAGE SON IS TEETHING!!!! HAHAHAHAHA That explains so much!!!

When I told him rubbing a bit of whiskey onto his gums would help numb the discomfort, he smiled a devious little smile.

Think I'll buy him a chew toy instead.