Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WFMW - What to do for lunch

Do you ever wonder what you can do for lunch? You are tired of the same old same old choices, and you just want to have something that will be enticing, satisfying and fun.

Then follow these instructions to a "T" and you will be guaranteed a great lunch and a memorable time.
  1. You look at your calendar and you pick a Saturday, June 24th to be specific.
  2. Then you clear that day of any obligations or commitments. Ship your kids off to some friend's house for that time or talk your spouse into doing parenting duty. Go ahead and do the same for Friday and Sunday, if possible. It's really so much better if you can make a weekend of it.
  3. Then you get in your car, fill up the tank and drive. If you would rather fly that is just as acceptable. The point is to go.
  4. Make your way to Kansas City and join a "Lunch of Bloggers", specifically with many of your blogging friends from the Midwest. (Dutch treat, of course.)
  5. You will get to eat yummy food ($10ish), talk face to face with some of your new friends and laugh quite a bit (priceless).
  6. And when the restaurant decides to kick us out, we can adjourn to a home, say mine, and continue the fun and friendship, fellowship and food. Who knows? Cookie dough could find its way into the festivities, too. You know coffee will.
  7. Oh, and before you leave, make sure that you email Shalee to say that you will be coming so that she will make sure that there are enough places for everyone at the restaurant and so that you will have all the information that you need to participate.

That's one way that I know to make sure that you have a fun lunch. A get together with friends will always "work for me!"

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Every Day Should Be A Memorial Day

I love days off from work. Extra long weekends, more time with the family and cookouts are always a plus in my book.

This Memorial Day weekend, we decided to not travel mainly because we had no money to do so. Bummer. But it is funny how we can always find a way to spend some anyway. Sometimes it just can’t be helped.

Saturday was just a normal day for us, with one exception: Mr. Right met with another guy friend in the morning for coffee and pastries. I’m really excited about this meeting because sometimes guys just don’t develop the same kind of open, sharing relationships that we girls do. (I happen to be married to a man who wants and likes to talk things out with other men; his problem is that he has a hard time finding men who wants/likes to have those conversations. God has blessed him with a couple of really good friends who have the same needs, so he has some guy outlets.) Anyway, I’m excited about it because it is another fellow Christian man who seems to be willing to be as open and eager as Mr. Right. I am hopeful that it will progress into a really good, deep friendship over time. (Jim, if you are reading this, ummm, no pressure or anything…)

I lied; there was one other really neat thing about Saturday: I actually got to talk with Susanne, our fellow commenter. She doesn't have a blog that you can visit, but we have all seen her comments on the blog. It was sooo thrilling to talk with a new friend from the blogging community. And let me just tell you, she is just as friendly on the phone as she is in her comments! So I saw it as a real blessing to be able to chat with her. (Don’t worry, Susanne; all your secrets are safe with me. I won’t even mention that bit about where your shorts ended up at the end of that game…J)

Sunday was really fun because, after five years of living in KC, we finally went to one of the outdoor events. We joined 35,000 other attendees at the Symphony at Union Station. It was a lovely night for it too. We took blankets and KFC and went with some friends of ours to listen to the evening of music and to watch the most spectacular fireworks display. Great conversations, beautiful music and magnificent lighting? It was a night that made staying in town worthwhile.

Yesterday was the standard “I’m so glad I have an extra day off so that I can make everyone else work on stuff” day. We, much to the chagrin of the kids, cleaned the house, went through the dresser drawers to find out what fit and what did not (my daughter has one pair of jeans left to her name… Ugh, it’s a good thing it is shorts season), and shopping for sandals for the kids. (See I told you that we can manage to spend money even if we don’t have any to spend!)

We did make it a point to sit and to talk with the kids about the beauty of this day – about those who died to make us free, about the early wars in this country and about the men and women who are serving now to keep us safe. We talked about the respect every service person deserves and why we pray for them, specifically on that day. I really want the kids to remember the memory of this day, rather than seeing it as a day off from school. They prayed about it so some of it must be getting into their heads. I hope that we can keep it from being limited to two days a year. So many have fought and died to go un-remembered.

That evening we had some of our most favorite people over for dinner. It is such a shame that we don’t see more of each other… I really love Jenni. She is like the sister I never had. When we were in chorale together, she and I would get into so much trouble because we would get everyone else laughing, rather than paying attention to the director. We have so much fun together and laugh until our sides hurt, plus we are completely open and honest with each other, sharing our fears, frustrations and all the “ugly” parts about ourselves. She knows things about me that I hope never to be revealed, and yet she still loves me. Jenni is the person with whom I can not talk for a month, but as soon as I see her again, I can pick up right where I left off without her missing a beat. She also is a spiritually mature woman who can tell me plainly when I am wrong and when I am doing the right things. That is one of my favorite things about her, her realness and her desire to please God. That and the fact that she is just like me so she gets me.

Needless to say, we had a wonderful meal and gabfest with her and her family. We have got to invite them over more often. Life is too short to not enjoy good friends.

Today is just like any other Monday, except that it is Tuesday and I seem to have double the amount of work to do, with all the "Monday challenges" that this day would entail. Perhaps I should have taken this day off as well... Nah, I'd just have a Monday on a Wednesday and that would really screw me up.

I’ll still take a long weekend any time, even if I'll regret it later.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

TT 7

13 Things Shalee loves about SUMMER

The sun on my skin

Backyard cookouts

Ice cream

Sipping coffee on the back deck in the morning

Shorts (yeah, I’m a weird one…)

Being barefoot

Trips to the water park/pool

Sipping wine/froo froo drink at night on the back deck


Farmers’ Market

Flowers everywhere

Watching the sunset late at night

Running through other people’s sprinklers

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

WFMW - The Perfect Graduate Gift

I have a fantastic graduate gift that works with both sexes! I came up with this one about 10 years ago, and every grad who received it, loved it and has thanked me for it later, in addition to the required thank you that they send out after going through their graduation loot.

Buy some postcards and postcard stamps. (How many you give each grad is up to you.) Apply stamps to cards.

Fill out the address side with YOUR name and address. (If one of the grads was a babysitter, then I used my kids' names on some of them.)

Then fill out the note side on most of them. For example, I gave some to my babysitting grad last year and one said this: "Dear Shalee, I can't believe how different college is from high school. I love being here and making these new friends. I sure wish that I had some of your wonderful homemade chocolate chip cookies to share with them... I would be sure to make more if I had those! I miss you so much. Give hugs to the kids for me. Love, ____________."

Or this one: "Dear Shalee, School is so hard right now. I can't think straight and I really am sick of the cafeteria food. Would you please send me some yummy stuff that I can snack on while studying? Thanks, _____________."

I gave her one of each with one of my children's name, and left it blank for her to write a personal note to each of the kids. But at the bottom was a "PS Send cookies."

Some I left blank for her to fill out, but with the PS on those too.

Then I tie the cards together with a pretty ribbon, with a card instructing the grad to use when needed. They can use them all in the first year or spread them out. It doesn't matter to me!

Do you see where I am going with this? I made many presents, without much cost to me right now. The grads get to use them in the future while at school, knowing that they will get some yummy care packages. We all get mail sometimes over the years. (My kids are thrilled with that one!) And I have the perfect reason to eat cookie dough make cookies. The cost is divided up over the years, so I don't have to go into hock to give them something nice. And it's personal - the way a gift should be.

That's it in a nutshell; it's simple, but it Works for Me!

To see some other wonderful, "Now why didn't I think of that?" ideas, go to Shannon's place, Rocks in my Head (oops) Dryer. She is the wizard behind the curtain on this one.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Jeana: Boy are you going to be sorry you asked me to do this meme...

Accent: I grew up in Tennessee for the most part, but my dad was in the Navy (♫ In the Navy, Yes, you can sail the seven seas…♫), so I moved around a very little bit. I don’t know why I don’t have a strong accent being that I lived in TN almost my entire childhood. (The first thing my mother-in-awe in Nebraska said to me was, “Oh, she doesn't have an accent. I was hoping she would have one.”) But Mr. Right can always tell when I am on the phone with a friend from the south because I get this drawl that somehow mysteriously appears. And it can’t be that hidden because I met on of my daughter’s friend’s mom and she said, “Where are you from? You have an accent.” I guess, like the rest of me, the accent is full of indecision.

Bible Book that I like: Mine because I have lots of notes and underlined parts that really talked to me at different times in my life; plus it has my name on it. If I had to pick an actual book, I would say James because it is very practical and applicable and Esther because I love the way that God is controlling every aspect without His presence being mentioned. (Did you ever notice that Esther would make a block-buster hit; it has action (Jews defending themselves), love (family – Esther and Mordecai, marriage – Esther and Xerxes), sex (hello, Esther is chosen to be in a harem and she was chosen by Xerxes because she “pleased” him), a villain (Haman), a heroine (Esther) and twisting, hold your breath plot filled with irony and humor. You didn’t notice it? Go read it again. You’ll see…)

Chore that I don’t care for: Bathroom duties… every stinking (literally) day. Ugh. (Seriously, if you have any suggestions after reading the bathroom post, I would love to hear them.)

Dog or Cat: Neither. Mr. Right, the girl and the boy all have allergies. I would love to have a dog, but the kids would have to learn the meaning of care and responsibility before that could happen. But Miss Sneaky Pants, out of the blue, asked me a couple of week ago: “Mom, do you think that I am a responsible person?” To which I replied, “Yeah, for the most part you are. You have to be reminded of some things but you accept your tasks without grumbling and you usually try your best on all of them.” To which she smiled and replied, “Then can I have a puppy?” I foresee one in our future…

Essential Electronics: Computer. Okay, I admit it; I like watching movies and football too, so TV and DVD player. And a coffee pot with a pause and serve because sometimes you cannot get your first cup fast enough.

Favorite Cologne: Remember that indecision problem I have? Here it comes again. I like Eternity for Women, Mackey, and all kinds of Victoria’s Secret/Bath and Body Works lotions (Sweet Pea comes to mind…)

Gold or Silver: As if I would turn down any jewelry based on color/metal… If it glitters, I’ll take it, especially if it’s real.

Handbag I Carry most often: I don’t like purses that much. I usually carry a very small black purse that doesn't hold much – cell phone, debit card, pen and maybe lip balm. Yeah, I’m all about looking good.

Insomnia: Hereditary… and I have MVP so it’s a given. As my mom says, “Hey, I figure that I’ll catch up on my sleep when I’m dead.”

Job Titles: Christian, Honey, Mom, Friend, Blogger, Housekeeper, Activity Scheduler, Crisis Manager, Counselor, Prayer Warrior, Mediator, Bill Payer, Chef, Bathroom Keeper, Ole Yeller (not because of color I assure you), Doubter, Comedian/Jokester and Executive Assistant (not always in that order)

Kids: One beautiful, smart, creative, want-to-be-just-like-mom daughter and one handsome, energetic, can’t-aim-if-his-life-depended-on-it son

Living Arrangements:

My humble home... God has been very good to us. There's even a guest room for visitors. (Hint hint)

Most Admirable Trait: Mr. Right answered this one for me. He said my soft heart – that I really care about other people. (I had to get him in a headlock before he gave me an answer I could use…)

Naughtiest childhood behavior: I was definitely a brat being the baby of the family, but I was also “a good girl.” I didn’t do much that was against the rules. I was getting married before I realized that I was in the perfect room for sneaking out… I’m such a dunce.

I did however have one major naughty incident: My friend Jamie, who was much more of a loose cannon that me, and I were out driving one night. All the sudden she stops the truck, turns to me and says, “We need to pull off those flashing lights on the blockades.” I stuttered, said there was no way I could do that – it’s just wrong!, and gaped as she bounded out to the sawhorse. I gave in and ran and twisted and twisted the stupid blinking light… But deep down I had this bit of glee that I was doing something “not allowed”. After several minutes of twisting, grunting and worrying that someone would drive by and catch us in the act, the light came off. (Jamie’s never did come off. The really stick those puppies on there!) We ran back to the truck and took off. I snuck into the house with it and took it to my room, looking at my act of vandalism.

Of course the guilt set in immediately, so until I could figure out what to do with it, I shoved it into my closet and got ready for bed, figuring out of sight, out of mind and I’ll deal with it tomorrow. I crawled into bed, doused the light and tried to sleep, but this flashing light kept bothering me… Oh, no… the police have already found me and I’m going to go to jail over this first act of rebellion. What was I thinking!!! Wait, that light is coming from the closet. Oh man, the light works on a sensor, turning on when it’s dark. Great, now my parents are going to catch me instead. I piled all my dirty laundry, which was a lot since I was in charge of my own laundry, on top of it and went to sleep. A week later after worrying about it, I figured out how to get it out of the house undetected and into a dumpster. When I pulled it out, it wasn’t working anymore. I swore never to do anything like that again. I am such the rebel without a cause… or backbone for illegal activities.

Overnight hospital stay: Two c-sections and a bout of something in my gut that sent me to the emergency room in pain

Phobias: Besides getting caught for the flashing warning light incident? Isn’t that enough? Okay, since I am a small (5’2”), petite (100 lbs) woman, I don’t like to be in crowded places. I feel that I will be trampled or crushed or just can’t breath. Also, there’s the ocean thing… It’s just so VAST! (Ironically, I have no problems going on a cruise or flying over the ocean. I just don’t want to be shark bait swimming in the ocean.)

Quotes: I love quotes, but mine are mainly from movies. I have too many to name, so I’ll just give you a few.

Princess Bride: “Incontheivable!” “Aaaaaaaaaaas Youuuuuuuuuuuuu Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish” I do not sink that means what you sink that means.”

Always: “Right rudder. Right Rutter.” “He's too beautiful. He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle.”

When Harry Met Sally: “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.”

Pride and Prejudice (A & E): “"She is tolerable I suppose, but she's not handsome enough to tempt me". (Said by Lizzy imitating Darcy) “You have no compassion for my poor nerves!” “And yet I am unmoved.” “This is all very vexing!”

While You Were Sleeping: “I don't drink anymore... I don't drink any less, either!” “He was a lot like me, brown hair, flat chest.” “Because it looks like he's *leaning.*” “Oooo These mash potatoes are so creamy.” (Basically the whole dinner scene)

Sense and Sensibility: “I am the soul of discretion.” “Oh… Please don't say anything important 'til I come back.”

Better Off Dead: “I want my two dollars!” “Go zat way, really fast. If zomething gets in your way, turn.”

Napoleon Dynamite: “Gosh!” “Lucky.” “Heck yeah.” “Napoleon, give me some of your tots.”

See, don’t get me started. I can’t stop. I really like Pooh Bear quotes too.

“There’s a rumbly in my tumbly.” And “I am a bear of very little brains and long words bother me.”

Religion: Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

And Luke 10:27 “He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

That. That’s what I believe and am striving to do each day.

Siblings: 1 brother, 4 years older than me, who I don’t know very well, who has great taste in people. (Gina was one of my best friends in HS. I so approved of his choice.)

Time I wake up: 5:30 on weekdays; 7 AM (if I’m blessed to make it that long) on weekends. (Usually I wake up early and stare at Mr. Right until he wakes up “on his own” too.

Unusual Talent or skill: I can pick up things with my toes, I can read like lightening, I have an uncanny talent at sticking either foot in my mouth on any ocassion, and I can touch my tongue to my nose. (Do not confuse the first and last talents…)

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Brussels’ sprouts and plain cooked spinach or greens

Worst habit: Just one? Good night nurse – this list could go on longer than the quotes! How about finishing other people’s sentences. I get so busted on that! It’s wrong and rude and high thinking of me to think that I am clairvoyant like God.

X-rays: I never dated a guy named Ray. Sorry.

Yummy stuff I cook: “Not that I’ve thought about it, but my friends have said…” I make the best baked potatoes, the finest black bean dish, the greatest potato salad, a mean lasagna, meatloaf that should have a place in heaven and a pies that kick butt patooty. Of course I made tacos last night and the kids said I was the best cook in the entire world, so it’s all points of view…

Zoo animal I like most: Polar bears… I could watch them for hours. Or until my kids pull me by the hand to “move along.”

I tag Susanne of course (you know the drill), Ken from the voice from the edge of forever and Antique Mommy because she doesn't have enough to do with a toddler and writing the answers for her up and coming MOTW at CHBM. You go AM!

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Monday, May 22, 2006

♫ Vacation All I Ever Wanted♫

A week ago I posted about my surprise party… You know the one were I got a big “surprise” while doing dishes. Here’s a picture of the shirt I was wearing and you can see why I called it “flingy.” I had to take it off to do dishes because they would NOT stay up. (See Barb, you never knew that you were adding such spice to my life by passing this one on to me…)

Here's my cake. I look good for that age!

Okay, here's me at my real age.

All I ever wanted
Had to get away
Meant to be spent alone

So I’m on to day 3 of the Shalee Files. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t go for a two week stay?)

The day was Monday, May 1, 2006. The destination: Home Office.

Barb and Hussy, the two women who took me out for a fabulous birthday meal where I had the most delicious seafood, work at my company’s home office. They are both Executive Assistants to some of the bigwigs there. I’ve always heard that the campus was beautiful; I just never thought that I would get to see it in real life. I had my chance, so I grabbed it. Barb thought I was nuts to go to work on a vacation day, but hey, I’m just different.

Here is where I would get to see life, California style.

Barb had mentioned that although she is only 12 miles from work, it typically takes her an hour to get there. See, now this boggles my mind. I cannot fathom two hours out of my day. On a bad day, it takes me 20 minutes, and I’m 9 miles out. There are certain things that I do not miss by living in a small city, traffic being the first and foremost on the list. I told Barb this and she stared at me. I don’t think she believed me. (Barb, move out here and I will prove it to you! Plus, I’ll make you my lumpia for you to try. Just think about it…)

Anyway, we were in the car and going ever so quick. Dropped the twins off at daycare, then hit the road. What was not factored in was the Hispanic Walk Out. Barb kept saying, “It’s not normally this clear.” We made it to work with ten minutes to spare… Not bad for a Monday. Maybe that walk out wasn’t so brainless after all… (Really I’m not going there because I just don’t want to think about the stupidity of illegal immigrants demanding rights from another country when they should be making these demands from their own government… Wait I went there. That’s where I’ll stop.)

Back to work: I loved the look of the home office. It was recently built and they put money into the aesthetics of the building. It was a pleasure just walking into the lobby. I could see why Barb didn’t mind driving into this place each workday.

We made our way up to Barb’s level. I immediately asked for the directions to the coffee maker. Life would be good after that.

I had worked it out with my boss to take something to HIS bosses while there. It was a totally brown-nosing tactic with lots of humor thrown in for fun. I handed the box to one of the bosses and pretended to read (choppily) from a paper: “ ‘Here ___________. This candy is from my boss who says that you are the best boss in the world. If you ever need anything from him, you just say the word. Shalee, leave now before you make a fool of yourself…’ Oh wait I wasn’t supposed to read that part. Bye.” He laughed. Whew.

I did not do the same with the other big boss because when I told Barb that I was going to do the same to him, her eyes bulged out and said, “Okay, but I don’t know if I would do that with him.” I may be gutsy, but I’m not stupid. (That is not open for debate at this time.) I just gave him the chocolates, said who they were from and ran walked gracefully from the room.

Anyway, after I got the formalities/jokes out of the way, I was shown to a computer where I could “work”. Okay, I will admit that I got some things done. I did a report and answered some emails. People were walking by me with looks of “who is that” in their eyes. A couple actually stopped to ask. I think most were confused why someone would want to go to a home office while on vacation. I like making people ponder new thoughts.

For the most part, I blogged. I was missing my e-friends!

Lunch was good. Chick-fil-A, baby! Hussy had never been there, so she needed to experience the good things in life. It didn’t matter that she was a vegetarian. She found that they even did salad right. (I so can’t wait to get the Chick-fil-A here… Oh the torture of waiting… I mean, they have them in Utah already for goodness sake! Sigh.)

I stayed at work until about 3 PM. Barb’s husband, J, came and picked me up since he was driving by the place anyway. I had had enough fun for one day. I read a little bit and then decided that I would make dinner again. How often does someone have the joy of not coming home and not having to cook? Barb needed that.

I made this chicken stirfry dish that I probably can’t repeat to you because I threw in a little of this (red and green peppers) and a lot of that (onions) and some of the other stuff (soy sauce, pineapple, garlic). It did taste really good though.

That evening Barb said that we were going shopping for my birthday. The woman is a stone wall to no. So I just accepted it. Besides, she made shopping a bit more fun than I usually feel about it. She completely spoiled me by purchasing a couple of tops for me and a pair of jeans. I think she’s trying to teach me about style. It may take more than one lesson for me.

I started with a picture so I’ll end with them too. Here are the tops that Barb bought for me. I love them because they make me feel pretty.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

What Would Jesus Drink?


Friday, May 19, 2006

Meme for Addie (3-1=2 to go)

******Before you read, please go to My Quiet Corner and make some noise. Read about the prayer request for momrn2's daughter. This is where we can put our prayers in our mouth and our hands together before the Lord!*****

On May 2nd, Addie tagged me with this meme. I am finally getting it done... Sorry it took so long Addie. Normally I am much more with it! So without further ado, I present The Meme. (Dunh da daaaaaaaaah)

I Am – Woman…
Woe man…
Whoooooooooooooooa man!
She was a thief
You gotta believe
She stole my heart and my cat
Hey, Jane, get me off
This crazy thing...
... called love.
(I always - I repeat, always- think of this bit from So I Married An Axe Murderer, a highly forgettable movie… I only saw it once, but it stuck.)

I Am – a mess, but by the grace of God it's okay. (couldn’t decide, so I repeated it.)

I want – to not want anything not of God.

I wish – I knew how to raise my kids without screwing them up.

I hate – when I am angry with others, but I’m really mad at myself.

I miss – rocking my children and holding them close to me almost every night.

I hear – voices. And they are telling me to go get chocolate ice cream since it is a sunny beautiful day. Since it is such a good idea, I’m going to assume it is the voice of God.

I wonder – what it was like on the ark, what it was like for Jonah, what it would be like to have been Lazarus raised from the dead, and what heaven will be like.

I regret – not knowing the meaning of grace earlier in life.

I hope – I can help my children understand grace and the love of God much earlier than I ever understood it beauty and freedom.

I am not – tall in height, but I am in character.

I dance – like a white churched girl, but I just don’t care.

I sing – songs in response to questions, statements and for no reason at all.

I cry – at baptisms with pure joy, at weddings with memories of my own floating into view, at funerals for my earthly loss, and when others are crying, but not my kids… they are usually crying because of discipline matters, and they just have to get over it.

I am not always – Christ-like. Bummer, especially for anyone who interacts with me.

I make – mean biscuits and gravy, apple or strawberry pie, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti sauce, lumpia, potato soup and roulade.

I write – because it helps me to think and Mr. Right really needs me to have another outlet sometimes.

I confuse – my right from my left all the time! (“Wedding ring is on the left hand” often runs through my mind when I need to think of a direction.)

I need – lots of love and attention from Mr. Right. Okay, I’d take it from others too, but only in a non-romantic way.

I should – not should on myself.

I start – my car, the washer, the dishwasher, the bath, the computer, the DVD player, but not the mower because I just can’t get that pull thingy to work for me! Oh darn.

I finish – every book I read, even if it is one that I know I should stop reading because it reeks… I just have to see it through to the end. And some times I am really glad I did because the ending made the book worth while.

Okay, I really liked this one because it dealt with more of the me that makes me me.

So I tag Suzi , Susanne because she doesn't have a blog to share all the good stuff like this - use the comment section if you will, Kate from The Tate School because we've missed her!, Kris from flip flops, Mary from Mary on a Mission, and Diane at Partners in Prayer for our prodigals.

Whew... One down 2 to go... Jeana, yours is next!

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

TT 6

Thirteen Things Shalee has to do in order to get caught up after taking a week's vacation...
  1. Do the meme that Addie tagged me to do. (Almost done, Addie!)
  2. Find my desk in my office.
  3. Clean said desk to be in office.
  4. Plan 4 different meeting events.
  5. Go grocery shopping.
  6. Do laundry. (Even though Mr. Right did it while I was gone, it still mysteriously keeps coming back...)
  7. Do the meme that Jeana tagged me to do. (I'm working on it, Jeana!)
  8. Wash sheets on all the beds... because you know Mr. Right, although incredibly wonderful and romantic, did not even contemplate doing them.
  9. Find a bathing suit... Maybe that could be put off until... say... September.
  10. Plan out the kid's summer.
  11. Figure out some romantic getaway for Mr. Right and me.
  12. Eat lots of strawberry pie... because it sounds so good!
  13. Do the meme that Gibee tagged me to do. (Get in line lady!)

And that's just the tip of it all...

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WFMW... So simple, even I can do it!

Well as a very simple WFMW, when I know I am going to make SOMETHING for dinner… you know what I mean, something but you don’t know what kind of dish – I pull out chicken (take off skin) and set it in the slow cooker in the morning. Just add some water to cover. When I get home I have chicken that is fully cooked and easy to debone (if it wasn’t my typical boneless, skinless chicken breasts (be very forewarned – it will fall apart as you try to get it out it’s so tender and juicy!) and I have instant chicken broth that can be saved and frozen for a soup or a recipe later. Freeze it in one cup containers for easy measuring.

The chicken can be used for any dish that calls for shredded chicken – enchiladas, soup, casseroles, salads, tacos… you get the picture. It’s quick, easy and very cheap!

***Added for Peach: The chicken does NOT have to be thawed. I usually do thaw it, but there are times when I forgot and I pulled the chicken out of the freezer in the morning, separated the pieces and plunked them in the crock pot. They still cook completely after 8 hours of cooking during my work day.

To see other ideas, go visit Shannon, the way cool blogger mom who really is the bomb for starting this sharing idea.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I thank my God every time I remember you. (Phil 1:3)

My heart is sad today. It has been made known that our preacher and his family are returning to their home in Tennessee. Although they have lived here for five years, I could always tell that Kansas was not their home; they were just passing through.

I must say that this news in no way is a shock to me. Being from the South, I understand the draw to living in that way of life. Family is of the utmost importance. Life is a little slower, more enjoyed. Friends are made to endure a lifetime, and pie is a given, as well as the church potlucks. Your family is not limited to those related to you, although there may be many. Respect is noted not only by the adults, but also by the young. To be called Ma’am is a title, an honor that you wear proudly.

Their time here has been hard. Imagine living in one place your entire life. You may have moved around a bit, one southern town to another, never moving too far from your family, always having them within driving distance. Your life with them has always been natural.

Although this is the life you know and are comfortable with in many ways, you feel the pull of God to leave. You pray - hard and long. You seek His wisdom and direction. You give it over to Him. And He answers.

Then imagine that you find yourself and your family transplanted into a completely alien terrain, hundreds of miles away from your very close family, in a completely different way of life. Everything is go, go, go. People are more reserved, less open to taking life a day at a time, but rather planning their future out to the last minute. Oh, and you happen to be living in THE most affluent county in America. You are not in Tennessee anymore, that is for sure.

Church is just different. There are lovely, Christian people, but it is not the same as what you have ever known. Less openness, more protection and less hugs, touches, or communing. You know God has sent you here; you believe that He has a plan and a mission. Perhaps it is to show them a new, more real way of life. It is not for you to know, just to do. Which you do with all your heart and joy.

Over the five years, imagine that both mothers pass away – first the husband’s, then most recently, the wife’s. Your heart, which has already be aching to see them, is now broken at the idea of this physical loss. Your matriarchs, both whom have been strong, guiding figures in both of your lives, have been removed from you not only in distance, but now in body. Two family members are gone; how many more will pass before you can be together with them again? Will your children miss out on knowing this kind of way of life? They are growing so quickly; time is fading away. If you want them to learn this beautiful upbringing, then it must be now.

You feel your heart calling you home, your real home – the home where most of your family resides, where you will always be a kid, where church is more than a place to go on Sunday. But is this of God or is it a pull to keep you from the good work you know, you see, you understand being done in Kansas?

So you turn to your decision maker again. You pray honestly and readily about it. Immediately, two things happen: A person driving by your home (that has no sign or indication that it will be for sale) stops and makes a good offer on your house if you should be in the market to sell. Then the next day, from out of the blue, you receive a call from your previous church offering you a position doing what you want to do, paying you what you will need.

Again God has answered loud and clear. And the move will be swift for you.

So to them I say thank you.

David, thank you for giving of yourself, for guiding me to a real understanding of God, of His grace and His being ever so active and present and real in my life. I am grateful that you made me look forward to sermons on Sundays, for making them interest, fun and encouraging and, most of all, applicable and challenging to me as a Christian. Thank you for being an example of Samuel, for listening to His bidding, for being an Isaiah, to answering His call to come here, for being an Ananias, for going to a place where you knew not what would happen – only that you must go.

Julie, thank you for being such a godly example of a Christian wife and woman. For giving of yourself in the teaching of our children, for being such a prayer warrior for a countless number of people, for being an example of rejoicing to no end. Thank you for being an example of Ruth, following your husband in the way that God has directed him, for being a Lydia and opening your home to any and all, for being a Mary, sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening intently to His words. You are a rendering in flesh of the Proverbs 31 woman.

Although, I have tears of sadness now, they are for our loss. Inside I have such joy that you will be with your family, that you will be back with your friends, that you will be teaching your children a wonderful way of life, southern style. My tears will fade to be replaced with smiles and memories of the goodness you have shared with this church.

May the peace of God be with you always, may you continue to seek His wisdom in every aspect of your life. May you look on your time here with joy and love. In the event that we do not see you again in this life, I look forward to seeing you on the other side, where there will be family and love aplenty for us all and, hopefully, pie to be shared around the feasting table.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Back to the Trip...

Let’s see… Where did I leave off on the trip to CA? Oh yeah, the first day. At this rate, I may be 36 by the time I finish telling it.

I’ll move to Day 2. Sunday morning.

Can I just share with you now how wonderful it is to get ready for church and not worry about whether your son has gotten dressed or if your daughter has brushed her hair? I wouldn’t want to make any kind of habit out of it, but it was so relaxing to wake up, make coffee, go back to my room and read my Bible and then leisurely get dressed. What I missed most were the morning snuggles from my kids… Yep, some things just need to be done to get me through the day.

On the way to church, Barb and her family have a tradition of grabbing a box of fresh, hot out-of-the-oven bagels and some schmear from a NY style delicatessen to eat on the way to church, which is so appropriate since it is HEAVENLY! Mmmmmm. I want one right now just thinking about it.

It was so cool to see what other Christian services are like. I am in no way close-minded to the services of other churches, but I don’t really have tons of opportunities to visit other churches. You know the drill… You go to your church because that is where you have made friends, where you want your kids to make friends, to keep with the routine set – not only for yourself, but your kids, too. You don’t want to jump from place to place because then your kids will never learn the idea of commitment. So you see why I haven’t had many times to attend other churches.

In Kansas I attend an a capella congregation. However, I have no qualms with instrumental music. I love singing praises to God with or without a piano, a guitar, or drums. I like choirs and praise teams and soloists. I just want it all to be done for God’s glory and not the performers.

So I had the pleasure of singing some songs with a band that week. It was a unique, uplifting experience. I didn’t know all the songs, but I knew how to clap and I could sing the verses and chorus the second time through. It helped that the words were projected up front on a screen, too.

The lesson was insightful and detailed. It’s encouraging to hear the love of God preached on every shore. Really that is the best thing to get out there, that God loves even me, despite my stupidity and stubbornness. Yep, I can hear that loud and clear in California as well as in Kansas. Heck, I should head to Maryland so that I can hear it there too! Next I’ll work on Michigan and Texas to reach all directions!

Afterwards, since it was a gorgeous sunny day, we headed out to do some family walking at an outdoor mall. That mall had some great shops, with some really energetic places as well. There was an area that had an indoor rollerblading/skateboarding area. We stood and watched those practicing do some neat tricks and some superb falls! Ouch! It’s a good thing they were required to wear helmets and pads. We ate at the food court and I got a great slice of NY style pizza. Thin and oozy with cheese… Now I want a slice of that instead of bagel and schmear.

We came home and relaxed around the house. Well, I relaxed. They did some yard work. It was so encouraging to see the two eldest girls working together without complaining or griping. They helped each other and took to their tasks well. I just wish that my two kids could see it too. We will get there eventually…

That night, I earned my keep. I made them some Cajun rice, a meal that my family loves. Easy and flavorful and really cheap… a necessity at my house! Oh, and some how Barb and I got on the topic of lumpia, a Filipino spring roll type dish. (I love it, so much so that it was served at our wedding reception.) She said, “How do you know about that? Only Pilipinos make that.” (Barb is from the Philippines and knows all about it.) I told her that my mom learned to make it when she visited the Philippines while my dad was stationed there. Then we had a detailed talk about how I make mine and how she makes hers and how the kids usually get involved because it is fun when you make it a lumpia rolling party. (You can make hundreds at a time to freeze and eat later.) Then she made some to go with the Cajun rice. It was DI-VINE, dahling. Light, crispy and full of flavuh. (Now I want those instead of the pizza…)

And she introduced me to an amazing sweet chili sauce to eat with the lumpia. I always had them straight or with some soy sauce. I’m on the search to find it in KC. (No I haven’t found it yet, Barb, but I’m not giving up!) My family will love it, so I will find it. Oh, yes – it will be mine one day. Mwah ha ha ha… Okay, I’m getting a little carried away.

Something else that I loved about Sunday was the fact that it was so casual. No one was trying to impress anyone else. It was fun, relaxed and casual. We laughed with each other, teased each other and basically treated each other like family. I found some extended kin on the west coast. (But of course I wasn't smart enough to take a picture of them when I was with them! Sheesh...)

I’m already looking forward to the next time I can meet my sister Barb. Maybe next time I can take my family to make it a family reunion... with pictures and all the lumpia we can eat.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Before I was a Mom...

Before I was a Mom

This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.— 1 Samuel 1: 27-28

I came across this poem recently and thought it appropriate to share as we celebrate the remarkable women in our lives this Mother’s Day.

Before I was a Mom?
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Spit on.
Chewed on.
Pottied on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much love or so much pain before I was a Mom.
I never knew I would love being a Mom. — Author unknown
Thank you God for making me a mom and teaching me so much that I never knew about love.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Ice Cream Is Good For The Soul

**** This story isn't mine; I received it from an email. But I am posting it in hopes that we all remember the beauty of being a kid.****


Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great... Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer."

"Really?" my son asked.

"Cross my heart," the man replied. Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

The End.

Now the real question is how many of us are going for ice cream today with the kids? If you are, tell me what kind you're going to get.

Me? I would be Chocolate Fudge from Baskin & Robbins, anytime - every time.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are moms. May your day be filled with lots of love and laughter... and absolutely no dishes.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

TT 5

Twelve Reasons to not send your kids to California for College and one really good reason
(I mean, who would really study with this surrounding you?)

Cloudy, but beautiful!

Look at that view...

Hey, I can see my house from here!

Stopping to smell the flowers

Tennis anyone?

From the top of the hill...

Mel and the ocean view

I can almost taste the sea air.

Monkey Paws

View on a sunny day

Snails... need I say more?

Shady character like these...

And the one reason to go.....

Look at that single slice of cake! Now that's what I call a helping!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Needed Break...

And here is where I take a break from telling you about the trip for many reasons.

First it’s Works For Me Wednesday. You’ll like this one. Ready? It’s easy and most people can do it. Trust me if I can, then you can.

When I get home from a hard day at work, the house is a mess, the kids have homework, I’ve got more dirty dishes than the queen, and I can’t figure out what to make for dinner, I calmly pick up the phone and dial 913-648-8888. After conversing with a nice person for a few minutes, the world doesn't look like such a bad place after that. I usually do the dishes and help with homework at the same time.

20 minutes later, there is a nice piping hot pizza, with a delicious side of bone out honey bbq chicken wings of course, ready to be inhaled.

There. I hope it helps some other person in this mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world.

This leads to my second point. Last night right before I came home, I got a call from Mr. Right, stating that I am not to make dinner when I get home. No problem for me! You don’t have to tell me that twice. So I was thinking about where he was going to take us out to dinner while friends were setting up a surprise party in our home for when I returned. It had to be that because when I walked into the clean house on Saturday, Mr. Right said, “Don’t look in that corner. Where things are covered up. And don’t look at that box from my parents that might or might not have something in it for you. As a matter of fact, just don’t come into this room. Ever. Until later.”

So you see, I had a suspicion that something was going to happen. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one by me!

Since I got home before Mr. Right and I knew all these people were coming over, I decided to do the dishes that had been piling up since I got home. Pretty much every pan we owned was dirty either in the sink or on the stove. Hey – pans are Mr. Right’s job. It was written into our vows. “To have and to hold from this day forward… And I, Mr. Right, will scour all the pans. I’ll do a better job anyway and finding a dirty pan in the clean cupboard will drive me nuts anyway, so I solemnly vow to do the pans.” Just ask him.

Anyhoo, I thought I would be the good wife and clean up the pans perfectly. I started to do them, then I realized that the sleeves on my shirt would continually get in the way. So rather than just changing, I took it off just to do the dishes. Of course I'm in my "birthday top" because as you well know from here, I don't wear a bra unless my life depends on it. Smart thinking, I know!

About two minutes later, my son who had been playing outside, comes in. I slightly turn to tell him that he couldn’t come into the kitchen, just in time to see another person following him into the kitchen, holding a cake. I ever-so-politely urged the person who was only 11 to wait outside for a moment. Then I ran over and threw my shirt on, all the while yelling to my son not to let anyone else in!!! That boy became the most adamant door barrier I ever did see.
Everyone was let in, all went on splendidly. I did however completely detail what had happened to the parents. That boy may be in therapy later and will need to know who to blame.

Lastly, I posted some pictures of my first day and my friends across the country. Do you want to know what Barb said to me? I kept the email so that I would get it right.

Barb: I look so huge! You gals look mahvelous dahling!

Me: You do NOT look huge!!!! (unless you mean tall, and then the answer is yeah.)

B: I meant both!

Me: Don’t even try that… You are a runway model for sure. And I couldn’t see any fat on you and I stayed at your house and ate with you! Sheesh.

B: You are so sweet, but I didn’t wear shorts or anything like that either….runway model? I wish! I’d be making some serious dough! I’d have to pay them to be on their runway.

It went on to be silly after that, but I just couldn’t believe that Barb would feel that way about herself! I mean look at her. She’s tall and beautiful and thin!

So Barb, I’m doing this for your own good.

Dear sweet blogger friends, would you please leave a comment to Barb about how she looks to you?

A friend of mine sent me this email. I’ll finish with these thoughts so that we all can be reminded about how we should view ourselves.

And Barb, this one’s for you.

Someone will always be prettier.

Someone will always be smarter.

Someone's house will be bigger.

Someone will drive a better car.

Someone's children will do better in school.

And someone's husband will fix more things around the house.

So let it go, and love you and your circumstances.

Think about it.

The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.

And the most highly favored woman on your job may be unable to have children.

And the richest woman you know, she's got the car, the house, the clothes...might be lonely.

And the word says if "I have not Love, I am nothing."

So, again, love you. Love who you are.

Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say "I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!"


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

♫Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Wasting Time♫

Okay, I have a few seconds to work on this post, so I’m going to give you the first day of my trip.
Let me say here and now that I have slept since then, so I’m sure I won’t remember a lot of it… Which could be considered a bonus for you the reader. View it how you want.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with my doings, which really is a shame – come on! I mean don’t you know that I am the most important thing in your life right now? – I went on a singing trip to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. However, since my company’s home office is located in Santa Ana (Orange County – not to be confused with LA!!! – Barb’s and Hussy’s emphasis, not mine) and I have recently developed some fantastic relationships with some women at that office via emails and phone, I called Barb and basically said if she would lend me her couch, I would come out early and actually meet them face to face. I’d seen Barb's picture once, but not the real McCoy.

And she said YES! Woo hoo!

Now here is the problem with not actually knowing the person who is going to meet you at the airport. How do you hook up, especially when you aren’t smart enough to get her cell number or her home number prior to leaving home? And since the airports don’t allow people to meet their guests at the gate, we had to hope to meet at an undetermined spot somewhere in the LAX airport. You can tell that I am NOT a seasoned traveler… adventurous – yes; prepared – no.

When I got off the plane, I headed to baggage claim and I tried to call Mr. Right to have him look up her home phone via internet. No answer. So I tried my friend John – no answer, again. Okay, I won’t panic. I’ll find her eventually. Hey, that woman kind of looks like Barb; should I yell out to her? No she was walking with an agenda, plus she was with some cute guy. I called my friend Susan, basically telling her that I was completely using her and would she be so kind as to look their info up. Fortunately, Susan likes me. Still, I think…

I got the number and called their home, only to leave a message on a machine. Hmmm, now what? As I’m pondering whether or not I will ever get my luggage or if I will meet up with my friend and not be stuck forever at the LAX airport to live a life as a bag lady who only washes every so often in the lavatory and whose diet will consist on ketchup and mustard until I can get enough quarters from the cart return so that I can finally buy a very over-priced, crummy burger, my phone rings. One of Barb’s daughters bravely returned my call to give me her mom’s cell number.

I wouldn’t have to be a bag lady after all. Whew.

As I placed the call, the lady that I thought might be Barb but was with the cute guy, came back, searching for someone and was answering her phone. I smiled and waved. She had a look of relief on her face too. Made it… Next time, I’ll know to plan ahead.

On our way to their house, we chatted as if we had known each other forever. This included J- her husband. We talked about gas, food, driving, work, family, church, God… you know, all the good stuff. By the time we arrived home, I knew this was going to be a great couple of days. Relaxing and fun. Plus, I discovered that I wouldn’t be couching it after all; the eldest daughter graciously gave up her VERY comfortable bed so that I would have a room.

Side note: Barb and J have done a great job with their girls! They were well-mannered, courteous, fun, talkative and friendly. I felt like Aunt Sha by the time I had to leave. But I was the aunt who forgot to take their picture… Sheesh!

That night, Barb and I drove to pick up Hussy (who really isn’t one, but it’s a play on her last name). After missing her apartment a few times even though we talked to her a few times on the cell, we finally found her. We headed to the Rusty Pelican in Newport Beach for some of the world’s best seafood. Seriously.

Here is a picture of we three ladies out on the town. Barb didn’t shower that day so neither Hussy nor I were willing to sit by her. But since we were all Christians, we still loved her. (Look at how white I am compared to them... "Which one of these is not like the other? Which one of these looks like she hasn't seen the sun in a very long time?" That is how that song goes isn't it?)

A real restaurant with real tablecloths and real glasses and real silverware – wow! It’s so much different than our evening out at Long Johns Silver. And it tastes better too! And I can’t get that view in Kansas. Especially when I looked out and saw this man, who really has no business wearing shorts without a shirt, dancing in a boat, by himself. You go guy… away. Really, it was not a pretty sight.

For the record, I’m really bummed because I did an audio post from the restaurant. It was witty, it was fun, it was more that you could imagine anything I had posted being. Barb and Hussy were talking on it too. It was going to be my first interactive, “Live From OC, It’s Shalee” post. But alas, it was not to be. It was lost. Gone. Disappeared. Vanished into the thin blogosphere. I just hope it didn’t post on some guys’ post all about sports or car repair… Now that would be funny because it was as girlie as you would imagine it to be! Some poor schmuck is out there trying to explain to his wife why he has wo

And per f-stop’s advice, I am posting a couple of pictures that I think are magazine worthy. I could see them located among the many pages of Bon Appétit or Gourmet. F-stop said I should contact the restaurant and sell it to them for advertisement purposes. Not a bad idea.

I love this photograph! I really like how Barb is looking away and the light is hitting everything just right. The appetizer is a skewer of 3 different fishes (But mostly I liked the drink. Let me highly recommend the raspberry lemon martini the next time you are on the town. Yummy!)

This is shot of the crab cake they make. Délicieux! And I didn’t even like crab cakes. (I do now.)

They brought out calamari, and I flat out said no. But of course they talked me into it. It was wonderful – soft and fish-like, not chewy at all. If I could get that kind of calamari here, I would order it often. I’m not holding my breath for it here in the middle of the country.

After a fabulous dinner of King Salmon with Cucumber Salsa, I was stuffed. I couldn’t eat another bite. Until Hussy ordered the Chocolate Torte, which came straight from the oven with vanilla ice cream… Mmmmmmmmmmm, you just can’t beat steaming chocolate/fudgy cake.

Since we now were like barrels because we were gluttonous pigs, we drove to the beach and walked and walked and walked. We also talked and talked and talked. Of course it made a perfect backdrop for a photo op! So here are the ones we took.

That was a wrap for the first day. Long, exciting and everything I prayed that it would be. I can’t wait to go back to see them again, and of course to eat everything in sight. I’m blaming it on the sea air.


Monday, May 08, 2006

♫ Back to Life, Back to Reality ♫

Must…. Come…. Up…. For…. Air…. Too (gasp) much (gasp) work (gasp) to (gasp) do (gasp).

Don’t you just love coming back from a vacation to find all the work you missed and now need to do? That’s what I’m dealing with today (and probably this whole week).

I really don’t want to do this stuff; I’d rather be blogging. But since I need to eat too, work wins this round. I’ll just have to catch up as I can. And I look forward to it!

Loved the Audio Blogger… but not when it lost my posts. There were actually two more that I did that didn’t make it on the blog. And no, it wasn’t operator malfunction! I think they just had issues last week.

Oh, and I hate the way I sounded, all nasally and like I couldn’t get two thoughts together. I am putting it on the fact that I had a sudden intake of sea air and it just screwed up my brain! Really, I do know how to talk without putting “Ummm” in between each word.

Thank you to all the birthday greetings! It was a fun day. When Mr. Right called to wish me a happy birthday, he asked if anyone had wished me greetings yet. As I was standing in the campus Starbucks waiting to get my first coffee hit, I told him how I got my birthday salutations. I tapped the person in front of me and said, “It’s my birthday!” Then I got the birthday well wishes. See it’s all in the approach. (For the record, the person I tapped was in the group with whom I was singing. But knowing me, I would do it to complete strangers, too… Hey, everyone needs a little love now and then!)

I have to get back to work, but I am going to post at least on picture taken on my birthday. The lovely lady next to me is Melanie, the soprano who can knock your socks off! She was my roommate and fellow trouble maker. We totally had a rocking time!

Photo: Not too shabby for a 35 year old, huh? And that was one of the new tops that my friend Barb bought for my birthday. I love it!

Hopefully, I will be able to post some more pictures and tell you about some great series over the coming weeks!

If I can swim in the sea of work waiting impatiently for me…

(Mr. Right earned HUGE love deposits with me. I came home to a clean house, clean sheets and no laundry, plus he took me out to dinner when I finally made it home. That man had me at “clean house”!)


Saturday, May 06, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play


Thursday, May 04, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play


this is an audio post - click to play


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play


Day Three has come and gone...

Shalee here, reporting live from California.

Well not really live, but I'm alive when I'm typing it so that should count. For some reason, I can't get onto Audio Blogger, so I couldn't post yesterday. I know you were all waiting on pins and needles, but it couldn't be helped. Someone contact blogger and have them fix it will you? Thanks.

First let me send my love to my distant family. (For some reason, whenever I call, it is the worst possible time and no one can talk... I hope they aren't telling me something.) Mr. Right, I miss holding you and talking about anything and everything. It feels odd being without you. To my sweet girl, I miss your smile and your laughter. I really miss reading with you at night. To my handsome son, I miss your playfulness and your snuggles. I can't wait to jump on the trampoline with you again. Take care of each other and be kind to each other. Practice patience and pray when you want to really lay into each other! Hugs and kisses to you all. I'm thinking about you.

Okay, now onto the update.

Monday was a fantastic day. My company's home office is in Orange County (see I didn't say LA... I'm learning), so I went to visit it. It is beautiful! I met more people whose names I've seen on emails. It's really nice to have a face to go with a name now. While there, I totally brown-nosed my boss's bosses; don't worry, it was a complete joke and I had my boss' blessing. The big guys were laughing when I gave them their gifts and when I finished, so I think I'll still have a job when I get home...

Barb, Hussy and I went out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants - Chik-fil-A. We don't have them in Kansas, although that isn't completely true. There is one on the local junior college's campus, but it is a pain to get to, so for all intensive purposes, we don't have one in KS. (However, and this is really for Addie, I did here a wonderful rumor that they are building one in that new shopping area in Olathe, so maybe we can meet for chicken one time too! My dream of Chik-fil-A so close to home may come true...) Anyway, lunch was fabulous. I got my fix and had a wonderful time chatting with my friends.

We went back to work afterwards. (Work for me, after doing a couple of reports for my office, was blogging - hey I was on vacation... I don't think they'll fire me!)

My last night with Barb was relaxed and satisfying. I treated Barb by making dinner again. It wasn't too bad, not that I would say that about myself; it's what my friends say. (Think Emma with that line.) It turned out to be some kind of chicken stirfry. I just used whatever was available - a little of this, a dash of that ~ you know, making it up as I went along. Even the 5 year old twins liked it. Not too shabby.

Later Barb and I went shopping; I even enjoyed that! Shopping is not my thing. No money, no fashion sense, the crowds- all those lead to my not enjoying it so much, but being with Barb made it fun. And that girl can bargain shop like you can't believe and she has a great sense of style. She had me done up before we left the store! (And she insisted on getting me an outfit for my birthday. (This woman does not take no for an answer when it comes to birthdays!!!) So now I have a couple of trendy, "I don't look like a complete dork from Kansas" outfits to aid me here in California. I only hope my family will recognize me at home...

This morning, after saying goodbye to the family as they left for work and school, I have this full sense of gratitude and appreciation for the wisdom and love of God. How else can you explain the open welcome of a pseudo stranger by all family members into their home, the gifts of hospitality, kindness and acceptance, and the giving of themselves without hesitation? That is God's love being put into practice.

Let me know say directly to Barb, Jason and all the girls thank you for all of you being an open vessel for Christ. You all are great examples of Matt 25: 34-40. Thank you for feeding me, housing me, clothing me and overall taking care of me over the past few days without complaint or grumbling. Especially R1, you gave up your bed and still talked to me. You were so gracious and kind. Thank you! I am honored to call you friends, but more importantly, family in God's house.

Today I will be meeting up with Mel, the fantastically amazing singer. I know I'm here on her coattails and I couldn't be happier about it. Pray that I will meet up with her eat LAX - there's a frightening thought... Completely missing her when she arrives! Pray that we can be instruments for God's use. And especially pray that I won't make a huge fool of myself by singing watermelon over and over again. I'm totally relying on God to help me with the music!

Oh, and please pray that they get Audio Blogger working again, because I don't know if I'll get the chance to post again. (Hey, the Bible says to bring everything to the feet of the Father. That includes technological problems too!)

God bless you all, more vastly than you deemed possible.

I'll call in later if God answers with a resounding yes!