Thursday, January 31, 2008

Speaking Out for She Speaks

I cannot tell you why I started Shalee’s Diner. It actually was a misunderstanding from the start.

All I wanted to do was leave a comment on Antique Mommy’s blog. That’s it. But being a novice at all things blogging, I did not realize that she had hers set to “No anonymous comments,” and eventually I wound up, unbeknownst to me, creating a blog just to say, “You crack me up!” or something equally riveting or intelligent.

(But God knows why.)

I cannot pull out detailed charts explaining a defined plan for the future of Shalee’s Diner. I don’t really have a description that even accurately describes this place I call home. Some days I have funny stories about marriage or life. Some stories are frustrations or moments of stupidity (mostly on my part). Some posts are about the wonders or dumbstruck moments that come with having children. Some days are tidbits of insight that God has let me glimpse when I least expect it, either through His Word, a life lesson or a friend. Some stories are about how God has hit me over the head with a 2x4 to say “I’m in control here. Your job is to breathe.” And yet, other stories are just about things that make the essence of life – like pies and really good books.

(But God has a plan.)

What I can say is that, for some reason, God has increased my desire to be in the blogosphere, writing for others and writing for myself, getting to know those who are in this mysteriously inviting place. He’s made me want to know people who are thousands of miles away and others who are next door. Oh the comradarie, the encouragement, the wisdom from others, the humor of you funny people! 

I’m becoming increasingly aware that though we are not all the same, we are all His. None are perfect, yet we all have been deemed worthy of being loved and to love. What I thought I knew so resolutely, God is softening my stubbornness into an open, receiving, teachable heart. As I let Him, I’m finding more and more of His wisdom and how little I know about so many things. These last two items, my friends, are very good things.

(God can reach even the likes of me.)

For these reasons, I ask to be selected for the scholarship that Lysa TerKeurst at Proverbs 31 Ministries is giving away for the She Speaks Conference in Concord, North Carolina on June 20-22. In attending this life-changing, information-filled, three day conference, I hope to learn how to better express in writing what is on my heart (no matter the subject), how to become a better spokesperson for God - in my successes and (more likely) my struggles and how to be able to spin a yarn and have readers say, “Yeah, I get that. Boy, do I hear you, sister!”  

And if truth be told, I also want to go so that I can make faces at Shannon, Big Mama and BooMama while they’re trying to be all business-like and serious as the Blog Speakers.  Well, Shannon will be all businessy, but I think my showing up will give Melanie and Sophie a real, live example of "What Not To Wear... Or Do With Your Hair".  Heck, a run to Steinmart might even be in order once they get a good glimpse of me.

Getting them to crack a smile while talking to the crowd, now that would be like icing on this God-filled cake.  

Another reason I hope to be selected is that I'd like to bring my daughter for the Next Generation sessions of She Speaks Conference. The Girl is such a great example of “love with skin on” and has such a God-loving heart. For her to have these most excellent sessions so early in life (sessions that will encourage her, help her introduce Jesus to her friends and become comfortable/able to stand up for her beliefs that go against the norm) would be a gift that will keep on giving in the years to come. As a mom, I can think of no better thing for a daughter to learn, other than the true meaning of grace.

And lastly, to prove that I am in need of writing help, I can't think of a great way to wrap up this post.  Surely listening at the feet of others with a bit more experience will keep these moments in check...  well, mostly anyway.  

I'm just asking for help here, not a miracle.  But I'd take one of those too.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

WFMW - Just Let Go

Yesterday in the office, I was chatting with one of my coworkers.  (Basically, we were avoiding work at all cost, but we were socializing at the same time.  You'd totally want me working for you, wouldn't you?)  

Anyway, as we were talking, our landlord (who is a teddy bear of a guy and has been doing a lot of work throughout the building) opened the door with a fellow workman and had a hangdog look on his face.  I said, "Gaylord, I haven't talked with you in a while.  How are you?"  

"Oh.  You won't like what I have to say," he said.

"Are you turning off the hot water again?" I teased.

"No," he sighed.

"Are you turning off the power?" I asked, thinking it was awfully cold for him to do so, but hey, it gave me a legitimate reason to go home early!  (It was cold something fierce with the wind blowing and snow swirling.  I could really use a to day to read take a nap watch a movie to work at home.)

"No," he sighed again.

Then it hit me.  "Gaylord, did you hit my car?!"  I inquired.

"Yes, and I feel just so terribly about it.  Come and see it."

The driver's side had a scratched across four of the panels and the mirror was hanging on by a single wire.  He gave me a hug and said, "I'll admit to 100% fault here.  I just feel so badly.  I was trying to back into a parking space to fill the truck and while looking at the curb, I hit your car.  I'm just so sorry."

I turned to him and said, "Gaylord, I've got insurance.  I'm not going to worry about it.  It's okay."

He gave me his insurance card, stating that his insurance would pay for it all.  I ran in to make a copy of it.  When I came back out, Gaylord said, "Shalee, I just feel so awful about this. I can't tell you enough."

Sweetly I said, "Gaylord, you feel badly about it if you need to, but then you knock it off.  It's just a car.  Things can be replaced.  No one's hurt and that's all that matters.  It's really okay."

Seeing the look of disbelief and relief in Gaylord's and the other workman's eyes was worth every moment of not being upset, worried or frustrated.  I could see they were expecting anger, tears or emotions, but all they got was forgiveness.  You could tell that a weight had been lifted off their shoulders.  And I felt really good about doing that for them.

And it gave me a glimpse of what I look like when I experience the grace from God.

Head on over to Shannon's place for some excellent tips on how to make life a little easier.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finding the I in iPod

I saw this iPod meme at Clare's Dad.

I love how Darren describes this particular meme. "In this one, you use your iPod to generate random answers to questions. It’s kind of like Mad Libs meets the Magic 8 Ball."  That's just brilliant.  Not to mention that he got Clare to watch a bit of Star Wars by telling her that it had a princess in it.  That man is a parenting genius is what I'm thinking...

Here are the instructions:

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

(I answered these while sitting next to Mr. Right.  He will completely testify to the accuracy of the answers.  Mr. Right?

Mr. Right: She wasn't cheating.
Me: Thanks, Babycakes!)

I'm including my thoughts by some of the answers because to be honest, this meme had me giggling like crazy all the way through it.)

Q: What does next year have in store for you?
A: Take On Me by a-ha (If I have enough time and energy, you got it.)

Q: What does your love life look like next year?
A: Stranger To Myself by Jude Cole (Oh how true that will be!)

Q: What do you say when life gets hard?
A: I'll Dream Of You Again by Harry Connick, Jr. 

Q: Song that reminds you of good times?
A: Vibeology by Paula Abdul (Awkward, yet fitting)

Q: What do you think when you get up in the morning?
A: Who Am I by Casting Crown (Seriously, this one had me giggling enough that Mr. Right had to ask what it was that was making me laugh.)

Q: What song will you dance to at your wedding?
A: Painter Song by Norah Jones (The funny thing is that Mr. Right was an art professor when I married him.  He loved to draw, sculpt and - you got it - paint. Appropriate, no?

Q: Song that reminds you of your first kiss?
A: Mony Mony by Billy Idol (First dance more likely...)

Q: Your favorite saying?
A: All I Need by Jack Wagner (is a pay raise, is a nap, is a day to stay home and read, is a little more faith, is to lose a couple of pounds, is a date with Mr. Right - the list could go on and on... I really need to learn to be content.)

Q: Favorite place?
A: Mystify by INXS

Q: Most Missed Memory?
A: Water Music: Allegro-Andante-Da capo- Allegro No. 3 by George Frideric Handel (Strangely enough, I love this music.  I truly wish I could have been around when it was presented for the first time.)

Q: What song describes your best friend?
A: If It Don't Take Two by Shania Twain (HA!  It thought it fit.)

Q: What song describes your ex?
A: Here Comes the Big Parade by Harry Connick, Jr.

Q: Where would you go on a first date?
A: Let's Just Kiss by Harry Connick, Jr. (If that's not appropriate for my first date with Mr. Right, then I don't know what was!)

Q: Drug of choice?
A: The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and The News (Amen.)

Q: What song describes yourself?
A: How Great Thou Art by Hugh Robertson (I actually cried a bit from all the laughter that ensued from this answer.  I think it's a great answer, if I do say so myself.  Of course, You're So Vain by Carly Simon probably would have fit just as well.)

Q: What is the thing you like doing most?
A: Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain (reread this answer very slowly...  It made me hoot and holler a bit more than the previously Q & A...  Golly is that ever the most perfect answer!)

Q: The song that best describes the president?
A: Dive by Steven Curtis Chapman 

Q: Where will you be in 10 years?
A: King of Wishful Thinking by Go West (Much like I am now... I can't see that changing in the next 10 years.)

Q: Your love life right now?
A: Better Days by Faith Hill (Mr. Right looked at that song and said, "How sad!"  I looked at it and said, "Well, I read it as saying that you make them better days with you in them."  He liked the answer then.)

Q: What is your state of mind like at the moment?
A: Blue In Green by Miles Davis (I can't tell you how pleased I am with that abstract answer of a song.)

Q: How will you die?
A: Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of by U2 (Won't we all be. Won't we all.)

I have to tell you, this meme was probably the one with which I've had the most fun.  I tag you all!  Just let me know if you play along so that I can laugh at the way your iPod has you pegged too.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway - It's In The Bag

In case this is your first time at Shalee's Diner, let me share a few things about it first.  
Hi.  My name is Shalee and I'll be your server today.  As you can see from the profile, this place proudly serves "the same slop everyday."  From book reviews to life with kids to the occasional insight to God/grace/forgiveness/faith (usually by means of some stupid thing that Shalee has done) to the joys of marriage to ways to get an IT person to laugh and then actually fix your problem, it all gets served with a smile.
And, of course, being a diner, there's always pie. Because coffee and pie were just meant to be together.  Kind of like Mr. Right and me, but with whipped cream.  
Okay, okay... I know you're sitting there saying, "Just get on with the giveaway already!  There's other prizes to win out there with my name on it, so let's just move along..."
My giveaway is from Bath and Body Works.  It's a beautiful, fun tote that just screams "Spring!  Wherefor art thou, Spring?!  I am ready for someone to fill me with a book, a snack and all the other mommy junk that cannot be left behind so that we can sit in the sun and relish the rays!"
Let's let the beautiful and talented The Girl model it for you.

See?  Isn't she a beaut?  The bag's not bad either.  

Ummm, I have her enrolled in Big Mama's Fashion Fridays, but so far, the advice hasn't took... Poor girl, she's just like her mother...
(The Boy wanted to model it too, but Mr. Right said no.  I think he's realizing that the picture could come back to haunt him some day... oh around high school.)
Inside is a zipped pocket for all the candy bars that you don't want your kids to see.  On the other side are pockets - one perfect for a cell and the other one is perfect for your keys so you won't have to dig around for days looking for them at the bottom of the tote.  They thought of everything...
So if you want the tote, please leave a comment telling me three things you'll put in the tote.  I'll leave the drawing open until 11:59 PM Saturday, February 2nd.  Please make sure that I have some way to reach you if you're the winner - blog address, email, smoke signals... something that will let you know that the bag is yours.  If I can't reach you easily, I'll have the random number generator pick someone else, so please don't let stop you from winning.  The winner will be announced on Sunday, February 3rd sometime between church and the Super Bowl - but not after.  I'll be too busy watching the last game of the season.  (sniff)  But I have to say this now:  Go Giants!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Four (Or So) Things

Not long ago, Sister Honey Bunch tagged me for the memes of 4.  I kept thinking that it sounded really familiar, so when I went back to my archives, I found this post.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm going to just repost it* here.  It was ever so interesting to go back and read not only the post, but the comments as well.  Fun stuff... well to me anyway.

* with a few changes/additions/updates


Originally published March 10, 2006

I've been tagged. So here goes… if you feel comfortable doing so, post a comment giving answers about you because we all enjoy learning something about our buds!

Four jobs you've had in your life

  1. Development Officer at a college
  2. Barnes and Noble – made it to manager, then quit because they threw me in with no training and expected me to work like a dog for nothing and still make plan... best thing I ever did was quit - although I still miss being around and reading all those books!
  3. Executive Assistant (if I don't get fired for yesterday's posting...)
  4. Mom – longest held job to date (lousy pay, but the benefits are to die for!)

Four movies that you would watch over and over

  1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
  2. Return to Me
  3. A & E’s Pride and Prejudice (Six magnificent hours of a beautiful Jane Austen book... I usually watch it in 2 hour intervals over 3 days. I would go all six if everyone would leave me alone, but it's usually "Momma, Momma Momma" this or "Honey" that.)
  4. Philadelphia Story, When Harry Met Sally, While You Were Sleeping, Always, Better Off Dead, Sense and Sensibilities, The Matrix and anything by M Night (Okay, that is more than 4, but hey, it’s my blog – I can bend the rules if I want to!)

Four places you've lived

  1. Memphis, TN
  2. Bremerton, WA
  3. York, NE
  4. Overland Park, KS

Four TV shows that you love to watch (or used to watch)

  1. Moonlighting
  2. Law & Order (oldies)
  3. Cosby Show
  4. Greatest American Hero
  5. You Can’t Do That On Television – Nickelodeon (I loved it when they got slimed for saying “I don’t know”)
  6. Max Headroom
  7. The Tomorrow People – cool when I was a kid!
  8. Football in the fall, winter!

(Can you tell that I don’t watch much of anything in the present?)

Four places you've been on vacation

  1. Jamaica (honeymoon ~ Woo hoo!)
  2. Beaver Creek, CO
  3. Memphis, TN
  4. Florida
  5. Hawaii
  6. Smokey Mountains

Four websites you visit daily

  1. My blog… Hey, I still like seeing my name in lights (I'm sooo vain!! Besides, many of my links are there.)
  3. (Too funny to see what will be for sell next! They sell one thing all day. When it is sold out, it is sold out. They post something else at 12 AM CST the next night... unless of course there is a woot off! Then it's catch as catch can mayhem... I just want one of there bag o' crap... you'll have to visit to see why.)
  4. Antique Mommy , f-stop steve (great photoblog), Rocks in my Dryer… Just go down the list on the side of my blog. I need to update it because there are others that I visit that are saved in my favorites. 
(Yes to all the links above - well, except f-stop... f-stop WHERE ARE YOU?, but I would add Bloglines to my list too.  There are too bloggers to list that I visit daily, even if I can't comment on Blogger blogs - STUPID WORK FILTER!)

Four of your favorite foods

  1. Chinese
  2. Italian
  3. My homemade mac ‘n cheese
  4. (Most) Anything that someone else is buying!

Four places you would rather be right now

  1. home reading a book
  2. beach
  3. Italy – for a first time visit
  4. having a cuppa with Antique Mommy – (She probably thinks I’m deranged, but I could see just having such a great time in her company.) (I was totally right.  She is fabulous company that I hope to enjoy many times in the years to come.)

Five people I’m tagging

  1. Joyful Days
  2. Jean
  3. Maggie
  4. Ornery's Wife
  5. Laura

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hers For The Asking

One of the things I love most about my BBFF Kelli is that she has a heart of gold.  She trusts God so completely and has such beautifully visible faith that you can't help but see the light of Christ in her.  In all things she praises her maker and in all things she trusts that God has a plan.

The question I now ask is this:  Are you a part of that plan?

For you see, although Kelli has a heart of gold, her kidney is not.  It's trying to go kaput on her.   The long and the short of it is that Kelli needs a kidney from a live donor.  She's extremely hard to match, but she knows that with God, all things are possible.  

If you feel the need to give to Kelli in a number of ways - prayer, blogging about her situation, supporting her financially or even donating a kidney, would you please head on over to Kelli's place - Living In Grace - to find out more?  She gives an explanation of what is involved with the process if you're feeling the pull to give of yourself. 

There is a time for everything, even a time to help a friend (or stranger) in need.  And that time is now.

Operation: Find a Kidney for Kelli

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WFMW - Super Easy Super Bowl Pizza

Now anyone who knows me knows that I love me some football.  I love watching.  I love making calls.  I love yelling loudly enough that the team can here me from my living room.  

I coulda been a contenda... if I were a boy.  Stupid boys' club sport.  Hmph.  I can't even make it as a ref.  

Yes, I have issues.  But they really have nothing to do with this post.  So let's move on, shall we?

And if you're bummed, like me, that your team didn't make it to the final game of the season (sniff... final game!), then let me show you some stinkin' easy ways to showcase your favorite team(s) during the Super Bowl.  Your team might not be at the Super Bowl, but that's no reason they can't be at your party!

Just in time for the biggest pizza eating day of the year, Boboli has created some wonderfully easy pizzas for you to serve to all the fans.  They've created one recipe for each of the NFL teams and gave them fun names to boot.  Even if you know nothing about football, you can impress your mate with your football terminology!

Using Boboli crusts and Boboli sauce on two of the pizzas, my family made 4 different types of pizza and had I had all the ingredients when we started, I would say that all told, it would have taken us 30 minutes to make all four.  But that's just crazy talk, assuming that I would have all the necessary ingredients on hand.  So if you throw in the 45 minute trip to Walmart, where I waited in line for 25 minutes to check out (NOT A TYPO), then it took us more like an hour and 15 minutes to get it all done.  But here is where we're going to assume that a) you're more prepared than me or b) your Walmart has all lines open on a busy Saturday at noon.

We had to make the Indianapolis "Interception" Pizza (good old pepperoni, green peppers and onions), 

our Arizona "First Down" Fiesta Pizza (refried beans, taco meat, cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole - YUM!)

our Cleveland's "Bootleg" Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza (sauce with hamburger meat, real bacon bits, onions, dill pickles and cheddar cheese (my personal favorite),

and last, but not least, Washington's "In Bounds" American Apple Pie (oh my lands...  it was so good, I thought I might have to give up my apple pie... almost - sweetened cream cheese with sliced Granny Smith apples, brown sugar and cinnamon)  

On my personal "I'm letting go of  my angst against the Patriot's cheaterhead ways", I looked up the New England pizza.  There's no way on earth I'm forgiving them enough to eat a clam bake pizza.  I can forgive them, but I don't have to root for them and I don't have to eat their fair.  Yuck.

You can hit the for all the recipes if you're so inclined or you can go wild.  It's yourc call.

Oh, and as a last note, I made them all on the Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts.  I wasn't sure of it when I got them, but we're doing what we can to eat a bit better.  Seriously, no one in the family could tell a difference.  They were all just so delicious!  So now you have a choice in crust if you want one.

Hope y'all have a great time at your Super Bowl party, or if you're not a football fan (freak!), might I suggest a movie?  It's a perfect time since everyone else will be watching the game.  But don't see Alvin and the Chipmunks, whatever you do... trust me on that one.  That movie so did not work for me.

Head on over to Shannon's place to see some other truly fabulous ideas.

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A Wise Man Once Said...

I've been working my way through Proverbs at a slow pace lately.  I want to really let the wisdom of the words sink into my heart before charging on to Ecclesiastes.  Here are few things I've gleaned by taking my time:
  • I've always thought it admirable that Solomon asked for wisdom when God opened the entire world up to him from his bag of goodies.  He didn't ask for riches, fame or power.  He asked for wisdom.  I have to be honest; I'd have asked for either money or a sense of style.  They're both pretty close...  But when I read through chapter 4, it dawned on me why Solomon asked for wisdom.  His father, David, had told him these words when Solomon was a young boy: "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." (7)  No wonder he chose wisdom.  His dad already told him that it's the best, most important thing to have.  Which just makes me wonder: what am I telling my kids is important in life?  
  • Solomon has several verses that discuss the importance of not bringing disgrace upon one's father and tears to a mother's eyes.  See, even back then guilt was a mighty big motivator!
  • I used to have this verse on my college dorm room door: Prov 27:14 - If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.  Take that, you morning people.  Oh wait... that verse was totally talking to me.  I'm such a morning person.  I just think it's funny because I'm juvenile like that.
  • Because of the verse that says "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." (31:10), Mr. Right originally designed my wedding rings to hold rubies.  But after he looked at it, he didn't like it.  He chose emeralds instead.  I sometimes teased him that he found the wife with "a little less than noble character".  He hasn't laughed at that joke once yet...
  • Should I be worried that more of the "a foolish man" verses apply to me rather than the "a wise man" verses do?  Gulp.  I've so much still to learn...  

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Monday, January 21, 2008

March Of The Penguins

Look what came waltzing into our yard this weekend...

This one loves to eat fish... and pizza, loaded potato soup, chocolate chip cookies, asparagus, chili, fried chicken, kiwi, taco salad, roast and veggies, mandarin orange broccoli chicken, pickled beets, german cabbage, grapefruit, cornbread, homemade mac & cheese, cajun rice, espinaca and chips, roulade, lasagna, chicken enchiladas, cantaloupe, clam chowder, lima beans, hamburgers, tuna casserole, shrimp and noodles, hawaiian pork, chicken pot pie, stir fry, moo goo gai pan, steak, baked potatoes, strawberry chicken, quesadillas, grilled zucchini, watermelon, yogurt, guacamole, crab legs, yams, garlic string green beans, spicy thai chicken pasta, cinnamon rolls and, of course, sushi.

But not brussel sprouts.  Smart penguin, that one.

The penguin's brother? Not so much. Studies showed that if the food was green (except the kiwi) or if it has any look of being "different", it creates a sneering reflex before he ever sits at the table.

Yeah, he goes to bed hungry every now and then.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

One of the things I love, appreciate, adore about this wonderful world of blogging is the relationships that can be built via the web. I've already met some of the most precious women out there and I love that we're connecting on a real level, not the "oh you're such a wonderful writer how do you do it" basis, but a level where we can yell at each other over something silly, apologize and then know that we've reached new heights in acceptance and grace. A sisterhood where each can be herself and not feel embarrassment or shame. And where we can see each other in a bathing suit and not compare body parts – or lack of body parts in my case. These are some things that I think I was searching for when I started blogging; I just didn't know it.

Many bloggers I've not met (yet), but I know that if I need a good "come to Jesus" talk or a shoulder to cry on, they are there at a moment's notice. Sometimes they even call to talk with me for my maximum talk time. It's a situation that I love to reciprocate as well.

Just yesterday, Laurel Wreath needed such a vent time. I won't go into all the details, but she's received some bad news about a good friend (cancer), her church is still feeling the effects of a very disruptive sin, Wednesday was a restart day that led to her starting the day with a talk with a policeman and being locked out or her office – the office where she is the lone employee. Her email ended with her saying that she's not really feeling the presence of God right now.

Has any of us ever wanted a restart day? Oh my lands… I cannot count those days for there are many. I lost track at 4,268, and I'm not even to my college days yet!

Have any of us ever felt alone, even though we know that God Almighty is with us every step of the way? Loneliness, table for one, I say.

Have any of us ever spent time on our knees for someone else, hoping that God will answer our prayers our way? Kelli, anyone?

Knowing that I've been in her position time and time again, I wrote back to her, offering support as best as I could from 2,000 miles away.

Then I asked if I could use it for a post, and she gracefully agreed and approved it. Perhaps it will offer you some encouragement as you're making you're way through your turbulent days as well.

Oh LW… I'm so sorry for the turbulence that is disrupting your life and more importantly your walk with God. You should be proud (in a good way) that you and your man have kept it together for the past 14 years. Marriage seems to be a dying art form only because this present generation lived through horrible modeling and they have been fooled into thinking that sex and/or selfishness is the most important thing(s) in life.

Let this time of mourning be a healing time for you. God has so many things to teach you, but it is only through fire that gold is refined. The fire hurts and so does the shaping/pounding/hardening time afterwards, but what you will be in the end is a shining example of Christ.

You're not alone in feeling like a judgmental, sorry sinner. Throw in stubborn, mean and selfish and you'll have me to a T, too. But remember that with God NOTHING is impossible, even the changing of your (and my) heart. Remember that feelings have nothing to do with fact. God's words are fact, but we're foolish to judge his facts against our feelings which are changing, temperamental and irrational for the most part (at least mine are.)

Love you!


PS. I have to tell you that in the middle of responding to your email, I ran to empty the coffee pot of yesterday's coffee. When I returned to my office door, I found myself locked out. With no one here yet due to the snow, wrecks and extremely slow drivers out on the road. I sat on the stairs, which thankfully was inside but only bare-thread carpeted, and I thought of you and your post from yesterday. I totally get that sense of helplessness and frustrations of knowing exactly how to get in if only you had the right keys. Maybe God's showing us that we've got the right tools all along, but we have to make sure that we know where they are at all times, keeping them close to us so that we won't be locked out from feeling his love/grace/acceptance.

Oh, and my landlord walked up the stairs (he doesn't office here), saw me and sweetly let me in.  Sometimes God shows us that we need to let others help us when we've locked ourselves out. The keys are universal.

Or maybe I'm making too much out of it and he's just telling us to drink more coffee in the morning so that we won't do stuff like this anymore.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Do You Get My Meaning?

When I saw this one at Barb's, I knew I had to give it a try because honestly, I don't know what Shalee means either. I'm a mystery to be solved, an enigma to me pondered, a person who probably most people meet and thank their lucky stars that they're not me. Well, we all serve some purpose in life. That's one of mine.

What Shalee Means

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

I'll go with some of it, especially the part about my being friendly, charming and warm.  Okay the flaky and smart and suave fits pretty well too.  :)
But the bit about not resisting my urges to crush the weak? Classic Type A personality? Sexy?
Anh... it had me going for a while.  I'm going back to my original thought that Shalee is really Irish for idiot.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Saved By Computer Woes

Really, I don't know why that post published twice. Maybe Blogger is feeling a bit sorry for me and decided to give y'all double the fun... And I don't want to get rid of the first one because there's a great comment on it. So, for now, it stays.

It's rainy here. I'm tired. It would have been a perfect day for staying home, curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, and reading all the blogs that I want to read. Now that I think about it, wouldn't everyday be a good day for that?

Yeah, I need that job.

Speaking of job, as I'm sitting here in a Chinese food-induced coma, I figure that I would (hopefully) give Kelli another post on which to smile.

I hope she knows that every IT request I submit, I submit with her in mind. Especially if she's reading this drivel at 2 in the morning...

Submit (Incident # - ID1461275 ) Hallelujah! My scanning program has converted...

Problem Description - [(Shalee) -- 01/10/08 12:02 PM]

I noticed a change in my scanning program about a month ago, back when it was hanging out with some men with pamphlets and the Scanning Bible. Not long after this time, it left for a tent revival and it came back saving in a whole new way. Before this sudden conversion, it used to offer me all sorts of options as to how to save scanned documents, but now it only sees one way of being saved - through a tif. No other way is available in its mind's eye now. It's either a tif or else you go straight to h - e - double toothpicks. No PDF, no Word Document,
nothing. This is causing some complications between me and my fellow degenerates in this business world who can't open files eye to eye.

Would you please give my scanning program a good talking? I'm not saying it has to give up tiffs entirely. Everyone's entitled to their own viewpoints. But I need some flexibility or else I'm going to prove to it that there's a devil here who wishes she could wear Prada. Don't
let that fool you; I can be just as mean in Ann Taylor too.

I received a call in minutes regarding my problem. Ray laughed and said, "(Your IT requests) make me cry, Shalee. I mean that in a really good way."

Upon his fixing the problems (I don't know what he did, but I watched him open all sorts of windows and click all sorts of things. I know - I'm an IT wizard, aren't I?)

His closing description to my submittal?

Work Description - [Close Description]
[Closed by Ray -- 01/10/08 01:26 PM]
the devil received prada - thus working correctly now

Did you notice what I noticed?  I think I'm doing good deeds all over the company when our IT department responds with humor in kind.  And the angels in heaven rejoiced!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Does Any Sane Person Do When Her Head Is As Full As A Balloon?

Why go on a field trip with 70 kids, of course.  Right?  Right?

Well, it's what I did, but only because it's been in the works for over a month now.  And The Boy was SO. EXCITED. THAT HIS MOM WAS GOING TO RIDE THE BUS WITH HIM TO A REALLY FUN PLACE!!  

Who can let a measly battle of the sinuses interfere with that kind of enthusiasm?  Not me.  I'm a mom and I can do anything - even if I have a broken leg, two broken arms, a bout of flu and migraine.  That just the way moms work; they get through anything.

Well there was that one time when I was a dorm mother, and I caught mono from someone in that building.  I desperately wanted to get to my mom's place so that I could give her my then 4 year old and seven-month-old and just curl up into a ball and die a slow painful death, but even then I made the solo 17 hour tip to Texas - straight through.  And trust me, I thanked God the entire way that my kids were amazingly good.  Then I thanked God that my folks took the kids and then let me sleep until I came out of that mono-induced fog.  Then I thanked him for letting me live rather than listening to my "curl up and die" nonsense.  I didn't thank him when I had to change the first "blowout" that my son saved for my return to wellness.

My point is, I think, that we moms are pretty tough and we do a lot of things that can't be done by a normal person because by being mom, we're given special super powers that helps us keep going.  God did that by design, I tell you; if he didn't, then the house would fall apart, kids would starve and husbands would be driven crazy with all the work that they would now have to do.  

I'm just telling it like it is.  Can I get an "Amen!"?

Anyway, I had this day off from work so that I could go on this field trip with The Boy.  I went.  We had fun.  See?



More fun!

We came back.  I got in the car and drove home, only to discover when I pulled into the driveway, I have a very flat tire.  Yeah, not so good.

So I sit here waiting for the tow truck to come change the flat to a spare so that I can spend my afternoon at a tire store getting a new tire and then going to a doctor's appointment.  So much for my intended blog-reading time, a nap and much needed trip to get my Chik-fil-A fix before the doctor's visit.

Sigh.  I'll just consider it an enjoyment that is just being deferred for the moment.  Hey, the tow guy just showed up...

So since I won't be catching up anytime today, will you share a bit of what's going on with you?  If you're a mom, I'd really love to hear how you're a Supermom too.

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What Does Any Sane Person Do When Her Head Is As Full As A Balloon?

Why go on a field trip with 70 kids, of course.  Right?  Right?

Well, it's what I did, but only because it's been in the works for over a month now.  And The Boy was SO. EXCITED. THAT HIS MOM WAS GOING TO RIDE THE BUS WITH HIM TO A REALLY FUN PLACE!!  

Who can let a measly battle of the sinuses interfere with that kind of enthusiasm?  Not me.  I'm a mom and I can do anything - even if I have a broken leg, two broken arms, a bout of flu and migraine.  That just the way moms work; they get through anything.

Well there was that one time when I was a dorm mother, and I caught mono from someone in that building.  I desperately wanted to get to my mom's place so that I could give her my then 4 year old and seven-month-old and just curl up into a ball and die a slow painful death, but even then I made the solo 17 hour tip to Texas - straight through.  And trust me, I thanked God the entire way that my kids were amazingly good.  Then I thanked God that my folks took the kids and then let me sleep until I came out of that mono-induced fog.  Then I thanked him for letting me live rather than listening to my "curl up and die" nonsense.  I didn't thank him when I had to change the first "blowout" that my son saved for my return to wellness.

My point is, I think, that we moms are pretty tough and we do a lot of things that can't be done by a normal person because by being mom, we're given special super powers that helps us keep going.  God did that by design, I tell you; if he didn't, then the house would fall apart, kids would starve and husbands would be driven crazy with all the work that they would now have to do.  

I'm just telling it like it is.  Can I get an "Amen!"?

Anyway, I had this day off from work so that I could go on this field trip with The Boy.  I went.  We had fun.  See?



More fun!

We came back.  I got in the car and drove home, only to discover when I pulled into the driveway, I have a very flat tire.  Yeah, not so good.

So I sit here waiting for the tow truck to come change the flat to a spare so that I can spend my afternoon at a tire store getting a new tire and then going to a doctor's appointment.  So much for my intended blog-reading time, a nap and much needed trip to get my Chik-fil-A fix before the doctor's visit.

Sigh.  I'll just consider it an enjoyment that is just being deferred for the moment.

So since I won't be catching up anytime today, will you share a bit of what's going on with you?  If you're a mom, I'd really love to hear how you're a Supermom too.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Interwebs: The DSL Has Landed… In A Brain Cloud

We finally are connected to the web, all legal like and all. Of course the first thing we did was to make sure that no one can piggyback on us… because we’re giving like that.

And in honor of finally having internet all to ourselves, what did we do? We ignored it all weekend. Because it was so absolutely important to us to have it. Yeah, we’re really messed up around here, but hey! At least I’m in good company.

I’m suffering through the worst case of an elephant sitting on my sinuses; I’m just going to give you a quick rundown of the weekend and then crawl back under the coverage of my Benadryl-induced brain cloud. I just hope that I have enough of a break of clear-headedness to make it readable.
  • The Girl spent the night at a friend’s house.
  • Since The Boy earned all 2’s and 3’s on his report card (our school system works on levels of proficiencies rather than letter grades) in subject matter and behavior (this is a biggie because he had lots of 1’s – needs to improve in the social/classroom behavior area), I offered to take him out to eat as a reward for this excellent improvement. He requested to watch a couple of Ben 10 episodes rather than eat at Chik-fil-A. I don’t know whose child he is. I totally wanted Chik-fil-A, but I figure giving him a reward he wanted would have been a better option. So I let him watch the show and made Barb’s French Onion Soup instead. By the way, YUM! (But I’ll take the time to slice real onions next time, Barb.)
  • Mr. Right and I watched The Thin Man, a favorite of ours. If you’ve not watched this classic movie or better yet, the entire collection, then I highly recommend it to you, but only if you love great bantering, a good mystery and character who will make you laugh out loud. If these qualities don’t appeal to you, then I have some Benadryl that you can take to go along with your sense of humor. Hey, everything seems better when you can’t think straight.
  • After going to bed at 11 PM, I awoke wide awake to the bright, cheery time of 2 AM, which if I think about it is neither bright nor cheery. It was rather depressing actually. But, at least I found some much needed read time. Because you all know that I NEVER have a chance to read. I could have done some much needed house work, but who wants to work on the house when you can sit on the couch and read until your child gets up at 8 AM to ask for some breakfast. (Oh I kid. I did the dishes and started the dryer to de-wrinkle the clothes, only to forget about them again. I’m such a great housekeeper.  Plus, I prayed for Kelli who suffers with this nonsense every stinkin' day.)
  • We piled in the car to get donuts only to find that our favorite donut shop closed down. If I wasn’t emotional before, I was now. What is this world coming too when you can’t get quality fried dough covered with chocolately sugar or the world’s finest specimen of apple fritters? This was turning out to be the worst day of my life and it was only 8:30 in the morning…
  • By 10:30 AM, I was a grump barely on two feet, so I did something I never get a chance to do: I unplugged every phone in the house, told The Boy that to watch Ben 10 (again) and that if he wakes me up for anything other than death, he would soon experience it. Slept for a hard, solid 1 ½ hours and became a human being again. Whew – from everyone in the house.
  • After running to the stores, I did a mighty fine impression of a couch potato as I watched the Packers wail on the Seahawks.
  • We had our friends who are on furlough from their mission work in Africa come over for dinner that night. We’ve missed them so much! It was great to sit and talk, play games (Swap and Clue – the girls totally rule at that game!) and just enjoy being around them again. It was as if 2 years had not even passed. The funniest part that we noticed separately was that Emily and I sat and enjoyed the football game while Mr. Right and Jason sat in the kitchen talking about recipes and cooking. We’re so backwards, but it totally works with us.
  • Sunday brought church and more football. I loved the preaching that Jason did for our congregation that morning – very open and God-led. The football? Not so good. My poor Colts are out of the playoffs. Sigh. I’ll still watch, even if it means that it may be the unbeaten Pats against one of the remaining teams. (By the way, I made a decision to quit dogging the Pats. It was a grudge that had settled in my heart that needed to be kicked out. I know it’s football and that in the whole scheme of things it’s unimportant, but when I found myself nursing it for all it was worth, I realized that I wasn’t letting God have all of my heart. So I officially declare that I am making a great effort in refraining from insulting the cheaterhead Patriots… oh man, do I have a lot of work to do. Y’all might want to offer a prayer or 20 on my behalf about this matter…
  • To honor The Girl for her getting on Honor Roll (she had to ask what Honor Roll meant), we took her out for sundaes from B&R, by way of Chilihead. Thanks Melanie for the coupon! We were all happy with our Sunday afternoon treats.
  • I found myself in bed at the unheard of hour of 8:15 PM. I couldn’t keep my eyes open or my head straight with the battle that was being fought in my head. Sinus pressure, groggy, blow, sinus pressure, groggy, blow… ugh.
So now I’m sitting at my desk, trying to get my fingers to type and my head to wrap around some work that I’m supposed to be doing.

Check please, from the table of pity party for one.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

The Good Guy

You know what helps to get someone back into reading? I mean besides no internet access. That’s a given.

What I need is A. Really. Good. Book. Something that will pick me up, throw me over its shoulder and say caveman-style, “Hold on, woman. We go on adventure. Make you not stop reading til end.”

Did I find one that tossed me like a ragdoll? Oh boy did I! The Good Guy by Dean Koontz is a great ride all the way.

Koontz happens to be one of my favorite authors. Odd Thomas (and series), Lightning, Life Expectancy, Fear Nothing, Watchers: These books (and others) keep me coming back for more. More suspense. More heart-pounding scenarios. More extremely likable characters. More excellent bantering between them. All of it makes me pick up his books because I know that I’m going to be satisfied after reading one of his books.

This time was no exception. How does this scenario grab you?

A guy walks into a bar.

No Wait! It’s not a joke! It’s really how the scenario begins. Come back!

Thanks. (Whew.)

Let me rephrase it: “Good Guy” Tim Carrier is sitting in a bar. He’s a regular there because his longtime friends own it. It’s his home away from home only because he knows it’s a place where he’s welcomed, appreciated, loved. Another guy walks into the same bar, and suddenly Tim finds his ordinary, unnoticed life interrupted by a bizarre conversation, during which he's handed an envelope full of money and kill instructions intended for a contract killer. Confused, Tim watches as the man leaves... only to be replaced, minutes later, by the real hit man. Removing the target's photograph and address from the envelope, Tim attempts to call off the kill by posing as the “buyer” and telling the assassin that the deal is off, the killer is to keep the money as a courtesy and he is to ignore the murder request. Not wanting anyone to get hurt, he sets out to warn the intended victim – Linda Pacquette – and to keep himself alive because he knows that after deceiving the man who gave off the vibes of evil in an expensive suit, he had put himself on the killer’s to-do list.

What follows is a classic cat-and-mouse chase/thriller. Tim and Linda must use all of their stamina, experiences and intelligence to stay barely one step ahead of the arrogant, all-knowing assassin; he seems to almost magically anticipate Tim and Linda's every move. To add to the suspense, Linda can think of no reason why she is a target for a contract killing. She has no known enemies, and she lives her quiet life as a writer, with a love for most things from the Golden Age and her 1939 Ford.

Koontz is exceptional at driving a story, giving just enough information to confuse you, yet laces with enough hope and intrigue to make you keep turning the pages. As an aside, this storyline involves no supernatural plot and no “gifted” characters. It’s good vs. evil. It’s smarts-against-smarts, with organized help on one side and fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants help on the other.

The writing is excellent, very original and detailed without being dry or overbearing. The characters are full of life and vibrancy, while appearing real and like the “person-next-door”. The humorous banter that a reader comes to expect from the mind of Koontz is top-notch. Of course, I love quirky relationships. Just look at Mr. Right and me. Enough said on that matter.

If you’re looking for a fabulous read from a gifted author, I highly recommend The Good Guy. It’s an energetic read that may just pump some much needed blood into your reading life. Oh, and I love that Linda is named Linda because the real Linda Pacquette won the honor of having a character named after her in an auction benefiting Canine Companions for Independence. I’m just so glad for her that he chose to make her one of the good guys. Knowing Koontz, he could have done all sorts of fun or wacky things with a character by that name!

How did you do yesterday? What did you read? Were you in withdrawal or were you like me reading a few blogs on the sly?

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Aha! Caught In The Act!

What are you doing here?! Did you not understand that today is the Day to Read

Now leave a quick comment that you’ve been properly chastised and what reading material you are picking up to peruse. Then I’ll know who to pretend not to see when I’m leaving comments at the other blogs too.

But hey, I’m still reading a book. You’ll hear all about it in my review tomorrow…

Happy reading (and incognito surfing)!

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

WFMW - Valentine's Day

Welcome to the reversed WFMW at Shalee's Diner.  I love these days because it's the one day when I get to take a booth and ask you to take my order.

My request this time is to ask what you think is a fantastic Valentine's day gift for a 41-year-old, romantic hunk of burning love.  (He'll kill me for that last sentence.  He has enough of a problem not turning eight shades of discomfort from my imposed title "Mr. Right".)  

Give me your top suggestions because this year my brain will not cooperate with me and I'm drawing a big old ________!

Oh, and while you're at it, would you mind bringing me coffee and a slice of that apple pie?  The big piece because I'm hungry after all this hard work.

Now head on back to Shannon's, aka World Traveling Superstar, to help some others out too.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What A Perfect Week For This Cause - Fixed!

DAY TO READ campaign

Jen at Something to Say: Life in the Netherlands and Allison at Soccer Mom in Denial are launching this wonderful reading cause. Click here to find out how you too can sharpen your mind while still ignoring housework.

It's all about priorities here people. It's all about priorities.

I'm in. How about you?

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Interwebs: I Have A Problem

Well, it’s not really a problem per se. Well, no it is, but it’s one that can be remedied in a day or two and a little cash.

So here’s where I totally come clean and tell you what a thieving blogger I am. Forgive me, webfriends, for I have sinned.

You see, when we moved into the house a couple of years ago, we had every intention of getting DSL. We were all set for it. We had the number on the to-do list, but we hadn’t gotten down that far because you know when you move into a house, you have no energy to anything other than try to convince your better half that he is the one who is supposed to call out for Chinese food because your body hurts more than his and you can’t possibly do anything other than eat and watch a movie.

And as we pulled out the laptop to watch some mindless movie when we really should be putting food in our pantry and finding our bathroom bag that had the toothbrushes because despite the exhaustion of a move, bad breath will does not take a vacation, we discovered to our surprise that we had internet access already. What that really meant is that we were piggybacking on someone’s wireless router. And since we were really feeling the crunch after a move (did you know that it’s expensive just to move across town?), we thought why buy the services now when we can wait a couple of months when whoever has the wireless blocks us from it?

And so we waited. And used the internet. And waited. And used the internet. (Rinse and repeat for 2 ½ years.)

But lo' and behold, we came back from our Christmas trip at Grandma’s house to discover that someone got some firewall security for Christmas. And we have no internet access from home. Bummer.

So as I’m stopping by the library just so I can post, I’m just telling you that posting may be a bit scarce over the next few days while we decide which service is best for us. But who knows? I might just swing over to McDonald's on my lunch break just to keep you on your toes!

Oh, and it’s also the reason I’ve not been at your blogs in a while. I’m not ignoring you. I’m just immobile for the moment. I am reading you on my breaks at work, but if you’re on Blogger, I’m blocked from your comments. Darn work filters!!! It's as if they expect one to actually WORK there... What is this world coming to?

But don’t you worry your pretty little heads about us. We’ve seen the errors of our ways and we won’t do it again… unless when we move, we find the same cheap deal at our next house. (Just kidding! Sheesh, don’t you all start ragging on me in the comments section; well I guess you can. I won’t see it for the next few days anyway…)

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

It's Play Time!

Did you get enough game time in over the holidays? If you’re like me (which if you are, I’m very sorry), then no! Of course you didn’t play enough! So let’s play a game of Scattergories on the interwebs.

Don’t know how to play Scattergories? It’s as easy as eating pie. Use the first letter of your name (or blog name if you’re mysterious that way) to answer each of the following categories. They have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same first initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Ready? Let’s go! (If you decide to play, send me your link so that we all can read your answers. If you don’t have a blog or you don’t want to play in the blogosphere, post your answers in my comments. I don’t mind my comments being a place for fun!)


What is your name? Shalee

4 letter word: Soap (which should be used for those of you who thought of a not-so-nice different one!)

Vehicle: Streetcar

City: Stockholm

Boy Name: Sebastian

Girl Name: Sierra

Occupation: Sleuth

Something you wear: Sure (or something like it, we hope...)

Celebrity: Steven Spielberg

Food: Strawberry Shortcake

Something found in a bathroom: sanitary supplies

Reason for Being Late: Spur of the moment s*x (take that one both ways - Tee hee hee)

Cartoon Character: Smurfette

Something You Shout: Supper’s ready!


Well, Mr. Right and I have the blessing of having a night without the kids, so while y'all play the game, we're gonna work on the Reason for Being Late. Too bad we don't have anywhere to go tonight...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Since Judi Asked...

So Judi already asked the first question of the new year. "Now my very important question is what are you reading now, and what do you plan to read in 2008?"

Well Judi, I only have a few books that I'm in presently. They are Proverbs, The Late Hector Kiplinger, Calpurnia, Peter and the Starcatcher (reading it with my daughter) and Sweetie Pies.

I know, I know. So few for me. But if you want me to be completely honest, I'm just not in a huge mood to read right now. This mood prevails over me a few times each year; it just so happens that you asked when I'm in one, Judi. Too bad for me.

But (and after this holiday eating season, I do have a big one!) I have a few books that I can't wait to devour when the feeling hits me again.


The Kite Runner (Actually I didn't have a bit of interest to read this one until I received several comments telling me that I really need to read this book.)


Welcome To The World, Baby Girl

The Documents in the Case

Cold Sassy Tree

Bridge of Sighs

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers Home in New England

Another Jodi Picoult book, tbd

Those are just a few on my list, whenever my need to read kicks back in. It will be going strong soon enough, I'm sure.

So since I'm just making my list, what have you read, recent or not, that I must have on my list?  What new books have you seen that look like they just need to read?  Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi(s) - You're my only hope (to know books that I should read.)


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Day One

Well, it seems that my mind wanted to take a break, even if I hadn't planned one. I just couldn't get myself to blog this time. 

We've been very busy since we returned home last Saturday.  Oh and by the way, no kids were harmed in the making of the trip home.  They actually were really nice to each other as we traveled.  Whew.  

After unloading all the Christmas loot and putting everything away, shopping for food since we had no staples after being gone for a week, planning for a New Year's Eve party at our house with some friends and then shopping for it, cleaning (because - good night!  People are coming over to my house and I need to clean every bathroom in the house!), making a batch of these delicious cinnamon rolls for the company on New Year's morning and making the meal for the night, I just didn't have much time or energy to do much else.  I've decided that I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.  But everything has been worth all the effort.

New Year's Eve was a blast.  We had our traditional party which is with our friends the Brocks and other families who rotate in and out each year.  We have a theme that works for us all: the boys play games all night and the girls watch chick flicks and drink frou frou drinks that I create.  It's a win-win for us all.  

FYI: My new creation this year was a shaken mix of melon liquor with pineapple juice and crushed ice, drain into a martini glass and drizzle Razzmatazz around the edges of the glass.  Yum!  

While the guys played Monopoly, we girls watched Hairspray (fabulous the second time around) and then Music and Lyrics, which really surprised me.  I really liked it despite my preconceived notions about it.  For some reason I decided beforehand that it was a crummy movie, but it was really funny and had some hilarious lines.  Hugh Grant played his part perfectly, signature hip moves and all. (At one point in the movie Grant said that his dance was used to attract women.  Mr. Right, who was in the kitchen getting coffee, ran in and said, "Oh yeah?  Here's my dance that I use to attract women."  Then he proceeded to dance the most linguini-like white man's dance you ever could see.  After recovering from my laughing fit, I ran into the other room to give him kisses.  Hey, his moves work on me.  What can I say?)

Today has been full of eating good food, talking with friends, football and a good nap.  I'd have to say it's been a great day over all. 

Happy 2008 to you all!  May you see all the ways that God blesses you in this coming year.

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