Monday, March 31, 2008

Sakes Alive - I'm Ready for Monday

We had one of those weekends what was so busy that it's kind of a relief to get to Monday! I'm tired, I'm sore and I'm poorer than I was on Friday, but I'm glad to be breathing.

Friday night the kids and I watched Bee Movie. It was cute and I really do recommend it, but I didn't think it was as funny as all the actors did. (Well, Patrick Warburton's character really made me laugh, but that's because he's Patrick Warburton. I'd like to have that guy for a best friend because he could say "pea soup" and I'd find something about which to chuckle.) Mr. Right stayed downstairs to take in some more March Madness.

Saturday was a race from the get-go. We had a Pancake Breakfast at our church to meet the new Youth Minister and his family, who will be arriving from Stillwater, OK in June. They seem like really nice people. When wearing my Shantih jersey (from my college days), he stopped me and said, "Did you go to Harding?" As it turns out, he was at Harding the same year that Mr. Right was there. (He didn't stay, but really, I can't say much because I didn't either. I moved to be close to Mr. Right. But just for the record, I would have stayed if it weren't for that whole love thing we had going on.)

Next stop, I needed to pick up a gift for a friend's birthday party that night. She was turning 40, so I wanted to get her something I thought she would enjoy. We headed to a bookstore, of course. So naturally we spent an hour's time perusing the store. By the time I left, the quick $10 gift turned into $30. We got something for everyone, even if Mr. Right doesn't know what his something is yet. (tee hee)

We ran to grab some sales at the grocery store and eat lunch, but then it was off to Skate City for the LTC (Leadership Training in Christ) wrap-up party. I wasn't planning on skating, but what do you say when your girl looks at you with sweet eyes and begs you and her daddy to skate with her? So we went skating as a family. For two hours straight. With lots of other kids. And it was totally worth it. It was worth it for the shear joy of watching others fall on their tushes and for the rockin' music. (But I didn't. I was too smooth of a skater for that.) We laughed, had fun, exercised and did the Chicken Dance. What could be better? Oh and we found out that they do a Retro Skate Night. We'll be partaking of the skating to the 80's soon, I can assure you of that! I keep forgetting how much I enjoy going around and around in that rink, gliding along to all sorts of music. It's a great way to get the body moving and to hold hands with ever family member at some point!

Next up was the LTC Awards ceremony. It was wonderful to find out how all the kids did in their events. The Girl received gold metals in 5 events, silver in one and a bronze in another. (When she started to comment on the bronze, I just reminded her that she totally earned it because really, she just slapped something together. If I were judging that event, I would have given her a "Participant" level. the bronze started looking pretty good to her after that. Hey, maybe she'll try harder next year. (I don't fall into the "But my child is perfect and deserves a gold for breathing!" mothering category. She'll never try harder unless she accepts the consequences for her laziness is the way I see it. I did, however, give her a gold in Signing for the Deaf - yes, we judged her because we didn't teach her. She didn't do it perfectly, but she did really well. She forgot to do a small part of her introduction, but after that she aced the signing fluently. Oh and there were a total of three judges. One of the judges gave her a gold as well, but her father (!) gave her a silver. Hmph. who's the tough parent now.)

After all that, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and went to the birthday party. I was really glad we didn't bow out. For some reason, out of the 30 people who said they were coming, only about 10 showed up. I felt so badly for our friend, but she didn't care. She said that all she wanted was a small gathering of friends to celebrate with her and to play some games. So we did. And my team totally got our trash hauled out to the curb by the other team. That Laura. she totally wailed at Taboo. (Jenni, in case you didn't hear, your team won by a landslide!)

What did we do after the party and getting the kids to bed? More March Madness, of course! (Well, I read and then went to bed.)

Sunday, we woke to The Boy having a good cough. No fever or anything, just a good, nonstop cough. We medicated him, when to church and then found that the medicine didn't do a thing for him. One person came up to Mr. Right and suggested that we get him to a doctor right away. Y'all, it's a cough. I think it's allergies, really. We'll see how it goes before I shell out good money just to hear, "It's a cough. It will pass." We kept the boy home after church. He said he was tired, but he couldn't sleep. So he rested for the afternoon. We gave him some Children's Nyquil and that helped him sleep last night.

As a last minute date which started around 9 PM, Mr. Right and I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. We loved it. I don't know what all the booing was about it when it came out. It was fluid with the other movies, and it was full of wit, action and had a great ending to each of the story lines. We've learned to forward to the end of the credits because often directors will slip in some additional closure that the audience will miss if they turn it off at the credits. We were glad we did this time as there was a sweet little nugget at the end.

So that's my weekend. That's why I was really glad to have Monday roll around. Maybe I'll actually get some rest now that I'm here. What about you? Were you sad to see the weekend end or were you like me - ready to get back on schedule?

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Cold Sassy Tree

Do you want to read a delightful book that is chocked full of wit, humor and valuable life lessons? Then I whole-heartedly recommend that you read Cold Sassy Tree. Olive Ann Burns wrote a doozy of a book, just as she turned 60. (She wrote it as a way of dealing with her cancer. Talk about taking something painful and turning it into something good... It seemed very therapeutic, not to mention worthwhile for the readers! Many of the characters and much of the wording are based on events from Olive Ann Burns' grandparents and life.)

Written from the viewpoint of 14-year-old Will Tweedy, this tale really centers around Will's grandpa, Rucker Blakeslee, while incorporating some true Southern living in the early 1900's. It's full of colorful Southern phrases, realistic events and genuine emotions from a host of characters.

The story begins with Grandpa Blakeslee, quick as lightning, marrying Love Simpson, a (much) younger woman who works in his mercantile store. Now normally this wouldn't be an issue, but since he went and hitched her only three weeks after Mattie Lou Blakeslee, his wife of 36 years, passed way, this is a major faux pas in all things Southern and appropriate. Oh the scandal! Oh the uproar! Oh the horror for his two daughters and their families who will have to face the town after such a bold and unloving move by Blakeslee. When questioned about the rightness of such a decision, Grandpa Blakeslee remarks that while he loved Grandma for many, many years, he sees no reason to wait a year to remarry, because "she's as dead as she's ever gonna be, ain't she?" and stomps off.

So begins an emotional rollercoaster ride for the entire family, with all of Cold Sassy looking on in enthrallment and dismay. The story is animated, hilarious and heartwarming; it has been called "the most realistic portrait of a small town in the early 1900s ever written." Not shying away from any touchy subjects, Burns ventures into town gossip, life and death, marital relations, social constraints, family ties, true love, politics, anger, envy/jealousy, modern technology and how people can keep their promises even when it hurts.

You will find yourself laughing over some of the most brilliant lines and nodding in agreement with others. Here are just a few examples of lines that caught my fancy:

I better go now, but I ain't never go'n forgit you and please don't forgit me, Will.

We can ast for comfort and hope and patience and courage . . . and we'll git what we ast for. They ain't no gar'ntee thet we ain't go'n have no troubles and ain't go'n die. But shore as frogs croak and cows bellow, God'll forgive us if'n we ast Him to.

And my favorite:

Lord, forgive me for fittin' thet man, even if'n I had it to do over agin I'd hit him harder.

Read this charmer of a book. I sincerely believe that you won't be disappointed. It's so good, I'm going to get a copy to stay on my bookshelf. If that isn't an endorsement, then I don't know what is!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Role Reversals

I don't know why, but I'm just so tired. Around 3 PM, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Unfortunately, I was at my desk at work, so no nap for the weary. I don't feel sick. I don't think I'm coming down with anything. I'm just tired, which is odd considering that I've had great, uninterrupted sleep for the last several days.

I think it's this crazy weather. It's a beautiful 74° one day; then a cold 50° the next. My body keeps thinking that winter may be back upon us soon and it's trying to thicken up my blood. Who knows. I just know that I'm cold and tired today.

Praise be to God that I made dinner yesterday morning. Ham and bean soup in the crockpot. Yum! It was delicious, not to mention perfect for the cooler day. Plus, it was a great way to use some of our leftover Easter ham. All but The Boy had seconds. That's a good sign in our house. (And as usual, The Girl stated for the record, "Mom, this is now my favorite soup!" If you haven't noticed, everything is her favorite. I love cooking for her. The Boy? Well, let's just say that he has lots of meals that he wouldn't always request to have again. But he's not suffering at all. He's still growing like Jack's beanstalk!)

Here's what the kids did with Mr. Right last night. They invited a new type of basketball. I have a feeling that if they play it often, Mr. Right will be back in shape in no time.

(I love this picture! This totally captures the spirit of The Boy.)

They kids came inside and warmed their feet in a bath. Afterwards, we had our Bible reading time. Normally we read two chapters and move on to something else, but this time, they both uttered words that made my heart melt. "Just one more, Mom!" they pleaded in unison. What a delight to hear! So we read one more chapter as requested.

After the reading, Mr. Right came up with the most brilliant idea. He turned to the kids and said, "I think that you guys should tuck us into bed tonight!" The kids, struck speechless momentarily, quickly agreed to this change in plan. Mr. Right and I acted like their kids, with all the requests for water and the little things done to keep us up just a few minutes more. The kids laughed and then became quite strict with us. (It was amazing to hear how they think that we are on a nightly basis. I need to lighten up some!)

Finally the songs were sang, the prayer was said and we were kissed good night. They went off to their rooms to go to bed as well. Mr. Right and I stayed up to make sure that The Girl quit reading at a decent time. The Boy came into our room and ever so sweetly asked if he could turn off my side table lamp. I asked if it was bothering him and he said yes. Y'all, my lamp couldn't have bugged him at all seeing that he couldn't even see it from his room! But I let him turn it off and he went on his merry way back to bed. We all promptly fell asleep.

It was 8:30 PM for goodness' sake! I'm telling you, we were all tired!

So here I am, awake and full of life, having the pure joy of knowing that I had about 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep again. Today is going to be a great day. I can just feel it!

(Someone just sent flowers to the office for our move. I love that they get to sit on MY desk! Mmmm, smell that scent of spring!)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Room With A View

Man oh man. have I been busy! I've unloaded and unpacked every box for my parts of the office, which when I think about it is all of it except my coworkers' offices. Whew! Was I glad to have an excuse to leave early yesterday. I had to go pick up some materials with which to hang all the pictures. Guess what we'll be doing today.

I have to tell you - I love this new office. It's 10 minutes closer to home, I have a lot more privacy in this space and I have a wall of windows that looks onto a pretty view. See?
Here are Hoops and Yoyo bobble heads gazing out into the sunshiny view.  Ahhh. Sun!

And do you see what I have just across the way? 

A Panera! Woo hoo! I was really hoping that the internet connection from Panera would reach our office, but alas - no. I'm going to have to hang out there a bit when lunch time rolls around. Oh the glory of being able to comment on Blogger blogs in the daytime! (Stupid work filter!)

And this picture is just for Kelli. Thanks for helping me to start the first day in the office in style. That Mocha was just what the caffeine addict ordered.

Guess who sits by the thermostat? Ha ha ha! No more freezing for me! Well until there's a meeting and all the stuffed shirts come in and get all hot around the collar. I'll turn it down on those days and then turn on my illegal space heater. Shhh! Don't tell!

Last night, Mr. Right and I watched I Am Legend. Oh. My. Lands. Why Will Smith did not get an Oscar nod is beyond me. It was so well acted that one could not help but imagine what it would be like to be alone in the vastness of the world while trying to make it better. If you haven't seen it, I highly, highly recommend that you do. It's a cross genre film: part drama, part sci-fi, part suspense, part scary (without much gore) with a dash of love and a very visible belief in God. Just go see it for yourself and then let me know what you thought of it.

Oh, and y'all aren't putting any pressure or anything on me with the reviews. Fonda, you totally made my day with your comment yesterday! (I'd have written you personally, but you're a "no-reply" commenter. You should change that!) Knowing that I can bring some goodness to the reading populace fills me with a giddy, "that's what I'm talking about!" response. And for the record, I have to review the sucky ones too. How else would you know to avoid drivel like this? (That particular book makes me sick and angry just thinking it - no only was it pure c**p, it was also a waste of good trees to put it on the shelf. Okay, I'm stopping now.)

I'm going to finish eating the pizza that the office brought into the office yesterday. I'd never tried Pizza Shoppe before now. It's pretty good. But I have to say that I'm not digging the fungus on top. Yuck. I'm eating it cold, so it's not as easy to remove it as you would think. 

What topping would you like to see removed permanently from the world of pizza?

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008

Oh my... Time really has been flying if I can't remember to join into the fray of one of my favorite things ever!  It's time for the Spring Reading Thing 2008, hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days.  (There she is with that catchy title again...  That girl, she should be in marketing!)

So here are the books on my list for this Spring:
  1. Cold Sassy Tree
  2. Citizen Girl
  3. The Companion
  4. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
  5. Anna's Book
  6. Brave New World
  7. Water For Elephants
  8. All the PD James books (Mr. Right calls them PaJama books.) Cover Her Face
  9. A Mind To Murder
  10. Unnatural Causes
  11. Shroud for a Nightingale
  12. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
  13. The Black Tower
  14. Death of an Expert Witness
  15. The Skull Beneath the Skin
  16. A Taste For Death
  17. Devices and Desires
  18. Original Sin
  19. A Certain Justice
  20. Death in Holy Orders
  21. The Murder Room
  22. The Lighthouse
  23. The Bible (Isaiah and Jeremiah)
Whew... That's a lot of books!  Well, my eyes are usually bigger than my stomach...  It might as well work the same for my brain!  We'll see how I do with the reviews this time.  Last time?  Not so much...

Happy Reading everyone!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Reunited - Makes Me Feel So Good

Oh. My. Lands.
My ears are still ringing.  Between the The Girl and her friend Bailey laughing and singing and playing and then The Boy and Bailey having a few tickle wars, my senses were on overload, especially since it's been so calm around the house for the past week.
I knew I missed the little critters, but it's always amazing how much my heart leaps when I see them after a long visit.  It really makes me want to cry with sadness from the depth of realization that I've longed for their hugs and then tears of joys that I get to have that sadness immediately removed.  Last night was such a wonderful time to meet, greet and eat... and then pile into the various cars for a 2 hour drive home.

On the way home they kept saying how tired they were.  (They had been up late all week long and it was really catching up to them.)  But because we're mean, we made them stay awake the entire time.  Hey, I wanted them to go to bed when they got home!  But wouldn't you know it?   They perked right up when they saw the new addition in the garage!  They opened every door and crawled into the backseat as if they were ready for another trip.  We'll give them a ride in it sometime later.

Oh, it's good to have the family back together again!  As much as we longed for the couple time, it's always so nice to have the daily squirmishes in the background to seal our love.

Oh and with all the car stuff that we had been through on our "romantic break from the kids" (HA!), I've been meaning to share with you the news about our office.

Look at these... 

In addition to preparing a house and looking for new wheels, I've been packing up our office. Not just my stuff, but all the items in our copier space and just yesterday, I had the good news that I was also packing up my boss' office. Joy oh joy. This is the same man that doesn't want anyone to touch his stuff. I'm not kidding. He's a little OCD when it comes to fingerprints, natural body oils and just his stuff in general. Wanna mess with his mind? Go in and ever-so-slightly alter the position of a picture either on his desk or on the wall. It will drive him nuts until he gets everything back in order. (Not that I've done that, mind you... It's all just a hypothetical guess. Oh look, something shiny!)

Come Monday, they'll all be in a new office. Yeah, baby!!! This move has come so quickly (not really, but with the car thing, it seems really fast); I'm going to have new walls beginning next week. Oh, I can't wait! No more wall of uncovered windows. No more misdirected traffic. No more 14 steps to walk to the office door. (Hey, that's actually bad... I need that exercise. Well, having a large, shared parking lot will make up for it.) Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of my new digs on Monday.

As it's almost Easter, I wish you all the joy of knowing our Savior who died on a day like today for all of our sins. Even if you don't believe it, it still happened just the same. You think this thought is amazing? Just wait two days from now when that same man came back to life and brought redemption to this world. Now that's amazing.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Even If You Don't Love Me...

Would you mind spending a couple of minutes running through this quick survey?

It will help Blogher know what kinds of ads appeal to my readers. I'm all for putting ads up that won't offend others...

Now just so we can get on with real life, we're going to pick up the kids tonight. Can I just share with you HOW EXCITED I am to get those hoodlums back? I have to say, I'm just a teensy bit ready to have them back in the house, even if they'll mess it up and make me have to clean it much more than I did the week they were gone. Somehow, it will be worth it.

 This car shopping stuff is hard when you're on a budget, y'all. Mr. Right has seen several used 4Runners that would have made him happy, but unfortunately - they were about $2,000 above what we said we could spend. (Well there was that one on ebay for $3500, but we would have to get to Cleveland, TN to get it. Somehow, I don't want to go that far to get a car... Call me crazy, but, ummm, no.)
So although it's not a 4Runner, he has to handle having a Rav4 instead.  What?  It has a 4 in it... doesn't that count for something?  Meet the newest member of our family!

Isn't she a pretty little thing?  She's a great blessing from God.  (Sorry about the dark picture.  I took it this morning when I stopped for coffee at Panera.)

Juan, the man who sold it, seemed really nice, like someone we would have wanted to be friends with if we had known him earlier.  He worked as an Activities Director at a Senior Citizens facility.  How cool is that?!  He too was a Christian, as evident from all the CDs in his vehicle and from the decorations in his house.  The only reason that he was selling the vehicle was that his wife was expecting their first child and she wanted to get a minivan.  

Remember that we asked you to pray that we could get one at a great price?  Well this seller was willing to come down a little bit, so we got our "new" car for under what we had budgeted.  Woo hoo!  God has been so very, very good to us in so many ways.  Thank you for bringing our car matter before the Lord.  It makes me weep to know that there are others out there who will pray for someone who just needs help.

So tell me something that you're excited about. It can be anything from Spring to how you spent your refund money to painting your nails. Come on... I need some shout outs to celebrate with me. Let's go big! (I'd say "Go big or go home", but in all likelihood, you ARE home already...)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WFMW - Easy Vegetable Cleaning

Once again, my tip is coming from my mother-in-awe.  (That woman makes my life so much easier!)

To clean potatoes, carrots, yams - any number of root veggies - in a jiffy, get a pair of these:

These body scrubbing gloves are great for cleaning off all the dirt in a snap. I keep my pair under the sink for quick access and put them back when they're dry. Easy peasy and I can quickly move on to making the potatoes (or whatever vegetable I'm using) into whatever I need.

For some other great tips, head over to Shannon's place!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Things You Might Do When Your Kids Are Gone

  1. Read a book or four.
  2. Watch several episodes of Lost online to catch up with the world.
  3. Spend time with your husband without locking the door. (*ahem*)
  4. Take a long bath.
  5. Eat cookie dough without fear of being caught.
  6. Take a nap.
  7. Watch some movies (Inside Man, iRobot, Invincible - so far)
  8. Go out for coffee with your sweet man.
  9. Get all traces of laundry done.
  10. Read every post in Bloglines.
  11. Eat out, thinking that the kids would have loved to eat at that place.
  12. Sort out clothes to give away from your closet, wondering if The Girl would want any of them for herself.
  13. Look for a car to buy, all the time asking if the kids will be comfortable in the back of it.
  14. Bake a bunch of potatoes only to realize that you've made way too many for two people to eat.
  15. Get a craving for snuggle time in the morning time.
  16. Call them at Grandma's to make sure that they're behaving and having fun with their cousins. Really, you just want to hear their voices.
  17. Realize that the house is really quiet when they're not here.
  18. Count the days until you can get them back.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

I Need To Find A Leprechaun With A Car In His Pot

We made it through our weekend without the kids. It was tough, but somebody had to do it...

So what do to crazy, kid-free couples do on their two days off from work and they get to be together? Why they go car shopping, of course! I can't tell you how romantic car shopping... isn't. I mean, we would test drive cars where one of us would sit in the back, but we couldn't both sit in the back, so where was the joy in that? Total waste of makeout time, if you ask me. (Which I totally realize you didn't, but it's my blog so the thoughts will stray where they will.)

So after six hours of searching for a vehicle that would fit our needs, we came home with... nothing. Not a single car made the qualification of excellent price + import + medium-low mileage. And it's not that we're incredibly picky. It's that we know God has our vehicle waiting for us; we're just waiting for him to open our eyes to it.

Saturday night after all that searching, (where I have to tell you consisted of Mr. Right getting out and looking at the lots while I read a book - he came back to get me if we had any that met our qualifications), we came home because we had plans to have our friend John over for dinner and a movie. We hadn't seen him in eons, which is really sad because he's Mr. Right's best friend. So we enjoyed great wine, I Robot and a recipe which John labeled "Dump Pasta" that I will share with you now.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I cooked up a package of Barilla Farfelle (yes, Jenny - I'm still a Barilla fan no matter how often Brian tries to charm me into becoming a Martha Gooch lover). Drain it and throw into a greased 13 x 9 pan.

Using some homemade spaghetti sauce in the fridge (this one was with meat because I could never be a vegetarian for long), I added around 3-4 cups of spaghetti sauce and stir until mixed well. Top the dish with an Italian blend of cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Broil for the last few minutes to get the cheese nicely browned and tasty.

Serve with vino and a fresh loaf of bread and you've got a meal that is tantalizing to your tastebuds!

Sunday after church and lunch, we tried to go car shopping again, but none of the dealers were open. In a way, I was relieved. I was so tired I went home and took a 2 hour nap while Mr. Right continued to search for cars online while getting in some basketball. Guess what we'll be doing on some of our nights without kids. Sigh. Please pray for my attitude. I know that God has it under control, but y'all, it's still shopping. Ugh.

On a lighter note, we finally watched Invincible. It was a wonderfully entertaining movie! As the show started, Mr. Right joked, "What do we watch when the kids are gone? A Disney movie. How messed up is that?" But it was a great way to relax for an hour and a half.

Speaking of the kids, I don't think that they miss us too much at this point... They've had McDonald's and other great food, they're with their grandparents, they've just added their cousins to the mix and The Girl is loving getting to spend time with her best friend, Bailey. They might have an inkling to talk to us, but really, they are having a fantastic Spring Break. Funny how we're the one missing them...

Oh, and Happy St. Patty's Day to you all. May you all be special enough to know someone who's Irish! Since I'm Irish as well, it would be my pleasure to offer you this Irish Blessing. Happy Monday!

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Well, Your Prayers Worked

But maybe not the way I expected...

I spent all Wednesday looking for a new used car. A lot of time was spent online, trying to narrow down the hunt. By the time Mr. Right came home from work early, we were ready to hit the road to find our set of wheels that will get us around town.

We went down a few of the car strips where they specialize in used cars. We looked and looked and looked. And three hours later, we still had nothing. We even went down to the car lot where Mr. Right worked for a few months back when we just needed a job to pay the bills.

What did we find?  Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Each car we found either had a problem that we didn't want to shoulder (one car died twice when we were trying to start it) or it reeked of cigarette smoke. If you're not a smoker, this point is huge. No one who doesn't smoke wants to buy a car that smells like a ashtray. Personally, I don't think it matters a bit if the smoker always left the window down. It still gets into the cloth of the car and no amount of neutralization can make it completely disappear.

So after searching for five hours, we were still empty handed and in a bind with getting to work.  We started to discuss options of asking friends who might have an extra car that we could use when we received a call from Mr. Right's dad.  Since we had set a time to meet the grandparents that night, we thought he was calling to confirm everything.

But no!  Lo and behold, he called to ask if it would help us if we borrowed his truck for a bit.  When they came to meet us, they would bring up two cars and we would take the truck home.  Woo hoo!  Problem solved for a little while.

So see?  Your prayers worked beautifully.  Thank you for lifting us up to the One who can handle everything, even something as little as a drive.  We have a set of wheels to cover us until we can get out Saturday to find a car that will fit our needs.  Please continue to pray for this particular item for us if you don't mind.  We really would love to have this remedied ASAP.  It's wonderful to have Grandpa's truck, but he's going to need it back sooner or later and we'd rather make it sooner!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Can Y'all Utter A Few Prayers For Us?

We took our old car in for a few hose replacement yesterday only to discover that it needs much more done to it to get it back on the road.  The car isn't worth putting several hundreds into it, so we're off for some immediate car searching.   As we work on opposite ends of town, we're in a bind until we can get another vehicle. Pray that God will put one before our eyes that will be a durable car for a unbelievable low price please.  We're hoping to not have to deplete our savings in order to get a used (but nice) set of wheels.  Thanks in advance!

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WFMW - Vacationing While Never Leaving Home

We are blessed beyond measure here at the Diner.  We have a parents who love to spend time with the grandkids, so every spring break, we take them up to their place for the week and a half vacation.

It saves us a mint in childcare AND, more importantly, it allows our kids to have a chance to forge fantastic, recall-them-years-later memories with them.  Oh, and it allows Mr. Right and me an opportunity to date without having to wonder what to do with the kids.

It's a win-win for everyone.

So these next 10 days or so, we're going to vacation at home.  I want to go see the art museum and if the weather will cooperate, I'd love to have a leisurely stroll through the zoo.  The arboretum is spectacular this time of year and I haven't been bowling since last September... maybe we can get a group around here to go.  If it weren't for this whole "house selling" thing, I'd love to steal Mr. Right away for a bed and breakfast somewhere around our city.  We have lots of places that are within an hours drive in some beautiful country.  (That doesn't fit the "not leaving home" scenario, but it's close enough to still feel like home.)

What would you do around your neighborhood for a vacation?  I might just steal your idea for some fun around here too!

For some excellent tips on how to ease life for you, head to Shannon's place.

So what I'm trying to say is that 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Ode to Mr. Right

(Thanks to Michelle Branch for putting into words how I feel about Mr. Right. Hey, why reinvent the wheel?)

So I'm a little left of center
I'm a little out of tune
Some say I'm paranormal
So I just bend their spoon
Who wants to be ordinary
In a crazy, mixed-up world
I don't care what they're sayin'
As long as I'm your girl

Hey, you are on my side
And they, they just roll their eyes

You get me
When nobody understands
You come and take the chance, baby
You get me
You look inside my wild mind
Never knowing what you'll find
And still you want me all the time
Yeah, you do
Yeah, you get me

So what if I see the sunshine
In the pouring rain
Some people think I'm crazy
But you say it's okay
You've seen my secret garden
Where all of my flowers grow
In my imagination
Anything goes

I, I am all you want
They, they just read me wrong

You get me
When nobody understands
You come and hold my hand, baby
You get me
You look inside my wild mind
Never knowing what you'll find
Still you want me all the time
Yeah, you do
'Cause you get me

Hey, you are on my side
They, they just roll their eyes
Yeah, yeah, yeah

'Cause you get me
When nobody understands
You come and take the chance, baby
You get me
When none of the pieces fit
You make sense of it
You get me
You look inside my wild mind
Never knowing what you'll find
And still I want you all the time
Yeah, I do
'Cause you get me

Sigh... I just love my man. Seeing as we'll be kidless again starting Thursday (an ode to the grandparents is certainly due), do y'all have any date ideas? Hey, it's been long enough, we might even stroll Barnes & Noble again...

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Monday, March 10, 2008

My 15 Minutes of Almost Fame

So I had another one of my dreams last night.
This dream was great because I went to spend some Girl Time with BooMama in Alabama.  And boy, did we have all sorts of excitement!
First off, Sophie had been remodeling her house.  She was just taking the crow bar side of a hammer and pulling up beautiful wood floors.  There were sections of her house where you could see way down (like 20 ft) to the next floor and on the lower level she had done the same thing in another area to where you could see in the basement.  But she was doing it in such a way that it looked like a modern art piece, really unique and inviting, despite the fact that you could fall to your death.
(Now before y'all start telling me that there are no basements in the South, let me remind you that I grew up in the South and already know this bit of housing information.  When I met Mr. Right, decided that I couldn't live without him and that I just had to get married to him because, gosh... I really did want to have his babies, I moved to Nebraska.  Where they have basements.  I had to ask him what that area was called and was it really safe to go down to a room below a house.  He gave me a strange look, took me by the hand and led me down there.  I think he was sweet because he wanted me to have his babies too...)
Anyway there was a basement.  But it's a dream and you can do weird/neat things in dreams as you will see.
So while Sophie is remodeling her floors, she looks up and decides to pull a few boards that lined her staircase... which was exactly where David, Alex and The Boy were relaxing.  Those kooky boys.   They were all calm, peaceful and still.  This is where I should have realized I was in a dream - no movement from The Boy is a rarity.  They all paid no mind to Soph because this was life with her, and what can you do?  (The Boy looked a little leery, but he's used to some sort of kookiness all his life.)  
We were all wondering if BooMama had gone a little wacky after her return from Africa;  stress was getting to her and we were just going to let her do what she needed to do to work her way through her emotions.  If she needed to take apart her house the way she's taking apart her life and put it back together where she could live in it, all the better.  Somehow we all knew that it would be a better place to live when she was finally done.
Sophie then decided to call it quits after that so we went into the kitchen and she started filling up her flour containers.  Yes, containers.  They were big, too.  I asked her why she had such big containers and she said it was because she bought her flour in bulk because she needed it for all her baking.  Who was I to challenge that kind of wisdom?  Plus, I'm sure I would get some cake or something if I kept my mouth shut.
We went to bed.
Next day, we woke up to David settling the boys back into the stairway, but he was being real thoughtful.  He had laid the area with a king-sized bed sheet and was holding it around the boys while they laid there so that they wouldn't fall through the holes in the wall.  Wasn't that sweet?
Sophie had invited a couple of friends to go with us on our adventure.  To be honest, I can't remember them except that one had long black hair and the other one was African American.  They were both really nice, but let's face it, even in my dream world it's all about me.
And our adventure?  Well, we all know how much of an outdoorsy person BooMama is, so we did one of her favorite things: we went for a long walk on some mountain trail which followed a nice big stream.  Big rocks, lots of sunshine and joy.  That's an adventure, I tell ya!
Coming back to the car, we realized that we had lost one of group.  It was the African American friend.  We split up looking for her.  As I was looking through the parking lot, I saw a young man who was singing and doing some sort of musical number with lots of dramatic hand movements and stage moves.  He was a cross between someone from Stomp and Corbin Bleu.  He was cute, young and energetic.  He looked at me and I did what I would have done in real life:  I joined in.  So while looking for my new friend, I was singing some song and holding my own in our two person scene.  It was cool and fun!
As I headed to the car, I saw that my new friend was learning to dance.  She was afraid to tell us that she couldn't dance, so she hired someone to teach and slipped away to have her lesson while we were on the trail.
Didn't she know that I'm as white as they come and I couldn't dance to save my life?  I'm pretty sure that I would have gotten an "Amen, sister!" from Sophie as further proof...  So I let her dance and headed back to the car to wait for her.
While waiting for the others to arrive, my musical partner came up to me, handed me a paper and pen and said, "I'm in lots of plays around here.  You need to write your name and info on here because when I get back, I'm going to tell my directors that they've got to hear you!"
As I looked down, the first line said "America's Model" and I looked up at him and laughed.  He had to be joking because I don't know of any 36 year old models with two kids, one of which is now taller than her.  I rolled my eyes at him and started to write my contact info (first name and phone number only guys... I'm not completely stupid and unconcerned for my safety!) when Sophie ran up to me and said, "Are you CRAZY?   You don't even live around here!"
I told her to hush up because this was my chance at doing something fun and ON STAGE and I wanted to see where it would go.  She started to poke me to get my attention.  I told her to knock it off because one can't write legibly when being poked.  Then I heard her say, "Mommy?"
And I woke to The Girl poking me and saying my name.
Sigh.  I was almost famous.  I just about had my chance to be somebody.  I coulda been a contenta.  Now I'm back to being a mom and short order cook.
Somehow this role fits me like a glove.  Waking up wasn't such a bad thing after all.  Well, if you don't count the fact that I didn't have a chance to get Sophie's favorite recipes for all things Southern and yummy, and we never get to her favorite Mexican restaurant.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.  All I have to do is eat a couple more tacos with onions, and I'll just see where they take me. 

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Friday, March 07, 2008

And God Laughed...

Who ever said the Creator doesn't have a sense of humor?

Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down.

The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten. That's what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went 'boing!' and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No, nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, 'Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,' and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food.

This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, 'Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?'

She replied, 'You won't believe this,' and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing.

Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, 'Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it.' She told the pastor, 'I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.'

Never underestimate the power of God and his unique sense of humor!

Happy Friday y'all!

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Conversation With Susanne

In an effort to keep you updated about Susanne, I thought I would just share our email exchanges.  Hopefully you'll enjoy them as much as we did.

Oh, and you'll know who's who by the lack of capitol letters on Susanne's part!


your house looks awesome. praying it's going to be a real quick sale.

i'm doing much better today. yesterday was pretty hard. i had two shots of either demerol or morphine [can't remember which ;v}] in the recovery and 2 percocets when i got back to my room. needless to say they let me sleep awhile. lol. through all the drug fog though it still hurt like heck. i tried to describe it to dave and the best i could come up with was that it was a crushing pressure kind of pain like a semi truck had rolled over my hand.

anyway praise God. thank you for prayers. today is a thousand times better. i'm just hanging out reading and watcing tv and hopefully i won't have to take too many tylenol 3's. i have a longer and stiffer splint and will get some kind of orthopedic plastic cast next week.

thanks so much for everything. you don't have to write all this info if you do'nt want. i just thought i'd let you know what's going on. love ya.



Thanks Susanne. The prayers are appreciated.

Oh girl… so you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck. Ugh. I’m sorry the drugs aren’t easing your pain so that you don’t feel it. But it sounds as if they had you on quite the cocktail! I’m praising God that you’re alive, that you have medical care and that most of all, you still have a sense of humor through it all.

I’ll do an update again because we all love you and want to know what we can do to help you though we’re so many miles away.

Love you!



well i feel pretty darn good today. it was yesterday that was horrid. my hand is hardly hurting at the moment just uncomfortable because it's swollen it makes the bandaging quite snug. i can take tylenol 3 if pain starts up and that seems to really help. the itcing is a pain in the kazoo but i'm going to locate my little dowel here real quick so i can get under the badaging in some spots anyway.


Oh girl just you be careful! Right before going to college one summer, I broke my wrist. (What a horrible way to start college, with a cast around my arm!) Anyway, first day of Music Lit, my arm started itching like crazy, so I pulled out my 6” ruler and scratched away. Ahhh… Imagine my surprise when I moved my ruler back and forth only to find that my hand was empty. My ruler was stuck in my cast! Ack. So I started shaking my cast up and down, hoping it would work its way out. Others, who mind you I had not talked with anyone yet, were staring at me in wonder and amusement. Finally, FINALLY, the stupid thing came out after much digging and praying and being laughable. So what I’m saying is maybe you should try to scratch with a yard stick. :)


lol lol lol. laughter is the best medicine right? too too funny. and why is it i can totally see that happening to you?


Oh because that kind of stuff happens to me ALL THE TIME… and I’m not even trying to get attention. (Unlike all the other times when I am.)


life with you is never dull, apparently. lol.


Oh Susanne, you have no idea how much Mr. Right would agree with you on that one...

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WFMW - Home Makeover

Yesterday we put our house on the market.  

You want to see pictures of the inside?  Of course you do because it will help you help me.  Click here, look at the house pictures and then come back please.
Now, what would you suggest that I do help with selling the house?  What seasoned advice can you give me when it comes to doing a FSBO?  What should or shouldn't we do when showing the house?  When you've gone looking for a house, what things have turned you off a house and what things made you go back for a second look?  Do's and don't's... Give it to me baby; I can take it all.
In other words... HELP ME!!
Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated... as well as prayers.
Want to help a bunch of other bloggers who are stumped?  Head on over to Shannon's place to see if you can be the hero for someone else too!


Monday, March 03, 2008

What's On Your Fridge?

Well, first off I'd like to thank Trista for tagging me for the "What's On Your Fridge?" meme.  It was awfully sweet of her to ask.

Unfortunately our fridge looks like this:

Poor little empty fridge.  Why are you so bare without photos, hand-drawn pictures, lists of grocery needs or notes about field trips?

Oh, I know... It's because the house is going on the market TODAY!  Want to see what all our hard work has been about?  I mean, if you're going to get foot cramps and feel as if your body has been used for a punching bag due to all the cleaning and preparation, you might as well show the internet, right?

Without further ado, here is our house that is now officially for sale!

If you wouldn't mind praying about the sale of our house, I'd sure appreciate it.  Specifically, I'd like for you to pray for our buyers, that they will have as much joy in this wonderful home as we have had.  God has it all worked out, but I'd like for the future owners to have a special blessing too.

Oh, and please keep up the prayers for Susanne, our blogging friend in great pain. Because how do you spell relief? G-O-D!

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The Susanne Prayer Project With Updates!

Susanne had her surgery today around noon. I've not heard from anyone as to whether or not it went well, but as soon as I do, I'll post it. Keep up the good prayers!

I'm just going to paste the update that Susanne's youngest daughter sent to me.

my moms surgery went fine.... she's in alot of pain, but my dad took the day off to help her on wednesday. gee i wish i could take days off of school... anyways... please pray lots for the pain.

So there you have it, internets. Susanne is suffering and is in need of our prayers. So let's start talking the One who can do something about it!

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Where's My Membership to AARP?

This past weekend, God blessed us with fantastic weather - weather that would permit us to finally get some things done around the outside of the house.  Which was really good since we're aiming to get the house on the market this week.

So, taking advantage of the warmer days, I gathered the kids to bag the leaves that I would rake.  (What?  You don't wait until almost Spring to finish raking the leaves?  Oh, well, welcome to the upside down world of Shalee.  We raked all but half of the backyard last fall, then overnight the cold weather came to stay for several months.  This was our first opportunity to take care of it.)

Anyway, after raking a bit, my left foot developed a really painful cramp, one that started by my toes and worked it's way across the bottom of my foot.  It hurt so much that I gasped and my breathing became more labored.  After a couple of moments, the pain receded a bit, but only enough to travel to the other foot too.

"But I'm a mom, and I have to get things done while I can.  I can still do this!" I kept that encouragement running through my head.  Mercy!  It hurt... and I really wish that I had a recording of what I looked like.  I was contorting myself in all sorts of position to ease the pain while still raking.  I would have laughed at myself if I could have seen myself stretched to the max while still gathering leaves together.

My kids, not ones to miss much, inquired what I was doing.  I said, "I don't know what's going on but my foot really hurts!"

And my son, as sweet as could be and with profound wisdom, stated, "That's because you're getting old, Mom."

Man oh man...  if I was having those cramps because I'm getting old, then I don't dare tell him how I feel after shoveling and spreading mulch for 4 hours.  He'll tell me that death's knocking on my door.

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