Monday, June 30, 2008

Smack-down Inbetween Wars and Christianity

So Friday around 3 PM, I realized that I would be on my own after work. The kids were at Grandma's and Mr. Right had to work late so I wouldn't see him until around 8ish that night. I wanted to find something to do that had nothing to do with packing because I am tired of packing. In other words, I wanted to get out.

Here's the problem with getting out: I couldn't spend any money. Since we're moving in the next few weeks, we have to spend carefully because when we're at the closing for our house, we don't want to lose the house because we've just blown our money on something ridiculous. Well, that and we want to make sure that we have plenty to cover our closing costs. This house buying stuff is hard, y'all! Anyway, I'm stressing more than I should, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Go for a walk? Well, I'd been doing that every night with Mr. Right, so I wanted to do something different. Besides, I didn't really think a two hour walk would be all that fun.

Go to the library and rent a movie? We've been seeing quite a few movies lately. I was ready for some other form of entertainment.

Window shop? Ummm, unless I could get a lobotomy in the next hour, I didn't think I would enjoy that activity too much. Besides, there were too many things on my "I need to buy for the new house" list. I was afraid that I might find a great deal that I couldn't pass up, if you know what I mean.

So I pulled an old standby that I haven't done in a loooooong time. I went to Barnes and Nobles to peruse the books. Oh how I miss the smell of new books! Though I might want to make purchases there, I could easy avoid doing so by thinking about how I would have to pack it if I bought it.

Low and behold, guess what I saw was finally published! The fourth in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz - Odd Hours. How exciting to read about the odd one! This series has been thrilling, fabulous, funny and endearing since the first book, Odd Thomas.

I plopped myself down in last chair - a comfy chairs too! - which was located between War and Christianity and delved into the mysterious life of Odd. Now here is a series that I think portrays characterization at its best, storylines that compell you to turn the pages because you must know what happens next and creates emotional investments that make the reader care about the outcome. Excellent reads for all. (If you start on this series, DO start at the beginning. If you don't start with Odd Thomas, you'll find out things you don't want to know from the previous books. Me? I like the elements of surprise. It's part of what makes the books so good.)

Anyway, about an hour into my reading, a young woman sat in a straight chair next to me. How did I know she was coming? I could hear her flip-flopping 20 feet away from where the chairs were. (That's one of the reasons I dislike flip-flops. They can be so loud! Note: This next statement does not apply to ALL flip-flop lovers. Save your hate comments. It's as if certain wearers can't make themselves known any other way so they make as much noise as they can so that others take note of them. Annoying, however, is the notice I usually take.)

Even if this person weren't wearing flip-flops, she still had a way to make her presence known for she was chomping gum like a cow. She wasn't chewing it; she was torturing that piece of gum with a very extended, open-mouthed jaw. Smacking, popping, slurping... completely rude in a group of readers, in my opinion. It's not as if we joined her; she joined us, the quiet group that was extending courtesy to each other by letting them enjoy their reading in peace.

As she kept smacking and blowing, I could feel my annoyance-meter starting to bounce toward "Critical" levels. I tried to ignore her, to get into my book fully, but all the sounds were starting to drive me crazy. How could someone be so selfish and unaware that her actions were disturbing other around her? As I would looked at her, my eyes darted to the other readers in the chair group. They kept looking at her with annoyance too. So it wasn't just me being picky or irrational - whew.

I told myself to move as far away as I could from her in my chair, to block the sounds, to enjoy Odd. The next thing I heard was someone saying, "Would you mind not making so much noise?" I thought, Finally someone told her to knock it off, all right!

When the young woman turned her dark look on me, I realized that it was me who uttered the question. I surprised even myself. The girl glared, started to say something, but returned to the celebrity pages while chewing her gum with her mouth closed. Well, good for me. It needed to be said.

One of the readers in the group had a cell phone that rang. He promptly set his books down, got up from the comfy chair and answered it away from the group. He understood the need to be polite in a setting of strangers. He didn't go far, just far enough to have his conversation without disturbing the readers.

But I watched with half disgust/half fascination as the gum-chomping girl quickly gathered her fashion magazines and stole his chair. I was shocked at such a bold move, but only just for a moment. It was a very fitting move for all the discourteous characterization that she was showing already.

The man came back in less than a minute, looking at his occupied seat. She at least had the awareness to ask non-chalantly if he wantrd his seat back, to which he graciously demurred. I could already tell that the man was nicer than me. The young woman was already looking camped in the seat and I wondered what body language she would have shown had he said yes. I have a feeling much sighing and gestures of irritation would have ensued.

Irked on the man's part yet glad to have Smackers one seat further away, I continued reading. Smackers continued smacking, as she seemed completely unable to control her habit, and we all settled into a calm. But suddenly, Iron Jaws took out an insert from the magazine, spit her gum into it and folded it over. Relief at last!

Imagine my horror when she moved from bending to the table to bending to her behemoth bag, grabbing two more sticks of gum and popping them into her mouth. Sigh. It started all over again. My eyes moved to one of my seatmates; he lifted his eyebrows in amazement, rolled his eyes at her continued need to chew and gave me a little half-smile with a side of shrug to say, "Some people have mommas who didn't teach them manners." I couldn't agree more.

A few minutes later, Mr. Right came strolling to where I was sitting. We left a little bit later to the sanctity of a smack-free house. Besides, I think I needed to talk to God about finding a way to move not only my chair, but also my heart, closer towards Christianity.

(Oh, and Odd Hours was really good, despite the gum interruptions. If you need a great summer series, then I urge you to try the Odd Thomas series. It's that good.)

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Friday, June 27, 2008


One of the things I adore about this beautiful blogging community is the way it allows bloggers to communicate with each other. You leave a comment and, if you've done everything correctly on your part, I can respond to you via the email you have set to your blog name.

Can I just take the time to reiterate how you need to pair your email with your comment name? It's so frustrating when I want to respond to a question or a great comment and I have no where to send my reply. (Smeagle, this means you. Bren J, you're another one. There's more, but I'm drawing a blank right now... not enough coffee.)

Stacey is actually one too, but because she emailed me out of the blue one day, I have her email addy at the ready. I'm pretty sure it was the post that said that I wanted to know who was willing to talk to a stranger and she emailed me her number and said that she'd call when she got a chance. She was pregnant then, so I'm pretty sure she had other things on her mind. Sniff, sniff.

So. Anyway...

Yesterday, in the comments, Stacey said :

I would have done it in the pan, too. You're not the only one! As far as the
cake goes, it's not shocking that you tried to rescue it... that would have
crossed my mind for sure :o) Maybe he'll surprise you with chocolate cake one of
these nights!

To which I replied something like, "Yeah! That would be awesome!" - or something equally brilliant.

(Now you need to understand that I have my comments set to go to my work email since that's where I have the most time to respond to comments. When I send out a reply, sometimes I don't erase my work number from the outgoing emails because a) I forget or 2) I know the writers well enough via the blogs that I'm comfortable enough to have that number get into their hands.)

Stacey replied immediately with "Personally, I think so! Maybe I need to send him an anonymous tip :o) You don't know how many times I see your name and phone # below and think, 'I should just call and surprise her!' Then I chicken out and don't go through with it."

Screeeeech! Why on earth would anyone be afraid to talk to me? (Jeana, don't answer that.)

So I did what I should have done long ago. I called her... and got her voicemail. My message was short and to the point. "Hey, this is Shalee. Quit being a chicken, you big dummy." Click.

Now wouldn't that message just make you want to talk with me?

She called about 10 minutes later with a laugh and an "Alright, alright." I inquired as to why she was chickening out and she said (and I quote) "Because you're The Great Shalee with the big blog and the big audience, and I was too scared to talk with you."

Huh? Am I being Punked!? I mean, it's not like she's talking to Boomama, Shannon, Dooce or anyone like that. I'm just Shalee who puts her pants on the same way that everyone else does: by holding in my stomach and praying that the zipper won't bust. (What? You don't do that? Whatever.)

And that's when it really hit me: It's all in the eye of the viewer. Though I may feel small and insignificant at times (okay - more than I want to really admit), there are others who are intimidated by me and my 8 - 20 comments (on a good day). At least I hope that's why they're shy. It's not my breath, is it? I brush, honest! Someone who has hit the big time is different for me than it is for someone else. And that's okay. It's all in our perspectives.

Stacey and I had a wonderful conversation, by the way. It lasted at least 20 minutes, which if you know me, is a marathon in my book. She's funny, sweet and way more patient with her kids when she's on the phone than I ever am. I sure wish I had her around to mentor me when my kids were little...

Anyway, I just wanted to set the record straight. I'm not intimidating really. I laugh too loudly and I'm usually slightly higher on the wacky-o-meter, but really I'm just like you. I like chocolate, I want friends and I sweat the small stuff that doesn't deserve any attention. You know, normal. So don't be afraid to speak out on the blog or in real life. I might even answer my phone when you call. (Poor you.)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

First No Cake, Then No Gas

Though I have completely forgiven Mr. Right for his lack of chocolate cake etiquette, I found that I was having a really rough time forgetting the perfectly good chocolate cake. (Mr. Right, however, was doing just fine though. You should have heard him laughing over the post and over the comments!)

I even pulled a Fiddledeedee and retrieved the container from the trash can. However, when as coffee grounds were falling onto the floor, I kept thinking, "Phooey, why didn't I think of this before making coffee." So the cake remained in its resting place... which is probably better than where it would have eventually rested on me in the long run.

I should make a pendant out of that thought. "Here lies a resting place for many great foods." Think it will catch on?

Anyway, to make up for the Chocolate Cake Fiasco 2008, Mr. Right was going to make me dinner. Steaks, grilled onions, salads - the works. He seasons the steaks, cuts the onions, dices salad fixings, lights the gas grill... except it won't light. We're out of gas on the grill.

Here's our dilemma: We move to our new place in three weeks. (That reminds me: I keep forgetting to put on this blog! Gah! I'll get a picture up one day...) It is a natural gas house which means that the furnace is run on gas, the fireplace has a gas starter and (this is my favorite part) it has a gas line which runs to the back porch where we can hook up our gas grill.

So do we buy a new gas container which will be sure to last us the entire summer and fall or do we go without our favorite way to eat our way through summer for three weeks and use the stove?

Here's a hint: Mr. Right can cook a mean dinner in a pan. It was delicious.

(But it would have been perfect if the dinner were finished off with cake.)


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let Him Eat Cake

Last night, I finally had a chance to meet with Jules again. It's been about 9 months since we've really chatted. I joked that I could have had a baby since we'd last met.

Actually, I don't think it was all that funny, now that I think about it.

Anyway, Jules invited her good friend Billie to dine with us because "if Billie finds out that we went to the Cheesecake Factory and she didn't get to come, I'm gonna get it!" I'm so glad that Billie has such a sweet tooth. She was lovely and funny and immediately likable. We all chatted about blogging, books, movies, families, trips, faith and life in general. It was an unbelievably relaxing time that had truly fabulous food and even more wonderful coffee and desserts.

Jules ordered a German Chocolate Cheesecake. I ordered Linda's Chocolate Cake and Billie ordered... nothing. That's right. She didn't eat dessert at the Cheesecake Factory because she's going on a cruise at the end of the week and she was saving up "being bad" til then. Silly girl. You're supposed to prepare for those weeks by being bad right before the trip!

I called Mr. Right on the way home and suggested that he might want some coffee ready for when I arrived. Just coffee for him. I was completely full of coffee and good food.

He was extremely delighted with the leftover. He took it and his coffee upstairs with me where we relaxed by working in some puzzle books: he did Sudoku and I did some in a variety puzzle magazine. It was nice.

When he was ready for bed, he set the cake (which was still in the leftover container) on the dresser and said, "I wonder if ants will find it." I suggested that he take it downstairs and put it away properly. (For some reason, cake with ants in it isn't quite as appealing.)

This morning as he was running out the door, he asked if I minded that he took my other leftovers. I replied, "Of course I don't mind. Just don't take the rest of the cake!"

Mr. R: What cake?

Me: The cake from last night.

Mr. R: There isn't any cake from last night.


Mr. R: No. There was about a fourth left and I threw it away.

Almost 16 years of marriage and the boy hasn't learned completely the way I tick yet. I bet you would have known to save that cake, even if it was only a sliver.

Sigh. I didn't need it. But I would have liked to have it around anyway. Just in case.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008 Wrap Up

It seems quite fitting that since I posted my books late, I should post the wrap-up post late as well. I’m nothing if not consistent.

Which pretty much makes me nothing, so let’s scratch that last thought, shall we?

As a recap, here are the books that I chose to read for the SRT 2008.
Cold Sassy Tree
Citizen Girl
The Companion
Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
Anna's Book
Brave New World
Water For Elephants
All the PD James books
Cover Her Face
A Mind To Murder
Unnatural Causes
Shroud for a Nightingale
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
The Black Tower
Death of an Expert Witness
The Skull Beneath the Skin
A Taste For Death
Devices and Desires
Original Sin
A Certain Justice
Death in Holy Orders
The Murder Room
The Lighthouse
The Bible (Isaiah and Jeremiah)

I added a couple that I thought were really wonderful, but one that I would really recommend is I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron. Skip pages 90-93 and I’d call it an almost perfect set of thoughts that are funny, precise and just shy of loony. I'd also recommend to you The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. As far as The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen is concerned, I say get thee to the library and read it now if you’re an Austen fanatic like me. It was beautiful, funny and well-written in the vein of Austen. Even though you know the ending, you can’t help buy love this historical fiction.

Now on to the wrap up!

Did you finish all the books you had planned to read? If not, why?

I finished all the chosen reading except for my Bible reading. Why? Well because I’m a BIG HEATHEN. I have no idea why I didn’t get it done. I think that for some reason I’m having a little reading rebellion against God and I can’t explain it, other than I need to let God give me a little talk. I love it when I read it, but I’ve walked by my Bible time and time again and ignored it. This is not good and I’ll be doing something about it tonight...

Do you think the challenge helped you read more? Or maybe helped you read books you otherwise wouldn't have?

The challenge certainly didn’t help me read more as I’m a reading fool. I did love the commitment needed, well except where I chose not be committed. Because I have issues as I’ve just said in the previous answer.

What was your favorite book you read this spring? Least favorite?

Favorite? Oh well, I don’t have one. I had several that I loved this time. I really recommend Water For Elephants, Cold Sassy Tree, Anna’s Book, I Feel Bad About My Neck and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. They were awesome and should be on your next reading list if you haven’t read them yet. I really liked The Companion, which is one of the few I didn’t review because I. AM. LAZY. But it was a clean mystery set back in the 1900’s. It had wonderful characterizations and great plot lines. It reminded me a bit of Jane Austen books, not so much because of the writing but because it was detailed without being explicit and the writer caused me to be engrossed in the characters without making me do backbends to get there.

And for the love of all that is holy, good and right in this world, don’t pick up Citizen Girl lest you want to waste time hoping that someone will come gouge your eyes out so that you will never make that kind of reading mistake again. Seriously. It was awful. I’m still trying to purge it from my mind.

Did you discover any new authors or genres that you now love?

Yes. You might too if you peruse some of my reviews. (No pressure, just a suggestion.)

Cold Sassy Tree
Anna’s Book
Water For Elephants
PD James (Adam Dalgliesh series)

What did you learn about your reading habits or interests?

I’ve learned that I’m not great at being disciplined. (See Bible reading commentary above.) I love trying new authors and hoping for great reading. I’m not one who gets thrown from the reading horse and then refused to get back up when it hurt to read a book. I just pick up another book and continue on my merry way. I also wish that PD James would write her next in the Adam Dalgliesh series, because man, I love that entire collection – even if it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go in the series. Lastly I’ve learned that I don’t sleep enough. I gotta cure that one, even if it means less reading.

Are you interested in another "Fall Into Reading" challenge this fall?

Heck, yeah! You bet I’ll be there, just as soon as I start scouring the other readers’ blogs for more reading material.

Thanks again Katrina for hosting the reading challenge. I can’t wait to discover new material for my summer and fall reading… What is your recommendation for my reading? Go on; don’t be shy. I mean nothing can be as bad as Citizen Girl (except Happiness Sold Separately and that’s saying something…)

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Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm Trying To Get Smart

Mr. Right and I, thanks to our friendly AMC neighbor, had the opportunity to see Get Smart tonight. Oh. My. Lands.

We were laughing so hard that we couldn't stop at times. I was trying to keep my laughing to a minimum so that I wouldn't miss the next lines, but dadgum! I just couldn't do it. I kept laughing and giggling over past lines which was running into the new lines that were making me laugh some more.

It was so good that when I knew that I had to go to the bathroom and there was at least half an hour to go in the movie, I told myself to buck up and suffer because I didn't want to miss a line.

All the characters were extremely well cast. Steve Carell nails Max and Anne Hathaway really kicks tush as Agent 99. The others fit perfectly in the ensemble too.

Note: There were a few crude parts to the movie, but they were few and far between. Overall, I was pretty pleased that the raunch was kept miniscule but the classic comedy was on full throttle.

At the end, most of the audience started laughing and cheering. I like movies that make you want to see it again immediately.

So. Can you tell that we really liked the movie?

If you need to see one, I'd suggest this movie over all the others out there right now. It was just stinkin' funny.

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And So It Goes

Last night I calmed an entire set of hoodlums who were really good kids in disguise, I picked up my Honey Baked Ham from a Baskin Robbins and I invited Bruce Willis over for Christmas, ending the conversation with him with "Don't worry. My kids won't pepper you with a million questions. They have no idea who you are because we don't have tv. I can't speak for the rest of the family though." Oh, and Bruce said yes.

Either I've moved to Hollywood over the weekend, the weekend was more intense than I thought or else that Wok Roasted Chicken we had for dinner was making me way more creative in my dreams than normal.

I'm going for the last one. But man, it sure hit the spot after this weekend and all the "festivities" involved.

First, thank you again for your prayers. You have no idea what a comfort they were to the entire family. Not once was I sitting in the waiting room, writhing with fear or stress. It was very good.

So here's the run-down since last we've talked.
  • As the family was tootling around town on Thursday night, we ran into several friends at the farmer's market. One of them offered to keep The Girl that night and all day Friday so that she wouldn't be bored out of her gourd at the hospital the next day. The Girl quickly thanked the family for letting her avoid that entire prospect.
  • We all went to bed Thursday night to sleep only to find out on Friday that none of us really did.
  • We finally got up around 4 AM to get ready for the hour drive to the hospital. The heart institute that Ron was going to use just "happens" to be one of the top three heart hospitals in the country. (That God is so good.)
  • We arrived at 6 AM for check-in. We found out later that Ron's surgery wouldn't be until 10:30(ish).
  • At least 3 nurses came in and asked many of the same questions over and over again.
  • We did lots and lots of waiting.
  • We discovered that there is such a thing as "hospital time". If a nurse says, "In about 30 minutes...", then you can bet your bottom dollar it will be at least an hour. (It was a nurse who told us about "hospital time." She would know since she's actually there all the time.)
  • While we were waiting for the procedure to start, we also discovered that Larry, one of our good friends, was also in this hospital. He was rushed in the day before with heart issues. Finding nothing, our friends thought the hospital was going to send Larry home after a night of observation. But no, by his wife Kareen returned, Larry had a pacemaker installed. Surprise! We hated to see Larry there, but we were thrilled to visit with them after not seeing them in so long. We've also promised to come up for a Ucher night. (I bet they whip our tails. It's been soooo long since we've played.)
  • Ron's surgery finally happened. It took three hours and he did have to have a quadrupal bypass. Avon, Ron's wife, did remarkable well for all the situation. I could see her lips moving in prayer often and I know she was being bathed in prayers from friends around the world.
  • The hard part of the entire event came after the very successful surgery. Ron was having a hard time coming off the anesthesia. An hour recovery time turned into 8 hours with a heart that wouldn't get the proper rhythm. Every time Avon walked back to Ron's room, there were several doctors and nurses hovering over Ron. I think it was then that her nerves started to feel the effects of the day. But she was a trooper!
  • Some friends came by to visit Ron and Avon. That's such a wonder comfort to not only know that others are praying, but that some would take the time to drive an hour to sit and hold hands for a few minutes or for hours. Kareen was in and out all day giving Avon hugs and telling us that Larry was demanding updates on his good friend Ron. (They were both elders at church. They've really gotten to know each other throughout the years.)
  • We convinced Avon to finally leave for a little bit for a spot of dinner. That poor woman needed some nourishment. IHOP never tasted so good.
  • Around 10:30 PM the doctors said that Ron was finally in a great position. His heart was doing much better and that he would get the much needed good night's sleep. We finally felt comfortable enough to go home. We were all exhausted after that 20 hour day, longer if you factor in the fact that none of us really slept the night before.
  • Avon and Alan (Mr. Right's brother) went to the hospital. We stayed home to get The Girl, to pick up The Boy from camp and to do a lot of things for Ron and Avon around the house: mow, clean bathrooms, vacuum, laundry, cook meals. We knew that Avon would have enough to do without needing to worry about that aspect of life when Ron came home.
  • Sunday we finished up some tasks that Avon needed done and then we visited with Ron and other family members for the afternoon. Then we headed home and had much needed Chinese food. There's something about Chinese food that just says relax to us. So we did.

So that's the run down. We're back to the scheduled program around here. Last we talked to Avon, Ron had a GREAT night. He was sitting up in his chair and taking his prescribed walk. The kids are set to be Grandma's and Grandpa's helpers over the next couple of weeks, and we all feel really good about the way God handled everything. We had all decided that even if God had taken Ron home this weekend, He was still very good. And He is.

Since I'm way out of the loop, would y'all please tell me something that's going on with y'all? I especially want to hear about She Speaks if you attended. I couldn't be jealous during the weekend, so I'll take the time to be jealous now when you tell me about the wonderful time you had with all the our blogging friends. :o)

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Before and After 2008

I wrote the bottom portion of this post yesterday before we heard about my father-in-awe. I thought I had scheduled it to auto-post, but evidently, it's still up on the computer at home. I guess that when you pack and leave in less than 20 minutes, you're bound and determined to forget a thing or 20. At least I remembered underwear.

I'd like to take a moment to say that you all are a balm to my soul and a joy in my heart. Your sweet words... Sometimes I think God invented blogging just for a moments that make me stop and realize that his creations are good - you are very good.

We made it here after midnight last night, crashed for a few hours and then took The Boy to camp this morning for his first taste of summer camp. He was not looking forward to it at all! However, by the time we left, he was smiling and playing games with the other kids. I have a feeling he won't be thrilled when we try to bring him home on Saturday. :o)

We take Ron to the hospital stinkin' early in the morning - 4 AM early. All I can say is that I'm really happy that we're morning people around here and I'm even happier that there's a Starbucks on the way. That hour drive won't seem nearly as long with caffeine in my veins.

Now back to the original post...

So Ms. Boomama has a wonderful idea of listing some things that we would like to get done this summer because she thinks that the whole world knowing our list would help us get things… well, done. It’s all about accountability.


Now, being an Executive Assistant and all, you’d think I’d have the whole “If it needs to be done, leave it with me and I’ll see that it’s done” mentality. If you’re talking Work, then yes – I’ll get it done. If you’re talking home repairs or to-do lists when there is sunshine to enjoy, books to be read and ice cream to consume, well – I just wouldn’t hold your breath.

In order to have you hold me accountable, I hereby declare my list to my Interwebby friends.

  • Get Mr. Right to bring me coffee in bed.

  • Set the coffee maker to brew before I get up.

  • Find a new hairstyle and then actually get it done.

  • Pack up my present home.

  • Move to new home.

  • Put everything in its place in new home.

  • Find a stainless steel trash can at a price that will not make me cry.

  • Buy new kitchen towels and washcloths.

  • Lunch with a few of blogging friends in town.

  • Find new lamps for family room (which has NO ceiling lights).

  • Go to a concert with Mr. Right.

  • Add several to-be-read books to my reading list because I’m tapping out.

  • Celebrate our 16th anniversary because it's on July 24th.

Now these may not seem all that big of a deal to you, but to me, they’re things that I’ve needed to do for a while, especially that first one. I mean 4-6 are biggies, but the rest you might think “What’s the big deal?” But dadgumit! Some of them are tough around here.

I keep waking way before Mr. Right, so it’s been a no go on that one for a while.

And I can’t tell you how long I’ve tried to find a new style. And once I do, my hair gets all nicey-nicey on me again and I think, “I won’t cut it just yet, I’ll wait.” Then I loose picture of said cut and then my hair starts acting all wacky again. It’s vicious! But as a bonus, Mr. Right is enjoying my long hair for a while…

Oh, and that #6? That’s a doozy right there. Every time we’ve moved (and as all our friends can attest, it has been many), I’ve had the house in order within a week. Of course it helps that the kids have been at Grandma’s house when we’ve moved. But my goal is to have everything in order, including their rooms. We usually work our tails off until some friends convince us that it’s better to stop and eat and then we leave it for a while. We really like those kinds of friends.

And #9 will be done if I can convince Maggie, Jules and Addie that they have time for me in the next month. But sometimes it’s tough in the summertime. We’ll see… I’ve been asking Jules for over a year now and I have a feeling she’s either busy out the wazoo or she doesn’t like me. I sure hope it’s not the latter one!

#11 isn’t such a challenge unless you remember all the ones that deal with the house… then you’ll see that there’s not much to work with the concert funds.

Alright, that’s my list and I’m stickin’ to it… I hope.

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Another Reason For God Not Letting Me Attend She Speaks

I find that I’m wimbly-wambly sometimes. I want what I want, and it’s usually well after not getting a “Yes” from God that I find out the reasons he said “No.”

I thought I knew the soul reason for my not attending She Speaks: We’re buying a house and the money that would have been used for travel is being used for down payment.

But it seems that God has another reason too.

We’ve just found out that my father-in-awe will have an unexpected heart bypass at 6 AM on Friday morning. We’re packing now to make the run back up to their house so that we can be there for the surgery and to take care of the kids. I foresee a weekend of cooking and cleaning to help make this time as easy as possible for them all. I think another cooking class or two for The Girl is in perfect order too.

See? If I had been at She Speaks, I either would have had my thoughts divided between the sessions and this surgery (and guilt over not going to be with them) or I would have lost all the money invested because I did decide to stay home. That’s a lose-lose situation by all accounts. So God, in his infinite wisdom, yet again proved why Father knows best.

I know that many of you will be gone, but would you mind saying some prayers for us? Please pray for our safety in travels and also for my father-in-awe to come through the surgery with flying colors. The doctors are giving a survival rate in the high 90’s%, but I’d rather have 100% from the one who made his sweet heart in the first place.

Oh, and would you mind throwing in a prayer of praise on my behalf as well? Today I also received a call from my doctor who told me that it’s official: I don’t have cervical cancer. (I didn’t think I did, but it’s nice to know that modern technology is backing me up.) So WOO HOO! It’s nice to have that off my plate. I’m just really happy that God let me know quickly the answer that prayer.

Thank you so much in advance.

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So Many Adventures... If Only In My Mind

I just made a short list of things that I would love to do this summer.

See Mt. Rushmore
Attend SheSpeaks
Purchase all new towels
Pay off one student loan
Hike the Rockies
Visit an Amish community and buy lots of homemade breads, veggies and various items
Take the kids to Disneyland
Spend a weekend boating on a lake
Buy a stainless steel trash can (sheeze-louise! Those things are expensive!)
Take Mr. Right to a concert
Relax for a week in Mexico
Spend time with several bloggers
Go to Memphis for some out-of-this-world BBQ
Visit family
Eat Chinese from my favorite Chinese restaurant almost every day

However, all these things take money that I either don't have or can't spend right now.

What would you do this summer if money weren't in the way? Or if you'd rather, what are you going to do this summer? Just because we're not going anywhere, that doesn't mean that I can't live vicariously through you...


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed - Gratituesday 11

It's time for a little shout out to the Lord, so you know that it must be Gratituesday, where one can be vocally thankful for something in life.

Last week, I had begged for votes because I'm nothing if not shameless. As a result of the An Island Life poll, I was not picked Most Likely To Succeed. However, when the winning blog is named Praying For Parker, I find that I don't mind taking backseat to a site that is giving everything to God.

Hello?! Diner vs. Prayer? Prayer trumps anything that I could serve up.

I can honestly say that it was a pleasure just to be named.

Not winning isn't necessary a bad thing. I have a renewed energy with the blog. It was so encouraging to hear from others about how much they enjoyed the blog or, more importantly, me. You guys are good for my soul. And there is a sense of joy in knowing that someone out there thought enough about this blog that they anonymously threw my name in the hat.

That makes me smile from ear to ear.

So I'm thankful right now that I didn't win the poll because I know overall that I'm still in the company of some mighty fine women and men who like me with or without a title. Plus with the win would have come some good disciplining from God. I'm sure I would have swelled with pride a time or 22 just thinking about it.

(And really, I could do without the pressure of having to live up to that category. I'm gonna fail left and right for the rest of my life... and it's all good.)

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Monday, June 16, 2008

I Are Tired

I don't know why I've been hit hard with being tired. It may have had something to do with the 8 hours in the car over the last 44 hours, but who knows.

It's official. We're kidless again. We took the cat back to the kids who are living the high life at Chez Grandma. The Boy did deign to snuggle with me for quite a while on Saturday morn, and that was a blessing to remember. However, I think we're fast approaching the time when The Boy is going to need to hold me when we snuggle. He's going to have more arms and legs to hold me soon.

We had a fun breakfast, a great lunch (Aunt Gina's Italian Chicken, btw family), and then we grilled hamburgers out on the back porch since Ron (my father-in-awe) got an electric grill for Father's Day (from his wife, not us - we were the worst kids EVER! This Father's Day snuck up on us and we got our dads nothin' in the material way. Well, Ron has our kids and our cat, but my poor dad got zip, zilch, nada because I'm not with it at all except a call. Don't you want me for a kid?)

We stayed on Sunday so that we could hear Ron preach at church and then we came home to pork chops and saurkraut that I had stuck in the slow cooker before we left for church. They were delicious, so good that The Girl ate one of the chops despite it being in saurkraut. (We actually bought the wrong kind - we bought Polish style with rye seeds in it, but as it turns out, we all liked it even better because it wasn't as tart. Who knew?!)

Afterwards, we started trucking back home. For Father's Day, I took Mr. Right out to Outback where we split a meal. The bonus for him was that he could have the steak cooked any way he wanted.

Let me tell you, it's an act of deep, true love when you let your man order the steak to be cooked medium rare and your a medium well type person. I just closed my eyes and cut the meat where I couldn't see the inside. (I made it half way through before just handing the steak over to him and then enjoyed lots of bread. I love that stuff!) Anyway, Mr. Right was a happy, full man by the time we were done. I was happy and full too, just in a different way.

Taking advantage of being kidless, we had a very pleasant evening together (*ahem*), whereas I promptly konked out before 9:30 PM. I slept until Mr. Right woke me up at 6:10, but I didn't even think about getting out of bed until 6:20. (You may not think that a big deal, but I never lay around in bed like that. I usually hop out of bed looking for coffee and saying good morning to the world. I'm not an annoying morning person, but I am quite awake when I get up. Most of you would hate me were we to be roommates.)

But not this morning. Today, with the rain and the coffee (without cream - yuck!), I want to just crawl back into bed and say goodbye to Monday already. I've nothing against Mondays; it's just that this Monday would be better served to me in bed.

So how was your weekend? Please tell me something about yours so that you'll be keeping me awake during work today. I need all the help I can get.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Mom Test

When I saw this one a few months ago, I knew it would be the perfect Father's Day post.

Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful dads out there!


I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her, and I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" my daughter asked.

"Because it's been on the ground, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and probably has germs," I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked,"Momma, how do you know all this stuff. You are so smart."

I was thinking quickly, "All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mom Test. You have to know it or they don't let you be a Mom."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information. "Oh...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test you have to be the dad."?

''Exactly," I replied back with a big smile on my face.


Happy Father’s Day to the man who I’m really glad didn’t pass the test. You make the best Dad in the world!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Anna's Book

Early in the Spring Reading Thing 2008, I read Anna's Book' by Barbara Vine, who actually is Ruth Rendell. (Can anyone tell me why I think the Vine books are so much better than the Rendell books? I know they’re written by the same authors, but the Vines are so much more descriptive, clever and suspenseful in my opinion. Weird, I know.)

This beautifully crafted, fine distinction in literary writing is a novel of mystery and suspense that seamlessly moves between the past and the present, covering 80 years over the lives of three women.

The past is shared through the diaries of a Danish immigrant named Anna, who lived in England with, Rasmus, her husband, and their two young sons at the turn of the twentieth century. Living in East London in the early 1900, her loveless marriage and loneliness drove Anna to keep a journal of her innermost thoughts and experiences. Though her husband traveled often, they added two more children to her family - daughters, Swanny (her favorite) and Maria (the youngest).

The present is shown through the eyes of Swanny, who becomes the editor of Anna’s journals-turned- best-selling novels, and through the life of Anna’s granddaughter, Ann, daughter of Maria. Though the journals are well-loved by many, they would also tantalizingly hint at a secret that would, ultimately, impact on her daughter, Swanny, later in life.

As with Grasshopper (one of my favorite books ever), Vine creates witty and true-to-life characters, surprising and dynamic storylines and powerfully thorough and surprising endings. In typical Vine fashion, she gets the smallest of details correct, whether writing about the lives of a 1900's maids, a behavior of 1950’s gentleman or the concerns of a 1988 independent woman. Discontent to form one mystery in the novel, Vine constructs several intricate puzzles within each other. She truly is a brilliant, beguiling author who deserves to be read. Anna's Book' is so excellent, it almost topped Grasshopper… almost.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Endless Summer Nights

So… it’s awfully quiet around here. Yesterday the kids left to go live at the House of Fun, aka Grandma’s house. (Grandpa lives there too, but he’s not in on the ownership gig. He’s just the man who gives hugs, ice cream and drives them to McDonald’s whenever they feel like going out for the “World’s Best Fries” – that’s how the kids feel about them anyway… oh heck, that’s how I feel about them too. Anyway, Grandpa’s nice to have around, but Grandma is the big draw.)

So we did what any red-blooded American couple would do in our circumstances: we went to look at Macy’s Biggest One Day Sale of the Year. Because we’re wild and crazy like that. We like to throw caution to the wind and shop for new kitchen towels or a new trashcan without the kids. Heck, we might even buy a new kitchen rug!

What? You wouldn’t have done the same thing? Hmmm. Go figure. Well, we’re buying a house and we need some things, so why not get them at the Biggest One Day Sale of the Year in the Entire History of Mankind. That was such a huge buildup for a non-event. Even their sales need sales to make the items buyable.

Anyway, it was lovely to walk the aisles, holding hands and looking for ways to spend my gift card that I got for Christmas 2 years ago. (I know. I know. It's just further proof that I have no business being in a store.) No kids whining about wanting to leave. No telling them to keep their hands to themselves. Just nice, relaxing stroll through the store where we bought a Martha Stewart spice rack and a spoon rest.

You know, it's amazing how much I know I can live without after walking through Macy's. We had the hardest time coming up with something we would want to buy there. Even on sale, the towels were entirely too expensive, the rugs were pricey and the kitchen ware offered nothing that grabbed our attention. (That was probably because we had everything that we would want from there: Calphalon, Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart coffee pot). Most of it was impractical items that looked nice on the shelf, but would bring buyers remorse once we brought it home.

We came home to an empty house. Well, almost empty. Tenni the cat was trolling for some love. Knowing that the house had been empty most of the day, I felt sort of sorry for her. Only sort of, though. She is a cat after all and one that loves to ignore you whenever she feels like it (which is always, unless she wants a scratch behind the ears.) Other than that it was shhh everywhere.

What to do with ourselves?

  1. Ate a quiet dinner at home (potato skins and wedge salad)

  2. Watched The Bourne Supremacy

  3. Ate ice cream openly, rather than under cover

  4. Slept nekked, just as we did pre-kids

Woo hoo! Hey, maybe this “kids are gone” thing isn’t so bad after all.

I’ll keep telling myself until we go to see them this weekend, only because they’re missing us so much by then. (shuddup)

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WFMW - Father's Day Idea

Did y'all realize that Father's Day is this weekend?


Now I know how Mr. Right felt when I mentioned Mother's Day gift ideas and he had this blank look on his face...

I told him that I'm getting him a house for Father's Day. Do you think he'll buy it?

With Dad's Day quickly approaching (June 15th by the way), I've decided to take him to one of his favorite places: Outback. He'll be able to have a wonderful steak without the work of grilling it!

Did you know that Outback is running a special offer? If you bring your husband, father, etc. to Outback on June 15, they'll receive a $10 certificate valid on their next visit. So basically, they'll give me $10 to eat there. Bonus!

How it works is: Dad’s (or let's face it, Mom's will wind up doing it as they do most of the tasks around the house) will need to need to activate the certificate online at (Note: link will launch during the weekend of Father's Day) where in addition to activation, they’ll automatically be entered in an online sweepstakes to win a $100 gift card when they enter the promo code found on the bottom of the $10 certificate. The certificate can be used at any Outback location from June 18th– July 20th with the minimum purchase of $25.

You can learn more about this promotion and some of Outback’s new menu items by visiting their site. They'll explain anything that I neglected to put in the post.

So free money definite works for me. If you win the $100 certificate, I only ask that you send me a Blooming Onion as a thank you gift.

Head on over to Shannon's place for some other great ideas!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vote For Me (I've Got Pie!) - Gratituesday 9

It's time for a little shout out to the Lord, so you know that it must be Gratituesday, where one can be vocally thankful for something in life.

I’m most grateful today for bloggy love. There are times when God uses one of you to say the thing I needed to hear or to do just the thing I needed done to feel that extra measure of support, friendship, understanding, encouragement and yes even discipline.

For the record, I don’t like the discipline one so much.

This post isn’t about the discipline one though. Woo hoo! This post is about the encouragement I’ve received of late. Susanne gave me notice yesterday that I was up for a bloggy award at An Island Place. What a joy to click over there to see me in the running with the likes of Scribbit or 5 Minutes for Mom!

Great, I've just scared myself because those ladies are in the BIG TIME.

Anyway, I found it funny at the timing because just this weekend, I was thinking about why I'm writing my blog. I've got all the reasons that most of you have, but was it enough for me? Comments have almost dwindled to nothing so it's hard to know if many are reading. Am I just writing for myself or is all that in my mind? I don't think the little green monster is in the way because I love reading others and seeing that they've got followings in the tens or hundreds.

It was after coming to the decision that I love the friendships that I've made through blogging and if I never have more than 10 comments again I would be okay that God sent Susanne to tell me about the poll. It was like the icing on the cake because do you know what category my blog is in?

"Most Likely To Succeed"

That just makes me giggle at the irony. It's like is God saying, "Hey, I'm not done here and I know that you need a pat on the back once in a while to keep going, so here it is. Now get back to work."

So I'm grateful today for the way that God uses you to help me, even when you don't realize that you're doing anything, and I'd be even more grateful if you went over and voted for me in the polls. My platform is good and there will be a delayed pie celebration at my house if I win. Just wait until we move to come on over. I'll have that spare room ready and I'll probably have found my pie plates by then...

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Never Saw This One Coming...

Last night when I was putting The Girl to bed, she called out, "Mom! Don't do the laundry in the morning when you get up. I want to do it so that learn how to start it and to finish it by folding it all."

Ummm, okay.

Tell me something that you never expected to hear your kids utter. I'm too tired to think anymore and I'd really love to hear from you today.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

P. D. James (Adam Dalgliesh Series)

I just realized that I only have two weeks to complete my Spring Reading Thing 2008 list. I’m almost done, but I’m irked with myself that I haven’t posted about the books... again. Fortunately for me I can cover most of the books in one sitting as they’re all a part of the same series. Whew! Grab your coffee because this review is a little longer considering that I've compacted all 14 books into one post.

I cannot entirely express how much I enjoyed reading through the P.D. James “Adam Dagliesh” series. James truly is a mystery writer extraordinaire. Her multifaceted story lines, with realistic characters and incredibly plausible nuances, add elegance and temerity to each of the books I’ve read so far. Not once have I said, “Yeah, right” when I’ve finished one of her books.

From her first book, Cover Her Face – published in 1962, to the last book to date, The Lighthouse which was published in 2007, James has continually perfected her exquisite writing skills and her cunning mystery mind. I have to admit that a few times while reading her, I’m really glad that she’s on the right side of the law. Were she not, people in England should have been worried!

Not only has she excelled as a wordsmith, she has taken, so far in my reading, a single character and developed him into a protagonist who makes you want to know more about him personally. While giving no timeline in these books, the reader does not know exactly how much time has passed between the mysteries, but time does continue in a sense. The Inspector is now a Commander; his books of poetry increase in number and other unwritten-but-mentioned-as-a-part-of-his-past connections are written into the stories. Despite not knowing the time, Dagliesh becomes more rounded, more detailed, more defined as a policeman as well as a member of society. Not only is he seen as a hard, cold, determined detective, his private passion as a poet leaves “the others” baffled by this often unseen softness. I’m enjoying thoroughly watching this leading man change, alter and grow as a hero and a human being.

Side not: James has introduced Cordelia Gray, a heroine that I find amusing, amiable and real. What I’ve seen of her, I’ve really liked and I anxiously anticipate returning to her as a central character. She’s young, determined and resourceful as a private eye. She was mentored by a man who formerly worked with Dalgliesh before being removed from the Yard. Often her thoughts prove that she was not only listening, but following the second-hand words from the best detective on the force.

James is not afraid to use taboo situations in her books. Though they might not be taboo in presently, back in 1971, homosexuality was unmentionable in most literature. She tastefully portrays those characters without describing any events in Shroud for a Nightingale. Her work in 1963, A Mind To Murder, was based on a psychiatrist office, a place that used many methods to help the patients - including LSD. In her 5th book of the series, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, one of the characters is found in a disturbing sexual situation. Yet the situation would be tame in comparison to some of the offerings of writers today. (Unfortunately, many of today’s authors aren’t any better than James, just more explicit.)

One of the things I’ve noticed as I’ve read through the books, I have to say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. One quote from An Unsuitable Job for a Woman struck me when I read it. One of the elder characters made this comment to Cordelia Gray upon one of the first exchanges.

I don’t like your generation, Miss Gray. I don’t like your arrogance, your selfishness, your violence, the curious selectivity of your compassion. You pay for nothing with your own coin, not even for your ideals. You denigrate and destroy and never build. You invite punishment like rebellious children, then screen when you are punished.

Ouch! How much of that has been said when I was in my early 20’s. How much of that could be said of the youth today?

I love the response that Cordelia gives in return when the character ends with the idea that she (the speaker) is most likely jealous of youth as it is a common enough syndrome with older generations.

I can never see why people should be jealous. After all, youth isn’t a matter of privilege; we all get the same share of it. Some people may be born at an easier time or be richer or more privileged than others, but that hasn’t anything to do with being young. And being young is terrible sometimes. Don’t you remember how terrible it could be?

Such good social conversations are often found somewhere amongst the books.

After reading the series, I thought that James is either an atheist with a need to belittle others who have faith, an agnostic who hasn’t decided if God is worth the effort or a Christian who writes knowing that “evil is easier to depict than good.” Believe it or not, it’s the latter one that is the truth. She writes often where situations where those characters who possess zero faith not because of God, but rather because of humanity. She also creates characters who do have faith in the beginning is left with a solid belief in God and his ability to love or protect anyone on earth. Time and again, Adam Dalgliesh’s mind shows that he is unable to trust in God. (He, a son of a parish priest, lost all faith when he prayed to God for Him to save his wife and child. When he didn’t get the answer he wanted, he decided that God was a falsity.) Reminded that his wife died in childbirth, we are also told that Dalgliesh’s unbelief is not a sign of bitter rebellion against God so much as blank incomprehension at such suffering and death.

In Death in Holy Orders, one of the characters discusses the decline and inevitable death of church/religion. In reference to the priests in the theological college:

Oh they believe alright. It’s just that what they believe has become irrelevant. I don’t mean the moral teaching: the Judaeo-Christian heritage has created Western civilization and we should be grateful to it. But the Church they serve is dying. When I look at the Doom I try to have some understanding of what it meant to the fifteenth-century men and women. If life is hard and short and full of pain, you need the hope of heaven; if there is no effective law, you need the deterrent of hell. The Church gave them comfort and light and pictures and stories and the hope of everlasting life. The twenty-first century has other compensations. Football for one. There you have ritual, colour, drama, the sense of belonging; football has its high priests, even its martyrs. And then there’s shopping, art and music, travel alcohol, drugs. We all have our own recourses for staving off those two horrors of human life, boredom and the knowledge that we die. And now – God help us – there’s the Internet.

As the books have progressed, they have become more and more decisive and articulate about either the absence or the lack of need of God. It’s sad really. But it’s supposed to be a sad and sorry situation. James puts it out there, what it will be like if you have no hope in God, nothing else on which to rely. She illustrates the frightful loss society has incurred in the refusal to acknowledge any accountability to the good and just God.

I give two thumbs up to the series. Though they do not have to be read in order, I would still advise it. The flow of discovery about the characters is much smoother and cleaner and the stories keep getting better and better as they are produced. This series is a smart, concise, eloquently articulate rendering of murders with a detective who only seeks to follow his instincts... and his heart.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

What The Girl Says

The Girl is really growing fast. Too fast if you ask me. How is it possible for an 11 year old to top me by a couple of inches?

Oh, yeah. I'm short. Well, as my mom said when I finally topped her at 14 years old, "Sha. It's no big deal. Three-fourth of the world is taller than me."

Great. Now I'm turning into my mother because I said the same thing to The Girl.

She's not only tall; she's funny too. Who'd have thought that those two things would go together? Hmph. You learn something new every day.

Thanks to Mr. Right, I receive mail from Republican offices because rather than put his name on a registration sheet, he put mine. Nothing says support like signing someone else to get the stuff. This time I received a letter from Laura Bush... to me... personally!

When the girl asked who the letter was from, I told her it was from the President's wife and that she knows me so well that she sent me a letter personally. See here? It has her photocopied name and all!

"Why would she send you anything, Mom?" she asked sarcastically.

"Since I'm so such a special friend to her, she sends me things all the time."

"Yeah, like a restraining order..." she said with a wiry little smile.

That made us bust out in laughter.


The other day, I was belting out a song in the car. It was good and loud. At the end of the song, The Girl looks up to the front and says seriously, "Mom, I want to say something and I don't want you to laugh."

Me: OK. Go for it.
TG: I think you need to try out for American Idol next year.

I couldn't help it. I laughed.

TG: Mom! You said you wouldn't laugh! I mean it. You should try out for it next year! You're really good and you'd be a natural on stage! Quit laughing! Why are you laughing when I mean it?

Me: (trying to keep the laughter in check) Well, I love that you have that kind of faith in my singing, honey, but people who try out for American Idol have to have, you know, talent.

TG: But you do Mom!

Me: I have enough talent for this car and a small stage, but I don't think I have what it takes to be front and center. Besides, I'm too old.

TG: Mom, you're not too old. What does age have to do with anything when you sound really good.

Me: No, I mean that I'm past the American Idol age limit. I think they only take people up to 28 years of age. I'm well past that, babe.

TG: Well, that's just stupid. And you look 28 so that shouldn't matter. And I still say you should try out. And next time, don't laugh!

You see why I'm not in such a big hurry to have her leave? She's my in-house good feeling producer. Even if she'll tower over me.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

WFMW – Putting Kids In Their Happy Place

I know that I’m blessed beyond measure in so many ways. My cup is often overflowing and spilling out onto the floor. I’d like to take a mop to it, but I like that kind of mess.

One of the ways that handle the kids is that I get rid of them send them to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the summer while Mr. Right and I act like newlyweds again and get to sleep nekked while we miss them terribly every waking moment of the summer. My in-awes actually came up with this brilliant plan, which is a God-send for us. No daycare on our part, the in-awes have live-in help and the kids make memories that will last for the rest of their lives.

The grandparents live 4 hours away, which makes weekend trips very doable. I think this year the trips will be cut down quite a bit mainly because we’ll be moving to our new house this summer and we’d like to have many of the projects done prior to the kids coming home, which will involve many weekends. But we’ll visit with them if only to make them appreciate their grandparents so much more. :)

The ache of missing them is dulled when we think about the stories and times of joy that the kids share with us when they come home. This year, along with gardening, reading and getting and arts and crafts memories, the kids are going to learn to sew, take swim lessons and cook for their grandparents. The Girl is going to take CPR which will come in very handy with the babysitting she wants to do next year and she’s going to detassle the corn. Hard work, but when she realized the money that could be made by working hard for 2 weeks, she became so much more excited about the task. I’m excited about not needing to fund as many events in the coming year.

I know that this situation won’t work for everyone, but I’m so grateful to God (and my in-awes) that it works for us.

After you quit wrestling with the little green monster, head on over to Shannon’s for some ideas about what to do with your kids if you can’t ship yours off to Grandma’s place too.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Road Trip!

It's time for a little shout out to the Lord, so you know that it must be Gratituesday, where one can be vocally thankful for something in life.

On Sunday, The Girl, two friends and I took a road trip to the church camp for those who were in 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grade last year. Along the way there was much laughing, much singing, much talking and, as usual with that many girls, much confusion. From trying to understand each other to trying to find the camp, we were all trying to find a way to get to where we’re going.

In trying to cut across land so that I could enter the interstate, I took a map designated road that should have lead to an on-ramp. Did you notice the “should” in that last statement? But as we were driving, I noticed that we went right over the interstate with nary a place to turn onto it. Imagine a car full of girls who are now in a place that none of us had ever been. Yeah, it was one of those wonderful moments that inspire tv sitcoms to be made.

Never once did I think to pray about our being “lost”. All I could think of doing was to look over the map and saying, "There SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN ON-RAMP HERE!" while looking for alternatives.

The girls were no help at all either. They mostly thought of “We’re LOST! We’ll never make it to camp! Waaaah!” and “Maybe there WAS an on-ramp and they just removed them.” Or my favorites: “Do we need to turn around and go home and start over? We’ll never get a bottom bunk now…”

But lo and behold, who should call as I’m sitting in the car and studying the map about how to fix the situation? Mr. Right called about some piddly thing, whereas I gave the account as to why we’re sitting on the side of the road, not going to camp at the moment.

“Hold on a moment. Okay, I’m looking at Google Maps right now and you need to take a left at the T and turn left on East 4th Street.”

Me: But that’s in a neighborhood! There isn’t an on-ramp in the middle of a subdivision!”

MR: Sha, do you trust me? Just do it and you’ll see.

Me: Yeah, I trust you. I’m turning. I’m turning.

And then less than a minute later, we’re on the interstate.

So I’m thankful for a quick-thinking man who quickly became a hero to the four girls in the car and for Google Maps, which ultimately saved the day and made bottom bunks possible for each of the girls.

So.... Road trip anyone? I'm game if you are, but only if you have a GPS system (which you know means that we'll be taking your car, right?)

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Monday, June 02, 2008

No Post Today

I was so busy swimming with the kids, playing games, reading, going through old boxes in the basement, spending time with Mr. Right (ahem), grilling, eating brownies and talking with Mr. Right's dad who took us out for ice cream that I didn't have time to write a post. Oh, and I took The Girl and two of her friends to a church camp yesterday. We sang loudly and excitedly over many a songs on that 2 1/2 hour trip.

So as you can see, I had no time to post at all because I still had to fit in dreaming about the house and sleeping.

My bad.

So what did you do this weekend?

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