Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Calendar

It's been so long since I scrapbooked... long enough that I'm even desiring to get glue on my fingers and little scraps of paper in my hair. Since Christmas with the in-laws didn't pan out for me (long story - Jeff & Braeden went and I stayed here), I'd thought that I would have a chance to do a little catching up, but - well, let's just say there have been complications.

I did, however, get started on Mom's yearly calendar. Yes, I know it's late. I think I'll just start the dang thing with February, if Shutterfly will let me do that. This year I opted to keep the design very simple, and I think I like the results so far. At least having a somewhat cohesive theme makes the actual scrap work much faster, right?

So... here ya go. June, May, and July (in that order).

Oh, and Mom already knows, so it's no surprise. In fact, I was so busy at the end of last semester that I barely had time to make her an IOU!



Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Decor

I've had the best time decorating this year. :) I love the turquoise-red-white combo, and since it works so well with my multitude of snowmen, I went with it!

The centerpiece on our table

A wreath I made using a styrofoam base, ribbon, and my Sixxiz Big Shot and Cricut (Winter Wonderland & When It's Cold Outiside carts)

Another view of the wreath

My many Snow Buddies - sadly, they are now discontinued. :(

More snowmen

Puppy Chow! YUM!

A music box... Frosty skates around the pond. Braeden will sit and stare at it forever!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bummed

*sigh*

I am trying to be thankful. Really I am.

Unfortunately, I am doing a rotten job.

My Thanksgiving plans are a bust. Every year I go to Mom's. We have our big T-giving dinner, and on Black Friday Mom & I load up and hit the craft stores for the latest & greatest. It's one of my favorite things to do all year - and Mom, Gabe & Katie are all sick. Worse, Jeff is working two 12-hour shifts that day. Oh yes, 'tis true - he'll work 7a-7p at Grandview and 7p-7a at Memorial. So it's just me and Bebo, with no time to get & thaw a turkey (something else I was really looking forward to). I have no idea what we will do.

Worse... it looks like our time in this little house is limited. Our landlords want to sell and there's not a snowball's chance in you-know-where that we will qualify for a loan to buy it ourselves. Guess we should have signed a lease. I'm just heartbroken. I love this little place. We were so lucky to get it, and now we'll likely have to move into some crappy little duplex or apartment because that's about all there is in this county.

I just want to cry. :(

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rip-Roarin' Good News

Wait for it...


Wait for it...








Wait for it...







JEFF PASSED NURSING SCHOOL!!!!!

AND HE HAS A JOB WAITING FOR HIM IN CARDIAC ICU!



Can you tell I'm excited? :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Leap of Faith?

I freely admit that I am not good at discerning God's will for me. Jeff tells me that it's silly to even try, because God can work with whatever direction I choose. On the other hand, I read verses like Jeremiah 29:11, which make me think that my husband might be off base a little. Whatever the case, I am at one of those crossroads... but it isn't necessarily an either/or situation. I could theoretically choose Path A, Path B, or both.

Before I lose your interest, allow me to explain...

It's not secret that I love photography. I've been dabbling in it for a few years now, but with my recent purchase, I've taken that dabbling to a much higher level. I truly love taking pictures, and with each shot I take, I get a little better. My parents are encouraging me to pursue it - so much so that Dad even suggested I drop out of nursing school and start my own photog business! I brushed it off... for a while.

The thought has been niggling at me ever since. Now I'm questioning whether I'm doing the right thing in continuing school. I love photography, but I don't know if I can make a serious living at it, especially if something was to happen to Jeff and it was up to me to support Braeden alone.

Then there's the question of whether or not I am really truly good enough. I'm getting better all the time, and I'm on the verge of saying "Yes!" - but it's a scary jump to make. I am my own worst critic, you know.

The most logical choice seems to be to pursue both. However, I can't quit my day job just yet, so that means juggling a budding business, nursing school, and work. Can I realistically do that? I just don't know.

For now, I am taking it one day at a time. I'm putting myself out there, waiting patiently to see if God nudges people my direction. In this small town, word-of-mouth could be my greatest advertising. It's just a waiting game now. Perhaps someday I can quit my other job and spend more time taking pictures. For now, though, I have a test to study for. Pray for me, please? I'm really not sure what to do...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creative Therapy

Yay! I actually scrapbooked something!!!

Okay... so it was a digital page and didn't use my new goodies, but still... I was in serious need of some creative therapy. :)


Should you be bored enough, you might want to peek at my photo blog. I've uploaded some new pics there from the weekend.

Oh, and guess what? I have my first paying photo session Saturday! woot!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today... 10/27/09

I've sat here five minutes at least, arms crossed, debating whether to gripe, update, or attempt to say something funny. Alas.... I'm not feeling especially comical this morning.

I'm tired. And grumpy. And I don't feel good, either. I have an incredible amount of stuff to do, and not enough time to get it all done.

Tonight I have clinical at a nursing home, and I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you that I am not especially thrilled at the prospect. Nothing against the elderly - but nursing homes weird me out just a little. I can remember as a little kid being flat-out afraid of them. Perhaps it is the poor care that seems to be standard in such places, but the overwhelming smell of stale urine and the awkwardness of attempting to converse with someone when I really can't understand a word that is spoken puts me in a serious state of uncomfortable. My great-aunt had MS, and while I always felt pity for her, I felt so uncomfortable - I knew she was trying to communicate but I didn't see her often enough to distinguish her words into something I could respond to. All that to say this - I'm nervous about tonight. We are just taking vital signs (probably including a rectal temp or two... ew), and maybe changing a tube feeding... but still.

It doesn't help that I am losing my hearing. I've known for years (since I was in first grade or so) that my ability to distinguish sounds was less than perfect, but until now, it hasn't interfered with daily living. Now I'm in the search for an amplified stethoscope because I simply cannot hear a pulse or respiration. I find myself having to say "What? Could you repeat that?" entirely too often. After the first of the year, I think it's time for an appointment with an ENT specialist... and maybe even a hearing aid. *sigh*

Last night I totally busted my tail picking up the house, but it finally got done. Well, except for the mopping and bathrooms. I only had time to do so much, but the laundry is caught up, rugs vacuumed, beds made, etc.

I also put together the cutest treat bags for Bebo's class. Should've taken a picture... didn't have time. But I think I will steal Mom's Sizzix die for the bags for Christmas. I have some brilliantly cute ideas for party favors. :)

Gotta go...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update

There's not much (new) to tell... I run around most days like a chicken with its head cut off. :) I'd love to scrapbook, but can't fathom finding the time right now. "Fall break" was this week, but there was no real break involved - instead, we got slapped with even more work than usual.

However...

I'm going to Mom's this weekend to take family pictures. She has lots of goodies waiting for me - some Estee Lauder makeup freebies, a Stampin' Up order with lots of Halloween goodness, a new Cricut cartridge, and some new Sizzix dies - to go with the Big Shot she got for me! Woot! I have no idea when I'll get to play, but I sure hope I can find time somewhere!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome Back, Autumn!

Words cannot express how thrilled I am that autumn has finally showed her beautiful face! The sky is crisp and clear for the first time in a month, the air is clean and cool, and the breeze is positively delightful. I can wear winter clothes again (I love sweatshirt weather!), and it's not unbearable to simply be outdoors. The windows are open - well, at least until the skunk visited last night - and I can hear the birds and the wind and I am just plain happy.

Some people experience depression when the cold air returns. Not me - I thrive on it. I feel lighter and happier and alive.

So far it's been a good week. I turned down fast food and made generally good choices (though I need to work a little harder at getting enough water). I've stayed entirely too busy to exercise, though, between class, a project, studying for a test, and year-end inventory at work. Lots of overtime and long, late nights are the norm this week. Saturday I'm having a yard sale (if the weather continues to cooperate). One entire room of the old house is packed with junk to get rid of. Here's to hoping someone finds treasure in my trash!

Hellooooooooooooo, fall!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just because I'm not a Democrat...

...it does not mean that I am illiterate.

Neither am I uneducated. I hold a bachelor's degree in business and am working toward a nursing degree. I know many more who think like me and hold doctorate degrees in a variety of fields.

I am not a racist because I disagree with the President. I do not care that he is biracial - that makes no difference in my opinion of his time in office.

Owning guns does not make me a violent person.

Just because I express my opinion - sometimes emphatically - it does not mean I am a hate-mongering, un-American, riotous person who does not deserve to be a citizen.

I watch Glenn Beck's show on FOX. That does not make me one of the "sheeple." I am inundated with liberal media everywhere I go - media that shows only one side of the story. To be entirely fair in my assessment, I need both sides of the issue.

I do not believe global warming is the issue the media has made it out to be. That does not mean that I am careless with my resources or that I am unwilling to treat the planet and its inhabitants responsibly.

I believe the best way to "fix" the ails of our society is for government to get its nose out of every single aspect of our lives. This includes health care reform - if you want to improve it, keep the government out. This does not mean I am above caring that people do not have insurance.

I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. That does not mean I am homophobic.

I am tired of being singled out by the media and other liberal Democrats. I am tired of being called illiterate, inconsiderate, un-American, ultra-right-wing, and terroristic. I am tired of constantly being accosted for daring to speak up in favor of less government and a closer adherence the Constitution.

Enough is enough! If you can't find anything better to do than call me names, then shut up! For eight years I have listened to the media and Democrats rant and rave about how awful President Bush was. Yes, he made mistakes. No, I did not agree with everything he did. But he was never afforded the respect his office demanded. Now the tables have turned, and President Obama can apparently do no wrong. To dare to call him out is be deemed a racist pig. When conservatives stand up and refute the ideas and laws and bills that are being shoved down our throats, the best the liberal media can do is call us names and make fun of us! There is no honest debate; no refutation of our arguments. It's nothing more than belittlement and name-calling.

And I'm sick of it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just Gotta Share

I gave my friends the files for the photos from the engagement shoot... and they had trouble getting them printed. Wal-Mart said the pictures looked professional and thought they had scanned them or something.

Hee hee... they thought the pictures looked professional!

Weekend Recap

I wanna scrapbook!!!

No time. Must do homework. :) This weekend was soooo busy! Both of the photo sessions went beautifully. Pics of the first are already up on my photo blog, but it will be a couple of days before I get to start processing the second session. I also baked cookies (yum!), and managed to get most of the data for the medical interview entered into the form. A few finishing touches and it will be ready to turn in - five days early, I might add! lol

Tonight is my first clinical skills test. I have to prove I can wash my hands. It's not difficult, but it definitely isn't as obvious as you might think. Pretty sure I can pass, though. (wink, wink)

Gotta go now. It's time to wake up my boys for the day. Maybe I'll get to scrapbook later this week. Cross your fingers for me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's here, it's here!!

I have a new camera... woot!

Check out my photo blog for some pics: First Photos. We're going to the fair tonight, and I'm looking forward to playing there, too. (Assuming, of course, that it does not rain.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Itchy, Excited, and a Wee Bit Tired

Ever had a bug bite the inside of your nose? Seriously... how do you politely scratch that?

...

The weekend wasn't terrible, though the kids fought a good bit and were, on schedule, up at the very crack of dawn each morning. Gabe & Katie were beside themselves with excitement that their Aunt Amanda was coming for a visit. I let them wear their pajamas all day Saturday, which won me the Cool Aunt of the Year award. (Or is that big sister?)

While I was there, my scrapbook order from Scrapbook Pictures came in. They are hands-down the best developer on the web. I'd been accumulating digital pages for more than a year, b/c I usually wait for a sale to place an order. Mom usually likes duplicates of anything with Gabe & Katie, so I just had the order shipped to her house. Right on cue, it arrived Saturday afternoon. I love seeing my pages printed... it's so different from looking at them on the computer.

Oh, and guess what? Jeff & I got an early Christmas present - a really nice Brinkmann gas grill! Woot! It's one of those things we have been putting off for years... at the beginning of every summer, we swear we'll get one, but there never seems to be money for it. Since Mom & Dad are coming to my house for Christmas this year, and it would not be Christmas without grilled filet mignon, they just had to get us a grill that would do the steak justice. :)

Got lots done today - worked at the old house for a while, got grocery shopping done, and am slowly catching up on laundry. Going to try to pick up this evening before bedtime.

One more guess what? - Thursday I get my new Nikon D90!!!! WOOOT!!!! And - I have an engagement photo shoot on Saturday and a family shoot on Sunday. (I might be the slightest bit crazy for doing those with a camera I've had for 24 hours, but I'm crossing my fingers there time Friday to practice with it.) I am really excited at the prospect of taking pictures again. I've missed having the camera be a permanent extension of my right arm. :)

Okay, gotta go. Much left to do before bedtime. Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Seriously Questioning My Sanity

I. Am. So. Tired.

Class days absolutely wear me out! My workday starts at 6am, and I have to rush from here straight to class. It's 10:30 or later before I get home, and I still have to do my nightly posting before I can go to bed. That much thinking is utterly exhausting!

This weekend, instead of resting, what am I doing? I'm going to watch my niece/sister & nephew/brother so my parents can have a break. Thing is, those two heathens are up at the butt-crack of dawn - and worse, they're an hour ahead of me! So instead of sleeping in, I can look forward to being out of bed by 5am my time.

There is no rest in sight for today, either. I have assignments to turn in (since internet access is iffy at Mom's), grocery shopping, laundry, and packing - not to mention that Jeff will almost certainly ask me to clean the house before I leave.

I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open!!!

Okay... enough complaining. I have my coffee, after all. [insert weak smile here]

School is interesting. I am not as socially challenged as I thought I might be. I like the instructors, and there are several of my classmates I find quite agreeable. So far the homework isn't difficult, just time-consuming. The amount of reading required in a 48-hour period is almost unbelievable, and so far the topics are not overwhelmingly fascinating - but give it time and I think it will be. I really enjoy seeing Jeff during my breaks, even if it is just briefly.

Braeden seems to be adjusting well to school and the new routine. I do think we are going to have to correct some attitude problems, though. He was a bit of a monster when I talked to him on the phone last night. I'm not sure what's going on with him, exactly, but it's going to have to be curbed quickly!

I must go now. It's shaping up to be a horrendous day of work, and I have much to do.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Unbiased Media

Right....

Check out this article:

McCain Battles Angry Crowd

Folks, I watched the entire thing on TV yesterday.... Yes, the crowd was angry, but the vast majority of it was not angry with McCain, but the people who are trying to force this bill through!

In fact, I listened to one woman who practically begged Senator McCain to tell her how the crowd of people could help him fight this bill!

Good grief, I am sick to death of the spin the media is putting on this stupid thing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It Begins...

Here I am, in class... more than an hour early. Am I a goober or what? Jeff & I came over early so he could do skills practice and I could run some errands at the student center.

I like that I'm not the oldest person in the classroom... in fact, I'd say I'm pretty average, age-wise. I sorta expect this to be a bit boring - lots of paperwork and stuff, some of which I'm already familiar with by virtue of watching Jeff go through the program.

Anyhoo... wish me luck. I sure do hope I'm cut out for this!

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Friday

Well...

Today is the last regular weekday before school starts. The last remnant of semi-calm before the craziness truly begins. I'm tired - no, make that frazzled - and it hasn't officially begun yet.

Makes me just a tad bit nervous.

But... it's okay. I'll be fine. I have (most) everything I need. Financial aid will roll in soon so I can buy the remaining textbooks, and I have all the techno stuff I need (laptop, retractable mouse, etc.)

Monday. It all begins on Monday. I'm nervous, and a tad bit worried - what if it's not for me? What if I hate it? What if, what if, what if.

Pbbttt.

I'm just being silly. I'll do fine, and I'll see it through to the end no matter what, cause that's just the kind of person I am. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my weekend with my family, do a little cooking, and maybe a little scrapping. We'll hit the bookstore and shoe stores tomorrow and maybe even catch a matinee.

And I'll leave you with a "regular" page that I did yesterday. Mostly I've been doing school album pages and cards. Kinda nice to have no set parameters to work in.

Good day to you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why God Made People

Conversation with Bebo:

B: Mommy, before God and Jesus made people, who did they talk to?

Me: I guess the angels or the animals.

B: Do angels talk too?

Me: I think so. They aren't like us, but I think they probably talk.

B: Was God and Jesus lonely before they made people?

Me: (stalling, not sure how to answer the question)

B: You know what? God and Jesus made people so they'd have someone to talk to. That way they wouldn't be lonely.

Sometimes I am amazed at how intuitive that little boy can be!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First Week of the First Grade (Recap)

We survived the first week of school, and I didn't cry once. Yup, first grade is definitely easier than kindergarten.

Braeden had one slightly unhappy incident, but other than that, he seemed to enjoy himself. On Friday he brought home a folder with all his work for the week - writing the days of the week, months of the year, colors, and, of course, the alphabet; several color-by-number worksheets, and a categorizing worksheet. I have a feeling the teacher spent the week feeling out the kids to see what they could do.

Naturally, the best part of school is recess, and he is quite proud to be playing on first & second grade playground - it's a promotion from the kindergarten playground, which was a pretty cool setup in and of itself. He gets to play with all the first grade, so he sees his kindergarten buddies - none of which are in his class.

When I asked him what the best part of first grade is, he said "I like to play outside in my new playground." Asked what he learned, he replied, " ...." (No answer.... blank stare.)

In other news -

Mom and Dad told the kids about the adoption, and that they would be changing their last names. Katie wanted to change her name to "Princess." :)

Jeff & I went on Wednesday to pick up our syllabus for the fall, and he gave me the "grand tour" of campus. Took all of five minutes to do that. LOL The Allied Health department is getting a new building, but it's not quite finished yet. Should be interesting to see if we start the semester in it or if we have to move midstream.

I'm getting excited... one week from Monday I start school. Granted, the first few days are going to be boring - orientation, paperwork, etc. But I'm looking forward to it anyway, and I freely admit that I am more than a little bit nervous. I keep wondering if I'm too old for this, if I'm going to handle this new way of thinking that Jeff keeps telling me about, and if I'll make some new friends in the process or just run everyone off.

Nerve-wracking stuff, that. But I am up for the challenge, and like my enthusiastic little first-grader, I plan on charging right into the fray.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Day of the First Grade

First grade was so much easier than kindergarten - at least for me! I don't think Bebo noticed the difference. I didn't think we'd ever get him to sleep Sunday night. He was in bed at 8:30, but didn't doze off until after 11 - and I spent all day doing my best to totally exhaust him. Three days in, he's sleeping a little better, thank goodness.

Naturally, he was a little slow waking up. One of the nice things about Jeff working night shift is that he can go with me to school stuff for Bebo. Once we got him ready for school, he was raring to go. I did the obligatory first day pictures (for which he was completely uncooperative), and we loaded up the truck and headed off.

He was such a little pro! :) He waltzed right into the school, stopping to brag about his new "packpack" to the principal, then marching straight to his classroom (but his backpack was so heavy he was slowing down by the time we got to the other end of the school). We were the first ones there, and he couldn't wait pull out his supplies for his teacher.

He's six, and he's a boy, which means that details are not exactly his Thing. So I had to pry out every little tidbit of info about his first day. He said they wrote a little, and colored a page. He was tickled to play with his kindergarten buddies at recess, and he enjoyed pizza in the cafeteria. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to how his day went!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

On Heaven & Subways

Another Bebo conversation:

"Mommy, before I was born, when I was in heaven and was still being made, I looked down here, and guess what I saw?"

"Tell me!"

"Well, I just saw dis earth (waving arms around), and right there was a subway train! It was really nice."

Ah, yes... gotta love the imagination of a 6-year-old!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I have a new brother & sister!!

I have not said a great deal about this, but for the last two years, my parents have had custody of my sister's two youngest kids. She has made a lot of bad decisions and could not / would not take care of her children. (The oldest lives with his dad, her ex-husband.) Mom & Dad recently decided that it was time to pursue adoption, and on Monday they went to the lawyer to begin the process... and in a mind-numbing twist, my sister & her husband just gave up and signed the kids over for adoption. Today they took the papers to the judge, and by 8am, I had a new brother and sister!

WOOT! God is so good! It's been hard to be patient, as this has dragged on for more than two years, but His timing is perfect, and when it finally came together, it happened faster than any of us expected. I feel pity for my sister, and I can only pray that maybe this is what is needed to wake her up.

For now, though - I am praising God for his blessings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Orienting

It has started... we went last night for orientation and to meet B's new teacher. Once again, we have a "newbie" - this is her first year teaching at JES. (Last year was his teacher's first year in a kindergarten class). Grannie & Peepop went with us, since they will be keeping Braeden about half the first semester while Jeff & I are in class.

Just like last year, it was a complete zoo. I am often surprised at how rude people can be - during the assembly, the adult would not shut up. No wonder kids are so misbehaved!

Anyway, his teacher is Mrs. (Ms? Miss?) Wilson. Braeden thanked God for her in his prayers last night, and I think he is already smitten! She seems very nice. His classroom is enormous - more than twice the size of his room last year. Only one girl from his kindergarten class is in his room this year, but I don't think it will be the end of the world for Braeden. The kid has never met a stranger. :) He found his seat and immediately took his place, and when it was time to go, he asked if he could stay all night!

I loved school just as much when I was that age. He is definitely a child after my own heart!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Mantra of My Life

It seems to me that I am always exhausted. Always tired, never getting in bed early enough, and not sleeping once I finally do lay down.

Today is worse.

I don't have milk for my coffee (cannot drink it black), can't stomach Mt Dew this early in the morning, and I'm fried. The weekend has taken its toll. Death - church - visitation - bachelorette party - funeral - wedding - devo at my house.... From one emotion to the other, from one event to the next... I'm just on the verge of insanity. Can't think straight to save my life. I have forgotten so many silly things - like leaving the keys in the front door!

And it's not me at the center of everything - I'm just on the fringe!

Yesterday I let my girls in Sunday school just talk through some of their grief. They hadn't really had a chance to do that, especially not with each other, and I knew they would need it. Then it was off to the races. We had to get the house ready for the teen devo after evening services, which meant cleaning (inside and out), shopping, and raiding the church pantry for stuff we needed.

Tonight we go to the elementary school to fight the mob and meet Bebo's teacher. Grannie & Peepop are both going with us, so it is going to be quite the family affair. :)

Oh, and in the midst of all this, my car broke down Wednesday and is still sitting in the Taco Bell parking lot. I am completely stranded, and I promise that we do not have money to fix it until the end of the month.

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Fuss Keeper

Between the funeral, a wedding tomorrow, and a broken-down car, it’s an understatement to say that emotions are running pretty high. We were headed home after the graveside service and a futile attempt to get the car to start, and Jeff & I started arguing about what we were going to do to get the car fixed. (It was nowhere near the high intensity that our fights can get, but we were both definitely tense.) Braeden looked from one of us to the other, then suddenly threw his arms out to the sides to grab our attention.

“Mommy, Daddy. You just better quit arguing right now! That’s not good.” Of course, it put the damper on our anger right away, and we apologized to him and to each other. Then he said, “I’m good at stopping arguments. I’m the Fuss Keeper. I make you quit fussing.” We laughed a little, and agreed, then he said “I don’t like it when you fuss. I just want you to listen to God."

That brought me to tears all over again!

Saying Good-Bye

Today we buried Hannah Newton - one of the spunkiest, sweetest kids I've ever known. Dear one, I hope you are enjoying heaven, and I hope you also know that the rest of us can't wait to meet you there.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Wedding & a Funeral

What a strange week this is turning out to be. Tonight I go first to the visitation at the funeral home, and then to a bachelorette party for one of my other "kids." Tomorrow afternoon is the funeral, and then wedding preparations start. I offered to help, since the funeral and wedding are at church, and they will be really crunched for time to get everything decorated.

The mix of emotions could prove to be disastrous... please keep all of us - the preacher who has to shift gears so quickly, the youth group who just lost one of their leaders, and all the rest of us who love both these girls and will be torn between being heartbroken for one and joyful for the other.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Please Pray

One of "our kids," a girl in the youth group at church, was killed last night in a car accident. She had just graduated high school and was about to go to college.

Please keep the Newton family in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conversation about the Future

(The following discussion occurred this evening, and I was typing as fast as I possibly could, which is pretty dang fast, so I got most of it word-for-word.)

"Mommy, when I'm an adult, I'm going to have a daughter."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah. I'm going to have lots of kids. A daughter and a son. Guess what?"

"What?"

"They're going to live with you!"

(smothering a laugh) "Is that so? Where will you live?"

"Oh, I'll live with you, too. I'm gonna be kind to them. You and Daddy are going to be kind to them, too."

Jeff pipes in with "Tell Mommy what their names will be."

"Atomica. That's a boy's name. And Sassafras - that's the girl's name. When we live here, we're going to have a big family, and you will have three babies then! You can name their last names. You have to choose before they come. They will be upset if you don't."

"Why don't we make their last name McCain?"

"Oh, yeah. Good idea."

"What job are you going to have?"

"What job? Oh, I'm going to work Dad's job, too, okay? He makes pizza, so I'm going to do his job, too." (nodding vehemently)

"That's not his only job. He makes sick people feel better, too."

"Oh, yeah. I'll have to go to school, too, when I'm a grown-up so I can learn that."

"What kinds of things will you teach your kids?"

(pausing to think about it) "How to learn to color and write. I'm going to teach them to draw pictures, and uh, I'm going to teach them to be good friends - yeah, that, too!"

"Will you take them to church?"

"Yeah, I will."

"What if they misbehave?"

"If they misbehave, I'll put them in their beds and tell them to think about it and do what your father says. I'm going to be their father, and I'm going to be good. They won't get what they want always. Not everybody always gets what they want. I'll say no, but if I get more money, then they can get a toy - but it can't be expensive. It can be a little toy, though, okay?"

"Will you have a wife?"

"I will."

"Who will it be?"

"It will be... I suppose... the kid's mom."

(smothering a laugh... again) "That's true. Who do you think their mom will be?"

"The same name yours is, okay?"

"So you're going to marry somebody with my name?"

"Yeah. I will. And don't forget, you have to bring me those flowers before the wedding. They're for the wife, okay? Then I'm going to get the flowers for the wife, and you can help me. You know what? I think I want to have a different name, okay? Like, uh, Daddy? That would be better. When I'm a grown-up, that will be my new name. I'll still have my old name, too."

"What will be the best part about being grown-up?"

"Um, being a daddy. Yeah, that will be the best!"

(Jeff came back in the room about this time.)

"I'm going to be just like you, Daddy."

(Jeff melts.... completely)

"Dad, you can help me take control of the kids, you know? Yeah, you could. If they don't like the food that they eat, we're going to give them anyway, cause it's good food. That way they will grow legs and arms (giving thumbs up sign), and so they have to have healthy food. They have to eat their food right instead of slobbering all over the place - that way they'll have legs. You can help me control them."

*sigh* I love my little boy!

The Problem with Marion County Schools

I just read an article in the local paper that said two of our county schools (a middle & a high school) have just been removed from the High Priority list for No Child Left Behind. One of the other high schools is still on the list - incidentally, it is the school Bebo would attend if we are still here.

Now I understand that you have to take NCLB with a grain of salt, but it is still a measure of how well the schools are doing - and it only serves to confirm my very strong feelings that I will not, under any circumstances, put Bebo in the public school system here past elementary. He deserves better than that. If it means I have to home school him, so be it. If it means we spend every penny we have putting him in private schools, so be it.

I'm pleased with the elementary school to this point, and since Jeff & I are in school ourselves, it makes sense to leave him where he is. But after the fourth grade, he is going to school somewhere else.

End of discussion.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Moving

Well, at least Braeden thinks we should. Today he told us, "I want to move to a bigger town. This one is too small. Let's move somewhere big . . . like New Mexico."

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Cards

This first one probably is better suited for a wedding, but it was easy enough to crank out a mass amount, so I'm not going to worry about it. I used a Cuttlebug folder, Offray ribbon, and a Stampin' Up sentiment.

I LOVE this one - one 12x12 piece of American Craft paper and half a sheet of cardstock got me a dozen cards. I also used Stampin' Up punches and stamps.

Thanks for checking them out!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lingerie Shower Card

Tee-hee. This was more fun than it ought to be! I lifted the idea from a card I saw on 2peas. I have to say that I almost quit before I finished it - the card just looked goofy until I added the trim. (And I can't tell you how tempted I was to add nipples! LOL)

Now if I can just find lingerie that cute for the shower!

Supplies: Paper - Basic Grey Two Scoops; Trim - Modern Romance & Offray; Gold vellum & kraft cardstock; Cuttlebug Textile embossing folder
If you would like the pattern, I'll be happy to email it to you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cards

It meant I had to clean up my scraproom (gasp!) but I finally started working on my last big batch of cards for church. With school coming up, I'm going to need the extra time, and besides that - I'm just ready for a break. I've been making the cards for five years or so, I guess, and it's time to let it go. I've run out of adhesive and will have to make a Wal-Mart run before I can finish assembling, (and let me tell you - making a dozen or so cards at once and putting them together assembly-line style is the way to go!) but here are the "prototype" cards, anyway. Keep in mind that the church cards can't be dimensional because people write all over the insides, so I can never get as creative with them as I'd like.


Actually, this is a birthday card I made for Dad - not a church card at all. (American Crafts, Stampin' Up, Cuttlebug, Offray)


A simple anniversary card. (Stampin' Up, Offray)


Sympathy card (Cuttlebug, Rubber Stampede)


Birthday Card (Stampin' Up)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just a Little Post

Yippiee!!! I'm going to see Harry Potter this weekend. Money has been tight since the hospital cut back everyone's hours, so I figured I'd have to wait until it came out on DVD to see it. But then Domino's called and asked Jeff to pick up a few weekend shifts, so I'm going to get to go after all! Even better is that I get to hang out with my HP buddy. :)

Tonight is the gospel meeting again ... sigh. We didn't go last night. I can't honestly say I've been crazy about the speaker so far. He seems to prefer soapboxes, and I just don't get into that. I guess I'll drag Braeden tonight since Jeff is working.

This crazy comfortable July weather has me itching to be outside. Last night we went to the park, which I was surprised to find we had all to ourselves. I took the camera just for fun, and scrapped the pics. Jeff says I should've called the page "Midsummer Day's Dream," but I informed him that we were there at sundown, so Midsummer Night sufficed quite nicely. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another Page!

I am doing my best to catch up on a little scrapping... I still have to wrap up B's album in the next couple of weeks (ACK! We meet his teacher August 3 and first day of class is August 10 - gotta get moving on that kindergarten book!) But I also wanted to jump into a few challenges that I've missed the last several months, so this page is for a challenge at 2peas to adapt a template or quickpage to suit your needs.

Guess I should take more pictures... I'm running out of stuff to scrap!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Miscellany

Our ladies' day went fairly well - we didn't have a huge crowd, but there were several churches represented, and honestly, there were a lot more people there than I expected there to be. Perhaps the more interesting part (at least to me) is that I have an idea for a topic should I ever get the chance to speak! I figure that if God wants me to to do it, he'll provide the opportunity, and I had better get ready, just in case. :) My topic of choice is Mary and Martha - but you should probably know that I have a rather different perspective on it than most. I've already started digging in and making notes.

This morning I'm blogging instead of getting ready for church. Bad girl! Not really, though - my class last week was a complete no-show, and I got up a little early anyway since Jeff worked last night and came in about 7:00 this morning. It's nice to feel relaxed instead of rushed.

I'll leave you with the first scrapbook page I did on my laptop - it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped (problems with the EHD), but it still looks fine. I even did it without a mouse! Yay me!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Little Scrappin'

I had planned on scrapbooking all summer long, but either I haven't had the time, or the mojo has been completely absent. Today I saw an ad on Yahoo! that sparked my interest, so I threw together a layout in under 15 minutes! Love it when that happens! LOL




Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poppy Seed Daze

So let me tell you about the stupid thing I did...

I had to schedule that physical & drug screen as part of my enrollment tasks for school, and when I called to make the appointment, I expected that it would be sometime next week before I could go in. Surprisingly, they had a spot open for me the next day. About three hours before the appointment, I realized that I had made a serious goof - I ate poppy seed chicken the day before! In a panic, I started looking up stuff on the internet, and sure enough, it is no urban legend - poppy seeds can and do cause people to fail drug screens all the time.

Uh-oh.

Luckily, my doctor's office does the drug screens in-house, so the results are almost instant. After a bit of discussion, we decided to postpone it until the first of next week, lest it look like I am on opiates and get kicked out of school before I even start!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Conundrum

I really enjoy teaching Bible classes. Once upon a time I thought I would like to be a school teacher, but after substitute teaching for half a year, I quickly decided it was not for me.

But Bible class is different. I love the richness of the Bible - some of the stories practically jump off the pages at me, as they speak to whatever need I have at the moment. I've been fortunate enough to have a bit of exposure to great teaching - from my Bible classes at Harding to some of the great speakers I've heard over the years to the men and women I listen to on the radio. My favorites were the ones who could take those characters and stories out off the pages and put them squarely in front of me. They knew how to explain seemingly obscure or confusing passages in light of the historical context, often giving it entirely new meaning.

And it is in that vein that something has been niggling at me... annoying, like a chigger burrowing for shelter under your skin.

I want to speak - publicly. I want to do a ladies' day, or women's retreat, or - dare I suggest it? - even a radio program. I want to teach, and something in me actually believes I might be good at it.

Where this idea came from, I'm not really sure. I don't even know if I could do it right, but I want to try - or at least have a chance to. And therein lies the problem - or at least part of it. I am not married to a preacher. In all my life, I don't think I've ever heard a female speaker who wasn't the spouse of a pulpiteer. How does one with no real ties to the Spiritual Leaders of the Congregation get such an opportunity?

The other problem is my age. At 32, I'm just old enough for the teens to think I'm farting dust and young enough for the older ladies to scoff and call me a child. What could I possibly offer to either group?

And yet... I want to try. I suppose I've had a couple of opportunities, but they both came in another lifetime, when Jeff & I were still in youth ministry. One was a complete disaster - they asked me to do a talk on marriage, and I had barely been married a year! There was not a single woman in the room who'd been married less than ten years at that point. The other didn't amount to much; I was simply giving a demonstration of how you could tie scrapbooking into your faith.

Well, I'm older and wiser, and though I think I could handle that marriage talk a little better now, I still wouldn't want to give it. Crazy as it sounds, I want to do expository preaching! (Can a woman really preach? Perhaps I should term it "expository speaking.") I want to dig into a story and make it dance right out of the pages. I want to see the proverbial light bulbs flickering on because people finally get something they never quite understood before.

I had one of those moments with my 3rd & 4th graders Wednesday. I was teaching the story of Saul's death, and they were absolutely riveted. It was such a joy - they were hanging on every word I said, and reacting so strongly to the messages involved. That's what I want.

Admittedly, I'm struggling with the whole idea. Besides the obvious problem of there simply being no opportunity, I'm trying to make sure my motives are in the right place. I don't want to do it for the recognition - at least I don't think so. I'm digging deep down to try and make sure that isn't the case.

All I want is to try. Give me once chance to see if I can do it. If I'm terrible, then it's no loss (except perhaps for the people I bored to tears). Somehow, I don't think I would make a complete disaster of it, though.

I just want to try.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Church Fire

The congregation I went to when I was in high school burned early this morning. It was an old building, and they believe it to be a total loss. I wouldn't have expected to feel so sad about it - I haven't been there in about 15 years - but I just want to cry when I think of all the memories tied to it.

Please pray for the Central Church of Christ.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Transforming the Kid's Room

I suppose by now it's no secret that my little family is obsessed with Transformers. We've watched the cartoons, seen the movie, and ran around the house playing Autobot and Decepticon.

Yes - even I, the boring old mom, love the Transformers.

However, there was a slight problem with the last movie. The language was awful. It was totally uncalled-for, completely unnecessary to the plot, and the thing that made me maddest was that for a movie marketed to KIDS, it was just way too adult. Jeff & I debated for a long time whether to take Braeden to see it (I am so thankful that we saw it first). Finally we decided that we will buy it on DVD and watch it at home with him. We know we can't shield him from such things forever, and I would much rather him hear it in a controlled environment that lets us explain what a word means and why it is a bad thing to say.

For obvious reasons, Bebo was terribly disappointed that he wouldn't get to see the movie in the theaters. But he's a good kid, and when we explained about the language problem, he wasn't quite so upset.

Enter my friend Elle.

A couple of Sundays ago, she emailed me about a special sale for Transformers wall clings. Well, I took one look and knew that it would more than make up for not seeing the movie, so I placed the order. Besides, we've lived here for four months and haven't got a single thing on his bedroom walls! I finally got them up today, and I can't wait for my little man to get home tomorrow (he's been at Mom's all week) so he can see them. I'm pretty sure he'll be ecstatic.

Heck - even I think they're cool!

Optimus Prime




Bumblebee

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Under Attack

Lately I've been going through a spiritual bootcamp of sorts. It's hard to explain; suffice it to say that I have been challenged on a new level. I have learned things about myself and about God that have left me reeling.

And it's been utterly . . . I don't even know the word to use. Frightening? Shocking? Eye-opening? Words fail me this time.

This challenge has come from a couple of sources. Someone on the Weight Watchers website mentioned a free online Bible study for people trying to lose weight. It's called Setting Captives Free, and I was skeptical, but thought it would be worth a try. The basic premise is that most of us try to use food to fill our souls, when Jesus is the only one who can do that. The lessons focus on teaching us how to feast on the Lord and not medicate with food. Deep down I knew that, but putting it into practice is not a simple matter.

The other piece is the CD set Mom gave me - the first sermons in a series about Revelation. I love their church - it is alive in a way that mine is not. When I visit, I always leave feeling uplifted and convicted. As I listened to a talk about the church in Ephesus (they are the ones that Jesus said had wonderful deeds, but had lost their love for Him), Greg asked if we had lost our first love - could we remember what it was like when we first became Christians? The fire, the insatiable desire for more of God's word, the longing for others to know him as we did?

And then it hit me, squarely in the chest, with all the force of a blast of dynamite.

I have never felt that fire.

Tears just poured down my face at the realization. After twenty years of calling myself a Christian, my heart did not show it. I hadn't lost my first love - I'd hardly ever had it to begin with! Yes, I have worked for the Lord - I've done everything from mission trips to teaching classes to writing VBS skits - but my heart was never in the place it should have been. I could sing "Light the Fire" all day long and never really, truly, deep-down-in-my-gut mean it.

Suddenly I understood wholly the concept of feasting on Jesus, and why I was grasping the idea but not the execution. It was almost too much to think about - I just sat there, dazed and in awe.

Earlier in the day, as I was working on the day's lesson for SCF, it began with a note that when we stop using food to medicate, it can actually be painful. As we lean more on God, the numbness that food provided leaves us vulnerable to past hurts. It dawned on me that Satan might also use this time to attack, before we become so strong that a spiritual battle is more than he can win.

You see, lately I have been unable to sleep at night. I lay in bed, and my mind is a whirling vortex of disconnected thoughts and memories. Sunday night I was exhausted, but it was 3am before I finally drifted off, only to have to awaken less than three hours later. I have tried praying. I've tried reciting scripture. I've tried reading my Bible - but none of it worked. I couldn't stay focused on any of it. The insane, incoherent, stray thoughts overpowered all my attempts to simply be still.

When I am tired, I am spiritually weak. It is hardest for me to resist overeating when fatigue clouds my head - I get drive-through because it is less work, and I munch on anything and everything, hoping for a little burst of energy. I walk around in an exhausted daze, and if the thought of God even flits across my mind, it's something of a minor miracle.

I think I am under spiritual attack.

I am drawing near to God in a way I never have before. Those nagging missing pieces of the spiritual puzzle have suddenly appeared on the table, and as I fit each one into place, the picture is becoming clearer - and yet I have this vague feeling that someone is trying to sneak out the newly-found pieces when I am concentrating on the right spot for the one I have in my hand.

It sounds silly to say this out loud, but I think Satan is keeping me awake at night to keep me tired, because he knows that is when I will be the most vulnerable. I can only take that to mean that he must think I am becoming a threat - and that, I suppose, is a good thing.

If you are not a beliver in God, you probably have written me off as crazy at this point. But if you are - then would you say a prayer for me? This journey is a strange and confusing one, and I need strength to make my way to wherever it is God is trying to lead me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's Independence Day!

My birthday is on July 4th. When I was a kid, I was truly convinced the fireworks were just for me, though I wondered how everyone in the whole country could know it was my birthday. It is by default, I suppose, that I am a patriotic person. I love my country, I salute the stars & stripes, I support our military - I am proud to be American, and I am proud to be free.

And in that spirit of freedom, I have declared my own Independence Day - independence from myself, that is. My weight has gotten me down for far too long. Today I am joining Curves. I've been back on Weight Watchers for a couple of weeks now.

It is time to be free from the one thing that really holds me down. Wish me luck - this road is not an easy one, and it's one that has caused me to stumble more times than I can count. By the grace of God, I believe I can accomplish it. (But I still appreciate all the prayer I can get!)

Let freedom ring!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Annual Birthday Letter

Since Bebo's first birthday, I've written him a letter. Of course, most years the actual letter is not written anywhere near his birthday; this year I have especially bad and finished it three months late! But late is better than never, and I hope he will cherish the letters someday. Each one has been lovingly scrapbooked for him. I always try to tell about the new things he's learned, about what's going on in our lives, and about what I think/hope the future holds. Without further adieu, here is this year's letter & page.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Sweaty Reminder

We've been living in our new home for about four months now. Tonight we went back to the old house to do some work, and I was reminded - rather vividly - why I love my new home so much.

It seemed an inevitability of summer; at least once during the season the air conditioner would die. I have been basking in the coolness of our little home; even wearing a sweatshirt occasionally. When we stepped outside the door of our old home, a vague whiff of stale air seeped under the doorway. As I walked inside, the humidity and staleness smacked me right in the face. I had expected it; we'd left the a/c barely running and the house always smelled of sewer when the unit wasn't constantly running.

So I turned it way down, hoping it would cool quickly. It didn't. Jeff took out the old filter, thinking that would help. It didn't. We lasted just over an hour before we were both drenched with sweat and thoroughly disgusted. Did I mention that the unit was replaced just over a year ago? The memory of spending several miserable days in the heat made me cringe, and utter a quick prayer of gratitude that I don't have to live there anymore.

Anyway, it appears that I'll have to go early in the morning to work, before the house has time to heat up. I did manage to get one room completely cleared out. We've decided not to try to clean until the house is completely emptied.

I am so utterly grateful for our clean, neat, functioning little home. It could not possibly be more perfect for us, and it is such a pleasant place to be.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camera Dreams

I really thought I would do a ton of scrapbooking this summer. Obviously, that hasn't happened. First it was VBS, now I have just three days before my Ancestry subscription runs out so I'm frantically trying to dig all the info I can from there... soon it will be gospel meetings, birthdays, etc. My summer seems to be rather full.

My scrapbooking mojo (or lack thereof) is not aided by my camera problems, either. I have been told that my beloved dSLR has a bad megapixel - this is supposedly the cause of a lovely red laser line right down the middle of all my photos. Frustrating, to say the least. It's such a pain to photoshop it out (and in some cases, simply can't be done at all), that I just haven't taken many pictures lately. The good news is that Jeff really wants me to have that camera, so he has promised that as soon as possible, he will get me the new Nikon D90 that I've been drooling over. It's a step up from the D40, and has some features that I seriously regretted forgoing when I bought it two years ago.

I also have picked out a new lens - a 60mm f/2.8 prime lens that will allow me to take extreme close-ups - something I have desired to do for some time now. I have been itching to take pictures of bugs and flowers and cat whiskers and eyelashes - with that lens, I will be able to, and I might even consider a foray into stock photography.

I miss holding the camera. It's hard to explain, but when I am looking through the viewfinder, I see things that I wouldn't see otherwise - little imperfections in a brick, a mole on a cheek, lines in a landscape.

I will say this much: I am definitely going to purchase an extended warranty. I'd hate to have another processor ruined.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Razzie Award

Today I am going to hand out my own personal Razzie - the "We Didn't Think This Song Through" award is dedicated to all the songs with lyrics or music that leaves us scratching our heads, wondering what on earth the writers were thinking - either through lyrics that are so nonsensical that they make Shel Silverstein sound like Shakespeare (no offense to Silverstein - love his stuff) or are utterly offensive to the sensibilities when strung together in a song.

Today's Razzie for "We Didn't Think This Song Through" goes to . . . .



"I'm Gonna Sing, I'm Gonna Shout!"



The song has been awarded this dubious honor solely for one of its absurd verses. It's a VBS classic gone terribly, terribly wrong. It's starts out nicely, but makes a u-turn all too quickly.

I'm gonna sing, sing, sing
I'm gonna shout, shout, shout
I'm gonna sing I'm gonna shout
Praise the Lord!
When those gates are open wide
I'm gonna sit at Jesus' side
I'm gonna sing I'm gonna shout praise the Lord!


I'm gonna twirl, twirl, twirl
I'm gonna hurl, hurl, hurl
I'm gonna twirl I'm gonna hurl
Praise the Lord!
When those gates are open wide
I'm gonna sit at Jesus' side
I'm gonna twirl I'm gonna hurl
Praise the Lord!

To the person who actually thought teaching children a song that puts vomiting in the same the breath as praising God was a good idea (song includes twirling and barfing motions) -

Here's your award. You have earned it well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Genetic Anomaly

I suppose it's time I tell everyone about my little problem... I just can't hide it any longer. I thought I could keep it a secret, but that's too stressful, so it's time to be honest and open about it. Perhaps there are others like me; maybe I could form a support group someday.

I'm quite convinced that my problem is genetic - though it will likely never receive an official diagnosis - because my mother seems to suffer from the same affliction. There are two symptoms of this anomaly, both of which threaten to make me crazy.

You see, my genes have apparently mutated from the norm with what I call Bathroom Radar.

The first symptom of this genetic mistake is this: in any situation where there is a single bathroom available to multiple persons, I can just think about getting up to make use of the facility, and someone rushes in before me. It's almost as the stray thought gives off an inaudible beacon to those around me, and compels them to move to the bathroom before my legs get the mental command to bring me to my feet.

It's inevitable, and it seems that the more urgent my need, the louder the beacon - and thus the chance of someone beating me there increases exponentially. Worse, the person who beats me there usually has a book in hand and is planning on making the trip an extended experience.

The other symptom (and perhaps the more aggravating of the two) is that the very instant I actually make it into the bathroom, the phone rings.

Every. Single. Time.

It's unreal. How could they possibly know when to call, unless I'm giving off some sort of signal that creates a subliminal urge to call me (usually for the most mundane of reasons)? Since I work from home, I have guilt issues about not answering the phone, but I don't especially want to give the boss a number when he asks where I was, either!

It's sort of like washing your car in a drought, and it rains the next day. It's just a given.

So there you have it - my little problem, disclosed for the world to know.

'Scuse me. I gotta go.

Big Cards & Shout-out

I have been making greeting cards for our card ministry at church for a few years now. Occasionally I am asked to make a Big Card for something special - perhaps someone is having major surgery, or celebrating a 90th birthday. These Big Cards are really difficult to make. I use that foam-core stuff that's the size of a posterboard, and none of my scrapbook stuff is to that scale. It's tough to make 12x12 paper look right on something three times that size, ya know?

This is where the shout-out comes in...

One of my fellow scrapper/card makers, Diana, has a really cool blog that has new posts almost every day. She posts challenges and sketches, and one of the sketches really helped me finish the Big Card I had to do Sunday (in between church and getting ready for VBS Day 1). I didn't take a picture, because there just wasn't time. Just wanted to say thanks, Diana - you helped me out of a pinch, and you didn't even know it!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Irregardless is not a word. I've seen/heard it three times today. If you look it up in the dictionary, it will tell you it's "nonstandard" or "erroneous."

Drives me nuts - like seeing business signs that are misspelled. Guess I'm just a grammar snob.

Carry on.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Anniversaries & VBS

I really dislike VBS. Frankly, I think it's time to just let it go and try something else. For years, I've never seen it be anything but a cheap (free) baby-sitting service. But the ghost just won't die, so today I'm preparing lessons for the 5th & 6th graders. It's a cowboy theme, and my biggest dilemma is deciding whether they think they are too old for crafts or not. Whatever the case, I'll be rather busy this week, I'm afraid.

Our anniversary was nice. I'd long hoped we'd be able to do something really special on our tenth go-round, but our budget allowed only dinner, a movie, and a couple of small bottles of spirits. We saw Star Trek again, though I practically had to drag Jeff into the theater. He seemed to think that since I'd already seen it, I would not be interested in going again. What he didn't understand was that I enjoyed it so much I couldn't wait to see it again, and I knew without a doubt that he would love it - which, naturally, he did. We ate at Kanpai of Tokyo, a positively delightful hibachi grill, and killed a little time shopping for new scrubs/nursing uniforms and browsing the sci-fi racks at Books-a-Million. It was a perfectly enjoyable date.

He bought me flowers, too - nine white with a single red, because he said that this last year had been our best. Sweet, huh?

Well, I'm off to the races. Lots to do today.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ten Years

Oh, how time flies! Ten years ago today, I married my sweetheart. God has been good to us, even if the years have not always been easy. I am grateful for what He's done - I have a wonderful little family, a roof over my head, and an opportunity to do something rewarding with my life.

Ten years ago I was a naive young woman who'd just graduated college and was ready to run headlong into life. I walked down the aisle to marry a man with whom I'd fallen hopelessly in love. He was intelligent, romantic, and kind. He was just the right height, too - I could lay my head perfectly onto his shoulder.

Our first meeting must have been orchestrated by God. He was interning as a youth minister the summer my family moved from Indiana to Tennessee. The Sunday we met was one day before my nineteenth birthday. I walked into the teen class that morning so I could stay with my little sister. Moments later, the very cute boy I'd seen down the hall entered the room. He smiled and introduced himself, then asked what grade we were in. When I told him I'd just finished my freshman year of college, his resulting expression was priceless.

I'll tell you a silly little secret - I promise it's true. Have you ever heard the old song "Today I Met the Boy I'm Going to Marry?" Really and truly, that song popped into my head the moment he told me his name. We would never have met were it not for that little church that made our paths cross.

Ten years later, through circumstances that came very close to tearing us apart, we are together and we are strong - looking to the next ten years, and beyond.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Escape and Recapture

I've been totally MIA, huh? After school was over, I needed to break from everything - well, at least everything that I could. You can only ignore work and laundry so long.

Mom & I spent half of last week in Gatlinburg. A few years ago, we made a trip to a CKC (Creating Keepsakes Convention), and we enjoyed it so much that we began taking a trip together every year. We've been to 2 CKCs and 1 CKU. This year we had the chance to go to a CKU, but I didn't feel like it, and with their format change, I didn't think we'd enjoy it as much. So instead we went to Gatlinburg. We got a little cabin in between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg; it sat high on a steep, winding road, and was in the perfect spot - close enough to town to be accessible and far enough away to be quiet and peaceful.

We shopped like mad women. I absolutely despise clothes shopping - besides the fact that I hate the way I look, I'm so cheap that I have a terrible time justifying spending more than $20 on jeans and $10 on a shirt. (Maybe "cheap" isn't the right word.) But Mom took me shopping, and I came home with an armload of stuff - new underwear, three pair of capris, two pair of the comfiest workout pants I've ever owned, some shirts, and even a skirt, which I haven't bought in years. This was a huge addition to my pitiful closet, which consisted of one pair of capris, one pair of jeans, and maybe four shirts decent enough to wear anywhere besides a grocery trip to Wal-Mart at midnight. I also came home with goodies for Bebo - a new "big boy" Bible, t-shirts, pajamas, and Thomas the Tank Engine stickers.

When Mom & I get together, two things inevitably happen: first, we hit every craft store in a hundred-mile radius, looking for scrapbook stuff that neither of us need but think we can't live without. (I was good this time; I came home with a minimal addition to my stash, and only things I actually needed.) Second, we talk. A lot. I adore my parents, and Mom and I can gab for hours - which is precisely what we did, and it was oh-so-nice. Since she & Dad took on my sister's kids, time for us to talk has been scarce at best. We still phone each other at least once a day, but it's harder to have much of a conversation. Catching up is a great thing.

We also ate delish food - the Pancake Pantry in downtown Gatlinburg is the business! - rode the skylift (which I hadn't done in years), and watched some movies that I'd been wanting to see since they hit the DVD shelves.

We had a fantastic weekend, but I wasn't done escaping. I came home and watched seasons 1-3 of Heroes on Netflix. Great show, but now it's time for me to be recaptured and thrown back into my everyday life. There is work to be done, and nobody but me can do it.

Time to re-enter the real world.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

More Scrap Stuff

I am working as hard as I can on B's kindergarten album. This has been SUCH a fun project. I like the format so much I think I may use it again for his first-third grade years.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From the Mouths of Kindergartners

If you know my child, you know that he says some pretty funny stuff. His teacher, bless her heart, wrote down some of the best ones. For your reading pleasure, I give you Silly Sayings by Braeden.

1.22.09 - My Daddy poots a lot.

2.3.09 - If you get hit by a stunky (skunk) then you will really have to take a shower. Mrs. M, isn't stunky a hard word, a really hard word?

11.25.08 - I am thankful for my daddy.

2.20.09 - What is a watch? Tells you what time church day is.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Get a cake with fire on it.

Tee-hee.... I am going to tell everyone I know about the first one!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quickly...

Two more for B's album. Tired of seeing these yet?


Breathing

With the end of school, my life suddenly came to a grinding halt.

I like it!

Okay, maybe "grinding halt" is a bit overstated. It's not like I can quit cleaning the house, washing the dishes, or folding the laundry. And I still have a lot to do this summer to get ready for school - like vaccinations and background checks and CPR courses and the like. There's a ton of scrapbooking to catch up on, particularly Braeden's kindergarten album, which I can hardly wait to have printed. And I'll be teaching two Bible classes this summer - my girls' class on Sunday morning and 3rd & 4th on Wednesday night. Of course, there will also be VBS, a ladies' day, and a gospel meeting to deal with. (Might skip the gospel meeting.)

Hmmm... maybe "grinding halt" is the wrong phrase. Maybe I should've said "brief pause!"

Nah. I actually do feel like a load has been lifted from my shoulders. Yes, there's a lot to do this summer, and even though there are deadlines and schedules, the timing of much of it is entirely up to me.

I spent a fabulously lazy weekend with my folks. We just goofed off all day Saturday, then a sitter took over kid detail while Mom, Dad & I went to see Star Trek. (Fantastic movie, btw, even for non-Trekkies.) Yesterday started with an encouraging church service, then we enjoyed a late lunch at Don Pablo's. I picked up a few goodies at Sam's, then the Beebs & I headed home (making one more stop at Books-a-Million on the way).

There's something intensely relaxing about sitting around doing whatever I feel like, with no schedule, no demands (save a niece & nephew constantly crawling in my lap), and no where to be.

Yup. Life is good.

Friday, May 8, 2009

On a Rainy Day....

I love a good rainstorm. Even with thunder, there is something strangely peaceful and safe about the sound of rain pounding against the windows. It doesn't hurt to know that the roof is leak-proof, either. :)

I apologize for my MIA-ed-ness. I've had my nose buried in the books for the last two weeks in preparation for finals - which, as of yesterday, are over. I also feel the need to brag on myself a bit, because I am going into nursing school with a 4.0 GPA. As I told Jeff, I am such a competitive person, and there was something in me that just needed to know that after ten years out of school, I could still successfully plow my way through a college course.

The reality of it all is starting to sink in now - I registered for nursing classes last night, and now that all of my prereqs are complete, I am finally believing this will actually happen. Funny, because this time last year, the possibility had just barely crossed my mind. I've always been that way, though - I sometimes make Big Decisions on what seems like a whim, but they always seem to be good decisions.

In other news, if the rain lets up by lunchtime, I am heading to Wal-Mart to pick up my new purple Dell laptop! As a requirement for nursing school, I had planned on waiting until Tennessee did their tax-free back-to-school holiday, but my uber-cool Dad surprised me by ordering for me a bit early! Now I have time to get used to it, and load it up. It's a powerful little computer - I wanted something that could double as a work computer and also be able to handle my scrapbooking stuff.

More to come later. I have to see if the power has come back on at work yet so I can resume what I was doing there. Later!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh, Scrap It!

Yippie!!! I had the slightest of breaks in the madness that is my life, so I jumped on the opportunity for a little "creative therapy." Feels so good to scrap again - I'm looking forward to the relative quiet of summer so I can do some serious catching up.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Still Here, Still Crazy

Thought I should make a quick post to let you know I have not fallen off the face of the earth. To summarize:

- A&P test today

- lots of cleaning last week, yet no visible progress

- our bank has me seriously irritated (and stuck all weekend with a -$400 balance b/c they tried to post the same check twice and didn't fix it before the weekend)

- Jeff loves his job!

- Braeden is frantically learning sight words so he can get into the principal's treasure chest

- Jeff is, as usual, procrastinating and will probably depend on me to help him out (never mind that I'll be studying for my own classes)

- I have lost 6 pounds in the last two weeks!

- on Saturday we're going to see Thomas the Tank Engine (again) at the railroad museum

- we just squeezed through the bills at the middle of the month

- it's time for me to get ready for church

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Susan Boyle

By now, you've probably heard of Susan Boyle, the woman who blew away everyone at Britain's Got Talent tryouts. If you haven't, look her up on YouTube.

Someone sent this link to another song she recorded several years ago - I am blown away by this woman. So sad that the outward appearance has kept her talent hidden all this time!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I like Adam.

I swore off American Idol when Melinda Doolittle got voted off. But you can't really avoid the AI machine, and I have to say, I am really impressed by Adam Lambert. He's goofy, and I don't always like his version of some of the songs - but he is one heckuva performer. I don't think it matters how far he gets in the competition. The man is guaranteed a record deal, and at the very least, is quite entertaining to watch.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Handsome Boy

When you're six, and your mean mommy is making you help with the housework, it's easy to find distractions. This is especially true when you are instructed to clean your room - lots of treasures can be found under the bed.

It's so tempting to play with the previously forgotten toys, but you know Mommy won't like that. What you can get away with, however, is playing with the wearable items. So by the time you are finishing cleaning, it's perfectly acceptable to be wearing a too-small ball cap, Transformers sunglasses, black gloves, and a Thomas watch.

And naturally, you want feedback on your fashion sense, so if you say to her, "Mommy, don't I look handsome?", of course she won't laugh.

Or will she?