31 May 2007

Tea Recipes to Kick the Can

My brother-in-law, Brent was here for about 5 days and we really enjoyed his visit. While he was here I heard that story about soda, and realized that we needed to do something to get it out of our diet. Brent likes the green tea - the Lipton stuff that you get in the bottles - citrus flavor. I like it too - but can you believe I never thought about trying to make it myself? We went to Dollar G and picked up a box of green tea bags - and I told him I would try to make some. Here is what I came up with - that Brent and I both think tastes better than what you can buy in the bottle.

Brent’s Green Tea

Fill 2 quart pot about 1 ½ - 2 inches from the top with cold water

Bring water just to the boiling point

Remove pot from heat, and add 6 regular sized green tea bags

Allow to steep for 15+ minutes

Pour warm tea into a 2 quart pitcher

Add ¾ cup of sugar + ¼ cup lemon juice

Stir until all sugar is dissolved

Allow tea to cool in refrigerator and serve over ice

My daughter Kendra loves chai tea. She is drinking it even in the 90⁰ weather. I thought I would try to make her cold chai tea – like they serve in coffee houses. Her favorite is one she gets at a little place in WV called The Daily Grind where one of her best friends works called a Chai Smoothie – but I think this iced chai drink is a nice alternative for an every day drink.

Kendra’s Cold Chai Tea

Fill 2 quart pot about 3 inches from the top with cold water

Bring water just to the boiling point

Remove pot from heat, and add 6 regular sized chai tea bags

Allow to steep for 15+ minutes

Pour warm tea into a 2 quart pitcher

Add ¾ - 1 cup of sugar (in India chai is served quite sweet!)

Stir until all sugar is dissolved

Add 1 cup of whole or canned milk

Allow tea to cool in refrigerator and serve over ice

Vote for ME at Top Momma!

A couple of months ago, I entered as a contender at Top Momma. Basically you put up a zany photo (one that will attract the most attention) and people click to check out your blog. Whoever gets the most clicks wins. I was just entered as a new contender about 2 hours ago. If you are interested in helping me keep my spot there, please go on over and click on the picture of my friend Tina and me in a windstorm (see sidebar to the left)!
Thanks for your clicks in advance!

Deep Green Southern Roots

I am going to give away the one part of me that is definitely, without a doubt, and unashamedly southern to the core! I LOVE southern cooking - sweet tea, cornbread, fried chicken! I think I am packing on the calories just thinking about it. One of the first things that I was loving when we first got to TX last May (yep our one year anniversary on the 29th - but that is another post!) was the abundance of fresh produce available at the local farmer's market - as well as in the gardens of all of Travis' family - everytime you visited somebody you were taking home an armful of something - even if you had never seen it before and didn't know how to cook it! One of my favorites things to make was Fried Green Tomatoes! They are sooo soo good! (I have also always loved the movie by the same name!)
Anyhoo - I thought I would share my favorite recipe for them which is from the Fanny Flagg's Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook. Be careful though - if you get too addicted, you may never let any tomatoes get red - and they are so good too!

¾ c self-rising flour

¼ c cornmeal

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¾ c milk

3 – 4 green tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch slices

Vegetable oil

Combine first 5 ingredients; mix until smooth. Add additional milk to thin if necessary (I say - don’t do this! Keep the batter thick!) Batter should resemble pancake batter. Working in batches, dip tomato slices into batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into bowl. Fry in 2 inches hot oil. (375⁰F) in a large, heavy skillet until browned, turning once carefully with tongs. Transfer to a colander to drain.

I used a fork, and I laid mine on a paper towel as with most fried foods. They are tangy – and not everybody likes them. If you try them and enjoy them let me know! Oh yeah, and they are super dipped in Ranch dressing!

30 May 2007

One Down, Four to Go, Where the Sixth One is We'll Never Know

The kittens are SIX WEEKS old today! This morning a FedEx truck stopped out in front of our house, and the lady asked what we were doing with our kittens. Evidently she had stopped once before and asked Kullen about them (big mistake) and he said we were keeping them all. Anyway, she had her eye on my calico - but I had to sadly inform her that she was the one that we were not getting rid of, but she took a liking to this little white one. We realized when she left that we had never named her - and so we decided we would call here Edelweiss - Edie for short! (that really means that I decided!) It is sad to watch them go - but we really can't keep six cats! I know she will be loved - the lady has a 10 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. Edie is sure to get lots of TLC.

29 May 2007

Kick the Can

I have been trying to get our family off of soda - desperately so since we came back from WV. It seems that any time we travel, we drink a crazy amount of the fizzy stuff. I hadn't bought any soda at all in the last week or so - and then yesterday I wanted a Diet Pepsi so bad I couldn't stand it anymore. I ran to the store and brought a few bottles of the stuff into the house. Then today my friend Carol told me about this story! Unbelievable. I have GOT to get us off of this junk! I am giving my kids poison!

Peace in the Chaos

Our household is a bit chaotic. There is always something going on. The door is opening and closing - somebody is going in or out. The dog is going from room to room to see who he can annoy until somebody gives him the boot. The cat and kittens are meowing. Phones are ringing or text message alerts are going off. The television or game cube are on (sometimes). You can hear the clicking of computer keys, the laughter of children, music, the washer, the dryer, the buzzer, knocks on the door, feet walking across the hard-wood floors, the kitchen timer, etc. etc. etc. There really is never a dull moment around here. This weekend was rather low-key - but any combination of a number of these things was going on at any given time. My brother-in-law lives alone. He has remarked "wow" more than once at the amount of activity that goes on. He thinks me some kind of writer. I love to write - but I never truly have two brain cells to put on any given project. Recently I was asked to write a chapter for a compilation book on unschooling. I would like to do it - I am going to give it a try - but I need to find a place where I can get in the zone. Can anybody relate? Does life as a mom sometimes suck all the personal creative energy out of you? I used to be a person - back some years ago before being a mom - and lately I am swallowed up in them. I do not resent it - but I am ready to do something creative. Brent (the BIL) has a drafting table that we are going to put in Kaitlyn's bedroom because he doesn't have anywhere to put it - and she will enjoy it for drawing. We are going to move her desk to a corner of my bedroom - and hope that this gives me a quiet place to write my little heart out. I am sure I will sneak some blogging in too every now and then, when I have nothing else to do! Bwaaaahahaha!

Apology to Scrappers

I am so sorry - with the holiday weekend - I completely forgot about Scrap Happy. One of my commenters reminded me about it - but alas it was too late when I received the comment. Stay tuned - we will be back after this slightly unscheduled break!
I WILL get things back to a regular basis - and you will NOT have to always remind me! I am so sorry people - I am usually on top of things - but lately - ugh! My "computer doctor" (a/k/a fantabulous hubby!) is at work as I type this!

28 May 2007

Deep Cleaning Thoughts

My brother-in-law has been visiting since Friday, and there is no limit to intriguing conversations. It has drained the little piece of my brain that I save for blogging. However, I was thinking this morning about my friend Renee's post about how she was trying to relax her housekeeping and let the home be more relaxed on this long holiday weekend. I am not good at the "relaxing" thing. In fact this morning I knew I was being intrusive to my husband and his brother as they were sitting at the computer looking at something together, but the carpet had gotten so cruddy that I couldn't stand it one second longer and I had to vacuum it, right then! I make my children make their beds every day, I hate a sink full of dishes, and I can't stand for the bathroom sink to be covered with "stuff". Clutter on horizontal surfaces like the counter or table bugs me, and I have to sweep the floors in the house at least every other day or they drive me nutty with stuff sticking to my feet. However, I do not make anyone take their shoes off at my house, people may put their feet up if they like, and I try in most other ways to keep life easygoing around here. I grew up in a house that was like a museum - there were no signs that people actually lived in most of the house. I tend toward that but fight it with all that is in me. I know that if children are worried about making a mess that it stifles creativity. But, I also know for me that the clutter is distracting. I am trying to strike a happy medium.
In light of this post - take a minute to take the poll on my sidebar to the right. It will be interesting to see how others respond to this question.

26 May 2007

Co-op Finale

Ta da! It's over. Our co-op is done for the year. We ended it with a bang - a nice co-op celebration - the kids did some specials - for one, a sign language song to music that I got to work with them on. I have always loved that. There were piano solos and duets, a beautiful guitar duet, and two speeches from members of the public speaking class - one being none other than my daughter, Kendra. She spoke on "real beauty" - if you remember I linked to her blog about it here the other day. It was great - everyone remarked about what an accomplished and talented speaker she is. I was also asked to speak and addressed the group about homeschooling. I love public speaking - I always have, especially about things I believe in. We are home now - bearing reward certificates, and a little sugared up from the goodies we ate afterwards. It is good to belong to something, as it makes it feel a little more and more like home all the time.

Bored with My Wardrobe

I have gained weight through the winter and it shows. It doesn't help that I made a monster sized batch of cookies to take to the co-op thingy today - and ate my fair share of what was left for the family. Blech. Now I feel sick. Anyway - this may be why none of my clothes are fitting right, ya think? I actually did very well while we traveled - and didn't overdo it. We also stopped at places like Cracker Barrel and ate instead of fast food. A good portion of their menu is smothered in gravy - but I tried to eat lighter things like a chicken breast sandwich on toast, and vegetables! I have got to get my butt in gear - before I have too much butt to get in gear - and do something about this.
And speaking of wardrobe, I found this post on a friend's blog about a cool way to spruce up t-shirts. I think even I could do this one. In case I never mentioned it before, I hate crafts. I break out into hives. But these shirts I think even I could make.
Hope you're having a great weekend!

25 May 2007

Fresh Start for a Writer's Heart

I confess.....I am addicted to journals. There is nothing that gets me pumped up like an office supply store - the paper, the pens, the folders, the sticky notes, the blank pages screaming of possibilities. And having a new journal is like the crack cocaine of my habit. The fresh, clean pages just waiting to get started. I do have one small issue - I have about 20 journals that are about 1/4th of the way full. I get bored, or discouraged at my inconsistency. When I am in this funk, I will wander into a book store and suddenly I see them from across the crowded room - they are calling to me. The smell of the pages is intoxicating. The thoughts of the great things I could write if only I had this journal consume me. Ta heck with great literature, I'm gettin' me a book with nuthin' in it! Before I know it, cha ching! I own a new journal. Geesh - what is up with that? The honest truth is that my thoughts come so quickly that a handwritten journal is not very practical. I have tried to keep one using Word but haven't been consistent with that - eventually craving the handwritten touch and tactile sensation of writing in a journal.
I'm sick. Sick I tell you!

Pray for Adrianne

Last summer, a month before my father-in-law passed away, one of his great-grandchildren went to be with the Lord. My niece Adrianne went into labor unexpectedly at only 23 weeks into her pregnancy. While her baby, Ashton lived a short while, he was soon in the arms of the Lord. Adrianne is pregnant again, 22 weeks now. Yesterday she started bleeding and we knew that something was amiss. It appears that she may have an incompetent cervix - which means that when the baby's reaches a certain weight the cervix starts to dilate from the pressure. We are really praying that this is the answer and that she can deliver this baby - healthy and happy - at full term. If you would, say a prayer for she and her husband Michael, as well as my SIL, Vonda and MIL, Myrtice who are beside themselves with worry.

UPDATE - It appears that Adrianne's regular doctor - a specialist in high-risk pregnancies doesn't think that the stitches in her cervix are a good idea. They are ideally done at 14 weeks - and at this stage could cause her to go into labor. So, she is on strict bed-rest. I've been there myself, and I don't envy her. But as of now, everything is fairly stabilized. Keep praying.

23 May 2007

Hey LOST addicts?

What's up with THAT ending?
There is a neat cluster of posts linked at Rocks in My Dryer. If you haven't seen the finale yet, this post may be a spoiler.
My family and I just started watching LOST a couple of months ago based on a recommendation by my friend Karen. We generally don't watch television, but for some reason this show hooked us! Travis came home last night, we had a quick dinner of BLT's and watched the last two episodes of LOST so that we would be ready for the finale. We were all so bummed. To kill two birds with one stone, here are my 13 thoughts about LOST!
  • Nobody in my family understands why Charlie had to die. Although he shut the door to the room he was in to prevent the entire place from flooding, and to save Desmond, Desmond still had to go out the way he came in. Why didn't Charlie just go out the door and swim out together? Is it possible the door only shuts tight from the inside? Still the question remains, why not just dive in and go out the way they came? We were all really irritated that it seemed Charlie just submitted to his death without trying to survive.
  • Obviously Ben was right about the "ship" that was off shore that they were contacting with the satellite phone. There was something amiss. However, it would appear from the (as Karen called it) "flash forward" that they were indeed rescued. What did Ben know about what would happen? What did Locke know? Why did he kill Naomi - the girl that parachuted in with the phone?
  • There was a lot of gruesome killing on these last few episodes. Very cold blooded. It provided some good opportunities to talk about revenge. The best lesson was about Sawyer - that even though he finally killed the man he held responsible for all of his pain, he wasn't any less miserable.
  • Who is on the good side? Who is on the bad side? Is Locke evil now that he seems to have joined the "others"? Can we trust Juliet now that she has confided in them, and betrayed Ben?
  • Why did Jack kiss Juliet with an obvious gesture beyond friendship, and then say he loved Kate? I almost glossed over this - just thinking about situations where you can be torn between two people - but my girls didn't and I am so glad that they saw this as a chink in Prince Charming's armor.
  • If the show is called "LOST" and they are rescued, doesn't the show end here? I mean I imagine they can continue on with the lives of the characters as they re-acclimate into their old lives, but the show would change so much that it wouldn't be the same.
  • Was Walt dead or alive?
  • If it was a "flash forward", why did Jack refer to his dead father, saying "Get my father down here and see if I'm drunker than he is"?
  • Also, did anyone get the idea that they may be in some sort of secular after-life kind of place? Purgatory? What was up with Naomi saying that all their bodies had been found in the plane? They have certainly encountered apparitions of dead people on the island - but they seemed separate from the rest of them. Locke's dad (if you can call him that! I really loathe that man!) referred to it as hell. I have this unformed thought stream - thinking about how the "Others" only seemed to snatch the good people at the beginning and wondering how that all plays in together.
  • What is up with Kate and Sawyer? It appears that she loves Jack, and is using Sawyer. I have started to think of them as a cute couple, however, I am liking Kate's character less and less. Who was the him that Kate had to get back to? We know it wasn't Jack.
  • I was devastated to see the sequences of Jack "off" the island were a "flash forward" and not a flashback. I would have thought the island changed him for the better.
  • Hurley rides in a VW van and saves the day. Did anybody see that coming?
  • I can't wait for next season!!!!
Anyway - I am sure there will be more ramblings about LOST. I enjoyed it - but the ending TOTALLY left me scratching my head! (No mosquito bites there - in case you're wondering!) What are YOUR thoughts?

Susie Sunshine Has Left the Building

I am sorry for that last post - it was a bit melancholy and sentimental. It is hard to know what brings memories like that on. Miss Sunshine is sure to be back in the morning!

For Billy

He had huge blue eyes and shaggy dark hair that grew very fast. I know this because the mohawk that he had at the end of 8th grade was gone by the beginning of our 9th grade year. He was my first boyfriend. He liked Motley Crue and squirrel hunting. He had spent most of the 14 years of his life before he walked into mine surviving an abusive father and a permissive mother. Although his parents were divorced, they were very connected until the day his father put a shotgun to his stomach and pulled the trigger. Billy was always sad after that. You would have thought he had been liberated, set free from the evil dictator, but it had quite the opposite effect. The last conversation I had with his dad as we sat alone in the car while Billy and his mom went into the store still haunts me - he asked me to take care of his son. With the pure heart, full of love and romantic notions of being with my 14 year old man-boy forever, I said that I would. I didn't. Billy got very involved with drugs. Instead of overcoming the abuser that had shaped his young life, he became him. Our lives went different ways. I saw him years later and confirmed that we had indeed gone in opposite directions - he was still a 14 year old boy in every way, and I was growing, changing, moving on. When I was 23, married and pregnant with my second child, sitting on the back porch of my cousin's house she announced, "Did you know that Billy Breeden died?" casually handing me a glass of lemonade, as if we were discussing the weather. I completely lost it. I stood straight up and screamed. It wasn't that I still loved him - but I had given an irretrievable piece of my heart to him, never to be recovered. I wish that I had known about Jesus, I know He could have saved Billy from himself. It makes me sad even today to think of how young he died, but more to think that he never really lived. Today was one of those days that he passed through my thoughts. Young love never reached the depths that I know love with my husband, but it forever changed me. I am not that girl whose heart once belonged to Billy, who wore his football jersey and carried books covered with his name, but marked by knowing him all the same. And a word of caution to young ladies who may be reading this - don't give your heart away until you are very very sure that you are giving it forever, cause you can never get all of it back.

Insatiable Bloodsuckers

Mosquitoes that is. I woke this morning to a ton of mosquito bites, only one of which I knew about last night before I went to bed. There aren't any inside the house - and my outside time yesterday consisted of a 30 foot walk to the car and back. I don't know how they did it - they must've bit me through my clothes. I even have them on my back, and the more I think about them the itchier they get! Ugh. I have always been the one person in a crowd to draw all the mosquitoes to myself. I remember last fall when we moved in here that for a couple of weeks if I went outside at all I came back in having been "eaten up" as my grandmother would say. I did however read online that garlic is a natural mosquito repellent - not to mention the other bloodsuckers, vampires that I could hold at arm's length!

22 May 2007

Confession and a Link

I have a little confession to make. Four of the five members of our family are what you might call - um, just a wee bit, intense. Kaitlyn, our only laid back family member gets the shaft sometimes. I feel bad for her living with all of us hot-blooded, intensive types. We think deeply, and have many in depth discussions at the dinner table, some of us half-standing.
This evening, I was reading Kendra's blog a little while ago and came across this post about Beauty. The kid used the word "boobs" and I cracked up. Her points are valid, and her thoughts are birthed out of the many conversations we have had in this household. Kaitlyn thinks deeply about the same kinds of things - but she is much more subtle in her approach. She may come out and say something right in the middle of the intensity that just sums it all up something along these lines: (insert psychedelic hippie voice here) "Like why would you let someone else define you."
Anyway - jump on over there and read the intense kid's blog!

Under a Rock and Lovin' It

Watching television has always been an issue for me. Much of what is on television is not worth watching. I can find myself sucked into hours and hours of nothingness, I benefit nothing, I get nothing back and hours of my life that could be so much more wisely invested are gone forever. Even if it wasn't a moral issue - which much of the time it is - it is a waste of time and most television is just stupid. Netflix has allowed us to selectively bring into our home the level of stupidity and waste of time that we are comfortable with.
With this in mind you will see why I find it humorous that while I was gone my husband decided to purchase and install a motorized television antenna. One of the things he was happy about was that we could watch the news. Unlike regular television, the news keeps us informed. But, it makes.me.want.to.crawl.into.my.closet.and.stay.there.forever! This morning my husband woke me up to tell me that he saw our daughter's myspace picture on national television. After talking him down off the ceiling, we decided that it probably wasn't her due to the fact that her myspace is set to "private", and even if it was, why were we freaking about it? He left the boob tube on when he left for work, and I woke to a report that there was a murder in a town just south of us, a girl died when she was hit by a car, and that this hurricane season threatens to be one of the worst in US history. Joy. Back to bed, covers over my head, goodbye.
I think that it is one thing to be informed and have a realistic idea of what is happening out there. I was sad that I didn't know that there were 3 soldiers captured in Iraq, but then I wonder how knowing that would have helped other than if I pray for them. Sadly also that is not my original response - the knee-jerk reaction is to tense every muscle in my body and reach for Pepcid AC. It causes stress, and it is meant to evoke emotion in the listener. Listen to the intensity of voices, the urgency of the music. It is trying to freak us out. Why? Because then what we see on TV can shape our thinking, program an internal agenda, and control what we say and do. (THAT is another whole post!)
I was happy to be able to watch a super sermon on TV with the family on Sunday morning, and I do see advantages to having the ability to get network TV when we want it. But I think for now I'll just stick to reading the news online from time to time. I love it here under my little rock!

21 May 2007

Homor for Homeschoolers

This is absolutely hilarious. I saw this on the blog of another famous Julie at Homeschoolblogger. It is a list of some answers to have ready when you are met with that pesky question about homeschooling, "What, no school today?"
Personally I can't wait to try out #7 and #8.

10. Well normally yes, but this time of year I need help with the planting and plowing.

9. Goodness, no!!! I graduated 18 years ago, but thanks for the compliment!

8. No, we homeschool. We're just out to pick up a bag of pork rinds and some Mountain Dew, then we gotta hurry home to catch our soaps.

7. What?! Where did you guys come from?! I thought I told you to stay at school! I'm sorry. This happens all the time. (sigh)

6. There isn't? Why, you'd think we'd see more kids out then, don't you?

5. We're on a field trip studying human nature's intrusive and assumptive tactics of displaying ignorance and implied superiority. Thanks for the peek!

4. On our planet we have different methods of education. (Shhh! No, I didn't give it away . . . keep your antennae down!)

3. Oh my goodness! I thought that today was Saturday . . . come on kids, hurry!

2. Noooooope. Me 'n Bubba jes' learns 'em at home. Werks reel good!

And the number one answer we should NEVER give to the question: "What? No school today?"

1. "What? No Bingo today?"

~Author Unknown (Let me know if you know who wrote this!)

Jewlsntexas' Chicken Soup

I saw this unique post at my friend fatty's blog - and I had to participate. Life has indeed been stressful these past few weeks - wonderful and stressful at the same time. It is so good to be home - the place where you can let your hair down, and your - well you know what you let down when you take your bra off, and put your feet up, and where you don't have to always pick your socks up - but sometimes you get to pick up the socks of other people - and I don't think I am feeling so de-stressed anymore - well maybe di-stressed is exactly what I'm feeling. Anyway - fatty inspired me to post about the things that make me feel most relaxed, guaranteed smile makers, my "chicken soup" if you will.
  • listening to Norah Jones
  • the smell of baking bread
  • sitting on the porch swing with nothing else to do
  • the sound of chirping birds
  • a long soaking rain when I don't have to leave the house
  • lit candles - preferably the jar kind smelling like cake or candy - no flowers please!
  • an email from a friend about nothing in particular
  • iced coffee (a new pleasure)
  • hearing my children's side-splitting laughter - altogether
  • a phone call from my hubby in the middle of the day with no specific purpose
  • old stuff - rusty, junk, chipped, peeling, splintery stuff used to decorate my house
  • making new friends - getting to know a new person one layer at a time, and knowing now what I enjoy in people better than ever
These are only a few - but they are the ones that I am most enjoying right now. What puts a smile on your face?

Scrap Happy Meme - Week 6

Okay - I've really blown it the last two Mondays with this meme. In fact, nobody posted their pages here last week at all! Ugh. Last week we were busy traveling, and this week my computer has completely crashed - so no scrappin' for me! I can't even access an old page to post. What I am going to do is put the linky up for anyone who is interested in posting. I am going to have a drawing and give away a $15 gift certificate to the Digital Scrapbook store of your choice - all you have to do is post a page this week and next week - AND both weeks point people to the meme from your own humble little blog-dwelling! I will announce the winner on Friday - June 1st! Come on, let's get this thing going! I know it will be so fun - if only your hostess-with-the-mostess can remember to put the dang meme up each week!

I'm so sorry - now get back to scrappin' and bloggin' people!

20 May 2007

The Hero and the Ogre

I knew we weren't going to go visiting new churches today. The "down" weekend has been great. It has been so good to be home, and in case I have never said it before I...love....my....house. It makes me truly happy to be back in Texas, second only to Travis. The weather has been a dream, and I was shocked to find that the seeds I planted before I left are now huge-mongous plants.
This morning we listened to a televised sermon and found a church we will visit next weekend. It was pretty cool - I had listened to the guy online and just knew Travis would love him - and I was right. After that, we went outside and did some yard work. Once again, I had a little lesson in humility. I was bent over in the sunshine above and the dirt below of my weedy little garden patch, and getting more and more frustrated by the minute that Travis was not helping me. He did pound some stakes in for the tomato plants (untraditional stakes at that: all-thread, pvc pipe and any other thing he could pound in the ground that would hold the weight of the plants - my improvising genius spouse!) but then he went in to his computer. Little did I know, he was working on putting together a computer for me (an old laptop with a broken screen attached to his flat screen monitor), so I can keep up with things until my new hard drive arrives.
Geesh! Sometimes I hate myself. Why am I always so quick to assume the worst? I am so thankful that he did not respond to my frustration in anger, but that his peacekeeping attitude made all the difference. I sure can be an ogre at times.
Speaking of ogre - - - has anybody seen Shrek the 3rd? I hope we can go see it sometime this week! When you see the green guy - think of me!

19 May 2007

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

I am sitting on a very uncomfortable stool in my son's room on his computer. Let's just say I am not in my bloggy-zone. And while I am glad to be able to get on the computer, I will be very glad when mine is up and running again. We called HP this afternoon and found that the hard drive in my computer which is only 6 months old is corrupted. They are sending me a new one (thankfully) but we aren't sure I'll be able to get everything off of the last one. Ugh! Please pray.
I wanted to take a minute and brag on the Lord a little bit. The last time I went away for a long trip, I got back to a hubby who had become a little too accustomed to his peace and quiet, and life without the confusion, chaos and interruption that living with a family brings. The man was grouchy and after only a couple of days home - I wanted to leave again. We made it through that unscathed - however, leaving again had me worried. I cast all these cares on the Lord. I got home last night to a man standing outside in the late night hours watching for our car. It has been super to be back home with him again - and I know that only the Lord could do this between us. I am so thankful.
I also wanted to thank the Lord publicly if you will, for the safe travel He gave us and the opportunity to visit with my friend Karen and her family about half-way. The visit with their family left me wondering how we haven't always been friends. There is still so much we don't know about each other - and yet I feel like I have known her forever. Weird - but I love friendships like that. God definitely orchestrated it - both of our families recovering from moving and in need of friends, it was just what we all needed. We laughed, watched movies, enjoyed intelligent conversation, and Karen and I even had a chance to sneak away for a pedicure where I proceeded to talk.her.ear.off! However, while great things are happening all around us - the sin nature is always waiting to rear its ugly head - and I may have divulged something of a gossipy nature to Karen that likely she would rather not have heard. It was how a particular situation related to me personally - but I feel I owe her a public apology if I unwittingly involved her in gossip. Ugh. I am adequately humbled. Again.

URGENT Prayer Needed

I arrived home last night at 11 pm to my happily waiting husband - but since that moment the world has fallen apart! My computer crashed while I was traveling and he isn't sure he can fix it. All my info may be lost. Please pray about this! It would be devastating!
Secondly - the oven glass broke while I was gone - and while he told me about it - it was traumatic to see it. The home warranty may cover this - if not we'll have to get a new door. Also - our fridge is still on the blink and looks like we'll have to fight GE with Home Depot on our side to get them to give us our money back. Ugh.
I am so so so happy to be home - but the world is a little shaky right now.
Missed y'all terribly. Hope to be back soon!

15 May 2007

Addicted - I Think Not!

Two people who I sometimes call friends (hmphf!) were teasing me yesterday about being "addicted to the internet". First of all I am a work-at-home mom who does the majority - 99.9999% of my work on the computer - internet and email. That puts me on the computer a lot of hours. Secondly, my main uses for the internet are checking my bank statement, occasionally shopping online and blogging. I may be addicted to blogging in the sense that I do it regularly. Like right now, when I have about a trillion tasks to accomplish today, I thought I'd take a wee moment to shoot my thoughts out here into blogland. Okay so maybe I'm "addicted" to blogging. I don't say anything when others are absorbed in sports, work, gaming, television shows, etc. We can all decide how to invest our time. Also consider the fact that I moved a year ago to a place where I don't even have one single girlfriend yet - I have a few great prospects, but not one that I can just call and say, "Hey, let's go somewhere, I just need to get out." Anyway - I know they were just teasing - but I disagree - I am not addicted to the internet - I am a blogaholic!

14 May 2007

The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow it starts - the goodbyes. Actually we said a few tonight. I think it will be easier this time. We have done it a few times already. Also, it helps to know that we can always come back and visit. There are things we learn every time that we come. Several friends have told me that the kids say they miss it here and want to come back, and while I don't deny that this is true - I have also heard them say they like Texas. I am thinking that a year between visits, at least, may be the best medicine for that. Coming back twice this first year was one thing, but it also interrupts our opportunities to make lives for ourselves in Texas.
I am meeting one friend for breakfast in the morning - just the two of us - and that sounds like fun - uninterrupted conversation over coffee - how good does it get!? Then another friend and I are going to Rita's for ice cream with all of our bunches. That will be nice too. Then in the afternoon and evening, we need to get busy about cleaning and organizing the house as well as packing the car. Ugh. I hate this part. But if everybody pitches in it won't be so hard. I have to say - I dread the 3 day drive. We will stop in Alabama again and see Karen's family. What a blessing they are. We will stay for a day and visit this time. I already know I need the break.
Have I ever mentioned that I hate driving?

Scrap Happy - Week 5

My apologies to all of my meme people! I am sorry - it seems I forgot that it was Monday. All the travelling, an asthmatic child that was having a sleepover who called me every 2 hours and a hubby emergency with the debit card - all that transpired wiped some of my memory clean!
Here is my page for this week:
I made this page with either a Scrap-a-Deal kit from 3Scrapateers or a Half-n-Half kit - they are both kits where you get part for a cheap price, and after you upload a page you made with the kit, you get the rest of it! It is kind of fun, and I was doing it regularly for a while. I will have to check it out again soon. It is a great way to collect graphics.
I can't wait to see your pages - and if I haven't commented, please know that I will catch up when I get home from my trip - Lord willing - by next weekend!
Happy Scrappin'!

Lowered Expectations and Joy

I was reading this post at Halfmoon Girl's blog - and after years of feeling much the same way she is right now, and knowing how many other women may be caught in this same trap, I just had to respond.
Let me explain this - my first child was born on April 5th - my first Mother's Day was about 6 weeks later. I waited all day long in eager expectation and nothing happened. The next morning I burst into tears and told my husband that he forgot Mother's Day - to which he replied "You're not my mother!" It took a while to help him understand why this was flawed thinking.
Anyway, long story short - it has taken almost 20 years to realize that my husband is not a good gift-giver. I honestly don't want another cake candle (something he realized I liked and then bought for every occasion for a few years until I said "uncle"). He has been miserable around every holiday because there is this expectation to meet that he will fail at. I got to thinking about it last year and wondered where this "expectation" came from. The man tells me in other ways that he appreciates me. Honestly how special is it when these things are done out of obligation on the same day that every other husband does? My hubby tells me what a good mom I am at other times - I don't need anyone else dictating a special day for him to do so. And while he isn't good at gift giving, he is my hero, provider and protector in many other ways. Why was I allowing these man-made, (and excuse the rambling ahead of time) commercialized holidays that are orchestrated to financially benefit the greeting card companies, florists, etc. dictate whether or not I feel loved.
Last year, I decided to liberate my husband - and myself from this vicious cycle of his impotency to please me and my chronic disappointment. This past Christmas I told him I knew what I wanted and if he didn't mind, I would get it for myself. The man was scratching his head thinking, "no shopping? there's gotta be a catch." I told him I would not throw it up in his face that I "got my own gift" (I knew I wanted windchimes - which by the way I didn't find until April!) nor would I be mopey or sad on Christmas. This was a win-win situation for both of us. And guess what? I had the best Christmas ever. I did the same with my birthday in February. I bought some birdfeeders that I wanted for my front porch. It was awesome. On Saturday we were talking on the phone and I was reminding the hubby-man to call his mother on Mother's Day - and he said, "Well I'm gonna call you too and wish you Happy Mother's Day." I said, "Aw, man you ruined the surprise!" We both had a laugh.
Now let me tell you, I grew up the daughter of the president of the He-woman Man-Hater's Club. I remember holidays where my mother was threatening her husband weeks before that she had better have thus-and-such ring, or the so-and-so item that she wanted - OR ELSE! It was so ugly that I determined never to be that kind of wife. My mother would be certain that my husband, who didn't succumb to such torture, didn't love me. I choose to submit these thoughts to Christ - and remember that my goal here is to think of others more highly than myself. Instead of expecting a "gift" or special treatment, I give it to my husband now - and I can tell you - it is a delight to my heart.
What is a gift bought in obligation? Now if he buys me a gift, it is because he wants to, and it comes straight from his heart. It is not purchased or pursued out of some twisted obligation that he must fill to keep me from being mad at him. (His interpretation of my disappointment.)
I hope I have helped someone else suffering from "holiday torture". Free your husband and yourself. Choose to see expressions of love all around you that don't come in ribboned boxes. Reject the commercialistic ploys that Satan would use to erode your relationship with your spouse.
PS - If you happen to frequent blogs where the author may be prone to gushing about what HER hubby got her for Mother's Day - just skip it today!

13 May 2007

Sermon Ponderings - Worship - Jesus Be the Center

One of the things that I have missed so much since we moved from WV was being involved in a church where worship was a priority. Singing hymns can be awesome. I can sing them now in a way I never did, really meditating on the words and the depth of meaning the great hymn-writers intended when they were penned. I think many would be aghast at what they have become - rote recitations of familiarity, sung with little heart, and little grasp at the context.
Today we attended theBridge which is a church we were attending for the last year or so before we moved. Although they meet in the auditorium of a local elementary school, the Spirit of God is there. They have made reaching the community for Christ a priority over having a building. I just love the heart of the people there. They draw you in. We never became members, but when we come "home" we know where we will be welcomed as family.
Today's sermon was the fifth part in a series on worship. It was like a drink of water to a thirsty person. Having been part of a praise and worship team for over six years, I know how easily it can become about the "band", or the "music". The sermon today was about how worship is intended to center our hearts and our worship on Christ. Pastor Tim focused on Revelation 5, and the spacial concepts there - Christ on the throne in the center - and everyone else positioned around Christ in worship. I drew a diagram as the pastor illustrated the point and it really brought it home.
I had this thought - that anytime I put myself in the center, I am committing treason - as I attempt to dethrone my King. Ponder that a minute! Culturally, in the US we don't understand the respect commanded by a king. It is hard to grasp this in a culture where a President is put on national TV to deny "sexual relations" with a young woman, with a shame-stained dress as evidence displayed for all the world to see.
I digress, worship - the purpose is to keep our King, the one who will never shame us with scandal, never lie, never cheat, doesn't lose His concentration, etc. on the throne at the center of our hearts.
If you are interested - this excellent sermon series is online here. You can go back and listen to the beginning of this series - and they should soon have the most recent sermons uploaded. Let me know what you think if you listen.


I took a break from my "vacation" yesterday. I had to drop the girls off for the Battle Cry retreat they were invited to attend with the church we love to go to here at 5 am. Ugh. Kullen and I came back home and went back to bed and slept until 10:30. We laid low most of the day watching movies and I worked on a scrapbook page. It was nice to take it easy and veg a little. We had to go and pick the girls up around 11 pm because they were rained out at the end of the outdoor conference, making them an hour early. They had a super day, but it made them sad to see what they have been missing.
Also on another note, I have liked Martina McBride since the early 90s when I was at a concert where she opened for Garth Brooks. (Yes, I was a BIG time country music fan!) And yesterday I heard her song "Anyway" for the first time. I liked it so much I thought I would share the video from YouTube here! It reminds me of a quote/poem I heard once by Mother Teresa - this was written on the wall in her children's home in Calcutta and this specific version is credited to her:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

Hope you all have a super great Mother's Day! May God richly bless you!

12 May 2007

Trusted Adviser

My friend Carol and I were talking about the things that teens say. She had an incident where a young man, a friend of her daughter's used a phrase that took her by surprise. It wasn't crude necessarily - he stated how so many guys just want to "get in a girls pants". It sounds like he was being sincere, and although using a phrase which at first seems crude, he was sharing his thoughts on the overtly sexual culture we live in and the inappropriate nature of most male-female relationships. I will admit, like many adults, I get uncomfortable when the subject of sex comes up with teenagers, but I have chosen to take the path of being their trusted adviser. If they are speaking about such things in front of me, or with me, then they are inviting me into a sacred part of their lives. When we make sex a taboo subject, and are unwilling to have open and frank discussions with our kids about a topic that is very forefront in their minds, we can encourage it to become a private and secretive part of their lives. I have always talked very openly with my own children about God's plan for the family and the role that sex plays in that plan. I never pass up an opportunity to help teenagers shape their thinking as well. Years ago, as a new youth leader, I knew God wanted me to focus on what He has to say about sex with the group. I asked several parents that I trusted what their thinking was on the subject. My friend Kate told me that the kids need to hear from other Christians, other adults that they trust what God has to say on the subject. It confirms what their parents are telling them at home. I have taken the role of trusted adviser. Sometimes it means I hear things from them that other adults would blush at or shy away from. There are times when I feel awkward and grasp for words, but I never take it lightly that they trust me. Are you a trusted adviser?

11 May 2007

He Jumped Me

This post is not as interesting as it may first appear. Yesterday I was carting a immigrant truckload mini-van full of kids to meet up with a friend to see Spiderman 3. Yes, yes, I already saw it at midnight on opening night with a group of teenagers, but Kullen wanted to go and see it with some monkeys of his friends. So yesterday afternoon, we head out to the movie theater. My evil nemesis friend Tina and I were supposed to meet up there. She called and said she was stopping at the Goodwill store. I stopped to meet her there and had my car turned off for no longer than 5 minutes, but when I tried to crank it, it clicked like my battery was dead. I have AAA, but we had a movie to make, so I pulled out the rusty jumper cables hubby put in the back of my car because he didn't bother to get me a new battery before my long trip to WV in case of an emergency. My cables didn't work - we figured either they were too rusty or my battery terminals were to corroded. Tina was no help at all as she freaked at the sight of the cables and stood eight feet away at all times hollering "be careful" a great help as she tried to "make eye contact" with any men passing by. The two hoods up should have been a great clue that we were two white trash women with 42 kids between us trying to use battery cables because we didn't expect anyone to come and rescue us damsels in distress. Eventually what always happens in West Virginia did - a redneck pulled up, and couldn't resist the opportunity to be our hero! I thought Tina was going to die laughing when he walked up and I asked him if he could "jump me". Just about that time the hood of her car came slamming down!
Yes, this true and funny story really happened! See why I miss these dysfunctional people so much! Eventually AAA had to come and rescue me, and I went to Auto Zone and bought a new battery. The hubby informed me that what I paid $60 he could've gotten me for $39 in Texas. I just smiled thinking of what I might use those rusted up jumper cables for when I get home!!!!!!

10 May 2007

Funny Boy

My boss posted a funny story about something her son said on her blog. It made me think of my son Kullen who gives me and endless supply of hilariousness. Like the time when he was 7 or 8 and we were talking to a homeschool skeptic, who asked him when his birthday was. He said he didn't know. I said, "Kullen?" thinking how could he NOT know his own birth date. He shrugged his shoulders and said with wide eyes, "Well how should I know, YOU never told me?!??"
Just a couple of days ago I was picking him up from hanging out at a friend's house around 11 o'clock, and he said, enthusiastically, "Mom did you hear what I did today?" Well, I hadn't - I had gone in one direction, and my friend was supposed to pick him up from the house of another friend. (We are really making the rounds here in WV.) He proceeded to tell me how he was dared and jumped into the swimming pool at my friend Kate's house! I was flabbergasted. Fortunately Kate has a sense of humor, and endless energy for boys like Kullen. Thank GOD!
So anyway, this funny boy is all mine. He can roll his tongue, whistle, stand on his head, count to like a trillion, but he does not know his birthday and has impulse control issues. It doesn't matter, he makes me laugh until my sides hurt, he tells me I'm beautiful every day, and I love him anyway.

A "Formal" Picture

I just wanted to share this picture that my friend Carol took at her house on the night of the formal of my girls and me. Kendra 16 is on the left and Kaitlyn 13 is on the right.
I still haven't really blogged about the formal which was the guise under which we made the trip here to WV! I will later. I have a few scrapbook pages that I am working on of pictures taken that night. Keep your eyes on the Scrap Happy meme!

Two Pots of Coffee and Four Boxes of Captain Crunch

My girls wanted to have a small group of their homeschooling friends over for a late night of playing cards, watching movies, etc. the way we used on occasion when we lived here. "Homeschooling" being the operative word which means that the late night part could be flexible. After talking to some of the parents, we determined it would be best if instead of having to be picked up at midnight, that everybody just stay overnight. Being able to stay in this lovely house that belongs to my friends provided this opportunity. The boys slept in the basement and the girls slept upstairs near me - although sleep seems the wrong word - we were talking and playing games until 3 am.
When I got up the next morning, Kameron was the first one awake, and he had made a pot of coffee. (Evidently he drew the short straw and got the floor or the chair to sleep on and didn't sleep all that much!) The weather was nice so we sat on the screened in porch in the back and drank coffee and talked for about an hour and a half before anyone else made an appearance. Kameron is like me, he needs other people and relationships to thrive. I get him.
It is an amazing thing to me to be in the lives of young people that I knew when they were small and see them grow up into these incredible young adults. I grew up moving around so much, and was always in so much chaos that I was in junior high school before I developed any long term relationships - and that was only because I had a friend that held on to me no matter where I moved. That morning, Kameron and I talked about all kinds of things. It wasn't what we talked about that meant so much, but that he is a 15 year old that values a relationship with me - and I with him. Somewhere along the road my lives intertwined with these kids - and they are almost like my own in my heart.
When everybody got up they started in on the four boxes of Captain Crunch cereal that I got for a quick and easy breakfast. Tayva asked if I'd ever move back to West Virginia, and I told her I'd only be back if Travis died. (off the cuff - which by the way was just a joke!) Just for a moment I thought I saw an evil glint flash through several sets of eyes!

09 May 2007

I Miss Me

I have not been myself, especially here in the blogosphere. Whenever I have a moment to quickly blog, I look at this little white box, and the blankness of it does not speak to me as it normally does. I got nuthin'. I have rapidly shooting random thoughts of things to blog about, such as...... how in Texas there is no "-ing" blend. If you want to say STRING - what comes out is strang. If you want to say FINGER - what comes out is fanger. And I wonder, if I tie a strang on my fanger will it help me remember all those nifty ideas of things to blog about? I wonder how people in the deep south learn phonics, reading or spelling. These ideas quickly shoot through my head never developing into an actual post. I am hoping to get to bed earlier than I have been (midnight) and get a good night's sleep. Perhaps the morning will bring me endless topics to blog about. Nitey nite!

08 May 2007

Better Days

One of my favorite Point of Grace songs is called "Better Days" - the chorus goes like this:
Better days are just around the bend
Just a ways on down the line
I believe that just around the bend
Everything's gonna be fine
Better days are just a dream right now
It's like all you do is pray
But the world keeps turning
Bringing us better days
This is me right now. Today was a much better day. Yes, there are moments of being discouraged, but over all I have felt a lift. If you have prayed for me, thank you so much. Thank you also for the cyber hugs and encouraging comments. I know that this is something that takes time and that is a process. I have never been a patient person. What kind of fire must I pass through to have this refined in the depths of my soul? I wish I knew!
I talked to my hubby today. I guess he's been wondering if I was upset with him because I have been so melancholy. I told him that it was important for him to participate in us making Texas our home. It is different for him - he is a loner, and a homebody. He can tend to forget that I need companionship. Our conversation tonight reminded him. I know he wants us to love Texas. He asked me if I missed it - and I could really only say that I missed him. Ugh. I miss my dog and my garden and my own bed too. I guess I forgot those things.
Things here have moved on and that makes me sad. We have got to move on too - but I am not sure how to do it. What is really hard right now is the changing churches after investing three months there.
I know God has a plan for all that we are enduring right now. I am thankful that He doesn't ever quit halfway through - and that He will bring to completion what He has started in our lives.
Tonight we are having a "get together". I'm off to play some cards!

07 May 2007

Hodge Podge Happenings

I don't even know what to title this hodge-podge post. There is so much that has happened. The three days of driving wiped me out - and we have been on the go ever since we arrived. On our way we were blessed to stop in Alabama and meet up with the Woodwards. Karen and I have been blogging buddies for going on two years now and I have felt very connected to her family- even when they were far away in Romania. Our visit with them was way too brief, but it was awesome to stop and have a nice meal, stimulating conversation, and share some laughs. They are a precious family.
The night before the formal, my children talked their half-crazy mother into attending the first viewing of Spiderman 3 - which was at midnight! Ugh. And it seems that no matter what time I go to bed, I wake routinely around 7:30-8:00. The formal was wonderful. Here is a picture of my beautiful girls. It has all been great fun, but the lack of rest is catching up with me.
We were very blessed to be able to stay in a house - and have the whole thing to ourselves. Our friends have a home next door to theirs that they bought to host missionary families in transit. It is awesome. Fortunately for us it was currently empty. That has been a tremendous blessing - being able to use a kitchen and do laundry. Awesome. More about this later!
I went tonight to have dinner and play cards with some girlfriends. We met at Helen's house because her husband is out of town. She grilled steaks and made baked potatoes, salad, and had fresh strawberries to serve over pound-cake with whipped cream. Afterwards she made everyone cappuccino that we drank while we played cards. Our favorite game is Golf - nine cards for nine rounds. It is really fun. I always do so-so. We laughed so much and I realize how much this is missing from my life. The friendship, the being yourself and still being loved, the not always having to be "on" so that you can get acquainted with new people.
On my way home I had a good cry. I was thankful for the time in the car by myself. I am SO homesick - this place is my home. Travis and I were talking on the phone yesterday morning, and he was expressing some distress that I might speak badly of Texas. I am not sure when I became the P.R. rep for the "Lone Star" state. I don't have any animosity towards the state of Texas, but it.is.not.my.home. This beautiful place with the river that runs through it, the craggy hills, where I know every back road - this place is my home. I may come to love things about Texas, but for me these "country roads" will always lead the way home.
I may come to feel differently in time - but right now I am so homesick I can hardly enjoy being here.

Scrap Happy - Week 4

I almost missed this! I am on a trip WAAAAYYYY out of state!
I am missing my hubby today - which inspired my page for the week. The picture was taken on our anniversary last summer!
Hope your week is Scrap Happy!

06 May 2007


That is all that I know to say right now. We have been so busy visiting with friends and working on getting the internet up and running that all creative juices are officially zapped. I have missed my blog! There is so much to tell - hope to catch you all up soon!

02 May 2007

Hey It's Good to Be Back Home Again

It is so good to be with people who know you so well and love you anyway. Good friendships are like an old pair of fuzzy slippers – the kind that are broken in and have grooves to fit every toe, the shape of your insole and the curve of your heel. Just yours – the fit wouldn’t be right for anyone else.
When we got to WV I saw my friend Jeanette for a brief moment while we dropped off girls and luggage. In just those few moments there were exchanges that have crossed the divides of time and miles to let me know that we know each other. After that it was on to my friend, Carol’s house. It is so good to see her – my big sister, confidant and cheerleader. Her family is our family. We have celebrated many a Christmas, Easter, birthday, backyard BBQ, etc. in her home. We belong there. Going to Carol’s house is like coming home.
We spent this evening with the Dimwhits! That isn’t their real name, but it will suffice for this telling otherwise they will disown us forever, abandon the internet for a hippie commune, never to be seen again for fear that after what I am about to tell you, you will ALL want to meet them. This family is a Bohemian bundle of chaos, love and laughter. Picture the father, barefooted with long hair sitting at the dinner table sipping at a glass of wine while reading food for thought from a “food quotes” book his wife chose as a gift for him one year. The wife is making a spinach and feta omelet for her friend who abandoned her a year ago for the glory that is Texas. Someone threw a goldfish at my chin, and someone else made me laugh until water nearly came out of my nose. The youngest son and I had a lot of catching up to do as he informed me that in 10 years he will be 18. We had an agreement a few years ago that he would never get any older than six, and he likes to rub it in. The oldest son is showing pictures he had taken at a “Hollywood” themed party with a friend who dressed as Marilyn Monroe to his Arthur Miller. We also attempted to assess whether the girl who was riding in the same vehicle (a newly acquired hearse that he is ever so proud of!) with him to the spring formal that is coming up is officially a “date” and I think it boiled down to whether or not he buys said girl flowers of any sort. The middle son and Kullen were in and out of the house in the cool West Virginia evening air. There are puppy dogs – one pug and one Springer Spaniel, kitty cats including Bernie the most uncoordinated un-Siamese cat you have ever met, and a rat. I didn’t do a complete survey but I am sure there are more new animals acquired since I last visited hiding in other various places. Their oldest, a daughter will be coming home from college next week for a long visit. They are all pretty excited about that. The oldest son locked Kendra in the back of the hearse when he was showing it to her, the youngest ones got the dogs all riled up and ran through the house. During all the chaos, dad never missed a beat and kept reading us witty and insightful quotes from his book. Meanwhile, I was eating the best omelet I have ever eaten in my entire life, and wondering how I make do without such friends as these in Texas. I am not going to waste my time worrying about that just now – there is plenty of time to be lonely for them later. But even while I am enjoying them, I miss them so darn much!

01 May 2007

Like a Cat with Her Fur Rubbed Backwards

We just checked into two adjoining hotel rooms. Girls are taking showers, cheesy shows are on the tube, microwaves are popping popcorn - and me, I'm ticked off. I am tired. Every part of me hurts - my back, my toes, my head, my shoulders, my arms, my calves, even the middle of the bottom of my feet. I am e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d, and frustrated. I was trying to get things out of the car after waiting an eternity for the ever so thorough desk clerk to check me in. Things were falling out of the van, ev-ery-where and my little sweethearts, each carrying their own little belongings and each with a free hand stood inside the front doors of the hotel looking-at-me. I on the other hand must've looked like a pack camel in a caravan with 42 water bottles, 3 unclaimed and mismatched shoes, a 832 pound backpack with dirty underwear hanging out, and sunglasses which used to be on the top of my head now hanging somewhere around my neck. Their friends offered to help - but the young ladies that I am making the unbelievably long, miserable drive for - the ones who want so badly to be at the spring formal with their friends - do they bother to think about anyone besides themselves - oh no! They are too busy calling "first shower", and making sure they have their journals, and makeup, and favorite pillow. Water? Nah, we will ask mom for water later - about two minutes after she's put her jammies on to get into bed. Snacks? We aren't hungry right now - which also means, we'll bug mom to provide something to eat when we are hungry, which will likely be the very most inconvenient moment, just after a stroke and shortly before she achieves mental instability that would qualify her (me) for permanent placement in the funny farm.
I think I know that every human being is basically selfish - but when I am tired like this and I see such a dramatically flamboyant display, it makes me very grouchy!
I DARE them to ask to use my computer! grrrrrrrrrr

On the Road Again

We arrived at KarenW's home where she and her family of five are currently living with her parents as they wait on the Lord for the next step in His journey for them. It is not only one of THE nicest homes I have ever been, but it is definitely the most welcoming. We opened up a van overloaded with kids and stuff and looked like a clown car emptying out, with me and all five kids and nobody seemed to be disarmed. There was hot food, great conversation, we even squeezed in a movie and more conversation before bed. These are people I so wish we lived closer to so we could visit more often. They are so real and down to earth - I wanted to say normal but that is relative - they are unique - and quirky in ways that are similar to us - liking to quote great lines from movies, tell stories about their lives, and teasing one another.
Anyway, everybody is asleep still. I woke up at 7 am and my eyes popped open, and I knew I was awake for good. I took my shower to get that out of the way, and will let the kids sleep in a bit before we load up and head out again. My plans were to make it to WV tonight - but it appears that there is no chance of that. I didn't even get halfway here - and I drove for over 13 hours. I can't do more than that - so we are going to divide the rest of the trip in two parts and make it there by Wednesday.
As I drove those 13 hours yesterday, the highway has offered several spiritual lessons.
  • Don't drive 45 in the fast lane. Spiritual maturity does not come overnight. Only growth in the Lord over time can make a person ready for the pace of the "fast lane".
  • When in a lane where merging traffic is attempting to blend in, even if keep your eyes straight ahead of you so you can ignore the fact that I desperately need out in rush hour, I am still there. Even if we turn a blind eye to sin, sin is still sin and will have to be dealt with sooner or later.
These may sound completely ridiculous to you - but take a road trip sometime - look around. The whole world is painting a picture of spiritual truth. I find it fascinating.

Take care - I'll see you soon!