31 March 2008

AC in TX

The last couple of days it has gotten increasingly more and more humid. I have put off turning on the air conditioner because once you turn the thing on, it is pretty much six solid months of AC. We have tried to beat the heat with open windows and ceiling fans, which help the heat, but do little to combat the humidity, or the pollen. In fact they welcome the pollen and drag it in and swirl it around. Kullen could hardly breathe through the night last night - and has fought his allergies all day today. So tonight we closed up the windows and have braced ourselves for the AC run.
I think there is an 80s song..... we're gonna rock down to electric avenue, and our bills keep getting higher, higher!

Generic Parenting

Recently, we added a 5th line to our cell phone plan enabling my 10 year old son to join us in the cellular world.
I love my cell phone. There, I said it. I’ve just outed myself as a technology lover.
Thankfully I know other adults who love it as much. I watched a friend giddily text-messaging her husband at a card game last week – and so I know while I may be a minority I am not alone.
The thing is that now there are kids who are older than my son whose parents have decided that their children will not have a cell phone who have looked at us with disgust. I recognize it. It’s the hidden, unspoken, somehow silently agreed upon standard among parents that kids don’t get a cell phone until they are teenagers.
That’s not my standard. I didn’t silently agree. There are a lot of reasons we let him have a cell phone. First, my son has always been drawn to electronics. He has never liked toys. I see advantages as he texts other people – he’s writing, and spelling, and has learned a great deal of responsibility.

I don't have to explain.
But I hate the look.
The one that says, how dare you make my kid ask me why your 10 year old has a cell phone, when I won’t let them have one until they’re 13….15…whatever.
Be yourself. Make decisions for your own family and stick to them. Let me parent my kids and decide what and when the best is for them. Quit generic parenting. Consider your child and cast these ambiguous standards to the wind.

30 March 2008

Everybody's Mama

Viewing from 7-9 on Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Funeral at 2 pm on Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I would give anything to be there. Ruth was a special lady. Dwayne & Shasta, Dana, Sherry and kids, you have my deepest sympathy. With love,

29 March 2008

Mrs. Douglas

I have a friend named Ruth who got to meet Jesus today. She was so sick for the last few months that her body was no longer able to keep her spirit here. I am so sad for the loss that those of us who have loved her have experienced, it is selfish but when you love somebody, it hurts to know you won't see their face or hear their laugh again. I was hoping to get to see her when we make our trip to West Virginia, and now I will have to wait for heaven. I am thankful that she is not going through any more of the horrific medical problems that she had, the ups and downs, the frustrations of living in a nursing home. But I'm sad for Dwayne and Shasta who have lost their mother and friend.
Before Dwayne married Shasta, I used to clean their house. The best part about cleaning day at the Douglas' was getting to visit with Mrs. Ruth. I could do most of the work in an hour or two - but I would often spend half the day there. Sometimes Mrs. Ruth would make lunch for me. She had a great sense of humor and a vibrant personality. I can remember a day when she was particularly anxious about her son, Dana. His marriage was going through a rough period, and he was getting into trouble. When I got there that day, she was just wringing her hands in worry. We talked for a little while and I ended up by her on my knees praying for her son. A few days later, she called me and joyfully reported that Dana had given his life to the Lord. His life really did turn around, and I counted it special that Mrs. Ruth and I got to share that miraculous answer to our joint prayer.
Mrs. Ruth will be deeply missed, but the indelible mark she left on the lives of those who loved her will remain.

Can You See My Banner Move?

Could you please leave me a comment and let me know if you can see the header move? If it does, does it take a long time to load? Also can you tell me what you're using for a browser - Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla Firefox??
I'd appreciate it!

Lost in the Thicket

Yesterday evening the girls and I took a walk on one of the local trails and took in a little nature and some deep conversation. It was some of the inspiration for the new header on this blog. It was nice, just the three of us in the woods without any interruption.
East Texas is quite beautiful in the spring, with areas that literally look carpeted with ferns, pitcher plants, and flowers. In a few months the heat will make the outdoors less than enjoyable so spring here is when nature really shines. We walked quietly for a while, noticing animal tracks and the carnivorous plants that are indigenous to the area. But what could be more natural than our conversation turning to God.
The girls were both telling me how they feel far away from God. It hurt to realize that I was part of indoctrinating my children into a system of religion and obligation. It is hard to undo. It is difficult to articulate things to them in a way that doesn't cause them to think as I once would have that I have completely abandoned my faith. It scares me a little bit to see them free to love and worship God outside the confines of what the religious world tells us it should look like, and encourage them to step out for what will be certain scrutiny by the "church". I was fumbling with the words, and at the same time so excited that we were touching on something that is so life changing that they were spilling out in rapid succession. The church would tell us if we don't feel close to God to "dig deeper", chase harder, press in, pray more, read the Bible more, sweat, toil and strive towards Him. Although some of these things may have value, they also seem much more like vain human effort. Might I even be so bold as to suggest without offending my readers, that the attempt to conjure up this feeling of "being close to God" closely resembles witchcraft. The truth is that we are never far from Father. He was there with us in the woods, and when we sat eating dinner, and when we were laughing until we cried last night teasing each other. He is there. Our lives are to be a celebration of Him in all we do.
One of the girls attended church with a friend this past week, and was telling me it is where she feels the most uncomfortable anymore is in church. The music is repetitive, and the teachings are hollow especially where the youth are concerned, and no matter where you go, it is all predictable, even across denominational lines. We talked about every conversation with anyone who finds out that you don't attend church coming to this awkward place where you know they have an agenda to fix you, get you "in church", etc. Much of this is done in misguided love, and I hold no resentment, but it is a clear indicator that so many have traded relationship for formula, and intimacy for corporate worship.
We talked about how the Bible wasn't originally split into chapters and verses, and how what was often meant as a living narrative saying "see how this person walked" is often taken and broken into itty bitty pieces and given to us as a "do A, B, C and reap D" plan. It can be used in such a way as to almost omit God altogether.
I was sharing with my girls, my testimony of how this is all deconstructing for me. I feel a lot like a butterfly just out of the cocoon, too aware of the shortness of my life to let fear keep me from flying. Even in my worst moments now, I know that I have not changed in His sight. I am not on the treadmill of guilt and obligation anymore. It set me up to feel deep down inside that I could never measure up. Even while I have come to these conclusions for my own life, I have still wanted my kids to remain where it seemed safe, just in case I was wrong. I am sorry that I haven't shared with them more through this journey that I have been internalizing so much. I know that it was Father who got us alone in the woods together yesterday, and I am so thankful He did. I can trust Him completely with their hearts as well as my own.

Template Tweaking by Moi

I can't believe I actually attempted this, but I finally got my hands dirty with my blogger template a bit. After a friend told me that my "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland" scared her to death that all the joy had drained from my life and color from my world, I decided to take on a new challenge and work on a nifty new blog design. I wanted a moving header. This is what I came up with for now - The Clearing, finding myself in the thick of it! I used the layout that was designed by Goofy Girl, designed my own animated header, and changed the colors around a bit.
I have quite a few other little tweaks to make, but for now, I'm pretty happy. It isn't very colorful, but I'll have to keep working on it. It was nice to take a little time out of the chaos to do something that I enjoyed - a little creative outlet.
Let me know what you think!

28 March 2008

In Our Little Corner of the World

I just wanted to check in - since I have hardly had time to blog in the last couple of days. I have made trips in and out of the city a couple of times a day for Kaitlyn's doctor's appointments and running kids to various activities.
Kaitlyn's toe seems to be healing up quite nicely. The procedure was fairly routine, but she was a bit anxious about it. As she has a tendency to pass out, I was concerned. It seems to be healing well and with antibiotics and a lot of foot soaking, we're on our way to recovery, at least for her toe.
Her jaw seems to have alleviated quite a bit with some exercises given by the husband of an online friend, but her mouth still opens crooked - meaning one side opens more than the other. The doctor is convinced that she has TMJ, so we are going to consult with a dentist about some non-surgical and drug-free treatments.
My husband, the junk collector scored a go-cart in a trade made with a neighbor boy yesterday, so I suspect he and Kullen will be working on that most of the weekend. Kullen is very excited.
Kendra is working and trying to recover from spring break! She has filled her week with lots of activities.
I am gearing up for the Script Frenzy. I am preparing mentally to make space each day to write. I am thinking about things. I have never worked well with a format or outline from which to write. It either just flows or it doesn't. I is a bit daunting to think of forcing it to flow within the confines of one month, but I really need the motivation.
Last night we went and played cards at a friend's house and that was absolutely awesome. There are some terrific women and kids there and it is really fun getting to know them all better.
That's a wrap for now - profound thoughts are elusive. They're there but I can't seem to capture them.

26 March 2008

Kaitlyn's Toe

Kaitlyn has surgery on her toe this morning. She has something akin to an ingrown toe nail - but it is actually granulation of skin growing over her big toe on her right foot. She is a bit anxious about it. Please pray for her if you think to this morning. Thanks!

A Suffocating Cloud of Negativity

Against my better judgment, I tried to share my enthusiasm for my writing project this morning with a person with whom I am, shall we say intimately acquainted. Instead of asking questions to learn more or understand why I feel it necessary to participate in the Script Frenzy, the comments were all negative, discouraging, probing only to find a problem, and assuming that it was a contest and that I was going to strive toward some mediocre prize (which was the main issue). It was so frustrating. It is difficult living with a negative person. It is supremely discouraging. I have to get my head out of the choking cloud of comments, away from someone who wants to make snap judgments about everything without really taking any interest in understanding how they work or what they're about. There has to be one person in my life who does not feel like a hurdle to jump over toward any goal of success. Please. There actually are quite a few of you - it is just the ones I am most intimately acquainted or related to by blood that seem to love to rain on my parade. It's alright - I'm grabbing an umbrella.

25 March 2008

Writing Like My Hair's on Fire

At least that's what I want to do. I am pretty jazzed about the upcoming Script Frenzy challenge that is going on, starting April 1st. There is a lot of cool stuff to do. It just so happens to be at a time when my life is so busy there doesn't seem time to do anything but to float along in survival mode. I hate survival mode.
I really don't have time for it - but at this point, I feel like if I don't take time to write, it is going to go by the way side, and I never will do it. As a result of never living toward my own hopes and dreams, I will succumb to a slow and painful death, dying a sad and crazy woman, mumbling "I'm a writer" "I'm a writer" through lips parched and swollen as those who come to wipe my butt in the nursing home look at one another and laugh knowingly that since I can now no longer get my fork to my own mouth without injury, I will likely never write anything worth reading.
Yep, not a pretty picture. Please support me in this Script Frenzy. It may be just the motivation that I need. You can even go here and get a little supporter's icon for your blog. Maybe you want to join too - super! It is not a competition. Let me know if you do so I can cheer you on!
Some ways you can support me are:
  • ask me how it is going
  • send chocolate
  • ask me what my word count is
  • send chocolate
  • let me bounce story ideas off of you
  • send chocolate
  • read my blog regularly and tell me what a dazzling and brilliant writer I am
  • send chocolate
Oh darn, pretty much just send chocolate!

23 March 2008

My Little Girl

I don't know where she went. It seems she was born grown up. This morning I was in tears realizing how much of her life has whizzed by and in just a couple of short weeks she'll be 17. Kendra is one of those people that is like a sparkling star. She was only 2 when her sister was born, cutting short her babyhood. We were watching a video last night of her baptism. She was 6 years old. The pastor had to get a metal folding chair into the baptismal for her to stand on so she could even be seen. This is what he said of the little girl who stood beside him smiling from ear to ear, with unkempt hair and crooked teeth:
Have you ever heard someone pray, and it was as if they knew Jesus was standing right there? Let me tell you something, you haven't heard anything until you've heard Kendra pray. It is as if she knows He is right beside her. And not only is he beside her, a few weeks ago, He came to dwell in her.

It made me cry then and it makes me cry now. Her heart was always so tuned in to the Lord even when she was small. She went through a pretty difficult year when she was 13 and I never feared, for I knew she had loved Him so much that He would be able to do the work necessary to bring her back.
She never really was a baby. She came out of the womb speaking in full sentences. Aside from the baptism, the video was full of family moments. She often got pushed, unintentionally to the side, being the most independent of our children. She has strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, she is feisty and loving. She is ready to bolt like a race horse out of the gates into adult life, and I will be lost. I didn't know I was worth anything until I became her mother. She has changed my life completely and forever. I saw the love of God in her eyes the first moment I held her. My shining star is about to take off and leave me in darkness. A mother's heart grows faint to think of it. I am going to go and have lunch with her during her break at the restaurant where she works. I have decided to grab every minute I can with one of the best people I have ever known as often as I can.

22 March 2008

Easter Weekend

I will be taking time to really blog soon. All the outside things have finally slowed down and I am hard at work trying to make a space in my life to do the things I like again with energy and passion. The kids have spring break this coming week, so we are going to be taking it easy - of course they have a ton of things they want to do.
Yesterday we went to see Horton Hears a Who which we all loved. Dr. Seuss is the best! It had a lot of intelligent humor and poignant moments. Be sure to turn off the Project Playlist on the left before turning on the trailer below.

Today we are distributing Easter baskets and having our holiday meal, because Kendra is working tomorrow. Our menu is ham, homemade dinner rolls, three bean salad and these Cheesy Potatoes Euphoria that I found at my favorite Slow Cookin' Thursday. I also followed her link to this Bird's Nest Cake which I decided to make!
I told the kids we might hit one of the local trails for a walk this afternoon. The weather is just perfect. The sun is shining and all the windows are open, and the slight wind outside is causing the windchimes to make a nice music on the front porch.
I don't know what you're doing this weekend, but I hope that your life, and the enjoyment of it celebrates Christ. It a lot more about the life we're living than the services we're attending. We were set free at the cross from the guilt and obligation. I will celebrate by living well.

20 March 2008

I Miss Me

I have said that over the past week to two different friends. Sometimes busy-ness is overwhelming. This kind of busy-ness was good, but I am definitely glad that for the most part it is over. (Until the next time.) After such a lonely year last year it is very nice to be active again in things that we really enjoy. Typically two things like ballroom dancing and a performance would not be happening simultaneously.
Pride and Prejudice was fantastic. It went off without a hitch. I got to have more than a front row seat as I was able to sit directly in front of the stage to feed lines if necessary - which it really wasn't. The kids all turned on - and as is typically the case in theater, all the rough spots were suddenly smoothed as the threat of public humiliation in front of an audience was greater than any fear over dropped lines, missed cues, or awkward movements. I went back to my husband during intermission and he generally is a tough critic. He was SO impressed! At the end the kids were well rewarded by an appreciative audience on their feet with a long applause. Anyone who missed it truly missed a great show.
I have taken tons of pictures - but most of mine came out a bit dark. Even lightening them with Photoshop didn't prove to be much help. I couldn't get my flash to hit them well on the stage. My favorite characters are at top left. The picture to the right is of Kendra and her friend Trent - who played Jane and Mr. Bingley respectively. Trent was struggling throughout the play to portray how "taken" he was with Jane's character. At the end of the show, they posed for this picture for me, which shows how much fun they had. I love it! At the bottom, the Bennet family - to them I say Adieu! It was fun being a part of your lives and now I'm glad it's over!

18 March 2008

Random Smatterings of My Crazy Busy Life

Today is the BIG day. Okay nobody is getting married - but it is the day that the girls have prepared for over the last several months. It is what we have lived and breathed the last two weeks - with a brief commercial interlude for ballroom dancing. After taking a bunch of serious cast shots yesterday, I asked the kids for a silly one, that even the crew got in on. I am sure I will have other pictures to post later - but for now this is a sneak peak into the mixture of fun and hard work that has been going on. Be sure to notice my two daughters - Kaitlyn seated 2nd from left - with her husband "Mr. Collins" kneeling beside her for a kiss. Kendra is seated 3rd from the right and appears to have stolen someone's top hat! The leaders for this drama are two amazingly talented and patient women. Getting to be a backstage mom has been a lot of fun. Tonight will have me on the floor in front of the stage prompting should anyone *ahem* forget their lines.
On a personal note - these events are always a little bittersweet. Seeing the other students with their families gathered around is often a stark reminder that we don't have that. It is the reason we are in Texas and it seems we are often as alone as ever. I am extremely sleep deprived which is making my feelings about it worse today - isn't that how it always goes? This morning I woke up to *expletive deleted* because my husband and I both overlooked his cell phone in the pocket of his work clothes when they were put in the washer last night. Yikes. That was at 5 am after going to bed at 1:30. I tried to go back to sleep and I think the adrenaline of the day's anticipated activity is keeping me from it. I have also have a stiff neck and headache. But there is nothing to be done - the show must go on!

16 March 2008

A Night of Elegance

Last night was so lovely. There really aren't words to describe the joy of participating in such a wonderful event. The ballroom classes were opened to our entire co-op - so there were young and old taking the classes. The 4th & 5th graders (a/k/a my playground partners) avoided the "boy-girl" thing so they were my helpers in serving dinner. It was a blast. The kids enjoyed serving - and although it made it a lot more work, it was great to watch them serve with enthusiasm.
The whole evening was full of the waltz, foxtrot and lindy, and a few classic wedding dances - like the chicken dance. Old were dancing with young, tall with short, and the ones who were better dancers were teaching the ones who were not so sure of themselves. A broom was passed around and dances were stolen without malice. Dressing up and smelling good for an evening has its perks too!
Here are pictures of the girls with their dance partners: Kendra with Daniel and Kaitlyn with David. They are brothers and such terrific boys. It was a great night for everyone.
Today, we're off to another long rehearsal as Pride and Prejudice is opening in just two short days! Aaaaahk! I am surprised that I had time to blog at all!

15 March 2008

Pay it Forward to Yourself

A few years ago, a new movie came out called Pay it Forward, (I looked it up - it was actually 8 years!) and with it a whole movement of Random Acts of Kindness. I don't know about you, but I have to be reminded sometimes not to get so caught up in my own little world. It is especially difficult when I am busy not to notice the needs of those around me. I have recently started watching Oprah's Big Give on abc.com, and it has really moved me. While I don't have a pile of money to give away, I have limitless resources such as a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful act.
At home finding these opportunities is easy - being gentle when someone has offended or done a wrong. Let's clarify to say the finding is easy, the acting is not. I think Jesus gave us the ultimate example of paying it forward, in laying down His life for us that we might in turn lay it down for others. If I can look at it in these terms instead of a religious obligation, it is a blessing and not a burden.
Yesterday was a long day, and I found an opportunity near the end of it to pay it forward. I really didn't want to. We had gotten up and rushed off early in the morning with much chaos at home for what turned into an almost 5 hour rehearsal. I stayed in the city instead of coming home, and ran some errands = no down time. Then we had to be back at the co-op building for ballroom dance classes. In the midst of all that I had about 800 emails (not an exaggeration) in my inbox that I knew I needed to sort through, 100 blurbs to write, and a ton of other things I've been flagging and backlogging during the busy week - although I've still managed to work my regular hours. I wanted to turn on my laptop and utilize that time to work through my emails just so I wouldn't have it to deal with when I got home at 11 that night. But I had promised to talk to the kids, 10 and 11 year old boys and girls that are helping to serve food at the ballroom dance tonight, about proper etiquette for servers. They were all bouncing off the walls, jumping rope, wrestling, running up and down the halls - and for most of the adults there this meant trouble. There was one boy in particular that slammed a couple of girls to the ground, in his zeal to steal a jumprope. Their energy level was only increasing. They did sit still for a five minute talk about how the serving was going to work, and various random things I could think of like how not to put your thumb in the plate you are carrying, etc. although I doubt much of it stuck. Then it occurred to me that there was a big empty playground outside. The weather was perfect. I decided to put my work aside for a while, and take the kids out into the beautiful evening weather. I sat on a huge wooden swing by the playground that is under a canopy of majestic trees with these kids who were just so fantastic. Different girls came and sat with me sporadically and told me how weird they thought my son was, how they don't like snakes, and a various assortment of topics. I overlooked a lot of things that other adults would never let them do, and watched with delight while they overturned a plastic hippo in search of salamanders, some of the girls getting brave enough to reach in and get them and run let them outside the fence so that the boys couldn't get them (they were saving them). There were several rounds of Hide'n' Go Seek in the fading light. It was some leisure, taking in the beauty of childhood in a gorgeous setting, and a chance to just sit and breathe in and out. There were no expectations. I just got to hang out with 8 pretty terrific kids on a beautiful evening. I thought I was doing something nice for them, but I think I am the one who benefited the most from our evening on the playground.

13 March 2008

Slow Cookin' - Yummy Pizza Dip

I love the recipe swap that goes on at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Even though I've been too busy lately to participate each week, I always go there to browse recipes and snag the ones I think my family will like. There are some terrific recipes we have added to our household. She is having a contest today for participants to win a new Versa Ware Crock Pot, so even though I'm so busy I'm passing myself coming and going, I had to stop and enter. Who doesn't like to win stuff?? This is one of our favorite crock pot recipes that I snagged from my blogging buddy Karen that we now make almost every gathering - and sometimes we make 3 or 4 batches it is such a crowd pleaser. I have had four teen girls at midnight over a hot crock pot full of this terrific Pizza Dip. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as my family does.

Yummy Pizza Dip
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 - 8 oz. block of cream cheese
pepperoni or any other toppings: olives, mushrooms, onions, sausage
grated mozzarella

Spread room temperature cream cheese in the bottom of a large crock pot. (If you're in a hurry or forgot to take the cheese out of the fridge earlier, just turn that baby up on high for a few minutes until your cheese is spreadable.) Pour 1-2 cups of sauce over the cream cheese, and add any toppings you want. Finish with mozzarella cheese. Leave that in a crock pot on high for about 20 minutes, or on low for about 45.
Serve on tortilla chips, baguette bread, garlic bread, etc.

12 March 2008

Heretic in Training

I've been writing this post in my head for over a week now. I have phrases and words, but I am not sure how it will all come together in the end. I have come head to head with the fact that I don't believe what I thought I believed anymore.

For clarification, I believe in God, but I don't see Him in the same "authoritative parent" frame anymore, but as loving, reconciling, and engaging. I don't feel the need to contrive a relationship of my own making, but know that He is a part of every breath I breathe, in all the life that I live.

I believe in Jesus, the Son of God who died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. He is that one great love. I was struck again recently with that awe of He died for me. Although, I am continually having my picture of Jesus repainted, as through the years, all the ungodly things done with His name slapped on them have really made a distortion of the picture I have of Jesus in my mind.

I used to be afraid to ask questions, feeling that either I should already know the answer, or thinking in my subconscious mind that I don't need to know, and can trust that others before me, either in church leadership or church history have already asked this question and figured it out. The few times that I had asked questions, I saw that it drew lines dividing the us from the them, so to speak, and this also caused me to shy away from such questions. Looking back to that girl from where I am now, I can't even believe she was me.

I am not afraid to think about universal reconciliation – I can't blindly believe that God made atonement for sin that some people may never be able to access based on location. If creation testifies to the Creator, I have to think in some places that must be enough. Of all things, we know that God is not unjust. Being destined for hell because you were born without the Bible or the gospel as westerners understand it does not jive with justice at all. It used to terrify me to question this – being taught that one needed the "sinner's prayer" and a brisk walk down the "Roman's Road to Salvation" in order to be right with God. I think there is more to it, and I'm not afraid to dig deeper.

I think we have gotten caught up in a lot of traditional thinking, and I am learning to question every single thing. Where did this come from? Why do we do that? I have just barely started to scratch the surface on this, but I am so excited at the ability to rightly divide what is of God and what is of man. Some of the things that I have attempted to address is where all the attitudes come from about dress, music, the rituals of communion, the obligation to attend church on Sunday, etc. Some of these deeply rooted Southern churches would have you believe that when God met Adam and Eve in the garden that he sewed them button front collared dress shirts and casual slacks for men, and a long floral skirt and blouse for women, and many missionaries set out to do the same. To go to the opposite extreme, we would all likely be wearing some fig leaf / animal skin combo. I don't know where we ever got the idea that to be Christian was synonymous with our culture, and say look like us on the outside and all is well on the inside.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a show where K.D. Lang was a guest. She was introduced and started to sing, and I suddenly became aware of something that was happening in my subconscious, the label "lesbian". It didn't allow me to appreciate her talent or her song. I was dumbfounded, and started to cry when I realized how beautiful, heart and soul she is. It was almost as if God allowed me to see her with His eyes. He doesn't see "lesbian" – He sees His beautiful girl. (More and more I would wonder if God even sees our gender.) This experience made me wonder how many other people I not allowed myself to enjoy or see beauty or value in, or for that matter love because my culture has assigned a specifically horrific value to certain types of sin, while shrugging at others. I can't live that way anymore.

I wonder about so many things. I'm not afraid to ask the hard questions, but I don't need you to answer them for me. Father and I will walk this out. I am not afraid to ask, to seek, to search, or to be called a heretic. In fact, wasn't Jesus called exactly that?

09 March 2008

Eye'm Keeping Him!

Let's just say that I am not cut out to be a person with one eye, and will never underestimate the importance of sight, ever again. Today I had to go and buy a black eye patch which I could not wear. Call it pride or whatever you want, I just could not do it. The enthusiasm displayed by the teenage boys at rehearsal this afternoon made me feel completely justified in my decision to forgo aforementioned black patch. But by the end of the day, my eye was thoroughly irritated. No amount of ointment eased the pain, so I have been taking it easy on the computer today, but also know now that I have to have something on my eye for the long day at co-op tomorrow. I bought some "eye" shaped bandages and was lamenting how difficult it is to only have the use of one eye, and how much I hate having a bandage over it (I would not claim to ever be a silent martyr before my children!) and Kullen said he wanted to wear one too so I wouldn't feel so bad. Isn't he the sweetest boy? His attitude took something miserable and turned it into something so sweet. I love this boy!
I am sure that everyone is quite sick of posts about my eye dilemma - and I can promise you that there are other posts that have been writing themselves in my head. I will get back to them shortly. I know that it is just my eye, but it seems to have interfered with my ability to think. What is that about?

Restoring My Dignity

Okay - yesterday's post was a bit pathetic. Don't you feel bad for my poor family having to see me all day in such a state. It is scary. Today I took a shower and did my hair - sort of - although I'm having eye make-up withdrawal. I am heading to rehearsals with the kids today - and will help as stage manager - but first we're stopping off at Walmart to find an eye patch that doesn't require taping things to my face which evidently I have no tolerance for, and a pair of dark sunglasses as my eye is extremely light sensitive. I took some pictures so you could see that I wasn't as sad as I appeared yesterday, and I am slightly regretting that decision - as before I was only straining to see through the blur of eye ointment and now have lovely spots to accompany this effect.
I did also remember a half sleepy morning waking up and rubbing my dry right eye while my contact was still in there - which is likely what caused the damage. The inflammation has cleared a bit today and I can see the redness/injury is around my iris in a circular pattern! I just recently started wearing a new kind of contact that you can keep in your eyes for 2 weeks - but when they are dry - you have to rewet them. Note to self: be more diligent about that!

08 March 2008

Patch the Pirate

For the last couple of days, my right eye has been getting redder and redder. I don't know what happened to it. I haven't worn my contacts for a few days. This morning I suspected I was getting pink eye and so not wanting it to get worse, I spent a couple of hours this afternoon in the ER. I hate going for such trivial things - but I am so glad that I did. It turns out that somehow my cornea is scratched, and was only getting more and more irritated everytime blinked my eye. A numbed and dyed eye, a special light, some ointment, an eye patch and a referral to an ophthalmologist - and I look like a pirate. I think I should get some sort of award for posting the ugliest picture of myself on my blog. Or at least some ice cream.

06 March 2008

Domestic Tranquility

Could I escape a moment
Have a thought all to myself
And dream a dream
Dance a dance
Or paint a piece of furniture red
Begin a novel
Write a letter to a friend
Walk carefree in the rain
Without a thought
As to who will wipe the mud off of my shoes
The days it seems
Are gone
Before they even begin
As moment fades to hours
And hours into days
That write lines upon my face
And cheerful possibilities are swept away
With necessity
The tyranny of the urgent
Can anybody else answer the phone
Pay the bills
Wash the car, bathe the dog
Make the grocery list
What I wanted so much
To be a mother and wife
Now threatens to take my own life away
As day after day
I get lost
In what some would call
Domestic tranquility

Lest anyone think I don't love my family, please know that I do. Sometimes I just crave a minute, or maybe five or ten consecutive ones to myself, that are otherwise unaccounted for.

My Boy Blogger

My son has been asking me for a couple of days to help him set up a blog. We finally did. He dictated two posts to me, but I think he'll be whipping them out on his own in no time! Way to go Kullybear! Hop on over and leave the kid some comments, he'll be thrilled!
A short while later Kaitlyn said she got a new blog too, where she shares her deep thoughts and interesting music! What's up with that on the same day??
Some of you have already visited Kendra's blog, where readers can get a reali-tea check.
Wow, all my kids finally got bitten by the blogging bug!

Cranberry Chicken Salad

I had this the other night at our mom's monthly planning meeting for co-op, and it was so yummy I put it on the menu! I love chicken and I love cranberry - so this was a tasty treat. I am not sure how the rest of my family will like it - we are sort of eating in shifts tonight. I gotta get back to work - but thought I would share the recipe.

2 cups chunked cooked chicken
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 large croissants, split
4 lettuce leaves (optional)

In a large bowl, combine chicken, mayonnaise, walnuts, cranberries, salt and black pepper; mix well. Spread equally over croissants and add a leaf of lettuce to each, if desired. Serve immediately.

We at ours on homemade bread - and it was equally as yummy.
What are you cookin'?

My New Template

Yay! Goofy Girl did it again! I love it. So for all of those who have commented over the last six months or so that my red template was hard to read - here is a little break for you.
I also have this nifty little blockquote thingy going on! Isn't that special? I can't wait to use it from time to time when I want something to stand out.

If you are thinking of a change - I would highly recommend Goofy Girl - she's terrific and very patient! I have some itty bitty changes to make to the sidebars - but I am pretty happy with the new look.
What do you think?

05 March 2008

In My Basket

I am a multi-tasker no doubt. I can have ten things going at just about any given time. Currently I am sewing dresses for Pride and Prejudice, and I have just been asked to step in and help as backstage manager, planning for a 6th & 7th grade literature class using a book that is not offering up much in the way of obvious activities, schlepping kids to work, ballroom dancing, rehearsal and any of a number of other activities, trying to maintain a modicum of cleanliness, feed my family food that is not in the plastic category which requires menu planning and grocery shopping, balance a budget with income the size of my pinkie toe, help a laid-off husband (yep again!) find a job, work my own job, and occasionally sleep.
As I am typing this I hear the sound of breaking glass - and have to go clean up an oil lamp that got knocked over in the living room. Ugh.
I have too much stuff in my basket. I can't wait for summer. Need.more.lattes.

In case you haven't noticed my blog has gotten a lot quieter! After Emily's comment yesterday I realized that the music player on my blog was even getting on MY nerves. I have another one that is a little gentler that goes with my new blog design that will be revealed soon, very soon.

Suits Him to a "Tea"

A boy and his chai tea frappuccino with vanilla syrup are not soon parted! Where did a 10 year old learn to order this stuff??!?

04 March 2008

Check it Out!

My sister, who is a new blogger got a schnazzy new blog template design by Goofy Girl! Stop by to say hi! Tell her I sent you.
Mine's next - I'm so excited!

03 March 2008

Blood, Gore and War

This weekend for some reason we viewed a lot of high-tension or "action" movies. I think it is safe to say that we tend to be heavy on the chick-flicks or dramas around here. I am not sure how our line-up was this:
Friday: The Brave One
Saturday: Cold Mounain
Sunday: Rambo
All of these movies had their fair share of violence. Two of them had warlike scenes - Cold Mountain from the Civil War era, and Rambo showed a lot of violence in the Burmese Civil War. It is all so brutal. I have watched movies with such footage in it before, and hardly flinched, although admittedly it was not my thing. This weekend, it had a great impact on me. I was telling my husband after watching Cold Mountain - which I had seen several years ago - that I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be in a situation where there was so much killing.
I think I used to have a more cavalier attitude about war - that it was something that has been happening since the beginning of time, and it is just what we do. I can't imagine having the power in my hands to take another human life. What has come at a terrible price may not even be peace at all.
I think right now I am kind of raw from a personal situation that has just left me in a semi-grieving state. I think that I am starting to feel things again - hurt, worry, wonder, be afraid. I am not sure where this road is leading, but I know that I must follow it - even if it hurts, I am willing to wake from the semi-conscious state of existence.

02 March 2008

My Hero

This is my hero!

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland

One of my favorite songs lately has been this one on my FineTune player called "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland" - where Jewel has written about her disillusionment with Hollywood. I am in a time of disillusionment too. I love the line....I crave reality. I am tired of waiting for things to turn out all right in the end. There are things that I know will never be - and this song has been a comfort to me as I see past the things that I have dreamed and pretended for my life.

I am coming to terms with the truth, the realities of what is and have had a lot of pain as I have let go a little at a time of what will never be.
He will never say he's sorry.
She will never see your side.
The pain will never be acknowledged.
The power to hurt me is mine to give away.
Pretending perpetuates a lie.
I am enough, whether they acknowledge it or not.
I don't have to try so hard.
That which is named love that only ever hurts is not love. Call it what it is - agony, cruelty, selfishness.
I will never be thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, wealthy enough, marry a man who is good enough, give birth to special enough children, have a nice enough house, drive a nice enough car, wear my hair the right style or color, make the right choices, say the right words, wear the right clothes, live in the right neighborhood, keep my house clean enough, have the right friends, sing, dance, read, write, breathe, walk, speak, run, jump, sit, stand, never never never enough to earn their love or approval. It will always elude me, like a ghost I chase or a dream I wake from before I reach the end, before the hero makes the rescue.

To them I will always be an unmet obligation, a thorn in the side, an unspoken guilt hanging over like a cloud, a place to perform with shallow birthday cards, and promises that aren't worth their spoken breath. The purpose served as a pawn in the game they played as opponents has been fulfilled. The thread that tied adversaries together, resented just because it exists.

I am waking up.
Goodbye Alice, it's been nice knowing you.
Melodramatic? Yes. True? Absolutely.

01 March 2008


I have almost finished Kaitlyn's dress. Here is a picture. It still needs the bottom layer hemmed and a sash around the front waist that ties in a bow in the back - but it is starting to look like a dress. She tried it on and it is breathtaking on her. The overlay has small lavender flowers and green leaves. It is really delicate and pretty. Even Travis was pretty impressed and said it looked "store bought". For a novice seamstress this is quite an accomplishment. Now I have to get started on Kendra's.

I have been fighting off a migraine since yesterday evening. Even the light and sound are bothering me. I have taken as much ibuprofen as I can take without pickling my liver, and as soon as it wears off the pain in my head starts to rage again. I hate having a headache!