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Friday, May 30, 2008

Foodie Friday - Just Desserts

You will find that I talk a lot about sweets. It's because I think a lot about sweets. I dream about them. I guess I could say that if I remembered my dreams, which I don't.


But I digress.


Desserts. They a way of life for me.


It's no wonder I gained 2000 pounds when I was pregnant. Seriously, 2000 pounds.


'Cuz you know, I never exaggerate.


NEVER!


We try not to order dessert too much when we eat out. It just adds to the bill and the waist line (and buttocks).


However there are a few that I truly relish the opportunity to indulge in.


Chocolate Canoli at Bucca di Beppo. We recently visited this restaurant only within the last year or so and it happened to be on one of those special dates when we order dessert. I have to admit, I was smitten. It's a nice crispy canoli filled with a beautiful white creme (which kind of surprised us because we thought it would be... well, chocolate.) However, it is served on a plate covered in chocolate sauce and some drizzled on top with some pistachios. And, they come in 3's so it's perfect to take 1 home and eat for breakfast the next day. However, our most recent visit revealed a complete lack of Chocolate Canoli on the menu. When we asked, our waiter said that they had recently re-done the menu but accommodated our request.


Warm Flourless Chocolate Waffle or Banana Pudding at Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville, VA. One of our first visits to Fair Oaks Church in Virginia was very lucrative in the realm of desserts. Pastor Stokes spoke of this marvelous sounding dessert at a particular restaurant. I made Mike go find out where we could find such a confection. I have to admit, the Flourless Chocolate Waffle was everything I dreamed it would be. The neat thing about Sweetwater Tavern was that they would feature special desserts every once in a while like their Banana Pudding that were not normally available. This is the only banana pudding Mike has ever eaten and liked. It's this really light whipped pudding that tastes like, well, banana. It's incredible.

It was funny, though... the next Sunday, Pastor Stokes mentioned during his sermon the couple that accosted him after the service the previous week to find out about the Flourless Chocolate Waffle. Then he went on to talk about chocolate malts. Man, I was pregnant and he was speaking my language. We we may have become "that stalker couple that keeps asking about dessert," but we knew we had found our church after that.


Flourless Chocolate Cake at 1717. Are you noticing a trend? Hmm.. 1717 is the restaurant at the Dallas Museum of Art. Mike and I had a date one Saturday and went to go see an exhibit at the DMA. Our mistake was going to eat lunch first and indulging in the flourless chocolate cake. We were on such sugar overload that we trudged our way through the exhibit (which I really can't remember now, but it might have been Egyptian in nature) and raced home and remained in a sugar coma the rest of the afternoon. It was a diabetic's nightmare.

Then, of course there's the DQ Blizzard or dip cone, the Chick-fil-a handspun shake, and the sweetheart shake at Sonic.

Do you have a favorite restaurant dessert?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Here's a tip for ya...

Your tip for today: Resist the urge to ever reach across the counter and kiss your checker at the grocery store on the lips.

I just about did this the other day.

Seriously.

It was Monday, and I had gone to the store to get some supplies for us to have a few friends over that evening for burgers. So, naturally, I bought some Shiner Bock (that's beer for you non-Texans) to go with them.

Almost as an after-thought as she was already bagging my groceries, she asked, "Um, you are 21, right?"

Oh BLESS you for asking!!!

"Yes, I am. I am WELL over 21. But you can see my ID if you want."

I'll gladly show it to anyone who asks.

"Oh, no need..." she said. And then angels began to sing as she added, "you just have really great skin."

What?

"Oh, but honey, I've got the grey hair to show for it."

Angels singing strains of the Hallelujah chorus louder and louder as she replies, "Yeah, but you don't look like you should."

And then a snap back to reality as she adds, "You must have kids."

Ah, she is so young, and yet so wise.

I wish I had paid attention to her name. I should write a letter of commendation for her. I complain so much and write so many letters complaining about poor customer service that I really should write a nice letter every once in a while.

This experience more than makes up for my experience on Valentine's Day this year.


Oh, I didn't tell you about that? Oh friend, take a seat. This is good

We took the kids with us to Red Robin for dinner the evening of Valentine's Day because, well, I wasn't cooking and it was the middle of the week, so a babysitter was out and the kids weren't going to sit through a several hour meal at Del Friscos. So, Red Robin it was.

Our waitress wore a button that said something to the effect of, "We card anyone under the age of 50." I commented to Mike about it since we didn't get carded.

So, he jokingly said something to her the next time she came around.

"My wife is a little dismayed that you didn't card her considering what your button says."

I add (aparently against my better judgment), "Yeah, I'm only 34."

Her response? Get ready. This is good.

"Really?!?"

I guess she didn't want a tip that night.

Oh, wait, here's a tip for ya... "Don't let on that you think someone is older than they say they are."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Definition of Random

random: a peacock walking down your street.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Everything but the kitchen sink!


Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer has been hosting a "What's in your car?" carnival of sorts last week. This began as her dear husband cleaned out her car and gave her a list of everthing that was in it. He thought she might want to post it. Now, friends, that's what I call a husband that understands his blogger wife.

So, when I saw her list, I emailed it my man to show him, that in fact, I am not the only one with this affliction. Then, she decided that we all ought to show the world, well, the internet world, anyways, what is in our cars.

My man got strangely excited about the prospect of showing everyone how awful my car is. He's a car guy and actually cares what the inside of a car looks like. So, to compare, his excitement might compare to me showing someone how awful the cake was that he made for my 30th birthday. I wish I had a picture to show. It tasted fine, but since he can't seem to just follow the directions on the box and mix it on medium speed for 2 minutes, it had the huge dome right in the middle.

By his account Friday morning (he cleaned it out Thursday night) there was barely enough room carved out of each seat for myself and each of the kids. There certainly wasn't room for him in my car.

As if there should be...

p-shaw.

SO, without further ado....

He didn't make a list, but I'll see if I can look at the pictures and give you some commentery.

  • 8 cloth pocket diapers + 8 inserts (preparing to mail them)
  • 1 purse
  • 1 blazer
  • 1 toy camera
  • 1 sippy cup borrorwed from a friend
  • 1 box of tissues
  • at least 1 cd

  • 1 coffee cup (hopefully from just that morning and not before, but you never know)
  • 1 Sonic cup (not sure of contents)
  • 1 birthday party invitation
  • 1 nerf football
  • 2 headbands
  • 3 blankets
  • 1 container of Wet Ones
  • Oh, that's where my kitchen shears got off to... hmm.
  • 1 Crate & Barrell catalog
  • 1 My First Leap Pad
  • 1 sunshade
  • 1 set of jumper cables (okay this one shouldn't count... he makes me keep these)
  • several packages of fruit snacks
  • several board books


  • 1 children's Bible
  • 1 broken cell phone that the kids play with
  • 1 life size outline of Nathan that he made in sunday school
  • about 5 "Hot Wheels" type vehicles
  • 1 Barbie Kite
  • 1 camo hoodie
  • 1 box containing the contents of Sarah's school desk
  • 1 lap desk
  • 2 adult and 1 child sized fold up chairs


Saturday, May 24, 2008

With his eyes, the man can see (kind of)

In preparation to have his eyes lasered yesterday, Mike had to quit wearing his contacts about a week and a half ago. Unfortunately, he had lost his glasses so he had to buy new ones. Doesn’t he look so hansom??


He was supposed to have LASIK. But, the plan changed on Monday.

He went for his pre-op appointment and they found some weaknesses in his cornea that caused the doctor to decide that he was not a good candidate for LASIK specifically. Instead, he had PRK.

Don't know the difference? Let me put it this way... PRK, what he had done, has a longer recovery period and hurts worse during recovery.

Let me see if I can explain it just a little.

In the LASIK procedure, the doctor has a laser that cuts a flap of the cornea and then takes out some of the corneal material, puts the flap back and it heals just like a cut on your skin would... kind of like a paper cut. Most people with this procedure have 20/20 vision and are driving the next day.

However, with the weaknesses in M's cornea, the doctor didn't want to make those cuts down into his cornea. So that changed his option to PRK.

In this procedure, the laser "scrapes" the corneal material from the outside of the eye. The end result should eventually be the same, but the healing process is a lot longer as it's kind of like an open wound. As the cornea heals itself and grows a new outer layer of “skin,” his vision will be very cloudy for a while. He has to wear protective lenses in his eyes and use tons of different drops and even has a Vicodin prescription to help with the pain. His best, clearest vision won't come for about 8 weeks.

I took him to the eye place on Friday, he got checked in and I waited with him for a few minutes. Then, since we were close-by, I was going to make a run to Costco and come back to pick him up.

He called to say that he was done and judging by my reaction, he guessed that I hadn’t even checked out at Costco yet. I later had to come clean that I had not been to Costco at all.

I went to dress barn to look at skirts (insert obligatory animal noises here). Oh, I wasn’t going to try on anything. It was going to be a quick pass-through just to see what they had, and then it was on to Costco. But the denim skirts…. They were callin’ my name!

So, I picked him up and he was wearing these terribly fashionable sunglasses.

The first thing out of his mouth?

“That’s the weirdest thing I have ever done.”

He began to describe everything that they did. At one point he said, “I remember thinking, ‘Donna would not handle this well.’”

I have a thing with my eyes. Nobody goes near them. People messing with my eyes freaks me out.

He has had to help me get boulders of sand out of my eye before. And he has witnessed me getting an eye exam. So he has personal experience with this freakishness of mine.

But, this post is not about me…

He said that he could see absolutely clearly as soon as he sat up from the procedure. And all evening long he kept calling out to me things he could see. It’s pretty amazing for him.

With his natural vision, he can’t even see the big E on the eye chart. As he puts it, “If I lived in caveman days, I’d have been dead long ago. I’d have been eaten by a saber tooth tiger. But on the upside, I’d have never seen him coming.”

So, even though things are cloudy right now, he says that, “If my vision never gets better than this right now, it’s still such a vast improvement over what it was that I could live with that.”

I took him for a follow-up this morning and he’ll have another one on Tuesday before he will be released to drive. His right eye had been bothering him some and the doctor put some drops in that dilated his eyes again, but helped tremendously. He also has quite the arsenal of drops here at the house that he uses almost hourly.


Mike says now, “Oh, I love me some drops!”

But the Trail Mix... it's mine.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Foodie Friday - Food Fight!

Looking back, it's been a rather serious posting week around here. Time for something light-hearted.

This is an abridged history of American-centric wars, WWII to the present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict.

I dunno. Maybe you just have to be history geeks like we are to really find this as hillarious as we did.

For a breakdown of what you're seeing, go here.

Enjoy the "smorgasbord of aggression."













Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tragedy to Triumph

It's been a bit of an emotional week for me as I have internally been dealing with a lot of thoughts and information about loss this week. Specifically, the loss of children.

I heard about this about Steven Curtis Chapman's family from a coworker just this morning not long after I walked in the door. Oh, it's just awful.

On Monday, we spent a good deal of time in our weekly staff meeting praying for a client's daughter who is pregnant and the baby has complications such that he likely would be stillborn or will not live long after birth.

On Wednesday during BSF Share Day, a mother got up and spoke only a week after her 11 year old son's funeral. He died on Mother's Day.

Another mother got up and spoke as she approaches the 1 year anniversary of her teen-age son's death.

One of the first ladies that spoke that day told of her son's death when he was young many years ago.

Let me tell you, there was not a dry eye out of the 200 or so ladies that filled that sanctuary yesterday morning.

But I will also say that I have been so encouraged by the faith these people have shown. And I have counted it an absolute privelege to pray for each and every one of them.

You see, God allowed me to go through 2 miscarriages not long after Sarah was born. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. Emotionally and spiritually. And finally, getting through the early months of my pregnancy with Nathan, once we decided we were ready to try again, was incredibly difficult as well.

I believe that I am in such an incredible position to pray for these people, especially our client's daughter, as a mother having been through such an experience.

Let me be clear: I don't believe He allows us to go through the pain of suffering and loss just so that we can help someone else. I don't believe that's consistent with His character. But friends, if we suffer without letting God use the suffering to change us, then it really is a waste.

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

But catch verse 29 as well... "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."

I firmly believe that the "good" that is talked about in verse 28 is the being "conformed to the likeness of his Son" that is spoken of in verse 29.

Yes, we can look for circumstantial good things in the life that is around and about us. But the true good work of the Father comes when we are not only conformed, but transformed into the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ.

I have been made accutely aware this week of how specifically I can pray for these people experiencing the loss of a child after having dealt with a similar situation myself. Even still, He is using my experience from almost 7 years ago to transform me, specifically my prayer life. Christ was able pray for us specifically as believers (John 17) and is able to help us in temptation because He's been there. He's walked a few days in our shoe leather. I can apply those same principles to my own life and pray specifically for those in similar situations. I can count it a honor to do so.

I very well may be "preaching to the choir" here and I don't mean to preach at all. It's just that I have felt bombarded by this kind of news this week and it's really got me to thinking about it.

I'm prone to vain imaginations and this kind of news just makes me wonder how I would react in such a situation.

Let me tell you, the mother that got up and spoke yesterday morning, in the midst of mourning and grief, shared verse after verse of how the Lord has been speaking to her. Oh, it was so rich. And it was pointed out to me later that it had to be because she had been hiding God's word in her heart over time.

Our client's daugter and son-in-law were the same way in the emails that my boss read from them.

Yes, God can give us a Divine Word in the midst of grief, but what's more likely is that in both of these situations these people were able to pull from thier storehouse of truth that they have been gathering and applying in their lives over time.

That's how I pray I would react. That's how I pray I will react the next time that suffering comes. Because you know what they say... there are 3 types of people in the world: those in the midst of a storm, those just coming out of a storm, and those that are headed into a storm.

Tragedy and suffering is going to come. Can I look past the tragedy to see the triumph? I pray it is so.

BBC Diaper Swap

If you're here to see my diapers for the swap, go here.



If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here.



Have a great day y'all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BSF Share Day

Today was our last BSF for the year. It was "Share Day" which is a time when those who are so led, can get up and just share what God has done in their lives this year in BSF. Kind of an "open mic" session.

As I listened to some of the things that were shared, my mind kept going back to what Esther Burroughs said in our ladies retreat at church last year. "What would happen if we all truly shared what God was doing in our lives?" And I just looked around and thought, "Yes. This is it. This is what sharing is about."

Oh, friends. I came away today so encouraged and my heart is so full that it's going to take me several days to sift through some of the testimony that was shared before I tell much about it.

Until that time, I wanted to post here a summary of what I shared today.

***

This year for me has been all about next steps.

It began last summer as I went through a depression of sorts. It was a very difficult time emotionally and spiritually for me. It was a time when I felt I was without purpose. And let me tell you, there are few things more discouraging for a Christian woman who has always seen herself as a strong Christian woman than to feel a sense of purposelessness.

I'll have to share some of my journal entries from that time in my life with you all at some point... probably as a Miracle Monday post. Because friends, what Christ did in my life during that time truly is a miracle.

My reliance on Him grew and I came out of it able to really agree with Him on some things in reference to my life. It seemed that once He finally got me to agree with Him about my primary focus and purpose in life, I could finally move forward with Him. And move forward we did.

As we headed into this year of BSF, honestly my thought was, “Matthew. It’s a gospel. I’ve heard this all my life.” I almost “yadda, yadda’d” Matthew. I did not expect to have it impact my life for all eternity the way it has this year.

I learned a lot the whole year, but when I really remember some things starting to click for me was in chapter 13 when we studied the Parable of the Soils. We came across verse 12 and (for the first time of several over the remainder of the year) the concept was presented that we get more truth from Him only as we apply what we’ve already been given and we become calloused and cannot receive more if we haven’t been faithful to apply what we’ve already been given.

I realized at the time that all too often, I sit in lecture and wonder, “Why am I not getting anything out of this lecture?” I just wasn’t there with where the lecture was. But as I began to consciously listen with spiritual ears apply the truth of what I was hearing and learning in both lecture and through my daily study and questions, I began to hear more during each lesson and lecture.

Praise the God of Truth. He gives so abundantly to those who will hear.

The BSF Personal Quiet Time seminar really changed my approach to and thoughts about my quiet time. I had a consistent quiet time, and I believe God blessed my efforts to get up early and spend some time in the Bible and in prayer. For the first time in my life, I was finally consistent about doing this. But I began sensing a couple of months ago that although I was giving Him the first of my day, I wasn’t sure I was giving Him my best.

Through the seminar the Lord challenged my concrete, “Gotta get this much done” mentality and got me to focus on evaluating my progress by my growth. Seems simple, huh? But this is a concept that has eluded me for my whole Christian life.

Through all of this, the Lord seemed to be saying to me, “Okay, we started moving forward last summer, now, it’s time to continue. It’s time to take those next steps and know me more. It’s time to go deeper in your relationship with me.” I have almost audibly heard this several times in the last 9 months.

As I have talked about some of the things I’m learning and doing as I take these next steps, it has been suggested by a very dear friend that it seems as though the Lord is preparing me for something. I have no idea what, but that very well may be the case. But right now, I’m just going to rest in the knowledge, that my God and Savior, the Creator of the universe, wants me closer and closer to Him each and every day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Miracle Monday

My miracle today is something that happened just this weekend.

I have been sick recently with that I have self-diagnosed to have been Fifth Disease. Many of us think of this as a childhood virus, but anyone who has never had it before can get it. But it's kind of like chicken pox... once you've had it, you've got the antibodies and won't get it again.

Can I get a Hallelujah?!?!

As adults one of the symptoms that gets reported along with the tell-tale rash (according to the CDC) is joint pain and stiffness. I got the rash last Tuesday evening and began having the joint pain/stiffness very mildly on Wednesday. By Thursday, I felt like my joints were swollen and, in fact, I could not even get my wedding ring on my finger (thankfully I take it off and I'm not now telling a story of having to have it cut off).

Finally by Friday evening, it hurt to simply try to roll over in bed and I got very little sleep that night. Saturday morning, I couldn't hardly move to get out of bed. I took some Tylenol and finally got moving and things loosened up a little, but it was painful. All day long it was painful.

Then it hit me... I was supposed to try to play handbells on Sunday morning. With joints that won't move, I was supposed to try to play handbells.

This is when you start praying and calling your director to start praying.

If you've never played handbells before, then maybe this makes no sense to you, but it's an entire body instrument. At least for me it is. From the biggest hugest bells (that require both of my hands to ring just one) to the teeniest bells (which I play 2 in each hand). I'm standing, tapping my toes and stepping to the beat. I'm lunging and feeling the music. I'm using my entire upper body to ring, damp, table damp, and martellato (banging the bells on the table).

It's fun. As long as your joints are all working properly. Which at the moment, mine were not.

You know, it's interesting, I've always acknowledged that any musical or artistic talent that I have has come from God. I've always done my best to give Him the glory. But I can't remember ever feeling like I had to fully rely on Him to make it to or through a performance. I mean really just trust that He's going to show up or it's not gonna happen. That's how I felt on Saturday morning as I was doing my quiet time. I knew that God was gonna have to SHOW UP in a mighty way if I was going to be able to play on Sunday morning.

So, Saturday evening, my dearest husband goes to the store and comes home with my miracle in a bottle.



I was able to get to sleep easily and woke up Sunday morning without the slightest pain.

Here's the thing though... I believe it had so much more to do with God SHOWING UP and making a way (He's the WAY-MAKER) for me to be pain free and be able to play handbells to His glory on Sunday morning. He wanted His Son's name glorified...

All Hail the Power of Jesus Name,

Let angels prostrate fall.

Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of All.

Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of All.

Amen and Amen!

The words of Psalm 5 (NIV) resonated so loudly with me this weekend as I read them in my quiet time:

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
consider my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation
...
8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies -
make straight your way before me.

Do we really wait in full expectation of what He's going to do? Do we really ask and expect Him to make a way?

I know I don't always do that. But I did this weekend. And GOD SHOWED UP!

You can read other miracles and post a link to your own miracle at A Mom's Life.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Intuition or Imagination?

Have you ever considered yourself a hypochondriac?

I don't know that I truly suffer from the true definition of the word hypochondria but I exhibit tendencies from time to time.

Especially when it comes to my children. I start putting together the symptoms and imagining the worst. I disguise it well, though, as "mother's intuition."

You all know what I'm talking about, don't you?

Or, maybe it's just me.

It has served my children fairly well, though. We've caught a couple of cases of pneumonia, some urinary tract infections and disorders, among other things in our 7 years as parents due to my, ahem, "mother's intuition" (aka hypochondria tendencies or overactive imagination - whatever you want to call it).

However, I do it to myself also. My "intuition" on myself is not always so accurate, though.

I began having migraine hedaches several years ago. I remember the first one like it was yesterday. I was facilitating a summer Bible Study with some girl friends and it started toward the end of our time. Thankfully I rode with a friend that night because I felt like I was going to throw-up the whole way home. I have never experienced such pain before or since. If I'd had any sense about me, I would have had M take me to the emergency room for fear of a stroke (see, I'm doing it even now... and it's all over).

Since then I have self diagnosed myself with a brain tumor causing the headaches numerous times. However, my doctor assures me that everything that I have experienced with my headaches is within the bounds of being normal and me just getting older.


I'm not that old, mind you.

And my husband says in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, "It's not a toomah."


Oh, and then there was the time that I had a really weird pain in my chest. It hurt worse as I inhaled and I was totally seeing myself with some kind of heart problem that had been around since birth that nobody ever found and it was just then presenting itself. I was going to drop dead at any moment, you see.


So I drug my friends that I was going out to dinner with that night to the ER. Only to find that I had pulled a muscle in my chest wall. Or in Ray's words, I had "pulled a boob," because that's right where it hurt.

I ask you, do you think I'm ever going to live that one down?


So with the ailment that I have been plagued with over the last week, I have taken to self-diagnosing again.


I have single handedly diagnosed myself with Fifth Disease when the two doctors I saw were not able to. See, I should have gone to medical school.


NOT.


The blood and violence involved with needles would have been a problem. I get a little queezy from time to time.


The one thing I found on the WebMD description was that adults can often experience joint stiffness with it, which is what I'm experiencing now.


However, me and my "intuition" of course have to take things a step further.


I started getting a headache and noticing some stiffness in my neck when I tilted my head from one side to another (not that I'm being "stiff-necked" or anything - think Israel and Moses for a minute). And since WebMD says that this is one of the 6 symptoms to never ignore I must call my doctor's office. Because the internet told me to.


And we all know that if it's on the internet... let's say it together now... it must be true.



The headache and stiff neck can be an indication of menengitis. Not that I really think I have menengitis... but what if I did. I mean, it could be serious. Even though I no longer have a fever, nor am I having seizures of any kind. I still could have it, you know.

So, cooler heads prevailed when I called my doctor's office (yes, I really did call) and I'm to go to the ER if it gets worse. Which it won't. But what if it does?

Intuition, or imagination?

You make the call.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Foodie Friday - When You're Sick

I have spent so much of this last week either in my bed or on my couch with a fever that there hasn't been a lot of cooking going on in our house.

Well, not a lot of good or necessarily healthy cooking.

Mike, bless his heart, has taken on so much this week. Including dinner.

It's been a smorgasbord of culinary delights, I tell you.

Dinosaur chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and Kraft Mac & Cheese. Oh, and add some Chick-fil-a chicken noodle soup and that's been our week in a nutshell.

So, what happens in your house if you're sick? And what is your favorite "sick" comfort food?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Potty Training Chronicles - Our Past in Diapers

Ok - I'm feeling the need to explain my previous post for those of you who may not know this about me...

I used cloth diapers on both my kids.

There... I admitted it. I feel so much better. Like such a weight has been lifted.

Oh, I kid.

But none-the-less, I did use cloth.

And, now that my Little Man is potty trained (well, for the most part - seriously, who am I kidding here?) I have no more need for the huge stash of diapers that I have.

So, what is one to do with said diapers?

Sell them.

Oh, don't get grossed out. It's absolutely acceptable and normal. They get washed in super hot water that kills anything. And, I guess if you're grossed out by it, then you wouldn't be using cloth anyways.

I have, in the past, been a part of a diapering bulletin board on Babycenter.com. It's a great forum to get questions answered and share ideas about cloth diapering. The board also hosts a swap every Thursday for the buying/selling/trading of diapers and diaper related items.

All that to say, for a few weeks (or until I finally get rid of my stash), you may see a post here for people to come and look at pictures of my diapers.

It's a little sad that these diapers are a part of our past... they're just so darn cute!

BBC Diaper Swap

If you're here to see pics of diapers for the swap, go here. I'll put more up as I have time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not so quick...

I spoke too soon yesterday evening...

Fever's back... and I broke out into a rash last night.

This just keeps getting more and more interesting.

Oh, and no need to worry about that other little thing I mentioned yesterday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I can't think about that today...

So I watched the best movie in the world today.


What? You know not of what movie I speak?


Gone with the Wind, of course.


"Oh, AAAshley!"


Man... that's good stuff. They just don't make good movies like that anymore. The melodrama is so thick you can't cut through it with a knive.


And I have returned to the land of the living. Or at least the land of the non-fever-having...

Okay, so maybe that's not a technical term.

I went to the quack-shack today because I was worried that there was something more serious going on as I just still was so achy this morning.

The McDoctor there did some tests and everything was negative, so we just assumed it was viral. However, whatever she did had some healing power, because within 2 hours of getting home, I began miraculously feeling better.

Maybe it was her hint of a suggestion of doing a pregnancy test.

AAAACK!

In revolt I believe my mind told the rest of my body, "Shape up. We're NOT going to be pregnant again!"

Oh, I kid... you know I would be shocked but pleased.

Shocked because it SHOULD be physically impossible for us. But I couldn't help myself but to be thrilled if it happened (after I got over the utter SHOCK of it all, of course).

Anyways, we're dealing with hypotheticals here... there's no need for that little test...

I'll think about that... tomorrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a day...

Some mother's day I had...

Oh, Mike and the kids were great. I got tulips, a personally painted "Happy Mother's Day" bear, some chocolate covered dried cherries (oh yeah...!). We went to PF Changs for lunch and I also get to have my house cleaned and get a massage at some point in the future. That part of it was all absolutely fabulous.

It was the being in bed all achy and running a fever all afternoon that stunk. I had to peel myself out of bed after a couple of ibuprophen to go to handbell practice.

And now, today, my temperature has hovered between 100 & 101 most of the day. I tried to go to work this morning, but left by about 10:30. I had taken some ibuprophen so, I felt well enough to fold a load of towels when I got home, but I've done nothing since.

Acutally, I guess that's not true. I've watched "First Wives Club," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," slept through one episode of Monk and watched another, and right now I'm watching 30 Minute Meals and listening to my dogs howl like crazy at some sirens in the distance.

It's a pretty exciting life being me right now.

Pretty exciting.

The really great part is... wait for it... I think my man may be coming down with whatever this is as well.

What a day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I tell ya, I was so blessed on Friday. I had Mother's Day Tea first with the Princess in her class and then with my Little Man at his day-care. They both gave me little gifts that were incredibly special. But some of the things Sarah wrote were so touching. For instance, in her "My Mom" book, they filled in the blanks and drew pictures answering questions such as my favorite food, things I like to do, etc. But the ones that had my crying by the end of looking at my daughter's sweet creation...


"When my Mom daydreams she thinks about... God." (Ladies and gents, it just doesn't get any better than this!! To think that she sees me as someone who daydreams about God... I was speachless.)


"If Mom could have one wish come true, she would wish for... Daisy." (Yeah, right now, I probably would.)

So, I got to thinking, what does it mean to be a mom?

I think sometimes it's a job that we may not take seriously enough.

And other times, I think I may take it so seriously that I don't just sit back, relax, and play enough.

But it is, in fact, a job, a calling, with a mandate that I do take very seriously.

I take seriously my job to...

* raise children who know know the truth of who Jesus is and what He did for us on the cross and give them every opportunity to accept His gift of forgiveness in his infinite mercy and grace.

* raise these children to be contributing members of society.

* be the parent and guide them while they are young so that later on, we can be friends.

* be their protetor and one of the two humans on earth ultimately responsible for their safety (this includes being the bearer of an infinite supply of Band-aids).

* be their advocate when there is a problem that they can't handle themselves.

* be their teacher in things of God, life, and love.

* be an emotional support for them when times are rough.

It's a hard job. But it's mine. I plan to own it, do my best, take it seriously, and try to have some fun along the way.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Peter Rabbit

This was the 19th presentation of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by 1st graders at our school. It's such a tradition and a big deal for them. They all did a fabulous job. But my princess, was more fabulous than the rest... but I'm not biased or anything.




She played Mopsy. Although, she let me know that she really wanted to play Flopsy instead. What's the difference you ask? I have no idea.


video

Friday, May 9, 2008

Foodie Friday

I had the opportunity to sit next a friend whom I don't normally get to sit next to during choir on Wednesday evening. In the course of the rehearsal, part of the time while we should have been singing, I found out that she and her family are going to Washington DC for summer vacation next month.

Oh, I became so nostalgic. Wishing I could go and visit.

I began asking what they were going to do, where they were going to go, and where on earth they were going to eat.

Because you know, I am a woman of priorities.

So, I began telling her of some our favorite Washington DC spots. In particular Red Sage, which is located not too far from the White House. I told her of their ribs... their wonderful, tender, falling off the bone, chipotle barbeque sauce covered ribs.

Are you drooling yet?

You should be.

I first encountered Red Sage in December of 2004 when we went to see the National Christmas Tree at the White House. Mike worked in downtown that day and just happened to choose a place for us to have dinner that would be in walking distance to see the tree. And mama (who was indeed pregnant with the Little Man at the time) decided she needed herself some ribs.

It was indeed love at first bite.

We went back several times before we moved back to Texas taking several family members and friends.

So, today I began doing a little bit of research to send her a link to something about the restaurant.

And what did I find? Red Sage is closed. As of December, it's closed.

What a sad, sad day for residents of the WMA (Washington Metro Area).



So, Foodie Friday... yes, I very well make this a weekly post. We'll see how it goes.





Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oh the randomness of not feeling well...

Toward the middle of the day today I began just feeling weird and achy. I continued to try to work and did not do it very well. Then we had the 1st grade performance of Peter Rabbit, and I had a difficult time sitting through that.

I got home and got in bed. I finally took my temperature and indeed it was well over 100.

Ugh.

I'll be posting Peter Rabbit photos and video some other time.

Oh, and I'm watching Colbert right now and he's talking to an astronaut who is wearing a wrist strong bracelet. It's pretty hillarious.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quiet Time

I posted not too long ago that I wasn’t sure that in my version of a quiet time in the mornings I was really giving God my best. Yes, I’m working to make sure He gets my first of the day (well, most of the time anyways)… but is it my best?

Well, after last Wednesday, the answer is a resounding NO.

I attended a BSF Personal Quiet Time Seminar last Wednesday afternoon. It really challenged me and reinforced my thinking from the other day and my concern of whether what I was doing was really building my relationship with God.

The Lord really spoke to me about how I have approached my quiet time. For instance, how beneficial is it really to my relationship with the Lord if I read a passage and have little to no idea what I just read?

Honestly, I think it has been fine up to now. For one thing, what I have been doing has at least gotten me into the habit of getting up and getting into the Word first thing in the morning. I do believe He has blessed that time and has spoken to me in spite of myself. But as with the rest of our study of Matthew, He is challenging me to take the next step… to go deeper with Him.

One way that Tonya challenged us to look at it is not just getting through the book or getting a certain amount read. This is very difficult for my concrete goal-oriented personality. As I look back on my quiet time recently, I feel like the conversation has gone something like this…

Me: Ok. Reading Amos… good, I’ll be able to check that book off the list..
God: Ok, what did I tell you through Amos?
Me: I dunno. I’m reading.
God: But-
Me: Excuse me God…I’m reading. Let’s not interrupt.

This is a ground-breaking, head-turning, amazing concept. Are you ready? Here goes…
I am to measure my progress not by how much I’ve read or what I’ve done, but by my growth in my walk with Him. *GASP*

The other element of a quiet time that was discussed was prayer. I have an entirely different set of issues here. Most of which is simply attention span when talking about my early morning quiet times. Otherwise, I’m finding myself, like I think many of us do, in Peter’s shoes.

The main theme of our lecture last week was injustice. How do we respond to it? Do we respond like many characters in the Bible, like Peter for instance? Or do we respond rightly, like Jesus?

The Lord told Peter in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” And yet, what did Peter do? Did he pray as the Lord told him?

No. He slept. He slept right through the opportunity he had to become in tune with God the Father’s will for His Son. And what was the consequence of being out of tune with God’s will?

He needlessly fought back during Christ's arrest. He chopped off the ear of the high priest’s servant, which could have landed him on a cross next to Jesus were it not for Jesus healing the man.

Then what did he do? He denied association with or even knowing Jesus three times, just as Jesus predicted.

I do tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when faced with injustice. I am better than I used to be about this, but there’s always room for growth, right? And, I have learned through some personal struggles with temptation that prayer and reliance on God’s deliverance from it is really the only way out. But I have not encountered my last dealing with this. Remembering this fact will be the key here.

So, my plan? Because, you know, I am nothing if not a woman with a plan.

I am re-reading the Psalms for my quiet time. But not just reading them. As I read (sometimes only a few verses at a time) I am looking for and asking God to reveal His attributes to me. I am seeking to know Him more personally and more intimately through His revealed character in His Holy Word. I am also praying that scripture back to him and typing out my prayer to help keep me on task and keep my mind from wandering.

So, I am formulating a way to incorporate this new plan into my blog. Stay tuned. I may be doing a weekly thing with this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The time has come... to say good-bye

It's time. It's been a long process for her and for us. But, there's no denying that it is time.





I wish I could describe what Daisy has meant to our family. But words fail for such a good and devoted friend.

We got her not long after we got married and moved into our first house 12 years ago. M picked her out at a shelter. She was the runt of the litter and her litter-mates had been chewing on her tail. There was not much fur left on it at all. It took a while to grow back in.

I have always loved the way she was a big dog that could look menacing if she was provoked, but was just as sweet and gentle as could be with us, those she loved and who loved her. She has been, many times, what has kept me feeling safe when M is out of town on business.





She has had a good life and a fairly long life for a dog her size. Recently she'd have a few good days followed by more bad days of not eating. The bad days just seemed to get worse each time with fewer good days inbetween. It's been hard to see her in such shape, but we just kept hoping that the good days would help her turn a corner. That she would get better. But they never did and she just continued to go down-hill.


I know this. I know, in my mind that it is time. I just wish my heart could catch up to my mind on this one.


We will miss you sweet Daisy-girl. Daisy-dawg. Crazy-Daisy. Lazy-Daisy.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Miracle Monday



My miracle this fine Monday is fairly shallow... I'll admit that right now, up front. Don't be looking for a deep post today.

God bless Dillard's.

And God bless their ladies swim-wear buyers.

As some of you may know, I have been searching for a new swimsuit since January. My difficulty in this task is on many levels. For one thing, I have strong feelings about modesty in swimwear with regard to "the girls." And, with respect to them while we are speaking about them, "the girls" have issues of their own after 2 babies and need some extra support. But, I want something that's cute and functional for everything young children require while in a pool or at a beach.

Yes, you could say I have high standards.

But I'm entitled, right?

I had all but given up, though recently. I was too unsure about ordering something online because I hadn't found anything in-real-life that was even close to fitting properly without too much cleavege showing.

Also, the choices that I was finding online that met my needs size-wise, well, I'll just say that they assume that someone who needs that bra-size must want to purposefully wear something that is ugly. There's no other explanation for it.

And, what a hassle to order something, wait anxiously for it to arrive only to have to send it right back because I look in the mirror and cry in horror, "HOLY COW!"

So, after making a plea and having it answered by a Swimsuit Edition of Fashion Friday over at BigMama, I had new-found inspiration as to what I needed out of my swimsuit. And on Saturday evening, by myself in that little Dillard's dressing room, all my swimwear prayers were answered.

Of course, I heard little 20-somethings in the background saying to each other, "Are you sure this doesn't look too trashy?"

Um, honey, if you have to ask....

I find it to be a miracle that someone in the ladies swimwear purchasing area of Dillard's decided that underwire support was important enough for swimwear to purchase a wonderful array of choices for those of us needing help in that area. AND that for those of us whose cups... um... runneth over, they even have cute options in our size as well.

It is such a miracle that I found a swimsuit that I liked (and that M liked) that I went back today and bought 2 more in different colors. And since they were only $39 each, I could afford it!

God bless Dillard's. That's miracle enough for me today!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Legalism?

So, Sarah is going to camp this summer. Real-live, stay over night, all week camp. This is huge.

She went to this same place for day-camp last summer, but spent the nights with my parents (Mimi & Papa) as they lived real close by. We hadn't planned on her doing anything like that, but my mom invited her when she realized that 3 of Sarah's cousins that are a year older than her would be going during the day and spending the nights with them.

However, this year, with them being gone, my sister and I had to decide what to do. We both finally decided that they could go and spend the nights there.

I also got the idea from her to have Sarah work to earn some of the money to help pay for camp. Diane's boys can go to a blueberry farm and pick blueberries and sell them. We don't have anything like that around here. So, Sarah is doing some extra things around the house to earn some money. For instance she pulled some weeds in one of my flower beds recently.

Yesterday, Mike told her that it would cost him $5 to take the car and run it through the carwash. So he proposed that he would pay her $5 to wash the car, while being very careful that this was not the version of washing the car that she usually partakes in which consists mostly of squirting him or Nathan with the water hose. This was going to be work.

She did a really good job and earned not only $5 from dad for washing his car, but also some money from Nanny for washing her car. Now, of COURSE, Nanny didn't have just a $5 bill. All she had was a $10 bill. Hmmm. How conveeeenient.

So, today, as Mike and I are waking up from a nice Sunday afternoon nap (Oh, yeah... it was nice. I slept for like 2 hours!), Sarah comes and asks to watch a movie. In response, Mike suggested that she instead could earn another $5 for camp by washing my car.

Do you know what she said in response????

In an oh-so-matter-of-fact tone, she says, "Dad, I thought we were'nt supposed to work on Sunday."

We couldn't help ourselves from busting up laughing.

So then, Mike comes back with, "Okay - then we can go out and just wash the car like we normally do and you'll get to play in the water & stuff."

Oh, she was okay with that... and Mike still gets my car cleaned and doesn't have to pay for it. A win-win I suppose.

So, are we raising a child that is just keenly aware of God's desires? Or are we raising a child that is becoming legalistic? Or are we just raising a child that's looking for a way out of working?

It's all a fine line, isn't it?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Ode to DQ

Oh DQ, DQ, where art thou, DQ?
Thy presence eludes me,
Thy locations far from me.
'Tis the map on thy homepage that is my enemy;
The franchise owners that keep you from me.

What's a DQ? 'Tis a dip cone,
A Dilly Bar, a Blizzard!

What's in a name? Would that which we call softserve
under any other name taste as sweet? Steakfingers as crispy?
Never they would without the red DQ emblem as their seal.
The sign of Dairy Queen Eats 'n' Treats.



*****


Need I explain? I feel like I do.


Obviously I love Dairy Queen and we have not a single one nearby.


We found one while we were in Vegas back in January on our way back to town from the Hoover Dam. The weird thing was that they didn't serve real food. Just hotdogs and stuff. I needed me a steak finger fix and couldn't get it.


When we were on our way back from the family reunion this past Saturday and were talking about where to stop for dinner, I realized that there would have to be one in Weatherford. There just had to be.


And there was. Oh yes, there was.



It was a sight to behold.



The giddy enjoyment of it all got the better of me.



I had me some steak fingers. Sarah got a dip cone. Nathan got a Dilly bar. Mike and I each had a Blizzard.



It was a thing of beauty. Oh yes, it was.



So today I was longing for a DQ fix again at lunch time.



I will just have to wait.



Until we meet again, DQ. Until we meet again.






To be fair, I had to look up the text of Juliette's monologue here: Macrone, Michael. "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?." Brush Up Your Shakespeare. Cader Company, 1990. eNotes.com. 2007. 1 May, 2008