Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Ninth Edition...Random Dozen


Honestly, I told myself I wouldn't be blogging this week. It's the last week before the big huge retreat that gives me tics in my eye and ulcers and not enought sleep. But behind me, if you were here, you could hear my trusty Canon ImageRunner cranking out multiple copies of two different booklets, along with their covers. I figure there's at least 30 minutes left on this print job. They will all be stapled tomorrow and loaded up, with the help of a very nice lady. SO...Lidna at 2nd cup of Coffee is doing the Random Dozen blog again, and for what it's worth, here's my take:

1. Tell me something about your favorite teacher.Her name was Betty Askew. She was my 6th grade teacher and she convinced me that I was more capable than I ever believed. Her husband was on a tour of duty in Vietnam and she had the most adorable little 2-year-old boy.

2. Tell me about one pivotal moment in your life.
When my mom died, I was 18. I was 31 when I lost my dad. It was pivotal when I realized that no matter how old you are when your parents die, you feel orphaned.

3. About favorite colors--a lot of people will ask you what it is, but I want to know why it is. What feeling or memory does it evoke?
I have lots of favorites…right now I’m into muted, yet jeweled reds and purples. They make me feel like I’m eating something decadently rich.

4. What's a sure sign that you're getting older?
I think I’m getting arthritis in my hands and wrists…sigh….not good for a typist, someone who signs their name a lot, or a violinist. Maybe it’s just overuse.

5. Please don't sermonize, but Halloween--is it a yes or no for you?
No for the gore and horror, but I love to dress up. Sometimes I think that as Christians, we do a disservice when we disregard, or don’t acknowledge, the evil spirits and principalities that rule this world, but not our home. (stepping down from soap box now)

6. What's your favorite musical?
The Sound of Music.

7. Are you more of a city mouse or country mouse?
Can I be a suburban mouse? I like to be within 30 minutes of eggs that don't have to be gathered and washed and cows that don't have to be milked or butchered, but could be happy for extended periods away from big crowds. But like the country mouse, it’s exciting—nice to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there…

8. Did you know that it is possible, for a small fee, to name a real star after someone? (It's true! Google it!) If someone were to name a star for you, would you appreciate it for its whimsy and romance, or would you say, "Are you kidding me? For $19.95 we could have gone to the movie and actually bought popcorn."

Sadly, I’m all about the practical. Seriously—could you provide meals for the homeless or shoes for a shoeless child for my $19.95? And if not, could you grab me a Starbucks giftcard?

This question comes from Paula at His Ways Are Not Our Ways.
9. What's the craziest thing you've ever been doing and texted during it? I only thought of this b/c I was about to try to text during my walking video but I didn't.

Paula, you do know that this blog is rated G, right?
Um. Wrestling in a Sumo suit? Had to send a picture message. And yes, I won. I am one aggressive momma when put on the offensive side of things…
**DISCLAIMER/EDIT: I wasn't texting during the actual wrestling match. But I had to send a picture of it to Ted...let me assure you, he was SOOOOOOOOO proud. And no, the picture is no longer in my phone.

10. "It's not a party unless _______."
The O’Bryans and the Hoyles have law enforcement involved. And only the O’Bryans and Hoyles will understand this….

11. When you're stuck in traffic or a waiting room, what do you do to pass the time? PS: There are no magazines available.
Nap or text, if there isn’t reading material. But I usually bring whatever book I’m studying or some paperwork if I expect to be delayed somewhere. I’m assuming that I’m stuck in traffic, but not driving myself here. Listen to music if I’m driving, I guess. Or skeevy talk radio trying to get an updated traffic report.

12. If you weren't yourself, would you be friends with you?
Yes. Yes, I would. I love to laugh and I’m generally a pretty funny person.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Random # 8



Lidna over at 2nd Cup of Coffee is continuing her fun Random Dozen meme this week. Pop on over and link up at her place.

1. Candy corn: Your thoughts?
Eh…it’s ok. Not my favorite Halloween candy. Good for making fake vampire teeth when you stick them over your own teeth. When I do eat them, which is a seldom occurrence, I have to bite off each color successively from the pointy part first. I think I am now officially weird. And oh-so-OCD.

2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.)
I was walking into concert choir room and he said, “You have great lips!” I don’t remember how I replied.

3. Could you ever become a vegetarian?
If I had access to Dion’s Santorini pizza, probably.

4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume?
Claire has a coat that looks like a Santa outfit. Tyler bought it for her last year for Christmas, oddly enough. She really loves it. We ask her if she wants to put her Christmas dress on and she gets the elation thing. She loves being warm. Likes all her coats (yes, she has more than one), but her Christmas dress is the favorite. It looks a little weird on St. Patrick's day, though.

(I realize she doesn't look elated here. But she is. Really.)


5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).
Taco flavored Doritos (NOT Nacho cheese)

6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?
I won Student of the Year in the 9th grade. But they didn’t give me a trophy. I deserve a trophy for putting on the best church retreats, evah!

7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?
After Thanksgiving. Unless it’s Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer or the Dogs barking Jingle Bells. That would be never. Thankyouverymuch.


8. What's your favorite board game?

Apples to Apples. Also love Phase 10 (card game, not board). My daughter loves loves loves to play games. She badgers us and organizes it and we never regret it.

9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)?
Gifts? Yes. Parties? No. I like mostly little surprises, not big ones. And they have to be the good kind. Unpleasant of any kind—nu uh.

10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry?"
Yes. And often times I apologize for things that I shouldn’t or have no responsibility for.

11. What is your favorite candle scent?
Yankee Candle Clean Cotton. Not a huge fan of the vanillas, pumpkin spice, cookie dough or other 'cooking smells' type. That being said, a friend gave me a soy Applewood candle for my birthday that smells heavenly.

12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you.
Homemade jalapeno poppers. Works for both. I’m spicy on the outside and even a little salty, and on the inside I have a surprisingly sweet creamy center.

After the world's best retreat this year (happening Oct 30-Nov 1), I'll be reupping 2 Truths and a Lie. Is it wrong that I'm such a good liar?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Contemplating....

This has been a strangely contemplative week.

I’ve been contemplating the fact that I’m one year older as of Friday. Older doesn’t really freak me out. Hating the wrinkles, but loving the confidence I have now. But now I’m just 4 years younger than my mom was when she died. Does that mean I’m within 4 years of being as wise as she was?

I’ve been contemplating something that the son of a friend said about eternity. On Monday, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with an 84-year-old woman. She was a pretty little thing, and smoked like a chimney. Her voice sounded exactly like Roz from Monsters, Inc.

Exactly. She asked me, with a little bit of wonder in her voice, if I knew that the Jews did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. And that they (the Jews) don’t believe that Jesus is coming back. She had just come across those facts in the last day or so. Wow. Talk about an open door. Not sure if maybe, being 84, she may have known those salient facts last week and then forgot them. But wow. This is the Holy Spirit. This is the Holy Spirit saying “You asked for an opportunity—here ya go!” My friend’s son had this very poignant point: “I don’t think whoever said 'ignorance is bliss' had eternity in mind... “

And I’ve been contemplating choices made and consequences that come from those choices. I recently had the opportunity to go to the childhood home of my very best childhood friend. Her sister still lives in the home. And nothing has been changed. The wallpaper, paint and furnishings were the same. The plant room? The same. The old Chevy in the garage? The same. It was like opening a door and walking into 1974. Surreal. In those days, even though I was going to church, I was walking far from God. My friend was too. We made poor choices. We were in trouble, together and apart, but mostly together, quite often. Last year I broke my body in an unfortunate toilet papering incident at youth group. When we were 13, I broke her arm when the shopping cart she was in and I was pushing flipped over and she tumbled out. If I believed in Karma, there it was. When her parents went to the Holy Land for 6 weeks when we were high school sophomores, she lived with my family. I went on vacation with her family every summer. And then for some reason we drifted apart. I found this week that my friend, because of consequences of her bad choices, has lost her husband, has herself had a stroke, has lost any remaining trust of her family and is broke, broken and all alone. God pursued me and I was captured up in His love, His grace and His mercy. Somehow, she got away. Why? We both knew the Truth. She was a pastor’s daughter…her dad performed my marriage ceremony. Why? I know it’s all about choices. All about consequences. But…why? Why her and not me? My heart aches for her. I know that God is still pursuing her. To what lengths will she run so that He can prove His capacity for love and forgiveness to her? And why was she/is she so driven to run?

And I’ve been contemplating how incredibly blessed I am. How much God loves me. How much I am loved by my husband and family. And how can I show some of that love in return.

So…what are you contemplating these days?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2 Truths # 2 Reveal

Well...here you go. See how well you did:

Brushes with Celebrity
1. I once sat next to Grant Goodeve (the oldest--and best looking--son on 8 is Enough) and his wife on a flight. Bad thunderstorm, she was hysterical. I thought I’d have to slap her a la’ Airplane.

2. I was an extra in Convoy. They didn’t pay us, but gave us hotdogs, beer and coke. It was really, really hot. I was about 5 yards from Ali McGraw and Kris Kristofferson. The scene was at the end of the movie when they rolled into town in their big convoy. You can’t see me in the crowd. But I was there.

3. Sandra Bullock commuted to Albuquerque while making a move back in the early 90’s. She was a regular on our red-eye flight and once brought me cookies that she had baked. My husband still thinks she is really h-o-t-t. I still think Kris Kristofferson is, but the man can’t even speak on key. Brilliant lyricist tho’…
# 3 is the lie. This is one of those half-truths. Do ya'll remember The Facts of Life, with Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett)? Well, SHE was a regular on one of our flights for a period of time and SHE brought me cookies. Probably more believable than Sandra Bullock, huh? Yep, Mrs. Garrett brought me cookies. I heart Mrs. Garrett.



Toddler Follies
1. My youngest son once cleaned the toilet with his sister’s toothbrush. When I explained to him that he was using the wrong tool and showed him the toilet brush, he complied. He then used about ½ a bottle of shampoo to clean the toilet with. It took about 5 flushes for the bubbles to go away, but the toilet was real shiny, boss.

2. My oldest son did not have many temper tantrums. But when he did, woo-boy! Once at Wal-Mart he actually laid down in the crosswalk of the parking lot, kicking and screaming and refusing to move. At the time, I had 3 children. Amy was only about 6 weeks old, Caleb wasn’t quite 2 and Tyler was 4. I was afraid to spank him when we got back to our van, because we were trying to sell it at the time and had our phone number plastered all over it. We had to run a couple more errands and when we got home, he asked if he was still getting a spanking. I had calmed down and forgotten. But he reminded me….

3. My middle son painted himself and his sister with Desitin one day. Then they had a baby powder party in the bedroom. Then they cried and cried and cried after I found them. Can you guess why? If you know of a way to remove zinc from carpet, you could probably be rich. I ended up tearing the carpet out and putting in tile…turned it into a play room.
Again, # 3 is the lie. I saw a picture of this once and it cracked me up. And it totally could've happened. Sigh.

Sporty Spice
1. I was on the gymnastics team in high school. I wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t very dedicated. I was also very tall. About the only thing I excelled on was uneven bars. I quit when they told me I had to cut my fake nails off. In 1978 it cost $20 to get fake nails put on. In 2009, it costs $19.95 for a new set of acrylics. I made $2.65 an hour at Montgomery Ward back then. I wasn’t cutting those nails off for anything.

2. I was a monster roller skater. I could disco, shoot the duck and jump down flights of stairs. I started out with the kind that clipped on to your shoes and you had to use a key to tighten/adjust them. I was the first kid on my block to get “shoe” skates. I once broke my mom’s clothesline off at ground level by grabbing in as I did a “slingshot” around it to the “dark side of the moon.”

3. In the 9th grade I was on my church’s basketball team. I was worse than awful. I made one basket the whole season. It was for the other team. Pitiful. Shameful. Not to mention the spindly white legs that went up to my neck, but at the time were oh, so unattractive. I can’t even imagine what got into me to consider it.
#1 is the lie. Seriously, y'all? Me? On a gymnastics team? I did have a set of fake nails in the 70's. I did pay the equivalent of a king's ransom for them. And when ANOTHER girl in my gymnastics class (for credit...only got a good grade because I dressed out every day) fell and popped off one of her fake nails and blood spurted rather impressively across the gym, I was persuaded to scale them back a bit. # 3 totally happened. And I can still skate. I got skillz.

IF I can come up with more stuff, I'll do this meme again...I know I have lots of stuff to lie about, but the reason I don't lie in real life is that my memory just isn't that good. Oh, well. Thanks for playing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2 Truths and a Lie, 2nd Edition

Ok…time for the second edition….these are harder to come up with than I originally thought. Please play along, post your own and then come back and link up. It’s kind of like that old TV game show To Tell the Truth….

Brushes with Celebrity
1. I once sat next to Grant Goodeve (the oldest--and best looking--son on 8 is Enough) and his wife on a flight. Bad thunderstorm, she was hysterical. I thought I’d have to slap her a la’ Airplane.

2. I was an extra in Convoy. They didn’t pay us, but gave us hotdogs, beer and coke. It was really, really hot. I was about 5 yards from Ali McGraw and Kris Kristofferson. The scene was at the end of the movie when they rolled into town in their big convoy. You can’t see me in the crowd. But I was there.

3. Sandra Bullock commuted to Albuquerque while making a move back in the early 90’s. She was a regular on our red-eye flight and once brought me cookies that she had baked. My husband still thinks she is really h-o-t-t. I still think Kris Kristofferson is, but the man can’t even speak on key. Brilliant lyricist tho’…

Toddler Follies
1. My youngest son once cleaned the toilet with his sister’s toothbrush. When I explained to him that he was using the wrong tool and showed him the toilet brush, he complied. He then used about ½ a bottle of shampoo to clean the toilet with. It took about 5 flushes for the bubbles to go away, but the toilet was real shiny, boss.

2. My oldest son did not have many temper tantrums. But when he did, woo-boy! Once at Wal-Mart he actually laid down in the crosswalk of the parking lot, kicking and screaming and refusing to move. At the time, I had 3 children. Amy was only about 6 weeks old, Caleb wasn’t quite 2 and Tyler was 4. I was afraid to spank him when we got back to our van, because we were trying to sell it at the time and had our phone number plastered all over it. We had to run a couple more errands and when we got home, he asked if he was still getting a spanking. I had calmed down and forgotten. But he reminded me….

3. My middle son painted himself and his sister with Desitin one day. Then they had a baby powder party in the bedroom. Then they cried and cried and cried after I found them. Can you guess why? If you know of a way to remove zinc from carpet, you could probably be rich. I ended up tearing the carpet out and putting in tile…turned it into a play room.

Sporty Spice
1. I was on the gymnastics team in high school. I wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t very dedicated. I was also very tall. About the only thing I excelled on was uneven bars. I quit when they told me I had to cut my fake nails off. In 1978 it cost $20 to get fake nails put on. In 2009, it costs $19.95 for a new set of acrylics. I made $2.65 an hour at Montgomery Ward back then. I wasn’t cutting those nails off for anything.

2. I was a monster roller skater. I could disco, shoot the duck and jump down flights of stairs. I started out with the kind that clipped on to your shoes and you had to use a key to tighten/adjust them. I was the first kid on my block to get “shoe” skates. I once broke my mom’s clothesline off at ground level by grabbing in as I did a “slingshot” around it to the “dark side of the moon.”

3. In the 9th grade I was on my church’s basketball team. I was worse than awful. I made one basket the whole season. It was for the other team. Pitiful. Shameful. Not to mention the spindly white legs that went up to my neck, but at the time were oh, so unattractive. I can’t even imagine what got into me to consider it.


NOW! Your turn. Invent your own, or just guess these. Post on your own blog and link back up. Answers for these will be up on Tuesday. Have fun!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Dozen October 7



Time for this week's edition of Random Dozen. I just argued with myself over the placement of that apostrophe. It's way too early for this. Anyway, play along and head on over to 2nd cup and link up. (wow--that rhymes)

1. On an average, how often do you splurge and buy something for yourself? Maybe a couple of times a year. But the thing is, it usually has to be on clearance, and then additional savings off. Last week I gained huge ground and bought a top that was just on sale, not clearance. I don’t have this problem when I buy things for others, just myself.

2. Are you more like Hall or Oates? Just kidding. Real question: What is the last creative project you began/finished? Feel free to post a pic of it. Creative? Like in crafts? Pshaw. I wrote a pretty good article for our church website. Does that count?

3. OK, Goldie Locks, do you consider your house too big, too little or juuuust right? I love my house. But it has 6 people and 3 bedrooms and 1600 sq feet. In the grand scheme of things, I am not complaining. I have more than 90% of the world. But the boys are stacked up like cordwood and for their sake, I wish it were a little bigger.

4. What is your favorite outdoor chore? Planting in the spring—loving the anticipation of what’s to come. Cleaning up beds and containers in the fall—huge sense of instant gratification. Least favorite? Weeding poky weeds or picking up dog flops.

5. If you knew that cigarette smoking was not bad for your health but would be a weight loss tool, would you use it? Why or why not? No No. No. Even if it weren’t bad for me—it stinks. It makes you look old before your time. Turns your teeth and fingers yellow. And not the pretty sunshiny kind. It stains your clothing and burns holes in your carseats. When you kiss someone, they might mistake that for licking an ashtray. It’s just flat out nasty habit. I’d rather be fat. (p.s. both my mom and dad died from health issues directly tied to smoking. I am a rabid anti-smoker. Hate. It.)

6. On a road trip, would you rather drive or ride? Ride. Not a big fan of the driving. But I do like shotgun. Backseats tend to make me queasy. And I love my "Hang-on-to-this-ineffective-handle-above-the-doorjamb-because-it will-save-me handle." We all know how much control you have over the vehicle hanging on to that.

7. What do you consider a trivial pursuit? Farmville. Mafia Wars.

8. This weekend, we downloaded the movie "Duplicity" with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. Within 5 minutes, I was bored and annoyed, but I kept watching 5-10 minutes at a time hoping it would get better between small chores. I finally gave up and Jorge watched it alone, and then regretted wasting that time because he disliked it intensely, too. So ... how long do you watch a movie or read a book before giving up on it? Usually about 15-30 minutes. I’m embarrassed to say I watched ALL of “Open Water.” That has to be the among the worst movies ever.


9. Is there a song that you really love but are embarrassed to admit because it's not cool or it's racy or because it's by Hall and Oates? Pretty much every single song on The Best of Bread, Side A. Also, "Could it be Magic," by Barry Manilow…

10. On a scale of 1-10 (10 = extremely) how spontaneous are you? It depends. I like to think I’m an 8. But I’m pretty much rigid. I want my lists and my color coded binders. Probably a 3-4. Although, especially lately, I have had a hard time committing to people/things. I want my free time to be…free.

11. Are you a food and/or beverage snob? Not really. I like cheese that comes out of a can, hot dogs and willingly and enthusiastically buy processed stuff. And I don’t care for wine all that much. WAIT! I can’t stand powdered creamer in my coffee. Prefer half-n-half. Milk is #2 and those fake liquid creamers a distant 3rd.

12. Who/What are you trying to control in your life? (I hear people gulping and see them sweating in anticipation of how to answer this one.) I am ashamed that I try to control oh, so much of what God has handled. My kids. Ladies’ Bible study. Where should I exercise more control: watching what I eat and finances (things that affect only ME!)
Stand by for next week's version of "2 Truths and a Lie." It's sure to be a hit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Truth Time


The big reveal…..Ok. I’m coming clean. Here are the answers…

Animal Planet (Please don’t tell P.E.T.A!)
1. Finding a dead gerbil (mummified) in the air conditioning/heater system in our Jeep. No wonder it always smelled funny when we turned it on.
2. Finding half (top half) of our hamster, Cinnamon on the living room rug. The cat ate the bottom half.
3. Starting the car one cold winter morning and hearing a terrible racket. Opening the hood and finding a bull snake curled around the engine. In pieces.
# 3 is the lie. However, Ted’s cousin used to live with us when going through a tough time. He started his truck one morning and found a cat had decided that under the hood next to the warm engine was a nice place to nap. Quite a disturbing noise. We had to pull the kitty’s claws out of the fan belt to disengage her. The cat survived, but always walked with her head listing to the right after that…. I broke down and looked in the trash at the poor, unfortunate victim in #1. I threw up a little in my mouth. And decided that after all the work and frustration the little rat caused Ted, he is not a poor unfortunate victim!

Emergency Room for Dummies
1. Breaking my pinkie when I get stuck going down a slide with my nephew in my lap. I weighed about 97 lbs at the time and was scary-skinny.
2. Breaking my whole body falling off a driveway while toilet papering.
3. Having my son Tanner break his thumb 3 days later at school. His teacher didn’t believe him, and thinking he was disrespectful, she made him stand by his desk for the entire class period.
#1 is the lie. I know that Lidna was hoping that #3 would be. We didn’t get along well with the teacher in # 3, and after this incident, even less. Irony? She was the health teacher.

Take this job and…well you get the idea
1. Delivering singing telegrams as a part-time job in college.
2. Getting stuck in the belly of a C-130 airplane I was ‘investigating’ (read: poking around, unauthorized).
3. Going to a loan closing in someone’s house where they kept live goats. I guess it’s better than dead goats. They informed me their goats sleep in the bed with them. That’s just…wrong on so many levels.
#2 was the lie. Actually, only a half lie. I got stuck in the service elevator of an L-1011. The elevators are built to send up ONE flight attendant or ONE service cart up and down to the galley. There were two of us in there. Kind of standing like spoons in a drawer. I don’t do well in small spaces. Especially that small with someone other than Ted. We were stuck inside for about 45 minutes. I still get sweaty/queasy thinking about it. The goat thing in #3? Yep, it happenned. And they said they slept in bed with them. ICK!

Thanks for playing! If my pea brain can come up with more, maybe we can do this again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Two Truths and a Lie


Have all of you played that icebreaker game called Two Truths and a Lie? You put on a name tag and list 2 things that are true about yourself and one that is a lie. People try to guess which is which and in talking, they get to know you better. This is a game-meme thing kind of like that. Post some sets of 3…2 truths and a lie. And then come back here and do some linkage love. Here are mine:

Animal Planet (Please don’t tell P.E.T.A!)
1. Finding a dead gerbil (mummified) in the air conditioning/heater system in our Jeep. No wonder it always smelled funny when we turned it on.
2. Finding half (top half) of our hamster, Cinnamon on the living room rug. The cat ate the bottom half.
3. Starting the car one cold winter morning and hearing a terrible racket. Opening the hood and finding a bull snake curled around the engine. In pieces.

Emergency Room for Dummies
1. Breaking my pinkie when I get stuck going down a slide with my nephew in my lap. I weighed about 97 lbs at the time and was scary-skinny.
2. Breaking my whole body falling off a driveway while toilet papering.
3. Having my son Tanner break his thumb 3 days later at school. His teacher didn’t believe him, and thinking he was disrespectful, she made him stand by his desk for the entire class period.

Take this job and…well you get the idea
1. Delivering singing telegrams as a part-time job in college.
2. Getting stuck in the belly of a C-130 airplane I was ‘investigating’ (read: poking around, unauthorized).
3. Going to a loan closing in someone’s house where they kept live goats. I guess it’s better than dead goats. They informed me their goats sleep in the bed with them. That’s just…wrong on so many levels.

Tomorrow, I’ll come back with the big “reveal.” You can find out which ones are true and which ones aren’t. Let’s play!