Monday, December 20, 2010

Focus.

I asked a good friend today if he felt like our focus was wavering. He responded that we seem to be so busy doing good that we have lost sight, depth and grasp of our First Love.




Take a moment now. Breathe in. Remember the God of the Universe came down in the form of a little baby some two thousand years ago. For you. For me. For all of us lost and wandering sinners. And He’s coming back again. Soon.



Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter

I have a winter in my soul right now. But it's not the kind of winter that is bleak and desolate.  It's the kind where, although I feel cold and hear only silence, there's a hint of expectation.  A time of looking forward to what may happen next.  A time of waiting.  And watching.  It may not all be good.  It's never ALL good, but inside my head I murmur over and over, "GOD is sovereign.  God IS sovereign.  God is SOVEREIGN."  And I am desperate to hear from Him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Could it be...(the Fright Night Edition)



...the end of an era?  Lidna over at 2nd Cup is taard! Coming up with a dozen thought provoking prompts when you are a ministry assistant, wife, mom to three (one of whom just recently announced her engagement…congratulations Katie!...) is a lot to ask of one person. She's tapering off.  So the dozen is now just a couple. Answer these on your own blog and then linky up over at 2nd Cup….




1. What scares you the most



A) Physically

Swimming in deep water that doesn’t have concrete surrounding it and chlorine in it. But perversely, I love playing in the ocean and on the beach. I have come to terms with it and can even jump off cliffs into lakes now, but it always makes me feel all squeemy inside. But at least I don’t have to resort to Jack Daniels when I do it...



B) Emotionally

Outliving one of my children. I watched my aunt go through it twice, and that scares the pants off me. I don’t even like to think about it.

Why does it scare you, and how do you cope?

It scares me because it goes against the laws of nature. I would feel as if one of my main purposes in life were gone. I am afraid that I would have such anger that I would sin against God in a truly mighty way. I cope with lots and lots of prayer.



2. What comes to mind when you read the phrase, "Nothing gold can stay?"

James 5:3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

Matthew 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't what Linda was shooting for, but, that's what I think about....

Wow! I wasn’t very witty or funny today. I’ve had a crushingly busy week (Thank You Lord, for your provision). Updates from last week:  I now have my shiny new fridge of my dreams and Ted’s surgery is scheduled for November 8. Say a prayer for him, won’t you?



Thanks!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

On Friday, the day before I was forced to remember that it was celebrated my 49th birthday, our oldest son left our home to begin to make one of his own. It’s been a bittersweet time. I love that he is happy and well and still only about eight miles away. But I hate that he’s not right across the hall and always ready to share a breakfast burrito or a white pizza or a game of Talisman (latest new addiction—yes, I am a total nerd/geek and yes, I know the game has been out for almost 30 years.  It's new to me, ok?) at the drop of a hat. My little boy will be 20 years old in just a couple of months. He’s traveled and seen more of the country than I have. He’s responsible, can back up a big truck and park it like nobody’s business, and is a spiritual giant in my eyes. I saw him at church Sunday (didn’t see him all day Saturday. On my birthday. I know, RIGHT?) and got all welly and hugged his neck until I think I embarrassed him. I am officially one of those mothers now.




Tyler moved in with his cousin, Kyle and another roommate. Kyle is 16 days younger than Tyler. Originally, they should’ve been about 10 weeks apart, but Tyler was three weeks late and Kyle was 4 weeks early. I was in the room when Kyle was born and he is a child of my heart. He’s a precious, sweet boy who’s a dead ringer for Elijah Wood. For the first two years of their lives they saw each other nearly every day. They shared the same daycare provider, the same toys…pretty much everything.

Closer little boys you can’t imagine. Kyle’s family moved away about three weeks after Caleb was born.

 It was hard on Tyler, especially at first, but we gave him two additional siblings in rapid succession and with our family of six we stayed very busy.

Somehow, no matter how long it was between visits, that bond Kyle and Tyler formed at such an early age was never broken and they always were able to pick up exactly where they left off before. Tyler spent many the summer week with the cuz’s over the years. I’m glad that they will be able to renew their bond as brothers. And also secretly think that now that they are rooming together I’ll get to steal a little more time seeing Kyle as well (he’s here in town attending the University of New Mexico).



I have a tiny white refrigerator in my kitchen right now. My gorgeous black Maytag with the freezer on the bottom had the compressor burn out last week. We found one that was a terrific deal. It wasn’t my Maytag. Wasn’t my dream refrigerator, but it was what we could afford, especially with Ted’s salary situation right now. Borrowed my BFF’s fancy-schmancy box/lift truck (the one Tyler can back up so skillfully) both to move in the non-dream refrigerator as well as move the bulk of Tyler’s junk belongings. Plugged it in and 24 hours later it still was a balmy 50 degrees in the fridge and 40 in the freezer, despite being turned to max cold. Went back to the store (on my birthday…joy) and picked out another non-dream refrigerator. They delivered the tiny white loaner to us and picked up the non-working one. By now, I was in tears and Ted and I had some stress-induced unhappy words. The kind that are usually thru clenched teeth or hissed. He went back inside the store, did his Ted-magic incantations over the customer service desk and apparently I will have a fridge of my dreams delivered this coming Friday. I don’t know what it looks like—honestly I don’t even care at this point. I no longer have ice chests in my living room filled with cold cuts, eggs and milk. And by this weekend I will have a wonderful, 25 cubic foot fridge.

And now I’m 49. So, if I live to be 98 (and my immediate family is NOT known for longevity) I am middle-aged. If I don’t live that long, I am well past my prime. But I feel good. I have ample food in my tiny white fridge. And Ted finally gets to see the surgeon Thursday. Oh yes…I forgot to mention that the MRI was not sent to the surgeon last week so his appointment was postponed. My kids are healthy.


Amy is in a new school, which so far she loves. If all goes well with her early ACT which she'll take in December, she’ll be able to get dual credit with university level courses at Johns Hopkins beginning next semester. Tyler is in Denver for two weeks of training with his new job. So I can’t even go over to his new place and fuss around. But life is good. Caleb is a senior and Tanner a freshman. Both are doing well in school. Lucy hobbles around rather adorably and Tyler left his cat Sabra here. That makes Lucy happy, but she leaves her hair everywhere. Stress, to some extent is good. Right?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Of Mice and Men and Random Things...

This has been kind of a tough season.





There are days when I feel like I'm going down for the count, but somehow, God sends somebody or something along to lift my head and my heart. 

Lucy broke her knee. She was in a cast (actually about 4 casts) from the beginning of August until the end of September.

Not just in a cast, but the poor little thing was confined to her crate for at least 6 of those 9 weeks.  They wanted to do surgery on her. The projected cost was $2000. I’m sorry, but we now have a little dog that hops around on three legs most of the time. It’s cute in a pitiful sort of way. I can live with a three-legged dog. But $2000. Just. Not. Happening. As it is, we’re into it for about $600. $600 that we can ill afford right now. She’s happy and doesn’t know that she’s differently-abled. It hasn’t slowed her down one little millisecond, and she isn’t in pain. If we hadn’t already re-named her about five times, I’d call her Tripod.

Then, right before the Pagosa Mom’s Trip (In an Effort Not to Kill Our Families), Ted tore his meniscus at work. It’s a complex tear. He is on partial disability. The injury was on August 24. Tomorrow is October 13. He sees the surgeon tomorrow. It was the first available appointment. Yes, you read that right.  Forty-nine (49) days.  He's been working half time, cleaning planes from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  It pretty much stinks.  They are playing games with his paycheck. Badly. We are sweating out each week, but God is good and keeping me busy. I’ve already done more closings in October than I did the entire month of September.

And speaking of the signing agent gig…I am one of the lucky selectees that the State of New Mexico, in their infinite wisdom, has chosen to be the subject of what is called a managed audit. For the tax years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The hits just keep on coming.


Ted’s uncle died on Saturday morning at the age of 82. It was relatively quick, but a painful passing. Because of the long wait to get into the surgeon, Ted elected not to travel to Texas for the funeral and re-schedule his ortho appointment. But the in-laws drove through on Sunday night and used the Hoyle abode as a hotel. Somebody left a sinkful of soapy water when we went to bed. Coulda' been me. Just sayin’. (Sorry Lidna; I know this may make you gag). When Ted came home from his half shift of work at 1:30 a.m. on Monday he found a mouse. Drowned. In my kitchen sink. With a few dishes. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. He was kind enough to toss little mousey (in the top of my trash so I could see him in the morning, albeit), and bleach the entire kitchen down. But…Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick.

That’s a brief recap of just a few of the highlights of my season thus far. Amy just changed schools yesterday, mid-year. I’ve had some strange things happening health-wise. I’m struggling with some major decisions. And yet, through it all, I’m filled with a peace that truly passes all understanding. If you’ve been praying for me, please don’t stop! I’ve felt them and hope for the Holy Spirit’s grace and mercy to fill me….





And now, on to the dozen random questions that Lidna from 2nd Cup has posted for the weekly meme….These are an amalgam of questions she's solicited from friends and family.  To play the game, answer your own and link to her blog....then comment on some of the other answers.  It's the right thing to do.



1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced? Were the circumstances in which you made the faux pas embarrassing? By the way, that's not "foax pass." (I know you know that. Just jokin' with ya.)

I vividly remember telling my mom that chocolate cake filled me with ex-STAY-see when I was about ten years old. She laughed and laughed and it kind of crushed my little soul a little. But I am still filled with ex-STACY-see at the thought of chocolate cake.



2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex: "I've got ur notes. Get them 2 u 2morow.")

Ubetcha. TheyR my fav way 2 talk.  I am 2bz4uqt to spell evrythg.  I use them all the time. Sometimes I think that I would not communicate with my kids at all were it not for texting. The auto-complete function on my phone doesn’t work properly, so I abbreviate all the time….and use lots of ellipses…if you can imagine. I love ellipses…I find ellipses to be full of expression...



3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Please feel free to post.

It wasn't terrible.  And, my how I wish I had that skin now!  I was totally rocking the Farrah Fawcett wings in 1979, but thought my picture was ok.



5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.

I went out for court my senior year. I remember I wore a beautiful maroon wraparound disco skirt that was really flow-y and was shorter in the front than in the back.  I was not voted on to the homecoming court.  It did not break my heart. Went to the game though…it was my first date with Ted. We both do not like football. Don’t be a hater. Our school won. Highland beat Valley 28-7. I still have my pink crocheted over-sweater that I wore on that first date. Go Hornets. Rah.


6. Linda at Mocha with Linda wants to know: "Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?"

Wow. Which one of your children do you love the best? Both sunrise and sunset tend to be spectacular here in the Land of Enchantment. I think maybe sunrise because it’s like the dawn of a new day and a fresh start. You get to wipe the slate clean from yesterday’s junk.


7. Lea at Cici's Corner asks, "What is something you have not done that you desire to do?"

Go on a cruise. Someday. Sigh.

8. Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind ponders, "If you could come back [in another life] as an animal, which would it be?"

Ugh. Maybe as a little spoiled rotten three-legged toy poodle who is loved by someone as much as Ted loves Lucy.


9. Joyce from The Other Side of the Pond is curious: "Where were you 10 years ago?" Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.

I was struggling with depression and heavily over-medicated by a well-meaning CNP…I was taking four (4!) different anti depressants at the same time and was pretty much a zombie.  I felt nothing.  No. Thing.  On the bright side, they suppressed my appetite. A lot. To the point where at 5’(almost)6” I weighed about 115….I was able to wean myself off of them, but sometimes still struggle.



10. When you are proven to be correct in any contentious discussion, do you gloat?

Usually. I wish I didn't, but it happens that I'm right so often....tee hee...



11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel?"

Yes. Seriously…I think possibly Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. But that is more drink than food. Yes to caramel. MY question…do you pronounce it CARE-a-mell or CAR-mul?



12. From my 17 year-old daughter to you: "If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?" (She's so cute. And clever.)

I used to dream about living with Porter Ricks (from Flipper) because I had a huge crush on Sandy (Luke Halpin) Yes, I am showing my age…


(Looks a little like Josh Holloway…with maybe a touch of Zach Efron?)

…but I think maybe the Brady Bunch because they had Alice to cook and clean. The whole one bathroom for six kids would have to be remedied. Been there done that with the Texaco bathroom saga….

So, sorry the beginning was such a downer.  I had fun with the Dozen (I always do!).  Play along an link on up!







Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random Dozen. The Happy Birthday Edition


Lidna, over at 2nd Cup, just celebrated her birthday and asked lots of people to contribute prompts for the Random Dozen meme.  She chose one of mine!  I'm so flattered!  So...here's my take on the doz....won't you play along, too?




1. From "Men Are Dumb ....": If you had a theme song that played whenever you walked into a room full of people, what would it be?

My second son says “BOOM” by P.O.D. should play whenever I walk in to a room.

Strangely disturbing. He says it was his “first band” outside of what his parents liked and Veggie Tales. How that makes it MY theme song, I’m not quite sure….In case you can’t decipher them, part of the lyrics say, “BOOM! Here comes the BOOM! How you like me now I say…” Never try to complete a blog post with the help of two 17-year-olds. At least he didn’t say Elton John “The B**ch is Back.” Sigh...



2. From Pam of "Alert And Oriented x 4": Which of your shoes are your absolute favorite, and which are of the object of your most painful shoe-buyer's remorse?

Since this is my question…I have a pair of brown open-toed pumps that I get huge compliments on that I blogged about here.  I can wear them for about 2 hours before my toes start complaining, but, they are oh, so lovely! I have buyer’s remorse for a pair of really nice black patent slingbacks that have a little gold strip right along the toe line. I actually bought the shoes for a wedding before I ever picked out a dress to go with them. They were, of course, on sale. I buy NOTHING unless it’s on sale. They look A.Maz.Ing. Super dressy. To look their best they need to be worn with ultra sheer black stockings. Which make it impossible to keep the sling from slipping off my heels. They were marked down from $190 to $30, but still….sigh. Wish I’d have tried them on WITH stockings.



3. From Susanne of "Living to Tell the Story": Tell about your favorite birthday celebration that you've personally experienced.

When I turned 21, my husband had to work a double shift--all day. My in-laws wanted to take me to dinner at a family-style institution in the mountains to the east of our city called Bella Vista (since closed). It was a family-style all you can eat restaurant with all-you-can-eat fried chicken, fried fish, cole slaw and huge wedge french fries.  They would bring huge baskets of everything to your table. It seemed weird that just the three of us were going there, because it's really a place to take a crowd to and I was a little bummed out because I was without Ted. When I walked in, not only was Ted there, but my dad and all of Ted’s brothers and sisters and their spouses (even the out-of-towners) as well as nieces and nephews were there as a surprise. Generally I hate surprises, but not that time.  I still get a little welly thinking about it.  A week from Saturday I'll turn 49.  Wishing Bella Vista were still open, just for the memories. The gift of yourself truly is the best gift ever.



4. From Lori of "Just me and My Life": If you were a flavor of ice cream, which would you be?

Mocha java mint chip. Mysterious with a little surprise kick at the end.

5. Cindy Swanson of "Notes in the Key of Life" asks: Have you ever had a crush on a movie star? Who was it, and are you still crushing?
I’ve always tended to like the rough-n-tough bad boys. Don Johnson, back in the day wasn’t so bad,

and now it’s Josh Holloway
Ted, cream-cheese filling good as he is,  has nothing to worry about however…



6. Jill from "Jill Boyd's Place" inquires: Glasses or braces--if you had to wear one, which would it be?
Braces. Glasses are forever. Unless you get lasik. Braces eventually come off, even if the retainer shouldn’t….



7. Nel from "Fasteneau Facts" asks: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Providing my friends and family would be there (at least when I wanted them to be), Monterey, CA….or Carmel.



8. Thena from "Patiently Waiting" wants to know: If money were no obstacle, what would be the perfect birthday gift to receive?

Precious time with my family and closest friends…no pressures, no worries. A weekend at a resort with all of them. I once heard someone say that time is the most expensive gift you can give. Once it’s spent, you can never earn it back. (See # 3)



9. From "Life Through Bifocals," LynnMarie asks: What is your favorite birthday meal?

A good bloody steak, baked sweet potato and a nice girly salad with spinach and feta and strawberries. Something decadently chocolate for dessert. Pei Wei is always nice, too...



10. Debby at "Just Breathe" checks in with: Do you still send hand-written thank you notes?

Almost always. I love receiving them. When I was little, my mom wouldn’t let me play with my gifts at birthdays and Christmas until my thank you notes were all written. I WISH I’d started that with my own kids. It’s just the right thing to do. However, if you are just writing a rote “thank you for the gift,” without any heartfelt-ness, just skip it, or drop me an email.



11. Linda from "Mocha with Linda" poses this question: What is something you've done that you never thought you'd do?

Jump off a cliff into a lake. I’m deathly afraid to be in water that’s not encased in concrete and smelling of chlorine. Lakes are worse than the ocean (I didn’t say it was rational). Fish poo in there, you know. Somehow the salt in the ocean makes the poo factor more bearable. And me more buoyant. I had a near drowning incident when I was around two years old and it really made me afraid of open water. At the age of 44, with huge encouragement from my husband and kids, I jumped off a 25 foot cliff into a murky lake. And I lived to tell about it.



12. Jewel, my homegirl from Indiana who writes at "Musings from the World of Jewel," is very insistent that we answer this: Mount Rushmore honors four US Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. If you could add any person to Mount Rushmore, who would you add and why?

So many….Master Chief, Bob the Tomato, Neo…oh, a REAL person? I think the Apostle Paul. He was human and flawed, but like the four men there now, he strove for excellence and the betterment of all mankind. Wow. That’s corny.



So write you own answers and play along over at 2nd Cup. You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Overwhelmed

If you happen to be reading this and you happen to be the type of person who talks with God on a regular, or even a not-so-regular basis, I’d appreciate if you could say a prayer or three for me. There’s pretty much a ton of stuff going on in my life right now and while I am feeling so loved and cared for, I am also overwhelmed.  Kind of like as hard as I pull, nothing is moving the way it's supposed to.

Like the mule in the photo up there, I just need to set my feet upon the rock again....
Psalm 40:12



Thanks!


Love ya! More than my luggage!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RD to the nth Power



I say that because Lidna over at 2nd Cup has her Random Dozen meme up and thinks shes' at post one million or so, but I couldn't figure out how to write 1,000,000 in Roman numerals, SO.... nth Power it will be.  There is Power in the Dozen!  Post your own, link up over at Lid's and play along!

1. Do you do garage sales? If so, tell me about one great find. If not, tell me why not.


I do sale now…and have, but not as frequently as I have in the past. I bought a really pretty brass chandelier at one for $4 about 20 years ago…that chandelier still hangs over my dining table. Ted says he’ll pay me NOT to have them anymore. They are a pain to host, I must agree. Because I work for a poor church, every time I pass one with a vacuum cleaner that works, I buy it.

2. Name the last thing you fixed.

Probably a vacuum. (see # 1)

3. Name your A) Favorite item of makeup OR B) Favorite tool

A) Mary Kay Highlighting pen. Aka Miracle Worker.

4. Which room in your home needs organizing more than any other?

Yes. Yes, they do.

5. Which room could use re-decorating?

Yes. Yes they do.

6. Share something unique about your town.

We host the world’s largest Hot Air Balloon gathering each October. Seeing 900 or so balloons in a mass ascension is amazing (or disturbing if you are a dog hereabouts. Claire needs valium during the Fiesta and the months leading up to it). The burners make a noise that must be deeply disturbing to dogs. Claire hears them from inside the house and starts going nuts. They take off almost every morning at sunrise, especially this time of year. I’ve actually gone up a couple of times. It’s an odd sensation…you move with the wind so there’s no real sense of movement. You should all come sometime. Hotel rooms are impossible, but I have a couple of couches and a futon.

7. If you could send a one-sentence message to your great-grandchild, what would it be?

Imitate Jesus.

8. Do you Facebook?

You really mean am I addicted to crack, right? Don't be a hater.

9. Describe your favorite shoes.

For prettiful/casual I have pair of silver dressy sandals (even tho’ they have the thing between your toes, they are much too dressy to be called flip flops). Workout shoes? My Ryka’s.  And, then of course, I still have these, about which I wrote a post:



10. Do you listen to more talk radio or more music radio? What kind of station is it?

Music…alternative.  Unless it's rush hour, and then I bop back and forth to catch the traffic reports...

11. How far would you travel for a really good (favorite) meal?

I make my own favorite (chicken fried steak), so probably about 20 feet from where I currently sit. However, my mother-in-law’s pot roast could probably help achieve world peace, so I think … 200-ish miles?

12. If you were totally honest with yourself (and us) what should you probably be doing right now instead of blogging?

Working on the retreat We have just over a week left and not only am I the chief cook and bottle washer, I’m co-leading a breakout on prayer this year. In fact, leaving for coffee and planning meeting with Rachel.  RIGHT NOW!

It's pretty sad when the sum total of my blog posts seem to be all about the Dozen (even tho' there's Power in the Dozen).  I really need to be more creative and write about more.  I pledge that once the retreat is over, I will do more regular posts and fewer memes.  Now post your own and play along!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

After the first one, THEN you can tag it as annual!

We were gone a mere 36 hours...it should've been much longer....



Three of my bestest girlfriends and I just got back from Pagosa Springs. We have, among us 10 children, ranging in age from 19 months to 21 years. School is back in session. Fall is a little crisp snap in the air. We laughed, cried, soaked, relaxed ate...and can't wait to do it again next year!

Cost of spa/hotel, split 4 ways: $60
Gas for the Prius $20
Nutella and Ritz $7
Memories for a lifetime? PRICELESS!







Cast of Characters:

Laura;  the baby of the group.  I've been married longer than she's been alive.  She just finished her advanced degree as an architect and is well on her way to becoming licensed.  Passionate about her baby, her man (who happen to be two of my favorite people), and Jesus.  Literal and artistic.  Dreamy and sassy.

Robin:  Take charge.  Owner of her own small business.  Loves her Jesus.  Mom to three.  Unintimidatable.  (Is that a word?)  Unflappable.  Practical and incredibly funny.  The t-shirts were all her.  Also, a great beauty.  What I wouldn't give for her skin!

Rachel:  My prayer partner princess.  Needed this getaway possibly more than the rest of us.  Gifted author.  Phenomenal cook.  Logophile (yes, I had to look that up), mom of two very active boys and a Daughter of the King.

Me:  I am what I am and who I am.  Grounded, yet excitable.  Cynical and full of wonder at the same time.  Mother to four and surrogate to many, many.  And I am so excited to see this become an annual getaway.  If you've never been to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, you have no idea what you are missing....Praying for more to join us next year.  Woo to the hoo!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Random Dozen Labor Day Edition.




Lidna over at 2nd Cup has her Labor Day edition of the Random Dozen posted. Play along and link up, won’t you?


1 Describe the best sandwich in the world, according to you.
I make an absolutely amazing grilled cheese.
Don’t let the mundane name fool you. It will change your life. You’re welcome.

2. Which inspires you more: a good conversation, a song, a book or movie?
Hard question! I think possibly conversation will inspire me to pray, and song will inspire me to worship, a book to write a blog and a movie (depending on the movie) to sleep…I am terrible. Ted says I am like the little baby dolls...once my head tips past a certain angle, my eyes slam shut. I have yet to see The Matrix in one sitting…I always fall asleep about the time the Oracle lights up her cigarette….

3. What is your favorite board game?
I LOVE games! Catchphrase, Apples to Apples, Phase 10...although none of them require “boards,” I think this is what Lidna meant. I also like cribbage, just bought Farkle and I’m dying to try Quelf…

4. As you grow older, are you more or less patient with small children?
Teeny-weenies, I am more patient (as in, those who are not yet able to move from point A to point B under their own power. The ones from ages 3-7-ish, not so much.

5. Name one item you never let yourself run out of.
Toilet paper. I have four teenagers. Ever try to clear a line when somebody flushed a paper towel?  And remember this?  You never know when you're going to need toilet paper.  Just sayin'.

6. Do you agree with Tennyson's assertion, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?"
Oh, yes! The joy is in the journey and what you are able to take from it.

7. Name one national treasure or monument that you have visited.
The Grand Canyon. One of God’s masterpieces.

8. Which is more painful, to be disappointed in someone else or to be disappointed in yourself?
I think it’s more painful to be disappointed in someone else. I am regularly disappointed in myself, so I’ve come to expect it. It’s those times when it hits you out of the blue from someone you didn’t expect that hurt more. Maybe it’s the disillusionment?


9. What makes your kitchen uniquely yours?
I have a cross stitch in a frame…it’s a little bear with really burly arms that says “I love a man with dishpan hands.” It's kind of a double entendre.  And then, there’s my refrigerator. I am one of those annoying people who have about 3000 photos as well as miscellaneous detritus that may or may not apply or be current in my life. It’s not just the door. It’s every side reachable.

10. Are you a crafty person?
Maybe? A little bit?  I stitched that picture up there....

11. What is your favorite traditional picnic or bbq (cookout) food?
Steak. Good and rare.

12. Name one leisurely activity you enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend.
Wasn’t so leisurely, but I went with 39 of my closest friends (youth group and leadership) to the Lives Ablaze conference at Glorieta, NM. I was able to see lives redeemed and hope renewed. On Sunday evening, 17 of them stepped out of death and into life eternal.  I certainly enjoyed that.

BUT on the Tuesday-Wednesday before that, three of my closest friends and I took the day and went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. That’s a whole blog in itself!THAT my friend, was leisure at it's finest



Please play along, won’t you?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I do the Doz



Usually, if I participate in the Random Dozen, I try to get it up EARLY.  That didn't happen this week.  Lidna over at 2nd Cup's meme is up and ready to linky.

1.What is your favorite Mexican dish?


Chile rellenos. Green chile chicken enchiladas. Or Christmas (red + green chile) or….hey, I live in NM…I can’t choose.



2. When you were a kid, did you get started on your homework right away after school, or did you procrastinate?

Right away, usually.



3. What is your favorite store for home furnishings?

An antique store? Mor?



4. When you were young, did you like school lunches?

Yes…worked in the cafeteria and got free lunch. Pizza Fridays….mmmmmmmmm



5. Is religion a crutch?

Organized religion can be. I have a relationship with God. It’s not a crutch. It is my entire life and reason for being.  I think that organized religion can become a rote practice in which one doesn't have to think, but they just kind of put themselves on autopilot and go through the motions.  The rituals can be comforting because they are familiar, but they don't make any impact on anyone.  Changed lives change lives.



6. In your region, what is the "big" (most popular in the community or state) high school sport?

Football & basketball…but soccer is catching up.



7. Do you consider yourself rich?

I am richly blessed. Monetarily, it’s pretty much subjective. If you have access to $20 in cash you are wealthier than something like 80% of the world’s population. If you are asking about other riches, I am rich beyond measure.



8. Which of these would you have the best chance for success in administering:

A) CPR

B) Heimlich Maneuver

C) Changing a flat tire

CPR. They just simplified it. Do it to the beat of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees and you’re good.


9. Which dance would you prefer to learn & why:

A) Salsa

B) Hip Hop

C) Waltz

D) Swing

Waltz…someday I will dance at my children’s weddings and I don’t want to totally embarrass them.



10. What's the worst news you've ever delivered to someone?

I had to tell some of the kids in my youth group that their aunt had died from an overdose. While they were at my oldest son’s graduation party. Tragic. And once I had to tell close friends that they had been betrayed publicly.



11. Name something you learned in college that had nothing to do with classes or academics.

The calories in a Frontier cinnamon roll are conversely effected by the amount of caffeine consumed and the laughter of the people with whom you consume said roll and caffeine.



12. New variation on an old question: If there's a song in your head that just won't get out, what is your favorite (or most repeated) line in that song?

This is so embarrassing. “California girls, we’re unforgettable; Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top. Sun kissed skin so hot we’ll melt your popsicle oh-oh-oh-oh-oh”

Now that I've totally humiliated myself, post your own and link up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

All the news that fits...

This is a sad post.




My heart is heavy.



I just read about two toddlers whose bodies were recovered from their mother’s car that was submerged in a river.   Poor babies….they never had a chance. The circumstances surrounding the deaths are suspicious. Although the article meagerly attempts to be unbiased, it’s obvious that the mom has been all but convicted, at least in the reporter’s mind.



At the end of the article, we are reminded of Susan Smith, who in 1994 was convicted in the deaths of her own two children in a similarly chilling incident, also in South Carolina.



I’m not saying that in this latest incident the mother is guilty of anything. But I’m so sad.



We live in the information age. Horrid and sickening news is pounded at us until we risk becoming calloused. I can’t help but wonder…IF this mom did this intentionally, would she have thought up that little idea all by herself, or did she glean the idea from the Nancy Grace-est type reporting that sensationalizes this kind of thing? You can be sure that we’ll hear about it for weeks to come on Ms. Grace’s show. It is a show…I can’t bring myself to call it a newscast.



And yet. Today in the United States 4,000 or so innocent babies were killed. They were ripped from what should be the safest place on earth and torn limb from limb by surgical abortion. Did that make front page headlines? Will we hear about this? Or have people become immune to hearing about it?





(to read more about Christ-centered Pro-Life, visit Bryan Kemper’s blog )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Ba-a-ck!

Lidna over at 2nd Cup (http://2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com/ )has come off of hiatus for the Random Dozen, a fun meme where you answer 12 seemingly random questions.  Join in, won't you?  - Sorry, unable to add links in the text, so they are in parenthesis....
1. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?


At my nieces wedding watching my extended family attempt to dance. We gots us some MOVES!


2. If you found $10 today, what would you do with it?

Spend it on school fees at registration this week, probably.  Or a new bridge for my new electric violin...



3. Do you volunteer anywhere?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…..(I work at a church and have four kids…what do you think?)



4. What is your favorite summertime veggie or fruit, and how do you eat it?

Strawberries. No, raspberries. No, wait..blueberries…OK…BERRIES! Yes! In a boat, with a goat, in a house, with a mouse, here there, everywhere…well, you get the idea.



5. Is your social sphere (circle of friends) small, medium or large?

Close circle is smallish...probably four REALLY close friends. Extended “family” is large…  (I work at a church and have four kids..what do you think?)



6. When was the last time you attended a family or school reunion? How did that go?

See # 1..said niece’s wedding was pretty much a family reunion of sorts. It was awe.some.



7. When you're feeling blue, what is the best way someone can cheer you up?

Send me a text, drop me an email or leave me a note telling me they are praying for me and love me!



8. Have you taken a vacation this summer?

See # 1 and #6 (it was multi-purpose)



9. What is the most unnecessary item you carry with you all the time?

A mirror in my purse. Second only to the hairbrush in there…seldom used away from home.



10. What is the best summer flick you have seen so far?

Totally embarrassing…the only movie I’ve seen in the theater since…February? is Shrek III…or IV…not sure where they are. I watched The Book of Eli from Netflix…it was quite good. And I’m currently watching the Starz series Pillars of the Earth, also on Netflix. As it’s one of my favorite novels, and they are treating it well, I’m really enjoying that, too.



11. Describe a perfect summer day.

Coffee on the porch with Ted watching the sun come up…a little Facebook, a little breakfast, a little workout…a lot of hanging out…a little nap and a lazy float down the river in an inner tube before a thunderstorm…



12. Please a share a favorite photo from the summer so far!
Way too many favorites to choose just one....


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ruin

August of 2010 is a mere four days old, and it's already been a doozy.

There's been heartbreak surrounding me.  Mine and the hearts of those I love.  I prayed for ruin.  I prayed for God to ruin me.  To ruin them.  Control freak that I am, I didn't want it to happen this way.  Ruin.  Already, through it all, I am seeing growth and strength.  New shoots of hope.  I choose to believe in You, God.  I believe that You have me (and them) in the palm of Your hand.  I believe that we need our brokenness and that You will see us through and heal us.  I believe that You will turn ashes into beauty. Help my unbelief.  If grace is an ocean, we are all sinking, like the song says.  And like Dory says, just keep swimming.

Monday evening, (note here:  day 2) I got a text that the restaurant next door to our church was on fire.  Hopped in the biggerredtruck and there I found (and I promise I am NOT exaggerating here--not that I'm prone to that or anything) 9..yes NINE fire/emergency vehicles, including 2 ladder trucks on OUR roof with firefighters carrying axes around up there.  Scary stuff.  After waiting around for at least an hour and a half, they allowed us to go inside to check for damage.  It was hazy/smoky inside and we had a little bit of water that had seeped under the walls, but everything seemed okay for the most part.  Then, when I went to the hallway by the back door I heard horrible hissing and smelled a LOT of gas.  The firefighters that were with us had little air quality meters with them that started going crazy and they asked us to exit the building.  Now.  We did.  Apparently, they tried to shut off the gas at the meter in back, and in the process broke the valve off.  No, the fire department is NOT run by BP.  Firefighters stayed overnight to make sure everything was ok, and by the next morning our power was restored.  So, for the last two days, I've been there moving stuff into or out of the closet.  And assembling new shelves.  A true exercise in patience.  Not too much damage for us.  But some ruin.  And the restaurant will have to be closed for at least a month.  The family that owns it is in tatters.  They are devastated.  Newly immigrated to this country, they were attempting to live out the American dream.  They were already struggling mightily.  More heartbreak.  More ruin.

Do you remember when Extreme Home Makeover first started?  They used the bones of the existing houses and just remodeled.  They quickly realized that they got better results when they tore down and completely rebuilt.  It might be dramatic, but the finished work can take your breath away.  You can build on top of a ruin.  Turn ashes into beauty. It's not always necessary to tear it all down.  Sometimes just minor changes are needed.  But not here.  Not in my heart.  I prayed for ruin.  Walls needed to come down.  And when it's all over, on the other side, I'll be standing.  Tall. New. Again.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pssst! This guy here....


The one WAYYyyyyyyyyyy up in the top of that tree?  The man-boy I've been missing so much for the past weeks....

Will be getting on about 3 of these

Tomorrow.

And in just about 15 hours I get to wrap my arms around him again.  I may just let go long enough to let Breanah hug first....but then he's mine.

Rumor has it he looks a little like this now


Not so much like this, which is what he looked like when he stepped onto that first plane:


I don't think I'll care.  I just want to smell his head.  He's still one of my babies, you know.....
By this time tomorrow we'll be replete with momma's homemade chicken fried steak, mashed potatos and gravy, green beans and Sister Shubert's rolls....unless he wants something else for supper.  Cuz tomorrow it's all about him.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jealous Much?

I just got back from spending a week with 44 of the most incredible students and leaders on the planet.

And then after making a shameless plea on facebook, got an invitation to the best Independence Day bbq with some friends, old and new.  We had an great time, and among other things too plentiful, delicious and fattening to mention, partook of this:


(and yes, that is a brand, spanking new pedicure peeking out at the bottom, thank you very much.).

I am a very blessed woman.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Auto-WHAT?

This comes from a friend of mine, who got it from an apparently unknown source.  I don't claim credit for writing it, but I love the message.
After facing the blue screen of death this week, I totally appreciate the humor....

Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who managed to get the most out of his computer. This had been going on for days and God was tired of hearing all of the bickering. God said, "Cool it. I am going to set up a test that will run two hours and I will judge who does the better job."



So down they sat at the keyboards and typed away.

They did spreadsheets,

They wrote reports....

They sent faxes.

They sent out e-mail.

They sent out e-mail with attachments.

They downloaded.

They did some genealogy reports.

They made cards.

They did every known job.



But just a few minutes before the two hours were up lightening flashed across the sky. The thunder rolled and the rains came down hard. And of course the electricity went off.



Satan was upset. He fumed and fussed and he ranted and raved, all to no avail. The electricity stayed off. But after a bit the rains stopped and the electricity came back on.



Satan screamed, "I lost it all when the power went off. What am I going to do? What happened to Jesus' work?"



Jesus just sat and smiled. Again Satan asked about the work that Jesus had done. As Jesus turned his computer back on the screen glowed and when he pushed "print," it was all there.



"How did he do it?" Satan asked.



God smiled and said, "Jesus Saves."
 
 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh no I dint...oh, wait...yes I did!



I am a sucker.
There is one born every minute.

Point in case:




This is the newest member of my household. We THINK her name is Jouet (French for 'toy'). We aren't positive about that yet. But it seems to fit. To illustrate just how tiny she is right now, I direct you to this photo:









 
My apologies for the quality of the photo..it's from my cell phone, but yes, she is INSIDE Caleb's sweatpants pocket.  She probably weighs about 1.5 lbs now.  She may get up to 6 or 7 lbs and 10" tall.  She is called a Phantom...which means while she is a toy poodle, she has the markings of a Doberman Pinscher.  I don't like poodles.  But who couldn't love a face like that?  Yes, I caved.  Yes, I am potty training another dog. 
Ted's sister raises them and she is going to France next weekend to visit her daughter, who is an absolutely amazing young woman, a coluratura soprano.  Even if you don't like opera, I think you will hear about her.  She was told last week by the Prima Diva in France that she would one day have multiple homes on multiple continents.  But I digress.  Becky needed to find a home for Jouet.  Quickly. Ted was visiting his mom and dad and came home with Jouet.  I am a sucker.  But at least the little dog tu*ds are miniscule. 
Claire is NOT happy, but will adjust.  Sabra....maybe not...  If you know of anyone in NM or the Four Corners area looking for a new furkid, Jouet has a brother....
 
In other news, Tyler left last Wednesday for his Stand True trip.  So far, it's going with only a minor hitch:  his cell phone is broken.  He can receive calls and call out, but texting is broken.  Hoping for a Verizon anchor store near one of his stops so that he can get it replaced while it's still under warranty.  Please continue to pray for him, and the whole team and the lives they will touch.  He is in his happy place tonight, at the Icthus Festival in KY, which features lots of his favorite bands.  What a great time to be 19....
 
Tomorrow is day 2 of SonForce Kids VBS...we have a spy/space theme and I'm in charge of games.  It's also crazy hair day.  I have blue spray, so I can finally acheive my lifelong goal of being a blue-haired lady.  Now I can officially tell all the young moms how to raise their toddlers and be both authoratative and guilt-free at the same time.  SCORE!
 
I'm taking votes for the new little furkid's name...any suggestions are welcome!
So now,  as one of my friends from England says, "til soon."
 
 
 
 

Monday, June 7, 2010

When did THIS happen?

When did this little person





become this little elf....


Who grew into this incredible young man?

Tanner celebrated his 14th birthday over the weekend.  I can't believe it's been 14 years....

Don't blink.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ONE of many, many Random Dozen....


It’s Wednesday, and you know that that means? Lidna continues with the Random Dozen over at 2nd Cup. Play along and then link up. This week’s theme is ONE.


If you can, be sure to visit others and leave at least ONE nice word.

(Because Linda is one of the few people who read my blog I resisted the temptation to insert “One” from A Chorus Line since her appreciation for musical theater is, shall we say, NOT developed.



1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?

Quesedillas….with or without chicken. And I ALWAYS have tortillas on hand.

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)

I won’t leave without having to come back inside for something I’ve forgotten, at least once, does that count?

3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?

The beach, specifically Hawaii.

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.

I am a 16th cousin to Robert E. Lee.

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...."

didn't have a computer at home. And thought this thing called “Windows” would slow me down, since I knew a little DOS…sigh...



6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?

If calories didn’t count, maybe Dark Cherry Mochas from Sbux? Or Chick-fil-A? But probably I should pick tortillas (see # 1), NO! I have it! Hair care by Mr. Johnny.

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."

I used to deliver singing telegrams.

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?

Peanut M & M’s at the Dollar Tree.

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...."

My husband. He’s one of the funniest guys I know!

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?

Step away from the bag of chips. Actually, I DID resist..and Lays Limon were on sale at the Smith’s for $1.98. I consider it a personal victory that I didn’t buy any.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?

Pray, pray, pray.

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?

School letting out for the summer. And then we go to Lives Ablaze Youth Camp. And then in August, I’ll be looking forward to school resuming.



Remember to leave a comment on last week’s # 150 post…deadline is Midnight MDT on Wednesday and the winner will win a Stand True T-shirt. Please pray for Tyler and that his fundraising goals will be met. You can scroll down to the next most recent post if you are led to make a donation yourself. Thanks!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stand True

Stand True  Ministries is all about Christ-centered pro-life.  Each summer six to eight young adults from ages 16 through 28 or so pile in a big van and travel around the country setting up booths at music festivals, speaking at churches, participating in prayer vigils and sharing the love and hope of Christ with a lost and dying world.  The people on this trip subsist mainly on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and prayers.  And I'm asking you to consider helping them.

My son, Tyler, has been accepted to go along on this summer's trip.  He'll leave early June and come back in mid-July.  He's excited and totally on fire for this.  Tyler believes there are no unwanted babies.  Each and every soul created by the Master of the Universe was created with a special purpose in mind. 

Please keep Tyler, Stand True and all the team in your prayers.  I am so incredibly proud of this amazing young man, and can scarcely believe that God blesses me by allowing me to be a parent and friend to him.  If you'd like to donate towards this mission trip, please contact me via this blog or facebook.  And thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  Thank you.

OH! P.S.  Anyone leaving a comment on this post, or on the one with the long title that was # 150 is eligible for the random drawing in celebration of my 150th post.  In honor of Tyler, a random commenter will be drawn and once you provide me with your size, you'll receive a Stand True T-shirt.  Deadline is 12 midnight MDT Wednesday, May 12.







Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post # 150.....LOST! RD, Prom, Famine, Stand True and a Giveaway....

Whew! Could that title possibly be any longer?
This post marks number 150 and to commemorate that fancy number, I would like to have a giveaway. I don't even know what kind of a giveaway...but a giveaway nonetheless. So, I guess leave a comment here and I will use one of those fancy random integer generators and will figure out something really cool to give away.

I guess if I were to post more than say...once a month I wouldn't have so much to post about. LOST has just 2 episodes left. I think I may be bereft on my Tuesday evenings. I have so loved watching this show and trying to figure it out. But tonight's episode...whew! No thoughts/no theories/no spoilers. But who is up for having a LOST party on the 23rd? I can skinny out of a grad party early for that!


Prom: Amy was invited to a local Christian radio station's alternative masquerade prom. We have a rule in our household that before one of our children is allowed to 'date' anyone, the boy must ask the father/parent of the girl and state his intention. This was kind of fun for us as we watched both of her older brothers approach the fathers of the girls they wanted to see. This time, the young man had to ask Amy's dad. Those of you who know Ted know he's a little intimidating. OK. A lot intimidating. Think Terry O'Quinn with hair. Same enigmatic smile. Same thousand yard blue-eyed stare. And he has two sons who hold black belts, a daughter who is a blue belt and another son who is a green belt. My husband and kids are alone or en masse a force with which to be reckoned. (You have no idea how many times I had to re-word that sentence so that it didn't end in a preposition). So this young man worked up his courage and asked. That's another long story in itself, but we are delighted that there is a spark between these two. We love him and his family and he is quite honorable (and a little bit afraid of Amy and a lot afraid of her dad and brothers....). They went to prom and looked absolutely lovely.




I had a ball making her mask. And that's one more hill we've climbed.



30 Hour Famine:  Wow--we did it.  30 hours of fasting.  No drama.  No fainting.  And they discovered that what they are starving the most for is God.  What an amazing weekend.  Wow!  And our kids raised a total of....drumroll please....$1651.11.  That amount will feed and medicate four impoverished children for one year (plus another for about six months).  If you'd like to donate or sponsor a child, please visit World Vision's site.  There are photos here.  And no, my hair is safe...not purple or shaved.

Stand True:  I am thrilled to let everyone know that Tyler has been accepted to go on a six-week mission trip with Stand True ministries.  Stand True is a Christ-centered pro-life group.  We need to raise about $1200 to cover his expenses.  Please let me know in comments if you'd like to help out financially.  It is tax deductible.  We would covet your prayers.  Momma will miss him greatly....

Random Dozen....Lidna is linking up again with her fun meme, the Random Dozen.



Here are my contributions for the week....
1. Please share one memory of your high school graduation. Pics would be great!


My last name was Foster, as was the last name of the (totally unrelated to me) drunken boy who sat next to me during commencement. And puked underneath my chair. Then to follow that up, we (Ted and I) spent the balance of our evening consoling a friend whose girlfriend had broken up with him that afternoon. No, high school years were definitely NOT “the best years of my life.”

2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times?

Tissues.  And a flashlight...but that's in my purse...and my notary stamp.  Oh, but you said one...



3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses? Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar?

Yes we do. So far, only 2 graduations, one bridal and a baby shower (in May, that is).  However, one of the graduations is on May 23, which as you Losties know is just...well....I can't even speak about it.  I think I may take advantage of the come and go aspect of that one and leave r-e-e-a-l-l-y early.

4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood.

Once you become a mother, pieces of your heart forever walk all over the world, apart from the rest of your body.

5. What was the last thing you broke?

A cheapie vase from the Dollar Tree…but MAN! It shattered in the kitchen and I found glass slivers in my living room….

6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily?

3-10 (depends if it’s Tuesday’s ad day)

7. Do you like to shop by catalog?

Browse, yes. Order—online.

8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job?

Lawn-him, flowers-me, dog poop and weeds-that’s why we have kids.

9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home?

My bedroom.  Although, I think it may actually be time to rethink the red living room (gasp!)

10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line?

Online.

11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

Yes I do. Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.” I may never know this side of heaven, but I know that He, who orchestrated life itself, has a reason for everything.

12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things.

Much more about doing the right things. The ends don’t justify the means and the right thing may not always be the easiest. But it’s the right thing.

So now, YOU go play along and then link up over at 2nd Cup.  And don't forget to leave a comment so that I can celebrate 150 posts.  For someone like me, who is an incomplete perfectionist, that's quite an accomplishment!