Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Homecoming

I woke up this morning to the news that not only one, but two great men had died the day before. One of the men, Dr. Jackson Reeves had been in failing health for some time. Jackson was a bit of a kindred spirit. We had both grown up in the Methodist church, our families had left for the same reasons, and we still held on to a few of the teachings we were raised on even after leaving. He made me feel so welcome in this baptist church I now attend. He seemed to me to be looking forward to an eternal healing. It is for that reason I am finding it easier to be happy for Jackson in his passing. My heart goes out to his wife and family. He will be missed. I will miss him, but I think he was ready even if we weren't.
The second man we lost was the man I've been asking prayer for all week. Mr. Thomas Blue Sanderson, T. Blue to most, Santa to anyone who saw him. It has only been a moth since my kids were sitting in his lap talking of Christmas. When I first saw T Blue I thought he was a man who looked like Santa Claus. After I met him I realized that God had just made his outsides reflect the jolly, loving, and giving soul on the inside. At first I thought his passing at Christmas was profoundly sad, but then something my daughter said changed my mind. Nix said when I broke the news to her, "He can say Happy Birthday to Jesus in person this year." Although that statement might not be theologically sound it brought me back to that childlike view on death. It is full of hope with eyes on the eternal picture. There is no doubt that these deaths are sad and to be mourned, but both of these men got to meet the Lord today and they did it together. In that there is comfort. That is the promise we celebrate more than anything this Christmas season. So, in an odd way T Blue has, if for one last time, reminded us all about the real meaning of Christmas. I am blessed to have known them and even more blessed to be able to say I will see them again.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I was struck today by the lines people draw for themselves. Specifically I mean where people place lines between good and bad. Many have mental lines when it comes to their weight. You have the weight you'd like to be, the weight you are, and the number that wakes you up and tells you it is time for a change. I have heard people say things like, "Even at my heaviest I've never weighed X amount". In their mind, that number crosses the line between a little heavy and "fat".
I started thinking about this while listening to an interview of Whitney Houston. She had a line in her mind that smoking a little weed wasn't too bad. Even when she started in with cocaine she was very specific to draw the line between the expensive cocaine she was using and street crack. She seemed perversely proud that she didn't drink while getting high, that she wasn't strung out on meth or heroine. She stayed while her husband called her names, cursed at her, and even spit on her, but was careful to let you know that she would not have stood for him hitting her. That was her line and he knew it. It just amazed me how clear her lines where and how very different they were from my own.
Houston seems to have lived a lot of her life standing as close to her lines as she possibly could. It brought to mind a sermon I heard Scott (our youth minister) give. He pointed out that it is a lot harder to fall off a cliff when you are standing a mile away from it than it is when you spend all your time on the edge.
I don't think I'm standing on any edges at the moment, but I do think I need to take a minute and take a few steps back on one or two things.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Maybe I Need a Lawyer

In recent days it would be difficult not to know what is going on in Tiger Woods' personal life. Every time I turn on the news or the radio or even pull up a news website, his name is in the top headline. I haven't really paid much attention to it all, but I did see a story today that gave me pause. It said that 11 women have now been identified that he has had an affair with. When you read further you find out that all but one or two of these women say they have never had a relationship with him. I couldn't help but notice that their "official statements" were being issued from people such as Gloria Allred, a lawyer known for taking on cases like these. This got me to thinking of all the times I have had to hire a lawyer to explain my own perfectly innocent behavior. That would be never. I have yet to feel the need to hire even a publicist. Maybe I'm going about life all wrong. Think of all the people I haven't had a relationship with. Maybe I need to make a statement.
For the record, I have never been friends with Kate Gosselin, I have never been to church with Tom Cruise (but I'm pretty sure Rocky has), and I have never even shared so much as a meal with Tiger Woods.
This is one of those times where you really see why the Bible warns about even having the appearance of evil.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fruit Salad Kids Will Eat

Tonight as I was mixing up fruit salad for Thanksgiving I was remembering how much I loved it as a kid. It really was my favorite dish. Now that I make it myself the mystery is gone, but the kids love it. I thought in honor of the holiday I would share the secret to making this fruit salad.
I'll start with the grocery shopping as it is an important part of getting the kids to eat it. First buy a box of orange jello, the kind you actually have to add water to not the pre-made stuff your kids beg for. Now comes the fruit. Get a short can of crushed pineapple. The ones that look like old school tuna cans but with pineapple in them. Next is a medium can of mandarin oranges. Not the big can but also not the tiny can. It is the one in between. Pick up a bag of miniature marshmallows. Don't buy them more than a couple of days in advance or you will not have enough left by the time you make it. Head on over the the refrigerator section and pick up some cottage cheese. It's the size just big enough to be a tub but not so big that you need a long handled spoon to get it all out. Last you'll need two tubs of Cool Whip. Actually the recipe only calls for 1, but we all know that one tub will magically disappear as soon as your husband knows it is in the house.
The night before you want to eat this and after the kids go to bed, get out a big plastic bowl with a lid. Drain your pineapple and oranges and dump them in the bowl. Next goes the cottage cheese. It is very important not to let any children or child like adults see this step as they are usually terrified of cottage cheese, or maybe that is just my house. Yell at your husband for eating the Cool Whip you had thawed out for this and then grab the still partly frozen tub you had hidden behind the vegetables in the bottom drawer of the frig. Fold it in. Now add a fist full of marshmallows in, or how ever many it takes for your kids to notice them before they see other ingredients. The last step is to open the orange jello mix and sprinkle in around a half of the packet. After stirring you want a peachy color and slight orange smell without it becoming a full "Oh, Tang!" kind of a thing.
The next day the kids will blissfully eat it up without a clue of what is hidden in it's fluffy folds. You can sit back and smile at what you have tricked them into eating. That is, right up to the point that you realize that the unhealthy ingredients greatly out weight the healthy, but at least you can still say that they ate fruit salad.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finding THE Truth

JD is asking questions. Big questions. He wants to know when the world is going to end and if he will go to Heaven when it does. The one that threw me a bit was, "How will I find you when I get to Heaven?" Even though Nix was a little younger when she started on this path, she some how seemed older. I didn't have any doubt that Nix knew what she was doing when she prayed to accept Christ. I was there, I felt... well for lack of better words, the movement of the Spirit. I was almost as sure of her salvation as I am of my own. Certainly as sure as one can be about another's faith. I guess I am searching for that same assurance with JD.
At some point everyone reaches that all important age of accountability. It's the point in your life when you know there is a choice to be made. You can either follow the path of God or follow the path of man. I put it that way because when you say the choice is right or wrong, good or evil, it makes it seem like a no brainer, and it's not that easy. Rocky likes to say that a choice is not a choice without two seemingly good options, and to many the ways of the world look pretty good. In the short run it is certainly the best looking on the surface. In the long run you spend eternity learning why it was wrong.
As I remember it, coming to an understanding about God, Life, the Universe, and Everything, hit me like a bolt of lightening. It was like I had just finished a puzzle and saw the whole picture for the first time. At that moment, I understood, I was ashamed, I was grateful, and I wanted to do whatever I needed to do to let God and the rest of the world know that I believed. My parents didn't push me, I pushed them. It seemed very similar with Nix. I want it to work that way for JD.
As a parent, no, as a Christian parent, my greatest fear is that my son will understand, but wait. He'll let something hold him back, or doubt what he is feeling. It is hard to have a fear like this and still restrain yourself from pushing, so I pray. I pray that JD will understand, that God will work in his life to make him a great Christian man, that I'll know and be sure, and that I will not turn into the Christian equivalent of a stage mom.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Dishwashers and Microwaves

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think that the dishwasher and the microwave are contributing to the obesity problem in this country. This thought came to me the other day when, in 30 minutes, I covered some very healthy strawberries in some very unhealthy chocolate. I started with washing the berries and ended with washing the dishes and still got it all done in 30 minutes thanks to the microwave. I even used two different kinds of chocolate.
For Halloween each year I make chocolate covered caramel apples. When I was a kid this was the type of thing you got once a year at the fair, twice if your family went to Gatlinburg. Can you imagine the time and mess involved in making such a treat before microwaves and the clean up before dishwashers? No wonder people didn't make these for themselves. Now all it takes is a corning ware dish, a microwave, and a dishwasher. I can knock those things out in minutes.
Later I got to thinking about all the things I make quickly and easily that a few years ago would have taken all day and messed up every pot in the kitchen. It would quickly become a dish not worth the trouble or best saved for special occasions.
What I'm realizing here is that if you take a treat normally reserved for once a year and invent something that allows you to make it easily once a month then it stands to reason that people will start to put on some extra weight unless they restrain themselves. I don't know if you've noticed, but our generation is not real big on restraint.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

You Try Not to Laugh

I recently posted this great quote from Erma Bombeck:
"Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage."
One of the greatest things about Erma Bombeck's writing was how she had a knack for pointing out that we are not alone in our struggles or our victories, however small and odd they may be. Until I read that quote I really thought that my family was alone in the way we grieve, but I can tell that Mrs. Bombeck probably laughed at a funeral or two in her day as well.
I have often said that my family puts the "fun" in funeral. It's been on my mind a lot this week. I shared with you all Sunday that it was the 28th anniversary of my salvation, and many of you know that Friday will be the 28th anniversary of my grandfather's death and how those two went hand in hand. What you may not know, and what we don't talk about that much is why the family had to leave the room during visitation.
As you can imagine, the lose of the patriarch of any family is not easy. My grandfather was in his early 50's and a very kind and loving man. We were all very torn up. We were comforted by the idea that he had gone to be with our Lord and we would see him again, but that never completely takes away the need to grieve the lose of one in your life.
Many people came to pay their respects. There were friends, family, and work colleagues, but none exactly like my cousin's wife. She was young, and I guess it was her first funeral. She knew to wear black, she got that part right. However, a skin tight floor length cocktail dress was not exactly appropriate. When you combine that with her pale skin and long straight black hair, she looked just like Morticia Addams. She was even having to take tiny steps due to the tightness of the dress.
My poor dear saintly grandmother. She looked up and saw this sight and just about lost it. She quietly excused herself as did her children. We all gathered in a private family room and started laughing. You sort of feel guilty for laughing to the point of tears on such a sad occasion, but looking back I know it was truly a gift from God. That day would have been unbearable for all of us had that not happened. I think it says a lot that to this day what I remember most about the funeral was this rare moment of laughter.
Since then I have come to find out that laughter is not uncommon at funerals in my family. It is always unexpected, unplanned, and greatly appreciated. For my children's sake, I hope that trend continues.
So, as the date approaches, I am choosing to focus on the joy and laughter that my grandfather brought to my life. He took me on my first motorcycle ride, my first opossum hunt armed only with flashlights, and gave me that first glimpse at unconditional love as only a grandparent can.
If family reads this, I hope it doesn't make you sad. I know memories of this are probably a lot different from an adults point of view. I hope seeing it the way I remembered it bring back laughter and not tears.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Things I Wish I Didn't Know

Did you know that Northside Hospital has a special wing for pregnant woman they are trying to keep from having premature births? That is one I learned the hard way when JD tried to be born at 27 weeks.
Did you know that there is a section where all the mothers have doves on their doors instead of storks? A friend learned that one when her son passed away shortly after birth. I'd give anything not to know that one.
Did you know that there is an organization made of photographers who volunteer to take photographs for families who have just lost a child? It is called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and because Key Photography volunteers for them, now I do too. This is a round about way to tell you that I had a rough day at work today. Normally I am invited into happy and joyful moments of people's lives, but today I was asked to look into the most tragic moment of a family and it broke my heart. I am glad that I am able to be a small part of something that will hopefully help a grieving family and equally glad that I didn't have to go with Keith while he sat with the family.
I pray that none of you are ever in need of this service and that God will comfort each and every family that does use it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Truth in Advertising

A couple of years ago Dove started up the Campaign for Real Beauty and released this video.

You may have already seen it. Basically it shows as they take a nice, but semi-ordinary looking woman and you watch as she envovles into a model through makeup and computer manipulations. The point is to remind you that supermodels don't wake up looking like you see them on magazine covers. I recently had my own evolution day. By now you have probably seen my pictures on Facebook, but there is one image that you haven't seen yet. It's the "before" shot. Although I treasure each and every comment I got on my images, I realized that I wouldn't feel true until I also posted this one. There is only one that I really used the reshaping program on and I think it was pretty clear which one, it didn't look like me anymore.. EVERYONE can get results like these with the right photographer (thanks Keith!), makeup artist (seriously Paula, awesome work), and retoucher (even if I do say so myself).

Rocky said something wonderfully sweet about the whole thing. He said the "after" is how he always sees me. This gave me a new perspective on my job. I'm not taking away wrinkles or covering up who you are. I am making your portrait look the way the people who love you see you every day. That is a pretty cool job to have.

I think that the magazines have gone too far. You can make someone look good, even great, without shaping them into a different person. I kind of feel sorry for girls like Kelly Clarkson, who is such a beautiful woman, but over and over again they take her image and fit it into the mold of the shape they think she should be. The industry as a whole is really pushing that whole "truth in advertising".

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What is a Czar?

Czar [zahr] noun - any person exercising great authority or power in a particular field: a czar of industry.
Lately I have been hearing this word pop up in news reports over and over again. In my mind, I relate czars with Russian rulers, and not in a favorable way. So, when I repeatedly heard names of people who are being appointed as "White House Czars" I became curious. I found a Wall Street Journal article that was very informative on the topic and thought I should share.
You might be wondering why this is important. Haven't all presidents had their "special advisers"? Well, yes and no. Although many presidents have had one or two people that could fall into the "czar" category, this administration has named an unprecedented number that is now in excess of 30. That is a pretty big number. What makes this troubling, and why we should all care regardless of our political leanings is that there is no official screening process for any of these positions. It is simply a way to circumvent the checks and balances that Congress provides. All that is required to get one of these high level advisor positions is for the president to give them the nod. Then before you know it, this person who has not been approved by anyone other than the president, is telling cabinet members what to do and heavily influencing policy.
One would assume that background checks, or at the very least a simple Google search would be done before any one was offered such an important job, but you know what they say happens when you assume. We need to all be asking ourselves if the White House staff or even the president knew that they were appointing a one time member of the Socialist International's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, a group that wants wealthy countries (such as ours) to shrink their economy in an effort to reduce the effects of climate change. Don't we have a shrinking economy now? search Carol Browner: Energy and Environmental Czar. Or, how about the one that wanted animals to have legal right so that they can sue people and ban hunting? search Cass Sunstein: Regulatory Czar. Then there is my personal favorite, the guy who supported compulsory sterilizations and mandated abortions as the way to provide a higher quality of life (think China's 1 child rule) search John Holdren: Science Czar.
The most recent and certainly the most entertaining of the czars is a man named Van Jones, the Green Jobs Czar. He is openly communist, thought 9/11 was an inside job, blames white people for sending poison into the black communities, and was the great mind that told us all that even though young black kids might go to school and shoot another back kid, only white suburban kids shoot up the whole school. He went from crazy rantings to top level official without anyone noticing, or at least not caring, what his personal agenda might be.
I wonder what is in the background of the other 27+ people currently serving as czars, and you should be wondering, too.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Permanently Temporary

Don't tell my kids, but last week while they were at school I cleaned out the toy boxes. I pulled out an assortment of old kid's meal toys, which will soon has a new home in the preschool treasure boxes. There were a few things they had outgrown that got boxed up for the next yard sale. Mostly I just sorted things putting them in the proper place. I couldn't help but think of the line from Toy Story 2 were Woody is reminding the other toys that while he is gone the toys at the bottom of the box need to be rotated. My plan worked beautifully. The kids have been playing with different toys all week, and have yet to notice the box full of things I pulled out.
While I was cleaning up I noticed a magna-doodle that still had a drawing on it that JD had done over a month ago. He was so proud of this drawing that he told me to never erase it. He added "EVER!" just to be sure I got the message. The whole point of a magna-doodle is to be able to draw a picture and then erase it to draw something new. It is always changing. In one overly emotional moment it seemed to me that my children have been avoiding playing with this toy to keep from erasing part of their childhood.
While we were school supply shopping we got an extra notebook for JD to draw in so he doesn't have to worry about things getting erased. He calls it his "facebook" because it is the book he draws faces in.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Through JD's Eyes

Everyday when I get the kids at the bus stop they start to compete to see who can tell me about their day first. This results in a loud stream of stories, of which I usually understand about half. One day all I heard was JD saying, " And then we found my teacher and I wasn't lost anymore." In usual JD style, he was following behind a girl that turned out to be in a different class, but the mix up was discovered quickly. He ended with, "But I didn't cry or anything."
Today both kids had the same thing on their minds, this year's first fire drill. It scared JD, but I couldn't help but laugh when he told me "the worst part", which was that they didn't even get to see the fire. That's my little pyro in training. Once I explained that drill meant that it was just practice and not a real fire, he was noticeably disappointed.
To round out our full day of funny, I caught JD carrying a really large stack of napkins (about half a bags worth). When I asked him what he was doing, and after the usual innocent "nothing" reply, he fessed up to trying to open the microwave and the thought the napkins would give him the boost he needed to get onto the counter. Half of me is glad I stopped him in time, and the other half would really like to have been there when he stepped up on that stack.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Too Comfortable

There was a story on the news today about how the feds are now considering a move to ban texting while driving. I personally can not imagine trying to text and drive, but I find it hard to believe that we really need the "all mighty" federal government to tell us it is dangerous. I do talk on the phone while I drive, but I'm starting to have second thoughts about that. I worry about letting myself get distracted while driving.

I'm afraid that in an effort to make cars more family friendly and provide every possible comfort, the car companies have actually made us too comfortable in what is basically a moving weapon. We moms live to some existent in our vehicles. We eat in there, we spend a great deal of time with our children in there, and yes we even talk on the phone, all while trying to drive. I even know a few moms, who shall remain nameless, who do their hair and makeup while driving. I think that the comfort and familiarity makes us too relaxed. There was a female comedian who once declared that drunk drivers are better than drivers who are eating because at least the drunks are trying to drive. She was trying to be funny, but she makes a good point. People like me, who would never even think about driving drunk, wouldn't think twice about eating lunch while in route to the ball field. How different are the two, really? Studies are saying that being on the phone or eating while driving impairs your ability to drive safely just as much as a couple of beers. That is a shock to me, and makes me think twice about some of my car habits.
While I am on the subject of car safety, I'd like to pass on a little tip. When you are backing up your car, especially from a driveway in a neighborhood, consider rolling down your window to allow you to hear everything that is going on around you as you move. This will help you to be more aware of possible dangers such as a dog off it's leash or a neighborhood game of hide and go seek that could have made it's way behind your car and out of the sight of your mirrors.
Dive Safely!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Fear and God

This afternoon we passed a pet store that was having a pet adoption day and for a change they we showing kittens instead of puppies. From the car (because I know better than to actually stop) the children were oohing and aahing over the cute little fuzzy kittens. Nix started wishing that Rocky wasn't allergic to cats and that her mamaw (my mom) was not afraid of cats. I should probably mention that although she is slightly better now than when I was a kid, my mother is terrified of cats, but has no idea why. They make her skin crawl as if it were a snake. Oddly enough, snakes don't bother her. She would stand in a pile of full grown pythons before she would touch a kitten. Anyway, JD pipes up and says, "We could pray that God makes Dad not allergic and Mamaw not afraid, and then we could get a kitten." Tonight, much to my surprise, he followed up that thought during nightly prayers by praying for those exact things. I have to admit, I am pretty curious to see if it is indeed in God's vast eternal plan to cure my mother of a life long fear.
Another fear came up today that I was not expecting. As I was tucking JD in I sang him a song called "Hush My Dear". It's a beautiful song about God being with us and protecting us while we sleep. JD seemed to have something heavy on his mind. He asked me how would he be able to find me in Heaven after we all die and then he burst into tears. We had a nice talk about Heaven and angels, and I had to assure him that I would meet him at the gate. I'm trying not to go all Freud on this, he may in fact be concerned about how Heaven works, but he is also about to start kindergarten as well as move to a different part of the church for Sunday School. I'm wondering if he is feeling insecure heading into new places and he chose the ultimate unknown to voice his fears.
The night ended with me praying with him for understanding and security. I am curious to see how much of this late night talk will get carried over to the morning. It could be a really fun day for his Sunday School teachers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bragging and Nagging

I have noticed that on more than one occasion Rocky's business trips have dissolved into a bad John Candy movie. I thought we had escaped that trend with this latest trip to Jacksonville. Both his fights were smooth and on time, no luggage was lost, or trains missed. He didn't even get sick this time. He called me when he landed in Atlanta and said he would call me again when he got to his car. After a pretty good length of time he called me back and told me there was a problem. His car keys were missing. He thinks they got left in the security tub in Florida. I need to drive down to the airport to take him his spare set. Did I mention it was 9 at night and the airport is an hour away, oh and that the city of Atlanta stands between me and the airport? Thankfully my parents had stayed the week with us, so we decided to just all pile in their van and head out (yes, that is my parents, both kids, and me). I have only been to the airport a couple of times and even then it was daylight. Dad drove. Even he got a little unnerved navigating the 14 lanes of Atlanta traffic in the dark when we weren't 100% sure where we were going. When we got there it was so crammed with cars that we practically had to toss the keys out the window to him. Two hours and almost 100 miles later, we were all home safe and sound.
Now that I have told the bad on him, I must follow up with the good. Rocky went to Jacksonville to argue a case against Countrywide and try to make them buy back bad loans that they made. They presented 17 loans, 9 were won on the spot, 5 were sent back for further review (at least 3 of those should be wins), and he only lost 3. To put it in perspective, people usually only win about 3. In 2 days he won his client just over $7 million. Needless to say, they were happy. Now if he could just get a bonus of a 1/2 of 1% of what he has won... ah, if only!
Just to be clear, Rocky is the mortgage insurance company's expert witness in the informal meetings against mortgage companies. If the cases go to court he will have to testify, but it is in the mortgage company's best interest not to let it get that far.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Closet's Closet

The house we live in was once the model home for this neighborhood and as such it comes with more than a few quirks. For example, we have a glass pane door to our garage instead of the usual solid door, also to run lines for our t.v. we had to go to the attic and through the upstairs linen closet. Perhaps the oddest thing about our house is the closet within a closet in the master bedroom. We have yet to figure out what the room was originally used for but the mass of wires hanging from the top seems to indicate it was some sort of electrical storage room. My closet is not huge, but it is a good sized master closet. In the back corner there is a very wide slatted door that opens to a smaller unfinished space. When I say unfinished, I mean only two sides even have dry wall and even that has construction notes hand written on it. it looks like they meant to take a sledge hammer to it and finish out the rest of the closet like normal when the office folks vacated, but I guess they forgot. For the several years I have gone back and forth as to what to do about this closet within a closet. This week I have finally organized it. I put in a large set of plastic utility shelves. Now I can fit all my luggage and a good bit of random junk in there as well as my vacuum cleaner and even my bathroom cleaning supplies that I have been dying to get out of my linen closet.
I do have one tiny confession to make. While I was cleaning it out I noticed that there was a bag in the very bottom. In the winter "Santa" tends to store stuff in there and it seems that a couple of years ago one sack got left behind. It was a very cute flower picture frame for Nix, which I am trying to decide if I should just give it to her lest I forget again. JD took the box for the shelves and turned it into a club house

Monday, July 13, 2009

Brain Overload

For the first time in years, our vacation to Jackson had corresponded with my uncle's visit as well. JD has never really met his Great Uncle Lee and Great Aunt Cathy, so he has been very excited to get to know them. Today we were discussing with him different ways we were all related to Lee. We explained that he was my uncle, my mother's brother, and that Cathy is his wife. It was at this point that JD made a noise something like an explosion and exclaimed, "My head just exploded!" I honestly have no idea where he comes up with these things.
After we calmed down from laughing my mother insisted that I must blog about this. JD piped up again and said "But how do you spell { insert exploding noise}?" Obviously, I have not figured out how to best spell it. You will have to use your imagination.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Super Power

Although I do not know anyone that can fly or has super human strength, I do know of a few people that have an unusual ability rarely seen. Take, for example, our friend Jim, every time he orders a milkshake at a restaurant their shake machine is broken. I know everyone has had this happen a time or two, but Jim has not had a drive-thru milkshake in going on 15 years or better. He has given up trying to order them. He has even had one breakdown just after the person in line in front of him got their shake.

I had a friend in high school that repelled technology. She could sit down at a computer, not touch anything, and it would start having issues. I was beginning to think she had one of those weird magnetic fields surrounding her. I can just imagine her trying to use one of those self check lines at Kroger. The last time I talked with her the power was wearing off and she was even able to finally send out emails.

My personal super power involves animals. If I ever draw attention to an animal then inevitably the animal picks that exact moment to relieve itself. It has gotten to be a running joke in the family, especially on car trips. Again, I know that this is just something that happens, but with me it is about 9 out of every 10 times. Today's trip to the zoo was no exception. At one point my father told me to stop pointing out animals because he would like to see one that wasn't pooping. The farm exhibit was especially bad. The worst by far was the chimp that took the time to climb a rope over to where I was standing and drop poo right in front of me. Even while we were watching hummingbirds at my parent's feeders this morning I actually saw two different hummingbirds leave droppings. On the bright side, seeing a tiny bird squirt tiny poop tickled Jack to no end. Rocky says they should rent me out to zoos as a natural laxative. All things considered, I think reading minds would be much more fun.
notice the panda poo- that was all me :)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Old Navy Coupon

A few weeks ago I was able to score an Old Navy Coupon for $75 off a $100 purchase. Nix and I had some great mother/daughter time and left with awesome clothes. This week Old Navy Weekly will be having a coupon worth $65 off $100. The trick is, you'll have to be on their site within about 5 minutes of them loading it and then be lucky enough to click on the right hidden spot to find the coupons.
You can got to this lovely blog Who will be randomly giving some away to readers. You get to enter once because you love Old Navy, another time for facebooking it, a 3rd for twittering, and 4th for blogging about it... all in all there are 6 ways to enter you name into this contest, so head on over and comment to her before the 4th.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Tube'n

Somehow I have ended up with several different circles of online friends. I have local friends, high school friends, family friends, and a few blogger friends I have never actually met in person. From time to time someone from one of these groups will send me a video from You Tube that is hyesterical, but then I quickly forget which circle of friends has seen it and which hasn't so I end up not posting it at all. So, today, I will be posting some of the videos I have been sent that are too good not to pass along. If you have seen one, or were the one who sent them, enjoy this little trip down memory lane.
From the blogging friends: Interestingly enough, I found this one on the recommendation of a group of women who were all Asian.(watch to find out why that is funny) Click here for direct link

From family: This one comes thanks to my sister-in-law after spending some time around college kids. It is an actual music video from India with subtitles of the words it sounds like they are saying. This one is not good to watch with children who can read. If the player isn't working click here

From high school friends: My hip hop rap loving friend who also happens to be a short (very) white woman who lives in South Florida now with her husband and son.
I'm sorry to say, it won't let me embed this one so you'll have to follow the link. It is the Soulja Boy set to clips of Winnie the Pooh.
click here

From my local friend Mendy (and especially for my friends from WBBJ who worked on many a local commercial with me): Here is the link for this one

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Uncle Theory

My mother and her sister both married men named Bill. This means that regardless of which of the three siblings you are an offspring of, you have at least 1 Uncle Bill, which prompted my brother Matt to declare one day that, "everyone has an Uncle Bill". I got curious and began asking around. As it turns out, most people I know of my generation have either an Uncle Bill (or William) and/or an Uncle Bob (Robert, Bobby etc.). Rocky had one of each, as did I, if you count great uncles in this. Most of the exceptions I have found are people that either do not have uncles, or their family is of a nationality that does not traditionally use names like William or Robert.
Recently I was scrolling through pictures on facebook and noticed a trend. It seems that several of my children's friends have an Uncle Matt. Even if it isn't an uncle, we know a lot of people with a Matt as a close family member. This has brought me to the conclusion that Matt is the new Bob/Bill.
I really don't think this cycle will be able to continue for my grandchildren. We are in that odd group of people who took to naming their children random surnames, a whole new breed of unisex names like Peyton, and trying to be creative with spellings. However, there are a lot of Jacobs out there, so maybe there is hope for the uncles of tomorrow. Oddly enough, according to the Social Security Administration, William and Matthew are both still in the top 10 baby names. Maybe that means that children will go on having Uncle Bills and Uncle Matts for generations to come. I know we have been blessed by ours and hope the trend continues.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Open Book Policy

I am trying really hard not to force my parenting style on others and I am having a hard time keeping my mouth shut about something. This is why having a blog is so awesome. I can post what I'm thinking, get it out of my system, and hopefully not blurt out personal opinions at the wrong moment.
When Nix was 8 she asked a question about something that lead into "the talk". Mostly I let her ask questions and answered them as honestly as possible, but we covered a lot of ground that day. Since then she has had other questions that she has brought to me and I have answered all of them. I've encouraged her to ask anything that comes to mind. I want her to be ready for the changes she will go through and the things that life will throw her way. What I didn't realize is that this is not what every mom does. To me, waiting on talking with your children about adult issues is like not teaching a kid to swing a bat until they have already been hit in the head with a baseball. If your children feel like you are shutting them out now, then when the time comes for them to share with you, they will shut you out.
This year in school they divided up the boys and girls for the nurse to talk to them about "health issues" in regards to puberty. Nix asked to be excused from the class because, as she put it, "I'd rather learn about these things from my mom than a school nurse in a room full of other girls. I trust my mom to tell me the truth." Yes, I did burst with pride that day. I may have even teared up a little.
To date Nix and I have covered some about sex, drugs, pregnancy, STDs, alcohol, smoking, swearing, modesty, puberty and all it's ugliness, self respect, molestation, and even a few topics about boys. In fact, just today we had talk about long term consequences for short term enjoyment. It was mostly about why huffing and the like are idiotic, but the lesson applies to a lot. My goal is to train her to ask me questions when she becomes curious about something. It helped me skip that dangerous experimental teenage phase, and I am hoping it will do the same for her.
Okay, it's out there. That is my parenting style. Others may differ and that's okay. They can be wrong. It's a free country :)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Pratice Make Perfect

Yesterday my children were being unusually good. They were playing quietly together. There was no yelling, or screaming, or noticeable fighting of any kind. Naturally this made me suspicious. They had to have been plotting something. So, I stop what I am doing and listen. They appeared to be doing nothing wrong, but that couldn't be right. Finally, I stopped them and asked what they were up to. "Nothing." Isn't that always the standard answer for trouble? I continued to pry. This is when Nix "confesses". She explained that they were just practicing being nice to each other. Her theory was that if they could try to be nice to each other a couple of days a week then maybe it would stick. I encouraged them and praised them for their efforts and waited until I was all the way out of the room before laughing. I don't know how they came up with this plan, but the past two days have been down right peaceful at my house.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Smooth Talker

To those of you who have daughters around the age of my son, let me just go ahead and apologize now. In our attempt to raise him as a well mannered sweet young man we have inadvertently created a tiny 5 year old player. Somehow he has caught on to things some grown men have not figured out yet. He knows how and when to compliment a lady of any age. On Sundays, he always make a point of telling me AND his sister that we look beautiful before we get in the car for church. I have heard him compliment other women and a few little girls when he thought they had dressed up or changed up the way they look, such as a new haircut. He has several of his sister's friends wrapped around his little finger and there is a 5 year age gap there! Sure it's all giggles and "he is so cute" now, but what about when he gets to be a teenager? What are we going to do with him then?
We had a few minutes with just the two of us yesterday and he was telling me that he was unsure of who he would grow up to marry because, "There are just so many cute girls out there." He also added that it was a shame that he couldn't just marry me. He was probably most disappointed by the news that Aunt Becca was off limits as well because she was already married to Uncle Bo.

He has already worked his magic on the girls at preschool. My personal favorite was Cate because when he introduced me to her, she pointed her finger at him and said, "You listen to me, when I'm a teenager, I am going to college." He had the great come back of, "When I'm 5, I am going to kindergarten." He has also been sweet on Catherine, Morgan, and Peyton, who he once referred to as "his wife".
We better get busy on the restraint and values talks with this one.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Every year our church has a wonderful Memorial Day service. We have a bagpiper and drummer usher in the colors for each of the branches of the military. Regardless of how you feel about bagpipes, I promise watching that display will give you chills. Then my husband Rocky has the honor of playing Taps. By the time the service is over all of the women and most of the men have had to pull out a tissue. Being the sensitive girl she is, Nikki asked me why I was crying. I guess she was concerned that something had made me sad. I wrote her a little note that I would like to share today.
Memorial Day is a day to honor the people who have died serving our country in the military. On days like today I am reminded of the price some have paid for my freedom and for yours. I am so proud and honored to live in a country like ours, and humbled by people who very literally give their lives to insure that our freedom is sustained. I'm not crying from sadness. I am crying because I am so filled with emotions that they had to spill out and they do that is the form of tears.

It started all over again this morning when I heard part of a speech Ronald Reagan gave on the subject. He closed with the line, "Thanks you, and may God cradle you in His loving arms."

I hope you all enjoy this Memorial Day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Star Trek Top 10

Top 10 things we wish old Spock had told young Spock.

10. Goatees make you look evil
9. I know Saavik is hot but there is a good chance she is your daughter, so hands off
8. While on Omicron Ceti III don't inhale
7. T'Pring is just not that into you
6. Save the whales
5. Tell Kirk if you appear dead and McCoy is acting logical, don't toss your body out the window
4. Let sleeping Khans lie
3. For a good time call Nurse Chapel
2. If Sulu invites you to his quarters, pass
1. Klingons + Tribbles = good fun

Please feel free to add your own, and yes I know I am a huge geek.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Too Rich or Too Thin

We have all heard it, and we have all probably even said it. You can never be too rich or too thin. It's not true, at least not anymore. Oddly enough the reason why goes with another famous saying. The only certainties in life are death and taxes. If you are too thin you could die and if you are too rich you get taxed right out of it.
It has been on my mind a lot this week. It started on Sunday with a lesson on Proverbs 30 where a man is actually praying not to be too rich because he fears it would lead to him turning away from God. It is certainly not a common prayer I'd bet.
Then there was a news story about a beauty pageant contestant in Australia that everyone is saying is too thin. "Her bones are showing", they gasp in horror. She maintains that she has never had an eating disorder, that she is full of energy, and that this is just normal for her. Still everyone scoffs, everyone but me that is. She is 19 years old, 5' 11", and 117 pounds. I ran the numbers and when I was her age, my height to weight ratio was actually lower than hers. To be perfectly honest, it still is. I have never had dilutions about my body. I know I'm thin, I know I have been too thin, but I also know that I am not too thin now. Too thin was the day at the height of my digestive problems when I stepped on the scale and it said 89. I cried that day- a lot. I was not healthy that day. Today, I am happy to say that I am at a healthy weight for me, and that is all any of us should ask for.
I think I have mentioned it before and I know it isn't popular, but think before you criticize someones weight, even us skinny folks. I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. Just because I'm not trying to lose weight doesn't make my struggle any less real or my feelings any less fragile.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Home and Healing

I'm not sure why my last post didn't post on Facebook. That app. seems to be hit and miss. Anyway, I'm a full week out of my surgery and doing well. My surgical healing is going great, but I've got a bladder infection from, well, let's just say the hospital stay. Once it clears up I suspect I'll be feeling much better.
Through this I could really see God watching out for me. There were some little things that I certain would not have gone as well if it weren't for prayer. First of all, after my surgery I was to go to extended recovery. They are tiny rooms with no windows and a shared bathroom. There wasn't even a place for Rocky to sit comfortably through the night. However, after I got out of surgery I was looking pale (go figure) and so they kept me there longer and all the extended rooms were filled. They had to put me in a room on the 3rd floor, which meant a bigger room in the regular part of the hospital. I have been told that my recovery care was much better than it would have been otherwise. Just as we were about to try to sleep for the night a tech came in to take my vitals and noticed that we didn't have "one of the good chairs" for Rocky. She had noticed one in an empty room and helped us swap out our chairs. If you have ever spent the night as a visitor in a hospital then you know that getting a good chair is a big deal.
Another thing I a thankful for is that the doctor found what she was looking for and nothing else. The problem I was having in sort of an invisible problem. There is no test that can be run that can tell for sure if you have endometreosis. They have to do surgery. In the back of my mind I was a little worried that they would open me up and say, "I don't know what your problem is, you looked fine." , or even worse, find they the problem was something different and more serious. Instead they opened me up and found exactly what we thought they would. They took out what needed to be taken and cleaned up the rest. It can be a little scary giving a surgeon permission to "explore". I could have woken up with no appendix or gall bladder, but all of that is still intact and doing whatever it is that those things do.
I have a cute kid story to add. This week my father took the kids down to the neighborhood playground. there were some wasps buzzing around, so they came back early. I asked Jack if he had fun and he said, "No. There were wasps and one flew in my face and I screamed like a little girl!"
If you want to see the posts that Facebook didn't show you can visit my personal blog:

Thursday, April 02, 2009

All the details

My life is an open book, I guess it would be more accurate to say an open blog. Growing up in a town where you are related to every third person doesn't lend itself well to keeping secrets, so I just never have. At times my book has been a bit too open. This may very well be one of those times.
I'm having surgery on Monday. It will be an extended out patient surgery, meaning I'll be there 23 hours because I need to be in the hospital overnight, but insurance doesn't cover a hospital stay for this type of thing. I should be back to driving in a week and back to my version of normal in about a month.
That was the short and sweet version. I am now about to begin the TMI part of this post. Stop reading now if you don't want to know.
After several years of dragging my feet, jumping through hoops for doctors and insurance companies, and being uninsured for a time, I am finally having a hysterectomy. I am not counting on this to be a cure all. I will probably still have problems with my digestion, and I'm keeping my ovaries so that pain won't be gone either. What this will fix is the extreme cramping and excessive bleeding. After having a month where I almost passed out from the pain and another where I was light headed from passing too much, I knew I had to have this done.
I feel that this is a positive thing in my life. We have two amazing children, and although we might would think of having #3, I am honestly scared of what another pregnancy would bring. I kind of wonder if, in part, the trouble we had with both pregnancies wasn't God preparing us to stop at two. Although I am admittedly nervous, I can not help but feel that removing an obviously defective part is a step in the right direction.
I'll be going under the knife Monday, April 6th at 7:30 a.m. est, so stop and think of me and pray that all goes according to plan. Or, since it is Spring Break here, add my name in to your prayers the night before, and enjoy sleeping in on a weekday.
I'll post when I am on the other side. Wait! I phrased that wrong. I'll post again when I am home and feel like sitting at the computer. I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 27, 2009


When I was in the 6th grade I had a teacher that liked to start every Friday class with a joke. Most of them were really cheesy, but I looked forward to it anyway. One that has stuck with me inspired the title of my post. What did the father tomato say to his son when he was falling behind?
Anyway, it has been awhile since I posted just for fun. I got a professional blog, started writing one part time for someone else, and moved to FB instead of MySpace. Today I have a bit of a cold so I'm not doing anything on my day off except relaxing, so I thought I would revive my old blog and see if I could figure out how to link it to FB.
I just signed up for Twitter. I've had a couple of professional types ask me if I tweeted (or whatever), so I decided to sign up. People in the blogosphere think I'm hip and cool (funny, right?) and I didn't want to get left out of the trend. Now I'm having second thoughts. From what I can tell, Twitter is just making it easier for stalkers to keep up with their prey. You want to know what Tina Fey had for lunch or where Martha Stewart is spending her weekend? Just follow them on Twitter. You get messages from people telling you what they are doing at any given moment. When I first started I saw a message for one of the people I follow that said something like, "Call into my show and ask me your questions now. I have some extra time today." and it included a phone number. For half a second I thought, "Wow, she wants me to call her and even gave me her number." Before the thought was even fully formed I was laughing at myself, but I am mentally healthy. What about all those nuts who think Charlie Gibson is sending them coded messages in his ties each night on the news? Aren't we just fueling their flame?
Although my blog has gained in popularity this year, I doubt I will ever have a stalker. Still, I can't help but wonder why people who don't actually know me would want to follow me on Twitter. I am now very tempted to put silly and random things on my Twitter feed. Maybe I will post "I'm watching you watch me" or "I'm having peanut butter for lunch, or am I?". I could post random lines from movies or songs just to throw people off.
Speaking of movie lines, JD has taken to quoting movies at random moments. The other day I was telling him "no" and he looks at me and says, "No? No? Is that the only word you know? No?" then he grinned. It was a line straight from "Enchanted" that we had watched a couple of days before. Since then he has quoted several more movies. Who knew that was hereditary?