Thursday, July 31, 2008

confession #2 - the extent of my flakiness

I'm incredibly forgetful. Although I'm known for remembering some minuscule detail you told me about your best friend from the fourth grade's parents or remarkably recalling phone numbers that I've only dialed once, I am truly, truly flaky. I forget current they are happening.

example from today:

I was in my car talking to my sister about plans for dinner. Should we go out to Cafe Latte? Or should we just get a bucket of chicken and go to the park? I walked into my house and the most delicious aroma of pot roast lingered in the air. Oh. That's right. I already made dinner.

This kind of forgetfulness happens in some form every single day.

short posts for a little bit.

Like many bloggers, sitting inside and cozying up to your laptop just doesn't happen as much in the Summer. (Maybe I'm thinking of SAHM bloggers...or Minnesotan bloggers who don't want to miss the sunshine.) Anyway, I think I'll do a series of silly confessions. Think is the operative word. So far my only other series has been very inconsisent.

Confession for Today:

Yesterday I wore a black tank top that was so long and awkward that was nearly a wrestling singlet.
Seriously, I could have gathered the fabric from the front and back and just sewn an inseam. I realized this at 5pm after being out in public all day. embarrassing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

she wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny...

Here in Minneapolis, we are blessed with beautiful parks with wonderful wading pools almost every few blocks. We have three--nay, FOUR--that we frequent that are all very close to us. Did I mention that these are wading pools? They are glorified kiddie pools. They are not Spring Break 2008 beaches with crashing waves and calypso music and beer bongs and MTV filming a reality show nearby at Senor Frogs. So, I wonder why some of these local leathery Mommies wear string the BABY POOL? I mean, seriously. These are supposed to be family-friendly pools. In my narrow opinion, I find it cruel and heartless for the super tan, super skinny Mommies to show up in their pookah beaded bikinis. Even worse....the babysitters with no wear and tear on the engine.

Alrighty. Now that I got that off my (thrice-a-mommy) chest, I'm going to go pack up the pool bag and head out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

And the 2008 Parent of the Year award goes to...

Miles was difficult tonight. Having been sent to his room, he marched with the loudest protesting stomps ever. He might have dented our wood floors with his bare feet had he not been thwarted by a throw rug (I'm guessing as he was out of sight by now). All I know is that he was stomping madly, and then there was some sort of crash, and then there was loud crying. And then there was quiet snickering of parents in the dining room. A parent feels a bit of relief when a child experiences a natural long as it doesn't require a trip to (or even consideration of) the emergency room.

Anyway, our kid was still rather peeved apparently, when I hollered, "Hey Mi, you alright? You need an ice pack or something?"

"No," he sulked. And then came, "Here's something I need: BETTER PARENTS!!!!"

Avery--who often mistakes himself for the third parent--found the perfect opportunity to show his loyalty with, "There are no better parents..."

and then added, "...except for the ol' John Piper!"

That would be our pastor. And, no, we don't know where they come up with this stuff. And, yes, Miles does need better parents. That's why we will be dropping him off at John and Noel Piper's doorstep.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keitha said, "If that isn't the best pick up line you've ever heard..."

Let me just say that my boys LOVE Keitha's girls. They have become fast friends. Although, I know this friendship is a gift from the Lord, the fear will sometimes creep in that we'll wear out our welcome or the children will get sick of each other.

The girls invited the boys over to play this afternoon. As I saw Keitha's number come up on the caller ID, immediately I thought, "Miles has just punched someone" or something to that effect.

Nope. She wanted to tell me about the following conversation:

Miles: Savannah, do you know that cigarettes have a chemical in them that makes you want them more and more every time you have them.

Savannah: Yeah.

Miles: That's how I feel about you.

Works For Me Wednesday - Happy Hour!!!

Many years ago, I worked in women's retail. In this time I often witnessed a shirt sell for $70 to one victim only to see the same shirt--a few weeks later--sell for $9.99 to a victorious shopper. It was in that time, that I formed the, "can't-bring-myself-to-pay-top-dollar-for-the-same-product" disorder. I really can't. And this includes food!

And so, friends, I ask, do you know the joys of Happy Hour? I mean, you can do this totally sans alcohol, my sweet Baptist friends. You can go on an early date with your spouse to some hip joint for Happy Hour and actually afford it. (Hey, and meeting up with friends works, too!) If it makes you feel better, you can rename "Happy Hour" and instead call it "Dinner Time". Seriously. It's from 4-6pm, people! You can throw in a frozen pizza for your offspring, leave them with a young sitter (because they cost less than those older, busier and driver's licensed ones) and head out for something HALF price! So, today, I encourage you ladies to get googling to find the best Happy Hour in your neighborhood. Here in downtown Minneapolis, we have $5 pizzas at Palomino and $2-4 appetizers at McCormick and Schmicks. Just keep in mind to tip a little better than usual!

For more "Works For Me Wednesday" ideas, go to Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

deal or no deal

I just made a deal with myself. If I get dinner figured out and started, then I get to write a post. I am trying to self-regulate, motivate and concentrate....we'll see how it goes...and this post doesn't count....but I'll see if I can sneak in a favorite photo...(90 seconds later) YES!!! Found one. This is the next Fabulous friend on the docket. I find my "Friend Talkers" posts to be really challenging, because it's so hard to boil down my immense love and extensive memories to one post. Anyway, this picture makes me laugh. It's a courtesy smile that says, "Jenna. You are paparazzi. Get out of my face. I love you. But, seriously. Out of my face now." More later....

Friday, July 18, 2008

jamie had a baby

So, Jamie Lynn Spears is on my MSN homepage. (Not by my choice. I don't know how to change it.) The title of the article is, "Does Jamie Lynn's OK! cover glamorize teen pregnancy?" This disturbs me. Think about the amount of GLAMORIZED TEEN SEXUALITY out there. That's a problem. (Yes, I know about that bizarre group of girls that made the pregnancy pact. I know. And we can agree that situation was not the norm.)

I find it to be rather hypocritical of the media to come down so hard on teen pregnancy while neglecting to point out the problem of glamorized teen sex?! And, boy oh boy, does Hollywood do a fantastic job of glamorizing teen sex or what? Can we agree that teenage sex in reality is just NOT glamorous. (I've just grossed myself out trying to form that sentence...I wrote it out in so many different ways!) Anyway, the point is that we should be more threatened by the message delivered by media about sex than the message about pregnancy.

If teens don't have sex, they won't get pregnant. And if you're going to make the argument, "Well, they're going to have sex anyway." Then, go ahead and glamorize pregnancy. Make it look like a beautiful choice. That's actually what it is. It's a better choice than having an abortion. And, if you think about the amount of teen sex that is most likely happening, then at some point, you should let it occur to you that you are simply not seeing enough teen pregnancy. You're seeing more post-abortive girls than you can fathom.

Sad reality. So sad.

Lastly, Jamie Lynn, you rock. You kept your baby. I know you read this blog regularly like it was the best sex you ever had. So, I hope you feel encouraged.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

summer is flying!!!

I can't believe it. Summer. It always looks so open and free in the early Spring. I find myself thinking, Finally. We'll have the So-and-so family over. Maybe we'll go travel out west. Maybe we'll go out east. Maybe we'll catch a cheap fare to Florida. I really am this optimistic in April. And it doesn't stop there. I'm sure I thought that we'd get three major house projects completed at the very least. hm. Some of you know that I was even trying to gather a friends to join an adult co-ed kickball league. I'm not even slightly kidding. (It's still a dream. You might be getting a call early next Spring!!) I was thinking that we'd travel by bicycles almost exclusively this Summer. I thought that we'd have a multi-family garage sale worthy of a listing in the paper. I thought I'd have at least an herb garden planted. And I really imagined I'd stay on top of those pesky weeds in my flower gardens. I was planning on having an academic plan for the boys in hopes of keeping Avery's skills sharp while preparing Miles for Kindergarten. I would have thought that we'd each have 10 new verses memorized by now. I would have thought that Jillian's birthday would have included a homemade cake decorated in the style of some funky fabric that so inspired me, but no. Her cake didn't even have her name on it! I wanted to start a book club and keep up on hosting craft nights at my house. But, no.

We haven't done any of the above, but we have stayed busy. Brent and the boys are all on some sort of baseball or softball team. I just had a lovely visit with my dear friend Sarah. We had an awesome visit with Joy, Craig, Cal and Ava when they were here for a three hour layover and saw our house and neighborhood for the first time ever. We met our exchange student, Yuki, who will be staying with us soon for a short two weeks. We love her already!!! We went to St. Louis and visited my folks before they took off for a 2 1/2 month stay in eastern Europe. We've done some stuff. And there's more on the calendar. I can't imagine posting about all of the various things, so, here's some of my favorite pictures. Enjoy! (Disclaimer: I know I'm in a lot of these. I don't have very many of Brent. So, I'm sorry if it seems like a lot of me. It's not very often that I post pictures of myself...I don't think so anyway.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday-Letters of Apology

Hey, I'm gonna try this out. Every now and then, I actually have an idea that works for me. And Rachel's post inspired me to link to Rocks in My Dryer!

Lately, the boys have been ignoring me. They get so involved in what they are doing, that my voice seems to sound like a soothing wave on some distance shore. I can't tell you how severely this has been grating on my nerves. And yet, this added frustration in my heart does not aid in the teaching moments. They are such repeat offenders that my heart isn't even ready to hear there monotone voices say, "Mommy, I'm sorry for ignoring you. Will you please forgive me?" I'm tempted to either give them an acting lesson on how to inflect your voice to make it sound more believable. Or, I feel like saying, "NO! You are not forgiven. Ignoring your mother 25 times in one day is UNFORGIVABLE!!!" I'm not condoning this attitude. I'm just being honest. So, the question is, how do I take time to cool off while trying to teach them to take time to show remorse???

Make them apologize in written form. I tossed each of them a notebook and a pencil and said, "Write me a note of apology." And then I left their room already feeling a bit lighter.

When I read these, particularly Avery's (the legible one), I felt a sense of justice. I felt more ready to truly forgive. So, today (maybe not tomorrow), having my children take time to apologize in written form worked for me. Added bonus is that it makes a great addition to their memory boxes!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

you provide the caption

some thoughts on the James study

I am still slowly moving through James. Here's the verse I'm looking at:

James 1:2-3 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." (ESV)

Currently, I am examining the phrases, "testing of your faith" (narrowing in on "testing" or "trying" yesterday) and "produces steadfastness". It's really good. Trying to stay there and not get hurried. As I was studying today how the Lord tests the trustworthiness of our faith, I imagined a tree house. I imagined someone taking an enormous hammer to it and giving it severe blows just to make sure that it really was secure and would not fall. It helped me see the goodness of the Lord in giving us trials to see whether our faith really was sure. (He knows the weaknesses, but I don't...not without the testing, anyway.) What a tragedy it would be to come to the end of my life and not really know whether I had faith or whether I merely had a belief system that worked for me. What is faith unexercised? untried?

Monday, July 14, 2008

birthday nap

This video was taken the day of her birthday. I haven't posted since then, because my computer has been so ridiculously slow, as I mentioned before. But, one of my amazing neighbors, Mike, came over last night, had a beer with Brent and I and helped us fix the problem. (It was some spyware program that was eating up all the RAM!) Anyway, I like this video because you can really see a bit of Jillian's personality in it. Please disregard the sound of my voice. I can't help it. I just speak in that register when I talk to babies.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

we celebrate one year of jillian

The day we brought her home from the hospital.

Just a few days ago.

What you might want to know about Jillian:

She's taking a few steps at a time. (Six at the most so far.)
She says, "Wow!", "yeah!" and "oooo" (same sound in "boot")
Also says, "da da" and "ma ma" and has done some random repeating...
She wakes up happy and chatty.
Jillian knows her brothers by name and will point to them when prompted (sometimes).
She has seven teeth...the eighth one is taking it's time and causing her pain!
Jillian melts our hearts every day and we are grateful beyond words that we get to have her in our daily lives. I am ever grateful to God for blessing us with her.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oh the joys of technology...

My computer is half dead. Seriously. It's sluggish. Unresponsive half the time. I get on and I want to shoot the dang thing. I'm thinking I have some sort of virus. And I'll just admit that there's a twinge of embarrassment as if I just told you that I have an STD. Like, if you read my blog, maybe I'll transmit something to your computer. ick. Anyway, it's the computer that would have the virus, not me. And I've been googling as much as possible to try to figure out what course I should take. I imagine my computer is being devoured by some cyberworm that originated in Malaysia. This morning I deleted a wad of temporary internet files and some other junk and was very hopeful. But, alas, this crud continues.

But, is it merely crud? Here's what's been going on in my noodle...Because my computer is slower than dial-up (even when I'm not using the internet!!!), I can hardly stand to even check my email, blogs, facebook, whatever. (I REALLY carved out time to catch up on blogs...and it's actually not going too slowly right now.) I was saying...I haven't been on the computer as much. So. In my "spare" time, I started studying the book of James really slowly and deliberately. It's been really good. I mean, it's actually more enthralling than reading blogs and writing on my blog and googling people from high school. This is admittedly, very surprising to yours truly. I think I'm engaged with this study because my nose hasn't been stuck in my laptop. So, I'm thinking this might be God's answer to my prayer to find Him and His Word to be more dazzling in my life than anything else.

One memorable quote (not verbatim) from my pastor went something like this, "How can you make yourself not be hungry for Thanksgiving supper? Eat. Fill up on white bread. And then, the good stuff (nutritious and delicious) won't even sound appealing." More than I'd like to admit, I fill up on the joys of this world (t.v., blogging, facebook). And then, when I open my Bible, I think...well...nothing. It's just not appealing to me. I'm full. I'm...satisfied-ish.

So, eventhough, I'm literally heavy-hearted about my halfling of a computer, I'm a little glad, because...well...I'm more intrigued by what the Creator of a zillion galaxies has to say in his Word. So, if I didn't make it clear...yes...I do think that God is sovereign over my laptop. Praise be to Him!!!

p.s. Preview of posts to come. 1.) Today, my dear friend Keitha moved to Minneapolis. Our children became fast friends today as they met for the first time. Great story on how we met. 2.) My little girl turns one on Wednesday!!! 3.) My dear friend, Sarah, comes to Minneapolis on Thursday to visit me for the first time since she moved away from St. Louis in 2003!!! (I've gone to see her, so we have actually hung out a few short times since then!) 4.) And then there's all the randomness that I have yet to share with you!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

miles just wrote his first poem

I have to warn you that it's kind of...macabre for a five-year-old. But, he recited it more than once verbatim, which, to me seems thought out and official. If you want to see it, you'll have to go to his blog. That's right. He has a blog. It requires my fancy finger work at the keyboard. And the process can be exhausting. "What did you say, Mi?" Pulling at his hair and pacing, "Um...I need to stay focused." What I'm getting at is that we don't update his blog so much. (And I'd rather use his quotes for my blog!!!) Anyway, without further ado, I give you passageway to Miles' Blog.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad! Happy Birthday, Pop Pop!!

You're a wonderful father! And you're a superb grandfather!! Hope you're enjoying your time in Romania! We sure do love you!!!

butterflies are wicked cool. or, maybe more accurately stated, butterflies declare the glory of God.

Our neighbor gave us a caterpillar. We put it in a plastic jar and expected it to die. Within 24 hours, it sluggishly made it's way to a stick, and hung there. We thought that perhaps it just might form a chrysalis. And, the next morning, we woke up to just that. The second picture shows what appeared to be its head. strange. It had been black and spiky with some red spots. In roughly two weeks, the somewhat large butterfly emerged from his transforming slumber. You really can't get a feel for its size in the picture provided. I would say its wingspan was 3 1/2 inches. After a few hours, he was ready for his great escape. I was trembling with fear as we released him (seriously. the fluttering freaked me out. not a nature person.). So there are no good photos of his freedom flight. But, I am hoping for many more caterpillar-to-butterfly experiences which truly declare the glory of God.

really? still don't believe in a Designer? hm.

my apple core. cut in half. beautiful.