Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo! It scares me. A post for Halloween.

It's October 31st. Here are 31 things that scare me. Keep in mind, I don't live in fear. These are just 31 random things that occasionally freak me out.

1. opening biscuit cans
2. small talk with strangers...or anyone sometimes
3. how fast my skin is aging
4. my boys going through that phase when they get peach fuzz over their lips (i shudder)
5. anyone coming around the corner (i spook easily)
6. losing a child
7. the possibility of a spider in my shoe...or sleeve...or bed....
8. those FREAKY minnesota centipedes that i never saw until i moved here (more shuddering)
9. bats
10. getting in another car accident
11. being totally misunderstood
12. the possibility of having a face-eating cancer
13. forgetting that i owe someone money (and they won't remind me...just resent me)
14. my own hypocrisy
15. turning on the disposal
16. making final decisions that have to do with spending lots of money
17. toenail fungus
18. dealing with dementia
19. most freak accidents that I've heard know, "Oh, he was just buying some milk and there was some staph infection on the jug handle. Three days later, he died."
20. buying a new kind of beer that i end up not liking
21. ticks
22. tapeworms
23. plot lines on Law & Order: SVU (no, i don't watch it, but i catch a scene every now and then and cannot believe somebody thinks it's a good idea to put this junk into the minds of the public!)
24. socialized medicine
25. feeding company undercooked meat
26. my kids growing up rejecting Jesus
27. pool drains
28. having a booger hanging from my nose, but no one is bold enough to tell me
29. waxing off an entire's possible since i do my own
30. emerging church mentality
31. apathy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

confession # 16 - i'm one part crunchy, two parts twinkie

To be honest, I love my refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup products. But, I try to keep it at a minimum (especially for my children!). In some areas, I tend to be earthy and natural. But, I'm glaringly not earthy two-thirds of the time.

I can't afford organic, but I love to make brown rice and bean salads for my family.

I took my boys to McDonalds...after their vaccines...which I delayed.

I alternate using the aluminum-free "deoderant" and the regular alzheimers-inducing crisco-like deoderant.

Recently, a thrifty and earthy lady in my small group, introduced us to the idea of NOT--I repeat NOT--using shampoo. I won't go into detail, but instead will direct you to this blog post I found in my fervent googling. I'm totally intrigued. (And by the way, we don't get together to discuss beauty tips. We're ladies and so we cover the gamut!)

So. I'm going to try it. I'll keep you posted. Currently, I'm on day three of no shampoo. That's not a huge deal, because I usually only wash every other day.

So, I'm curious. Are you crunchy? Or, do you like to taste the kool-aid? literally???

Monday, October 27, 2008

i think he's letting it go

I read every encouraging comment about Avery's video to him. And he stopped nagging me to take it off. So. I left it. On behalf of my bashful eight-year-old, thank you!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

confession # 15 - i like to strut

Yep. I do. Just like George Jefferson. I'm not kidding. Try it. It feels good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

he said, "close your eyes and hold out your hand..."

My parents are in town. My gracious, super generous parents. But, when my Dad told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands, I wasn't expecting the thing that made this possible.

It brought tears to my eyes. They bought the same camera for me all over again!!! I didn't deserve it the first time!!!

Avery also surprised me. He made this scattin' video featuring Jillian when I wasn't around. He didn't intend this for the general audience, but gave permission for me to post it. I Love him!!!

UPDATE: Avery has totally reneged and wants me to take the video off. I'll do 24 hours. Hopefully, I'll have a good replacement by then.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

desperate times call for desperate measures...

Avery has finally been losing his baby teeth. Between the tooth fairy and Aunt Carol's birthday money, Avery is "so rich" according to Miles.

Just for fun...

I said, "Boys, Daddy and I are in a financial crisis. I think I'm gonna pull a few of my teeth and put 'em under my pillow."

They both stopped suddenly and looked at me earnestly. Avery had a look of is-that-possible??? While Miles shot the you-cannot-be-serious look. Miles blurted out, "Do NOT do that." Avery followed up with, "They don't accept second set teeth...only baby teeth."

So much fun...for me.

This leads me to ask, how have you messed with your kids???

test of integrity

So...I was eating some chips, totally jonesing for some soda...

Me: Avery, go to our neighbor's house and steal some soda.

Avery: (after a longish pause) Then, you're going to have to give me something.

WHAT???? is what I felt, though I didn't let on.

I turned to Miles...

Me: Miles, go to our neighbor's house and steal some soda.

Miles: No. Soda is bad for you. And stealing is wrong.

Me: (high fiving Miles) Good answer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I've blogged somewhat frequently for two months, yet, I don't think I've given you much information. Random thoughts, yes. But, this blog has felt like that long lost friend that you almost call, but realize, "Where would we pick up?" So, I've kind of stayed on the fringe.

And where I start doesn't really matter, I just gotta get some of these thoughts out. I'm going to try out High points/Low points. That's how I've been blogging in my head.

Today, the subject is....

The boys started and I never ever showed you First Day of School Pictures. So, here the boys are on their first day.
Here they are with the principal. Avery says she gives the best hugs. You wouldn't know it by the looks of him here. He was worried he was going to be he's hugging the principal...on the first day of school.

Aunt Nee Nee and Uncle Steve are ever supportive!

whoa. check out that self portrait on the bottom row, fourth from the left.
what a looker!!

High points:
It's close. I can run up there with a moment's notice if I need to bring a forgotten lunch or if someone is sick.
It's Christian. When one of the kindergarten teachers gave birth to twins at 24 weeks, Miles brought home a letter with the news. I read it with tears welling in my eyes and let out an audible, "oh no," and explained that the babies were born very early. Miles chirped in with, "Mommy, it's good that the babies were born, because that's what God wanted." That's good theology. It's good to have right theology before you feel the weight of personal grief when the storm rolls in. I'm thankful for that.
It's education. I really can't imagine educating my boys right now. Avery is writing poetry, learning Spanish, loving Phys Ed, and actually enjoying art. And that's just four things I couldn't be doing right now. Miles comes home, his mind overflowing with facts about Bats, Japan and Christopher Columbus. He complains that he doesn't like school, but when I ask him for a specific reason he says, "Well....I kind of like it." hm.

Low points:
Homework. Man alive. They're gone all day. And then they come home and we have to do more school! The weather has been absolutely beautiful. After they've been inside most of the day, the last thing I want to do is have them sit down and work on math problems or a book report in the house. Poor kids.
Papers, newsletters, crap for sale. Holy Moley. I cannot handle the load of papers comin' in through the door. There's the abstract-tell-me-about-this-"artwork", the this-week-we-learned-all-about-such-and-such-and-next-week-blah-blah-blah, the hey-it's-October-but-are-you-ready-to-buy-a-wreath-sale???, the countless "great opportunity" sign-ups for skating lessons, chess club, junior great books, science fair, space camp after school program...seriously...I canNOT breathe just thinking about all the paper.
TEACHER APPRECIATION. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the boys' teachers. But, whatever happened to short notes and little emails and verbal affirmation. I simply don't have the time, money or energy required for appreciating my teachers. By the way, I have well-behaved, curious, team-playing, class-participating, reading, helpful boys. Thank me once in awhile. I did something, too. And I'm not making any money off this gig. I know I sound embittered. I'm not. I'm just easily overwhelmed.

Those are the highs and lows of today. Have a blessed Tuesday!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

where that smell is coming from

We don't need a bottle of circa 1998 CK One in our home. We really don't. I found it while cleaning out old make up and expired medication. But, then we opened it and freshman year wafted past our nostrils. Ahhhh...the year we became friends has a scent and it is CK One.

It felt sad to throw it away. It felt silly to keep it. (Nobody in our home has worn it for 10 years.)

The compromise? Brent poured it down the kitchen sink so we could experience a lingering long good-bye.

stage fright

It seems every time I come to this blog to write lately, I feel like someone has handed me a microphone and announced that it's my turn to give a speech. I don't know what my deal is, but I keep forgetting everything I have to say.

I think I'm turning a corner, but if you're tired of checking and seeing the same old post, consider subscribing to the blog by using the little window at the right. It's pretty easy.

Hope you all are well. I'm missing St. Louis especially these days. If you've lived there and we were buddies, I've probably been thinking about you a lot.

(Especially you, Mom and Dad! I'm so excited that you're visiting so soon!!!!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

my new favorite recipe

I got this from Marty (this link is to an "essential marty post"). She got this from a magazine, which is popular, but I can't remember it...not Real Simple...something with "Living" in the title maybe. Anyway, I'm digging it and I'll share it with you now. It's really easy, pretty healthy and super yummy. Oh. I have NO idea about measurements. Seriously. You can't go wrong. It's like a salad. You don't measure when you make a salad, do you? It's like that. Just go for it!

Basmati with Black Beans and Feta

Cooked Basmati rice (or any white rice, I guess...heck, try it with brown and let me know!)
1 can black beans
1 can italian diced tomatoes
1 cup (or so) or Feta
baby spinach chopped or torn (as much as you like)
fresh tomatoes diced (if you have them)

And, while the rice is still hot, stir up all that deliciousness in one big bowl and VOILA! Watch your family devour it. Seriously, all three of my kids ate the spinach with no hesitation. And Brent happily took the leftovers to work the next day.

If you'd like more crowd pleasing recipes that you can make over and over, hop over to Jenny's blog. And, Jenny, I miss you, too!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what Jesus wouldn't wear

I saw a woman walking her dogs the other day. She was wearing a pair of those sweats that have words on the bum. I think it said "HOCKEY". No big deal. But I couldn't help but imagine someone donning a pair of sweats with "WWJD" on the backside. Oh, the irony.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kindergarten Fall Project? check.


"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the one who loved me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20

What is a dead person entitled to on this earth?
What is the Christian entitled to?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Soup's On!!!

Every Friday Jenny hosts Foody Friday. The theme for this week is SOUP! I love soup. Do you? If so, here's one to try.

It comes from my Uncle Wayne. When he cooks, everyone wants seconds! I chose this recipe because it's tasty, easy and most ingredients are staples (for our family anyway). Oh. And it's very kid-friendly.

Cheddar Ham Chowder

2 c. water
2 c. cubed, peeled potatoes
1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1/2 c. celery, diced or sliced
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. butter (half stick)
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. sharp cheddar, shredded
16 oz. can kernel corn (or throw in some frozen)
1 1/2. cubed ham, fully cooked, of course

In large saucepan bring water, potatioes carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes (until veggies are JUST tender). Remove from heat; DO NOT DRAIN. Meanwhile, in amedium saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour. Add milk, all at once; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir into undrained vegetables and heat. Add corn and ham; heat through, stirring occasionally.

You might want to double this recipe if you're making it for a family of five or more...or if you want leftovers. If you have any questions, let me know.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

i saw what i saw

This is a video that was shown at the Art*Music*Justice Tour. The first line of this song is, "I saw what I saw and I can't forget it..."

Coincidentally, I can't forget this video or these beautiful people of Rwanda.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

chasing jillian

The boys had several of those little sponges that come from a dissolving capsule. Recently, I wondered how I could justify throwing them out. I mean, we have more than enough bath toys. Jillian really helped me out with that problem. Thanks, Jilly. Playing with them in the toilet was plenty motivation to throw them away.

just in case you didn't get a close enough look!!

And here she is "unloading" the dishwasher.

And, of course, she loves to climb on the toilet to get to the beloved toothpaste.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I was going through pictures on our old camera and I saw this one. It's been there almost 15 months. It was taken the day Jillian was born while I was waiting for the pitocin and water-breaking to do their magic.

I was rather hefty when this picture was taken and yet, I love this picture.

The hospital gown was a gift from my sister. Isn't it adorable? I think I'd like to learn how to make these.

(un)loved and (dis)respected

It's hardly remarkable, but these sinful reactions have been on my mind.

Brent's response to "I don't feel loved" is to be annoyed and cold.

My response to "I don't feel respected" is to think he's an idiot.

Friday, October 3, 2008

it's been a busy week. this was a highlight.

The Art Music Justice tour came through town Tuesday night. I am fortunate enough to know one of the artists, Sandra McCracken. (By the way, kids, don't resist church camp! You might meet Jesus, have fun doing popsicle stick crafts and make life long friends...who can comp your tickets for really good shows!) No, really. Sandra is one of the few friends the only friend I have left from pre-junior high. And she happens to be one of my favorite musicians, too. Great voice. Beautiful song-writing. Seriously, if you haven't heard her music, you are missing out. Actually, she's on the playlist on the sidebar if you want to listen to her right now.

I love memory lane. Here are some old, old Jenna/Sandra memories:

-Watching Steel Magnolias in the theater and sobbing over Shelby

-Dancing to Debbie Gibson's "Electric Youth" and singing "Silence Speaks a Thousand Words" into a ballpoint pen. I have to admit that I think I still like that song.

-Flooding her bathroom because I put the curtain on the outside of the tub when I showered. I was so dang embarrassed. Have you ever done that?

-Gulping down orange Gatorade and eating Oreos (a near delicacy!) at her house.

-Sandra headlining our cabin's talent show offering by singing Amy Grant's "Fat Baby" (the rest of us were chorus singing "fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat" or something like that)

-Going to her church youth group (Covenant Pres.) and feeling really out of place as if I'd never been to church before...the affect of public school on me, I think...

There are more. Sometimes the memories flood in as she's performing, and I get a little choked up. I'm sentimental and my heart is full. And it's a beautiful thing to watch someone doing their dream.

Major bonus? She comp'd a ticket for Molly, too! I can't express how much of an oasis this evening was for me in a week of sheer chaos. Thank you, Molly and Sandra!!!

Here we are. The three of us after the show on the tour bus. By the way, I highly recommend catching a show on the Art Music Justice tour and also Sandra's latest album, Red Balloon. Really, really good!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

post something already!

How about an update?

On my diaper bag (pictured in the previous post).


My brother-in-law spotted it while he and my sis were on their way to church Saturday night. Neely hopped out, wearing her Sunday best (on Saturday, of course), and picked up my stolen diaper bag and returned it (sans camera, of course). It had been abandoned less than a mile away.


So, now you can rest your weary eyes. I know you've cried big tears over that diaper bag.

I love you all (I think?) and hope to post new stuff shortly. I have approximately 15 draft posts. Surely, I can get something tweaked and ready to post soon.