Thursday, December 9, 2010

It isn't that I don't love you

I've just been so very busy, you see.

Working.

And writing the novel that's going to make me the next JK Rowling (AHAHAHAHA!! if only)

And Christmasing. I don't actually have a tree yet. We're supposed to get one this weekend because my parents gave us forty smakaroos. We spent it on groceries, but we're still buying a forty dollar tree. It's pretty much the same thing.

Christmas is in interesting thing when you're a young married couple. You've moved out, so you aren't the kids anymore, and the kids or sort of the focus of the whole Christmas season. And Jesus. I'll get to him in a minute. But for now, kids. We aren't the kids anymore, so the whole magic of that aspect is missing now.

Example: My sister and I used to sleep in the same bedroom on Christmas Eve and watch Christmas movies (Annabelle's Wish? The best/worse/best/worse Christmas movie on the planet. It's about a cow who turns into a reindeer. Seriously. Also, it's important to note that I just spelled "reindeer" as "raighndeer" The spell check suggested that I really meant "Straightener". Mercy). I usually fell asleep mid-Grinch, but still. It was a Yuletide slumber party once a year. Also, we always got brand new PJ's. Last year we tried that, and at nine, we both looked at each other and said "Yea, I had to work today. I'm going to bed." We didn't even sleep in the same room. She slept in her old bedroom and I slept in mine with my husband.

Childhood = gone forever.

I feel like this problem of missing magic could all be solved by having our own children, because really, kids get the joy and magic of Christmas. But while we are neither kids nor parents, we're stuck in Holiday limbo.

On the bright side, my Mommy still fills my stocking on Christmas Eve, although last year she did it while I was still awake and sitting on the couch. I watched her do it. Seriously Mom, how am I supposed to believe in Santa Claus if you do stuff like that. You're killing the Virginia in me, that's what. I told her that, too. Her response was that she was tired and wanted to go to bed. Apparently tricking us into thinking a fat man leaves presents every year was easier when we went to bed at seven thirty. I say her excuses find no sympathy from me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never

Tell a mother or a nanny of an ADHD child that it is ridiculous to medicate a child.

The next time someone informs me as such, I'm going to direct them to my charge at homework time when he has skipped meds.

Then I am going to kick them in the shins.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here's the thing.

Here's the thing.

I love Harry Potter.

LOVE.

When I finish reading one of the books, I am overwhelmed by this sadness that just clings for days because I have to come back to reality and realize that the world isn't real.

It's incredibly healthy of me.

I'm very well-adjusted.

Anyway, with the seventh movie now half out (it was amazing, by the way), I am overcome with emotion at the fact that, after this July, it will be over.

OVER.

I can reread the books, and I will, but they will say the same things they always have.

The beauty of the HP universe is that it is so vast and there are so many stories waiting to be told in it. She has hinted at possible doing a few more, and to that I say PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE!

The point of all this is that a dog jumped at me today.

Stay with me.

A dog jumped at me today and left a gash on my forehead about a quarter inch long. When I had the bleeding under control, I took a look in the mirror and OMGITSLIGHTNINGBOLTSHAPED.

Vaguely.

I can only hope against all hope that it scars.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo: A sad, sad update

I lack something.

The common folk call it "stick-to-it-ivness"

I call it that too, but I like to say "the common folk"

I really do have none. My husband and I never did finish The Love Dare, I didn't finish the RIPV Challenge in October, I've never finished a Nest book challenge. Look at my "100 books in 2010" list. I'm at 96 and completely stalled out. And now, it's looking like NaNoWriMo will be the next thing tossed into my "Yea, I was going to do that once" basket.

I have a good reason though.

I started off strong.

I wrote well.

Then I realized...

I detest the characters I wrote.

DETEST.

As in hate with an almighty passion.

I very nearly just had her throw herself off a cliff because she's so darn annoying.

So I have scrapped that story. But I refuse to give up!

In a burst of determination, I went back to the drawing board and started over with an entirely new idea. It's going well, but I'm only about 500 words in, so we'll see.

Things That Bother Me About Harry Potter #2: How have Fred and George never been called in to a disciplinary hearing about underage magic outside school? Haven't they been developing Puking Pastilles and whatnot for ages?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things That Always Bugged Me About Harry Potter

#1.

"If you must know, when I was three, Fred turned my - my teddy bear into a dirty great spider because I broke his toy broomstick."

This seems like a rather advanced piece of transfiguration for a five year old, which Fred would have been at the time, especially considering he wouldn't have had a wand at the time.

Although, it's possible that he didn't do it strictly on purpose. It isn't unheard of in the Harry Potter universe for young children to do things on accident when they are angry or scared.

Also, I would like you to take this moment to appreciate how very much I love this series, because oly true love is able to care so much about something so ridiculously irrelevant.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted today...

did you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo


As I have mentioned, I am an aspiring writer, which basically means that I like to write, but don't have the wherewithal to actually finish anything so it can be published. I'm also incredibly critical, and can't manage to get through a few pages of prose without going back and hyper-editing everything.

The buck stops here, darn it.

For the month of November, despite the fact that I have never completed an internet challenge ever, I am participating in National Novel Writer's Month. The challenge, basically, is to write a 50,000 page novel in a one-month time-span. They make a point of informing you that what you produce will probably be beautiful, lovable crap, because instead of editing and trashing, you are supposed to just throw criticism to the wind and write with nary a thought to commas splices and plot holes.

I'm nervous, because you actually have to submit your novel, which means that people are going to read it, which is something I have never allowed. Ever. My husband, who I love with all my hart, has never read a word that I have written. Except when he was cleaning our bedroom and found my old journal from eleventh and twelfth grade. He read that. And laughed at me. Out of love, I'm sure.

The point is, I'm writing a novel. I'm doing it, and you can't stop me.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Late

It's late, so please note the following:

I just got home from a concert where my father drank his weight in cranberry and vodka, then begged for a burrito on the way home. I love my family.

I have been thoroughly berated for referring to my ovaries as "broken". So I retract that statement. My ovaries are lazy and have the collective work ethic of a paraplegic sloth.

I am a wig-dying failure. I will never be a Cosplay genius. Also, if you know how to dye a polyester wig, please enlighten me. It mostly still looks blond, only with maybe a disease whose symptoms include sickly purple streaks.

MY laundry is not done and I am ignoring its pleas for washing. I have a blog to update here.

My nails are super pretty. I would take a picture, but I haven't a camera. Please take note of this and add it to your Christmas shopping list

Gone with the Wind = awesome book. Slow read.

The end.

Love ya.

Good night.

and Good luck.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Discovery

SPOILER ALERT: All seven Harry Potter novels

I am a nanny. During the day, it is just me and the littlest kiddo, who is 15 months. In the afternoons, I get her brother, T, who, despite his lack of Robin Hood knowledge, is a generally good kid. I've gently coaxed him this year into almost enjoying reading, and had the pleasure of introducing him to the (life-changing? spectacular? mind-blowing?) Harry Potter novels.

It is an amazing thing to watch, in him, the same process I went through when I was first discovering the books. He hasn't seen the movies. He doesn't know about Snape killing Dumbledore, about Voldemort coming back, about Umbridge and her detestable faux-sweetness, about the epic battles that make up the last three books. I sincerely hope no one spoils it for him.

He is most of the way through the third book, and is still where we all were, thinking Sirius Black a murderer, not knowing about the Time-Turner or that Lupin is a werewolf, certainly not realizing Scabber's true identity. Voldemort is still, at this point, a bad guy in the distance, his return not even a possibility on the horizon. T is busy coming up with theories, most of the dead wrong, but who's theories weren't dead wrong at this point?

I am loving his shock at each new revelation, his loyalties toward certain characters, and his predictions of what is to come.

Potter for President, that's what.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Because I need something else to waste my time...

www.fabric.com

Your welcome.

Excuse me, I need to go sew something.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shuggling

I am an aspiring writer.

And by "aspiring" I mean that, while the baby I take care of sleeps and I am supposed to be doing laundry, I plug in my portable hard drive and type.

It's a glamorous life.

Anyway, one of the tribulations joys of writing is that the characters and such don't always do as you tell them. Take Levi, for instance. He is my protagonist, and one of my favorite characters. His story is supposed to be written in the third person, but he will insist on telling it himself. I have finally given in, and in the process of going back over the last 15 or so pages and switching the "him"s to "me"s, I came across this sentence:

"He bent and began shuggling my papers into a pile"

"Shuggling"? What on earth is "shuggling"? Did I mean juggling? shrugging? Was I trying to be presumptions and make up a word? What does it mean?

I can only assume that I meant "shuffling", which makes sense, and that my finger slipped over to the G by mistake.

The moral of this story, children, is always proofread your work. If you don't, you may find that you've shuggled it all up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mockingjay - Midpoint

I'm only three chapters into Mockingjay, and Katniss...

Oh Wait.

Spoilers.

Sorry.

Anyway. Katniss is driving me INSANE.

"I'm emotional and sad and my response is to be useless and ungrateful to everyone around me!"

Unacceptable, Katniss. Get your s**t together.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dogs

I don't like Dogs.

Actually, that's not true. I like little dogs. Sweet, fluffy, lick-your-face-with-their-tiny-tongues dogs. Those are sweet, and hardly count as dogs. More like canine-esque kitty-kats mixed with a bit of gerbil. Big dogs, on the other hand, make me break out in emotional and mental hives. This is incredibly inconvenient, because I am apparently a dog-whisperer. I have never met a big dog that didn't think I was just the most amazing, wonderful thing it had ever met and proceed to ignore everyone else in the room until I had petted and loved on it.


I work as a nanny in a home with a Pit Bull and a Chocolate Lab that I detest. To say that I hate these dogs is an understatement akin to saying that Hitler was a painter with some anger issues. They are my own personal Marley. They jump, they drool, they steal the baby's toys (and eat them), and they wait until right after I put the baby down to find something offensive in the street that must be immediately barked at. My hatred, which I do all I can to project toward these animals, has absolutely no affect whatsoever on the drooling, obnoxious love they insist upon showing me. I suppose I could find greater meaning in this, something about how dogs love unconditionally, blah, blah, blah.


But I won't. If I did, I would have to admit that she does, in fact, have redeeming features, which, while it may or may not be true, I refuse to do.


I like cats quite a bit, although I wish I could get through a bowl of cereal without a furry face in mine asking "You gonna finish that milk?" To which I sulkily reply "Apparently not"

A Story

I'm going to tell you a story.

When I was little, my sister and I used to go to my grandparents ranch/hay farm/house in the summertime. Not every summertime, but a fair few.

Anyways, usually my cousins, who were fantastic, would join us, and a fun time would be had by all.

During these trips, if there were no adults accompanying us to ruin the fun, my cousins and I would get to sleep in the "Little House", which was a small one-room cabin that stands on the property. We aren't sure how it got there. All we know is that the Little House, with it's circa-1985 electric blankets, dodgy plumbing and rattling, boggart infested heater, has always been there, and being able to sleep in it was the epitome of grown-upedness, second only to being allowed to sleep in the 1985 Winnebago.

This particular trip, for whatever reason, we had been allowed access to the Little House, and my cousins and I were having a super-groovy dance party. We had all watched "Stepmom" that morning, and we were now obsessed with the song "Ain't no Mountain".

Somewhere during this party, we thought jumping on the bed would be a good idea.

After all, this is childhood. Jumping on the bed is ALWAYS a good idea.

How very wrong we were.

About ten minutes into our jumping extravaganza, there was a jarring thud, a horrific breaking sound, and the bed became about six inches shorter on the top right hand side.

OMG

Upon further inspection, it was discovered that we had put the bed through the floor of the Little House.

OMGOMGOMG

Children break many things.

Toys

Books

Electronics

Bones

But never, in my entire 12 years on the planet, had I managed to do permanent damage to an actual structure.

As the eldest, it fell to me to approach my grandmother, most wonderful woman on the planet, and explain to her that I had broken the Little House. I don't know why I didn't finagle my younger cousins into doing it. Or my sister. Maybe I tried, and they, like intelligent people, said "No Way, Jose"

I don't remember what happened the rest of that day.

I do know that we slept on couches in the big house that night.

The end.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TV is BACK!!

I am not a big TV watcher. I don't judge those who are (Just kidding, I totally do.), I just don't have the emotional wherewithal to commit to watching a show for an entire season.

However.

Oh, however.

There are two (actually three, but I don't get Comedy Central, so one of them doesn't count) shows that I have been countig down too since last May. And next week, they are totally back.


Big Bang Theory has moved itself to Thursdays, which means I can't watch it with my husband, but so much the better. Who needs boys, anyway?
Oh, Sheldon, how I've missed you and your anti-social ways.

More importantly,

GLEE!!!


Tuesday nights

Oh, Happy Day

Mr. Shuster is back to save the day

And also Puck, with whom I am in love

Also, I didn't mean for that last part to rhyme.

The point is, my life is about to become a bit more reclusive on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so don't call me.

I mean, you can, but I won't answer unless its a commercial, and as soon as the show is back, you are getting hung up on.

I still love you, you know.

You always hurt the one you love.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jules

I love this girl:


She is my best friend

She was my bridesmaid


She is my movie date and my silliness partner, and she puts up with me being utterly ridiculous, all the time.

She didn't smack me when I asked her if I could sing Ave Maria at her wedding, even though she is neither engaged nor Catholic.

She sits next to me in church and laughs with me when the pastor says he's going to go "mug" people.

She even came to Kohls with me once and picked out my husbands tie because I didn't want to go alone.

She's super.

And I love her.


Friday, September 10, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Road

My first RIP V review! YAY



The Road.

Post-apocalyptic.

Pulitzer Prize.

Viggo Mortenson.

Wait. Strike that last one. He's only in the movie.

This was my first foray into the world of Pulitzer Prize-winners, a genre that always brings to mind stuffy men in monocles, smoking pipes and saying things like "Good show!" and "Right-O Old Chap"

I'm really not sure what that says about me.

The Road is about as far from that image as I think it is possible to be. Except maybe Christopher Moore. But I think we all know he's not winning a Pulitzer anytime soon.

Anyway.

The Road.

I had a hard time, at first, deciding whether or not I was enjoying the book. On the one hand, it is dark and depressing and there is so little humor or happiness in it. It's very gray reading, if that makes any sense.

On the other, the love between the father and son, the struggle to continue living and surviving, the pure effort that each day brings, is so incredibly palpable that this book is almost impossible to put down.

As with any post-apocalyptic novel, there is the occasional step into man's inhumanity to man, but it never becomes the whole story. The cannibalism, theft and murder that some of the world has descended into is only ever a step along the journey, the trouble of one day before moving onto the next. I appreciated this in the book. I also appreciated that nothing was solved. This was not a story about fixing a broken world or rebuilding one society from the ashes of another. It was the story of one man wandering the world with one boy, trying not to make a new life, but to survive the old one for as long as they can.

I wouldn't call this "Pleasure Reading", necessarily. I didn't really enjoy it in the traditional way that one enjoys a book, and to say that I enjoyed a book that contains so much darkness and unhappiness would sound almost like sacrilege anyway.

The best I can say about The Road is that, while not really an "enjoyable" book, it is a good book. Maybe even a great one.

Highly recommended as a one-time read.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

RIP V Challenge: The Book List

After many recommendations from the wonderful readers in my life, I have chosen the four books I will be reading for the challenge.

1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Image Source

Recommended by: My SIL, Sara

I'm 95 pages in, and while it is slow going, It's a very good read so far. It took me a little while to get used to the fact that Mr. McCarthy doesn't use quotations and that the Man and the Boy don't have actual names, but I've gotten over it and everything is alright again.
Also, every time I read the author's name, I misread it as Cormac McLaggen, who is a fictional Hogwarts student, not an author. I have read Harry Potter far to many times.
2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

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Recommended by: Goodreads

It's about Vampires (sort of), and who doesn't love a good vampire story?

3. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
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Recommended by: My Uncle Lance

His actual recommendation was "Anything by Anne Rice", and this seems to be one of those "read before you die" books.

4. Firestarter by Stephen King

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Recommended by: My mother and sister

I've never read anything by Stephen King, but apparently this particular title is very Koontz-esque, and I do love Dean Koontz.

I have the first one on loan from my SIL, and the other three waiting for me at the library. Should be a good two months.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

RIP V Challenge

I'm not sure how I didn't know things like this existed, but they DO!

It's like Christmas in September.

Image Source and Also to figure out what I'm talking about

By "things like this", I mean book challenges. I like nothing better than to be given guidelines. I love them. Put me in a library and say "pick anything you want", and I crumble into an incoherent wreck, rocking in the corner. Say "find something that means guidelines x, y and z", and I'm a kid on a scavenger hunt.

It's totally healthy and well-adjusted of me, I'm sure.

I don't normally read scary books (unless you count Harry Potter as scary, which I do which no self-respecting adult does), but I am at the end of my to-be-read shelf, and I need inspiration. This challenge seems like just the thing. Plus, it forces me to read outside my quite narrow book-comfort zone. I'm not really sure where to begin. It feels like cheating to start with something like Twilight, which, while about vampires, is about sparkly vampires, which negates the whole "scary" thing a bit. I do like Sherlock Holmes quite a bit, and that seems like a relatively calm entrance into the world of spooky/scary/creepy stories. I must let myself in gently.

I'll try very very hard to remember to review the books as I read them. This isn't strictly a "book blog", but who am I kidding? I rarely talk about, you know, my life on here. Mostly I just talk to you about books I read, movies I watch and my feet swelling for no apparent reason.

The point is, I'm enabling my terrible habit of writing about books rather than about me. This is a terrible thing for me to do, as no one could ever have enough me.

I'm still going to do it. Scary books! Scary book reviews! Book Challenge!

Huzzah!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Twilight by Pattinson, Robert 1986

Before last night, I had only seen Twilight 5 times 3 times twice once, and that was when it first came out. At the time, I was completely enamored by it, somehow missing the spider monkey line.

Stupid line.

As time wore on, I found myself inexplicably growing to hate the first movie in the saga. This grew and grew until all I knew was that Twilight was Bad. As Bad as a movie can get.

Anyway, it's three or four years later and I couldn't remember if I hated the movie because it was awful or because popular opinion said I should.

So I checked it out from the library.

It's not bad, really. That spider monkey line is still...you know...in existence, and it turns out that Robert Pattinson himself picked that line out as the one to say, which was the worst move of his career, but the movie wasn't terrible.

Of course, I watched the entire thing with commentary, so that may be what made it bearable.

Also, I cut my own hair with the kitchen scissors last night. The bangs are cute. The rest?

Well, the rest will remain in a ponytail until I can get it fixed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge is a bust

Well, I've given up.

I was bored, and I couldn't imagine that you, who are not living my life, could be interested in the challenge if I was not.

I'm sorry if you were.

So, here's the update on my life, since that's what blogging is really all about.

Today is the first day of my new part-time second job. I'm still nannying during the day, and now, some days, I'll be driving over to a local public school, picking up J, a sweet little girl who I've known since she was four and keeping her until 10:30 or so. It's by no means steady work, but it is extra cash, and I'm in for anything that will get our debt paid off earlier than expected.

Credit card debt is what's wrong with America. Or at least, it's what's wrong in our house. And it's standing in the way of my new hardwood floors.

Currently reading: The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. It's reminding me of Twilight a bit, honestly, in that I recognize that this isn't great literature, and it's not even particularly good writing (odd, since I love Garth Nix), but the story is so engaging that I don't want to stop. Also The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, much to the disgust of Jerry Falwell and Christian leaders everywhere.

30 Before 30 update: I'm trying to work more consistently on my manuscript. It's going well in my head, but my brain, lacking thumbs, cannot hold a pen, and when I try to transfer thoughts from brain to hand, it comes out sounding a bit like literary Jell-O.

Husband update: He is still yummy and wonderful.

Camera update: I need one. badly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 9

I took this picture...This is my wonderful husband and my niece. She was only five here, if my math is correct. It was only two years ago, and I can't believe how big she is.
What I love about this picture is how he plays with her. He has always been the Uncle to be jumped on, roughhoused with, attacked from behind by four people under the age of six. His willingness to be silly with his nieces and nephews is on of the things that made me realize I could spend the rest of my life with him.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 8

This Photo Makes Me Sad, but not Angry...

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These photos break my heart while still making me swell with pride over the bravery of each man and woman who enlists in our armed forces with the full knowledge that coming home may never truly happen for them. Want to know what true joy is, though? Follow the image source link to The Pioneer Woman and look through the five "Coming Home" posts. I dare you not to cry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 7

A Photo That Makes You Happy


This was taken by Krystal Blase of West House Photography as part of a Father's Day Mini-Session with my mother, my sister and I. I'm not entirely sure what is going on between my sister and me in this shot, but it's the personification of our relationship. Lots of fooling around, lots of laughter.

Monday, August 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 6

20 Things That Make Me Happy

I'm doing this with pictures. You've been warned.

20. Babies. Especially the one I take care of. She has delicious jelly-filled cheeks. I can't post a picture of her precisely, but here is an adorable generic baby:
19. Show Tunes. Like, for serious. Give me music I can belt it out to, and I am set. No picture. Sorries
18. Taylor Swift. Because her music makes me want to drive my non-convertible car with the top down.

17. Honey Nut Cheerios. They are delicious.

16. Hyperbole and a Half. Have you read her blog? For serious, go read. Like, now.

15. Kittens. Mine especially. They are snoogly and adorable. I don't have any pictures of them though. They won't hold still long enough. Oh, well.

14. Building things with my own two hands. I am le handy, thanks to Ana at Knock Off Wood. I built a bookshelf.

13. Weddings. I went to one Saturday, and I don't have any pictures yet, but I love weddings. A LOT. Here's one from mine:12. My niece and nephew. I have seven nieces and nephews, but these two live very close and I get to see them often, and they just light up my day every time.11. The Color Pink

10. My Husband' Family. I love them. They are the bestest inlaws EVAH

9. My Family. They are also the best Evah.

8. Movie dates with this chick:7. The Pioneer Woman. I want to marry her.

6. Books of all shapes and sizes.

5. The fact that my librarians know me by name, face and occupation.

4. That the summer is over and two of my charges are back to school.

3. Writing

2. Living Life

1. This kid. He makes my heart beat a little faster:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 5

My Favorite Quote

I have two of these. Both by Englishmen.

This one was on a poster in my American Lit classroom in High School, and I have loved it madly ever since.

Don't be content with things as they are... Don't take ‘no' for an answer. Never submit to failure. Don't be fobbed off with mere personal success or acceptance. You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She is made to be wooed and won by youth. - Winston Churchill

This one I wanted read at our wedding. Paul vetoed it, saying it didn't sound wedding-y enough.

If the old fairy-tale ending "They lived happily ever after" is taken to mean "They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married," then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from "being in love"—is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened ...by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be "in love" with someone else. "Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
- C.S. Lewis

Saturday, August 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 4

My Favorite Book

I have seven, actually:


It sounds hokey, but I am not exaggerating when I say that this series changed my life. Kind of. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little.

It's still amazing.

I've written on this blog about these books, which is a feat, let me tell you, considering that they usually just render me speechless. If you go back to about February, you'll find the Harry Potter re-read posts.

On second though, don't even do that. Just go read them. Again.

My preferences, in descending order:

7. Chamber of Secrets
6. Sorcerers Stone
5. Goblet of Fire
4. Order of the Phoenix
3. Prisoner of Azkaban
2. Half-Blood Prince
1. Deathly Hallows

Friday, August 20, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 3

My Favorite TV Show

I feel a smidge silly titling them like this. It feels very third grade essay. Such is life, I suppose.The truth is that Paul and I only have about four channels, so we don't get to watch any of the super juicy trashy TV that is on the premium channels. Which may b a good thing. We had the Style network for about a month when we first signed up with our cable company, and I spent every hour I wasn't working watching Wedding shows and The Dish. Incidentally, Topanga has glammed up a bit, yes?
Since I don't have access to all the latest gossip and such, I turn to two of what I feel are the best made shows on TV. Poor people's TV, because who even knows what's on the other channels.

Glee
Glee. The quirky, adorable summer romance that you know isn't going anywhere, but that you just can't let go of, because it's going to be wonderful while it lasts. Or something. When the season is going, I play the soundtrack nonstop. I finally manged to convince the hubster that it is a worthwhile show. We watch together now, and I've actually heard him humming the tunes when he thinks I'm not listening. I know the truth though. I heard him call Puck a douchebag when he told Quinn she was fat.

The Big Bang Theory

If Glee is the quirky summer romance, Big Bang Theory is...something else, but better. I'm really no good at analogies. I'm not even really sure I spelled analogies right. Sheldon would know, I'm sure. There's really not much to say. I just love it so very very much.

I'd also like to throw out an honorable mention to the only reason I would ever consider getting HBO, and NO it is not True Blood, that show is awful. Awful, I say.


Entourage
Look at him. Isn't he delicious? And he has a driver names Turtle. TURTLE.
And also I love E. And Ari Gold. And Drama. Vince is kind of a maroon, but he is so yummy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

30 Days of Blogging - Day 2

My Favorite Movie

I'm so embarrassed, I really am. I'm so ashamed, i almost don't want to tell you, but I'm going to, because that's kind of the whole point of blogging.




I am in love with this movie. In LOVE. I could watch it again and again and it would never get old. I'm not sure if its because it has Paul Rudd in it or maybe it's Seth Rogen or the fact that I am obsessed with pregnancy and babies. Who knows. All I know is that I am going to be watching this tonight. My husband thanks you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 1

My Favorite Song

My usual answer to this is "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn, and while I still LURVE that song with a passion, I've lately gotten to know Switchfoot again, after a long parting of ways, and one song has been on repeat for the last few weeks.

Gone by Switchfoot

She told him she’d rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what’s going on
But the problem keeps on calling
Even with the cellphone gone
She told him that she believes in living
Bigger than she’s living now
But her world keeps spinning backwards
And upside down
Don’t say so long and throw yourself wrong
Don’t spend today away
Cuz today will soon be

Gone, like yesterday is gone,
Like history is
Gone, just trying to prove me wrong
And pretend like your immortal

She said he said live like no tomorrow
Every day we borrow
Brings us one step closer to the edge (infinity)
Where your treasure, where’s your hope
If you get the world and lose your soul
She pretends like she pretends like she’s immortal
Don’t say so long
Your not that far gone
This could be your big chance to makeup
Today will soon be

Gone, like yesterday is gone,
Like history is gone,
The world keeps spinning on,
Your going going gone,
Like summer break is gone,
Like Saturday is gone
Just trying to prove me wrong
You pretend like your immortal your immortal

We are not infinite
We are not permanent
Nothing is immediate
We’re so confident
In our accomplishments
Look at how dark it is

Gone, like frank Sinatra
Like Elvis and his mom
Like Al Pachino’s cash nothing lasts in this life
My high school dreams are gone
My childhood sweets are gone
Life is a day that doesn’t last for long

I just love the whole "seize the day"message here, that our time here on earth is comparatively short and that we need to be focusing on what matters rather than on what we can get or how much fun we can cram into our lives before we die.

The highlighted portion is my absolute favorite line in the entire song. So fantastically good.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

30-Day Blog Challenge

I found this over at Mommy Needs a Wand, and decided to participate as well. Could be fun. It starts tomorrow so stay tuned!

Day 1 – your favorite song

Day 2 – your favorite movie

Day 3 – your favorite television program

Day 4 – your favorite book

Day 5 – your favorite quote

Day 6 – 20 of my favorite things

Day 7 – a photo that makes you happy

Day 8 – a photo that makes you angry/sad

Day 9 – a photo you took

Day 10 – a photo taken over 10 years ago of you

Day 11 - a photo of you recently

Day 12 – something you are OCD about

Day 13 – a fictional book

Day 14 - a non-fictional book

Day 15 – your dream house

Day 16 – a song that makes you cry (or nearly)

Day 17 – an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc)

Day 18 – my wedding/future wedding/past wedding

Day 19 - a talent of yours

Day 20 – a hobby of yours

Day 21 – a recipe

Day 22 – a website

Day 23 – a youtube video

Day 24 – where I live

Day 25 – your day, in great detail

Day 26 – your week, in great detail

Day 27 – my worst habit

Day 28 – whats in my handbag/purse

Day 29 – hopes,dreams and plans for the next 365 days

Day 30 – a dream for the future

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Literary Twin

About six nine twelve a long time ago, somewhere or other, I was asked who my literary twin was. And when I say I, I mean that I was part of a large poll that included the question "Who do you feel is your literary twin?"

I don't know what I answered, but whatever it was, I was wrong.

I know I was wrong because I know I didn't answer "Anne Shirley", and there is no question that she and I are the same person, barring hair color. And a BA.

I have just reread four of the eight Anne novels by LM Montgomery, and I giggled as I read, just because I was seeing myself in the pages. Idealistic, dramatic, prone to stopping in the middle of a task because my imaginings had gotten in the way. It's as if someone bottled my childhood character and wrote a book about her.

It isn't even just my childhood character, though. I still imagine things, constantly. Ridiculous things, too, the same as Anne. I am only slightly less vocal about it than she is, and I don't believe I ever kissed a flower.

I even married Gilbert Blythe, although he says his name is Paul.

The funny thing is that, as I have grown up, I see more of Marilla Cuthbert in myself, especially in the way I deal with the children I care for. No-nonsense, firm, not given to flights of fancy EVER. I was a bit appalled at fist, but I'm not altogether sure that it's a bad thing. I just have to be careful to temper the Marilla with the Anne.

I do love reading the Anne books. I feel that, if I could only step through the pages into her world, she and I would be "kindred spirits" together.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Case for Twilight: Part 1

Men hate Twilight. This is, gender profiling aside, truer than the commonly accepted fact that men like football.

They hate Twilight for any number of reasons. Topping the list is the fact that the vampires "sparkle", which seems like an awfully trivial reason to hate an entire franchise. I think its a front, by the entire male population, to avoid the real reason they hate it so much.

They're jealous.

Somehow, these two fictitious characters have captured the heart of women everywhere, and here you are, men of the world, still scratching your collective heads regarding everyone with two X chromosomes. It's frustrating, men. I understand. I do. But lets be proactive here. Really, if you stop glaring at Robert Pattinson and muttering the words "Vampires don't sparkle" under your breath, you might, might, be able to take a few tips. Maybe.

The thing about Twilight is that it speaks to 95% of women in ways that society has made a bit taboo. I'm not talking about the oh-so-controversial over-protectiveness that borders on the obsessive, although that is part of it. No, what I'm referring to are four very basic longings that secretly reside in the heart of most (I would say all, but a few are still vehemently in denial) women. It's important to note that I don't think that Twilight is the model for a perfect relationship. I myself would never date a vampire. It is also important to note that this is not an advertisement for Twilight. I am not trying to convince anyone to read anything. Twilight is rather horrifically written, to be honest. I simply understand why those who read and love it, myself included, do so.

This is simply a friendly note the men of the world, explaining the insanity. I'm only exploring the first today, but I'll go through the other three later this week. Or every Thursday for a month. Or something.

To Be Beautiful

Bella is the personification of how every woman has felt, does feel or will feel about herself. Not particularly pretty or smart or worthwhile. EVERY woman has felt this way at one point or another. Even women who grew up in supportive, loving homes sometimes look in the mirror and say "Icgh". It's not low self-esteem or self-degradation. It just is.

Bella is, in her own self-estimation, shockingly average. She does not see herself as anything special, and whether or not she IS special or beautiful or smart isn't even the point.
The point is that the man she loves sees her and calls her beautiful. Not just beautiful, but more beautiful than any woman he has ever known. Topping this is that he says it with complete honesty and conviction. We know that Edward sees her and truly sees the most beautiful woman in existence.

Women long for this; to be called beautiful, to be considered beautiful, is important. It isn't just a physical thing, either. We want to know that you see us, really see us, inside and out, and see us as beautiful. This isn't to say that women are or should be insecure and requiring of a man's approval to think that she is beautiful. I am not speaking of the woman who sees herself as worthless or ugly. That is a whole different ballgame, with a whole different set of rules. I am speaking here of your every-woman. The one who is confident in herself, but only most of the time. I am a relatively confident woman. I am secure in the fact that, while I will never model for Victoria's Secret, I am far from unfortunate looking. I can look in the mirror and know that I look nice, but I want my husband to notice. I want him to say it. I want to know that he sees me and sees a beautiful woman.

So, the next time you are ready to scoff at the absurdities of Twilight (and I would have the utmost sympathy for you. It is rather absurd), look at the woman you love instead, and see that she is beautiful, and let her know.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Forest of Hands and Teeth


GoodReads Description:



In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

I'm not sure what to think, really. It had all the good elements of a good book. Dystopian? check. Zombies? check. Overbearing religious society controlling the lives of everyone it touches? double check.

It had all that, and, to be fair, it was well-written and engaging and all that. Worth the read, for certain. There are many an OMG HOW WILL THEY ESCAPE moment, several very, very heartrenching passages, and a zombie infant. It really doesn't get much better. The book is a bit confused sometimes, isn't really sure if it wants to be an adventure or a romance, and so, instead of combining the two, contents itself with being an adventure story that is constantly threatening to turn into a romance, before the adventure beats the romance back into the shadows with the festering arm of one of the undead.

Mary is our main character, and she is brave and inquisitive and unsatisfied to go along with the status quo simply because it is the status quo. She has a great deal of strength and righteous indignation, which I found fantastically refreshing. She finds a way out of her gated village into the Forest of Hands and Teeth to find the Ocean her mother told her about as a child, and dreams of a world away from the Unconcecrated (Zombies), away from the Sisterhood (the Catholic Church) and away from fear (take your pick). Other than the fact that she is a bit whiny and a lot a bit self absorbed, she is a likable, sympathetic character.

But

She confused me a bit, I must say. For one thing, there is this odd love triangle...thing, going on. Mary loves Travis, who loves her too, but only sometimes, even though he's really engaged to her best friend. Travis's brother Harry loves Mary, and she loves him too, kind of, and could maybe be happy with him but she loves Travis. Sometimes. What's never made clear is WHY exactly she loves Travis so very much more than Harry, who has been, it is made clear, her best friend forevah, and who, it must be remembered, wants to marry her, whereas Travis is going to marry Mary's best friend Cass until he decides halfway through the book, for no apparent reason, that he has loved Mary all along and Harry decides he has loved Cass all along and suddenly we're playing musical partners while our brains yell "Then WHY haven't we been doing this since the beginning?!"

And then your brain explodes.

Secondly, and this is a minor complaint, the secondary characters weren't as fleshed out (hehe. zombies. fleshed out. hehe) as I would have liked, but really, the book was a good read, and not a terrible way to kill a summer day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

30 BEFORE 30: Have a Baby and a review

Don't get excited. My womb is dusty and empty, sadly. Mostly dusty, probably. I haven't gotten a chance to tidy up in there in awhile, and finding a uterus maid is just ridiculous.

Anyway.

Doctor Connor, who looks like a mix between Santa Claus and Bilbo Baggins, found out that I had not had an...ahem...menses...in 70 days and said something to the affect of "Good gracious me! This must be remedied!" and prescribed me Provera. In case you don't know what that is, it's awful. It's basically strait progesterone to send my body the message "RESET!" I am experiencing PMS on crack, which means that I spent all of last night telling my husband to "STOP CONTRADICTING ME!" But I'm not "THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT KNOCK IT OFF BEFORE I STAB YOU OMG I'M SO SORRY I'M EMOTIONALLY UNBALANCED" You're not emotionally unbalanced. You're beautiful "STOP CONTRADICTING ME!"

Yea. It was bad. I'm better today, possibly because there is only one more gosh-forsaken pill in that terrible bottle, and its for tomorrow morning and then I never have to see it again until the next time my body says "Wait...what was I doing?"

Which could be sometime next week, honestly. I'm not sure whether my body skipped out on all the lessons on puberty or if its just really lazy and only pushes the right hormone buttons when it feels particularly compelled by the spirit, which is to say never.

On the bright side:

Inception is the best movie I've seen in a long time. It was better than Avatar and I want to marry Leonardo Dicaprio.

My husband has agreed to put in wood floors with our tax refund huzzah!

I talked my best friend in the world into going to Quebec with me. I actually don't think she's convinced, but you really can't argue at 30000 feet. So there, Jules. So there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

30 BEFORE 30: The Lord of the Rings

I finished The Fellowship of the Ring not five minutes ago. I won't waste time with a review. Suffice to say that Everyone should, at some point, read The Lord of the Rings. Read The Hobbit first, though, or you'll be completely lost.

I watched the film adaptations of LOTR before I read the novels. I don't usually do this, but, when the movies came out, I was 14 and had already attempt to read the books, only to find that, even with my advanced reading abilities, they were beyond me. Even now, at 23, it took me a good two and a half weeks to get through.

Reading this after watching the movies has given me new appreciation for Peter Jackson. With the exception of Tom Bombadil, the film is incredibly true to the book.

But we aren't talking about the film.

Let me just talk about Mr. Bombadil for a moment. What a fantastic character. He is silly and ridiculous, while somehow managing to also be wise and powerful. My favorite part of his character, however, is his love for his wife, Goldberry. It isn't the main point, or even a secondary point in the passage, but every time Tom speaks, he ends his thoughts with some variation on "I have to get home, Goldberry is waiting!" It just struck me as so tender and sweet.

I very much enjoyed this reading, now that now that I've given it the attention it deserves.
Onward, now, to The Two Towers. See you in two weeks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Belated Father's Day


My sister and I both moved out in the past year. She got her own apartment, and I got married. This Father's Day, we thought it would be a good idea to take pictures for my Daddy of all his girls. This is him, by the way.

That's right, my Dad could kill your Dad with this giant machinery. That aside, he is pretty awesome. He is the best papito any girl could have. And he loves his girls. So his girls got together and took pictures. Well, WE didn't take them. Krystal with West House Photography took them, because she is amazing. Here are a few.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Clothespins: an update

Posting has been so light recently. I blame it on not owning a computer.

I went to a girlfriend's bridal shower today and, using the handy tools of trickery and deceit, DOMINATED in the clothespin game.
That bag I'm holding? Full of bath stuff. FREE bath stuff. In a super Klassy bustier purse that I will carry everywhere. And the beautiful girl in the background? That is sweet Liz, on whom my trickery and deceit was used.

Bazinga

In other news, a week and a half ago, I started on my 30 before 30 task of reading through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have complete determination in this, but, when doing any strenuous activity, it is important to pace oneself. So I have read 130 pages of Fellowship of the Ring and three of the four Twilight "novels". I feel like I'm on the right track.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bad Blogger


I am so sorry, my adoring public (all nine of you.) I have been a terrible blogger and have forgotten to update recently. It's been busy.

Paul went to E3 last week, leaving me home alone and super jealous that he was gallivanting around LA while I am stuck here in the Not-So-Deep South. In addition to meeting someone named "Starkiller" (I'm not sure who this is, but every time Paul relates the encounter, every man within 100 yards suddenly has their heart ripped out), he ran into this guy:
I know. I'm super jealous. I told him not to come home. He almost didn't, either. If United Airlines had their way, he'd still be in Chicago, sleeping on an airport bench.

But he's home now. HUZZAH

My birthday was this weekend, forever proving to me that I have super awesome friends.

I'm building a bookshelf that I will tell you all about as soon as I finish it.

And I saw Toy Story 3 last night. Totally worth the 11 year wait. Brilliant.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Graceling

I finished Graceling, by Kristin Cashore this week. I'm really enjoying what's happening in the Young Adult Genre recently. Stories in that area are becoming more imaginative and adventurous. It's refreshing.
So. Graceling. My husband bought it for me for my birthday this year, and I powered through it in about a day and a half (If one thing can be said for the young adult sector, its that the books are easy to get through).

In 10 words or less, the world in the book is populated by normal people (the ungraced), and a handful of "Graced", or people who are distinguished by a special gift. Katsa, our main character, is a Graced fighter, with speed, skill and stamina to spare. She and Po, the male lead, travel together to discover the mystery behind the kidnap of Po's grandfather. On the journey, they discover a terrible secret about a neighboring king and set out to rescue his young daughter from his treachery.

The story has many great points. It's a story of bravery, friendship, love, and discovering the fact that, even when you feel trapped by circumstance, you have choices. The characters were crafted beautifully, with all the shortcomings that make a good character seem real and human. It had all the ingredients of a great story.

Then I met Katsa. Don't get me wrong. Our female protagonist is strong and brave and wants, more than anything, to fight for what is right in the world.

However...

Katsa drove me to distraction, she did. I have little patience for protagonists who will insist that they need NO ONE's help, that they are not DESERVING, they are not WORTH it. Obnoxious is what it is. Also that she has decided that she will never marry, so she and her love interest decide that the obvious solution is to simply be each others lover. That way, there is no commitment, but they can be....intimate. I'm sorry, but really? Maybe I'm a prude or old-fashioned, or whatever, but that seems like a shady message to be putting in a book aimed at teenagers. A sequel is coming out, though, so maybe she'll change her mind.

It's a decent read, but I recommend checking it out from the library rather than purchasing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Verdict

Well, I'm not married to it, but it will work. And it had better. I have never had so much trouble updating blogger, ever.

Everytime I tried to update the new template, I would, of course, go into my blog, delete the HTML that was my old background, then put in the new template. When I would preview, it would look lovely (except for the fact that my darn blog name is too long. curses). When I would save, my old background would magically paste itself back, and I would have an odd purple/grey/yellow/pink with birds thing going on. Quite disconcerting.

It took six tries, but now the template is in place, no random backgrounds are tring to insert themselves, and I am happy.

I may need to rename the blog. I hope this won't upset anyone terribly.

It's too long, you see.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I am a blog schizophrenic. I never can seem to commit to one layout. I do love my yellow and pink with my little birdies, but then I saw the layout over at Wife on a Budget and had total blog envy. Then I saw the button for the place she got her template.

Then I saw the word FREE

Thus, new look. Coming soon. Will it last? Couldn't tell ya.

Kisses!

Memoirs

I do love a good memoir. Unfortunately for any memoir, I measure them against the writings of Frank McCourt, which makes for a rather unfair standard. Frank McCourt is amazing. Really amazing. For a memoir, being compared to Frank McCourt is like being told to paint a picture with the knowledge that you will be compared against Renoir. It's really just not fair. But have you read his books? He mixes tragedy and comedy so perfectly. I have found myself laughing and crying AT THE SAME TIME while reading his books. If you haven't read them, I highly recommend each one. They truly are phenomenal.

Anyway, the point is that I am currently splitting my time between two memoirs (and The Book Thief. It's an obnoxious little bugger, always begging for attention, but I don't want to hurt its feelings), one by Kristin Chenowith and the other by Ellen Degeneres. I'm enjoying them both (sort of), but am having varying amounts of success getting through them. Ms. Chenowith's is cute and breezy, like her, but I'm finding a hard time really caring. It just isn't as engaging as I might like. I read it because she is a goddess on Broadway and because I someday plan to steal her vocal cords for my own. Ellen Degeneres's book is side-splittingly funny, but is written as a string of essays, rather than as a narrative, which I always find a bit unnerving. I get emotionally involved in a story, and suddenly it changes, and we never get any resolution. What on earth is a girl to do?

Oh dear, I seem to have never come to the point. I'm not entirely sure I had one in the first place.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Whiny-Pants

I knew this was going to happen.

The year started off great. I was reading a book every few days, actually internalizing almost everything, getting emotionally involved in everything I read (Except Multiple Blessings. I'm almost positive that Kate Gosselin is an automaton)

And yet, here we are. I have been slowing down in my reading since April, and I haven't been able to read anything since "It Sucked, and the I Cried". Incidentally, this isn't like when I read Harry Potter and then take a reading fast for two weeks. That has everything to do with being mentally exhausted and grief-stricken. This has to do with being in a rut. I shouldn't be in a rut, you know. School is over, summer is here, Glee and The Big Bang Theory are both wrapping up seasons, leaving my weeknights wide open. I do have Lost on my XBOX, but, really, how addicting can it possibly be? The point is, I want to read. I love to read. I just can't find anything that is hooking me in.

I tried "Running with Scissors". Not happening for me. At all. I hated the first 10 pages, pushed through to 50, and decided life is too short to read books I clearly hate.

Then David Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty Someday". It came highly recommended, but reads like someone telling a story you don't really want to hear. What's worse is that everyone but you thinks the story is fantastic, and you're left wondering if its you or the world who has the problem.

The the first book of the Pendragon Cycle, "Merchant of Death". Promising, but as much as I love Young Adult fantasy, even I need a break now and again.

So, here we are. Me and "The Book Thief". Young Adult. Fiction. World War II.

Sounds like a possible winner. But it's sitting in the other room, and I'm talking to you people. I'm avoiding it. Like that kid in high school who was a tiny bit creepy and wanted to take you to homecoming. You know he's there, you would just rather he didn't look at you and breath all heavy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

30 BEFORE 30: Domestic Mission Trip



This past week, I was in Naples,FL. It isn't Italy by any means, but it does, allegedly, have more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world. I have a hard time believing this fun fact, but, really, who am I to judge where millionaires decide to live?

Many people I told about the trip expressed confusion over my decision to go to a Floridian city to spread the gospel of Christ. After all, Florida is part of the Bible Belt, and, if you spend any amount of time in Jacksonville, you'll notice that there are as many choices of church here as there are condiments at Subway. The interesting (I suppose) thing about Florida, though, is that, somewhere around "South of Orlando", it ceases being a southern state and turns into an extension of the northeast corner of the United States, meaning that it is surprisingly unchurched.

So, off we went. I arrived four days late to the party, but managed to be in on most of the ministry that went on.

Thursday: No ministry, just a relaxing evening of turning the surprisingly large bathtub of our vacation-rental-master-suite into a Jacuzzi. Three of us managed to fit, and I'm pretty sure the bubbles were made out of hand soap and shampoo.

Friday: While Gem and I sang Jesus Loves Me on the radio (I still hold that we were completely set up), Trip Vince and his crew gave out snowcones to local kids. I'm still a bit dubious of the message this sends to children. We spend an awful lot of time drilling into them never to take candy from strangers only to then use sweets as a ministry tool. I was amazed that no helicopter parent swooped down to ask why a man dressed as a Creamcicle was giving their child sugar-topped ice.
We ended that day by taking lunch to some local firefighters and chit-chatting with them about the various aspects of firefighter-dom. Turns out they're pretty cool kids. And they are happy to pile all their gear onto tiny Asian girls. I'm not Asian, incidentally, but my friend Gem is, and really, how cute is she? If my house burns down, that's totally who I want coming to my rescue.

Saturday: Whistler's Cove! We set up shop near the pool of a local apartment complex and enticed the local children to join us with promises of games and candy. It was a fantastic success, full of face-painting, games, crafts, and balloon animals. We managed to share two Bible stories with the local kiddos, one about the Good Samaritan, and the other that was more a conglomeration of several stories. I think it was supposed to be the one where Jesus provides Peter with an enormous catch of fish, but, really, with as much time as Jesus spent on boats, it could have been anything.

Sunday: Church and the drive home. I'm almost positive that, at some point during the week, there was also trip to Cracker Barrel and a Game Night involving questionable hand motions representing Gene Simmons, but, to be honest, I was too exhausted to stock it away in memory. The week resulted in at least one family that is now bringing their children to church, several firefighters who know that the church appreciates their work even if it means they can't make it to church on Sundays, and a community that is beginning to realize that the church cares for more then their tithe.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Follow-up

My own lack of faith amazes me sometimes.


After the financial disaster from a few weeks ago, we were devastated. It was going to put all our family-making plans on hold, as well as cause me to have to find a new or second job to make ends meet.

Yet here we are, only two short weeks later, and each and every bill is being met, one of them following a letter from the IRS informing us that they shorted us about $500 on our 2008 return (funny, that's exactly how much we need for the only bill we hadn't found a way to pay yet)

How great is my God? And where do I find the audacity to question what he is doing? He has proven, yet again, for the hundredth time in my life, that he is faithful, that he will provide, and that I never need to worry.

Also, on the day "The Crisis", I heard this song, and it reduced me to tears. It's an account of a real woman, poor in the worlds eyes, but provided for by the king.

All I Need - Caedmon's Call
Did not catch her name
Did not catch her tears
It hit me like a train
When her story hit my ears
Mother of eight sons
Father off to war
Got no home address
Just bricks on a dirt floor
Jesus is all I need

Tiny plot of land
Corn stored up in piles
Years it doesn't rain
They just stay hungry for a while
No fatted calf to kill
She made a feast of cuy and corn
She said, "Who else knew my name
Before the day that I was born?
Jesus is all I need
Jesus is all I need."

She bragged about her boys
How they're growin' into men
How they learned to praise the Lord
Old Style Ecuadorian
To buy the new guitar
They had to sell the swine
Said, "My boys go to school on a foreign angel's dime.
This world calls me poor
I bore my babies on this floor
He always provides
Sure as the sun will rise.
So I'll sing Him songs of praise
'Cause I know He'll keep me in His gaze."

Rain poured from the sky
We raced back to the van
There were tears in the eyes
Of this poor, forgetful man
Mother of eight sons
She knows the peace of God
Lord, help me learn to lean
On thy staff and thy rod
Jesus is all I need
Jesus is all I need