Tuesday, April 29, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
It's Tuesday! Time to pause and be thankful--

1. We had a wonderful weekend in Little Rock and Searcy, but I am GLAD to be home today!

2. We had a potluck at Ladies' Class today....boy, do I love me some potluck food. Especially what the older ladies bring. Those gals can cook, kids!

3. I am so grateful for the ladies who are kind enough to watch our babies while we meet and discuss our bible lessons each week. It is such a blessing to have a little quiet time with friends and to know that our babies are being loved and cared for.

4. I got to see Brother Winston at the church building today. That is definitely where he belongs. Praise God for his healing! He is such a gift to our church family.

5. John Mark took a loooooooooong nap this afternoon. It did not help his grouchy mood too much, but it did help mine!

6. I received a very unexpected phone call from an old, old friend today. It was good to catch up and talk about life and faith and Harding gossip and American Idol.

7. We had pancakes for supper. I love pancakes any ol' time, but supper is the best.

8. It was Neil Diamond night on American Idol. Sadly, no one sang "Cracklin' Rosie." This is not really something to be thankful for, necessarily, but Neil looked pretty dang good for someone who's gotta be pushing 70.

9. I paid bills tonight and there was more than enough money in the bank to cover them all. While the news talks about skyrocketing food and fuel prices, I really am grateful that we don't have to make choices such as whether we will buy medicine or food, pay the mortgage or the electric bill.

10. It is just 10pm and I am done with all my to do a bit of reading. I am so very thankful for good books!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sewing Projects

I think I am finally on a roll of finishing some sewing projects rather than just starting them...or, you know, just buying the fabric and then stuffing in in a drawer. This week I made a little dress for our friend Bella, who will be turning 2 in a few more days! It's a simple peasant dress with puff sleeves. I made a matching diaper cover, 'cause a girl can't be going around with her undies showing (unless they match, and, in that case, you definitely should be showing them).

I think next time I use this pattern, I will make the sleeves a tad longer. Anyway, in case you cannot tell, the main fabric is brown gingham. Jamie found this precious accent fabric. She has a great eye for that kind of thing, which is why she is my favorite crafting partner!

I also finished a simple skirt for myself. I fell in love with this fabric and bought it without knowing exactly what I would do with it. I think this will be pretty for summer with sandals and a simple white top, which I sure did find at Gap for $9.99. I decided to line the skirt, which was not called for in the pattern. Some nifty online tutorials gave me all the info I needed. I also did my first completely solo zipper on this project--even my mom was impressed!

My goal for next week is to actually sew the stack of shorts I have cut out for John Mark's summer play clothes. I am recycling a couple of Michael's old button-ups to make the shorts. After that, it's Mother's Day gifts. I'm really excited about those this year--I'll be sure to share the final product with y'all.

Have a great weekend! We're off to Searcy and Little Rock for some hospital business and some q-time with my brother and sister-in-law.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have been having this strange urge to work in the yard this spring. Specifically, to grow flowers. This is somewhat odd since, to put it nicely, I do not have a green thumb. I don't even attempt to keep houseplants, because the only ones hardy enough to withstand my poisonous touch are also the kinds babies can't eat. And we still eat everything around here.

However, all winter I have thought about clearing out the leaves, trimming up the bushes, breaking up the soil and planting some happy little bursts of color in my yard. Maybe it's some sort of latent motherly drive: Must grow. Must nurture. Must cultivate. Must cut and display in cute vases around my house. (Okay, that last one is more Martha Stewart than motherly, I'll admit.)

So strong was this urge that I actually did something very uncomfortable: I went to the garden store and asked for help. I did not attempt to pull my little wagon around and pick up plants as if I was a seasoned gardener; nor did I eavesdrop on other shoppers' conversations about gardening to glean information. When the friendly sales person said, "If you have questions, let me know!" I latched on to her as if she were my only hope. She was probably expecting to answer questions like where are the begonias? or could you suggest a good fertilizer?, but I lit into her with my list of yard woes. We have too much shade. There's this shrub we have that's hideous. Our soil doesn't drain well. I have no idea how to take care of plants. It was like free therapy! She was incredibly helpful, and maybe just a little pitying of me in my ignorance. She suggested some beautiful flowers that were, quote, "impossible to kill" and told me exactly what to do to keep them looking nice. I have plans to find this same lady next week when I attack the back yard and milk her for more information.

On the personal growth front, this was huge for me. Not the planting flowers part, just the willingness to ask questions part. I love to learn--I would be a full-time professional college student if it were up to me--but I hate, hate to admit I cannot figure something out on my own. I took a B in one of my literary criticism classes because I could not bring myself to ask the professor to explain the reading assignments to me. I will not go to a running store to buy new shoes because I don't want them to see that I'm barely classified as a beginning runner. I throw away sewing projects when I can't get the zipper in straight. My mom says I was even like this as a child: If I could not do something right on the first try, I would just walk away and conclude I couldn't do it at all.

At the ripe old age of 31, I realize there is too much I still need to know about marriage, parenting, discipleship, friendship to keep pretending that I already have all the answers. I want to be humble enough to admit I can't do everything right on the first try. I want to be curious enough to ask questions. I want to appreciate the wisdom and experience of others. I want to be passionate enough to risk looking foolish. I want to learn.

And I want to grow flowers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

I am so not putting the picture up today. Just not worth my trouble. But it IS worth my effort to be grateful for the many blessings I have...

1. Today I managed to get ahead of schedule and JM and I had such a fun morning while we got ready for bible study. Mama did not have to say "I can't read right now" or "Hurry! Hurry!" once.

2. We had a small group at Ladies' Class and we had a wonderful discussion about discipline and helping our kids develop a relationship with God. It was just what I needed, plus...

3. My friend stopped by after class with some recommended reading. Oh, do I love some parenting books! I will even read books I completely disagree with, just for heck of it.

4. The brief rain showers today made for a very peaceful naptime (for Little Guy, not me--well, it was peaceful for me in a different way). It was nice to enjoy some quiet time, listen to the rain and enjoy a cup of coffee.

5. Got to go to TCBY with one of my favorite people today. He is one of my "old" youth group kiddos, and I adore him. He always makes me laugh, tells me about the latest in the artsy world and suggests TV shows I should check out.

6. Baby Halle arrived safely today to meet her parents Mark & Jamie. Praise God!

7. MG moved the brokedown TV off our deep freeze and we discovered a motherlode of frozen food--still very much in-date. We had parmesan-crusted Mahi-mahi for supper. Yuuuummmm. And I did not have to crust it myself. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

8. It was Andrew Lloyd Weber night on American Idol. And I did not have to listen to Kristy Lee Cook. (That almost deserves its own spot on the list, people.)

9. My husband gave me a "time-out" when the baby and I got into a war over a diaper. Sounds harsh, was actually so thoughtful and much needed. :)

10. I finally finished the little dress I've been working on for our friend commonly known as The Bell-bell. It is pretty darn cute, but I'm not completely sure about the sizing. Don't tell the hubs, but I am going to try it on JM in the morning.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WTnotthebadFword Wednesday: My Day brought to You by the Letter F.

Flying solo.
Field trip (to museum).
Fabulous friends (came with).
Frolicking (much).
Following (toddler).
Fighting (mean schoolchildren).
Flat shoes (bad choice).
Feeling uncreative.
Freakin' Tired.

Good night, dear readers! If you love me, you will send me more fodder for F musings :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

It's Tuesday, kids, and we all know what that means! I'll start by saying that I realized tonight how blessed I am to know Who to thank for all the wonderful moments in my life. On that note...

1. I am thankful for the neighbors who keep their yards and flower beds looking so nice. I enjoy the budding trees and blooming bushes every time I look out my window!

2. My husband did not kick me out of bed last night when I woke him up coughing about 14 times. He did not even sigh loudly and flop over in the bed (the usual reaction when I do something annoying during the night). A hopeless romantic, that one.

3. Diet Dr Pepper. Even if it does give me brittle bone disease one day.

4. MG and I have resolved to eat healthier and I am proud of the choices we've been making. Having kids really does make you want to invest in your health.

5. John Mark loves my friends, and that absolutely thrills me. I want him to grow up knowing many adults that he can depend on and look up to.

6. We went on an hour-long walk this afternoon, which gave us a chance to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and visit all of our puppy friends around the neighborhood. (We really do stop and talk to every dog along the way!) It also helped me stave off the afternoon munchies.

7. My sweet, sweet friend came over to eat supper tonight and it made me so grateful for friends that are more like family.

8. Mariah Carey was on AI tonight, which prompts me to be especially thankful that a) she is not always on AI, and b) her stylist does not choose my clothes.

9. My husband just called to say he made it safely to Chicago.

10. I am going to get one last wear out of my flannel PJs since my dear husband is not here to keep me warm. LOVE my flannel jammies with the snowflakes! :)

It was just a matter of time...

I was tagged by my dear friend Danielle, who I miss ever-so-much! I am supposed to list 7 random things about myself, and I am nothing if not random. So here goes.....

1. I sweep my kitchen floor every day. It still looks nasty.

2. This is the first season of American Idol I have actually watched. I always choose a song for myself to go along with the theme for the week--you know, just in case they call me in at the last minute to compete.

3. I bid on junk on Ebay and then spend all day thinking, "I really hope I don't win that." I never bid on the stuff I would actually use.

4. I love Dawson's Creek reruns. When I worked, I did my morning routine around their airing on TBS. If I did not feel guilty about having the TV on all day, I would still be watching them. However, DC will never replace 90210 in my heart.

5. I put decisions off to the last minute. Any decision. Every decision. It's not that I am indecisive, really; it's that I love options so much I don't want to rule any out. I think this makes me flexible and adaptable. My husband says it makes me infuriating.

6. I hate my voice. Not my singing voice, but my speaking voice. It's kind of deep and coarse and I'm pretty sure my volume control was broken a long time ago. Also, I could never call a boy without his mom or roommate or brother knowing exactly who I was--even if we had only met once.

7. I always wanted to take dance classes. Technically, I guess I have done this: MG and took ballroom dance, which was fun. But I wanted to take ballet or jazz or tap. I did learn some dance basics in my gymnastics days, and I still practice them in down the hallway in my house. I will officially be old when I stop doing this.

I don't know if I have seven people to tag! I will have to add them later....Bebe calls!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

WTnotthebadFword Wednesday: Fears

I'm not really a fearful person. It's not that I'm all that courageous, necessarily--just oblivious. I forget to close the door or turn off the stove; I get on planes without a second thought of it crashing; I ride fair rides and worry more about puking than hurtling to my death; I let my kid walk around in public restrooms and put his little hand on the floors and walls. My poor husband has to go behind me locking doors and checking appliances and washing hands and reading warning labels while I go on my merry ignorant way.

The truth is, I am too lazy to nurture any legitimate fears, so instead I just hold on to a few completely irrational ones, including...

Big Dogs. I do like dogs; however, the sound of a big barking dog makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up (in the bad way). We have a rottweiler that lives in the fence behind us that snorts and fumes at us every time we go in the back yard to play. John Mark will run toward the fence squealing "puppy!" while my heart jumps up into my throat. Even the friendly, drooling, overweight lab we meet on our walks makes my blood pressure spike.
I keep trying to pinpoint some event in my childhood that would make me so irrationally afraid of dogs, but I have never even been nipped by a puppy. My best guess is that my mom's attempts to train us to be cautious of strange dogs became deeply ingrained in my psyche. Every time I get near one of these creatures I hear her voice warning, "That dog'll jump up on you!"

Knocking My Teeth Out. I am completely sure this came from my mom, who could imagine a missing-teeth scenario in every sporting activity, no matter how innocent. I also firmly believe that this is why I am the sorriest athlete I know: It's not that I'm uncoordinated or slow or weak or totally undisciplined--It's that I am too afraid of knocking out a tooth. (Really. Can you think of anything more humiliating than having to go to work or church with a HUGE gap in your smile? It's awful.)

(Sorry to pin both of those on you, Mom!)

Having Conjoined Twins. Please note that I am not actually afraid of conjoined twins, like some people have that weird fear of clowns. No, this is more about going to a doctor that says, "You have two babies, but they are attached to each other." Seriously, I have had horrible dreams about this for years, to the point I believed it was an omen. My husband says this is a direct result of watching too many sensational news stories, because the chance of this happening is like one in 1,000,000. Confession: At some point after we decided to stop our fertility treatments, I actually thought to myself: "I guess I can stop worrying about having conjoined twins." It was a huge relief.

Okay, dear readers, time for you to 'fess up: Any other irrational fears out there?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

I have so very, very much to be thankful for. Here's just a glimpse....

1. My son finds the fact that we have bananas in the house reason enough to dance. In the kitchen. To the music in his own head. LOVE it :)

2. Our Ladies' Class prayer requests ranged from the heavy to the mildly stressful to the downright mundane--what a wonderful reminder that God will listen to all my concerns because He loves me (just as these sweet friends do!)

3. I got to help our worship minister brainstorm some ideas for our midweek worship time. Exercising my creative mind makes me feel energized...and who doesn't like to feel that their opinion is valuable?!

4. It was a perfect day to catch a quick nap this afternoon! I did, and I woke up feeling so much better. Good enough to fold laundry, even.

5. One of my "old" high school girls came by to visit me today. She is about to enter the teaching profession, and God is going to use her in amazing ways as she loves and molds young lives.

6. We had homemade tamales for supper, purchased through the Hispanic Center's fundraiser. Aw, kids--you could taste the love that went into every bite!

7. Speaking of the Hispanic Center...I am really thankful to see that Jonesboro is becoming more diverse and inclusive of other cultures. It's fun to see our city changing in that way.

8. I love the simple prayers we share before our family meal each night. John Mark stretches out his hands for us to hold as soon as we sit at the table and says, "pay-rrrrrrrr."

9. I have friends that help me find humor in the ridiculous (and frustrating) things that seem to happen every day. I was reminded today of how therapeutic it is to laugh instead of worrying or complaining.

10. Only 2 more days 'til new episodes of The Office! I might need a new outfit for the occasion.

(I don't know how to get rid of the 2 boxes above the "10 Things" button. Who knows? Just pretend you don't see them--or pretend it's all artsy and stuff.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

WTnotthebadFword Wednesday--on Thursday: Facebook

Let me say to all you Facebook lovers out there: I am not dissing Facebook, okay? So not. I am, however, just laying out there why I personally am not jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, because it seems like at least once a week someone asks me, "Are you on Facebook?" and I have to say no. Here's why...

First of all, the whole "Are you on Facebook?" question makes me feel ridiculous. It's a perfectly legitimate question, but it always makes me feel like I am either at a bad college mixer (and have completely run out of things to talk about) or like I am in some kind of odd flirtation ritual. No offense if you have ever asked me that: It's not you, it's me. :)

Second, I have never been able to get past my first conversation about Facebook that took place with a girl who was heading off to college in some eastern state, way far away from everyone she knew. (This was back when Facebook was just for students.) I said, "So, do you know anyone from your drama camp who is also going to school there?" And she said, "No, but a lot of their students are on Facebook, know." No, I did not know, and that totally weirded me out.

Third, unbeknownst to most of my acquaintances, I really hate to make small talk with people I don't know very well or hardly ever see. I cover this pretty well because I talk a lot, but....I do often hide from people at the grocery store or at the mall. Seriously. I can rarely think of anything clever to talk about. I've read all those articles that say "get them to talk about themselves!" but I can never think of a single interesting question to ask. So, I end up blathering on about myself and then I feel like a heel. It's a vicious cycle. PLUS, I keep imagining Facebook as being like that awkward run-in with someone you knew from high school...You see them in the grocery store and are genuinely glad to see them. You have the standard what-are-you-doing-now? chat and that is so much fun. Finally, you realize you both have shopping to do and you've been standing in the frozen food aisle for like 15 minutes and your kid is screaming so you move on. And then, you keep running into them. In the produce, in the deli, in the paper products. And it's so horrifically uncomfortable that I can't even describe it.

Finally, any notions I had about using Facebook for my own evil purposes--say, I don't know, secretly spying on certain people from my past without them ever knowing--were completely blown out of the water when my friend J and I got busted trying to get her an invite to view someone's page. So now, not only do I not know what that kooky guy I dated like 15 years ago is up to, he also thinks I am a stalker.

You know, all this leads me to believe that what this world really needs is a Campus Mail system. I will save that for another post, though...


Random thought for today: What is a Euro Vac, exactly? I bought a little Shark brand vacuum to do the rugs in our house and it has been pretty much useless. It doesn't pick up diddly squat on carpet. (Just so you know, it does pick up diddly on the hardwood, but then you have all this squat lying around....) I was complaining about this to my husband, who replied, "Well it is a Euro Vac. You didn't realize that before now?"

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

Shout out to Danner for proliferating the blog lists....

Today I am grateful for...

1. The few minutes I get alone with my husband every morning while he gets ready for work. I hate that the Little Guy does not see Daddy before he goes to work, but that time is precious to me.

2. Heaven. Our Ladies' class talked about some passages from Revelation this morning and it was wonderful to be reminded that there is much more to life than just what we can see, touch and taste in this moment.

3. The rain let up and we had sunshine today! Hooray!

4. My son thinks my husband is the greatest thing that ever happened. That makes two of us.

5. The Japanese maple in our yard is budding, and it is simply lovely.

6. I have marked 3 projects off my running "House Projects" list.

7. My friend Stephanie thought to ask about John Mark's ear today. (He has to see an ENT about some fluid that just won't go away.) It made me feel so loved.

8. John Mark thinks all TV shows are divided into 2 categories: "Elmo" and "news." Both of these are met with equal excitement, and "news" even has its own dance, which includes chanting "news, news" while you dance.

9. I got to make a late-night Target run with Jamie. Kids, that is a good time, even though they had already closed the snack bar for the night.

10. My husband told me our bathroom had flooded while I was at Target. Unfortunately, I forgot it was April 1st and freaked out. Fortunately, this was a lie. :)

Okay, next week, I will have the cute little 10 Things logo like all the cool girls.