Friday, December 31, 2004

It's...

my birthday today. Officially have entered the mid-thirties. Hmmm . . . not sure what to think about that. :-)



No big birthday plans, that I know of. We're actually going to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family today since we were all scattered last weekend.

If I don't make it back here today, have a wonderful New Year's Eve and be safe!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I Should Be in Bed!

It's late for me . . . almost 11 p.m. But we've been on a tear of staying up late this week with our insane home improvement project. What started out as "let's get a new tub and toilet" has turned into ripping out the entire bathroom and starting from the bottom up . . . meaning replacing all the pipes under the house and beyond. Suffice it to say we are broke, broke, BROKE and may have to sell a kidney or two to make it. But, the toilet is installed now and I don't have to drive down to our church every few hours to go to the bathroom. It's a good thing. :-)

Before I crash, I'll answer Lara's questions that she asked in the recent questionaire challenge. They are:

1. Do you like winter?

Love. It. Five years in Canada while my Dad pastored a church there and I was hooked. Love snow, loved being bundled up, love eating warm comfort-y food like soup in the wintertime, love it.

2. Have I commented on your blog before and just don't remember it?

I don't think so, but I'm glad that you stopped by! :-)

3. Art or writing?

Writing . . . I can't draw my way out of a wet paper bag to use a wonderfully Southern phrase.

Some of the movie recommendations that I've gotten are:

  • Kate & Leopold (by 2 folks no less) ~ which I have seen and enjoyed, but it's been awhile.
  • Holes ~ we watched this at the hospital one night after I had Noelle. It is a great kid movie although at first I had a really hard time following along . . . must of been post-delivery exhaustion. :-)
  • Much Ado About Nothing ~ we rented this fairly recently, too. Very good. We were on a Shakespeare kick for a few weeks when we would rent videos from the library.

    Any other movies ya'll think we should see?
  • Tuesday, December 28, 2004

    The Christmas Post

    Complete with photos. :-)

    We had a nice Christmas. It was quiet, but very enjoyable. As I explained more here, our jaunt to Ohio was sidelined by the wintery weather they had. Christmas was just the three of us (5 if you count the doggies) and we had a good day. Noelle is still not understanding the whole opening presents thing so we helped her open her new Veggie Tales car and it sang and drove all around the family room. I took advantage of the holiday to wear pajamas all day (shhhhh!) and read a book almost the whole way through. I haven't relaxed that much in who knows how long. Travis worked some around the house - he loves that kind of stuff and that's how he relaxs, and so we did do some cleaning . . . like moving all the furniture in the family room to vacuum under it. I also made my very first Christmas dinner. It wasn't grand or fancy since I had just one day to find out that I needed to feed us, but it was most yummy. The highlight as voted on by all was the homemade mashed potatoes. We never have mashed potatoes and I think this was only the 2nd time that I've ever made them from scratch in my life. They turned out sooooo good. (I think because we only had Noelle's rich whole milk to put in them and butter). I may need to make them again very, very, very soon. (The rest of the menu included ham, green bean cassarole, and corn, but it all paled next the wonder that was the potatoes! Hehehe!)

    We spent Christmas Eve with a family in our church. Their traditional Christmas Eve dinner is shrimp and pizza. Our family has joined theirs every Christmas Eve since we moved to Tennessee and it was wonderful to go over to their house and spend the evening with friends. That was one thing I was going to miss when we had planned to be gone. Our hostess always has a beautiful Christmas tree set up and, of course, I utilized it as a backdrop for some photos...

    Here are pictures from our Christmas Eve.

    And, here are pics from our Christmas day.

    Noelle also got to play in the snow some this past weekend. She had experienced her "first snow" last Thanksgiving in Ohio, but since she was 7 or 8 weeks old, I'm sure her memory of it is rather fuzzy. :-) Please note that I did dress my girl with pink pants and a red coat. Do not adjust your monitor!





    Cheri asked me three questions so I will answer them before getting back to some housework:

    1. Where do you see yourself/family in 10 years?

    I would love to still be home and be homeschooling our children. I would not be surprised if we didn't move at some point so that Travis could get some graduate education - whether seminary or something else.

    2. How did you like moving around while growing up?

    I don't know that I really thought much about it at the time. It just seemed like the way our lives were and people were supposed to move every few years like we did. Now, looking back, I think it was good for me in that I am more confident about being in new situations - not necessarily the most outgoing person - but I can go to something new by myself and survive. I would wish for my children, however, that they have a little more stability growing up that I did. Moving so much, I made few close childhood friends and that is one thing that I have really struggled with as an adult . . . opening up to folks and having to learn how to make and be a friend.

    3. What do you hope 2005 holds for you...it doesn't have to be deep or anything...but is there any goal you want to acheive or craft you want to tackle etc.

    Hmmmm, one of my goals is to get back into a routine with my scrapbooking. Noelle is getting to an age where she loves to look at people she knows in pictures and I want to have something I can show her. I also hope to spend more time in the Bible over the next year and set some patterns for many years down the road. Just off the top of my head...

    I have some other questions, but I've typed long enough for today. I'll tackle them throughout the rest of this week. :-)

    Monday, December 27, 2004

    Just for second...

    Edited to add: The dogs were found this evening by the local sheriff's department and animal control called to let us know! They had gotten VERY far from home and are exhausted. We are so thankful they are back!




    Two things and I'll make a real post maybe later this evening on in the morning. Noelle and Christmas pictures are probably a given. :-)

    One, pray for our puppies. They ran off today around noon and we haven't seen them since. They have gone on short run-aways before and have always come back quickly, but it's been almost five hours now. We have to spend the night at my folks' house because we are doing some major plumbing overhaul here (another loooong story there) and so we won't be home to get the dogs if they come back later.

    I'm very, very bummed. I miss my dogs.

    Second, stolen from Cheri, who is known for stealing from other people's blogs . . . :-)

    A) Recommend to me:

    1. a movie.
    2. a book.
    3. a musical artist, song, or album.

    B) Ask me three questions. Ask me anything you want.

    C) Now go to your blog (if you have one), copy and paste this, and allow everyone to ask you the same.

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    Home for Christmas

    Or at least it is looking that way.

    Travis' mom called this morning with a weather report from up north. Fourteen inches of snow thus far with more to come. Blizzard conditions have been pronounced. We are going to reassess the weather this evening, but it doesn't look like we will be leaving town for Christmas. I'm so thankful that the storm came before we headed out and we didn't get stuck somewhere on the side of the road or in a motel for Christmas. (Although we would have cable TV to entertain us at a motel!) :-) Many prayers for those en route.

    But I am a little diappointed that Noelle won't get to see Travis' folks. I'm sure we will make some kind of plan to get up there soon and celebrate Christmas, but she is changing so much and I don't want them to miss it. Two more words have come out this week . . . "shoes" and "toes" (a theme here).

    It's very quiet around the house this morning. I've been keeping my nephew and my neice this week and they are both home today because my sister didn't want to get out on our semi-icy streets. So it's just me and Noelle and the puppies. Noelle is playing in her pack-n-play (I put here in there when I shower for safety issues!) and is "reading" some books. Travis made it into work and since I'm home carless, I have no choice but to curl up with a book once Noelle goes down for her morning nap. I haven't had a chance to do that in a while. Now that I think about it, I actually may pull out my Bible study stuff and work on it for a while first. I have been so slack about spending time in my Bible. Especially this week with the extra kiddos about. I know that if I would open my Bible in the morning, first thing, it would help me keep my temper and exhibit patience with all three. But I have been relying on my own strength and there have been some not-pretty Mama moments. Time to make some changes along those lines.

    So, what's the new game plan now that we are probably not leaving town? I'll have to get to the grocery store at some point today. I've been trying to clean the fridge out and have done a good job of it. :-) Noelle needs her milk and we need to figure out a plan for Christmas dinner for the three of us. This is the first Christmas that my side of the family is sort-of splitting up for the holidays. My parents are driving to Oklahoma to check on the grandparents and my sister and family will be with her husband's family. My sis, et al, are only about 45 minutes away and we could get together with them, but she does NOT like to drive on ice at all. Truth-be-told, I'm a little excited about it being just us on Christmas day. That's not something that we'll be able to do for probably many more years because of our far-away family so I'm going to enjoy having a quiet day at home with just my husband, my daughter, and, of course, my dogs. *sigh* The dogs are huskies - do you think they could make their way to Ohio to visit the grandparents on their own? :-)

    Noelle and I had a little photo shoot this morning just for fun. :-)





    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    All Done!

    The Christmas shopping is done. I would have been done a few weeks ago except for the gift for my brother-in-law. He is so hard to buy for and when I asked my sister for ideas she said that he could use some new underwear because he's "hard on his shorts."

    Really. Besides the fact that that is waaaaay too much information, I'm not buying my brother-in-law underwear for Christmas.

    However, one quick trip to Best Buy this evening and he's taken care of. Then a stop at Target for a few things like detergent and back home for the evening. Travis and Noelle went out and bought a new tub for our house. That is our Christmas present to each other - we (read Travis) are remodeling the bathroom after Christmas. Before visions of granduer rush through anyone's head, it is a very small bathroom with some serious floor rotting issues around the tub and behind the toilet. He's going to go in and replace some of the wood in the floor, put in a new tub, toilet and sink and replace the flooring. (The bathroom is so small that we can buy just a remnant piece of linoleum for it). It will be nice to have a fresh bathroom to look forward to in 2005 . . . and nice to have Travis home the week between Christmas and New Year's while he works on it. :-)

    Tomorrow I am hopefully going to finish up some laundry before our trip to visit Travis' family. His mom and step-dad haven't seen Noelle since May so it's going to be fun to watch them with her. They won't believe how much she has changed. She has added some new words to her vocabulary just this past week. "No" and "good girl." When she says "good girl" it sounds like "gooooo guuuurrrrr" and is so cute. That's what I say to her after she has obeyed me, and every now and then, when she does something I've told her to do, she will say "goooo guuuurrr" and prompt me! :-) She is loving having her little boy cousin here this week - it's "bay-bay" this and "bay-bay" that when they are around each other.



    I also had my neice some this afternoon and I'll have her again Thursday morning. It's kid central over here! I had hoped to get a little more cleaning done on the house before leaving, like mopping the kitchen, but that may take a backseat until after our trip. One thing I'm looking forward to on our trip is the drive . . . time in the car to read, maybe journal (although I really don't like writing in the car b/c I can't be neat), visit with Travis and read out loud to him. That relaxs me more than anything when we go somewhere. The time away from the phone and regular day-to-day. (I can't say time away from the computer because I usually try and check in with email at least once or twice while gone in case something comes up at church that I might need to handle). But there will be time away from writing here and checking up on my SIR.

    I'll close with a review of 2004 that I've been wanting to work on...

    What did you do in 2004 that you've never done before?

    Was a SAHM for year, went white water rafting with the youth group, planned a PROM for our church. :-)

    Did you keep you New Years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?

    I did make some in 2004, but as for keeping them, read here for a belly laugh. I have some that I have been thinking and praying on for 2005 and will write up later.

    Did anyone close to you give birth?

    My sister and Melissa!

    Did anyone close to you die?

    No

    What countries did you visit?

    Uuuuum, none. Unless Texas and Ohio count.

    What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

    Contentment with where I am in life; a deeper longing to be in the Word.

    What date from 2004 will remained etched in your memory and why?

    I don't know that I have one in particular. August was a hard month overall and that will probably stay with me for a while longer.

    What was your biggest achievement of the year?

    Learning to be slower to speak and quicker to listen.

    What was your biggest failure?

    My selfishness in my marriage.

    Did you suffer illness or injury?

    Nothing other than colds and stuff.

    What was the best thing you bought?

    Our new couch and loveseat that we got back in February . . . we were able to pass on a sofa couch that was MOST uncomfortable.

    Where did most of your money go?

    Car repairs, home repair, diapers & formula!

    What did you get really, really, really excited about?

    Noelle crawling. Noelle walking. Noelle eating "big people" food. Noelle saying Mama - oh, wait, she doesn't do that yet. :-)

    What song will always remind you of 2004?

    Trading My Sorrows

    Compared to this time last year are you:
    a. Happier or sadder? Sadder, but in a good way if that makes sense. God is refining.
    b. thinnier or fatter? Ahem, baby weight still stuck around.
    c. richer or poorer? Poorer, but learning true contentment.

    What do you wish you'd done more of?

    Scrapbooking, reading my Bible, journalling.

    What do you wish you'd done less of?

    Fussing with Travis, reading fiction, being busy (having more margin in my life).

    How did you spend Christmas?

    We'll spend it in Ohio with my husband's family.

    Did you fall in love in 2004?

    Yes! With my husband and my daughter.

    What was your favorite TV show?

    This has been a year of no TV. I can't say I watched any TV show . . .

    What was the best book you read?

    Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson

    What was your greatest musical discovery of 2004?

    Re-discovery of classical music.

    What did you want and get?

    To be a stay-at-home-mom.

    What did you want and not get?

    A minivan!

    What was your favorite film this year?

    Probably the Harry Potter movie . . . just well done.

    What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?

    I haven't had my birthday yet . . . it's New Year's Eve. I'll be 30-mumblemumblemumble-something.

    What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

    To end it expecting another baby!

    How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

    Wash and wear!

    What kept you sane?

    My women's Bible study (just the accountability to be in the Word); my husband.

    Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

    Ummmm, did I mention that I don't watch much TV?

    What political issue stirred you the most?

    Legalization of gay marraige.

    Who did you miss?

    My friend Danni. My friend Laura.

    Who was the best new person you met?

    The W@H women!

    Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

    You're a little piece of heaven
    You're a golden ray of light
    Ad I wish I could protect you
    From the worries of this life
    But if there's one thing I could tell you
    It's no matter what you do
    Hold to Jesus - He's holding on to you

    ..::Erin O'Donnell::..






    Monday, December 20, 2004

    Another List...

    Am watching my nephew all this week until we go out of town. I had so many things I wanted to get done before heading out of town, but they may not happen. Anyway, I did this little questionaire thingy I stole so thought I would go ahead and post it.

    Photo for Cheri . . . eat your heart out. :-)



    Snatched from Cheri, who snatched from Heather:

    1. Name the last four things you have bought...

    Gas, Diet Dr. Pepper/Dr. Pepper, cough drops, dinner @ Macaroni Grille

    2. Name four drinks you regularly drink...

    Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, coffee, decaf iced tea

    3. Last time you cried?

    Last night.

    4. What's in your CD player?

    Chopin (or some other classical CD); in the car: Phillips Craig & Dean

    5. What's under your bed?

    Two Rubbermaid storage bins - one with wrapping paper & gift bags and one with photos from my parents house that will eventually be scrapbooked.

    6. What time did you wake up today?

    About 6:30 . . .

    7. Current hair?

    Long, brown (natural color) with a few layers in it.

    8. Current clothes?

    Comfy, WARM pants and a striped pink shirt.

    9. Current desktop picture?

    Some piece of abstract art that Travis found online.

    10. Current worry?

    Our dogs' new trick has been to get out of the backyard so I'm constantly stressing about them getting hit by a car or running off and getting lost and not coming home.

    11. Current hate?

    Reality TV . . . I'm sorry, but I'm just NOT into it. Actually, most TV shows in general. But that's another soapbox for another time.

    12. Favorite places to be?

    Home (in our big family room), riding in the car (doesn't matter where I'm going, I just like to ride and look out the window).

    13. Least favorite place?

    Right now . . . the mall! :-)

    14. If you could play an instrument?

    I play several, but wish I had practiced more on the piano (and/or remember more of what I learned in 12 years of lessons!)

    15. Favorite color(s)?

    Purple, chocolate brown, and apple green - but not necessarily together.

    16. How tall are you?

    5 ft., 4 in.

    17. Favorite expression...

    "Buzz."

    18. One person from your past you wish you could talk to?

    My friend Danni who lives far, far away. Same with my friend Krista...

    19. Favorite day(s)?

    Mondays & Thursday are good. They are my for sure "at-home" days.

    20. Where would you like to go?

    Anywhere in the US I haven't been before - Alaska, New Mexico, California, northeastern states. Or England. Or Israel.

    21. Where do you want to live when you get married?

    Ummm, past tense. :-) I like where we are right now.

    22. Favorite food?

    Currently (because this always changes) yummy soup in a bread bowl, sausage & egg breakfast burritos, biscuits hot from the oven, guacamole & chips.

    23. Color of most clothes you own?

    Does the color of my dog's fur count? (hehehehe) I don't think I own any one color - one thing I don't have is much white. I am too messy to wear white very often. :-)

    24. Number of pillows you sleep with?

    2

    25. What do you wear when you go to sleep?

    Summer, usually just a long t-shirt. Winter, same t-shirt, but with a pair of Old N@vy sleep pants.

    26. What were you doing 12 a.m. last night?

    Snoozin'...

    27. How old will you be in 10 years?

    44. Ugh.

    28. What do you think you'll be doing in 10 years?

    Hopefully homeschooling my children, involved in ministry somehow.

    29. Do you have braces?

    No, never.

    30. Are you paranoid?

    Sometimes, why do you ask?!?!

    31. Do you burn or tan?

    Burn, baby!

    32. What is the brand of your wallet?

    Vera Bradley in apple green.

    33. First piercing/tattoo?

    Ears pieced at 15 or 16. Late bloomer... :-)

    34. First enemy?

    I really don't know...

    35. Last person you yelled at?

    Noelle. *sigh* She pulled a stack of stuff on my desk.

    36. Last crush?

    My husband. Still crushin'.

    37. Last thing you ate?

    I haven't yet today. Getting ready to figure out something for lunch. Last thing last night was a little popcorn before bed.

    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    I'm Not...

    Expecting. Anything. You know. That might arrive in several months all red and squishy and preciously adorable.

    I Am...

    Bummed. Still tired. More bummed.

    Just sayin'...

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    Snoooooooooze

    If you are looking forward to the Chronicles of Narnia movies that are coming out in about a year, an online look behind the scenes has been made available - very cool if you are into that kind of stuff.

    Trying to get a little work done for church and all I want to do is take a nap. :-) (It always seems that the days that Noelle fusses and FUSSES about taking her nap, those are the days where I am dying for one . . . you know what I mean?) Working on our music team calendar for January with plans to hopefully have it posted on our music team website by Monday. I want to have that off my back before all our team is travelling and exited the state for Christmas.

    I need some energy. I think I am still in my post-Christmas program slump from Sunday. I just can't get fired up about anything. I really don't think it's any kind of depression related slump (have done that before). I'm just worn out and ready for some refresh time. The last few nights I've crashed out on the couch and slept hard the whole night. This morning I didn't wake up until Travis went and got Noelle about 7:45 . . . that's very unusual for me. Probably just means I need more sleep that I'm giving myself. I am normally a 10 p.m. to bed person and very regular about that. Lately it's been 11 or later before I even head that way and I'm probably just all off schedule.

    Since this post is getting more boring by the moment (!) a small questionaire lifted from Dana's site, but seen elsewhere as well. :-)

    1. Egg nog - yum or yuck?
    I like it, but in small quantities. It's so rich that I can take about 2 drinks and be satisfied. :-)

    2. Stay up until midnight on New Years?
    I try. :-) I normally slump about 11:30 p.m. and struggle to make it to midnight.

    3. Prefer white or colored lights?
    Either is fine, just not mixed together. Colored lights remind me of my tree growing up and my tree now has just white - probably because that was what was on sale.

    4. Favorite holiday song.
    There are lots I like: O Come All Ye Faithful, I Am, You Are by The Martins, and I love to listen to the instrumental version of Sleigh Ride.

    5. What is your tackiest holiday decoration?
    I don't think I have anything tacky . . . yet. My Dad does have one of those dancing Santas that blow bubbles that someone bought him from Cracker Barrel. I'm sure I'll end up with that "family heirloom" someday. :-)

    6. Do your kids have too much and you wonder just WHY you are getting more??
    Thankfully, no. We've really worked on not buying Noelle a lot of toys and just rotating the few that she has. We'll see how I answer this after Christmas, though, after we've visited both sets of grandparents.

    7. If you celebrate Christmas, when does your tree go up and come down?
    Normally goes up around Thanksgiving - no set day, just whatever is convenient for me to get Travis to get it out of the attic. This year we put it up the weekend before since we were going to be out of town over Thanksgiving and I didn't want to have to come home and put it up right away. It will probably come down after the first some time. When I was little, my Mom always took the tree down right after Christmas. My birthday is New Year's Eve and she wanted to have all the Christmas over with when it came time for birthday. I'm enjoying not being so rushed in taking down the tree.

    8. Open presents on Christmas eve, morning, or other?
    Christmas morning. This year, we are leaving Christmas Eve to go to Travis' folks, so we will probably have our Christmas with Noelle on Christmas Eve morning.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    Picture Day

    It's been some time since I shamelessly promoted my family in pictures so here goes.

    My neice Jordan - her 7 year old birthday picture.



    My mom wanted a picture of her three grandkids in their Christmas finery this past Sunday. You will note that Jordan is getting quite a workout as she is having to hang on to the two littler ones.





    Just to clarify, my child is the one with the pale, ghost-like appearance next to her deliciously carmel colored cousins. :-)

    (If one wanted to see a small photo of Noelle playing with her friend Ty, click here).

    In other news, my child gets more precious every day. It's amazing how many little things she is picking up. She has now learned nose - "dooooose" - but only will point to mine or Travis' nose, not her own. She was playing with a big sparkly Christmas bracelet I have and learned how to put it on over her wrist. Last night she and I were sorting through some clothes trying to find some jammies that would fit her. She found a pair of little pink sandals that were about two sizes too big. Noelle plopped down in my lap and stuck her food out for me to put those shoes on her. She wore them all evening, too.

    Last night was our Christmas women's get-together for church. Very fun and loads o' good food. I'm glad I went although about a half hour before I was supposed to walk out the door I had a big sleepy spell and was tempted to stay home and relax. But, as I even predicted for myself, I knew that as soon as I got there, I would enjoy myself. Tonight we have our last small group get-together until after the holidays. Then a free Thursday where Noelle and I don't have to get out at all and no evening plans and a free Friday night. I'm hopefully going to back some bread tomorrow and get some work done around the house - packing lists for our trip to Ohio next week, sorting through Noelle's clothes that she is too big for, stuff like that. Oh, and looking for the TV/DVD remote which has been missing all week . . .

    One more picture of Noelle, I can't help myself. It's amazing what you can pick up at Lowe's this time of year!

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Pot Pourri

    Got this quiz from Pattie. Love the choice of book, not sure about the rest. :-)




    You're Anne of Green Gables!

    by L.M. Montgomery

    Bright, chipper, vivid, but with the emotional fortitude of cottage
    cheese, you make quite an impression on everyone you meet. You're impulsive, rash,
    honest, and probably don't have a great relationship with your parents. People hurt
    your feelings constantly, but your brazen honestly doesn't exactly treat others with
    kid gloves. Ultimately, though, you win the hearts and minds of everyone that matters.
    You spell your name with an E and you want everyone to know about it.



    Take the Book Quiz
    at the Blue Pyramid.


    The rule of threes


    Stolen from Cheryl

    THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
    1. Stephanie
    2. Auntie Nef
    3. Someday, maybe, my child will learn to say Mama so I'm counting that one.


    THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
    1. herdofsteph
    2. auntienef
    3. stephds


    THREE THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
    1. My hair
    2. My left handed ness
    3. My hands


    THREE THINGS YOU HATE OR DISLIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
    1. My *ahem* baby roll
    2. My eyebrows
    3. My legs


    THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
    1. All-American
    2. Depression tendency
    3. I can't think of anything else...!


    THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
    1. My dogs getting hit by a car
    2. Heights
    3. Sin


    THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
    1. Diet Coke
    2. My Palm
    3. Socks


    THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
    1. White long-sleeve shirt
    2. Blue comfy pants
    3. Gray sweatjacket w/ hood


    THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS (or artists(at the moment)):
    1. Phillips Craig and Dean
    2. Chopin
    3. Point of Grace


    THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS AT PRESENT:
    1. You are God Alone - Phillips Craig & Dean
    2. Anything classical right now
    3. My Jesus I Love Thee (hymn)


    THREE NEW THINGS YOU WANT TO TRY IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
    1. More stamping in my card making
    2. Writing an Easter program for church
    3. Cook a whole chicken


    THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP (love is a given):
    1. Faithfulness
    2. Accountability
    3. Steadfastness


    TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE:
    1. I would like another dog.
    2. I would like to pierce my belly button
    3. I would like a minivan.


    THREE PHYSICAL THINGS ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
    1. hands
    2. eyes
    3. hip (don't ask) :-)


    THREE THINGS YOU JUST CAN'T DO:
    1. Watch my carb intake (Ditto!) :-)
    2. Cross my eyes.
    3. Do much of anything with my right hand.


    THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
    1. Scrapbooking and cardmaking
    2. Reading
    3. Music related activites


    THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
    1. Be pregnant
    2. Have two cars that are running well consistently.
    3. More involvement in a certain ministry area at church.


    THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING:
    1. Event planning
    2. Custom invitations and gifts
    3. Professional purse shopper :-)


    THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
    1. England
    2. Israel
    3. Anyplace in the US that I haven't been before - California, Northeast US, New Mexico, Alaska!!


    THREE KID'S NAMES
    1. Noelle Joyce (taken)
    2. John "Jack" Lewis
    3. Will Tanner


    THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
    1. See my grandchildren
    2. Write a book
    3. Travel

    Monday, December 13, 2004

    Where's My Motivation...

    Five p.m. and Noelle just laid down for a late afternoon nap. I need to get to work on something for dinner but have little motivation at this point. One reason being that Noelle and I had lunch after 1 o'clock and I'm not even hungry for dinner yet. And, two, I have no motivation. :-) I think I'm just suffering the let down of a very busy and emotional weekend. On Friday we found out that my neice Jordan has a small heart murmur that the Drs want to keep an eye on. She just turned 7, and they want to recheck her in 3 months, but have given her no restrictions as far as diet and/or exercise. My sister, understandably was pretty shook up. She lost one baby at birth and I'm sure the emotions from that experience come rushing back when you get frightening news about another child. If you think of it, please keep my sister in your prayers as well as my sweet neice.

    Most of the weekend was consumed with church. Travis and I had a staff meeting on Saturday morning, and then were at the church all day finishing up the set up for our Sunday morning program and having the music team's final rehearsal and the final rehearsal with the children. We also had Christmas parties both Friday and Saturday night - Friday night was with good friends from church - and Noelle went to Grandma's for the evening - and Saturday night was at the home of a couple that Travis works with. It was an open house/Christmas party in this couples' brand new home so I was kept busy following Noelle and making sure that she didn't get into anything or spill anything. As far as that went, it was a successful evening!

    This week is going to be another busy one. Tomorrow night is our women's Christmas party for church. I'm making this fabulous smelling Eggnog Bread to take (recipe from Monika!) Wednesday I have a birthday lunch for a friend and that night we have small group at our house and it's my night for snack for that, too. (Double batch of Eggnog Bread possibly??) Thursday night I need to prepare for music on Sunday morning and on Friday I'm having lunch with another friend that I don't get to catch up with often. Saturday is caroling with church. All good things, but hard to have any margin in my life around the holidays. The last few months, I've been practicing saying "no" a bit more and revelling in being home more with Noelle. Slowing down and choosing to do a few things well instead of many things sloppily has been good. Looking forward to doing more of that...

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    Sunday Brunch

    From Sunday Brunch...

    Our Christmas (music) program was today. I'm tired. It went well and the kids did great. Tomorrow is errand day to get caught up on a few things now that I'm past our church's big event - food for the dogs, buy us a new phone, bank deposit, and a few groceries. Maybe even a real post here. :-)

    1) What is your favorite color?
    Current favorite is chocolate-y brown. Just barely above my all-time favorite of purple.

    2) What colors are your cars?
    Red and green.

    3) What color are your eyes?
    Brown.

    4) What color do you like to wear most often?
    Brown - deep rich brown. Actually any deep color looks good on me - I can't wear kacki or pastels without looking like I am very ill. :-)

    5) Name your favorite possession of each color of the rainbow:
    Red: My '93 Honda
    Orange: I don't have anything orange ... maybe a highlighter?
    Yellow: My Sam dog
    Green: Any green pen - I love writing in green especially at Christmas time. Also my blog because it is green.
    Blue: my sweatsuit I just wore yesterday! :-)
    Indigo: I'm not really sure the technical difference between blue and indigo and purple, so I'll just move along to...
    Purple: my 12 year old American Eagle sweatshirt with Lake Louise on it

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Quote

    Am rereading Little Women for book group. This quote stuck out at me as I was reading last night:
    " . . . but it does seem as if the more one gets the more one wants, doesn't it?"

    Very true and especially timely to think about as we are in the Christmas season. Travis and I were talking about what to get Noelle for Christmas. Last year she was just barely 3 months - all we got her was a "baby's first Christmas" ornament for the tree and The Beginner's Bible. She'll be 15 months this year, and still not really old enough to "get" the whole gift thing. I want to set a precedent this year though for the years to come on not going nuts on gift giving. We're going to do the 3-gifts thing. Only three gifts at Christmas. I want to start now teaching her that Christmas is not about gifts but about Jesus. And even though it starts with that tiny Baby in a manger, He is now so much more than that.
    Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
    Rev. 1:12-16

    Thank you Lord that you didn't stay a Baby but are risen and gloriously awaiting us in heaven!

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    My Wednesday...

    ~ up at 6:30-ish.
    ~ at the church to check on the wet carpet . . . it smells!
    ~ cancel Awana by 8:30 a.m. and get email out the church.
    ~ rehearsal for our trio song on Sunday from 9-11.
    ~ the song went really well - sigh of relief as I had not even had time to LOOK at the music until this morning.
    ~ off to the grocery store for juice and whatnot
    ~ take husband a drink from Sonic by the office
    ~ mailed Christmas cards!
    ~ get a call to go to lunch w/ best friend, her treat, and wonderfully, fabulous, restaurant.
    ~ Yeah!
    ~ completely forget about mall traffic and that we would have to wait for-ev-er with three kiddos.
    ~ waited outside in beautiful 60-something degree weather and enjoyed sunshine.
    ~ came home and put sweet girl down for nap.
    ~ got sweet girl up from nap soon after because bad dogs got out of the back yard.
    ~ got sweet girl loaded into car seat just as bad dogs come to side door of house and ask to be let in.
    ~ bad, bad, bad, bad dogs.
    ~ but I gave them both a bone for remembering to come home.
    ~ put sweet girl down for a nap again.
    ~ am now making a pot of coffee.
    ~ we're having pizza for dinner.
    ~ then I have to go to Kinko's and photocopy some music for our rehearsal tomorrow and for Sunday's service.
    ~ I'm kinda glad that Awana (and our small group study) were cancelled for tonight.
    ~ I have a lot to do for our Christmas program on Sunday.

    So, does this count as a day in my life for my Swonderings post?

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    After the Storm...

    I have the back door open and it's a fabulous 66 degrees outside. The dogs are wrestling on the patio and not in the house - a good thing. :-)

    Today has been a busy one. I woke this morning (or sometime in the middle of the night) to a huge thunderstorm. We've been having problems at our church with flooding so Travis ran down there before work to see what the status was. It was wet. I've been on the phone quite a bit this morning trying to coordinate and juggle some building stuff, work on our Christmas program for Sunday and entertain my 14 month old.

    >Breaking News Bulletin: Dogs are no longer wrestling but have scooted under the fence and run down the street. Be back after I retrieve them.

    Dogs now trapped in kitchen, no longer at liberty to enjoy the 66 degree weather outside. Anything that I was going to write about is now gone from my brain. :-) Such is life.

    However, this new picture of my nephew. Cheri, I thought of you when my Dad sent it to me. Click here to view.

    Update:
    (You can see the picture bigger by clicking here. As Jamie asked me to clarify, it's one baby, three photos, stitched together.)

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    At Home

    Today is our at-home day. Other than a quick run to the church to check for water damage we are in for the day. We've had some serious water leak issues in our building the last month or so and it's been raining since last night. At the moment, all is dry! :-)

    Busy weekend around here. Had a surprise birthday party/church crop night that I went to on Friday. Very fun to hang out with friends although I got very little done in the scrapbook department. (Mental note: check scrapbook supplies more carefully to make sure that we don't run out of important things like, ummmm, things to stick pictures to our scrapbook pages! Duh!) Saturday morning into the afternoon was back to church for a Christmas music rehearsal. Our special service is this coming Sunday so we'll be out and around a bunch this week with extra rehearsals and stuff. Yesterday, we celebrated my neice's 7th birthday. My Dad bar-b-qued ribs on the grill after church - fab. u. lous. And sent us home with two bags of leftover. You'll never guess what is for dinner tonight. :-)

    Travis and I had a major fight discussion on Saturday night. I hate it when that happens on Saturday night. I am never able to sleep well after we talk and, consequently, feel like I've been run over by a truck on Sunday morning and most definitely don't feel like getting up and leading in worship. That's when God really has to take over so that I can get through the morning . . . as well as the rest of the day. Anyway, things are better now that we have a few things out in the open.

    Today feels like a day I need to be thankful for my blessings...
    ~ My husband, who is my favorite person in the whole wide world.
    ~ His new beard which I luuuuuuuuuuuuuve.
    ~ Amazon.com and any other manner of online shopping for the holidays
    ~ candy that you can only get at this time of the year . . .



    ~ leftovers from my Dad's grilling
    ~ an evening to curl up in front of a Christmas movie with my husband. I think tonight's viewing is going to be A Christmas Story.
    ~ My sweet girl, who is currently napping away like an angel, and who has been in such a giggly mood lately that I can hardly stand it. :-)

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Plugging Away...

    Note: Leann posted her last entry or two in green and it was so Christmas-y I'm going to try it. :-)

    Working away here this morning on my church printing - prayer sheet, bulletin, etc. At the moment I'm waiting for the printer to catch up with me. :-) We are home almost all day today - yeah! Travis and I have a music/Christmas rehearsal this evening and my Mom is coming over to watch Noelle for us. We've done too much running around this week. Tomorrow we have our Friday trip to the library and we have been invited to lunch at some friends' house, then in the evening I am off to our church's monthly scrapbook & craft night. I'm looking forward to that. I haven't been to one of our monthly nights since August, I believe, so I'm hoping I can get a lot done.

    Noelle note: She can now say the word "go." Sounds something like "gaaaaaah" and she gets what it means, too! If I even mention that we are going to go somewhere, she is pulling and squirming until she is in her carseat ready to go.

    Last night was our first sit-down meal since we've gotten back from Thanksgiving. (Sit-down meaning at the table as opposed to sitting in the family room on our comfy chairs). We had BBQ keilbasa, squash cassarole and green beans for dinner. It was so yummy. I love cooking and the squash cassarole recipe was from the new Mitford cookbook that was published a few months ago (Puny's Squash Cassarole). Literally, melted in my mouth! I asked Travis what he thought about it and it said that it was good except for the squash! I didn't realize that he's not a big fan of squash so unfortunately, that means all the leftovers are for me. :-) Right now, I have chicken stewing in the crockpot and am hoping that I can make some form of chicken noodle soup with it later today. One of my resolutions for 2005 is going to be to learn how to cook a whole chicken, whether in the crockpot or roasting it. I've been balking at that for a couple years now, and it's soooo much cheaper to make it that way that buying the boneless breasts just to stew it.


    Speaking of resolutions, I went and pulled out what I had written down for my 2004 resolutions. Had quite the chuckle when I saw how I had not kept any of them. In review:

    1. Spend time in the Word. My goal - to read all four gospels this year.
    Sadly, did not even come close. I managed to keep up with the women's Bible study at church, but that was about it. I think this was directly related to the fact I did NOT keep resolution #2.

    2. Read only 1 fiction book a month.
    I am trying to cut back on my fiction reading . . . I think I'm going to try and stay in Dana's Coffee and a Book group for 2005 and that will give me a fiction book to be reading and it will make me go slower and savor it. I read too fast and plow through books rather than enjoying the time snuggled down with one.

    3. Write down one thing every day that I am thankful for . . . and then give thanks for it!
    Did I even put this as a resolution??

    4. Less carbohydrates, more fruits and vegetables!
    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha

    5. Serve my family with joy, doing ALL things without grumbling!
    I may have actually made some progress on this one! See yesterday's post. :-)

    And so, because I can't stand his cuteness - a recent picture of my 7 week nephew.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    Spiritual Resolution Review

    It's a wet, wet, wet day here. Noelle and I got out to do grocery shopping and had to come home between store #1 and store #2 just so I could change clothes - I was that wet. Now my clothes, including coat, are in the washing machine and we are biding our time until we go out to lunch w/ my Mom and sister. We may try store #2 after lunch if the rain has let up by then. I like to plan one big grocery day at the beginning of the month to get most of our grocery shopping out of the way. It has really helped our budget out by doing it this way, leaving only small grocery trips throughout the month to replenish milk and eggs and such.

    In following in some great footsteps, I've been thinking about my "theme" for 2004. (A.K.A. my spiritual resolution). I also had some normal resolutions that I wrote down and may post later but those are more of a joke because I don't think I stuck with any of them! :-)

    Before 2004 began, I began praying that God would give me a theme that I should focus on for 2004. Something that I could work on to bring me closer to Him and His likeness. By January, I had a strong impression that I was to work on submission. That really didn't come as a surprise to me. I had been married about 18 months, 3 months into being a stay-at-home-mom, and starting to buck the fact that we weren't bringing in as much money as we were pre-baby and not liking the way Travis wanted to handle it. (20/20 Hindsight - he was right.) So, I start praying about submitting, how to submit, what does it mean. I read books, I looked at Proverbs 31. A few months along, still not getting it and getting more and more disillusioned with where I am.

    I then sense the Lord is telling me, "Let's make it a little more basic for you. Let's just work on being content where you are." I start working on my attitude - being thankful for our home, our cars, my family (immediate & extended). Still I am frustrated. My car stalls out in the driveway for no apparent reason on a day I HAVE to be somewhere, and coincidentally (and with no maliciousness at all) I get an email from a friend telling me about the new car her parents gave her. My friends have plenty, I am home wearing ugly old clothes and feeling sorry for myself. Still, not quite getting it.

    Step 3 of my 2004 theme - God directs me towards this verse:
    Rejoice always;
    1 Thessalonians 5:16

    That's it . . . just those two words. At the same time that God is showing me these verses, I'm working through a Beth Moore Bible study When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. She points out in the third lesson,
    "God gives us the power to abstain from evil by being happy in our faith . . . Nothing will make you consistently happier than a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ."

    That is where my year has ended up. Processing what it means to rejoice always. Not always succeeding at it, but trying to choose to rejoice sooner rather than later.

    All that to say, I'm praying on what God is going to show me as my theme for 2005 . . . most likely he wants me to continue on with this since I still haven't got it all figured out yet! :-)

    This stolen from Nattie's place...





    You Are the Investigator



    5




    You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.

    You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.

    Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.

    You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.




    Monday, November 29, 2004

    Home Again, Home Again

    We have returned. It is so good to be home again! :-)

    A brief recap . . . we went to Rock Island State Park with my side of the family for a Thanksgiving get-away.



    Some bullet point memories of the trip:

    ~ lots of UNO card games.
    ~ my brother-in-law is very funny when playing games
    ~ fabulous hike to see some waterfalls and time outdoors with Noelle.
    ~ making cinnamon rolls with my niece for breakfast on Saturday
    ~ taking a nap with Noelle
    ~ stopping at TWO Sonics on the way to the state park
    ~ the brilliantly, sunny, cold drive home

    You can see more pics from our trip by clicking the picture here:



    But, I was ready to be home again. Right now, laundry is drying, dinner is in the crockpot, and I'm working on getting this week organized. I also realized I didn't finish my Swonderings from last week . . . so here goes 4-7:

    4) Student Teaching . . . I'm probably one of the few people in the world that will admit they loved their student teaching experience, but I did. When I was able to convey an idea or a concept to 6th graders and they understood it . . . it was a wonderful feeling.

    5) Yellowstone on my Honeymoon . . . this was probably the best vacation that I have ever had. Travis and I drove to Yellowstone from TN the morning after our wedding - approximately 30 hours in the car to get there and it was so much fun. We read to each other (more like I read to him while he drove) the first three books of the Chronicles of Narnia. No phone, TV, computer for over a week - we hiked and explored and read and RELAXED.

    6) Time with my niece . . . she thinks that I'm cool, and I think that that is remarkable. :-)

    7) Any time that I am in the Word . . . and I understand. God is so good to me to allow me to catch glimpses of His holiness in Scripture. And there are those moments when the veil is lifted and I get a glimpse of His Glory. As Emily in Emily of New Moon might call it, the flash - just a glimpse of something so perfect you can hardly bear to look on its beauty.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Response to Comments:

    Anna: I lived in Northeast Calgary. (Can't remember the address now of course!) I went Colonel McCloud for 7th grade, Heritage Christian School for 8-9th grade, and Cresent Heights High School for 10th. After that we moved back to the US. My Dad was pastor of Northeast Bible Church while we were there.

    The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
    And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
    Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
    Psalm 34:18-19


    I know this is the season where we are to remind ourselves of all that we have to be thankful for. And I am thankful. Incredibly so.

    But the last few weeks I have been so overwhelmed by struggles that others are working through and dealing with that I'm questioning. I'm not mad at God - I just don't get Him, if that doesn't sound too trite or simplistic.

    Friends that are trying to get pregnant but can't . . . and don't know why.

    Someone struggles with severe depression and anxiety and no pill will fix it.

    The pain of watching your child suffer through an illness and the agony of being able to do nothing to help them.


    God is soveriegn. That is so amazingly comforting in situations like these. I'm involved in the life of a child with severe problems. I know there are verses in Scripture where God speaks of healing, parables where Jesus heals with just a touch. What if the only healing this child will receive will be the ultimate healing? When she is standing before God whole and complete, in His image. This is what I'm grappling with. When God's answer is "wait," and "wait" means eternity with Him. How does one handle the in-between?

    Anyway, have a WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING (to my US friends), and to my Canadian friends (and others) have a wonderful rest of your week!

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Monday's Musings.

    Recent Comments that Need Responses:

    Allie: I would love to design you some cards - how fun would that be! You have to give me some ideas of what you would want them to look like, your style, etc. I can fix you up.

    Dana: Your comment about how much Travis & Noelle resemble each other got me to digging. Check this out:





    I think there is a slight resemblance. :-)

    Swonderings from W@H:

    List 7 remarkable experiences in your life. Write a paragraph about each one, or tell a little about each one everyday.

    1) Noelle's birth . . . Completely. Changed. Everything. :-) I remember laying on the table in the operating room and as they pulled her out, Travis says something like, "You did it, you have a baby." I could hear her crying as they clean her up and I start crying, too. He was watching them clean Noelle up and my anesthesiologist prodded him to go over by the baby and take some pictures. Then he brought her over to let me hold her for just a second before he left with her to go get checked out at the nursery. It was amazing. She was so tiny and beautiful and to hold her there with Travis standing has got to be one of the most intimate family moments that we could ever have experienced.

    2) My wedding . . . it was a blur, but I can't think of a thing that I would change about it. It was very simple. Simple bouquets, simple decorations, simple music and it was so NOT stressful for me, that I was able to truly enjoy the day. Travis and I had a few minutes alone together before the wedding. (We had limited time in the chapel we were married in and had to do pictures before the wedding). The time together before getting ready to make a lifetime commitment. I don't even really remember what was said. Just the look on his face. *heart*

    3) Croatia '98 . . . my first mission trip overseas and my first crisis of belief. Having accepted Christ as Savior as a small child, this was the first time I really doubted my salvation and questioned what I believed. Panic attacks and fear consumed me for much of this trip as I grappled with why I was dumb enough to leave comfortable TN and go overseas when I was so not qualified to be on the mission team. God met me there, though.

    More on these later this week . . .

    In other news . . .
    ~ I have a cold, a headache, and a sore throat. Ick.
    ~ We leave town Wednesday for Thanksgiving with my family here.
    ~ We had someone accept Christ at our worship service on Sunday. Yeah!
    ~ I am trying to cut back on *gasp* Diet Coke. I need to drink less caffiene.
    ~ I am praying about my theme for 2005. More on this later . . .
    ~ We put the Christmas tree up this weekend. *sings "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . ."*
    ~ I think Noelle is trying to drop her morning nap. It's seems too soon to me . . .
    ~ I have all my Christmas cards made. I'm going to address them and work on our Christmas letter on our trip.
    ~ Must go rest now while Noelle is snoozing . . .

    Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Deep Thoughts

    Taken from Busy Mom's site:





    You Are Pumpkin Pie




    Even when people are full - they make room for you.
    Good or bad, your smell is most likely to arouse a man.

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    Grump E. Pants

    That's me today. Was it Midas who was the king where everything he touched turns to gold? I've decided that today I'm the queen where everything I touch turns to grumpiness.

    I'm not fired up about my new haircut.

    I can't get the house cool enough.

    I can't get the printer to work.

    I can't get Noelle to go down for a nap.

    I can't find the tights I want at Target.

    Ad nauseum.


    Okay, I'm done. I just needed to get that out of my system. Part of my problem is I'm tired. I'm a "10 o'clock" bedtime person and last night someone *coughnoellecough* was up to 11:30 p.m. fussing and all off scheduled because of the cold that's working on her. And today has not been a day where I've had the extra space in my schedule for a nap. I have our first Christmas rehearsal tonight with the music team and I've been running trying to get ready.

    Methinks I need a list of things I "heart" to change my perspective. (Idea shamefully stolen from Heather).

    I heart Chex Mix (and I bought some tonight for our music rehearsal!)

    I heart putting up the Christmas tree (it's happening this weekend, people!)

    I heart this little man.



    I heart designing cards and stationary for folks . . . my latest.

    I heart new scrapbook magazines that come in the mail.

    I heart White Christmas.

    I heart this big man.



    Noelle is sleeping . . . shhhhhh . . .

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Happy Birthday to...



    They started out cute . . .



    This picture was the only way that I could get them to stand still together. I had to go outside the side door of the house so they would both look out the door at the same time. They made the most of their birthday. Jenny ate an entire roll of paper towels while I ran errands this afternoon . . . I'm glad we didn't spend money on a fancy bone or anything!

    *Totally unrelated* Check out these purses that you can have custom made with your own photo! (Not my photo, of course, but maybe one of Noelle!) Then check out the price!! I emailed this link to my Dad and he is interested in checking them out for his photo business . . . wouldn't it be sad if I had to carry one around as advertising for him / his business. Sigh. The things one has to do for family . . . :-)

    Something else I learned today . . . Noelle does not do well with too much caffiene. Chalk this one up to Mama not paying attention. We met my Mom and sister at J*ck in the B*x for lunch today. Mom ordered Noelle a kid's meal and got her her very own Diet Coke. I was holding this precious bundle and not really paying attention to Noelle - my sister was taking care of giving her some chicken strips and fries, etc. By about 5 p.m. tonight, I still couldn't get Noelle down for a nap. I had taken her temperature, checked her diaper, let her play, rocked her . . . she was like the Tazmanian Devil! Running around non-stop, crying, then laughing. It was nuts. When my Mom called as she was driving home from work, she commented on how much fun Noelle was having drinking out of the straw in her drink like a big girl when it hit me how much caffiene she had consumed. Duh!

    Speaking of Noelle, she is getting so big! She now has about a 1/2 dozen words that she says consistently: "Dada", "Jeeeeeeennnnn" (Jenny), "Baaaa" (her lamb), "Saaaaahhhh" (Sam), "FruuuFruuuuFruuuu" (juice), "Bye", "Hi." Still no Mama yet. She will move her mouth with me when I am saying it, but no sound comes out. She's doing it just to annoy me I'm sure. :-) She has discovered the game of chase and giggles like crazy when we follow her around the room. She gets so tickled when the dogs chase her - of course, she has usually taken away their bone or toy and they are just trying to get it back, but bless her heart, she thinks they are playing with her. She is so much fun (not including today's caffiene induced hysteria). What a privilege it is to have her!

    Tomorrow is our last women's Bible study before the holidays. The group decided not to meet between tomorrow and the first of the year. I'm kinda bummed, because it really keeps me in my Bible to have a study to keep up with. I'm thinking of going through A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy, which is about the attributes and nature of God. In this area I need accountability to keep going.

    It's late and I need to wrap it up for the evening . . . I will close with a picture for Beth - I never did post a photo of my car as she requested in the the great photo blog of '04. So here 'tis! A '93 Honda Civic - and it actually looks deceptively clean in this photo!

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    Winding Down

    Today has flown by. I love being at home on Monday's and having a chance to recover from the weekend. And our weekend was a busy one.

    Friday . . .
    ~ Travis had the day off
    ~ He had to go to work for an hour for a conference call though
    ~ So Noelle and I went to the library
    ~ We got these four videos: Count of Monte Cristo, Seabiscuit, You've Got Mail, and Spiderman.
    ~ Noelle also got a Baby Einstein video.
    ~ Noelle went to Grandma's house for Friday night to spend the night.
    ~ She had a ball playing with Grandpa and Grandma.
    ~ Travis and I had a date night!
    ~ We went to dinner at Stoney River. (We had a gift certificate).
    ~ It was soooooo yummy.
    ~ Then we went to see The Incredibles!
    ~ It was very funny and original. (A little more adult oriented that other Pixar movies so I recommend it highly with the condition that it's really for older kids as opposed to the very young).

    Saturday . . .
    ~ Slept in until 7:45 a.m.!
    ~ Staff meeting at church
    ~ Did some Christmas shopping
    ~ Went to Borders and sat and looked at magazines . . . uninterrupted . . . for a long time . . . it was wonderful.
    ~ Went home and paced the house waiting for Noelle to get home.
    ~ She got home around 3 p.m. and my folks hung around and my Dad took our family Christmas picture for our Christmas cards.
    ~ With dogs.
    ~ It was an action shot.
    ~ I will post one when we get them.
    ~ Made homemade pizza for dinner.
    ~ Watched Count of Monte Cristo - very good movie.

    Thus endeth our relaxing weekend. Sunday was it's normally busy day with church, a family lunch at my folks, and then winding down at home at the end of the day. Tomorrow we'll be out and about with errands.

    PS. Thanks for the feedback on the green . . . I'm starting to get used to it!

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    A Bit of Fun

    As you can see I changed things up around here. I needed some color and this seemed to go well with my title as Becky pointed out. (Thanks, ma'am!) I really like the looks of the headers that you can make if you use something like Typepad, but since I can't afford to pay for blogging services, I'm working with what I can figure out! :-)

    Anyway, some lighter stuff for Sunday night . . .

    forest
    Forests!


    Where is your dream place?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    The Princess Bride
    I'm sure it's no big surprise to you that your
    romance is The Princess Bride. A heartwarming
    tale of "Twue Wuve" that has giants,
    Spainards and swashbuckling. You really do
    think that love can overcome anything. You may
    be a touch naive but your heart is certainly in
    the right place. You've probably got one of
    those relationships where proper nouns have
    been replaced with "Snookums" and
    "Pookie Pie". Eww. Beware a cuteness
    overload.


    What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Swonderings from W@H:
    Ten years ago I . . .
    ~ had been out of college for one year
    ~ was living with my parents
    ~ working for an attorney at our church
    ~ looking for a teaching job
    ~ my sister had just gotten married
    ~ I had just gotten a perm most likely
    ~ trying to be independent of my family

    Thursday, November 11, 2004

    A List-Makin' Kind of Day

    List updated Friday at 1:00 p.m. CT:

    I have been dreadfully whiny the past couple days. So much so that I told myself I couldn't blog until I had something nice to say. I've been trying to get back into a routine now that Travis is on the mend and we're not revolving our schedule on how he is feeling. (Note: He did talk to the Dr. yesterday, and they don't really know what he had. Just some funky virus or something). Noelle is down for her morning nap so I am trying to get my to do's organized so we can be productive after lunch.

    Our list...
    ~ Grocery store for milk for Noelle & milk for Daddy & Diet Coke (or something similar) for Mama. (Can you believe I still don't have any DC in the house?! I stopped at Sonic yesterday for a Route 44 and that held me through). DONE!
    Note to Elbie: Diet Coke rocketh. You are young and have not learned the truth yet. I will pray for your eyes to be open. *hides behind sofa so that she cannot be hit with a latte or some fancy drink from California*

    Note to Aleta: Thanks for your offer of DC . . . too bad TN & Canada are not closer...

    Back to the list...
    ~ Craft store - looking for Kermit the Frog stickers for some invitations that I've been asked to make for a birthday party. Sort-of done. Can't find Kermit anywhere so have gone on to plan B.
    ~ Library day - I'm picking up with new Mitford cookbook to drool over! Just picked it up today - library was closed yesterday.
    ~ Church printing - bulletin, prayer sheet, sermon outline, etc. DONE!
    ~ Comment on chp 4 of Fresh-Brewed Life with the on W@H reading group. DONE!
    ~ 1 Samuel study
    ~ Load o' laundry DONE!
    ~ Start making packing list for family trip for Thanksgiving
    ~ Chart sheet music for Christmas service at church
    ~ Work on my sister's baby announcements
    ~ Write letter to my Grandma

    Travis has the day off tomorrow (planned before the sickies). Noelle is going to Grandma & Grandpa's tomorrow night to spend the night b/c Travis and I have a meeting at church early Saturday a.m. There's talk of taking our Christmas card picture but that will depend on my Dad's schedule. Travis wants to have the picture taken out front of the house (which is what we did last year), and have the dogs in the picture as well. This will be very interesting and I could imagine it will turn into quite an aerobic exercise.

    PS. Pattie, thanks for your sweet words . . . this book has been good for me to go through with others! Thanks for your hard work on leading us!

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    Refocusing

    I had such high hopes of this morning. Up early (and even earlier than I planned because Noelle woke @ 5:45 a.m.), showered, breakfasted, etc., etc., ready for a productive start to my day. Add to that plan several minor frustrations - each in and of themselves nothing major - but combined had me tearing up by 8:20. And to top it off, there is no Diet Coke in the house!

    See, I read in a post at Mrs. Darling's site how she asked her husband what he prefered to see when he got home from work - a clean house or a hot meal. So, I asked Travis. He answered "clean house." I was afraid of that. I love cooking - I'm not the world's best, but I love experimenting and trying new recipes and stuff. Travis loves it when our home is decluttered and organized. If I'm really going to minister to my husband, I need to do a better job with the house which is totally my weakness. This all leads up to the early morning I had today, the cleaning projects I was ready to tackle and then my total frustration when several things did not go as planned, one of which being the wrestling of a new mattress pad and mattress into Noelle's crib, one of my least favorite projects ever.

    Anyway, I decided to take a small break and sat at my computer to read email and there was one from FlyLady. The tag at the bottom of the email reads:
    "You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?"
    The LOAD flew off my back. I don't have to have a FlyLady house by today, I just need to start applying the principles where I'm at and move forward with her. Like going in and setting my timer in the kitchen and cleaning the kitchen for 15 minutes straight. And I did it! And then I cleaned for another 10 minutes because I wanted to finish. I can also apply this to my time with the Lord (which is even more important than a clean house!) I need to not be focusing on the fact that I'm behind in my 1 Samuel Bible study, but start on the days I need to have done for this week's lesson and move on. Anytime in the Word is better than none, and if I sit and bemoan about how I'm not going to get caught up, then I fall further and further behind. My little pep-talk for myself for the day.

    A few fun things...

    ~ Discovered this coffee last week - especially Cinnamon Hazelnut & Holiday Peppermint
    ~ Would like to have a purse like this or like this. Not sure on the color though.
    ~ I am thankful that Travis is feeling better. Still not sure what he has, but he's on the upswing!
    ~ Would like to the get this scrapbooking book.
    ~ And this one - all about organzing!




    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    A Little of This and That...

    scoot jpeg
    You are Scooter.
    You are a loyal, hardworking person, better known
    as a doormat.

    SPECIAL TALENTS:
    Going for stuff.
    LEAST FAVORITE MOVIE:
    "Go For Broke!"

    QUOTE:
    "15 seconds to showtime."

    LAST BOOK READ:
    "300 New Ways to Get Your Uncle to Get You a
    Better Job "

    NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT:
    Coffee, clipboard, and Very Special Guest Stars.


    What Muppet are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    From Under the Maple Tree:

    1. What time do you get up? Around 7 a.m. (Usually wake between 5:30 - 6 a.m. when the dogs have to go out. Would like to get up then, but my will power stinks!)
    2. If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be? My friend Gina, without kids (although we love hanging out together with our kids) for uninterrupted adult conversation!
    3. Gold or silver? Silver.
    4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Princess Diaries 2
    6. What did you have for breakfast? Freezer breakfast burritos - eggs mixed with sausage, topped with a little cheese and salsa and wrapped in a tortilla.
    7. Who would you hate to be stuck in a room with? Someone that smells really bad!
    8. Beach, City or Country? Country/City hybrid. :-)
    9. Favorite ice cream? Fudge ripple.
    11. Butter, plain or salted popcorn? Movie theatre popcorn - yum!
    12. What kind of car do you drive? 93 Honda Civic.
    13. Favorite sandwich? I'm partial to BLTs.
    14. What characteristic do you despise? Criticizing one's spouse.
    15. Favorite flower? Daisy. "Aren't daisies the friendliest flower?" Meg Ryan, You've Got Mail
    16. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Israel, Grand Canyon, Alaska - I'm not picky as long as I'm with family.
    17. Favorite brand of clothing? I love Land's End, but can rarely afford them! Maybe for Christmas?? :-)
    18. Where would you retire to? Somewhere northern with snow.
    19. Favorite day of the week? Monday. I usually try and make it my "day off" if there is such a thing.
    20. What did you do for your last birthday? Went to a New Year's Eve party at a friend's home (My bday is NYEve).
    21. Where were you born? Oklahoma.
    22. Favorite sport to watch? Professional Bull Riding or Football.
    23. What fabric detergent do you use? Arm & Hammer - cheap!
    24. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke.
    25. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Neither - I'm a plain ole daytime person.
    26. What is your shoe size? 7 1/2 - 8 (was 7-71/2 before Noelle)
    27. Do you have any pets? 2 dogs who need dinner - see ya!


    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    Today's Swonderings

    From W@H:

    Did you have a best friend in school? Do you have a best friend now? How have your thoughts and perceptions about friendship changed over the years?

    I didn't have a best friend growing up. My family moved quite a bit (or I changed schools) and it was hard to make a real "best friend." I remember being in about 10th grade and starting to pray for a best friend. I went through high school and when I reached college, during my sophmore year, I found a group of girls that I really connected with - there were 5 of us.



    Four out of the 5 of us were either music majors or minors and the other eventually went into a nursing program. I am still close with all except one who I have lost touch with. (Two are actually the friends that I went a spent several days with last week in Houston).

    Even though we were extremely close in college, because I was a year older, my senior year, I felt myself being separated from them because of my student teaching and change of focus to post-college. I would now say that I have two extremely close/best friend. One is my friends Gina. She and I are polar opposites, but through times of enmity and struggle in our friendship, we have grown very close because of our differences, if that makes sense. Where I am weak, she is strong, and vice-versa. Our relationship is a continual reminder to me of God's hand in my life and how he works through hard, painful, icky situations for His glory. My other close friend is Nat. She is one of the most Godly young women that I know and a role model for me in her walk with the Lord. She is constantly seeking Him and leaning on Him as she walks as a single woman (who would love to be married) with integrity and humility.

    Even though a best friend for me has been a long time coming, it has almost been bittersweet. As I'm learning in a book-study group of Fresh Brewed Life, no human can fill up my longings. Even if I have the perfect girlfriend to hang out with, talk with, and minister with, it will never take the place that the longs for in my life. And I have to guard myself from jealousy all the time. Maybe it's just me, but even though I mightily rejoice when my friends have triumphs or good news, I struggle with discontent that it's happening to them and not to me. I don't have as much money as them, I don't have as good a marriage, etc. Even though I treasure these relationship, still they cause me to rely even more on the Lord and remind me that He is really the only one that can be my true best friend as well as the Awesome, Holy Father that I adore.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    1000 Words

    I am feeling swamped so I'm resorting to pictures. :-)

    We had a family photo shoot a few weeks ago (when we took Noelle's 1-year picture). I thought I would share a shot of my side of the family...





    More pics by clicking here.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    Slightly Medical Post...

    Travis went to the Dr. yesterday afternoon. The Dr's best guess is that he has a bacterial infection - like ecoli or samonella - and it's just working his system over. He's on some pretty strong medication to kill the bacteria, but is battling a fever and in and out of the bathroom. He's home from work today which has been a nice treat in spite of the sickness. Noelle woke up all stopped up, too, so I've been going back and forth between the two. (At the moment, N. is napping, or headed in that direction, and T. is watching Return of the King - now that the election stuff is nearing the end!)

    I need to play catch-up on the house and my church work today, but I'm tired. I haven't slept the whole night straight in over a week what with sharing a hotel bed with Noelle and Travis getting up in the night b/c of sickies. Off to try and get a few things done . . .

    I'm the Most Interesting Person in the World!
    I'm the Most Interesting Person in the World!
    Take Just How Interesting Are You? today!
    Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

    I gotta hand it to you, buddy, you are probably more interesting than I am. Go write your own quiz!

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Recap...

    Here's a run-down of our Houston week . . .

    ~ Flew out Sunday evening. Noelle did great on take off, but cried for 20-30 minutes while we were landing. Her ears were killing her, poor baby. Right before we touched down, she fell asleep in my lap and slept until we got to the hotel.
    ~ Hotel was going to charge us $20 a day to have a crib/play pen in the room, so we all slept in the king size bed together which worked great!
    ~ Except for nap times which just didn't happen in the hotel room. I had to load Noelle in the car and drive around so that she would get at least some kind of nap a day - then I would park the car somewhere and read or snooze myself.
    ~ I had some GREAT time with two college friends that both live in Houston. We have all had our first child within 6 months of each other so it was a lot of fun to hang out with each other and our babies.
    ~ Travis got sick the Monday we were in Houston and felt horrible all week . . . he's still sick and is finally going to the doctor today. :-(
    ~ Noelle and I walked the Gallaria Mall in Houston - huge! Out of my price limit, but I definitely got exercise hiking around it's 4 floors. We spent some time watching the ice skaters on the rink at the bottom of the mall.
    ~ Went to the Children's Museum in Houston - very fun watching Noelle play and explore and have a great time.
    ~ Ate at America's with Travis and Noelle on Wednesday evening. Probably THE best steak I have ever put in my mouth. Unbelieveable!
    ~ We went to the downtown aquarium on Friday - not very big but Noelle enjoyed looking at the fish and so did we. :-)
    ~ The flight home went much better. Noelle flirted with a flight steward and got some graham cracker sticks and was a happy camper.
    ~ She was not a happy camper when she had to sleep in her own bed on Friday night - by herself. Naptime on Monday was hard, too. Today has gone much better.

    Pictures of our trip, you ask? Click here.

    In other news . . . what we've done today:

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Catching Up...

    We're back from Houston! We had a good time and I'll share more about the trip later. :-) I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and needed to get some sort of grocery list put together so I can do some shopping. Also trying to get Noelle back on her schedule today. She's not a happy camper...

    Here's a pic of our little Halloween ladybug. She was not into having the hood on! You can view a couple more pics our our bug by clicking the picture.

    Saturday, October 23, 2004

    Swonderings

    from W@H

    List 10 things that you dream about ... material and immaterial.
    1) Being back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
    2) Going to Israel some day.
    3) Having twins. :-)
    4) Purses - lots of them, that hold lots of stuff.
    5) A consistent quiet time and journalling time.
    6) Unlimited gift card at Starbucks, my favorite bookstore & TJ Maxx.
    7) Better at scripture memorization.
    8) Writing a book someday...
    9) Homeschooling my children.
    10) A marriage that gets better as the years go on. *heart*

    Off to Houston with Travis for the week . . . back to a regular blogging schedule in November! I will leave you a picture of Noelle from this week - she was dancing on our coffee table with her Larry the Cucumber. (After my heart stopped beating at the sight of her on the table, I took a picture!) :-)