Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Year Gone

Today marks the day twenty-eight years ago that I entered the world a squalling, red faced baby. Not much has changed. KIDDING! Well, kind of.

Last year I was less than thrilled with the idea of turning twenty-seven. I'm thinking my aversion to odd numbers had something to do with it. I refuse to believe it was because the big 3-0 was looming closer. I'm a step closer to the top of the hill and the view ain't all bad. I am determined to age - somewhat - gracefully ... or at least do my kicking and screaming in private.

I was pondering today the changes the past year had brought. You know, what things had I accomplished, what goals had I met, how many diapers had I changed. That type of thing. Here's the list I compiled.

1. I've been married one year longer.

2. I've grown in stature. Okay, not "stature," just ... grown.

3. My oldest went off to kindergarten, which resulted in...

5. My husband and I enjoyed a ten day trip to Costa Rica where we lived it up. NO KIDS!!

6. I changed roughly four diapers a day, which over a year adds up to ... 1,460 diapers. (Minus the ones Chad changed on the weekends.)

7. I have wiped hands and faces twice a day ... 730 swipes. Multiply that by two for the sticky ketchup in hard to reach places. (Ears, hair, between fingers, belly buttons)

8. I have given about 30 hugs a day, 40 kisses, 10 tickles. That adds up to 10950, 14600 and 3650 respectively.

9. I've continued to lead worship at our church which has been both a wonderful blessing and, at times, a difficult challenge. It has been amazing to watch God work in spite of me. *g*

10. I have new, wonderful bedroom furniture. LOVE, LOVE IT!! Deep rich espresso color (yummy) with a leather headboard and foot board. Gorgeous.

11. Deepened friendships both online and off.

12. Sporadically maintained a blog.

13. Bought a 30+ Skin Care line. My way of giving 'Ole Father Time a swift kick in the teeth.

That's about it. Not a very impressive list I'll admit. But that's my life - wife, mother, worship leader, friend, occasional blogger. And I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Average Day With Benen

"Mom, if you had three Benens there would be three to make three beds."

"Oh. That's true."

"Mom, what if you had three Connors, three Benens and three Koltens? Wouldn't that be awesome!"

"Well, that would mean I had nine kids. That would be a LOT. I think I'll just stick with three."


:: :: ::

"Mom, how would you like .... THIS!" He wraps his arms around my waist in a bear hug.

"I'd LOVE that."

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you, too, Benen."

"I know."

:: :: ::

"Mom, when it's my birthday, you don't have to buy me a card if you don't have time."


"If you don't have time, that's okay. You don't have to buy me a card."

"Benen, I love you and I will make time to buy you a card. And I'll make time to buy you a present and make you a cake and give you a great birthday party."

"Oh. Mom, you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna invite you to my birthday."

"Thanks, Benen."

:: :: ::

"Mom, you know, we never see you shower."

"Nope, that's right."


"Well, 'cause I'm a girl and you're a boy."

"Oh. Are you gonna have a shower or a tub with some toys to play with?"

"A shower."

"Oh. When you're done can you come downstairs and show us your beautiful looks?"

:: :: ::

"Mom, when I go to kindergarten, I'll think about you instead of my friends."

"That'll be nice, Benen."

"Yeah. And I'll kiss you before I go to school."

"I'd like that."

"Yeah. Mom, you know Barney Rubble? Sometimes, he doesn't kiss his wife on his way to work. He's in a hurry and he just whooshes by."


"Mom, don't worry. I'll make time to kiss you goodbye."

:: :: ::

"'Night Benen. I love you."

"'Night, Mom. I love you a hundred to a hundred."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Funny

Can you read that? I know it's fuzzy and this time it wasn't the camera. I'm just the worst picture-taker in history. Here's what it says:


This makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time. As if that's not funny enough, here's the caption, the "selling factor."


BWAHAHAHAHA! Just what, exactly, are "male factor nutrients"? I mean, REALLY. That's just too much.

Chad came home with these vitamins a couple of weeks ago. I have done nothing but laugh every time I see the silly bottle. The amazing thing is THEY WORK. Chad has been on medication for his high blood pressure for two years and keeping it under control has been a daily challenge. If he missed his pill one day, he started to feel the effects.

He began taking these vitamins and after about five days, he noticed he was feeling weird. He sat down to check his blood pressure (yes, we have our own machine) and it showed he was quite low. Like 110/67. So he checked again. And again. And again. We were both baffled. Even with his medication he always leaned toward the high side. His numbers had never, in his entire life, been that low.

He went online that night to research just what was in these Power vitamins. Turns out there are four different herbs that lower your blood pressure. He has been off his medication now for a week and a half, and its staying down.

So, even though I still laugh at the ridiculous label, I have to give Jamieson props, as Randy Jackson would say.

:: :: ::

This Week's Worship

Opening Song:
Lord Reign In Me

Worship Set:
I Am Free
Everlasting God
Let the Church Rise

Closing Song:
My Redeemer Lives

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother's Dream Day

My Mother's Day was incredibly special this year. It started out with breakfast in bed.

I cringed when I heard the door creak open at too-early in the morning. Any hour of the morning is too early for me and it wasn't helped by the fact I had had trouble falling asleep the night before. I finally drifted off somewhere between 3:30 and 4:00. My oldest son crawled in around 5:00 and I spent the next hour fighting elbows and knees for space and trying not to sweat myself into dehydration while being thoroughly cooked from both sides.

So when the door opened I groaned on the inside, but managed to paste a smile on my face. It got better from there. I opened my eyes to see my oldest son carrying the wooden tray he had made on a school field trip to Home Depot. On that tray was a plate with toast and a nicely folded napkin. (I'm not much of a breakfast eater.) Chad was carrying a hot cup of coffee. Have I said he's my Knight in shining armor?

The boys were adorable with lots of hugs and kisses and phrases like, "You're beautiful, Mom," and "You're the best mom in the whole wide world," and "I love you a hundred to a hundred." (That's Benen's newest one. Makes me smile every time.)

Then came the presents.

Benen was literally bouncing with excitement and when Chad handed him the bag his enthusiasm took over. He reached in the bag and whipped out ... a new pair of slippers. They are fuzzy, fluffy thong style slippers that are bright pink and baby-blue with puppies and stars all over the straps. Totally Benen's personality. He also bought me a card and a book bracelet. It's a bookmark that fits around the spine of your book and has little decorations on it. He picked it out because there's a heart in the middle. (Chad was able to talk him out of the Hannah Montana bookmark that first caught his eye.)

Connor handed me his gift bag and I reached inside and pulled out ... another pair of slippers. What one does, the other must do. Connor had picked out simple slip-on slippers in a soft shade of pink. Once again, totally Connor's personality. At school he had also made for me a card with a tulip on the outside. The inside of the card read,

Dear Mom
I love you!
Happy Mother's Day!
Love Connor

And he had written it all by himself. He also made one of those plaster hand prints in gold. It was incredibly special. And the whole time I was opening presents Kolten sat beside me on the bed and ate my toast.

Chad decided this year to join Mother's Day with my birthday - which comes nine days too soon - and bought me the iPod Touch. I'm thoroughly enjoying my new toy.

The rest of the day included church, grocery shopping, shopping for an iPod case and hanging out with friends and family.

We barbecued supper over at my brother and sister-in-law's and when it was time for the kids' bedtime, Chad took them home while I stayed and watched 27 Dresses with my mom and sister-in-law. The perfect end to the perfect day.
I hope you all had wonderful days, too!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Mother's Day Shopping Trip

A conversation while shopping for Mother's Day presents at Walmart, as relayed by Chad:

Connor: "Whoah, Dad! We should get Rock Band!"

Chad: "Connor, who are we buying for again?"

Connor: "Mom."

Chad: "And do you really think Mom is going to play Rock Band?"

Connor: "Ummm, no."

Chad: "We need to think about what Mom would like. What does Mom like?"

Connor: "Well....she likes me. How do I give her me?"

Benen: "I know Connor. I know what you can do. You can wrap yourself in wrapping paper."

Connor: "I can't do that. I'll die. I won't be able to breathe."

Benen: "Welllll, I know. You can poke some holes in it."

A little while later....

Connor: "Mom likes stuff that's soft. I'm gonna look for something soft to get her so she has something soft to sleep with."

Chad: "Think about it Connor. Does Mom really like soft stuff, like stuffed animals? Does she sleep with anything soft right now?"

Connor: "Well she sleeps with you."

I'm interested to see what the boys picked out. I'll be back tomorrow to give the details.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Book Recommendations

A couple of weeks ago Travis tagged me with the new challenge of picking a Friday book recommendation. The idea is to look back and remember some of the great books of the past few years. I was supposed to have posted it last Friday and completely dropped the ball on that one. Sorry, Travis. I wish I had a good reason, but the truth is I don't even remember what I was doing. The last few weeks are basically a big blur. But, although I'm a week late, I want to go ahead and do it anyway.

Patti Abbot launched this great idea. Here's her original explanation:

This is the first of what I optimistically hope will become Friday recommendations of books we love but might have forgotten over the years. I have asked several people to help me by also remembering a favorite book. Their blog sites are listed below. I also asked each of them to tag someone to recommend a book for next Friday. I'm worried great books of the recent past are sliding out of print and out of our consciousness. Not the first-tier classics we all can name, but the books that come next. Here's my choice.

So that's the idea. And now, here's my choice.


Following a whirlwind romance and impromptu wedding, she is whisked off to her husband’s palatial family estate in Bolivia. Cultural differences and family adjustments are no match for her fierce love for Nicolas. But Sara soon opens a Pandora’s box of questions surrounding the Cortez family’s billion-dollar business, becoming ensnared in a deadly clash between her new family, a drug cartel, and the DEA.

Driven by heart-pounding drama and supported by compelling realism and precise detail, Jeanette Windle catapults you into an all-to-real world of intrigue and danger . . . captivating and mesmerizing you from first page to last. Experience first-hand the inexorable forces and critical choices that draw Sara relentlessly into the Crossfire.

The only word for this book is awesome. I loved every word, sentence and page of this book. It starts out with a bang and keeps rapidly moving, taking you on a heart-pounding adventure. There are twist throughout this book that are completely unexpected. Jeanette Windle writes in such detail, you will feel as if you get an up close look at the dangers and truth of the fight against the drug trade. Powerful. Emotional. AWESOME!

And now, to tag someone for next Friday, I pick Katybug. This gal is a dear blog friend and uber reader like myself. She has steered me towards some great books and I'm excited to see what she picks.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


It's been a while since I last blogged. I have a reason. I'm addicted to Spider solitaire. I tend to go through phases with it and right now, every time I sit down at the computer with the intent to blog, I find my mouse gravitating towards that little button on the side of the monitor. Instead of checking e-mail and blogs and attempting to peck out something here, I find myself sitting in a trance, determined to beat the game at least once before going to bed. Or feeding the kids, taking a shower, doing the laundry, washing the dishes. You get the idea.

Anyways, I won tonight and since I'm currently riding the high that victory brings, I figured I'd put the extra energy to some use. 'Course I could be making my son's lunch for school tomorrow, but where's the fun in that?

So here's the deal with last weekend - and yes, I can share most of it. Chad and I managed to get away to the city and it was fabulous in its way. The time spent with Chad was wonderful. BUT a major hair disaster put a decided damper on the holiday. Let me explain.

I needed some touch-ups done on my hair, a few extra layers put in to take some of the bulkiness out of the middle. I had been (notice the past tense) attempting to grow out my painfully-slow-growing hair for the summer and just wanted to thin out a couple of places.

Here's the thing. I have a good friend who cuts my hair and it's hard for me to trust someone else to understand what it is I want done. I allowed myself to be convinced to give a salon in the city a try.

I made the ultimate mistake of choosing the first place we came to in the mall. I figured big city, they must know what they were doing. I was WRONG! I took one look at the woman and almost walked out. I should have. There was something not quite right with her eyes and I was picking up some weird vibes from the place. The fact the receptionist looked like a cross from Ripley's Believe It or Not and some weird creature from a wax museum should have tipped me off. BUT I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. A mistake I won't duplicate.

I tried to explain to the butcher - pardon me, hairstylist - what it is I wanted and I thought I had made it clear despite her halting, broken English. With great trepidation I planted my backside in her chair and allowed myself to be draped with the black cloak. My stomach was churning and my nails firmly embedded in the arms of the chair as I fought to remain seated despite the nausea and light-headedness.

"I want to keep the length," I emphasized. "I just want it blended a little through here and maybe a few more layers. Don't take off any length."


Ten excruciating minutes later and I looked like the worst version of an eighty's mullet EVER! I kid you not, she took off most of the length on the sides and LEFT THE BACK LONG! I stared for two shocked minutes, unable to reconcile the hideous creature in the mirror as being me. I gulped.

"What did you do? I asked you not to take off any length."

"Oh no, I didn't take off length. See?" And she pulled on the back of my hair.

"But you cut off the sides! The sides are short!"

"Uhhh, yes and now it blends so much betta."

"But the sides are SHORT! And the back is LONG!" She just stared at me through her evil Mirror-Mirror-on-the-Wall. "Just cut off the back, please. You might as well just cut it all off."


So she did. She didn't even attempt to style it after. I had to ask for some product to try and put some curl back in it after she had ruthlessly combed it straight. As I went to pay, the receptionist looked at me with her soulless eyes and wax face. "How much you tip?"

I was taken aback. How much did one tip the person responsible for her worst nightmare? I was clueless, "Uh, I'll tip ten...I guess." And then I grew a back bone. "Uh, well, se-seven."

I received the nastiest look ever. "Seven?"


I swear she hissed at me. Then she handed me the slip to sign. Imagine my shock when I realized she had gone ahead and charged the ten dollar tip to my card!

Although I struggled through the weekend trying NOT to think about what hair remained on my head, it was a lot of fun meeting up with some family. The weekend was full of wonderful company, conversation, good food and lots of fun and laughter.

And now that I'm home and have my trusty straightener, I've been able to resign myself to this new look. It isn't as bad as it first appeared and I'm accepting it, 'cause, let's face it, what else am I gonna do?

:: :: ::

On a completely different note, I watched P.S. I Love You tonight. I sobbed my eyes out! What an amazingly wonderful, funny, romantic, yet sad show. I am a complete mess. But, I think it may be one of my favorite contemporary chick flicks. Anyone seen it yet? I also watched 27 Dresses for the second time. What a cute, feel-good story.

Okay, it's getting late and I really should make Connor's lunch tonight since I don't function in the mornings and may possibly forget to include a spoon again. Not a good thing when half his lunch requires one.