Friday, November 24, 2006

I've Moved!

Not to the new house.

Not yet.

But the blog is now here.

Come on over!

Your Eyes Are Not Deceiving You

I know everything looks really different - but I'm getting ready for a few changes in this little corner of the blawg-o-sphere. Except it won't be THIS corner, exactly - it'll be a different corner - and I hope y'all will come hang out in the new corner with me.


More details soon!

Because I Love Me A Post-Thanksgiving Bargain

I don't know if any of y'all are interested, but Home Depot has six and a half foot pre-lit Christmas trees for $29.99 - and then you can mail in a rebate and get a $30.00 Home Depot gift card.

Which means that you get a tree AND make a penny.

What could be better?

David got up this morning and bought one for us - I decided that it would be a great thing to put in the den off of our new kitchen, and I'm going to hang all of our Christmas cards on it.

Which is about as close to crafty as I'll ever get. But I'm tickled that I actually thought of a holiday-themed decorating idea.

If you don't have a Home Depot in your area, click here and you can order one online.

Merry Christmas!

(I love being able to say that so much that I think I'll say it again.)

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands-down, but this year I'm feeling a bit of bloggy pressure to write some Deeply Touching Treatise on thankfulness, something in which I repeatedly use the word "autumnal" while describing the vast range of colors one can find in a single maple leaf as it basks in the rays of a golden harvest sun.

(I don't know if y'all have caught on to this or not, but Descriptive Word Pictures aren't really my thing, seeing as how I have the vocabulary of your average eighth grader, not to mention the fact that I'm far too literal to compare that ever-changing maple leaf to, say, a cocoon, because for one thing there's only one way I know how to describe a maple leaf (ORANGE!), cocoons really gross me out, and I believe my usage of the phrase "gross me out" brings us right back to what I was saying about my eighth grade vocabulary.)

So I will not be discussing nature in this post, is all I'm saying.

Limited descriptive powers aside, I have so much to be thankful for - an embarrassment of riches, in fact. And those riches have absolutely nothing to do with money or houses or cars or even my beloved DirecTV / TiVo combination. Instead, those riches have everything to do with faith and family and friends...and when I start to think about the people I love and the people who love me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm blessed beyond measure.

Not to mention: the blawg.

Almost a year ago, I sat in the rocking chair in our guest bedroom while keeping one eye on Alex in the bathtub, and I wrote my first blog post. It wasn't anything special - just about the events of the day - and I wrote it with no audience in mind, fully believing that no one would ever read it besides David and me.

(Perhaps now you'll understand why my sideline business in fortune telling isn't really all that successful. I'm not very strong with the predictions.)

I guess what I'm saying is this: I had no idea that this blog would turn out to be such an incredible blessing in my life. I had no idea that people would, you know, read it. But I am forever humbled and forever grateful that you do...and your encouragement, your emails, your comments, and your friendships have been life-changing for me. I can't tell you how thankful I am for that.

All week long a song that we sometimes sing at our church has been running through my head, and while I wanted so badly to be able to share a recording of it with y'all, I can't find one on this here interweb (and they say it's useful - HMMMPH!).

But I did find the lyrics - I think they're beautiful on their own.

For all that You've done, I will thank You
For all that You're going to do
For all that You've promised and all that You are
Is all that has carried me through
Jesus, I thank You

and I thank You
thank You,
and I thank You
thank You

Thank You for loving and setting me free
Thank You for giving Your life just for me
How I thank You
Jesus, I thank You
I gratefully thank You
And I thank You

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In Addition To Buying Ice Cream, We Will Also Be Purchasing Real Tomato Ketchup*

Those of you who mentioned The Ice Cream Dilemma in the comments of my previous post will be glad to know that there are two places to buy ice cream right around the corner from our new place. And we won't be relegated to just sniffing the ice cream, either.

So I'd say that's a victory, wouldn't you?

It also occurred to me when I was reading the last round of comments that OH MY SWEET GOODNESS I am doing the Christmas Tour of Homes thing and DID I FORGET TO TELL MYSELF THAT I'M MOVING? Because the thought of having the house, you know, unpacked by the 15th seems a little daunting, but having my house decorated for Christmas, too?

Clearly I've been bitten by a touch of the crazy.

But I'll just consider the Christmas Tour as, um, incentive and tell myself that it never hurt anyone to have a few extra unpacked boxes laying around at Christmastime.


And now to answer the questions about why we're moving.


It's pretty simple.

When we moved here six and a half years ago, we had a pretty good idea of what area we wanted to live in, and the thought of new construction was really appealing to us because we'd lived in two older houses in Baton Rouge. But in order to be able to afford new construction in this area, we had to move a little further out than we had planned (Robin, Theresa, Lori and Addie can testify to what I like to call The Boondocks Factor). We're about ten miles outside of the city limits, and when we moved out here, there weren't many subdivisions, traffic wasn't bad at all, and we could get back into "town" in about 20 minutes.

But as is oftentimes the case with suburbia, this area exploded before there was much infrastructure to support it. There were around 10 subdivisions when we moved out here...and now there are about 60. Traffic can be a nightmare. Traffic lights are being installed along the main highway, which means BIG FUN FOR ALL on the roadways. And the catch is that we live our lives not in this little community - but in the much bigger city that's over the mountain. With Alex starting K4 next year, and with his school on the other side of that mountain, it's a good time for us to bite the bullet and head into town.

So, to answer the "why" question: location, location, location.

(You know, that's pretty catchy. A real estate agent should really consider using that phrase in some brochures or something. Or on "House Hunters." Because I've never heard that phrase on "House Hunters." Except for, you know, a hundred times.)

Thus concludeth the essay on Why We're Moving.

I will post pictures just as soon as I have some - and that'll probably be this weekend.

I do hope the nervous anticipation of seeing pictures of an empty house won't completely spoil your Thanksgiving dinner.

But in the meantime: LOOK! CHAOS!

*Anybody know the movie I'm referencing?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The House Story, Part One Of Many

One Monday about three weeks ago I picked up the little man from Mother’s Day Out, and since he fell asleep within, oh, four seconds, I decided that I’d ride around and look at houses. We’d heard from our realtor that a couple was probably going to make an offer on our current house, and I figured that it might be a good idea to find a place for us to, you know, live.

There are two neighborhoods that we targeted, primarily because both of those neighborhoods are in a great location for us AND because they have older houses. New homes in this area are all fine and good if you’re a patrillionaire, but if you’re only a hundredaire or thousandaire, those new home options aren’t quite so affordable. We knew going into this house hunt that we would absolutely be looking for a fixer-upper…something where we could get a great deal and then fix it up ourselves. It seemed like the most sensible approach – and probably the only way that we could stay within our budget.

Lest you think I’m kidding, consider this: before we found the house that we're buying, our two frontrunners - until one got a contract and one got yanked off the market - were a house with a kitchen on the third level and a house that reeked of dog tee-tee. These two were the proud runners-up to the first house we thought we were going to get, which was The One With All The Shag Carpet And Low-Ceilinged Staircase On Which My Husband Consistently Bumped His Head.

I’m telling y’all: we like to live fancy ‘round here.

So that Monday afternoon, when I drove around looking at houses in our price range, I started to panic just a little bit. There just wasn’t much at all on the market, and when I drove by a “candidate” and noticed that part of the chimney was falling off, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Because with 3rd Level Kitchen and Tee-Tee House (or, as my realtor and I liked to call it, BIG STANK) out of the running, it seemed like our only options were going to be either 1) Structurally Unsound or 2) Frighteningly Unattractive.

It all seemed so promising.

Being the mature, problem-solving girl that I am, I went home, told David all about it, and cried. I wondered if we shouldn’t take our house off the market. I wondered where in the world we’d live if ours sold. I wondered what in the world people do for a living to afford the houses they live in (my conclusion: why, they must have money trees in their backyards! mightn't I go shake one?).

And then I cried some more.

But the day before David had run across a for sale by owner listing on the internet, and I asked our realtor to see if she could get us an appointment. When she talked to the owners, they said that the house wasn't actually on the market; they had decided to wait until the spring to sell, but the FSBO company hadn't taken the pictures off the website yet. They went on to say that we were welcome to come take a look, but they knew that if they waited a few months to list it, they'd be able to make more money.

Tuesday afternoon we went to see the house. And I knew, the second I walked through the door, that it was for us. I think David took one look at my face and knew that it was for us, too. I kept thinking, "They're not asking enough for this house. They're not asking enough." And David kept thinking, "Look how happy S. is. Look how happy she is! This house would stop All The Crying. IT WOULD STOP ALL THE CRYING!"

We stayed at the new house for over an hour, talking non-stop with the owners and checking out every nook and cranny. We finally left, and within fifteen minutes of being back at our house, we had decided to make an offer. They accepted it. They also told our realtor that, after meeting us, after seeing Alex run up and down the hallway and make himself right at home, that they really saw God's hand in how it all worked out.

Funny - David and I feel exactly the same way.

Several of y'all have commented and emailed to ask about the details. Does the house have shag carpet? How much work does it need? Will David and I be up to our eyeballs in home improvement projects for the next sweet forever? Will Austin Powers and Felicity Shagwell be right at home there?

Believe it or not, there's no shag carpet. The house has been completely renovated. The rooms are big, the view is great, and we won't have to do a single thing other than move in our stuff. I don't even have to paint.

Also: IT DOESN'T SMELL LIKE TEE-TEE! You must trust me when I tell you that I wasn't so sure we'd find a house where that was the case.

Best of all, it feels like home.

We can't wait to get there.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm Too Distracted By Cuteness To Think Of A Title

Alex at his Thankgiving program at his Mother's Day Out today.

He was an Indian.

[grinning at all the cuteness]

He was a cute little Indian.

Who sang!

Did I mention how cute he was?

I think I love him.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

But I'm Still Crossing My Fingers And I'd Cross My Toes If I Could

I haven't written much about our new house because, quite frankly, I've been afraid I would jinx it. And jinxing, as we all know, is a deeply legitimate and terribly spiritual phenomenon - utterly reliable in its ability to Bring Doom Upon All and advocated by pastors from their pulpits in churches far and wide.



But honestly, it's really only been in the last two days that I've been able to say the words "we're moving" without a trace of fear or intestinal disturbance or some combination of the two.

I'm so not kidding.

You see, when faced with Major Life Changes, I find that I frequently while away the hours doing productive things like Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop, Imagining The Worst Possible Outcome, along with my favorite: Figuring Out Why Good Things Can't Possibly Happen To Me.

And apparently? If you put me in the middle of not one but two housing transactions? Well, as my mama would say, I can worry the horns off of a billy goat.

It's been so much fun!

Just ask our realtor!

So I’ll spare you the details of how completely sick I am of my stupid, pointless worrying. I’ll spare you the details of how I’ve realized that I obviously need to take a couple of steps down the Spiritual Maturity Ladder since my heel keeps getting caught on that pesky Ye Of Little Faith rung. That’s a post in and of itself, but I'm not going to write it because it would make me want to flail and flog myself.

With reeds. Or perhaps a cat-o-nine-tails.

Anyhoo, now that we’re on the other side of The Unfortunate Septic Tank Incident, now that we know the only thing we have to do to our house post-inspection is to TIGHTEN THE BOLTS ON THE TOILET IN THE MASTER BATHROOM (yes, you read that correctly. We have to tighten four bolts. The end.), now that we’re only ten days away from closing, I feel like I can exhale, and I want to tell you something:

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the new house.

(Here is where my mother-in-law would say, “Well, I don’t really love it. I mean, I love God, I love people, but I don’t love things. So I don’t really love it. But I DO like it. I really really like it. A lot. Well maybe I love it just a little bit. Not like I love God or I love people, but I do love it just a little bit.”)

And we're really excited about the move.

And I'm really glad that I can talk about it now.

And I'm probably going to drive you crazy.

And that's probably nothing new.

So we should be just fine.

Especially since that pig with steam coming out of its nose is no longer at the top of my blog.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Friday, November 17, 2006

How Could I Possibly Taunt A Fellow Blogger Whose Hair Is So Cute?

Shannon and I have been talking about cooking up a little bloggy rivalry this week since our alma maters are going head-to-head on the gridiron this weekend.

But the problem is that we're both good Southern girls. Which means that our version of trash talk ends up being something along the lines of what Patty Simcox says before she launches her Student Council campaign in Grease: "I hope [we] don't make too poor a showing!"

Because here's the bottom line: if I were sitting in Shannon's kitchen right now (drinking diet Coke, no doubt), I could probably give her 100 reasons why Arkansas will win. For starters, they're on a roll. They're dominating everyone they play. They have two tailbacks who run like trains. They're confident. They're well-coached. They're GOOOOD.

So in all honesty, I know that things don't look too great for my Bulldogs tomorrow. We're not nearly as talented as they are. We're plagued by injuries. We're inconsistent. And we're underdogs.

Big time.

However, I have one little glimmer of hope.

We're playing at home.

And we'll have our cowbells, which means that even if my Bulldogs don't bring their A-game, maybe the crowd can frustrate the Hogs with the noise. It'll be a loud, raucous environment, no doubt - an SEC gameday at its finest.

So, in the spirit of the weekend, I give you this:

May the better team win.

And please please please let the better team be mine. :-)

Go 'Dogs.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

You Might Call This Post “Random,” But I Prefer “Eclectic”

1. Septic Man has finished all the repairs. Only instead of it being $900, it was $1150, because he said it was “a bigger job” than they thought it would be.

I’m not positive, but I think that what he was really saying is that David and I are full of it.

And I’m not even insulted. :-)

2. Alex is going to my parents’ house for a few days. When he found out that Mama was leaving today, he immediately asked her if he could tag along.

He’s terribly, deeply attached to his daddy and me, as you can tell.

But believe you me: if I had the chance to go somewhere and eat donuts and drink diet Coke and watch movies all day long?

Can you say “IN A HEARTBEAT”?

3. Overheard yesterday while walking behind a group of teenage girls:

“OH MY GAH – did you, like, GET BANGS?”

“Uh-huh. I TOTALLY did. I mean, I HAD them before? But they weren’t this short?”

“OH MY GAH – THEY’RE AWESOME! They look, like, SO! GOOD!”

Re-playing that conversation in my head has entertained me more than I can tell you.

It's the little things, you know?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

You know what TOTALLY ROCKS?

When the people who are buying your house are coming for their inspection at the exact same time that the inner-workings of your septic tank are exposed for all the world to see!

Or smell, as it were!

I'm trying not to panic.

But the not panicking is harder than you might think.

You see, our repairman was supposed to be here at 8:30 yesterday morning, but he didn't get here until 4:30 in the afternoon. And then he said that he didn't have enough daylight to do anything but dig the hole.

Which made perfect sense to me SEEING AS HOW HE WAS EIGHT HOURS LATE.

And then this morning the heavens opened up and poured down the rain and as a result, no work was done.

So when David called the repairman this afternoon to see if he'd be here tomorrow morning, Septic Man (who is actually very kind) asked if there was any water in the hole that he dug yesterday.

David calmly replied that why, yes, strangely enough, there was a good bit of water in the massive pit.

Septic Man said, "Hmmmmm. That's not good."


Because here's a funny story. And a true story, too: I'm not nearly as worried about the rainwater in that hole as I am by ALL THE OTHER DELIGHTS that are creating such a pleasing array of olfactory sensations when I step into our backyard.

Anyway. Our realtor has assured us that the buyers are really laid-back and very relieved that we're taking care of the repairs.

But we'll see what the inspector thinks.

By the way, just typing that last sentence made me sick at my stomach.

Maybe I should let the buyers know that I have a blog with the initals "BM," and really the whole septic tank thing is just part of a themed home-buying experience.

OH lordy.

Pray for me.

I Forgot To Tell Y'all This Because I Was Distracted By The Giant Hole In Our Backyard

Paige had a little boy yesterday morning around 3:15.

His name is Joseph.

He weighs 8 pounds and is 21 1/2 inches long.

Mama and baby are doing great.

Daddy stayed outside the nursery window until about 6 yesterday morning just staring at the little fella.

And I can't wait for Alex and Joseph to meet.

I think they'll be fast friends.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Christmas Music In Walmart Reminded Me To Do This

Mark your bloggy calendars, everybody!

Feel free to steal the button as well, but for the love of pete, keep it small. Because the resolution? Not so great.

(But this is as good as it gets button-wise because I nearly ruptured a retina scrutinizing my humble button-making efforts.)

(I'm enjoying the use of the word "button" coupled with a hyphen, if you can't tell.)

(I'm feeling somewhat button-challenged.)

Anyhoo, I only ask a couple of things if you're planning to participate in this humble little tour:

1) That you actually post pictures of your holiday decorations (and by all means, if you celebrate Hanukkah and not Christmas, please join us).

2) That you don't mock the season. Or the Reason. Or the people who are participating. And I shouldn't even have to say that because MY WORD WE'RE A BUNCH OF GROWN-UPS, PEOPLE!

As for what kind of pictures we're going to post...well, I'm thinking pictures of your of a particular collection that you of your favorite nativity of your front door...and pictures of your outside decorations if you'd like to share them.

So basically, you know, whatever.

And really, it's only fair that you should provide some refreshments (I mean, you ARE inviting us over and all), so I think it would be great fun if everyone posted his or her favorite quick and easy holiday recipe along with the pictures.

Just an idea. Feel free to ignore.

Let me know if y'all have questions or suggestions...and remember, I'll put a Mr. Linky up the morning of the 15th, and everyone can link away!

Feliz Navidad, y'all.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Because Narrative Structure Would Be Far Too Ambitious

1. My mama is here helping us pack up the house. There's not much I can say about that except for PRAISE THE LORD, OH PRAISE HIM.

2. Friday afternoon David walked into our bathroom and noticed that something had, um, backed up into the shower. As it turns out, that something was the septic tank.


It took the better part of an hour to find someone to come check out the very obvious plumbing malfunction, and while I was really hoping to secure the services of the company whose slogan is "We're #1 in the #2 Business," they were apparently so mired down in #2 problems that they couldn't bother to answer the phone.

When I finally found a nice man who was willing to make a service call, he gave us the following diagnosis: the septic pump motor is "burned up" (my response: septic pumps have MOTORS? Who knew?).

He's repairing it in the morning, after he, you know, digs a seven foot hole in our yard.

To the tune of $900.

Which I really can't talk about right now or I'll throw up.

Because I don't know if I've mentioned it or not but we are moving in a couple of weeks.

And the moving has a tendency to get a bit expensive, what with buying another house and all.


3. On a happier note, my cousin Paige is in the hospital as I type this, and we should have a brand new family member sometime within the next 24 hours.


4. My beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs trounced Loyola Marymount in basketball tonight, and I made the first of what will be many, many mid-game phone calls this season to my friend Daph and my sister. I do LOVE ME SOME BASKETBALL, and there's nothing quite like a slam dunk to make a girl forget about the fact that she has some septic "issues" going on in her backyard.

5. Did anyone catch the preview for next week's "Bachelor" at the end of tonight's show?

Did anyone notice THE SINGLE TEAR from Lorenzo? (Big Mama, I know you did).

I clapped my hands.

6. MSU vs. Arkansas in football this Saturday.

You ready, Shannon?

[she asks, sheepishly]

7. I'll be back tomorrow with more septic-related fun!

And you can only get that here, my friends.

You can only get that here.

More Bloggity Goodness

This post of Toni's is just what I needed this morning.

Go read it.

You'll be glad you did.

And I'm getting to work on a list of my own, Ms. Toni.

Yes ma'am. :-)

Friday, November 10, 2006

What A Lovely Observation From A Stranger

This past Sunday night in Walmart, Alex and I were waiting at the deli counter for some chicken tenders, because OH YES MA'AM do I ever provide some quality nutritional sustenance for my offspring. Alex was chattering away about how he wanted chicken and a donut, and the girl behind the counter said, "Is he your only one?" I didn't understand the reason for the question, but I told her that yes, he was, and she said, "That's why he's telling you what he wants. I bet he's spoiled."

David walked up right at the end of her sentence, and he looked at me, then looked at the girl behind the counter, and he said, "Well, I hope he's not...we really work hard at being consistent with him."

And then the girl replied, "Well, you're the daddy - that's probably why you think that. But I bet his mama over there spoils him to death. You can tell."

Clearly the woman had a point, because, after all, I did WANT TO BUY SOME CHICKEN TENDERS, which is oft considered a prime indicator on the Spoiled Child Index in most academic circles. And certainly the fact that Alex was making requests about what he wanted was Indicator #2, because as we all know, three year olds rarely make their wants or desires known to their mamas.

I guess he's just rotten without a hope for a cure.

But I really do think that the next time a grocery store stranger offers me a Life Lesson about the fact that we only have one child right now, I'm going to loudly announce that the possibility of being pregnant again isn't looking good for me because my uterus just fell out over in the produce department.

That ought to stop the cart traffic on aisle six in its tracks.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

How'd They Get So Smart?

For about a month Alex has been talking about a little girl - I'll call her Sidney - at his Mother's Day Out.

Just about every single time that I pick him up, he tells me all about Sidney...that she's not as old as he is, that she's his friend, that he plays with her. I couldn't figure out why a younger child would be in his three year old class, so I figured that Sidney must be on the playground at the same time, or maybe he saw her in chapel, or maybe they had music together. Regardless of how they met, it's been pretty clear that Alex adores her.

Yesterday Alex stayed an hour longer than normal at MDO so that I could get my hair cut, and when I walked in the extended care room, he was sitting at a table with three or four other kids having a snack. As soon as he saw me he hopped out of his seat, ran toward the door, and said, "Mama! I'm having a snack with Sidney! It's Sidney, Mama!"

And when I looked at the little girl who was sitting to the left of where Alex had been, I saw his precious blonde-haired friend named Sidney. What I didn't expect - because Alex hadn't told me - is that she has Down Syndrome. He hadn't told me, of course, because he never noticed. Why would he?

As Sidney watched Alex running toward me yesterday afternoon, the joy in her eyes took my breath away. I was blinking away tears before I ever knew what hit me.

While Alex and I gathered up his things and started walking toward the car, I asked him if he and Sidney had fun playing. He said, "Oh, yes ma'am, Mama! Sidney wanted to read Blue's Clues, and we watched a movie, and we had a good time, Mama!"

And as I buckled the little man in his seat, all I could think about was how grateful I am for Sidney. I'm so thankful that she's Alex's friend.

They're buddies. Plain and simple.

There are many things I love about children, but the tenderness of their little hearts - the way they look at people and at the world without judgment, without prejudice, without bias - it just blows me away.

Alex and Sidney, for me, are a reminder of what real friendship looks like.

And I thank them for the lesson.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

For Your Bloggy Information

Click here for details....

Because I'm Wrestling

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. The Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"
- Matthew 28:16-20

"He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'"
- Acts 1:7-8

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ."
- Acts 5:41-42

"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disesase and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'"
- Matthew 10:35-38

So here is (are) my question(s): is global mission work a non-negotiable for a believer? Is it something we should do because we're obligated to share the Gospel, or is it something we should do because we have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to serve in a specific part of the world? Is being "salt and light" in our day-to-day lives enough?

I think that since we have a three year old, I've had the mindset that my primary mission field is in my home...that this is just not the "season of life" for me to serve overseas on even a short-term basis unless I am prompted and led by the Holy Spirit to go. But am I wrong? I recently heard someone say that making excuses about why we can't possibly serve globally is just putting up smokescreens...because sometimes the need dictates the call. I see what the person is saying...but I don't think I agree, necessarily.

I'd love to know what y'all think.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rock It, Y'all

I don't consider myself an overly patriotic person, but there's something about voting day that makes me want to stand outside all the local polling places and sing "God Bless The U.S.A."

Of course if I actually did that, no one would stick around to vote because, well, I can't really sing, and no human could possibly endure my shriekish rendition of the final note. So maybe I should just lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance instead, but you get the idea.

My parents always made a big deal about voting when I was growing up, and I have lots of memories of Daddy coming home from work, picking up Mama and me, and then driving to the place where they voted about eight miles away. Sometimes Mama even let me go into the voting booth with her, and I would daydream about being eighteen and getting to push all the little buttons and then pulling the lever on the voting machine because I AM A NERD, you see.

My fascination with voting and the politicial process didn't diminish as I got older. The summer after my senior year in high school, I drove over to Jackson twice a week to volunteer at campaign headquarters for a Mississippi gubernatorial candidate. This is only astonishing to me in retrospect, since now I look back on that time in my life and wonder why I wasn't hanging out at the pool or trying to sneak out of the house instead writing letters and answering phones and listening to campaign strategy sessions.

All I can figure is that basically, you know, I was a goober. And I loved it.

When I finally turned eighteen I was in college, and I was so excited about being able to vote that I actually DROVE HOME ON A TUESDAY AFTERNOON so that I could vote at the same polling place where my parents took me when I was growing up. I remember that I was wearing a long red skirt with a red and white striped sweater because clearly, when voting for the first time, your vote does not count unless your outfit registers the appropriate level of Respect For The Process as well as Patriotic Fervor. I was all about it.

At that time in my life I was idealistic, a little left-leaning, and more than a bit naive about politicians. By my late 20's and early 30's I was, as my husband likes to say, leaning so far to the right that I almost fell over. And now, in my late 30's, I find that I'm much more like my 18 year old political self - only without the naive part. I'm much more moderate, just as apt to lean to the left as to the right, and more than a little disillusioned by the scandals and the secrecy that seem to characterize our political system.

It's hard sometimes to watch party leaders point fingers at this group and that group and the other group about how they are the cause for All That Is Wrong With The World without ever bothering to extend a helping hand to people who really need it. But I'll save my Social Responsibility lecture for another day. :-)

I've been so tempted this year to just throw up my hands, say "what difference does it make," and pretend like this particular Election Day doesn't even exist. But the bottom line is that stepping into that booth, pushing those buttons, and pulling that lever (oh, the lever! the glorious lever!) – well, it’s the best shot I have at making my voice heard.

I hope I never take that forgranted.

And I’ll see you at the polls.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Would Like To Announce That I Have Packed A Box

This afternoon I cleaned out the secretary in our living room so that I could start packing what needs to go to the new house, and I'm happy to tell you that it only took me two hours!

For one box!

This does not bode well.

But oh, the pictures that were in of our first Christmas tree after we got married, pictures of the first house that we bought, and then pictures of this house when we were building it.

I got a little nostalgic.

There were also about 492 pictures of our dogs, including photos of the time that we dressed them up in fleeces for a Christmas portrait, and I got all sentimental about when Maggie the lab was a puppy and I put a red bow around her neck. These days if I tried to put a bow around her neck she would spin around in circles trying to dislodge it, then get into a bit of a tug of war with the ribbon, but a puppy with a bow around her neck is a pretty sweet memory.

And then I found the ID tags that Alex and I had in the hospital when he was born.

And then I found my diploma for my B.A., my teaching evaluation letters from grad school, an old 3.5 inch floppy disk that has every paper I ever wrote in college.

I was trying to be methodical and detached about the cleaning out process, but I finally gave up, sat on the couch, and looked at every paper, every card, and every photo. l laughed a bunch (it's a wonder David ever married me given the state of my mid-90's bangs), and sighed a bunch (in the first little house that we rented, I believe my Decorating Objective was to display every single wedding gift that we received), and talked to myself a bunch (WHY IN THE WORLD have I saved my checkbook register from 1996?). I even cried a little (see earlier statement regarding hospital ID bracelets).

But mostly, more than anything, I felt really, deeply blessed.

And now I'm off to pack box number two....

I Don't Mean To Gloat...

...but sometimes a girl just needs to savor a win.


Go 'Dogs.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Question For The Ages

Alex and his daddy have gone downstairs to watch "Gideon," the new Veggie Tales movie.

They've been down there about 25 minutes.

So why in the sam hill am I still watching "The Wiggles"?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

So I Have A Bit Of News

Monday I was convinced that no one would ever buy our house, and even if they did, we'd never find a place to move.

Tuesday afternoon we found a house that we love.

Wednesday night we got an offer for our current house.

Thursday we were alternately excited and terrified.

Friday we signed two contracts: one to sell this house, one to buy the other house...pending inspections, of course.

Today we are tickled to death.

And God's hand has been so evident in it all.

More later....

Friday, November 03, 2006

Because I'm All About The Sacrifice, People

Here's Addie's response to my post from Wednesday about my Total Absence Of TV Watching this week:

Yet another reason why I heart blogging.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Was A Cliffhanger And I Had No Idea

So to answer your questions about what Alex saw in our dining room when he ran downstairs screaming in the middle of the night:

Absolutely Nothing.

He said the next morning that he had a dream about monster cows and puppy dogs eating grass, and I don't know if that's what had him so spooked or not...but he's been a little weirded out by the whole "monster thing" lately, and I have a feeling that he saw my shadow when I walked around the corner from our bedroom and immediately went into monster freak-out mode.

The twisted side of me couldn't help but think of the old "Simpsons" episode where Bart spent the night with the Flanders children and had to sleep in the big clown beds, then was so disturbed by the whole situation that he crawled to the end of the bed and said, "Can't sleep, clown'll eat me" over and over again.

Needless to say, I've opted not to share the Scary Clown Bed story with Alex just yet.

The grass-eating monsters and cows are wreaking enough havoc on his sleep as it is.

In a completely unrelated item, we ate supper at a Mexican place tonight, and in addition to regular salsa they serve some sort of black bean salsa that is quite possibly the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my whole life ever, and that includes fried chicken.

I can tell that there are black beans (run through the food processor), onions, garlic, and lots of vinegar in the delicious alterna-salsa, as I like to call it...but I don't have any idea what the actual recipe is. Do any of you interweb people have a recipe that you think is similar? Because I would LOVE to make this stuff at home.

Also, we haven't watched TV all week, and even though "all week" is at this point only about four days, I feel that it's some form of record for me and perhaps someone should issue me a Certificate of Achievement.

Anyway, I have several Paula Deen shows, "The Bachelor," "Dancing With The Stars," and three days' worth of "Oprah" waiting for me on TiVo, and while I would love to write more, I think if I don't park myself in front of the television here in the next five minutes I'm going to go into full-blown withdrawal.

With the shakes and everything.

See y'all tomorrow.