Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I am not qualified to be his mom

If I had known ahead of time what my firstborn would be like, I would have become a scientist before I had him. Last week we had a loooong conversation (followed by some research) about how one gets salt out of the ocean (a process I now know is called desalination) and about how long it takes a tree to rot out and become a hollow long. Below are just a few of the things Joshua has asked me about in the past twelve hours:

1. How did they make that big truck? How do they make cars? Where does the metal come from? How do they make it shaped like that? Why are there different kinds?

2. Why is it called an eardrum? How do they (scientists) know what it looks like? How do they take it out after a person is dead to look at it?

3. I wish I could make a guitar out of plastic. (I told him they are usually made out of wood.) How do they make the wood so smooth? How do they get it shaped like that? What are the strings made out of?

4. Why is a diamond white? Where do they come from? Is a mine like a cave? If I dug really deep in the yard, could I find some diamonds? Are all of them from Africa? Are there any in America? Was the Lost Sea a mine? (No, just a cave, said I.) Well, then where did they get all those gems in the gift shop? How do they know Indians used to use that cave?

5. How does a stinkbug (he took a HUGE one to show & tell today) make the bad smell? Is it gas? How does he make it come out on purpose? Does he move his butt when he sprays it?

These are simply a few random samplings of the questions Joshua asks all. day. long. And he wonders why mommy's exhausted.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mortification Monday

Yes, it's that time again.  I know you're holding your breath wondering if it's you who's up today.  So, you can relax and let it out now . . . unless you're Yella. :)

One of the best parts of law school was having the opportunity to live with two of my best friends, Hilary and Daniella (Yella).   Yella is one of the most fun people you will ever meet . . . and one of the clumsiest.  (Yes, I know, I'm not one to talk in this area, but as I said last week, start your own blog.)  

If I had a dollar for every time she came dragging her computer bag into the library having had some terrible accident while walking to it, I'd, um, have several dollars.  (Yella, I will willingly admit the time I came dragging in with holes in my jeans and bloody knees because of my own mishap while walking and peering enviously at a van with an unjustly good parking space.)  

Surprisingly, however, this post is not about being coordinationally-challenged.

Yella, Hil, and I lived in a downstairs apartment with a sliding glass door that opened to the front of the building.  One night we apparently decided the lock on said door was not secure enough, so we set about making our home a safer place.

One of us had the bright idea of putting a broomstick in the door track to prevent anyone from being able to open the door.  Good idea, no?  Well, we didn't have a broomstick, just a broom.  After determining that an entire broom would not serve the same purpose, I said, "I guess we need a saw."

You see what my point was, right?  Not Yella.

I'm not sure where we got the saw  - seems like an odd thing for us to have owned - but the next thing Hil and I know, we look over at the door, and there's Yella with a saw.  Only, she's not using it to cut the broomstick as we had expected.

She's laying the saw in the door track and saying, perplexedly, "I don't think this is going to work."

Just for the record, she went on to graduate near the top of our class, pass the bar exam, and become a successful attorney.  I do not foresee a future in home security or engineering, however.

Another funny thing about this night was once Hilary and I stopped laughing and told Yella that the saw was to cut the broomstick, we set about doing so.  (This was around midnight, by the way.)  Our upstairs neighbor, Josh, walked past our sliding door toward his apartment and would tell us later that if he had seen any other group of girls trying desperately to saw a broom in half on their loveseat at midnight, he would have had questions . . . or at least been surprised.  But, given that he was a veteran at walking past our door at midnight, he knew better than even to ask.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Martyrs and Thieves

Sorry for no quick takes post yesterday;  I was an a Continuing Legal Ed class in Atlanta all day.  Will blog about that another day.

While driving to Atlanta yesterday, the weather was terrible, and I couldn't get good reception for my ipod, so I dug around in my van for a cd.  I put in an old Jennifer Knapp cd, which has long been one of my favorites, but which I have not listened to in a long time.  This song, Martyrs and Thieves, really spoke to me about letting Christ's light shine into even those dark places of our hearts that we would rather not reveal. May He be glorified in whatever parts of my life He can use.  Here are the lyrics.

Martyrs & Thieves by Jennifer Knapp

There's a place in the darkness that I used to cling to
That presses harsh hope against time.
In the absence of martyrs, there's the presence of thieves
Who only want to rob you blind.
They steal away any sense of peace,
'Tho I'm a king, I'm a king on my knees.
And I know they are wrong when they say I am strong
As the darkness covers me.

So turn on the light and reveal all the glory.
I am not afraid
To bear all my weakness, knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain.
Where there is peace and love in the light, in the light.
I am not afraid to let your light shine bright in my life, in my life.

There are ghosts from my past who've owned more of my soul
Than I thought I had given away.
They linger in closets and under my bed
And in pictures less proudly displayed.
A great fool in my life I have been;
I have squandered 'til pallid and thin.
Hung my head in shame and refused to take blame 
For the darkness I know I've let win.

So turn on the light and reveal all the glory.
I am not afraid
To bear all my weakness, knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain
Where there is peace and love in the light, in the light.
I am not afraid
To let your light shine bright in my life, in my life.

I've never been much for the baring of soul
In the presence of any man.
I'd rather keep to myself all safe and secure 
In the arms of the sinner I am.
Could it be that my worth should defend
By the crimson stained grace on a hand?
And like a lamp on a hill, Lord, I pray in your will
To reveal all of You that I can.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I'm in one right now.  No, not a physical desert, an emotional one.  Despite all my so-called insights and revelations, I am not immune to the dry and arid places of the soul. 

I won't go into a lot of detail about it on this, the world wide web, but neither will I be inauthentic.  I would never want someone to read my blog and think, "Wow, she's got it all together.  I wish I could be that spiritual."  

One of the good things about the Christian life is that the longer we live it, the more opportunities God has to mercifully bring us out of these deserts, and the more likely we are to finally, reluctantly even, trust that He will bring us out indeed.

I learned something interesting about the word desert.  There are several different Hebrew words that translate to "desert," and one of those words is "midbar," which comes from the root "dabar," which means "to lead."  I like that.  

We all face deserts at one point or another, and there is plenty of Biblical precedent for them: Moses, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus.

God led each of them to a desert, but he did not abandon them there.  My former pastor once said, "Remember that God's diverting of you to this place is not God's denying to you in this place."

So, in the spirit of giving thanks in all things . . . Thank you, God, for the desert I am in right now.  Thank you that I am not alone here because You are always with me and have promised never to forsake me.  Thank you for the faithfulness You have shown to me in the past and for how Your Spirit ever so gently, ever so patiently, reminds me of those times.  

Remembrance can be a lifeline for a Believer.  That's why God told His people to build memorials and to tell of His deeds from generation to generation.  So, trust me, when you find yourself in a desert - and you will - say a prayer of thanks.  Once God has brought you out - and He will - it will be another link in your lifeline of remembrance. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mortification Monday

I got the idea for this feature from Marinka, whose blog I read regularly.  (She does use profanity on a fairly regular basis, so I linked to a post I think is pretty un-profane, but I make no guarantees.  If you encounter words that offend you, I'm sorry, but I will not give your money back.  She's hilarious at any rate.)  From what I've gathered, the whole "stealing ideas" thing is perfectly fine in Blogland so long as you give credit and a link.  So, I have henceforth stolen this feature idea.

For now, I thought I'd change it up a little, though.  While Marinka tells weekly stories of her own embarrassing experiences, I thought it would be even more fun to tell embarrassing stories about my family and friends instead.  I know.  Brilliant.  

*Note to all family and friends who may  hereafter appear in this feature:  Sorry if you're offended or embarrassed, but that's sort of the whole idea.  If you'd like to tell your side of the story or write about something stupid that I've done, feel free to start your own blog.

Today I'm going to tell you about learning to drive with my mom.

My mom is a terrible passenger.  She has improved in recent years, but historically, I would rather take a few days and walk to my destination than drive with my mom in the car. 

In all fairness, I should tell you that my mom was in a really terrible car accident many, many years ago.  This, according to her, is the reason she feels the need to tell the person driving about every upcoming red light, yellow light, brake light, and turn signal within five miles.  (Yes, she can see that far . . . it's her superpower.)

She was so bad that I remember my dad running a red light once when he knew there was nothing coming (and no cop around, I suppose) just so he could say to my mom, "What? How was I supposed to know it was red you didn't tell me?"  

Yes, I'm a lot like my dad.

So, one Saturday afternoon when I was fifteen and had a learner's permit, I was where you find most fifteen year olds on a Saturday . . . at the bowling alley with my grandpa. 

(Yes, I bowled a lot as a kid.  It was what Grandpa liked to do with us, so much so that he gave all of us grandkids our own personalized bowling balls when we were old enough to handle it.  I'm not sure what age constituted the official coming-of-age bowling ball (and bag) ceremony, but it was apparently before I was fifteen.)

When we left  the bowling alley,  I, like most fifteen year-olds begged my mom to let me drive.  Because  I didn't know better back then, and really, what choice did I have?  

(I know . . . drive only with my dad, right?  Trust me, that carried its own issues.  On the day he took me downtown (where the DMV used to be) to get my permit, he let me drive from the DMV to his office  on a very busy part of Macon Rd .  My first time driving on real roads with other cars, and when I politely asked him which lane I should be in, this is the conversation that followed:
Me:  Do I need to change lanes?
Daddy: Why would you need to change lanes?
Me: I'm not sure if this is the right lane.
Daddy: Well, where are you going?
Me: To your office.
Daddy: Does this lane go to my office?
Me: I DON'T KNOW.  There are four lanes of traffic on this side of the road, and I've NEVER DRIVEN BEFORE.  Is this lane going to be turning-only?!
Daddy: Does it say it's going to be turning only?

You see my conundrum.)

So, Mom relented and let me drive.  From the moment we pulled out of the parking lot, she started telling me I was driving too close to the car  in front of me.  "You're not stopping soon enough.  Becky, don't get so close; what if  they slam on their brakes?Slow down, Becky, you're going to hit that car!"

This  was making me more and more irritated by the minute, and finally, I had all of it I could take, and I pulled off to the side of the road and traded places with her.  "Fine," I said in a huff, "You drive."  We both angrily got  out of our respective seats and traded places.

My mom then proceeded to pull back onto the road and immediately rear-end the car in front of us.

Friday, March 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

Here are my Quick Takes for this week, since technically, it is still Friday.


I apologize for weird spacing issues in my posts.  I've discovered that I can get online using my dad's (PC) laptop, and I swore I would not write another blog post from this @#$%* Mac, but alas, I got in late tonight, and the laptop has been shut down already.  And, if you know me at all, you know I'm pretty easily deterred . . . if something seems like a lot of trouble, I  usually don't bother.  


I know what you're thinking.  "You got in late? From whence?" (You're welcome.  I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are quite an eloquent thinker.)

So, yeah, I went on a double date of sorts.  Joshua and I went with my brother and his daughter (and a girl he's dating) to see Big River at the Springer.  It was excellent.   It ended way past my bedtime.


I decided that I didn't feel like getting really dressed up for it (shaving my legs seemed like a lot of trouble . . . see #1), so I just wore my nicest pair of skinny jeans and a dressy black shirt.

The outfit would have been a lot less trouble if I wasn't deodorantly challenged.  I spent at least as long getting deodorant spots off my black shirt as I would have shaving my legs.  Seriously, if there's a "Dressing for Dummies" course out there somewhere, let me know.  I think I dress without getting deodorant on my shirt about twice a month.  (And, no, putting the shirt on first won't help . . . it's a lot of trouble to lift up the shirt carefully and put the deodorant on afterward . . . again, see #1.)


I got hit by a deer Wednesday night.  Yes, that's right.  I got hit BY a deer.  

I was driving home from small group - in quite a bit of an anxious funk, though I'm pretty sure that had nothing to do with it - when suddenly there was a deer what seemed like 3 inches in front of my at-the-time-being-driven-60 mph van.  I slammed on my breaks and missed him by about  a millimeter then suddenly felt this huge thud against the rear side of the van.  Apparently, Bambi had a friend.  Or an offspring.  Or, as Joshua is convinced, there was something chasing it to eat it . . . most likely a cheetah.

Since I was less than a mile from home, am a huge coward, and was on a dark and desolate road, I decided not to get out and survey the damage at the scene.  Even when I got home, I couldn't tell much in the dark.  Yesterday morning, however, I discovered a giant deer-head shaped dent right above the rear wheel-well.  Or maybe it was shoulder shaped, I don't know.  I'll have to study some deer (and possibly cheetah) anatomy and get back to you.

I'm just glad no one was hurt as I had all three kids in the van with me.  Josh screamed, "Mom, watch out!" at the precise moment I saw deer #1, and tonight as we were driving down the same road, he reminded me to watch out for deer.  Trust me, the reminder was unnecessary; I was going about 35.


It bugs me that when I was creating labels for my post, I used the phrase "spiritual insight."  EVERY time I use that label, I wish that I could change it to "spiritual reflections."  I don't mean be so presumptuous as to think that anyone would find my ramblings "insightful," but it's not possible (as far as I can tell) to change a label without going in and re-labeling each post.

And, again . . . see #1.


Lauren's newest phrase: "Whatever."  She loves it.

She said it the other day when she lost her train of thought, and my parents and I cracked up.  It was hilarious.  Now she knows people find it hilarious, so she says it to get a laugh.  She actually told me that she kept saying it at small group the other night "so Sarah and Laura would laugh again." 

I foresee a class clown.


You should know that it took quite a bit of dedication for me to get this post in tonight.  I had to pry myself away from "I Was Bitten" on the  Discovery Channel.  Or maybe it's Animal Planet.  I don't know; I'm new to this whole cable thing.  All I know is I am addicted to this show.

It's about people who've been bitten by various deadly animals.  Tonight's episode included a grizzly bear attack and an attack by a great white shark.  (Lucky for you, I've seen a shark one before.)  Other episodes have featured attacks by various types of rattlesnakes, cobras, alligators, mountain lions, venomous spiders . . . all the things I'm sure you want to be thinking about if you read this right before you go to bed.

I seriously love this show, though.  If someone created a channel that was nothing but infomercials and near-fatal animal attacks, I'd watch it almost exclusively.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Here's the update David had for me recently:  The new firm he's formed in Pennsylvania is, well, not really producing any income.  To say none at all would be an exaggeration, but only a very slight one.  The house we have been planning to buy? Not  so fast.  Given the lack of income, the house is up in the air now.  

Combine that with a few other things going on in my life  right now, and I have been in a pretty downward-directed spiral of emotions the past couple of days.  I'm not a panicky person by nature, but when I do panic, it gets me in quite a funk.  Fear grips hold of my heart, and it's hard for me to think about anything else.  

Such was my state of mind and heart as we left our small group last night.  I had a hard time concentrating on what  was being said - and an even harder time participating - because I felt as though I was fighting off a full fledged anxiety attack, and if I opened my mouth or began to talk about it, it would all be over but the crying.  Literally.

So, I gathered up my kids as quickly as I could, intending to get out the door and to my van before any well-intentioned people, whom I dearly love, could ask me how I'm doing.  

"Come on, guys.  Hurry up.  It's a school night," I was saying as I rushed them toward the van.  Great, we're almost outta here.

And then Lauren fell and scraped her hand.  It was not a deep or a large scrape  by any stretch of the imagination, but you'd never know that from the way she shrieked hysterically.  In my attempt to convince her that hers was not a life-threatening injury, I showed her the scrape.  

"Look at your hand," I said, "It's fine."  


At that point I couldn't help but  laugh as I carried her inside to get that most magical of all healing remedies for children - a bandaid.  It  helped, but she still wailed the entire way back to the van and most of the way home, saying at one point, "Mommy, it will NEVER go away!!"

I told this story to some friends at Bible Study this morning despite the funk of anxiety I still have not been able to shake from my gut.  Later, as I was on the way home, I thought of it again.

It seems God gets a kick out of teaching me lessons through my children.  

Is what I'm doing any different from what Lauren did?  God has given me sign after sign, peace upon peace, that He is leading us to Pennsylvania.  He has provided and shown His presence every step of the way.  But, give me some bad news, and just like Lauren, I cry in my heart, "I'm ruined!"  

God, help me to trust.  Forgive my childish tantrums and pity-parties.  Release me from my fear, and remind me that You are my good and gracious and loving Father and  that You withhold no good thing . . . even if some of the things you send don't seem good to me right now.

Thank you that your plans - and your children - can never be ruined.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A girly robber

While helping Lauren get into her pajamas after a bath tonight:

Lauren: Mommy, I'm not Lauren. I'm a bad guy robber.

Me: No, you're not. You're my sweet little princess.

No, I'm a girly (pronounced "geely") robber.

A girly robber? What does a girly robber do?

I don't know.

What does a robber do?

Ummmm . . . hunts!

Hunts for what?

A robber hunts for every bad animal. The only not bad animal is a puppy. Robbers love puppies.

I then come downstairs to fix her something to eat and hear her singing as she comes down the stairs, "Everybody do the robber dance, the robber dance, the robber dance . . ." to the tune of "Do You Know the Muffin Man?"

I don't explain 'em; I just tell 'em.


That would be  the word for what  happened to my time and my money when I went to see the movie Taken, starring Liam Neeson.  If you haven't seen it and you don't want to know what happens, I suggest you go play in another corner of the internet somewhere and try my blog again on another day.  

For everyone else . . . the movie is about Liam Neeson's daughter who gets abducted on her first day in Paris.  

Oh, the daughter is 17, by the way, and has been for like a whole hour or two when her parents let her go to Paris alone with another teenager without knowing where she'll be staying or having any contact info at all . . . other than a copy of the U2 World Tour schedule because today's 17 year-old Americans are so into a band from MY high school years  that they'd follow them all over Europe.  Nobody loves Bono more than girls born in 1992, right.

Anyway, back to the plot. 

Here's the abridged version: Girl goes to Paris despite the misgivings of her former spy father.  Girl gets abducted  by Albanian (of course) human traffickers.  Former spy dad still remembers  a trick or  two and kills/disables/tortures  approximately 43 armed men in his ultimately successful attempt to get his daughter back from these degenerate savages.  Girl has been abducted, sold as a sex slave, forced to take such a large amount of drugs that she's half-dead (her friend is completely dead), delivered along with a few other virgin girls to a sheik on a boat, and rescued by her dad who shoots the sheik who's holding a knife  to said girl's throat.

Girl gets back home, runs smiling to meet mom at the airport, and shows up giddy with glee when her dad surprises her by taking her to meet her pop star idol (a fictional version of Shakira) and  Shakira's voice coach.

Now, I didn't mind the movie as a whole.  It was a decent action/thriller.  I can suspend disbelief with the best of them when it comes to a middle aged man being able to singlehandedly defeat an entire ring of savage criminals half his age.  I could buy the car chases in which a handgun is always more effective than a machine gun or a semi-automatic.  I could even go along with the guy's apparently being able  to shoot  up half of Paris without any legal or political consequences or even an interview with Larry King afterward.

The part that spoiled it for me was  the end. The last 100 seconds of the movie,  The girls has, against all odds, survived this unthinkable horror and been brought safely home.

And, apparently, being abducted and made part of the human trafficking industry does nothing to tarnish a 17 year old girl's dreams of becoming a pop star.

I mean, like, duh, right?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Yes, I know it's Thursday, but I'm taking advantage of my brother and his PC laptop being here right now, so here are my early 7 Quick Takes.

Sigh . . . I'm in love with the control key.


We've said for years that Joshua is the most likely of our children to follow in his parents' footsteps and become a lawyer. He proved it again during a conversation we had on the way home from school yesterday.

We were talking about Africa and what type of animals one might see on a safari. He asked me if there were alligators there. I said, "I think so, yes."

Josh's reply: "Mom, you said, 'I think so.' and 'Yes.' Which one is the answer?"

The kid's a master at cross already.


I passed two police cars on the highway today, and through some freak chance, I happened not to be speeding. Am I the only one who feels proud of myself when this happens? Despite the fact that I am usually speeding, I'm pretty sure that when I'm not, the police officer is thinking to himself, "Wow, that hot young chick is the best driver I've seen in a long time."

I realize I'm quite delusional on many levels here.


Speaking of ridiculous thoughts, a friend of mine was having an MRI the other day, and that caused me to think back on all the MRI's I've had.

I always have this horrible fear right before going into the machine that perhaps I've forgotten about some metal on myself. "What if I have on a necklace I forgot about?" "Do I have steel rods in my leg?" "Wait! What if I had brain surgery and had metal plates put in my head, and because of the whole brain surgery thing, I just forgot about it?!" It's quite panic-inducing.


Boy, these really are random today aren't they?


So, I took all four kids (my 3 plus my niece) out for a walk this afternoon on the street where I grew up. (Remember we're staying with my parents, and they live in the house we moved into when I was 5.)

My parents' house is in the woods, and when I was growing up this area was pretty sparsely populated. It was not uncommon to walk the entire 2 mile length of our street without seeing a single car.

Not so anymore. There are now several factories out here, and the traffic has increased twenty-fold. During our 1 mile walk today (1/2 mile each way), we were passed by at least two dozen cars, all traveling about 65 mph on this 45 mph road. I had told the kids we would go all the way to the railroad track, which is about a mile from the house, but I had to reneg and turn back sooner for fear that we would not all make it back alive if we continued.

It was not the desolate street of my youth, and even I, supermom extraordinaire, could not safely walk with a 3, 4, 6, and 7 year old an entire two miles.


So, my point about the walk.

It may not be desolate anymore, but it's still in the woods. (This morning a coyote crossed the driveway in front of me when I left for Bible study, and we frequently see feral hogs, wild turkeys, and the like.)

While walking back tothe house this afternoon, we came across an almost completely decomposed animal of some sort. Not until we got about 10 feet farther and found the jawbone with teeth intact were we certain what kind of animal it was. It was a wild dog.

Joshua has show-and-tell tomorrow.

Do you see where this is going? Yes, I picked it up with a stick (didn't touch it) and brought it home and put it in two layers of gallon-sized zipoloc.

Will the teacher think, "Wow, what a great mom that boy has for being willing to let him keep such a cool piece of nature?" or "Wow, what a freak that boy has for a mom?" I can't decide the answer to this myself.

Up and running again . . . at least for now.

I think I mentioned that the kids and I are staying with my parents until Joshua finishes school in May, and then we will join David in PA.  More thankful for this accommodation I could not be.  

However, the free cable and high speed internet that were advertised for this location have not always materialized.  In fact, for the past two days, my parents have had no internet, cable, or phone service.  (Management, i.e. my dad, has informed me that I'm free to look for a cheaper place, but free is hard to beat.  Especially when the establishment comes with babysitters.)  Add to these media being down the fact that I lost my cell phone charger during the move, and I have been truly incommunicado the past couple of days.

How did I live without email and Facebook and cell phones?  It's like living on Little House on the Prairie.  Except I don't have to use an outhouse.

Oh, and I couldn't get weather updates.  

I tease my mom about being a weather channel junkie, but I never realized how often I hop on the net to check the weather.  (Considering we went from 4.5 inches of snow to 84 degrees in the span of 8 days, surely you can understand my preoccupation.)

So, I'm back for now.  However, I'm still on a mac and don't know how to put pics up. I may go ahead and do my Seven Quick Takes later today in case I can't get on again tomorrow.

This must have been what the Dark Ages were like.  Except that I'm not really afraid of being executed for saying that or anything.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Unchanging Love

One afternoon several months ago I went out to shop for some new jeans all by myself. David kept the kids for hours while I shopped without my usual extra appendages that like to crawl underneath dressing room doors and hide in clothes racks. (And sometimes put on bracelets or scarves without my noticing until we are three stores away.) Of course, I enjoyed this solo shopping time immensely.

When I arrived home, I found myself stepping over and under and around countless strings of yarn that had been wrapped around everything in my living room. "It's a spider web!" the boys told me excitedly. I laughed and headed toward the bedroom to put away the fruits of my shopping excursion. David, meanwhile, heard what the boys said and hurried in from the garage to tell me that he had told the boys to take the spider web down. (Apparently, there was a misunderstanding wherein David told them to take it down so mommy wouldn't trip over it, but the boys thought that moving it away from the front door would accomplish the stated purpose.)

I assured David that I didn't mind the new spider web decor, and he replied, "Oh. I wasn't sure whether it would be Dr. Jekyll or Mrs. Hyde who came home, and I was worried you'd be upset about the mess."

Wow. Talk about being slapped in face by your own reality. Was I really that bad?

Sadly, yes. Reflecting back, it was far too common for me to come home from my alone time and fuss and nag about what the house looked like when I came home rather than just being thankful for the break I'd just received and the fun my children and their father (clearly) had while I was gone.

I found myself thinking of that incident in church this morning when we sang a song that referred to God as unchanging. Of course, I already knew that about God. But thinking about it this morning in light of my own utter unpredictability was a comfort to my soul.

My children do not always know which mommy they're going to get . . . the laid-back version who patiently helps them clean up spilled oatmeal or the tightly wound coil version who springs loose in all her fury about how many times they've spilled their oatmeal this week.

I'm unpredictable. I do not always respond in the same way. Sometimes I freak out over a spider-web living room; other times I laugh and enjoy the creativity of my kids.

Imagine how much nicer it would be if they knew my response would ALWAYS be the same. If they knew that no matter what, my tone, expression, and words would convey total love and acceptance (and forgiveness when necessary).

I don't have to imagine what it's like to have a God like that. He is unchanging, and I am beyond thankful that I can at least point my children to a Heavenly Father who offers trait this even though I fall so utterly short.

Friday, March 6, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


I'm typing these on a foreign computer tonight, so please forgive the final outcome.  I don't have my "7 Quick Takes" logo saved on this (my parents') computer, and worst of all . . . it's a Mac!  

I know many of you out there love macs, but I am not one of you.  I like my control key, my arrow buttons at the top and bottom of the screen, and the familiarity of my piece of crap windows program.  It's comforting.  I miss it.


I am, however, thankful that the kids and I are able to stay at my parents' home for the next 10 weeks while we await the chance to move into our final destination - our home in Pennsylvania.


I guess this should have been #1.  We are officially homeless persons.  We closed on the sale of our house this morning.  Handed over the keys,  took our check, and left.  We are in the process of buying a home in PA, but we don't have a closing date yet, and it will likely be sometime in April.  (Since that's so close to May when Josh finishes school, the kids and I are living with my parents until school gets out.  Wish us all luck.)


David has been home since Monday, which has been great.  We spent every day until today either packing, loading, or cleaning or former home, so today's the first chance we've had to do anything enjoyable.

We took the kids to the park this afternoon to climb on the rocks, and I took dozens of pictures, but alas, I do not know how  to load them onto this alien computer.


I did learn something great during our afternoon park adventure:  I can still rock-climb! The kids were climbing an easy part of a cliff at Flat Rock, and at the same time, some soldier-looking guys were climbing a more difficult part.  It wasn't sheer, but it wasn't terribly craggy.  

So, these two fit looking guys spent about 20 minutes studying the cliff, one showing the other how to climb it.  After about  20 minutes,  the two of them crested the cliff, went back down, and drove away.

The potential for embarrassing myself in front of them having driven away with them, I decided to try that section of rock myself.  I kid you not that it took me less than 2 minutes to climb it.  I was proud.

I used to climb and rappel a lot in college, but I've never owned my own equipment or known how to operate it.  (ie, I can't tie a knot at all)  It's on my bucket list, so I was glad to discover I still had some of my mad skills.


I hate redundancy.  Those gas station signs that "Checks must be pre-approved before pumping gas" drive me crazy. 


I also hate needless repetition.  

(Having trouble with this annoying computer, so I'm not linking right now.  Check out the original Quick Takes at conversiondiary.com.  Sorry no link this week.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Some midweek randomness

Let's see . . . what have I been up to lately?

Yeah, that's about it. And, by that I mean that's about all I've been up to, NOT that those are about all of the boxes. That's just the overflow because the garage is pretty much full.

In my head, when I'm typing garage, I'm pronouncing it like the British do. I'm having a problem with that lately.

I was an English major in college and a 12th grade British lit teacher after that, so I've read a LOT of British literature in my lifetime. But, never before have I experienced an inability to read them without an English accent.

Seriously, I'm reading a novel now (Another Mother's Life) that is set in England. The characters say things like, ""It will be very exciting, won't it? A proper adventure" and "Get a move on, love" and "Can Gemma come round this afternoon?"

I absolutely cannot read this book without a British accent. Then when I put it down, I can't stop thinking in one. I never thought I did a very good accent before, but now that I think in one almost 24 hrs a day, I'm getting quite good at it. Jolly good, I'd say.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Apparently, since I won't go to the frozen tundra yet, it's come to me

My law school girlfriends were in town to visit this weekend. We had a blast . . . stayed up talking till wee hours, went to movies, picked on Yella, drank lousy sangria, ate pretty much anything as long as it contained chocolate chips, read brainless magazines in Barnes & Noble while someone got her Starbucks fix, etc.

This is us on a bench downtown last night as we strolled a few blocks before dinner at the Cannon (which we ate outside), enjoying the 71 degree weather:

This is what things looked like this afternoon:

Is this a Georgia kid enjoying himself some snow, or what?

Of course, the snowman. Now I know which relative Joshua gets his quirks from. It's a snowman, guys, not a snowcone:

Josh, not one to be satisfied building a snowman like any other kid, just wanted to build a giant blob he could stand on. My dad has always been the helpful kind.

The building begins:

Up he goes:

And, success! For about 5 seconds before he went crashing through the middle, which is what he claimed to be aiming for all along.

And, yes, those are frilly blue gloves Joshua is wearing. When one lives in Georgia, one is not equipped for things like snow and ice. My kids started the morning with socks on their hands since we couldn't find any gloves, so the blue frillies are an upgrade.

It gets even worse. Lauren REALLY wanted to wear a scarf, and the best I could find was a dollar store feather boa. We also made a hat out of the shawl. Who says I'm not crafty?

And, according to her, she was "helping" here:

In twenty-four hours, our area had a tornado, flooding, and a snowstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning (which I'm told doesn't normally happen). But, I had a blast with my girlfriends, so assuming this wasn't the apocalypse, it was a great weekend.