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Showing posts from March, 2010

Holy Week: Wednesday and 12 grand.

What would you be willing to do for $12, 254?

Just recently I offered my relatives the chance to pie me in the face for 20$ ( I never got my 20$ by the way).
But 12 grand is a lot of money and I’d be willing to do a lot of stupid things for 12 grand.
I mean 12 grand would make my house payments for the good part of a year.
It finance a much needed kitchen re-model.
It would pay off the rest of my car and then still have enough left over to go shopping with.
I could go to Starbucks every single day and buy a latte for over 8 years.
It would allow me to have a maid come every week and a lawn service with enough left over for lots of meals out.
It would pay my childcare bill for the year.
I could take my family to Hawaii and Disney World.

I could even do a lot of good with that much money.
I could support 28 Compassion children for a year.
I could buy 25 cows on Heiffer International.
I could build 27 wells through the water project

So I’d be willing to submit myself to lots of hard work or silly thin…

Holy Week: Tuesday -There are better things than being useful.

So on Tuesday (before Friday) Jesus spent a lot of time teaching in the Temple (Mark 12 for one of 3 accounts), then dined in Bethany with his discples and was annointed by Mary Magdeline ( Matthew 26).

I know a girl who re-uses her zip lock bags. She even has a little baggy drying rack. She saves scraps of tin foil to re-use and never throws away wrapping paper. Unlike me she never has to buy those disposable plastic containers for leftovers but simply washes and saves all the ones that food already comes in (like yogurt or sour cream).
I admire this. Even if I like to be able to see my left-overs and like a fresh baggie for my sandwich. I mean not only is it better for the environment but it is frugal. And God calls us to be good stewards of our finances as well as this beautiful Earth. I could take a few lessons from this girl.

Sometimes we over do it.
This whole value on “usefulness” and frugalness and being practical.

Jesus lived simply.
Most of the time.
But I’m not sure that I’d c…

Holy Week: Monday and the Fig Tree

So in my head I was hoping to write this really profound post for every day of Holy Week....walking through what Christ did this week.
And yesterday was Palm Sunday and there was no post. I tried. But it really ended up being some lame editorial on Paris Hilton's million dollar pink Bentley compared to the Christ showing up on a borrowed ass. That was pretty much my best line and the rest of the post ended up in delete bin.
So for Monday I thought I'd try again. Excpet the scriptures are pretty blank on Monday except for a small section in Matthew and Mark about Jesus cursing out a fig tree.

Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. Matthew 21: 18-20

This bit o…

slow growing

My 18 month old has very little hair.
I can just now get a little clip in there. Only for her to pull it right back out a few minutes later.
I’m not really sure why this bothers me.
She is stinkin cute.
But at least once a week someone stops me, at church or at the store and asks how old my son is. Or tells me how cute he is.
Even if HE has on a pink dress. I pierced her ears about a year ago to fend off some of these mistakes but it hasn’t seemed to help. One onlooker even bothered to ask me why I pierced my son’s ears.
I have stopped trying to correct them and just smile and give her age at the time. While cursing them loudly in my head.

My son of course was born with a big thick dark mop of hair and I’m pretty sure had a hair cut before he was even a year old. And olive toned skin and long thick eyelashes that a girl would kill for.

And then there is my bald ivory skinned little girl who you need a magnifying class to find an eyelash on.
And she is beautiful.
Really. People stop me all t…

Friday Playlist - Got you Covered

I love a good cover. And here are some of my favorites.

1. Obidiah Parker – Hey Ya (outkast) This song makes me so happy everytime I here it. I’m not sure how they managed to make outkast folky but they so pulled it off. Love it.

2.Ben Taylor – I try (macy gray). This is Ben Taylor as in James Taylor and it is so amazing.

3.John Mayer -Free Fallin (tom petty). I used to sing this song at Young Life my freshman year of high school and love it. By Tom Petty. By John Mayer. By anyone with a guitar.

4.Kendall Payne – One (U2). This is one of my favorite songs of all times and I just adore this girl… of course it is a winner J.

5.Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan -Get the Party Started (pink). Funny funny stuff that somehow works. Damien Rice could sing the back of a cereal box and I’d buy it.

6. Ryan Adams– Wonderwall ( oasis). I like his version better than the real one.

7.Across the Universe – Fiona Apple ( beatles). So pretty. Rufus Wainwright also does a killer version.

8. Blackbird – Sara Mc…


About a month ago I took a photography class…and to begin we had to go around the room and say why we took pictures.
I am the kind of girl who in a group like that likes to have some smart ass witty thing to say. But my friends were the teachers and I couldn’t think of anything fast enough.
All I could actually think of was pouring over pictures albums when I was little. And going to my Aunt Bobbie’s house and looking at her albums over and over and asking her to tell the stories in each picture.
A lot of my memories from when I was little aren’t really memories at all. They are versions of me and events that I remember the picture of.
Like right now if I close my eyes I can see one of those square kind of pictures with the rounded edges of me and my family on vacation at the beach. I don’t remember the actual trip or the bad blue dress I was wearing. But I can clearly remember the photo and my painful looking sunburn. I’m sure that my mom sprayed me down that night with solarcaine or rub…

she dared me

6 or so years ago I went to my first official high school soccer practice.
Well first one as the coach anyways.
Just a part-time assistant volunteer coach. But still a coach. I even bought a whistle.
I thought of all the people who encouraged me when I sucked. And the traditions and fun my old high school team had even when we lost almost every game.
And I cheered these girls on. I showed some of them how to shoot with the inside of their foot. I told them where to be on the field. I made others run for cussing and at the end we huddled up and I told them how excited I was to be there. How eager I was for their first game.
I went home on cloud nine and told my husband that I was born to do this and had a hard time going to sleep that night because I kept thinking about those 21 girls and anticipating our season ahead.

The next day around 3rd period I got an email that told me not to go to practice that day.
Or any day.

And I tried really really hard to not cry in front of all those kids who h…

my afternoon in hell....other wise known as the DMV

On Friday I worried when I could barely find a parking space. But my in-laws were watching the kids and it was Spring Break and I figured it was now or never to replace my driver’s license.
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website you are allowed to renew your license on line or change your address or change your name pretty much anything except get a replacement. The punishment for losing your wallet is to sit in their little corner of hell for as long as it takes.
So I walked in. Saw the hoards of people and turned around and walked out. I just didn’t have the patience and couldn’t waste my last afternoon of Spring Break in line. As I headed back to the car, that little grown up in me decided I better be responsible and take care of it. So I went back in. I got in line to get a number and called Shaun to tell him how ridiculous the line was but that I was going to suck it up and finally take care of it seeing how I lost my wallet months ago. And just last week I eve…

holding out

The other day we got an unexpected check in the mail.
A fat one.
Not super fat, like go on a cruise kind of fat. But nice.
One that will keep us from biting our nails at the end of the month and let me pay off some medical bills and bought my baby girl a ridiculously cute Easter dress.

Thank you Bartlett Shale and Chesepeake Oil company.

But I still hesitated to cash it because I was wondering if we held out if we would get more. The check was for an extension on our mineral rights because they are drilling for gas in the vicinity.
When it was time for the original lease, a man knocked on our door and offered us a check for 800$.
I was thrilled. I didn’t immediately sign on the dotted line. I did a little research. I called my dad all to make sure that this was legit. Eventually we signed and cashed our check. I thought we were being responsible. And if you live in our area you know that most people got A LOT more than we did.

What we didn’t do, that our neighbors did.
Was haggle.
We didn…

found art and my old worn couch

I got married and moved to tiny apartment sight unseen in Arlington. Actually I was out of town at a shower so my husband did all of my actual moving without me.
Did I mention I didn’t know a soul in Arlington. I did have a few distant friends in the metroplex but quickly learned that the metroplex is a really big place and I better hurry up a make a few in my own zipcode.
And I thought it would be easy enough. Just like at summer camp or in college. But months passed. I joined a church, I started a new job (and a bad one at that) and still no real friends.
Did I mention that my husband also traveled. A lot.
I spent a good part of this year alone in that tiny apartment lonely and sad.
I mourned the loss of friends. I fought on the phone with my husband in some distant state. I wandered through Barnes and Nobles several times a week and saw almost any movie that came out. By myself. If Shaun was gone for a longer stretch, it would be weeks where no one touched me. Something I never noticed,…

four letter words

I’ll be honest.
I like four letter words.
And this isn’t some cute ploy where I am going to tell you that I mean words like “love or hope or nice”. Those are all pretty words. And I like those too.
But here I am confessing that I like the bad four letter words. And if you are already offended please stop reading…because it will only get worse.

I am a mom and a teacher so I have learned to control the potty mouth most of the time.
But put a glass of wine in my hand or put me in a “socially appropriate place” like dinner with friends, a girls road trip or a soccer field and you might be surprised at the words that fall out of my mouth. You might want to have some soap handy.

They are inappropriate I know. They are crude and crass and unlady-like.
But I still get a secret thrill when they spill out of my mouth
(unless it is in anger or pain and then there is no thrill at all only shame and hurt)
Kind of like I did when I whispered them quietly in my friend’s ear on the playground when I was 7.


I have been to a few concerts this week.
First was Muse (with Silversun Pickups) and they were artistically the most amazing band I have ever seen live.
And get ready this is a big but that is about to make me sound 60.
It was too loud and there was way too much electric guitar crazyness and feedback for me. I kept checking my ears for blood and had the most giant headache in the morning.
I was just starting to think that maybe I was getting too old for the live music scene,
And then I went to the House of Blues last night and saw Jennifer Knapp.
If you don’t know who the heck Jennifer Knapp is maybe because she hasn’t written or recorded anything in about a decade. And it was all acoustic-y Christian girl music. But. She. Is. Awesome.
I played that Kansas cd to death back in the day and drove all the way to plainview ( yes, that is the crazy way they name towns in West Texas…Plainview, Brownfield etc) to see her a decade ago. Then I watched her at a little Baptist college in the m…

Friday Playlist - takes you back

Last night I went to a concert that took me back a decade. In the best kind of way (so great in fact that it will get it’s own blog post) in honor of Jennifer Knapp’s comeback here are 10 songs that take me back.

1. Lay it Down – Jennifer Knapp. Lubbock and the loop and college couches.
2. True Blue – Madonna. Curt Loder. MTV. And bad bangs. I think I was only 10 or so but this was my discovery of music.
3. The Piano Man– Billy Joel. Riding in the car with my mom singing along. Billy Joel and Patty Lovelace was the only music we could agree on.
4. Everything I do- I do it for you. Bryan Adams – every junior high Methodist and Briarcrest dance I ever went to ( and all you BCS people out there got my reference). My favorite part about this song is the extra long pause at the end where you think it is over but it isn’t which makes for some awkward slow dancing moments.
5. All For You – Sister Hazel. Mo Ranch. If I start gushing about this place I’m not sure that I’ll stop. But sweaty…


1. Tess and her paci -- The sleeping situation still sucks...but we have been paci-free for almost a week and are now almost red blistery rash free. She better thank me for not having a red mustache scar when she is in junior high. And on a related note--toddler beds are not made for two. Snuggling up with her took me straight back to my college freshmen year with my tiny bed that pulled out from the wall.

2. The soccer update. Last night was the last indoor game in which they got creamed by an all girls team. We still have about 7 outdoor games to go but last night was a success. The trick -- not know how to read your schedule and show up thirty minutes late. Owen didn't have to get all worked up and he just hopped right in and started playing. No he didn't score any goals......but he tried hard and there were no tears. At least not until one girl reeled back and nailed him right in the face with the ball. Hard enough to stop the game and for both coaches (and mommies) to chec…

cold turkey

Tess has been pacifier free for over 72 hours.
I’m not sure who is suffering more.
Me or Her.

My little girl who used to go to sleep without even a whimper at 8:00 pm on the dot, now screams for over an hour first.
Even if I am holding her.
She searches everywhere in case she has just misplaced it.
Under the pillow, under the bed….hoping that she will find a pacifier there.
But mostly she just lays there and cries….….I mean screams.

Instead of seconds of bonding before bed we now have hours.
And last night as she lay there crying while I tried everything I could thing of
Reading, singing, praying, etc.
I thought about her loss a little.
And I was quickly losing patience, and lots of much needed sleep to this incessant crying.
Because to me, it is just a pacifier.
A baby phase that I wish we could hang on to for just a while longer…
But thanks to super sensitive skin and multiple ear infections the pediatrician encouraged us to let go now.
But to her it is her comfort.

And as she screamed.
I wondered…

the good part

The last few days I spent a lot of time in the car…
Which means I read lots of books.
But it seemed like every time I was getting to the good part,
it was time to stop for gas or for lunch or to find a lost toy or my husband suddenly wanted to engage me in conversation or Owen want to show me something…..well you get the idea.

In a story, the “good part” is called the climax. (and I’m sure you all know this and don’t need an English lesson from a girl who doesn’t believe in grammar, but humor me
here…I am getting to a point…maybe….at least I hope to get to a point). When I googled climax (carefully of course or else I’d have all kinds of definitions that I could not post here)…this is the definition that popped up: “The climax is the result of the crisis. It is the high point of the story for the reader. Frequently, it is the moment of the highest interest and greatest emotion. The point at which the outcome of the conflict can be predicted.”

In addition to all this car reading, I’ve bee…

The Friday Playlist - like the weather

This is Texas and just yesterday I was wearing shorts. But today it is chilly and overcast and yuck. Jacket weather. These late winter/early spring months I never know if I’m gonna need sunscreen or a hoodie.
My mood is just as flippant.
The sun, when it sneaks out makes my heart sing………and the clouds engulf me in this gray funk. So this playlist reflects that. The first five are warm and happy and make me smile…….and the last five are a bit more overcast.

And because Spring Break started about 5 minutes ago……this will have to be a quick no commentary version.

1. Sunshine– Matt Costa
2. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
3. Come on Get Higher – Matt Nathanson
4. Wait and See -- Brandon Heath
5. Be OK – Ingrid Michealson

6. Hazy – Rosi Golan
7. Funeral Dress - William Fitzsimmons
8. All My Days – Alexi Murdoch
9. Comfort – Deb Talon
10. Circle – Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

What is your favorite happy song....because I could use some more of those?

(ignore the commercial at the beginin…

the f word

Yesterday my pediatrician used the F-word.
She suggested that I ferberize my sweet baby girl.

Maybe it was the bags under my eyes or my disheveled appearance or the fact that I nodded off in the waiting room that tipped her off.
But Tess is not a good sleeper.

My kids couldn’t be any more different. My son started sleeping through the night at about 9 weeks. And was in his own crib in his own room at only 4 weeks. And we threw out the paci before he was a year old. I read Babywise (The baby sleeping bible back then) and although I did not follow those methods rigidly, I did implore some of the techniques. And for the most part they were successful. Now, he did ( and still does!) hate going to sleep……and will fight it with every once of his being….and sadly just needs less sleep than most kids. So more often than not, you might find me getting into bed before he does. And nap times, we mourned the loss of those way too early.

Tess on the other hand needs more sleep just like m…

Biology Books and the Bible (and no...this is not an evolution post)

My AP class is kicking my rear.
The readings, the notes, the labs, the tests and the late nights.

Did I mention that I am the teacher?

And I know this material.
I’ve taken the class. I’ve been to summer workshops. I’ve racked up hours and hours of college and graduate credit in the subject.
But it is so easy to forget.
And on those mornings when I don’t really prepare.
They can tell.
The smart kids sitting their with their pens out waiting for me to fill them in on the steps of the Krebs cycle or the enzymes responsible for DNA translation or (their favorite) the ins and outs of the reproductive system (and yes, bad bad pun intended).

But on those bad mornings. I stumble through. I mispronounce. I skip important details or I try to pass off someone else’s power points as my own.
And power points are like some kind of magic sleepy potion. And they try to stay awake and I try my best to remember all the important parts.

But last night instead of watching TV I spent a few hours with my Biology bo…

game day

“But I don’t want to go to soccer, I’m tired”
says the boy who has been running circles around the living room for the last hour.

“No, I don’t want to wear my jersey”
says the same boy that slept in his uniform just last week.

And so I do what any good mom would do, which is start bribing my kid.
I promise him ring pops or pizza or new toys for having a good attitude, listening to his coach and trying his best.
But those things are not quite enough to make him eagerly lace up his cleats.

Owen actually loves soccer practice.
And is one of the best dribblers on the teams.
And he loves kicking the ball around the living room and in the front yard.
But games days are hell.
Instead of being a proud momma on the sideline snapping pictures
I am usually trying not to cry.
Because Owen has realized that he isn’t really good at it.
That the other kids are bigger and faster and score more goals.

And today his team won. And they haven’t won many games.
And they cheered and lined up eagerly for patches and sna…

The Friday Playlist --The I'm embarrassed to have this on my Ipod edition

Sure, there are plenty of embarrassing musical phases I have been through….like the Spice Girls or Hanson or Air Supply or Public Enemy (and for the record, I still like Air Supply)…….but these are songs that are currently on my ipod.

Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus. Yep. I paid 99cents for this and love to run to it. Tess surprisingly hates this song. Her daddy is so proud.

Redneck Girl – Bellamy Brothers. Ok, I am so city girl with my lattes and sushi and like to pretend to like hip indie folky artists……..but this song makes me want to hop in the back of my brothers truck head into the country and catch some fish, pick some dewberrys or shoot at empty cans.

Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice. Even Owen is starting to learn the words. As far as I am concerned, this song is a classic.

Material Girl – Madonna. Ok there is NOTHING embarrassing about Madonna. But if you happened to pull up next to me at a red light while I sang and DANCED along to this one……..well that could get embarrassing.


writers block and better blogging

Lately I have been trying to kick this blog up a notch And yes, I know, I should probably start with a real layout rather than the generic blogger one…or that I should move to wordpress…or buy my own domain…or add more pictures…or ask more questions….or talk about controversial things…or comment more…But I thought maybe I should just start writing better.And more frequently.And worry about those other things later.But here is the catch.Lately I haven’t had much to say.I’ve been cleaning up old posts that never got published.I’ve been reading an old journal (thank goodness I didn’t have a blog back then or I’d be mortified!)Thinking and pondering and remembering and pulling at straws.This was almost a post about chili cheese fritos.Lately I have been indulgent.Finishing off the fritos.Spending without thinking.Speaking without thinking.Having too much.Breaking the rules.Not lenting.And other things that I won’t bother to post for the world to see.Or the dozen or so of you that read thi…

ahead of the game

I can hardly believe this….but next year Owen goes to kindergarten.
As the current school year creeps by, I suddenly realize how close the next one
(and the next 18) are getting.
As a teacher myself, I wanted to make sure that I was preparing him…I mean a kid should know a few things before you send him off in the world.
So below is my list of things that maybe he should accomplish before the big day:

1. Be able to read – uhmmm not quite, although he has started to figure out some of the words I spell, like “Shaun should we go to the z-o-o?” and Owen, “I want to go to the zoo, I want to go to the zoo!) Or “Where is the last c-o-o-k-i-e?”, and Owen “in my tummy”. Really maybe we should wait to teach reading and spelling skills until like 4th grade or something.
2. Ability to tie his shoe –negative. Even I still get confused with the hole bunny in the whole story. I am a fan of Velcro. Hopefully Velcro and white slip on grandpa keds will make a come back.
3. Ability to tell time –also a no. We…


There is lots of discussion to be had on the voice of God. What He supposedly sounds like and how do we know when it is actually Him talking.
I guess it is different for everyone, but for me it is usually a quiet assurance. Something placed in my head that doesn't seem like it came from the rest of me. Some advice or direction that is going to feel suprisingly good when I act on it.
Sometimes it is so random and out of place I know it is God.

The other day I had one of those moments. We were riding in the car and my thoughts were drifting. I caught a little bit of bitterness in my thoughts about a friend. I swear God decided now would be a good time to speak up.

"Forgive her."

This totally threw me off. I had already.

Without going into much back story, but still filling you in on enough for this to make sense.....let's back track a bit. Once I had this friend and we had a bit of a falling out or apart. I was left with really hurt feelings. This isn't the fir…


Just yesterday I was on the phone with a friend who was upset about something.
I played the role of good friend and listened.
And then something terrible happened and I opened my mouth.
And kept talking until I think we both felt terrible.

I meant the advice I gave my friend.
But it wasn’t very timely.
What she needed right then was someone to listen and sympathize and make plans to go drown it in coffee later.
Instead I tried to provide answers that were a little harsh.
Even worse.
They advice I gave is rarely advice I follow in my own life.

So I hung up and felt pretty unsettled.
You see I like to defend my friends.
I like to “be on their team”
Even if we disagree.
Because I hope they would do the same in the many scenarios where I don’t deserve it.
Being against them makes me uncomfortable.
I’m not saying it isn’t important to speak up or that you have to agree or that you shouldn’t offer sound advice when it is asked for.
Sometimes important things are hard to hear.
BUT in this particular case
No on…